Monday, March 12, 2007

Not Currying Favour

The Chips Are Down
Originally uploaded by Gringcorp.
Wow. Strike threetwo for the limeys persuading the denizens of New York that they have discovered a whole new form of curry. In the last few years there have been three failures of New York establishments purporting to offer British-style curry.

First down was Curry Source, on Pacific Street in Boerum Hill, which offered pre-prepared curry to take home and reheat, and was pretty good, but was also pretty pricey. Its main advantage came from offering the hard-to-find British foodstuffs, although these days the more basic stuff can be found at Key Foods, and the more rarified at Myers. The Curry Source is now a real estate agent, though their website is still up.

Then there was Brick Lane Curry House.

Ah. No there wasn't, Gari. Some co-worker lied to you about it a few months back, and since you're rarely in the East Village you fell for it hook, line and sinker. Brick Lane Curry House is alive and well and collecting the usual mixed bag of reviews on Citysearch. It's pretty good.

So, I'm left with the typical dilemma of the blog post author whose googling does not match up to his starting assumptions. Do I abandon the venture, and try to cobble together a review of last night's Reigning Sound show, based entirely on my ill-remembered impressions (it was pretty good, by the way)?

Or do I shrug off the fact that one leg of my three-legged rhetorical stool has come off, treat it as a flesh wound and press on. Well, you know Gari N. Corp, and you know that the "N" stands for "Not Negligible Amounts of Hubris".

So we bring you item three. Discovered during me Slope-Gowanus stroll yesterday. This time I'm certain. The venerable Brooklyn Brit outpost Park Slope Chip Shop closed down its Curry Shop annex to concentrate on frying, as recounted by this poster at the Park Slope message board.

So, from the available evidence, we can infer that there aren't enough British Curry fans in Brooklyn to sustain enough ventures, but that if your establishment is close enough to other Indian establishments, then you might enjoy a slight flight to quality, especially if you plaster the walls with London Underground signs.

Which probably tells you more about the cultural desert of Manhattan, and the fact that the poor dears have to struggle on without a Kinara than anything else.

But still, I think there is a sense that we've reached the high water point of British branding with curries. That there are some areas where the American consumer will take British superiority for granted, and others where he or she won't. And no-one needs the British take on an Indian foodstuff, whatever the Curry Source man says.

Not as bad as Gawker thinks we are. But not, you know, all that


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