For the third year in a row, I’m going to attempt to eat every single item on Time Out New York’s annual 100 Best Dishes list. In no particular order, here’s my take on their Top 100.┬áLet the gluttony continue…

I’m not sure if it’s the usually high salt content or the endless crunch that makes crispy chips so addicting. Doesn’t matter if the chips are made from potatoes, soy, veggies, or rice. If they’re salty and crunchy, I’ll keep munching.

It’s no surprise that I’m equally addicted to the Indian street food known as chaat. It’s sold at very few (that I know of) food carts here in New York, but is pretty common at most Indian restaurants along Lexington Avenue in the area known as Curry Hill.

Bhojan’s papdi chaat knocked my sock’s off last year with their crunchy bits of dough, savory vegetables, and sweet, spicy, and cooling sauces.

The version I tried next door at Dhaba (which refers to roadside restaurants) was not as addicting, but I still managed to finish the entire plate. I hate to compare it to the one at Bhojan, but the flavors here were not quite as distinct. The sweet tamarind sauce was a bit heavy handed and overpowered the other flavors, like red onion, curried chickpeas, and cilantro. Thankfully, the crunch was still there (except for the few crisps that soon become soggy from the heavy toppings).

More successful were the other dishes we tasted, including a highly fragrant and crunchy bowl of fried spiced cashews and a filling plate of chicken biryani.

Even with the flaws in the chaat, I’m going to keep on crunching. I can’t help myself.

Would Dhaba’s Purani Delhi Ki Papri Chaat make my Top 100 of the year? The flavors got lost together and the crunch could only help so much, but it still gets a 6 out of 10 for my love of the crunch.

DHABA
108 Lexington Avenue (between 26th and 27th Street),
Flatiron District
(212) 679-1284
dhabanyc.com
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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