Tribeca’s Cornerstone Is Your Hole-In-The-Wall Source For Fried Chicken And BBQ

I don’t often venture over to the edges of Tribeca because it’s mostly full of restaurants so far out of the ML Downtown price range that it’s laughable. But a couple of weeks ago I was doing a little online digging to see if there were any decent BBQ spots downtown, and a place called Cornerstone Grill on Greenwich (at Duane) was mentioned. Sure enough, when I walked over I spotted an awning bearing the glorious words “chicken and ribs.” Was I even in Tribeca anymore?

Unfortunately most of the BBQ items on the menu are more than $10 unless you get a pulled pork sandwich, half order of ribs (which I’m pretty sure won’t fill even me up) or chicken. I wasn’t encouraged by the quality of the pork sandwich, because they serve it in pita, and that just seems wrong. The BBQ chicken wasn’t sounding that great so instead, I steered myself over to the fried chicken side of the menu.

Everything’s a la carte here other than the BBQ items, so I got the two pieces of chicken (a leg and thigh) for $3.50, and some steak fries ($3) because I was feeling overwhelmed by the huge list of sides to choose from. Due to its status as a hole-in-the-wall there is no seating at all in the place, and since it was pouring rain the day I went I had to cart the food all the way back to the FiDi. This wouldn’t be such a problem except they had put both the chicken and fries in styrofoam containers, and we all know what styrofoam does to things that were once crispy.

To my surprise the chicken was not only still crispy, but really juicy, and came with a surprise piece of flatbread. It reminded me of original recipe KFC chicken in taste and batter, but that’s not a bad thing. Another thing that surprised me when looking at the menu is that the chicken is skinless (OK, so now I know I was in Tribeca). When I was done eating my two pieces, I wished I’d gone for the three-piece deal for $5.75.

That wish for more chicken was partly because the steak fries were a dud. I don’t know what I was expecting, but they were underfried and since I’d forgotten to ask for salt I had to resort to dipping them in the hot sauce I got to somewhat redeem them. You might want to look elsewhere in the side department.

I’d have to say it was a happy surprise to find another delicious and cheap fried feast in Tribeca, and it will be an excellent destination once the weather is prime for outdoor rib eating.

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

  • Finding cheap fried chicken and ribs in this part of Tribeca is like winning the lottery.
  • Since Express BBQ shut down, it’s one of the only sources of BBQ in the area.

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

  • There’s nowhere to sit, and I don’t like eating at my desk.

Cornerstone Grill, 327 Greenwich St. (at Duane), (212) 966-3065


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