My favorite neighborhood in New York City, Ridgewood, is being saturated with copycat hipster bars with a beer selection as homogeneous as the types of people who frequent the establishments. Oddly enough, Ridgewood still keeps to its old school vibe of European shops and Latino restaurants. But a new diversity has landed in Ridgewood in the form of Nepalese food at While in Kathmandu on Seneca Avenue.
While in Kathmandu had its long awaited soft opening recently, and it offers a simple menu now while it waits for its liquor license. Yes, you read that right. Ridgewood will have a Nepalese bar! For now, it is a coffee shop offering coffee, including Nepalese coffee. When they first opened, breakfast consisted of bara, a bread that is eaten like a pancake. Since food is economical and based on what people can get at a given time, it can be made in several different ways. I got the lentil bara with a fried egg on top, and it became one of my favorite brunch dishes after only a couple of bites. The dough is not dry, and it has a soft, airy texture while still being filling. It is served with potato curry and pea and potato soup. The price was fair for what you get, and you will be full after eating.
The menu has expanded to offer a Nepalese take on an American favorite-chicken wings. Sports fans, meet masala wings! Vegetarians can feast on masala fries. There are other Nepalese dishes on the menu, such as rice donuts, momos (dumplings) that are served in a tomato soup, and yomari, which is a sweet dumpling recipe passed down in the chef’s family.
While in Kathmandu is growing quickly and gaining popularity. They even have a backyard for these hot days. The people that run While in Kathmandu are from the same family who run Nepalese Indian Restaurant down the street. It is great that the menu is different and not the typical menu that you would find in America from restaurants from this part of the world. But the best part of sharing a culture is sharing food and experience. You will be sure to get both from While in Kathmandu with the same hospitality that you would experience at the Indian Nepalese Restaurant.