Downtown Lunch: By the Lb. Korean Chicken Wings at Park Lane Deli
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 (ensuring 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.) Today he clues us in to secret Korean chicken wings, from a by the lb. buffet inside a generic deli.
Park Lane Deli is situated at 56 Reade Street and to the curious passerby would appear to be a typical sandwich slinging deli with a hot/cold buffet for the lunch crowd. Go inside, and wait on line for the buffet- and at the end of it you’ll be greeted with large trays filled with some of the best fried chicken in NYC. Fat little drumsticks and wings, heavily coated and perfectly seasoned, the meat is tender and juicy in the middle. Also available are sticky hot and sweet wings, equally irresistible.
I can’t tell if these things look good or gross from the photos but boyo let me tell you this chicken ain’t no joke. I thought Bon Bon around the block had some amazing chicken but I think Park Lane might take the prize. The recipe actually comes from the matriarch of the Korean family who owns the store, but when asked if it was specifically considered “Korean Fried Chicken” there was no definitive answer given. I know what Zach says about taking bone in chicken from a by the lb. buffet- but this is one case where an exception can be made!
The rest of the buffet is populated with items having more of a “Southern” influence, like their good looking mac-n-cheese, and candied yams made with a bit of pineapple (deliciously sweet). You can also get regular salads, including a nice Mediterranean with feta and grape leaves- but the kicker might just be the price. Most bacteria buffets (which I generally steer clear from) come in around $6 but everything at Park Lane Deli is a pretty cheap $5.19 per pound. They also have coffee for 85 cents! I don’t remember the last time seeing coffee for under $1.
I probably don’t have to say this, but skip the sandwiches and salads. The chicken wings is why you’re there. Ask any person on line who looks like a regular and they’ll tell you that’s why they come. And you’ll know this when you look around and see fried chicken wings on everyones trays while waiting on line for the register. And try not be tempted by the catering portion… a huge tray of wings for $28. Seriously? Next time I’m having a party I’m getting some.
Oh who am I kidding I don’t ever have parties.
Park Lane Deli, 56 Reade Street (btw. Broadway and Church), 212-608-1528
Photos and post by Daniel Krieger