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Jun 12, 2000 02:07 PM

Soho - revisited I'm sure....

  • m

I work in Soho near Prince & Broadway. I'm tired of the places we usually go to eat. Any suggestions are welcomed for a reasonable working lunch. We currently go to Pannatteca (?) friendly decent pasta, Mott-su (ehh), Vietnamese(off of Canal), Hoomus (good falafel), splurges are at Mercer Kitchen, Honomura an prixe fixes.
Places I really don't care for... Zoe, Jerry's, Spring St. Natural, VG, Wendy's, Lombardis, Soho Kitchen, Cub Room Cafe.

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  1. Hi Micki, I work just around the corner from you. This topic has been visited several times in the past; if you search on "Soho" or "Prince" or "Spring" you'll find quite a bit. That said, some of my perennial lunch choices (most of these will also make good search terms): Fanelli's (for burgers and sometimes for soup), Melampo (take out sandwiches), Nyonya (long lunch), Rocky's (potato-and-egg heroes), Pomodoro (decent pizza), ...

    21 Replies
    1. re: Jeremy
      Jessica Shatan

      What/where is Rocky's??

      1. re: Jessica Shatan

        Rocky's is Italian, on Spring St. and either Mott or Mulberry, I forget which. Not that special of a restaurant I guess, but I like their potato and egg heroes a lot. It's far enough north not to be a Little Italy Italian restaurant. (Whatever that means)

      2. re: Jeremy

        Where's nyono? I've been to the rest. I HATE HATE HATE MELAMPO. The owner is a CREEP!!!! I asked him to hold the mayo or something of that sort and he repremanded me. It was like being in the soup nazi Seinfield epsiode. I could go on and on, but you get the jist of it.

        1. re: Micki

          Nyonya is Malaysian on Grand St. -- You can use the search feature on the Chowhound home page to find past reviews of it.

          I've known other people who have had bad interactions with the owner of Melampo; but I have always got along pretty well with him. Just the other day he was making me a sandwich and gave me a piece of his delicious mozzerealla to eat while I waited.

          1. re: Jeremy

            Thanks - I forgot, I did go to nyonana! It was very good. I had a cocnut milk in the shell there, mmm Gotta go back.
            I ate at Cendrillion today. It was really good too. Thanks for the suggestions!
            I have no idea what's up with the melampo man, but I don't want to go back again. It's too bad because I'm the type of customer who goes back to a place many times if it's good.

            1. re: micki
              Jessica Shatan

              It took me about 7 years to go back to the Melampo man. He just creeped me out the 1st time around. But then I went with a friend who really liked it so I just go and am very nice and quiet and just order my (amazing) sandwich and pick the bread I want and make NO alterations... I don't think any sandwiches there come with mayo anyway so you needn't worry about that.
              Nearby you can also get good stuff to go at Once Upon a Tart and at Peppe Rosso's To Go.
              Happy Eating!

              1. re: Jessica Shatan

                I think it would take much longer then 7 years for me to go back there again. I'm VERY polite too, so I was shocked at his behavior. Also - I was 9 months (visibly) pregnant, and he still was VERY nasty. (not that you need to be nice to all pregnant women, but I found that most people are nicer when you are pregnant then when you aren't...)

                1. re: Micki

                  I'm trying to figure out how I can appear pregnant to get folks to be nicer to me.

                  I've also heard many reports of problems with Melampo Man but I've had really good luck. And the sandwiches really are terrific.

                  I also don't rememeber any sandwiches with mayo; his vinaigrette is terrific.

                  1. re: Dave Feldman

                    Just stick out your belly and remember to shave that day.
                    I used mayo as a quick example. The lengthy version is that I wanted hot peppers instead of the caponata (I hate caponata) on my tuna, and he wouldn't do it. I said to hold the caponata then, and he wouldn't do that either. If I wasn't starving I would have walked out. The sandwich was good, but it was also 8.50 for a tuna sandwich.

                    1. re: Micki
                      Jessica Shatan

                      What are caponata peppers? The sweet ones?

                      Also, it's 8.50 for MONDO sandwich, it's 2 lunches for me. I mean I think it's a fair price for good italian canned tuna, mounds of fresh arugala, all the other good ingredients and the size. Not arguing,just saying that the price is not too unfair, relatively speaking and for what you get.

                      1. re: Jessica Shatan

                        Caponata is like mashed eggplant with peppers in it. Something of that sort. ?It's ok, but not on tuna... yech!

                        1. re: micki

                          Allesandro, the proprietor of Melampo, is legendary for his surliness. There was a write-up in NY Magazine a bunch of years back describing the place - it was entitled "Little Sandwich Shop of Horrors". The Soup Nazi is the most common analogy.

                          I've been going there for 10 years. The deal is pretty simple: this guy makes some of the best sandwiches in NY, and he knows it. He's cooped up in that little shoebox all day, usually with a 10 person line. He sees his creations as edible art. And he's got no time for YOUR crap.

