The Search For Good Southeast Asian Food Continues At Mangez Avec Moi

Allow me to take a walk down memory lane for a minute. My very first review for this site was a banh mi sandwich at Mangez Avec Moi Express, and it was delicious enough that I went back and tried another one a few days later. I’d been meaning to go back there either to try the by-the-pound buffet or the food at the sit down restaurant Mangez Avec Moi next door. A look at the lunch menu made it seem like a really good idea to eat at the sit down portion as my first official downtown lunch of 2011. There was pho and other noodle soups, on top of a bunch of rice dishes that topped out at $8.95. I figured I couldn’t go wrong with so many options under $10.

It’s a small restaurant and it was packed at prime lunch time. After waiting a few minutes to place a to go order and not getting anywhere, I headed next door to the express portion of the restaurant to see what was on the buffet. And when I got there, I discovered the buffet was gone! In its place was a bench that used to sit outside. If you’re looking for anything other than banh mi or spring rolls from a refrigerated case, you’re out of luck.

Back next door I went to place an order. I got the Indonesian curry chicken ($7.95) because it was one of the more exotic items on the menu that also includes things like  pad thai, sesame chicken and basil fried rice. They also sell the same banh mi from the shop next door and various noodle soups.

I could smell the food all of the way back to my office which I thought was odd since it was in both paper and plastic bags. When I went to take out the container I discovered why – all of the Indonesian peanut sauce goodness had leaked out into the paper bag! This was sad because it left little sauce to soak into the rice.

The food itself was decent although the white meat chicken was kind of dry and the green beans a tad too crunchy. And I could have really used that extra sauce for the massive amount of rice I was given. All in all this was OK, but not any better than any of the other Thai/Southeast Asian places I’ve eaten at in the FiDi and Tribeca.

If you want to check this place out it might be best to eat the food at the restaurant because the quality seems to suffer in transit.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • They have a few things that aren’t Thai on the menu.
  • The $7.95 lunch special is cheap for the area.

THE — (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • The food suffers if you get it to go.
  • It’s hard to get a table at prime lunch time.

Mangez Avec Moi, 71 W. Broadway (btw. Murray & Warren), (212) 385-0008 or (212) 385-0047


1 Comment

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    I’ve been getting takeout from Mangez off & on since they opened decades ago.

    I find many of their dishes to be unremarkable, however there are some real standouts too. The sticky rice pancakes are fantastic, especially with some chili sauce.

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