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Your favorite downscale food, from where?

City Kid Aug 6, 2008 10:07 AM

For years, Burger Heaven's chicken salad sandwich (go figure) has been my yardstick for all others: totally fresh and tender white meat, just enough mayo to hold it together, on rye. Love the chicharonnes de pollo at Fonda Boricua and Tony Dragonis's food cart at Madison and 62nd St. has grilled chicken platters that could hold their own anywhere.

What's your favorite downscale item -- or guilty pleasure -- when you're not enjoying the fancier and pricier offerings this board is loaded with?

  1. kcijones001 Aug 6, 2008 10:11 AM

    I like my cuban sandwich from cafe habana, dumplings from vanessa's, frites from Pommes Frites.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kcijones001
      erin07nyc Aug 6, 2008 10:45 AM

      I've been wondering if I should try Vanessa's ever since we got their menu under our door. any specific recommendations?

    2. LNG212 Aug 6, 2008 10:24 AM

      I love the beans and rice and sweet plantains at Caridad on 78th & Broadway.

      1. erin07nyc Aug 6, 2008 10:44 AM

        Snack Dragon - the nacharito ($3)
        Veselka - sticky bun to take home and heat up later (20 sec on 50% power) ($2.75)
        Caracas - anything delivered. I've never waited to eat there and find delivery pretty quick.
        Pomme Frites when drinking at Bar 82.
        Burritoville's dessert chimichanga - melted chocoate & banana inside.
        Tako Yaki from that little place on 9th st (betw 2nd & 3rd aves)

        1. JungMann Aug 6, 2008 11:25 AM

          Puerto Rican snacks: Cuchifritos Frituras
          Chicharones: La Strada
          Rotisserie Chicken: El Malecon No. 2
          Tacos: Tehuitzingo
          Fried ruffle fat: Bayan Cafe
          Fried chicken: Popeye's
          Kimbap: Woorijip
          Soondae: Han Ah Reum
          Hot dogs: Crif Dogs
          Burgers: Five Guys
          Deli subs: New York's Best (Water St.)
          Indian take-away: Minar
          Tiny Pork Buns: Moonhouse
          Fish Balls: Cart outside the NRQW station on Centre and Canal
          Buffalo Wings: 1849
          Polish diner: Polish National Home

          6 Replies
          1. re: JungMann
            City Kid Aug 6, 2008 12:16 PM

            Don't know what "fried ruffle fat" is but it sure sounds good! Great suggestions from one and all!

            1. re: City Kid
              JungMann Aug 6, 2008 01:46 PM

              It's typically called "chicharon bulaklak," and one of my favorite snacks.


              1. re: City Kid
                delikado Aug 6, 2008 01:53 PM

                Fried ruffle fat is actually fried pork intestines, which is really the best thing in the world, especially with ice-cold beer. Filipinos call this 'chicharon bulaklak,' which is kind of like 'crispy/fried flower.'

              2. re: JungMann
                MShapiro Aug 6, 2008 12:35 PM

                I’m sorry but you lost me with your New York's Best rec – which they are definitely not. The delis around the corner on John & Pearl or the Jubilee Marketplace on John & Cliff are better options IMO.

                1. re: JungMann
                  squid kun Aug 6, 2008 07:52 PM

                  Moon House closed. It's now Shanghai Kitchen and sounds like nothing special.

                  1. re: squid kun
                    bigjeff Aug 7, 2008 04:36 PM

                    aw dang! but have you eaten there yet? moon house was my shining star, my beacon on that strip . . . .

                2. d
                  delikado Aug 6, 2008 01:54 PM

                  I have to say, I always enjoy the burgers at Five Guys, and KFC!

                  1. erin07nyc Aug 6, 2008 03:11 PM

                    Tebaya - giant pile of fried chicken wings w/ pepper sesame sauce. I think they're on 19th st near 5th ave?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: erin07nyc
                      Spends Rent on Food Aug 6, 2008 08:02 PM

                      I wish they were that close. More like 19th & 7th. The extra walk helps me work off everything I've eaten.

                    2. c
                      City Kid Aug 6, 2008 06:15 PM

                      Here's one I hadn't thought of: the Hungarian meat store on the east side of Second Ave, @ 81st: the best homemade sausage, both mild and spicy and FRIED BACON, which sounds disgusting but is amazingly crispy and flavorful, looks like pork rinds.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: City Kid
                        marmite Aug 7, 2008 11:12 AM

                        Ah, the Yorkville Meat Emporium. Fond, fond memories for me there. Go at the holidays for special chocolates and cookies. City Kid, I knew we could agree on something! ;p

                        1. re: marmite
                          City Kid Aug 7, 2008 02:18 PM

                          Marmite, I thought you were a vegetarian. Must have been too much fried bacon;)

                          1. re: City Kid
                            marmite Aug 7, 2008 02:31 PM

                            I am now, but the Hungarian side of my family's been going to to the YME for years. You're right though- nothing like being told "pick out the best pigs' feet" to make a 10 year old go the complete opposite way.

                      2. k
                        kobetobiko Aug 6, 2008 06:53 PM

                        My favorite downscale food (and actually one of my favorite comfort food) is the congee at Big Wong King on 67 Mott St. This is the only place that makes congee the right way with the right consistency and right rice flavor. All those Congee Village/Bowery/XXX are not even on the same league.

                        They also have very good soy sauce chicken and steam white chicken. Too bad they don't make good fried cullers and rice crepes.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: kobetobiko
                          G3B Aug 9, 2008 05:59 AM

                          Yes I love the fish congee at Big Wong, but not so much the duck egg congee. I love their roast pork and duck too. Any recs of where to get good rice crepes. I usually get them there too just bec. it is easy to make one stop for both.

                        2. a_and_w Aug 8, 2008 10:10 AM

                          Chicken tikka rolls at Roomali, and falafel at Azuri or Olympic.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: a_and_w
                            City Kid Aug 8, 2008 10:28 AM

                            Wow, what's in the chicken tikka rolls and where is Roomali?

                            1. re: City Kid
                              a_and_w Aug 8, 2008 10:44 AM

                              It's tandoori chicken, onions, coriander chutney, lettuce, and egg wrapped in a paratha like an Indian burrito. Roomali is on 28th just east of Lexington.

                              1. re: a_and_w
                                City Kid Aug 8, 2008 12:03 PM

                                Thanks for the tip - gonna get me some of them!

                                1. re: City Kid
                                  TongoRad Aug 8, 2008 05:28 PM

                                  The channa pakora (chick pea patties) rolls are really good as well, I like them as much as the tikka and usually get one of each.

                          2. c
                            cimui Aug 9, 2008 01:21 AM

                            mozzarepas from a street fair. ahhh..... heaven in a four inch round.

                            i love street food as a general category. in particular, i love corn grilled over charcoal, rubbed with any combination of lime / butter / salt / cotija -- sold all over the world from india to mexico.

                            if you want guilty pleasure... hmm... whenever i do road trips, i always keep my eyes peeled for a Wendy's. love those mandarin chicken salads, simulated chicken and all.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: cimui
                              delikado Aug 13, 2008 09:36 AM

                              And who can forget Wendy's spicy chicken sandwich? Plus fries and a side of their "cheese sauce" for dipping...it's junk food nirvana.

                              1. re: delikado
                                MsAlyp Aug 13, 2008 12:07 PM

                                Ah guilty pleasure of mine as well! I love the spicy chicken sandwich but find it's even better when you slather on some of their honey mustard.

                                What about S'Mac for anyone in East Village or UWS? I find their mac 'n cheese (especially when you eat in) is pretty good comfort food... full of cheese and carbs.

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