WaWa Canteen - inauthentic but tasty!
I work at NYU and have been eating here for lunch a lot lately, perhaps because I've gotten bored with the usual choices. I keep ordering the Soon Du Bu, which doesn't have zucchini and has a somewhat thin-tasting broth, but which is also fresh-tasting and fairly spicy, with perfectly tender seafood (even the calamari is tender!) and buttery soft, strikingly delicious tofu.
If you just think of it as a spicy seafood soup with some fine tofu, it's really quite nice. Their rice is not really the greatest, but dunked in the soup is fine.
The Bi Bim Bap, again, looks fresh and tasty, but no fried egg. So if you order it thinking of it as just a nice vegetable and beef medley over rice with chili sauce, I'm sure it's good.
The salads also look quite good and they serve pajun. This is not destination dining, but if you work near the corner of Mercer and Waverly, it's definitely a lunch to add into the rotation.
Love the WaWa!! I work on Broadway and a co-worker came in one day with some ramen from there and the aroma blew me away. I've never had any Koren food in my life and this soup was so comforting and filling. I don't know how authentic it is, but it was damn tasty! I've been keeping a list of places to try in the area as the options do get a little played out. Here are some that I've found:
1. 'wichcraft-expensive, but tasty sandwiches with great ingredients -8th st
2. Cafe University-one of the few places I'll eat salads. $5.99 for a huge salad with 4 add-ins
3. Peanut Butter & Co-yes I'm paying for PB&J, but I love it!
4. Mamouns for falafel
5. BITE-great paninis and a killer Middle Eastern Turkey sandwich with Hummous and sambal sauce (corner of Bleecker and Lafayette
6.Blue 9 Burger-gotta love a place where a burger doesn't need ketchup-3rd ave and 12st?
7. Gyro cart in front of the now defunct Tower Record store-great chicken in a pita for $3.99
Would write more, but gotta get back to work.
I teach a course on Thursday nights at NYU and frequently go there for dinner afterwards. I don't think it's that authentic, but it is good and reasonably priced. My favorite dishes are the green salad with citrus dressing and the kimchi fried rice, which has a nice kick and can be ratcheted up with some hot pepper paste. The curry and the bi bim bap are okay, although I've had better.