Time to update the old what to eat at Chelsea Market post. But instead of simply updating it, I will just make a fresh one. As fresh as the Hummus at Dizengoff, the latest sensation to hit the market. You can say what you want about the market. Its increasingly busy, packed with tourists, and theres a decent chance a large polish gentleman will step on your feet. But largely due to that foot traffic, the market also attracts vendors like no other market or food court in NYC. For every Amy’s Bread, and Num Pang that you can find all over town, there are 10 vendors and purveyors that are unique to the market. And besides, the traffic doesnt hamper my movement much. I come, I eat, I go, juts like anywhere else. Since I’ve been to the market around 20 times this year alone, I will only post about the food that I like and target these days, not something I’ve eaten 3 years ago and now dont even look at that direction anymore (I’m looking at you Rana!)
Lobster Roll at Cull and Pistol – No Surprise here. I’m attracted to this place like a magnet, like Germans to David Hasseloff. Even when I go elsewhere, I often stop by to check out the ever-changing menu, and on occasion see a game and plan changer (Lobster Ramen!). This is my go-to Seafood spot in NYC, and an obvious inclusion in the Z-List. Although I’m picking the lobster roll for the purpose of this post, the entire menu is essentially the freshest of the fresh from the Lobster Place next door. While most tourists head to LP for the miniature $18 roll, this is much more like it, albeit at $27. I go for the Connecticut style, hefty amount of mouthwatering, buttery, warm claw meat with a touch of mayo stuffed inside a toasty bun with a good amount of great fries
Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup at Very Fresh Noodles – One of the newest kids on the block. As of this writing, they are still under soft opening with a minimal menu, though this kind of menu works for me. Its not the size, but what you do with it, and how you pull the noodle that matters! Two giant pulled Biang noodles go into the bowl along with slow cooked braised beef shanks, scallion, cilantro, and chili oil. The aromatic beef broth packs plenty of heat and leaves a nice tingle for some time. The noodles are a bit uneven, with some parts chewier than others, but a delicious dish all around. Sitting is very limited in that hidden corner of the market
Adobada at Los Tacos #1. The Shawarma of the south. First rule of fight club: you see a line you stand on it, as long as its not the bathroom line. Second rule of fight club: stand on this line, enjoy the view of the pork goodness dancing on a spit and become its Tango partner a short time after. The lines move quick, but your mouth should move slowly to the tune of this juicy marinated pork awesomeness. Dont yield to temptation and add more ingredients because they are there and they are free. You dont want the flavors of some of our best tacos to get lost. (Note: I was clearly very hungry when I wrote this)
Double Cheeseburger at Creamline. Simple American classics suggests, just like with Los Tacos, quite busy with families, school groups, and other Ziggys who simply admire the craftsmanship. Grass Fed dry-aged burgers from the butchers next food (Dickson’s), with perfectly matched soft sesame bun makes this one of the best “fast food” type burgers I’ve had in a while. Order, take a number, and look for a seat which I usually find. Who said there’s no seating in CM? I did! But thats not the case anymore, especially with the selections in this post. Turkey Burger here is good as well
Chirashi Bowl at Lobster Place – Did I mention that Lobster Place has some of the freshest fish in town (see Cull & Pistol)? As much as I love lobster its usually the last thing on my mind when I’m inside (and not next door). I get a seat at the Sushi counter and order the same thing every single time, the wonderful Chirashi bowl. Then I order this at other Sushi places and weep a little. Last time I got dry rice shaped like a heart. I will just let the picture do the talking here
Hot Dog at Dickson’s Farmstand. Hot Dog killed the (previously recommended) Pastrami star. Instead of paying for a dirty street hot dog, how about spending a few more bucks for a clean naturally raised beef dog. Or the Mortadella dog that gives me just about the same satisfaction except that its much more twitter friendly. Mortadella hot dog just looks and sounds much cooler than “Hey look at me, I’m eating a hot dog, that looks like any other hot dog.
Hummus at Dizengoff. The hottest, most anticipated addition to the market since they added another women’s bathroom. This is a Hummuseria by Michael Solomonov and the rest of the team behind Philly famed Zahav. Solomonov’s acclaimed hummus has been featured in cookbooks, magazines, children books (“Goodnight Hummus”), and now found its way in section C of Chelsea Market (the hottest section to hit the market since section B!). Hummus, as fresh as it can get, can be topped with slow cooked lamb neck, egg, tehini, among other seasonal goodies. You also get a small salad, some pickles, and a wonderfully chewy thick pita bread straight out of the pizza-like oven. Once you are half way into the hummus, start experimenting with the intense homemade red S’hug sitting on the counter. And yeah, try sitting at the counter watching the men and women at work
Halvah at Seed + Mill. Raise your hand if you never had Halvah. Halva is one of those funny trendy items hitting the streets of NYC as of late. Halvah ice cream, halvah donuts, halvah ramen. Ok maybe not. But its funny to me since I’ve been eating Halvah for breakfast with either bagel or fresh baguette for as long as I remember. And whenever I’m around Seed+Mill it never ceases to amaze me how many people are trying Halvah for the first time, and go “fascinating”, “what a concept”, “who knew”. Well, we all knew pretty much, but even if you know your Halvah you can try it for free here for yourself.
Gelato at L’Arte del Gelato – This is not your standard, typical NYC gelato or ice cream. Great raw material like Hazelnuts from the Langhe hills of Piedmont. This is just about as good as it gets. And if you always wandered about the difference between ice cream and gelato, this is a good place to see the difference, starting with the way it looks
Chocolate Chip Cookie with Caramel at Liddabit – This is simply an awesome cookie! Dont believe me? Just ask my friend Lou who is a self proclaimed cookie snob. When I brought him the cookie, this is how the conversation went
“So, how do you like it?”
“This is a good cookie!”
See? What sets it a part for me is not so much the caramel, but the liberal use of dark chocolate chunks all around.
Enjoy Chelsea Market, and remember… stay hungry my friends. (I dont even know what it means anymore honestly)