I had the honor and pleasure of meeting with the owner of Desi Shack, Yasmin Ibrahim to get a sense and taste of her popular Pakistani restaurant. Overall I was very impressed with the service, vibe, and the food that they had to offer.
Desi Shack is a design-your-own meal type of Pakistani restaurant. There is a very chill and comfortable vibe that is good for those that just want to get away for an hour or so for lunch and just relax. The staff is very well trained and welcoming. As soon as you walk in, the staff is already explaining how to make your own meal. Behind them there is also a wall depicting the steps to design your meal; you pick your meal, you then pick what goes into your meal, you add some greens, and you finally choose your chutney. The chutneys range from mild (Cucumber Raita) to extremely spicy (Red Chili Garlic) for those that really like that extra kick. As someone that cannot eat spicy food, I had to settle for the Cucumber Raita.
Located in Union Square you will find a variety of people that visit Desi Shack; a lot are corporate people, and once Fall comes students will most definitely be dropping by in masses. The best thing is that the food is affordable, filling, and very tasty. I had a chance to try the Basmati Bowl with half Chicken Tikka and half Aloo Masala (potatoes cooked in a blend of spices), as well as a Paratha (an Indian flatbread). I also had a Mango Lassi to drink, which is one of the most popular drinks as per Yasmin and I can definitely see why. The Paratha was so good that I could probably see myself eating it by itself for lunch and dinner! I was still thinking about it hours after I had finished the meal; when you are still thinking about a meal hours after you know you hit the jackpot. While the whole meal was amazing the Paratha was by far my favorite.
What really stands out about Desi Shack is that this is the only place in the city where you can have Pakistani food on the go. For a New Yorker, we are always rushing from one thing to the other, so that in itself is a very valuable thing.
The Union Square location is the second Desi Shack that Yasmin Ibrahim has opened and is located on 135 4th Avenue, between 13th and 14th Street.
Twisted Talk: Have you ever eaten at Desi Shack? Are you planning on visiting now? Discuss below!