Archive for April 2008

AS LONG AS WE'RE DOWNTOWN

NYCNosh posted a review of Table Tales, a “worthy lunch destination [to add] to the expanding list of eateries in and around the old South Street Seaport”. On Water St. btw. Fulton & Peck, all of the sandwiches- priced between $8 and $9, look pretty delicious, although if I had to choose, I think I would probably go with the buttermilk fried chicken one ($8.50).

Downtown Lunch: Pakistan Tea House

Making Downtown office workers jealous is something this blog has been doing for awhile now. To even the score, I’ve brought on Daniel Krieger as an official Downtown Lunch Correspondent to write up some of the tasty stuff you can get in the lower half of Manhattan. He’s a great photographer (insuring good food porn), but more importantly he is a lover of cheap, unique and delicious eats (or as I like to call it- Midtown Lunch’ish food), and seems to be particularly fond of Chinatown (my dream lunch location).  This week, he ventures away from Canal St. to hit up the Pakistan Tea House, (Paki to those in the know) a favorite of many Downtown lunchers that can’t help but remind me of that Seinfeld episode where Jerry convinces the restaurant owner to stop calling his food Indian, in favor of his native Pakistan.  I think I found it extra funny because my best friend from Junior High was Pakistani, and his family owned a restaurant called “House of India”.  Hilarious!

Downtown Lunch: Paki Tea House

Pakistan Tea house, on Church street (btw. Duane+Reade) is a downtown stalwart. The place has been there over 15 years and the recipes haven’t changed (a good thing), but neither have the tables, chairs, and decor (not so good).  Just like most of the food in Midtown, if you want the best you are going to have to travel to the outer boroughs.  And for Pakistani food, it’s no different (the best in New York can be found in Jackson Heights, Queens).  But for those of us stuck in Downtown for lunch, there isn’t any better, fresher food, from this part of the world, and at these prices, than the Paki Tea House. Read more »

Downtown Lunch: Banh Mi Battle Royale

Making Downtown office workers jealous is something this blog has been doing for awhile now. To even the score, I’ve brought on Daniel Krieger as an official Downtown Lunch Correspondent to write up some of the great stuff you can get in the lower half of Manhattan. He’s a great photographer (insuring good food porn), but more importantly he is a lover of cheap, unique and delicious eats (or as I like to call it- Midtown Lunch’ish food), and seems to be particularly fond of Chinatown (my dream lunch location). Last week was Malaysian (something we are sorely lacking here in Midtown), but today he deals the death blow. Banh Mi.


Jewelry Shopping in the Banh Mi Saigon Bakery

With Midtown Lunch’ers paying an insane 8-9 dollars for a simple sandwich, it’s good to know that there are still Downtown options where a guy can go to quench his bellys thirst for an inexpensive lunchtime feast.  Banh Mi have always been the cheapest lunchtime sandwich option, and while Midtowners are forced to pay almost $8 at Boi To Go (2nd Ave. btw. 42+43rd), we can still do it for $4 or less in Chinatown. And if you’re willing to eat roasted pork with mayo and cilantro inside a fresh baked baguette (and we know you are) there’s no better deal in town. Downtown boasts several Banh Mi spots tucked away in odd places (you want a gold chain with your sate chicken?), and over the past week your downtown correspondent has sampled three of them for your reading pleasure. I’ve listed them in order of “best” to “still really good”, since none really qualify as “worst”.

The complete list, and some Vietnamese sandwich porn, after the jump… Read more »

Downtown Lunch: New Malaysia Restaurant

Making Downtown office workers jealous is something this blog has been doing for awhile now.  To even the score, I’ve brought on Daniel Krieger as an official Downtown Lunch Correspondent to write up some of the great stuff you can get in the lower half of Manhattan.  He’s a great photographer (insuring good food porn), but more importantly he is a lover of cheap, unique and delicious eats (or as I like to call it- Midtown Lunch’ish food), and seems to be particularly fond of Chinatown (my dream lunch location).  Last week was Tasty Dumpling, but this week takes it to a different level- since there is no Malaysian food in Midtown at all...

New Malaysia Restaurant can finally live up to it’s name after having a recent interior renovation which spiffs the place up to a shine (literally, you can see your reflection in the table). While the old interior of New Malaysia wasn’t that bad, it has definitely improved the overall feel of the place. But what about the food?  Did they change my favorite recipe for their Roti Canai, which is chopsticks down the best in the city? No, thank god, they haven’t.

But with new decor, comes new prices, and as is the case with many NYC restaurants, the ones at New Malaysia have gone up (although you’d be hard pressed to complain, considering it’s still dirt cheap).  Hidden between two streets, the “Chinatown Arcade” marked entrance sadly has no Donkey Kong but includes several Asian eateries (and probably a Centipede or two). The staff is surly with a smile.

My favorite roti canai and a dessert that looks like clown throw-up, after the jump… Read more »

Downtown Lunch: Tasty Dumpling

Something shocking has happened since I started doing this blog almost two years ago.  People from all over the city are actually allowing these words to exit their mouth (without laughing hysterically)… “I wish I worked in Midtown”.  As good as some of the food that gets written about on this site looks, nobody should feel that way (have you walked through Time Square lately?).  In order to help alleviate the pangs of jealousy felt in other parts of the city (especially Downtown), I have tried to occasionally post lunches from other areas, like Feisty Foodie’s write-up of the Mobile Fried Chicken Truck on Water St.  Well, I’m extremely excited to introduce our newest Downtown correspondent, Daniel Krieger- an amazing photographer (you may have seen his stuff on Eater) and lover of all Midtown Lunch’ish foods.  He starts off strong, with the quickest way to make me jealous- a Chinatown lunch for under $5…

I remember back in the old days (that’d be about six months ago) when you could get 5 dumplings for a dollar. For two bucks a normal person would be full; for me it was more like $2.75 (I would round out the meal with a 75 cent Golden Pancake). But those days are behind us: Tasty Dumpling, (“The Real Tasty D” in Chinatown Lunch parlance), Mulberry Street’s battle-tested Chinatown lunch hole has recently upped its prices: a five-spot of pan-fried dumplings will now set you back an additional quarter, ringing in at a budget-stretching $1.25.

Small-framed gals and fancy belt-conscious boys can still do dim sum for under 3 bucks…For the rest (and notably, for your Downtown lunch correspondent) we’re feeling the pinch. But that doesn’t mean we’re skipping out.

What I ate (and some serious downtown lunch porn), after the jump… Read more »