This week New York Magazine published their annual ‘Eat Cheap’ issue, not so different from Time Out’s ‘Cheap Eats’ issue. Either way, both have been talking about all of the latest food crazes, most of which fall into the ‘less than $25’ meal category. And we love a day-long food smack down, so why not try a variety of new spots and take a trek around the city? We always forget how quickly one gets full despite walking miles. Today we packed it in after 3 locations.
Mile End Sandwich Shop
53 Bond St. – Noho
Sandwiches, Hot Spot, Jewish-American, Cheap Eats
Mile End’s original location, like many of the new inexpensive hot spots, is in Brooklyn. They’ve been getting an insane amount of press and for damn good reason. Truly, the sandwiches are classic yet original, well thought out, perfectly executed. This will become a staple in our repertoire for sure. Since this was our first stop, we decided to share. I’d read about the chicken salad sandwich. One would think really, a chicken salad sandwich? Yeah. This one has a few key ingredients which make it rather special. First, gribenes. What are those, you ask? They are crisp chicken skin cracklings sprinkled generously over the chicken salad. Second, new pickles. New pickles are half sour pickles. Third, pickled peppers. Pick a peck of pickled peppers, please. Fourth, schmaltz. Schmaltz is rendered chicken fat. And it is ‘schmeared’ on Callah bread and lightly toasted – on the inside of the bread. This is one hell of a chicken salad sandwich.
We also got a side of potato salad, which took a back seat to the sandwich, but was great as well. It was made with red skin potatoes, pickled red onions, pickled peppers and scallions.
Oddly enough, every other place we visited wasn’t open in the Lower East Side, so we actually did two items off the ‘new’ list. We passed by Little Muenster on the way over to Yunnan Kitchen and La Montanara. Both were closed, so we decided to circle back. Nothing like a heavy cheese sandwich on a hot and humid day, right?
100 Stanton Street – Lower East Side
Sandwiches, American, Comfort Food, Cheap Eats
What’s not to like about a place that serves up 8 varieties of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches?
We chose the #7, in essence, mushrooms teleggio and fontina. Woah. In the winter, I am down with this place and a bowl of tomato soup. 1, 3, 4, 5 and 8 all look worth trying as well. We had an opportunity to taste the newest sandwich, the Maytag Blue Cheese, Muenster, Bacon Marmelade and Avocado sandwich. Creamy, smooth, amazing. A whole one? Not sure.
Finally, we were on a mission for pork buns. A few new spots have popped up all over the place, namely Zutto (reopening) in Tribeca and Jum Mum on St. Mark’s Place. We love Baohaus, of course, but have done that a few times. We hadn’t, however, had the original pork bun at Momofuku Noodle Bar. I’ve only had the noodles. So off we went and we managed to get a seat!
Momofuku Noodle Bar
171 First Avenue – East Village
Notable Chef, Asian Fusion, Chinese, Korean, Hot Spot, Cheap Eats (if you only eat a bun)
David Chang is the original pork bun guy. He started the trend, so why not start there? I have to admit having the same comment on the bun as I did on the noodles. Pork Belly is best browned and David Chang serves his fatty and gooey. While the flavors are amazing, it would be my preference if it were a tad more firm. We tried the shrimp too and it was drowning in orange mayonnaisey sauce. Sorry David, second time. But Ma Peche was out of this world.