Something good in Lower Manhattan
- Patrick Keilch
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.
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.
re: jen kalb
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
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
5)You are enviously close to Chinatown, a world of
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
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.
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.
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.
Today I went to that Latino joint you mentioned...my
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.
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:
Irish Sea Moss,
A Combination of Roots
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.
re: jen kalb
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.