Downtown Lunch: Mix Grill
**************THIS PLACE IS NOW CLOSED******************
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.) This week he hits up Mix Grill, a newly opened Middle Eastern place that is practically an indoor street meat vendor.
Mix Grill is a recently opened addition to the cheap downtown lunch scene. Located at 165 Church street, it is essentially a standard lunchtime street cart- situated in a small brick-n-mortar. Even the menu is similar to what you would find while standing on line at cart on the sidewalk. With the weather getting chilly though, this might be a good place to check out for all your shawarma, falafel, and shish kebab desires.
I’m a fan of chicken shwarma so I wanted to check this place out, especially when I saw the large spit of rotating greasy chicken pieces stacked on top of each other slowly spinning around. After drooling for a few minutes by the window the owner said either come in and buy something or I’m calling the cops.
I went in.
They offer sandwiches served in pita, but I went with the suggested “shawarma wrap” instead ($5.50), and a more than generous order of crispy french fries (for a meager $1.50.)
The shawarma had a nice flavor but was not hot enough temperature wise… maybe the heating coils weren’t on full blast or maybe it was because the wrap wasn’t warmed up (I like when those places throw them on the grill before assembling the sandwich). Best shawarma ever? Not at all. I have to say the last memorable one I had was at Tahini on St. Marks place (formerly named Chick Pea). But Mix Grill is completely sufficient if you’re in the area and have the craving.
They also have a variety of dips including two types of baba ganoush and hummus. There’s the regular version and then one called “Robust” which has more spices. I tasted the hummus “Robust” which was good, but essentially hummus with an extra dash of turmeric.
On their takeout menu, the word CATERING overshadows the name of the restaurant, so I guess they’re going to push that aspect of the business… well, either that or it was a crappy menu printing job, which might also explain the other 20 mistakes on it, including 2 different spellings of shawarma. I’d give it another chance though… at least for those fries, and to try another sandwich.
Mix Grill, 165 Church Street (b/n Reade and Chambers), 212-227-0088