Saturday, June 4, 2011

Fidi Food

Food options here in the Financial District are not the best. You have some decent spots among the restaurants of Front Street and a few bars on Stone Street, but these spots could get old. Tired of going to Chipotle, I roamed the area looking for lunch. I ended up at Nicky's Vietnamese Sandwiches. I've passed by this small sandwich shop on Nassau Street before, but the "cash only" sign always made me continue my path. I never have cash on me, but today I do; so I stopped in. A three woman team ran Nicky's. One lady at the cashier while the other two held down the BOH (back of house). One lady was banging out sandwiches in the prep station while the other lady was in the kitchen actually cooking the food.

I got the Pork Sandwich ($5.75), which came with a grilled bbq pork, pickled carrots, and cilantro. I think there might have been some daikon in there too, but the amount of carrots seemed to hide the other veggie. The portion size was a bit small, but it was fine for the price. The sandwich was decent, but I felt it was built wrong. The combinations inside the sandwich were so separate that bites would usually only get you one ingredient. Isn't the point of a sandwich to combine all ingredients in a delicious harmony? I rearranged my sandwich and it was much better when I got a little of everything. Decent spot to check out if you're in the area but nothing worth making the trip for. Supposedly the Pho is off the hook! Maybe next time I'm craving some Vietnamese!

Bon Chon (located on John St) is known for their Korean Fried Chicken. I'm no stranger to their chicken as I've ordered it several times from when I moved to the neighborhood. This time, we went there and boy was I surprised. The place was packed! Maybe its because the chicken is the bomb or maybe its because they were serving $3 beers. Maybe it was a combination of the two--good chicken and beer! The vibe at Bon Chon was lively and so not expected. Music was playing, TVs were showing the sports, and people were getting ready to start their weekend.

I'd definitely recommend checking out Bon Chon for their soy garlic/spicy soy garlic chicken. You could get regular size chicken, wings, or boneless--OR a combination of all three. The spicy soy garlic has some heat to it, so split it between spicy and regular if you're not sure. Also the combination platter is a good started. Yeah, its more fried shit; but its good. Wash it down with some cold summer ales and you will have a nice little spot that is very affordable. Maybe not a place to go if you're trying to get in shape for the summer; but its worth the calories if you're looking for untraditional fried chicken.

Luke's Lobster
A newcomer to the financial district is Luke's Lobster on South William St. Luke Holden, owner of Luke's Lobster started the business in 2009 (East Village location) after growing tired of his banking job. Growing up in Maine, he knew good seafood and he felt that NYC lacked a good lobster roll. With four locations in NYC, one in DC, and one food truck--Luke's Lobster is constantly referred to as New York City's best lobster roll. Luke's Lobster prides themselves on fresh lobster shipped right from Maine, but also affordable prices. Holden is able to sell a lobster roll for $15 while others sell lesser quality rolls for $24 because of his supplier--his dad. Luke's father owns a seafood processing company in Maine, so you could imagine he gets a pretty good deal.

Luke's prepares their rolls "Maine style" with chilled seafood atop a buttered and toasted New England-style split-top bun with a swipe of mayo, a sprinkle of lemon butter, and a dash of secret spices. This preparation allows you to really taste the fresh, deliciousness of the seafood while kicking it up a notch. There's something magical about lemon and seafood and the secret spices are subtle enough to add flavor without overpowering the seafood. I got the Taste of Maine which comes with half a lobster roll, half a crab roll, half a shrimp roll, a Maine Root Soda, a pair of Empress crab claws, and Miss Vickie's chips. This combination will set you back $21, but thats a small price to pay for experiencing the awesome, fresh seafood. The portions are kind of small, but its perfect for a light summer meal. The price must be worth it because Luke's keeps expanding and doesn't show any signs of slowing down. I'm interested to see how the Financial District location does considering the area gets pretty desolate at nights and on weekends. I think many restauranteurs are seeing a potential need for good food down here in the Fidi, so look for new restaurants popping up!

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