Archive for January 2010

Tokyo Kitchen is Batting .500

My new gig as your humble  downtown grub correspondent has gotten me paying close attention to every storefront I pass, even on blocks I’ve walked down a thousand times. For three years, Tokyo Kitchen on John Street between Broadway and Nassau has somehow managed to tuck itself into my culinary blind spot. No more.

Once I took a closer look, this narrow Japanese joint seemed like a Lunch’ers dream find: Tiny. Ethnic. A little grubby. Busy. Bilingual. Jackpot.

Well, kind of.  My first dish from here–chicken katsu don–left me unimpressed, but I was so grabbed by the aesthetic of this place that I had to give it another shot. I am happy to report that Tokyo Kitchen redeemed themselves with their udon, and that I’ll be back to explore the rest of this menu soon.

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Free Soup Alert: Have you checked out the Downtown Lunch Twitter Tracker yet? NYC Cravings is on Broad btw. Water+Pearl today, and the Frites N Meats Truck (on Greenwich & Chambers) is giving away free soup with the purchase of burger and fries. If there is anybody we should be following, but aren't, let us know!

New Bon Chon Brings Korean Fried Chicken to John Street

Bon Chon on John 010

Korean food has to be one of my most favorite cuisines of all time.  Good soup? Check.  Awesome BBQ? Check.  An affinity for fiery condiments and sauces? Check and check.  So the first time I had even heard that there was such a thing as Korean fried chicken, there was no decision making to be done. It was simply a matter of dropping what I was doing and proceeding to the nearest purveyor of that delicious, crispy treat.  That place happened to be what was once Bon Chon on the corner of 32nd and 5th Ave.  Even though it’s now still essentially the same thing, a little part of me died the day they closed their doors.  So you can imagine how thrilled (and I do mean thrilled) I was to find that Bon Chon had moved in practically next door to my workplace.  There could be no waiting.  Lunchtime was now. Read more »

PROFILE: Downtown Lunch’er “Yvo”

As it customary here on Midtown Lunch, every Tuesday we’ll profile a different lunch’er and get their recommendations for places to eat in Downtown NYC. This week, for the inaugural profile, we’re excited to have Yvo who is not only a constant presence in the forums but also wrote the very first Downtown Lunch column!

Name: Yvo

Age: 29

Occupation: Legal secretary by day… food blogger/food writer every waking moment

Where  do you Work?: Sullivan & Cromwell (Broad & Water)… until the 27th, when I leave the corporate world for good! so if you’re looking for a freelance food writer…

Favorite Kind of Food: Italian, noodles in soup (Japanese ramen, hand pulled noodles, Cantonese broad white noodles in soup, turkey noodle soup, miso udon,…), Japanese (yes, all of it, from sushi to high end fusion to convenience store foods… I love it), steak – big slabs of perfectly medium rare, well-seasoned meat? okay!, and pig.  Yes, pig is a kind of food.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: I will try most anything at least twice, but I really don’t find myself enamored with hot fruit, savory food served with fruit, too many sweets, and… go ahead, rip me to pieces because I am going to name an entire cuisine: Morrocan.  I’ve tried it a few times and maybe I’ve ordered the wrong things (so tell me what I SHOULD try, besides tagine), but honestly, since I don’t like hot fruit/savory food with fruit mixed in, and I’m not too fond of that particular combination of seasonings/spices used frequently within Morrocan cuisine… I don’t think there’s anyway around that.

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Downtown Links (The “First Ever Downtown Links” Edition)

Fried Chicken Sandwich from Georgia’s Eastside BBQ – Photo courtesy of Always Hungry

  • I want to go to there: Fried Chicken sandwich [Always Hungry]
  • Help out in Haiti by eating out in New York [The Feed]
  • How bad do I wish Trufflepalooza at Locanda Verde was under $10? [Eater]
  • Yvo doesn’t not recommend Tasty Hand Pulled Noodles [Feisty Foodie]
  • For those of you who are feeling richer than me, Wall & Water is open [Grub Street]

Downtown Twitter Tracker: Forgot to mention, the Downtown site also has its own Twitter Tracker! Use it to follow all your favorite twittering lunch spots (and it works, even if your work blocks Twitter.) The link is on the right hand side bar. Let us know if we missed any Downtown lunch spots that we should be following...

Express BBQ’s Pulled Pork Far Exceeds Expectations

expressbbqSoutherners like myself would claim that we have high standards when it comes to barbecue. Other people might say we’re jerks about it.

In fact, I was so righteous about this Holy Grail of down south cuisine when I first moved north nearly a decade ago, I would constantly correct my friends when they referred to a weekend cookout as a barbecue. I’ve relaxed a lot about it since then (and probably kept more friends as a result), but I am still very choosy about pulled pork, my native South Carolina’s barbecue of choice.

So it was with great skepticism that I unwrapped my pulled pork sandwich from Express BBQ on the corner of Park Place and Church St. But – Daggum it, y’all! – not only did the pork well exceed my very low expectations, it might even be called good…

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