photo credit: David A. Lee
Thelewala is a fun kati roll and chaat counter open until 2am where you can grab a quick lunch or something portable to eat around MacDougal after a late night comedy show. Their chat pata chicken and paneer rolls get most of their flavor from a tangy tomato sauce that'll dance around in your mouth hitting sweet, sour, and spicy notes all at once. And if you're looking for something spicy enough to give you the same thrill as a Stephen King novel, your mouth will hate-love you after you finish off a chicken phall roll slathered in habanero chutney.
But don't glaze over the short chaat menu. The bhel puri and jaal muri are packed with enough flavor to make this place worth a visit even if you're not in the mood for a kati roll. Both are made with potatoes, onions, and puffed rice that’ll snap, crackle, and pop in your mouth—but the bhel puri is tossed with chutneys and more namkeens, while the jaal muri is totally dry, much spicier, and tossed in mustard oil. We prefer the jaal muri with some lime squeezed on top, although both are perfect for sneaking into the IFC theater a couple blocks away when you want something more exciting than popcorn.