manhattan Archive

Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop

shoyu ramen

Late last year, Gotham West Market opened on super super west side of Manhattan (oh dude what a walk from the A/C train). It’s basically a big food court like space with food “stalls” from The Cannibal, Little Chef (from Caroline Fidanza owner of Saltie), Court Street Grocers, etc and The Brooklyn Kitchen for your kitchen supply needs. Though one of the more anticipated opening was Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop. From what I have read online, Ivan Orkin is suppose to be a genius at ramen making and for him to be popular in Japan that’s a pretty huge deal.

There was so much hype for this place. Check out what Howard and I thought about the ramen.

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Fried Chicken Sandwich: Joseph Leonard

Joseph Leonard

Clay (aka Ultraclay) pointed me to the fried chicken sandwich at Joseph Leonard a while back. He told me he had a hard time picking his favorite fried chicken sandwich. It came down to Allswell and Joseph Leonard. So as a curious eater, I had to check it out sooner than later.

Joseph Leonard has been on my “to-go” list for a while now but like so many places, I just never got around to it. And so this is why I’m glad I’m doing this project. Trying out new places, new fried chicken dishes, new experiences. Cause of this project I was able to cross this place off my list.

They only serve the fried chicken sandwich during lunch, brunch and late night hours. I had a free day on a random Friday and decided to check it out.

Even at 11:30am the place was nearly packed. I grabbed a seat at the counter (lovely space and light!) and ordered a beer and the fried chicken sandwich. For $14, the sandwich came with mayo, tobasco, honey, bread and butter cucumbers and served with a side of chips. This was one awesome sandwich and totally understand why Clay would have a hard time deciding. I especially love the mayo, spicy, and sweet combination. I’m having a hard time deciding which sandwich is better also but does that matter? Why can’t we have 2 favorite chicken sandwiches?

Though, I do prefer fries over chips.

Joseph Leonard 170 Waverly Pl, West Village

See what other fried chickens I have eaten for my fried chicken project.

The Vegetarian Spicy Rizzak

tiny's giant sandwich

Although I didn’t accomplish everything I wanted to do in 2013, I did manage to finally get to Tiny’s Giant Sandwich Shop. This Lower East Side sandwich shop has been on my list for a while, mostly for a creation called the Spicy Rizzak — of which there is a vegetarian version. The sandwich is piled high with vegetarian turkey, tomato, raw onion, melted cheese, and vegetarian bacon. At least it usually is, after I ordered my server came back to let me know they were out of veggie bacon. He offered avocado instead, which I of course accepted. Avocado may have nothing in common with the flavor or texture of bacon, even the veggie kind, but it still makes everything delicious. The sandwich is slathered in a slightly spicy mayo-like sauce, which really makes the sandwich something special. The only off thing was the fact that they dropped five or six potato chips on the plate; either give me a serving of chips or don’t.

See what Donny thought of their Tuna Melt.

Tiny’s Giant Sandwich Shop — 129 Rivington St

Fried Chicken: The Dutch

The Dutch

I told myself that I will never venture out to SoHo during the weekends (and also Chinatown). I guess if you love crowds, tourists, tourists with cameras, tourists walking real slow and tourists stopping in the middle of the sidewalk then you’re probably fine with going to SoHo on the weekends.

Nope, never say never because I found myself angrily dodging all the shoppers and tourists in SoHo to get to my destination, The Dutch. My friend was super smart and had made reservations for brunch (which I recommend) because the place was packed.

At The Dutch they serve the Hot Fried Chicken with honey biscuits and slaw for $21. They also gave us a bottle of hot sauce. Hot sauce on everything!

4 pieces of fried chicken, about half a chicken, were cooked beautifully, tasty, juicy and crunchy. What could be better? Well, the biscuits! These little gems were mighty delicious. The honey glaze on top made it shiny under the Saturday brunch sun. Also what can be more grand than eating fried chicken and biscuits on a silver pan like that?! Though it was a little weird with the piece of cloth sitting underneath the food, easier to clean the pan?

Besides brunch, the fried chicken is also served during lunch hour.

The Dutch – 131 Sullivan St and Prince St, SoHo New York

See what other fried chickens I have eaten for my fried chicken project.

Fried Chicken: Momofuku Fried Chicken Dinner

Momofuku

Ah yes, another large format dinner. Unlike the one I had at The Breslin, the Momofuku’s version was less gut busting and cheaper. For $125 (it was $100 when I went couple months ago), you get 2 whole fried chicken (half in Korean style and half in Southern style with Old Bay seasoning) with fixins which was a bowl of veggies, moo shu pancakes and sauces.

Many have said that David Chang makes one of the bestest fried chicken in the city. Well I’m going to have to disagree with those people. While the pieces of chicken were good they definitely weren’t great. The Southern style, I only got a hint of the Old Bay which I thought would’ve made the chicken more interesting if there was more of the seasoning. The batter was light, probably the lightest I had so far, which was good.

As for the Korean style, which was thrice fried compared to the Southern style’s single fried, was a little spicy and sticky from the glaze. I guess compared to the single fried Southern style, I was less thrilled about it.

While I don’t think it’s the best fried chicken, it was definitely good and between 8 people, it was my cheapest meal at Momofuku. Though at the end of the day, I was able to have a family style meal with 7 of my friends and that was pretty awesome.

- Momofuku Noodle Bar 171 1st Ave. East Village, New York

See what other fried chickens I have eaten for my fried chicken project.

Shanghai-Style Appetizers At Full House Cafe

There are so many regional Chinese cuisines that it’s hard to keep up. Some, like Sichuan and Cantonese, I feel like I’ve got a pretty good handle on. Others are becoming more familiar; the food from Shaanxi province is becoming more familiar thanks to the Xi’an Famous/Biang! family of restaurants, and Fu Run was a nice introduction to the food of the northern Dongbei region. Shanghai-style food is something I was not familiar with, but when I read this article over on the Village Voice blog, I figured it was time to get acquainted. My parents took me for my birthday, and the cold appetizers were really the highlight of the meal. My favorite was the Kao Fu Shanghai Style, above. The waiter described it as “tofu in a black sauce,” but it’s actually a wheat gluten product. The sauce was an intriguing mix of salty and sweet, and the chewy wood ear mushrooms and the crunchy peanuts added an interesting textural contrast. The fact that it was served cold made it even more unusual, in a good way.

Also good was the Vegetarian Mock Duck; a chewy bean curd skin wrapped around chopped mushrooms, also served cold. The Scallion Pancakes and the Ma Po Tofu were more familiar, and less interesting dishes, and contributed nothing to my knowledge of Shanghai cuisine — but that’s my own fault for ordering them.

Full House Cafe — 97 Bowery

Knife Cut Noodles

knife cut noodles

Sure, the place is called Tasty Hand Pulled Noodles, but on a recent visit I had the knife cut noodles. If you’re not familiar with the technique, they take a big hunk of dough and use a knife to slice off thin, ragged noodles of various lengths and thickness. Since each noodle is unique, you never know what you’re going to get. I got them fried, instead of in a broth, which this type of noodle I think is the right way to go. Less interesting were the cucumbers in vinegar, which were surprisingly bland — they can’t hold a candle to the ones we had at Biang!

Tasty Hand Pulled Noodles — 1 Doyers St., NYC