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Jul 23, 1999 12:37 PM

Something good in Lower Manhattan

  • p

This is a subject that has come up a few times I
realize, but my searches of past messages came up

I have a temp job on Water St. (John St.) by the South
Street Seaport and can't find anything good to eat. I
know that Daily Soup is nearby, but it is obscenely
expensive for what it is, and not always good. I, as
a chowhound, will eat anything good for lunch, but
it's got to be good. Does anyone have any suggestions
for a very hungry office worker.

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  1. With apologies ahead of time; its been 3 years since I
    worked downtown: (1) the Trinidad Roti cart parked on
    water street near Pine at lunchtime, with great rotis
    (my favorite, goat, tho you have to maneuver around
    the bones); there were at one time carts selling
    hispanic food at this location too; (2) there was for
    a long time an upstairs hispanic place called Don
    Pedro's on Pearl, not far from John which was good
    value; (3) there was an upstairs korean BBQ on the
    South side of Fulton between william and nassau; Tokyo
    Lunch, on John (i think)nr Bway is reliable, and there
    are some kosher falafel and sushi places that are
    decent in that general area too, as well as good
    felafel and other vendors (if they havent been driven
    away) on Liberty St. nr Bway. I seem to recall one or
    more Indian places springing up in the William Street
    area, including a Diwan branch, but that may have
    closed. Hopefully others will have more current info.

    8 Replies
    1. re: jen kalb
      keith koenigsberg

      I would add the following to Jen's post:
      1)Trinidad Roti parks his truck on the other side of
      the plaza with the huge chrome hoop and waterfall, on
      Front Street now. I highly endorse said truck.
      2)I hate Tokyo Lunch, the meats are overcooked, they
      use too much gourmet powder, and the counters are very
      3)There are two Diwans in the area, the better (and
      more crowded) of the two is on Cedar between William
      and Pearl
      4)Some of the best Thai to be found in Manhattan is at
      Bennie Thai, downstairs on the corner of Fulton and
      Gold (enjoy a walk up the tiny Ryder's alley when you
      are there)
      5)You are enviously close to Chinatown, a world of
      never-ending discovery.
      6)I'll think of more and post later.
      7)Skip "Two Sisters" Korean on (Fulton? John?) the
      service is maddeningly slow and will make you want to
      hit someone.
      8)Walk across the brooklyn bridge and get Pizza at
      Patsy's (would take longer than an hour)
      9)Closer than Chinatown is a downstairs place, forgot
      the name, walk to broadway and John, cross to the west
      side of broadway, look for signs pointing to an
      underground chinese place among the tube-sock vendors,
      and order the huge portions of "chinatown style" food
      from the counters on the far left.

      1. re: keith koenigsberg

        My sense of geography might be playing tricks with me
        here but I think you are very close to some of the best
        restaurants in Chinatown, including New Taste Good on
        Doyers Street, Tindo on Eldridge Street, a bunch of
        places on East Broadway, the waffle lady (I've
        forgotten the name of her street but it's near Doyers),
        and on and on.

        1. re: Jeremy

          Well, your temp job is probably over by this time, but
          for future seekers in this area near the Seaport
          (Chinatown suggestions too far for most lunchers):
          I second Bennies Thai on Fulton,
          Definitely try Sophies on Pearl 'tween John & Maiden,
          good homestyle Cuban food with a very good Cuban
          ..if you head north on William, instead of going into
          Bennies, turn left at Beekman & at the corner of Gold
          is a decent Jamaican roti/curry joint & next to that
          is an interesting looking Puerto Rican restaurant I
          haven't tried yet.
          The steak sandwiches at Jeremys Ale house at the
          northern fringes of the Seaport by the Brooklyn Bridge
          are also pretty good, but vary according to who is in
          the kitchen that day.

          1. re: Jeff
            keith koenigsberg

            Today I went to that Latino joint you
            advice is skip it. (Though it looks like they run a
            hot little latino/karaoke (!!) club at night)

            I asked for the "classico" a combination plate which
            included several of the items I couldn't otherwise
            chose among - the result was a loser. A large plate of
            overfried and unidentifiable foods. Among them I
            detected decent blood sausage (mortecillo?), little
            empenada-type things (pastillitas?), chicken cooked
            until it resembled jerky, disks of pork, stuffed
            platanos which were rendered the flavor of the grease
            they were cooked in, and fried plantains. All dry and
            flavorless. A terrible shame.

            My partners had chicken and rice (canned vegetables in
            the rice, which wasn't cooked with the chicken and had
            little flavor) and steak (ropa vieja?) which was
            decent, but plain.

            Oh well.

            1. re: Jeff
              keith koenigsberg

              But yesterday I tried the Jamaican joint you mentioned.
              It's called the Yummy Crust Jamaican Bakery, and it was
              a big win.

              I had chicken stew and dumplings. The stew was great,
              moist, spicy. The rice was impregnated with beans and
              perfect. The dumplings were big, gummy, masses of
              flour, slightly undercooked in the center, which (I
              assume) is exactly how they are intended to be.

              And get this: when i went to the fridge to choose a
              beverage, I grabbed a little beige bottle labelled
              "Agony". Here are the ingredients:

              Purified Water
              Irish Sea Moss,
              A Combination of Roots


          2. re: keith koenigsberg

            Keith, thanks for your assurances about Trinidad
            roti. still the same plaza, but other side. Those
            rotis make a very substantial, delicious lunch.

            re Tokyo lunch, its a hole in the wall without much in
            the way of seating, but predates the fast-foody sushi
            spots. I go for the oyako-don(buri) (chicken and egg
            over rice) primarily but have also liked the
            tempuradon, the pork, and the salmon. One time, in the
            afternoon I snagged a great churashi-zushi there
            (suspect the counterman had made it up for himself).
            May not be to everyone's tastes, but the quality level
            has remained steady and good for 10+ yrs.

            I don't know if you and I are talking about the same
            Korean on Fulton. The one I remember was upstairs,
            with seating looking out on the street. It had a
            sushi counter on the right as we entered and a
            grill/cafeteria counter on the other side. Decent, not
            wonderful grilled meats and noodles, but I always got
            them to put together a bibim bap.

            Glad to hear there are so many new and good options
            downtown now, in addition to the ones I recall.

            1. re: jen kalb
              keith koenigsberg

              I'm sure we are talking about different Korean joints.
              Mine is less than a year old and definately called
              Three Sisters, and is at street level.

              I think you are talking about a place called "Aramatsu"
              that's been out of business for about 3 years: yellow
              awning, up the stairs with murals of cool forest
              scenes, sushi bar in the back, they take your order and
              the Korean lady calls it out when you are finished.

              I loved that place. RIP.

              1. re: keith koenigsberg

                yup.. that is the same place...and it is too bad.

        2. Try Ruben's Empanadas on Water Street.