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Inside Chowhound's Cult of Mina

When an Eater reader email starts throwing around phrases like "the Thomas Keller of Queens," we sit up and take notice. To wit:

Are you hip to the Chowhound crowd's devotion to a woman called Mina? She's the Thomas Keller of Queens. And she's opening a new restaurant this week.

Jim Leff stumbled across her in Jackson Heights a few years ago in this little dive in Queens and created a cult around her. She's this tiny Bengladeshi woman, who I will admit made me one of the most amazing meals I've ever had. And I don't particularly like Indian/Bengladeshi food. I've been with Leff to her old place and it's quite an experience. She grinds spices to order, makes dishes to order (No giant pots of chicken tikka stewing since this afternoon). As a result, the only thing more legendary than the food, is the length of time it takes to get the food. 1-2 hour waits weren't unusual. The original Mina's closed, she moved to Angon on Curry Row in the East Village, got a big crowd going there, then left it a few month ago.

Mina had the Chowhound crowd practically stalking her, anticipating where she might land. Apparently she's scheduled to open something this week, and they're frothing over the prospect. She's taken over a space that had been Egyptian, then Filipino, then Egyptian-Filipino. To the these folks, this is hotter than the next Jean Georges opening, by far. For all the talk about faux-Asian street food, they'd rather have the real thing.

· 'The power of Mina is substantial' [Chowhound]
· Will Spicy Mina open Monday? [Chowhound]
· Mina's: More Recent Update! [Chowhound]
· Mina's: What to Order?? [Chowhound]
· Review: Angon [NYTimes]

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