Chinatown: A stellar Chinese dessert discovery: “[F]laky green pastries that resembled caterpillars” flavored with durian fruit “came to the table piping hot filled with a bright yellow pudding.” Find them at Chatham Square (6 Chatham Square). [Gothamist]
Clinton Hill: The food at Restaurant New Orleans is good, but the entire operation seems completely haphazard. [Clinton Hill Blog]
Cobble Hill: The Red Deli at 264 Clinton Street near Verandah Place opens this week with “house-made charcuterie along with grab-and-go items like fried chicken.” [TONY]
Dumbo: The D Space offering an Indian buffet is actually called Marrakesh Express, and the food is worth a try. [Dumbo NYC]
Nolita: This list of spots to drink up free or cheap wine includes Le Jardin Bistro, where on Monday and Tuesday nights $12 adds all-you-can drink Bordeaux to your dinner. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]
Upper East Side: A new sparkling vodka called Camitz is for sale at Sherry-Lehmann, Astor Wines, and, in the near future, at Morrell’s, but you can try it in a cocktail at Park Avenue Winter among a few other restaurants around town. [Strong Buzz]
This is a little outside our field of coverage and well outside the bounds of good taste, but we’ve mentioned rogue taxidermist Nate Hill’s Chinatown garbage tours before. Last Friday, after a year of work, he unveiled his magnum opus, A.D.A.M. (A Dead Animal Man) — a reproduction of a human being he made by stitching together restaurant refuse and other animal parts. The piece is for sale but no longer on public display (Hill is moving into a studio apartment with it — “It’s going to be in a room with me while I sleep”), so we thought we’d give you a first look. Trust us, this thing is more disturbing than the Cloverfield monster and the Teeth monster sewn together.
When bubble-tea chain Quickly installed a fancy-dancy “delimanjoo” (a custard-filled Korean interpretation of a Chinese cake) machine outside its Chinatown store last week, we worried about the fate of the griddle man who normally does business on the block. Turns out he can rest easy — yesterday afternoon, as many as a dozen loyalists at a time lined up for the griddle man while half as many customers in line for Quickly’s machine voiced exasperation for what turned out to be, in our case, a 40-minute wait.
As if losing the bánh mì counter in the Tú Quynm Pharmacy wasn’t bad enough, there’s still more reason to worry about the state of the Vietnamese sandwich, an institution that Jonathan Lethem told us is “as vital to keeping working artists in the city as are affordable rents.” Cheap Eats favorite Bánh Mì Saigon Bakery celebrated the New Year by raising its prices by 50 cents across the board, bumping certain sandwiches to an unheard of $5.50 (they say the cost of product went up). And just yesterday, Saigon Vietnamese Sandwich (formerly known as Viet-Nam Banh Mi and no relation to Bánh Mì Saigon) upped its prices to as high as $4.25. Employees were apologetically offering sandwiches at the old prices (we were charged $3.50 instead of the new $3.95 for the house special of grilled pork, Vietnamese salami, and sliced pork), but that’s small consolation. This is easily the most disturbing price hike since a Gray’s Papaya dog went to $1.25.
Earlier:Chinatown Pharmacy Is No Longer in the Pork-Sandwich Business
Astor Place: The building that houses Starbucks has such interesting history (saw a bloody theater riot in 1849 at what was once the Astor Place Opera House; held a barber shop where mobster Albert Anastasia got slaughtered while sitting in his chair) that Lost City has decided to target "kudzu-like chains" around town and attempt to uncover their past incarnations. [Lost City]
Chinatown: Dumpling House has reopened and the renovations include tables and chairs! [Eater]
East Village: Bar Veloce is returning to the space it once occupied before transforming into now deceased Room 4 Dessert. [Eater]
Tribeca: Harrison Tavern has already closed after a July opening. Clearly, offering ranch-chicken pizza did not bring in herds. [Grub Street]
Upper East Side: Café Carlyle has added a D.J.-hosted soirée Thursday through Saturday from midnight to 3 a.m. to its cabaret-night repertoire, and a new cocktail menu comes from the mixologist at Bemelmans Bar. [Zagat]
West Village: Pichet Ong is renaming his dessert bar P*ong & Batch at the end of the month when he’ll be expanding the space to include a retail bakery. [Zagat]
Williamsburg: Breakfast mecca egg (it's too cool to have a capital letter) deigns to open for dinner. [TONY]
A Chinatown eatery has put something on the sidewalk that’s much more exciting than the usual bag of fish: the cream-cake machine! Unveiled for a test run yesterday outside of Quickly, a trendy bubble-tea and shabu shabu spot, the Korean contraption is just one of three in the city, said manager Patrick Chu. (The other two are at Quickly's Flushing and Sunset Park locations.) The thumb-size cream cakes cost $2 for eight and $5 for 24. Considering the machine churns out two dozen cakes every five minutes, we wonder if this means the end for the humble griddle man.
Quickly, 237 Grand St., nr. Bowery; 212-431-0998; 41-40 Kissena Blvd., nr. Barclay Ave., Flushing; 718-358-1835; 5924 Eighth Ave., nr. 59th St., Sunset Park, Brooklyn; 718-567-8189.
We’re with Jonathan Lethem when he says that bánh mìs — the cheap Vietnamese baguette sandwiches usually stuffed with pork, pork, pork, and some veggies for good measure — are as vital to keeping working artists in the city as affordable rents. Which is why we’re sad to report the removal of the bánh mì counter in the Tú Quynm Pharmacy (also a CD shop) on the corner of Grand Street and Bowery — certainly the most bizarrely situated one if you discount Báhn Mì Saigon, located in the back of a nearby jewelry store. If this was your pâté chã go-to, know there are other sandwich fixes within a few blocks — namely Saigon, Viet-Nam Banh Mi So 1, and Paris Sandwich, which also serves waffles! But really, we’ll miss being able to fill a prescription for our heart meds while loading up on pork.
Related:Jonathan Lethem Fuels His Writing With ‘White Trash’ Sandwiches
We’re not sure whether the Popeyes that opened three days ago right across from the mouth of the Manhattan Bridge (that’s right, the first thing motorists now see when entering the island is a Popeyes) has to do with the Bowery location that closed over the summer. But we do know from this floral arrangement festooned with ribbons and cards reading “Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits” that it's Chinese run, and enthusiastically so. Yesterday found the manager offering patrons free refills and giving away free chicken to everyone in the restaurant at closing time (might want to try your luck tonight around midnight). Says a friend of Grub who lives in the hood, “I’m overjoyed.” No kidding! Now he doesn’t have to trek to the Waverly for biscuits...
Yesterday we speculated that Good World didn’t have long for this world, and sadly it turns out to be true. But there are a couple of pieces of hope: Good World won’t close until fall, and owner Annika Sundvick is looking for a new location. Plus, she’s got another Swedish spot that will soon open its doors.
Richie Rich and Jenna Jameson may be opening a yet-to-be-named Chinatown bar in a former brothel, but the true original is rumored to be on its way out. A source close to Good World says the bar has lost its lease and its days are numbered. That source has heard that Ian Schrager is buying the block and will erect a W Hotel there — easily the most disturbing rumor since the one about the Bulgarian Bar being replaced by a Best Western. Good World GM Anna Ahlin firmly denies it, saying, “They sold the building we’re located in, and that has been a big misconception for some people.” Ahlin told us she can’t recall the term of Good World’s lease, but drinkers are safe for the foreseeable future.