6 Vendors and a Funeral
“In a world… where soups and salads reign lunch supreme.. and halal carts are routine… one man will rise… and change lunch!” “A story about love, betrayal, and Ramen” “The rise and fall of a food blogger, battling food addiction” (who finally saw his demise when a little food court consisting mostly of 6 food vendors opened on the far west side, right near the rehab clinic). In theaters near you.
What I’m trying to say is that I’ve been to Gotham West Market a lot, about once, sometimes twice a week since it opened about 4 months ago. I brought family, friends, enemies, co-workers and even my rabbi to the market. As I said before, Gotham West is the most thrilling thing to happen to Hell’s Kitchen since Ezra the Falafel Nazi cracked a smile 4 years ago.
But lets get down to business. There are actually more than 6 vendors at Gotham West. There’s also a kitchen supply store, a Coffee shop, and you guessed it, a bicycle shop. But for the purpose of this post I will focus on the 6 hand picked, artisanal vendors that can… well.. pretty much kill you.
Buttermilk Battered Chicken Sandwich at Genuine Roadside – One bite of this Chicken Sandwich and you’ll understand why its in this space. While its not gonna be on Man vs. Food any time soon for its size, this is a very satisfying sandwich, and combined with the Shake Shack-upgrade fries, very filling. The fried Chicken as everything else here, is made to order and the result is one heck of a juicy and flavorful sandwich. The mayo, slaw with apples – addition by addition. And while the tourists wait in line for the Shake Shack revelation, only to find out they need to fight another tourist for standing room eating, have a burger here that is just as good if not better, in a comfortable environment. Owner Avroko, the firm who designed Gotham West have done a great job with Genuine Roadside, the only original vendor in the market
Smoked Whitefish Donburi at Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop - Not exactly a shocker here after including the Donburi in the best of 2013 list. Ok, confession time, Out of 8 or so visits I believe I tried everything on the menu and more, except for one little thing… the Ramen. Thats more of a testament to the rest of the dishes here, and to a ramen filled neighborhood. The whitefish Donburi was love at first smell with its smokiness, sweet soy dashi, cucumber, scallion, over this delicious white rice. Perfection in a bowl. And a reminder that Jewish food can mesh with any cuisine. Well, except for Gefilte Fish.. FEH!
Not a fan of whitefish? Try the pork Donburi, or any of the Mazemens (slightly partial to the garlic), or well… the Ramen. Let me know how it is
Pig’s Head Cuban Sandwich at The Cannibal – This may very well be the Cuban to beat in NYC. Delicious super tender slow roasted funky pork, Vermont Ham, semi melted cheese and pickles, served warm with perfectly crispy bread. Not to be confused with another neighborhood fave, Casellula’s fine Pig’s Ass Sandwich. One tastes like head, while the other tastes like ass. And while you at it, try the “Shrimp Roll” as well at the Cannibal. Like the hotdog and lobster roll had a baby. A beautiful healthy, delicious baby, called Shmuel, after uncle Shmuel. Even though he was a big drunk, he would always send money
Egg Bowl at Little Chef – I’m writing this one with great difficulties after taking a glance at the pictures of this dish. My stomach is suddenly talking to me in Armenian. As with her popular Williamsburg sandwich shop Saltie, freshness is key with Caroline Fidanza. In the fall the egg bowl featured fresh greens, assorted roasted veggies like broccoli and potatoes and just about the tastiest bread crumbs you will ever have. The same breadcrumbs are featured in the winter version along with porky cranberry beans, salsa rojas (roasted red salsa). And its another proof that everything looks and tastes that much better with a fried egg
Bacon Wrapped Dates at El Colmado - Explosive come to mind. This is a common Spanish tapas dish that is often uneventful for us but not here. Its larger than usual and stuffed better with Almond and Valdeon cheese. A classic dish from the classic team of Seamus Mullen and Gil Avital of West Village hotspot Tertullia. Welcome to the neighborhood guys. The dates are pictures here on the right
Pork Shoulder at Court Street Grocers – Pork Shoulder, Mayo, Provolone, Broccoli Rabe, Red Peppers for much needed acidity, Pecorino Romano, on a Hero Roll. Need I say more? Simply Outstanding. And if you ever in the mood for an Italian, the Mortadella, Salami, Hot Coppa, Swiss, Mozzarella, Pecorino Romano, Arugula, Red Onion, Mayo, “CSG” Hoagie Spread, Red Wine Vinaigrette, on Hero Roll as good as Italian gets in NYC