Downtown Lunch: Finding New Options at the Dine Around Festival

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.)

Dine Around Downtown Lunch Festival

This past Tuesday was the annual Dine Around Downtown event at Chase Manhattan Plaza. A ton of upscale restaurants pitched tents and served some of their more popular dishes, keeping the costs low enough to sample some of their best stuff.

I went to check it out and ended up stuffing myself silly- obviously spending more money than I normally would on lunch, but isn’t that kinda the point of these things? The lines were crazy long and the scene was mad but people were happy walking around with their bowls of lobster mac-n-cheese and waiting on the long ass line for a $6 Delmonico’s steak sandwich (I just couldn’t fathom that wait).

What I did end up waiting for, is after the jump…

Dine Around Downtown Lunch Festival

Harrys Italian – My first tasting was at this new (yet to open) Harry’s on 2 Gold Street, an offshoot of the fancier Harry’s Cafe at One Hanover Square (it’s slated to open on June 15th.) They had a great looking meatball sub for $4, so I had to give that a try. The meatballs were fluffy (which I like opposed to the heavy bombs you sometimes get) and although the chef got a bit overzealous with the sauce, it was delicious. I only managed a few bites before I was making a total mess of it and had to move on to other things. It looked like a massacre, as you can see from the photo. I’ll be back to check out their menu later this month as they promised a variety of sandwiches and dishes under $10. 2 Gold St (btw Flatt and Maiden), 212-747-0797.

Dine Around Downtown Lunch Festival

Wall Street Burger Shoppe – The extra P in Shoppe must be for Pretty fucking good burger! It was my first time having one and I have to say it’s one of the best burgers I’ve had downtown to date. They were slinging these smallish but flavorful beef patties for $5 (which is actually more than the $4.50 you pay for them at their actual location), but it was worth it. I loved the blend of the meat and their special sauce which has a thousand island/big mac type flavoring. At the restaurant you can get a burger, fries, and soda for $9 or for $12 you get 2 burgers. 30 Water Street (near Broad), 212-425-1000

Dine Around Downtown Lunch Festival

The Ketch – This place was serving up a lump crabcake sandwich with a chipotle remoulade for 5 bucks. This was a decent offering but not entirely memorable. I’m not sure I’d specifically go to the restaurant to try it out, where you can get it for $15 with fries. 181 Pearl Street (and Cedar), 212-514-7700

Dine Around Downtown Lunch Festival

Trinity Place – That crabcake sandwich left me craving a bit more seafood so I hit up Trinity Place where they smartly combined their food with a beverage and desert, making it the best buy of the day in my opinion. Their Lobster BLT came with a small cup of Watermelon Aqua Fresca and a chocolate truffle for dessert. The lobster BLT was pretty amazing, with a slice of crispy bacon on the top of it. This is something I’d definitely consider trying in their actual restaurant although the steep $20 price tag (it comes with a salad or home fries) might deter me. 115 Broadway (at Cedar St.), 212-964-0939

Dine Around Downtown Lunch Festival

I might just wait in that Delmonico’s line next time, or perhaps try the $6 Harry’s lambchop that people were raving about (which normally goes for a whopping $46 on their menu for two larger sized chops.) I’m definitely looking forward to the next one of these.

Photos and post by Daniel Krieger



  • You make me wish I had gone… then I look at that first pic and think ‘oh hell no’. Actually, I told my coworker about it who went and got tacos from The Grill Room, which aren’t on their menu (!?) and he said they were small/not worth it. But then I read everyone else’s reports and think he just chose poorly. Ah well.

  • Oh, and if/when you go to Burger Shoppe for real, definitely upgrade your meal combo and get a shake. Pass on the fries and go for the onion rings, and get a milkshake, they have Guinness ones if that amuses you. One time out of the two times I’ve had the strawberry shake, I had chunks of strawberries in it (but the next time, not so much). If you want to stick with soda, they have Boylan’s.
    Ummm, yeah, it’s one of my preferred places in the ‘hood. :)

  • i opted not to go because the weather looked shitty. DAMMIT Daniel! I shoulda went!

  • I am still real pissed I missed this fiesta on Tuesday in favor of taking the day off Monday to rediscover crappy Ravoili Fair. I want a Lobster BLT! However, I will make up my mistake with another food adventure this coming monday, if I’m not too hungover from the NIN/JA show on Sunday…

  • that meatball sub looks like disgusting.

  • The meatball sub look’s like a tragic Colostomy accident.

  • Rudy it was really good..but yeah I mean didn’t anyone see what that thing looked like before wrapping it up?

  • Doesn’t it go to show you that Downtown is a relative culinary wasteland? Give me a pain au raisin at Financier and then I’ll head uptown or to Brooklyn…despite more than a quarter of a million people commuting into the FiDi each day, we’ve yet to see a truly memorable restaurant open. And don’t point out Adrienne’s Pizza Bar. Really, our standard for pizza has gone up since they’ve opened.

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