Category Archives: Lower East Side/Chinatown

Mighties

Mighties is a new burger joint that just opened in the Market Line food hall at Essex and Delancey. Their regular burger is two 5oz patties with American cheese, LTOP and special sauce. Notice how thin the toppings are sliced… Expert level.

This thing is pretty damn great, and with Ends Meat beef in the mix, you know you’re getting meat from a small farm operation with fresh hanging beef that went directly from the farm to the butchers in Brooklyn after being split in half.

They also have some amazing hot dogs on the menu:

And on Fridays they offer a dry aged burger that will blow you away.

This is a 7oz beast that really brings the funk.

I think this might be my new favorite burger in town for this fast-casual style.

Want something secret/special that’s off the menu? Ask Nash or Fabian for the chopped cheese fries. Killer!

I’m psyched that this is in my hood now. I’ll be here pretty often!

MIGHTIES
115 Delancey St
New York, NY 10002

Banh Mi Co Ut

This little Vietnamese sandwich joint in Chinatown serves up some of the best I’ve had. The bread really sets this place apart from the rest.

At this point, I’ve tried about six different kinds, and my favorite is the #4, the traditional sandwich but with SMOKED Viet ham rather than regular. I also like to order with hot peppers and extra cilantro. They don’t charge!

BANH MI CO UT
83 Elizabeth St
New York, NY 10013

Cervos

My wife and I finally tried this spot. It’s been getting very popular lately in the food scene, mainly because of the crispy shrimp heads seen here:

They paired nicely with the house hot sauce.

They’re delicious! But so are the other items they offer, like the mussels escabeche:

The fried skate wing:

And the piri piri chicken with french fries:

Fries were perfect, chicken was juicy! Great cocktails as well.

We’ll definitely be back to try the Manila clams and a few other items that looked tasty.

CERVOS
43 Canal St
New York, NY 10002

The Ten Bells

This nice wine bar in the Lower East Side has an awesome happy hour deal that includes $18 carafes of red, white or rose along with dollar oysters in three varieties, every day from open until 7pm. On weekends they open at 3pm so my wife and I popped in to try a bunch of stuff. We were the first ones at the bar. This is what one side of it looks like:

The wine was delicious.

And so was this tomato flavored brandy:

For bites, we did two dozen oysters (eight of each variety, all nicely cleaned and fresh);

Steak tartare (this was really nicely prepared – one of the better tartares I’ve had);

And boquerones/anchovies.

Everything was great, and I can’t wait to go back for more.

THE TEN BELLS
247 Broome St
New York, NY 10002

Bar Belly

Bar Belly has a pretty great happy hour that features dollar oysters, among other deals. We went with two dozen of these delicious, crisp, clean oysters, some fries for $6, and, of course, drinks. I highly recommend this oyster happy hour. It goes until 7pm every night.

BAR BELLY
14 Orchard St
New York, NY 10002

Mila’s Fish & Hook

My wife and I popped in here for a quick lunch and to take advantage of the all day dollar oyster special.

The oysters were great. Mild, creamy, fresh and crisp. I only wish they also served them with horseradish and a cocktail sauce. The grilled calamari appetizer was great, served atop a salad of arugula with balsamic and orange supremes.

My wife had fish tacos, which were very nice (no pics), and I had the burger. This was great, though I wish I had gone with cheddar instead of Swiss (they were out of American). That little thing on top, under the pickles, is crispy cheese! That was a nice bonus.

We will definitely be going back here.

MILA’S FISH & HOOK
81 Ludlow St
New York, NY 10002

Wo Hop

How have I never reviewed this place in all my years living here, and all my times eating here – especially from way back when I went to Law School and lived/worked nearby for years after?

Wo Hop is a NYC institution. They’ve been serving up excellent and affordable Chinese food in their iconic downstairs location since 1938! I have to say, the fried wontons are some of the best I’ve ever had.

On this visit, my wife and I had the sliced chicken with baby corn. I was expecting this to be much spicier, being printed in RED on the menu and under the spicy Szechaun section, but it was still delicious.

