Archive for April 2010

Downtown Links The “Apparently Chipotle is the Only Lunch Option Edition”


A sign of the apocalypse, courtesy of Eater

  • Many, many cheap people took advantage of the $5 pre-opening deal at Chipotle. [Eater]
  • The banh beo makes for a “wonderful mouthful” at Chinatown’s New Tu Do. [Fork in the Road]
  • There is messy, spicy lamb gyro to be had on Spring Street. [Lunch with Front Studio]
  • Craving fancified tacos? There are a couple of places downtown worth checking out. [MetromixNY]

Mangez Avec Moi, Baoguette’s Downtown Competition

I was wandering down West Broadway one day when I walked past two seemingly nameless restaurants, each with the same black and white striped awning.  Then I saw the words “Vietnamese sandwiches” inside the smaller one and may have squealed a little. It turns out the larger place is a sit-down Southeast Asian restaurant Mangez Avec Moi, or “Eat With Me.” They had some tasty enough sounding lunch specials for $7.50, but my heart was after the restaurant’s “Express” take out sandwich shop next door.

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Original SoupMan Seized

Lunch’er “Bones” sends us word that The Original SoupMan at 110 Pearl on Hanover Square has been seized, apparently for non-payment of taxes. It’s a branch of the mega-chain associated with Al Yeganeh, better known as Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi.

We’ll keep you up-to-date on developments, and in the meantime, there’s always the life-changing Hot Soup Cart.

Oxtail at Its Finest in the Financial District

One of the things I think we do right downtown is food from street carts. Legendary street meat? Check (check, check, and check). Barbecue? Check. Caribbean soul food? Check and check.  And that’s all not even counting the trucks that bounce back and forth between here and Midtown! (I do really want a German sausage cart though.) Yesterday, Eater gave a brief lament about how bad the food situation is in the Financial District.  I just don’t think they’ve taken the time to explore our riches, and the same goes for all those poor (generous, as it was a “$5 donation day”) saps standing in line at the Chipotle opening.  Well, hopefully that’s what we’re doing with this website. We’re doing our best to find those lunches we think are worth knowing and bringing them to your computer screen.  What you do with that information once it’s there is entirely up to you. But I hope you’re passing it on, telling people about the food you think is worth it, not for the benefit of this website, but for the benefit of the people serving the food.  Over the course of my time writing for this site, my appreciation for those men and women has grown enormously.  Their dedication to their livelihood really is inspiring.  It puts the mailman to shame (no offense, mailpeople).  My point is these folks are dependent on our support. Without us, they’d be gone and without them, we’d be standing in a 30 minute line for Chipotle.  No matter how much you love Chipotle, I guarantee you that would suck.  So please, spread the word about your favorite street vendors. You don’t even have to tell them about Midtown Lunch, take all the credit yourself for the ones you think are gems. All I ask is that you tell just one person about the food Downtown that’s worth eating before it’s all gone.

Anyway, I’m sad to say that this will be my last post as co-editor of Midtown Lunch: Downtown NYC.  It’s been a blast, but life is calling beyond the boundaries of Downtown and Kevin and I are not quite in a position to give up our day jobs just yet to be full time bloggers.  It has most certainly been a blast though.  As a farewell post, I want to focus in on one of my all-time favorite fatty dishes around here, Oxtail.  There’s something about those flavorful hunks of meat that drive me wild. They’ve got everything I could ask for in a dish: gravy, tender meat you can eat off of a bone, great flavor, and bone marrow.  There’s really not a whole bunch out there that meets all of these qualifications, but when I found Oxtail, I knew it was true love.  Down here in the Financial District, we’re lucky enough to have a few places to choose from when it comes to this dish of the pleasantly plump gods, and today I’d like a take a moment to compare a couple. Read more »

PROFILE: New Downtown Lunch Maven “Andrea”

As is 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. But this Tuesday, it’s not just any lunch’er, it’s Andrea, who will be taking the reins here on the Downtown NYC site as Chris and I move on to other, less delicious things.

AndreaName: Andrea

Occupation: Financial Journalist (of sorts)

Where you work: Maiden Lane and Broadway

Age: 29

Favorite Kind of Food: Anything spicy and/or Asian, sausages, seafood, churros sold on the street/subway platform, tacos.

Least Favorite Food: Yellow or stinky cheeses, Filipino food, black olives.

Favorite Lunches Downtown: Catfish sandwich (spicy) from Baoguette on John Street, food carts at Liberty Plaza (especially Sam’s Falafel), randomly put together lunch from the basement of Zeytuna at Nassau and Maiden Lane, Japanese curry from Niko Niko at Pearl and Wall, sandwiches from Jou Jou Cafe at Nassau and John. Read more »

Sandra’s Puerto Rican Food Makes My Life a Lil’ Brighter

Sandra's 003

Considering the sheer number of those who have immigrated from Puerto Rico to New York City, I’m really shocked at how difficult it can be to find Puerto Rican food. Sure, you could head to the outer boroughs for the good stuff or wait for the random street fair to come around, but it seems to me that pasteles should be to New York what tacos are to L.A. It should just be what the average New Yorker goes out and grabs for a quick bite. And yet, for some reason it’s hard as hell to find this kind of thing in the business centers of Manhattan. Lucky for all of us Downtown, there’s Sandra’s food cart.

Located on Nassau between Cedar and Liberty, very close to Ravioli Fair and Gloria’s burrito cart, Sandra’s happens to be one of my favorite food carts. The ladies working there are unbelievably nice, somehow the hot dogs are better than any other cart in the city, and every once in awhile they’ll bust out some seasonal specials. Over the winter they were serving a beef stew that my coworker told me was awesome, but the day I went to go check it out was apparently the first day they decided to stop serving it (As Zach would say, “Cue overhead shot with me yelling, ‘Nooooooooooooooo!’”). I wasn’t going to miss my opportunity this time. I noticed last week that they had started serving pasteles on Fridays with rice, pigeon peas, and salad for 8 bucks. You couldn’t stop me, no way, no how.

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Downtown Links (The “Michael Bao” & “Hey, I Ate That!” Edition)

Chairman Bao from Baohaus, courtesy of Bionic Bites