Downtown Lunch: Bon Bon Chicken
Midtown workers shouldn’t have all the fun, so 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.) But now he’s starting to make me mad. Super cheap Chinatown food? Fine. Vietnamese? Ok… a little angry, but I can take it. Mexican corn? Urgh… but Korean fried chicken??!?!?! Now I’m super pissed. You’d think with Koreatown being part of Midtown Lunch, we wouldn’t have any trouble finding the stuff. There are a few options in and around 32nd street but none of them are open for lunch (bastards!) Oh… but Downtown? They’ve got one. (Cue the steam exiting ears.)
Bon Bon Chicken doesn’t look super inviting on the inside. I felt more like I was in a train station or a waiting area. I never thought about eating there until Zach screamed at me one day, “dude do you realize there’s a place downtown where you can get Korean fried chicken for lunch?!” Relax guy… “it’s just chicken,” I said.
I was under the impression that the Koreans didn’t do anything different to their fried chicken than any other country where I’ve sampled it. I was wrong. Damn that was some fuggin amazing fried chicken and I’ve had it everywhere from New Orleans to North Carolina. You get a choice between spicy or sweet (I went with the sweet), but if you want spicy and sweet they offer a few dipping sauces, one of which is like a spicy chili sauce. The texture was perfect, giving you a beautiful crispy bite without the grease and keeping the juice of the meat trapped inside. They’re a little sticky on the outside, but not as messy as buffalo wings. It’s not super cheap, but they have a number of different options for under $10. I went with the $7.75 Small wing/drumstick combo box, which is best described as the “if-you-want-to-be-healthy” portion.
It comes with a little roll which wasn’t anything to write home about, but the chicken was definitely Midtown Lunch Downtown Lunch worthy. If you want some more variety to balance out the meal, I would try the spiced up kimchi coleslaw for $2.25. If you go after 2 though be prepared to wait. They even have it written on the wall, “After 2PM your order may take 30 minutes.” Ignore at your own risk. It realy does take that long (but is well worth wait.)
Bon Bon Chicken, 98 Chambers St. (btw. Church+Broadway), 212-227-2375
Photos and post by Daniel Krieger