3172 Fifth Avenue (at Spruce),
Who'd guess you'd find Indian breakfasts in a down-home corner café in one of the town's oldest neighborhoods? What happened was that Jimmy Carter (no, not the president) inherited an Indian chef when he started up in 1991. The Indian chef left with the recipes, but thanks to Avaro, the dishwasher who watched him every day, his dishes live on. Avaro, now Jimmy's saucier chef, has become famous for his Indian breakfasts. For under five bucks you can start your day with the famous Pessaratu, a kind of mung bean crepe, and dhal, a lentil soup that you pour all over it. Or a Dhosa crepe made of overnight-fermented rice and Urad lentils, or an Utthappam crepe, basically the same but more like a pancake, with onions and peppers and ginger and cilantro. Plus three chutneys you can slap on to sweeten them up. Or add bulk with mustard-seed-seasoned potatoes or chicken curry.