Four types of very different foods adorn the awning of corner Woodside Cafe. The first is Italian. The real reason to come is for the Nepali though, which is squeezed between American and Indian. But look a little closer at the menu, and it is not just food from Nepal, an already small country, but specifically Newari Nepali food. The Newar people make up only 5% of the population of Nepal, but Newari cuisine is said to be more elaborate than typical Nepali food, possibly because the places it is made have more fertile soils and a wide arrangement of vegetables grown.
In Queens, it seems that Woodside Cafe has toned down their once very elaborate menu to a more refined focus on this Newari cuisine, as attention from customers and the internet seems to focus on what is done best here. They used to be BYOB but have recently renovated a small bar into the back of the space and even have a cocktail list. Not sure I trust that, but I do like having beers with my spicy dishes.
On a recent weeknight, a group of six of us sat down for the following feast, and all walked away very happy:
Musya palu ($4)
Haku choila ($6.95)
Achar radish ($4.95)
Kakra chireko salad ($4.95)
Bhutan goat ($7.95)
Aloo tama bodi ($4.95)
Steamed momos ($5.95)
Kothe momo ($6.95)
Macha tareko ($7.95)
Momo in pink cream sauce ($8.95)
Newari thali with chiura ($11.95)