I wasn’t sure what to expect when walking into Maid Cafe NY on Centre St. (at Walker) in Chinatown. Would I be accosted by ladies dressed as maids? Would the food be terrible? Neither of these turned out to be entirely true, although the cafe is probably better used as the source of Japanese sweets than a solid lunch. Read more »
Archive for 'Chinatown'
This place got an A but its neighbors may not have.
An article recently came out saying that only 51% of the restaurants in Chinatown have earned an A grades from the Department of Health. This doesn’t sound so bad until you compare it with the statistic that 80% of restaurants in the rest of NYC have gotten an A. I’ve noticed that ethnic eateries in neighborhoods with large immigrant populations often have a B, C or Grade Pending displayed in the window, but it doesn’t really bother me. However, changes are being made to try to reverse the trend. Read more »
Did you know there is a culture in Japan where you go to a cafe and are served by a woman dressed as a maid? Well, this exists, and apparently we have one of these eateries called Maid Cafe NY downtown on Centre St. (at Walker). Based on reviews online the place has been open for a few months, but we just heard about it, and hey, it’s not often that you get a press release about a lunch spot where the workers wear maid costumes. They mostly have desserts (green tea cheesecake seems to be the thing here), but they also have breads like curry pan along with Japanese curry, rice balls and a beef bowl for Chinatown-like prices. This is the place for you if Takahachi Bakery seems too pedestrian. Photo via Maid Cafe NY.
We’ve sampled the pork chop of Excellent Pork Chop House, as well as one of the noodle soups, but that was a long time ago in 2008. The Doyers St. institution now has its own Web site and pretty much everyone knows about it. The classics here are pork chop or chicken leg over rice with pickled mustard greens, but I had a hankering for rice cakes and saw that this restaurant had a decent selection. The version with shredded pork piqued my interest and off I went to carbo load.
Photo courtesy of Dave H.
You all have been good with the tips this week, but one from Lunch’er Chris brought some not great news about Paulie’s Place on Baxter St. (btw. Walker & White).
Just as an FYI – Paulie’s Place, a go-to cheap sandwich place on Baxter that serves many of the people who work in the downtown courthouses, has a sign at the counter indicating it will be closing “indefinitely” on Friday due to the rising cost of doing business.
In true Chinatown fashion, people online testify that you could get sandwiches and burgers for $3 or $4 and it was fast and tasty. Did any of you eat here regularly?
Most people looking for Malaysian food in Chinatown head to Nyonya on Grand St. which is slightly classier than other places in the neighborhood. If you’re looking for a more bare-bones experience that requires walking down a steep flight of stairs, you may want to consider Sanur which serves some Americanized Chinese food, but specializes in Indonesian and Malaysian food. At first it was unclear if I was walking into a travel agency or restaurant due to the number of travel posters in the stairway. I can confirm that cheap Indonesian food can be found at the bottom of those steep stairs leading to Sanur, and it’s a nice change of pace from all of the Chinese options in the surrounding area.
There was a time when I used to confuse Parisi Bakery with Paris Sandwich, but that was before I had eaten at both of them and learned how laughable that was. One is a venerable Italian bakery and sandwich purveyor in Nolita where you’re served by men who are efficient yet polite, while the other is a duo of Vietnamese banh mi shops in Chinatown staffed by women who are rushed yet polite.
I’ve been to most of the banh mi sellers in Chinatown except Paris Sandwich so I decided to remedy that situation and stop in the other day. I went to both the location on Mott St. (btw. Canal & Hester) and one on Grand St. (btw. Elizabeth & Mott), and both sell sandwiches supposedly made with baguettes baked every hour plus a small roster of other Vietnamese dishes and appetizers. While pork chop over rice did sound good, I instead tried a couple of different sandwiches since I wasn’t that impressed with the first one I tried and was sure they could do better.