Eat This Now: Chatmari at Woodside Cafe

We eat (and love) a lot more than sandwiches at Serious Eats, so in the spirit of A Sandwich a Day, here's Eat This Now, a quick look at food worth sharing. —The Mgmt.


[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

Must-visit Nepali restaurant Woodside Cafe used to offer Italian dishes next to its Himalayan ones, including some pizza best left in the past. But you can still order something pizza-like in shape and design, a starch-on-starch-on-starch pancake/pie with a fried egg on top for good measure. Oh, and some goat curry on the side.

It's the Chatmari ($6.50 to $7.50), a rice flour pancake with flared, crisp edges and a soft, cakelike crumb. Mildly spiced mashed potatoes and tender, creamy black eyed peas come on top, along with a meat of your choosing (or not) and a blistered, runny-yolked egg.

For all the starch and sheer mass, the pancake is surprisingly light. Turmeric and chili give it a subtle lift, as does the mildly funky goat gravy alongside. It's the kind of simple, homey thing Woodside Cafe does best, though nailing all those textures and flavor nuances is harder than it looks.

The chatmari serves three to four as a shared appetizer. It'll leave you with only one regret: that the restaurant isn't open for breakfast.

Woodside Cafe

64-23 Broadway, Woodside, NY 11377 (map) 347-642-3445