ChaPa’s is Open for Lunch and Will be Serving Banh Mi
At long last, the enigmatic ChaPa’s Noodle and Grill (52nd between 8th & 9th) has opened to the public. Until only yesterday, the actual theme of the restaurant (aside from being about “noodles and grill”) was a mystery, and when we found out that these noodles and grilled food would be Vietnamese, we got really excited. So excited that I sloshed through some seriously crummy weather to check it out after work. I was, for the most part, pleased with what I saw and tasted. However, since this was their first night of operation, it would be unfair to comment on the food. Instead, here’s a preview of what you might get for lunch.
I found out from the floor staff that the owner of the restaurant had been previously involved with Pho Bang on Mott St, as well as Boi Noodles, so the focus of the menu should be familiar to anyone who’s been to either venue. The lunch menu easily meets our $10 litmus, and there’s even bánh mì to be had! Unfortunately, they didn’t have them available for dinner, but you can be sure that I’ll be back to try it for lunch.
Each of the lunch specialty items (with the exception of the bánh mì) come with your choice of a single gỏi cuốn (salad roll) or chả giò (fried roll).
As a Midtown West luncher, I’m definitely excited to see what these guys can do going forward. The area is a virtual desert of Vietnamese food, and although the price and quality won’t come close to Chinatown or the outer boroughs, I think ChaPa’s shows a lot of promise. They also offer delivery and take-out, such as my midnight snack of bún thịt nướng (grilled pork over rice vermicelli) pictured above. I’ll certainly be back for another bowl of warming phở bò, and definitely for a bánh mì. In the meantime, early adopters, please let us know what you think in the comments.
Update: I called the restaurant to confirm that they’ll be opening for lunch, and unfortunately, they won’t open until around 2pm today.