Lower East Side Bar Crawl: Post-Sandy Style

Forgtmenot co-owner Abby Sierros was serving up candlelight, cold draft beer and steak frites last night.

The streets were dark and quiet last night, as most Lower East Side residents huddled in their homes or fled to friends and relatives, but for those who ventured out post-superstorm Sandy, food, drink and comaraderie were on tap at several bars and restaurants. Just as many locally owned coffee shops were functioning while Starbucks all over town remained locked up tight, the establishments that opened their doors to their neighbors last night were generally the ones owned by the neighbors. There were no honking taxis or stretch limos dropping off stiletto-clad visitors from outside the LES, no DJs on the scene, just locals chilling out with each other and killing time until life gets back to normal.

169 Bar on East Broadway ran a small generator and a big party.

At 169 bar on East Broadway shortly after 7 p.m., the beer-and-a-shot $3 happy hour special was flowing freely to patrons relieved to get out of the house for a while, and pleasantly surprised to find generator-powered lights, plenty of company and even a little food. At Forgetmenot on Division Street, co-owners Abbie and Paul Sierros had a system. Abbie was behind the candelabra-lit bar, cheerfully offering to cook anything from the remaining contents of her refrigerator: steak, french fries and eggs. Meanwhile, Paul kept the power coming via a long extension cord plugged into an electrical inverter in a van parked out front.

Barrio Chino

barriochino

Cusine: Mexican
Address: 253 Broome St. (near Orchard)/map
Phone: 212-228-6710
Hours:  Mon-Fri 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m.; weekends 10 a.m.-1 a.m.
Menu/web site
Reservations: yes
Delivery: no

More than a decade after arriving on the “below Delancey” restaurant scene, Barrio Chino is still one of the most popular spots for good, inexpensive food and interesting drinks.  Taking its cues from the neighborhood’s Latino and Chinese cultures, the decor is eclectic.  Most everything on the menu is good; we especially like the tortilla soup, soft tacos and enchiladas verdes.  The margaritas, made with Barrio Chino’s signature infused tequilas, are top notch and never too sweet.  The staff is friendly and laid back, but the place is tiny, so if you’re not prepared for a wait, weekday lunch might be your best option.