Category Archives: Lower East Side/Chinatown

Barrio Chino

My wife and I stopped in this little joint for dinner last week, and we really enjoyed it.

We started with aguachile verde and ceviche, both of which were great, although I would have preferred some additional tortilla chips to pick up all that tasty goodness.

For our mains, we ordered enchiladas verde and lamb barbacoa. Both were excellent, but the shredded, slow roasted lamb was amazing. So much rich, earthy flavor. Again, more tortillas would have made this perfect.

We will definitely be back here again – I need better pics!

BARRIO CHINO
253 Broome St
New York, NY 10002

Fried Dumpling

Tucked away in a Chinatown alley near the back of NYC’s Civic Center is a little hole-in-the-wall dumpling spot that’s simply called “Fried Dumpling.” I discovered this place while frequenting joints like Wo Hop and Peking Duck House during law school, in the very early 2000’s.

I’ve been coming here for over two decades now, and although my visits are infrequent, every time I go it hits the spot. They aren’t the best dumplings you’ll eat – the dough is a little thick, and the fried crust is inconsistent – but for $5 you get about a dozen, and they’re pretty damn tasty for the price. You can choose steamed or fried. I always go with fried, because they seem to have more flavor from the griddle/flat top. A squirt of sri racha and a shake of vinegar dumpling sauce and you’re all set.

Just a note: There’s no place to sit here. It’s really just for either standing at the small shelf along the side wall, or taking your plastic clamshell to go.

My wife and I used to buy the bags of frozen dumplings they offer, so we could cook them at home ourselves. This place is a gem.

My last visit was during a @NYCZoozClub food crawl. Check out the video below if you’re interested. And use code JOHNNYPRIME for $150 off your Zooz bike at www.zoozbikes.com.

 

FRIED DUMPLING
106 Mosco Street
New York, NY 10013

Ainslie Bowery

Ainslie Bowery is a newly opened Italian joint that has a huge selection of beer.

The place is enormous inside. So big, that I really don’t know how they’re going to stay in business if they aren’t packed out every day.

Anyway, I was excited to try this new spot by us, so my wife and I went last weekend. We started with the rosemary wings and salt and pepper ribs. Both were really great. I preferred the ribs but my wife liked he wings better.

For our middle course, we split the “diavola” pizza. Spicy salami and kalamata black olives on top of fresh mozzarella and a nice tomato sauce. This was a bit too salty, but otherwise good. As you can see, one side of the pie took a little more heat than the other.

The pasta dishes were very good here. We tried the orecchiette with broccoli rabe and sausage, as well as the pork ragu pappardelle. We both preferred the orecchiette.

For dessert, tiramisu. This was nice. It’s rare for one of these to stand out among so many others in town, but it was perfect.

We will definitely be back to try more.

AINSLIE BOWERY
199 Bowery
New York, NY 10002

Flower Shop

My wife and I tried this place for happy hour. They offer $1.50 oysters, lower priced starters and some drink specials as well.

The oysters were great (not pictured), and so was the scotch egg.

We also tried their fried chicken. This was pretty good. At $24 the price was a bit steep, but I really enjoyed the charred lemon and unique flavors in the batter. Worth a try for sure.

I would definitely go back for more, and to shoot some pool.

FLOWER SHOP
107 Eldridge St
New York, NY 10002

Joey Roses

Joey Roses dive bar/social club on the Lower East Side that was recently featured on Eater as a spot where you can still get some cheap, good eats. After reading the article and seeing how close it was to home, I had to try it.

The thrust of the article was that, from 5pm-7pm and from 10pm-12am, they offer “buy two get a third free” deal on their sandwiches. Their sandwiches are regularly priced at $8. Can’t beat it!

They’re nicely packed Italian sandwiches, filled with mortadella, beef, salami, you name it. They have a few different selections you can make. My wife and I picked up three different sandwiches. All were good, but the mortadella sandwich was king. It comes with mozz and sweet cherry peppers on it. Killer.

Make sure you also get some of their crispy fried Brussels Sprouts. The touch of agave syrup on them really sets them apart from others. They’re perfect!

This place is so close – we will definitely be back.

JOEY ROSES
174 Rivington St
New York, NY 10002

Bobwhite Counter

This little fried chicken joint is on Avenue C at 6th Street.

