Excellent Dumpling House
Three meals in New York
But God I was happy to be back in New York!... If I got up in a restaurant and passed four tables on the way to the loo, there would be at least three conversations I’d be dying to join in.
From Edmund White City Boy part of city-pick New York
I like to eat and there is nowhere that more befits a scoffing spree than New York City. Food here is so epic that, for a while, I really believed that the Waldorf hotel had been named after a salad. At one end of the gastronomic skyline is $500 sushi atop the Time Warner building at Masa but there’s plenty of deliciousness at the other end - here are three great downturn eats, all under $15:
(114 Kenmare St – between Kenmare and Lafayette )
This corner Taqueria is open sixteen hours a day serving immense Mexican fast food. You squeeze in, place your order, leaving your name, and wait for your food to arrive on one of the metal stools by the window counter. I had a quesadilla loaded with chorizo and Chihuahua cheese (it’s a brand... really!) and a mango soda. R&B pounded from the kitchen and, outside, the neon sign hiccupped in the torrential rain that made the Mexican Hot Chocolate too good to resist.
Excellent Dumpling House
(111 Lafayette Street – between Walker and Canal)
There are so many great places to chomp in Chinatown and I wish I had a scientific story to tell you about my selection process. In truth, I was hung-over and the name had a comforting simplicity to it – this is where I would go to eat excellent dumplings. And I did, nestled at a shared table in a room full of office workers (discussing the art of the threatening email cc), a third of an NYPD squadron and a Chinese man, with the form and outfit of a movie bad guy, who wanted to talk F Scott Fitzgerald books with me. Steamed beef dumplings and Shanghai noodle soup were a carb explosion of loveliness and came served with “as much as you can drink” tea.
(116 N 5th Street – between Bedford and Berry)
Brunch is very serious stateside and can last well into the evening. Standing in the Shoreditch-esque neighbourhood of Williamsburg, the Two Door Tavern has a long wooden bar downstairs and an open fire upstairs. Brunch for me was Eggs Benedict, served with potatoes mixed with peppers, along with an explosive Bloody Mary but, with the $14.95 brunch deal, you can swap the Benedict for all kinds of yummy breakfast fare and the Bloody Mary for a Mimosa, a beer or even a cup of tea. I did cheat on the $15 challenge slightly and added jumbo crab cake to my Benedict which, with its mustardy kick, was a sound investment of an extra $4.
Fran Harris (with Excellent Dumpling House picture courtesy of Zombieite)