Saravanaa Bhavan's Potato Bonda, One of Our 100 Favorite Dishes
Susannah Skiver Barton
Dish no. 88: Potato bonda from Saravanaa Bhavan (81 Lexington Avenue, 212-679-0204)
Vegetarians always have ample choice in Curry Hill, but well-executed South Indian dishes continue to elude many otherwise solid menus. Luckily, international chain Saravanaa Bhavan (81 Lexington Avenue) consistently delivers satisfaction, especially where crunchy and spicy fried things are concerned. Be careful not to burn your fingers (you are eating with your hands, aren't you?) digging into the potato bondas, fist-sized dumplings filled with creamy potatoes and chilis and served alongside traditional sambar, coconut, and coriander chutneys. Service tends to be of the hurried variety here, so if you feel the need to order twice, you won't have to wait long.
In advance of our 2014 Best of NYC issue, we're traipsing through the boroughs and divulging our favorite dishes of the year. They're presented here as a countdown, but we're listing them in no particular order. Consider this a guide to what's good to eat in this town right this very second.