Wah Mei Serves Up a Pork Chop Feast At Rock Bottom Prices
Oh Chinatown, you just keep serving up the delicious and cheap food in true Midtown Lunch style, and my latest venture to one of your restaurants made me love you even more. That place is Wah Mei Pork Chop Fast Food on Hester St. (btw. Baxter & Mulberry). It’s one of two Taiwanese pork chop places in that neighborhood, the other being Excellent Pork Chop House on Doyers. Wah Mei has a pretty limited menu consisting of pork chop or chicken over rice or noodles, soups and fried rice. Clearly, if pork chop is in the name, that is what must be eaten when you first go there.
The shop is what you might call a hole in the wall with a tiny counter and a few stools opposite the kitchen in the narrow space. I would not recommend eating there in the summer as it’s about a million degrees inside and you will inevitably come out smelling like fried pork and chicken.
On the plus side, Zach discovered last year that you can get Wah Mei to deliver basically anywhere in the city (obviously including downtown) as long as you order at least four items and do it by 11 a.m. Or you can just wait for the NYC Cravings Truck to park downtown on Wednesdays (locations and menu here) if you’re indifferent about the source of your Taiwanese fried chicken and pork chops.
I ordered the black pepper pork chop ($4.50), although I think the only difference between that and the regular pork chop over rice is that they sprinkle black pepper over the sauce before putting the pork chop on top. Actually, everything on the menu that goes over rice is pretty much $4.50 and there’s nothing there over $5.
The food was still piping hot after a subway ride back to the FiDi to eat. Actually, since it was super hot outside, it would have been more surprising if it were cold. The pork chop was a good size but despite taking a bath in oil it wasn’t overly juicy. It was nice that there wasn’t a huge bone or a lot of gristle on it though.
The best part for me was underneath where the pickled vegetables and rice sat bathed in some sort of porky, peppery gravy. This lunch also marked the first time I’ve ever picked up a pork chop and eaten it in a park, because seriously, who can eat a whole pork chop with only a flimsy plastic fork?
Although Wah Mei is lacking in ambiance…and tables, it has the leg up on price. A pork chop over rice at Excellent Pork Chop is $5.25, and both are cheaper than the NYC Cravings truck which costs $7. This was a really tasty lunch, especially with their crack-like pork sauce.
THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- It’s pretty much the cheapest pork chop over rice option downtown.
- Their pork sauce is kind of amazing on its own, and when it’s paired with a pork chop and rice it blows my mind.
- You can have your food in your hand in about 1 minute.
THE — (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- You can’t really eat there and I don’t want to be gnawing on a pork chop at my desk.
- I like Excellent Pork Chop House better, or I could just wait until Wednesdays when the NYC Cravings truck is downtown.
Wah Mei Pork Chop Fast Food, 190 Hester St. (btw. Baxter & Mulberry), (212) 925-6428