Rotisserie Chicken at Cafe Gusto: Was That What I Even Ate?

I’m always in search of good ideas for lunch in the Financial District, and thankful when I get one that I never would have thought of. Profiled lunch’er John had recommended the rotisserie chicken at Cafe Gusto on John St. (btw. Pearl & Cliff), saying it was better than the product around the corner at Backyard Chicken. I haven’t been that impressed by the offerings at that hole in the wall place, so I figured, why not head to a generic deli I would never had stepped foot in otherwise?

This is your classic generic deli, although I did get kind of excited when I saw that picture of the rotisserie chicken in the window. Throw in the words “rice and beans” and it sounded like a great lunch.

I went to the back counter and asked for a half rotisserie chicken ($7.50) and then I wasn’t paying attention as he put some mashed potatoes with gravy and some vegetables in the container. Then I headed back to my office for a little desk dining.

The first sign something was terribly wrong was when I cracked the container open and the distinctive scent of barbeque filled the air. It was definitely a half chicken, that may or may not have come off a rotisserie, but it was also slathered in some sort of barbeque sauce that was also dumped on the potatoes as “gravy.” Was it tasty, and did I eat most of it? Yes. Was it anything like the picture in the window? No.

Sadly, I think the best rotisserie chicken I’ve found within walking distance of my office remains at the Tribeca Whole Foods. Has anyone else found a good source?

Cafe Gusto, 111 John St. (btw. Pearl & Cliff ), (212) 791-2700



  • Try the rotisserie half chicken at Cafe Grand, on Grand between W.Bway and 6th. $7.50 as well.

    The best way to have it though is on a sandwich. They debone a half chicken, and put it onto a portugese roll. Go on Wednesdays for Pernil (either platter or a sandwich, though last time I asked for the sandwich they forgot to put the skin onto it).

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    Yep, I neglected to mention the gravy. That’s largely what I like about it; other rotisserie chickens in the area can be very dry. But if you’re particularly interested in that caramelized, rotisserie-d chicken skin, then it’s probably not your thing.

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