Karahi (Indian Food in the West Village)

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We all know that the first rule of real estate is “location! location! location!” Apparently, though, it’s also the first rule of New York friendships. Want to see a lot of someone you really like? It helps to live in the same borough.

Take my friend Lisa, for example. There was a time we both lived in Chelsea and when we lived close together we made videos about bulimic tomatoes and miracle almond cakes. Then I moved to Brooklyn and she moved to the Upper West Side. We still see each other, of course, but we’d see each other a lot more if she came to her senses and moved to Brooklyn or if I came to my senses and moved back to Manhattan. Either way, the point is that Lisa has a boyfriend named Eric who I hadn’t met yet and so we made a date to meet for Indian food on Sunday so Craig and I could meet this Eric character.

I suggested Chennai Garden which was a favorite Indian spot in Chelsea when we lived there. But at the hour of our departure, we realized that a better meeting spot would be the West Village since it’s a perfect mid-point between Brooklyn and the Upper West Side (especially since the D train lets us right off on West 4th and the A/C/E or the 1/2/3 takes Lisa right to Christopher Street.)

But where to get Indian Food on Christopher Street? Enter the internet. I Googled “West Village Indian food” and that brought up a menupages page with only two results. The higher rated result was a place called Karahi.

“Let’s try this place Karahi,” I said on the phone before departing.

“Ok!” said Lisa.

Craig and I arrived there right at 8 PM and for a second we thought we had the address wrong; we were about to turn left into a gay sports bar when we saw Lisa and Eric further down the street waving us along.

“It’s here!” they screamed. “It’s here!”

We ran over to them and greeted Lisa and Eric who was petrified to meet one of Lisa’s oldest and dearest friends.

“Please,” I said, “don’t be nervous. I’m just a mere mortal.”

Eric raised an eyebrow and then we went inside.

I realize, as I write this, that by putting the name of the restaurant in the title of this post there’s a strong chance if someone Googles Karahi they’ll find this post and learn nothing about the restaurant and everything about Lisa and Eric

But, honestly, Lisa and Eric were far more interesting than the restaurant. I mean look at this picture: what’s more interesting— Lisa and Eric or the naan they’re eating?

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The food was perfectly adequate. Not exceptional, just good enough. We shared lots of things–Aloo Gobi (Cauliflower and potatoes cooked in delicate spices); Palak Paneer (Homemade cheese with fresh spinach in a blend of spices); two different chicken dishes–but nothing really wowed us:

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Which was fine; sometimes all you want is food as sustenance when you meet a new person. I learned that Eric’s from Great Neck, not far from where I grew up in Oceanside. He’d just come from the Giants game and he was telling me all about tailgating culture. We talked politics (there’s an election coming up, in case you didn’t know) and we talked movies (Lisa had seen “Religulous” that day). Before we knew it, we’d been there a few hours and it was time to hit the street.

Accuse me, if you will, of being the one who suggested it, but we wound up just a few blocks away at Magnolia for a cupcake dessert. I had a vanilla/vanilla and thoroughly enjoyed it. Lisa also made me share a pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese frosting which I liked less. Eric ate a vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting and Craig folded his arms and declared his dislike of cupcakes and sweets in general. It’s the biggest cross I bear in our relationship.

Note to tourists: Magnolia Bakery is totally empty at 9 PM on a Sunday night. It’s kind of amazing!

And thus ends our night with Eric and Lisa at Karahi in the West Village. Would I go back? Probably not, unless I was really craving Indian food in the West Village. Alas, I just did more research and I realize Lassi is in the West Village. I’ve heard that’s good; maybe we should’ve gone there? (Though I don’t think they have normal seating.)

As for Lisa and Eric, I would definitely eat with them again. Especially if they both move to Brooklyn before our next meal. One can hope, right?

10 comments

  1. Adam! You surely know better than to patronize or subject your friends to Magnolia! It’s like eating at McDonalds! Just don’t do it. Billy’s is sooooo much better!!!

  2. Don’t worry, Craig – I’m the sweet-hater in my relationship. When we go out on double dates, my boyfriend and the other couple swoon over creme brulee and flourless chocolate cake and I sit back and quietly enjoy my Sambuca.

  3. Wow, they serve Indian food on Villeroy-Boch fruit basket plates. That pattern has been discontinued for years.

    Holy crap, I can’t believe I know that factoid. How embarrassing.

  4. Your friends are great in that pic! Ha!

    I like Kati Roll Co. on MacDougal btw Bleecker and W.3rd..

    more towards NYU, and def. less of a sitting and dining experience, but durn good street food (chicken tikka roll)

    Oh and totally second Billys, but that’s Chelsea. :)

    There are tons of indian places on E.6th of course, and most are prolly like this, just ok.

    I love Devi, but it’s more fusion (and $$$) than anything else, Chola is great, but it’s Midtown Easty, and a bit pricey..

  5. You guys are sooooo lucky with your cupcakes. We rarely get them here in South Africa excepting in coffee shops or bakeries and at special occasions.

    Thanks for the super site.

  6. we were about to turn left into a gay sports bar…

    Huh? I live on Christopher Street, and there ain’t no gay sports bar around. Anyway, I’m enjoying the posts. I’m always trying to talk wife Kelly into ordering from Karachi ’cause it’s two blocks from us, and, more importantly, the guy who owns it literally couldn’t be nicer, he’s like an Indian Jewish grandmother. Kelly thinks the food stinks and tells me to go hit the gay sports bar.

    Speaking of Jewish grandmas, Happy Birthday Grandma! Is Boca in the house? Without a doubt.

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