                          After 10 years, I have a pretty cordial relationship with him; he's one of the most shy, polite and nice food vendors I know. But I have been in line in the store when a customer has started with the questions, demands, and very often snottiness. And Allesandro's fury with such people knows no bounds. I have witnessed more than one ejection. What I think happens is that he has had to deal with enough idiotic customers that ANY simple query or polite request lumps you into that snotty crowd, and warrants you the same treatment. But talk to him you'd talk to the head chef of a three-Michelin star restaurant and he's a lifelong friend.

                          1. re: wayne

                            I truly resent your comments. YOU were not present when I placed my order. Your remarks are off-base. I often go out to eat, I've worked in the restaurant business, and my husband owns 14 restaurants in NYC, where lines are often 10 deep and you can order any which way you like, without any talkback.
                            I'm also the type of customer who waitstaff, and owners give complementary drinks, desert, and even appetizers to, because I am friendly and cordial. So I really need not go through hell for a sandwich!

                            1. re: Micki

                              Micki - what Wayne said is this:
                              "What I think happens is that he has had to deal with enough idiotic customers that ANY simple query or polite request lumps you into that snotty crowd, and warrants you the same treatment."
                              I don't read his response as dissing you at all - to the contrary.

                              1. re: jen kalb

                                Thanks Jen - I thought so too, until I read this quote from Waynes remark "He sees his creations as edible art. And he's got no time for YOUR crap."

                                1. re: Micki

                                  Sorry, don't agree. I think his post was an explanation of seemingly unreasonable behavior. Dont think the "YOU" specifically referred to you, but to patrons generally.

                                  1. re: jen kalb

                                    I read his post first thing in the morning, after a long crowded subway ride. I hope I just misconstrued the posting. I hate how I could let a message board comment put me off that way. Just too sensitive I guess!

                                    1. re: Micki

                                      Micki, Whether you think you misread the post or not(I don't think you did.) It comes down to should you or anyone have to take Malampo Mans "CRAP" for a sandwich?
                                      Last time I looked there is plenty of places in NY that
                                      do just what he does.

                                      1. re: steve

                                        "Last time I looked there is plenty of places in NY that do just what he does."

                                        Granted, this is getting a bit old. But: Where is such a place? Certainly not in this neighborhood; I've been eating lunch around here for several years and have yet to encounter a sandwich even remotely on a par with Allesandro's. (Which of course does not mean that you should patronize him if he behaves rudely to you.)

                                        1. re: Jeremy

                                          Whoops - guess I should have been clearer. The YOUR in my message was DEFINITELY meant as a *universal* "YOUR". After rereading the message, I can see why Micki thought it was directed more personally. Sorry 'bout that. (but I did snicker when I read it as a personal dis from the victim's perspective - wow! how incredibly obnoxious!)

                                          But seriously, Allesandro does have "issues". I can't explain them. But I do think his sandwiches are unparalleled. And like I said, you only get crap if you are asinine or very unlucky. I like the Soup Nazi too, and the same critiques come in about him. I suppose if you got crap, and like sandwiches elsewhere, you should go for them. But I like Melampo, and he treats me good, so that's where I go. I would love to try a sandwich as good tho, if any of you Melampo-boycotters are talking...

                                          1. re: wayne

                                            Thanks for clarifying Wayne. If I come across a great sandwich I will let you know. I do think that 2nd Ave. Deli has the best pastrami and chopped liver in town. For Itailian style, I'll have to do some more research.

      3. j
        Jessica Shatan

        Hi, I live on Prince and Thompson.....
        How about Shanghai Tang Houston/W. Bway or the new place that replaced Number 1 Son called She-She China (LaGuardia/Houston). It's better than Number 1 Son.
        For wraps, try Emerald Planet (W. 3rd near Bway) or Coffee Cuisine on LaGuardia betw. Bleecker and W. 3rd. (I only like the turkey/pesto wrap or the chicken/chipotle wrap at Coffee Cuisine).
        For a fancier lunch but not TOO, try Cendrillon which has been posted about on this board.
        Good luck!!

        4 Replies
        1. re: Jessica Shatan

          "the new place that replaced Number 1 Son called She-She China (LaGuardia/Houston). It's better than Number 1 Son."

          An understatement. Number One Son was well below average for what I'd expect outisde of the city and She She is quite good, comparing well with Chinatown favorites.

          1. re: bux
            Jessica Shatan

            Oh good... I have only ordered from She-She once so I wasn't sure (had a turnip cake to die for)... and yes No. 1 Son was quite sloppy but I got hooked on my couple Singapore Mei Fun, etc. Certainly not a place I would've seeked out.
            So, BUX, what do you think of Shanghai Tang??

            1. re: Jessica Shatan

              I went to Shang-hai twice. I'd go back again, BUT it was dead, I got the impression that the food may not turn-over as often as it should. I've only been there lunch time during the week, and it's dead. How are other hours? If I hear something positive I'd go back again.

              1. re: Micki

                I love Shanghai Tang, which is probably the best Shanghai-style restaurant in Manhattan, especially the braised pork shoulder, the lion's head meatballs and the braised eel. And they deliver!