There’s a craft beer spot next door called ABC Beer Co., which has nice covered outdoor seating and a great selection of beer. My wife and I snagged some fried chicken tenders and french fries to try with our beer.

The fries were a little soggy, but the tenders were good. Tender, juicy, great crisp on the outside. Good enough to make us want to go back to try the actual fried chicken pieces as well as the sandwiches. I will update this review once we get around to trying.

BOBWHITE COUNTER
94 Loisaida Ave (Avenue C)
New York, NY 10009

Zest Sushi

Weird name, great happy hour.

Zest Sushi has a very extensive menu of items for just $5.50 during happy hour, which also includes their beer and sake offerings as well. My wife and I tried a bunch of stuff, and pretty much everything was great. Here’s the run down:

Mini salmon don.

“Salmon Dream” torched sashimi.

Skewers of crispy squid tentacles.

Crispy oysters (this was the only item I wouldn’t get again).

Takoyaki (fried balls of octopus with bonito).

Crispy salmon skin roll.

For drinks, the better bet is to get the sake. They give you about 10oz for $5.50, and it’s pretty good.

ZEST SUSHI
249 Broome St
New York, NY 10002

Corner Bar

This joint opened recently and is connected to the 9 Orchard hotel. There’s a lot I want to try here, but on this first trip my wife and I just stopped in for a couple of cocktails and some snacks.

The cocktails are great. I had a Gibson that used basil syrup in the mix. Very herbal and unique.

I also tried their amari-based old fashioned, which was really strong at first. But as the ice mellowed it out, it was perfect.

We had the Oysters Rockefeller, which were quite expensive at $24 for four. They were delicious, however, and reminded us of the flavor profile of escargots.

We also had an order of their perfectly cooked fries, which come with ketchup, mayo, and dijon. I love that they give you dijon automatically. It’s my favorite condiment.

Based on this trip, we will definitely be back to try more of the menu. Stay tuned for updates!

UPDATE 10-15-2022

On a second trip, after a LOT of hype in the food media world, I noticed a decline here.

First off, the nice ice cube in the old fashioned is gone now, and they replaced it with a bunch of small regular ice cubes. Bad move!

We started with the steak tartare, which was fairly good although it was very heavy on the onion and vinegar. The parm crisp on top was nice though.

The burger is no longer on the menu. I was excited to try it but they had a steak on special, so I went with that.

$185! Get the fuck outta here for 32oz!

It was just okay. Cooked perfectly, nice crust. But the meat itself was pretty dense and tough in places, and a good amount of connective tissue that was inedible. The best parts were along the bone, and edges, where some aged flavor managed to creep in. 6/10.

My wife’s duck was better, but parts of the dish were insanely salty.

The bread and butter here is fantastic, and complimentary. Get it.

Fries were still great, so there’s that.

CORNER BAR
60 Canal St
New York, NY 10002

Canary Club

My wife and I have wanted to try out this cocktail bar and live music lounge for a while. We finally made it in for an early dinner yesterday.

Quick take-aways: Delicious cocktails and good comfort food.

We really liked the broiled oysters and the french fries, as well as the ice cream sundae. The rest was just okay.

The snails were a bit under-seasoned and lacked that “snap” texture.

We also tried the shrimp and crab cake special. The shrimp were slightly overcooked and the batter on the crab cake needed work (no texture). The salad with fried green tomato was really nice though.

The batter on the fried chicken was too hard, but the meat was cooked nicely. The Voodoo seasoned fries were great.

Their coffee-based dessert cocktails are incredible. They have two, and each one is extremely unique, with one even having carrot juice espresso and tahini in it. Wild. They paired really well with the ice cream sundae.

We will be back for cocktails and live music, for sure. But maybe we’ll stick to the oysters and fries in terms of food.

CANARY CLUB
303 Broome St
New York, NY 10002

New Spicy Village

My wife and I finally got over here to try the noodles.

But first, we put down some pork dumplings.

Despite being a little bit soupy, the dry hand-pulled noodles were awesome. We tried the spicy chicken and spicy oxtail. I give the edge to the chicken, mainly because the oxtail wasnt stewed or slow cooked long enough. The bones were cut very thin so that they cook faster, but that unfortunately means the meat will be a bit less tender. Still great though.

Will definitely be back to try the lamb noodles.

NEW SPICY VILLAGE
118 Eldridge St
New York, NY 10002