There’s a new place to get South Indian dosas in midtown, with the Vegetarian Swami Chennai Dosa cart now parking on 50th St between 6th & 7th Ave. He’s there every weekday for lunch, and has been in business for about 3 weeks.
If you’re up on your NYC street food, you’ll know the NY Dosa cart(also known as the Dosa Man), who has been plying his trade on Washington Square South in Greenwich Village for years. He is the most well-known dosa purveyor in town, and even won the prestigious Vendy Cup in 2007.
The first sign at this new cart was positive, with mostly South Asian customers at his cart, looking for a taste of home. There were a few choices on the menu for dosas, as well as samosas and sambar. In order to try several items, we got the Combo Platter for $9, although it’s easy to eat here for just $6.
We’ve been yakking about dosas, but allow us to explain what they are for the uninitiated. A dosa is similar to crepes or blintzes, where thin batter is fried and filled with goodies. In this case, the batter is made from lentil flour and the fillings are potatoes and/or chickpeas, depending upon which one you order. (All dosas are vegetarian.)
In our channa masala dosa, once the batter solidified, sauce, potatoes and chickpeas were added. The dosa was folded over in thirds and cut into 3-4 pieces. The combo platter also came with vegetable biryani, chana masala and a small side of sambar.
The potatoes and chickpeas included a few onions, and was tasty and plenty filling for vegetarian food. Sometimes we don’t get filled up by vegetarian food, but not this time.
On the side was chana masala, a chickpea dish with onions in a tomato-based sauce, which was heavier than the fillings in the dosa.
We’re not sure how the rice can be called vegetable biryani. It was basically yellow rice with a few spices added, but there were no visible vegetables. We like yellow rice, so it was fine, but don’t expect a rice dish loaded with veggies, as biryanis usually are.
The new Vegetarian Swami Chennai Dosa cart was good, but not great. In our opinion, the NY Dosa cart in the Village is still the best, but if you’re in midtown and craving dosas, the Vegetarian Swami Chennai Dosa cart will do fine.