The name of the restaurant Aux Epices on Baxter St. (btw. Canal & Hester) translates from French into “with spices” and that was an accurate description of the riot of flavors in my lunch there. It moved from Tribeca where it was called Franklin Station Cafe, and there isn’t much on the lunch menu that tops $10, but you have to remember that this is Chinatown/Little Italy and that price point is expected. You don’t feel like you’re eating in the neighborhood as you step inside and black and white photos paired with cute cafe tables and French music contrast with the mostly Malaysian and Asian dishes on the menu. It’s a nicer lunch experience than you might find in surrounding establishments, and the seafood dish I had was delicious.
Archive for 'French'
I’ve eaten sushi from a drug store, surprisingly good sushi, and disappointing sushi from a place with sushi in its name. However, I’d never eaten a sushi crepe before so when Tous Crepes opened its doors with this item on the menu I decided to sidestep the long list of more conventional iterations. What happens when you substitute rice for a buckwheat crepe? Find out straight ahead. Read more »
I’ve had nothing but hits with the sandwiches at French Cafe Gourmand on Maiden Lane (btw. Broadway & Nassau) and the other day when pressed for time I stopped by again to sample another of their creations that one of you Lunch’ers had recommended.
That would be for the Indian sandwich, aka, the French version of a chicken curry sandwich. It is delicious.
I haven’t checked in with French Cafe Gourmand since they opened on Maiden Lane (btw. B’way & Nassau) last May. Since then the place seems to have cultivated a following judging by the steady stream of customers ordering quiche, soup and sandwiches from the affable counter workers. The focus is on French-tinged sandwiches but they have a few like an Indian curried chicken one that stray a bit outside the norm. I had spotted a lamb sandwich on the menu and was intrigued to see how the French did it, and because it was a steal at less than $8.
The lowest part of Manhattan doesn’t have many lunch spots that I would term “whimsical” but I think I’ve found the closest thing at Cosmopolitan Cafe’s soda fountain on W. Broadway (at Chambers). It’s a tiny space, focused on the soda and ice cream fountain in the back but they also serve amenu entirely under $10 consisting of crepes and a few daily specials like a burger and sandwiches. Look for the smiling ice cream cones on the scaffolding next to the entrance – and don’t get it confused with the pricier cafe around the corner on Chambers. Read more »
Seth – fellow downtowner, lunch enthusiast, trusted advisor, and soon-to-be profile subject – made a really good point to me recently about midtown vs. downtown lunching: While midtown has the advantage in quantity, variety, and value of eats, downtown has some really terrific and beautiful places to dine.
More on this in general soon, but one place that’s just a nice place to sit and eat is Perle Restaurant and Wine Bar on Pearl Street near Broad. Much of the menu is over $10 and not Lunch’er fare, but I wandered in the other day and found a very tasty Croque Monsiuer for $8.