We also had the 4D chow fun, which has 4 different proteins (shrimp, beef, chicken and roast pork). This was the better dish.

They’re still keeping prices very low here, which is great. Even the t-shirt prices haven’t changed since I purchased one back in 2000 – $10!

If you’ve never been, you definitely should go at least once, even if it’s just to say that you’ve been there.

WO HOP
17 Mott St
New York, NY 10013

Casa Mezcal

Casa Mezcal is a fun Mexican bar/restaurant on Orchard Street that serves up some great food and drinks.

My wife and I stopped in here on a whim because a place nearby where we wanted to eat was closed for renovations. It turned out to be a nice unforeseen change of plans.

We noticed that they give free shots of mezcal if you post and tag them on Instagram, so that was a no brainer for me.

Those mezcal shots were deliciously hibiscus flavored and spice-rimmed. I tried one of their sipping mezcal too and really liked it (Del Maguey Wild Jabali).

They also had awesome cocktails on the menu. We tried a couple and loved both.

Speaking of drinks, this place has an awesome bar set up. There is even seating there now, COVID be damned!

We started with the carb meat tostada, which was our favorite item of the meal.

They accidentally brought out an order of chicken quesadillas instead of my burrito. I let them know and they took it off the bill. However, rather than let it go to waste, they told us to keep it anyway. So I gave the value of the item extra in tip at the end to make up for it. That was a really nice move on their part so I wanted to make them whole.

Both were excellent, but the burrito was probably one of the best I’ve had lately. My wife got fish tacos, which I didn’t shoot, but they were the best entree.

Over all this was a really great meal with really great drinks. We will definitely be back here.

CASA MEZCAL
86 Orchard St
New York, NY 10002

El Castillo De Jagua II

A $7 cubano sandwich stuffed to the gills with pernil, a $4 banana shake, a juicy-ass half roast chicken and an ungodly amount of yellow rice? You can’t go wrong at El Castillo de Jagua. This second location, which is right near our new place, offers some amazing food at amazing prices.

The Cuban was probably our favorite. Definitely could benefit from extra pickles and extra ham, but at $7 bucks with perfectly toasted and pressed bread, lots of pernil, and little grease, we were thrilled.

Speaking of, the pernil entree itself was juicy and MASSIVE in terms of serving size.

The roast half chicken comes with exquisitely crispy skin that somehow still remains juicy as well.

The fried pork meat was a blast. It reminded me of Chinese boneless spare ribs, but less sticky sweetness and more of crispy savoriness.

The main dishes come with copious amounts of rice. We picked yellow instead of white. Beans came with the mains as well (not pictured individually, but see the last photo for the serving size to the left of my hand).

The fried plantains had just enough sweetness to make them almost dessert-like.

Speaking of desserts, we were impressed with both the banana and sour sop shakes.

I can NOT wait to explore this menu some more!

EL CASTILLO DE JAGUA
521 Grand St A
New York, NY 10002

Dhamaka

My wife and I tried Dhamaka last night, using a gift certificate that our friends gave us as a housewarming.

We started with some of their delicious cocktails, and then moved right into some meaty apps. The first thing that came out was my favorite item of the meal – lamb ribs!

These had such awesome flavor and tenderness. The mint chutney that came with it is something they should sell by the jar!

Next up, smoked goat belly. This was cleverly presented in a tiny barrel smoker:

It was a bit too aggressive on the salt level, but over all we loved it. It was similar to some kofta / meatball skewer dishes that we’ve had.

These prawns were a little bit overcooked, as they were difficult to pull from the shell. They were spicy and really tasty, however. Especially the heads.

Our first main was the stewed mutton dish. They smush an entire bulb of roasted garlic into this, paper and all, so be prepared for dragon breath as well as picking garlic paper out of your bites of food! The dragon breath wasn’t so bad actually, but I wish they somehow removed the paper first.

Our other main was this delicious chicken and rice dish.

The chicken is bone-in, so the meat remains really juicy and tender. The ]rice reminded me of a really tasty, elevated rice-a-roni! Love that stuff.

That about covers it. We will definitely be eating here again!

Dhamaka
119 Delancey St
New York, NY 10002