TLD Food Wire: Azul, NY Mag Nods, Chinatown Deals, Perfect Picnic

The caneles with dulce de leche at Azul, where a new team is in charge.

Here’s the mid-week roundup of neighborhood restaurant news:

  • The Daily News talks to the new culinary team at Azul on Stanton Street, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a revamp of its menu by Argentinian natives.
  • New York Magazine’s annual “Cheap Eats” issue highlights many local favorites: Cocoron, Souvlaki GR, the turkey sandwich at Stellina and the al fresco options at Hester Street Fair.
  • Speaking of cheap eats, Serious Eats offers its selections for 10 great meals under $6 in Chinatown, including nods for Vanessa’s Dumplings and Great NY Noodletown.
  • The NYT’s Diners Journal checks out the new picnic outfitter on Clinton Street.

 

Congee Village

The best congee (26 varieties) in New York City can be found at this large restaurant on Allen Street, and its sister outpost on the Bowery. But there’s a huge menu (250 items long) featuring a wide variety of Cantonese and Hong Kong specialties. The crispy garlic chicken is legendary. Other favorites include: razor clams in a salty black bean sauce, sweet potato greens, roast duck with meatballs and chicken with black mushrooms. There are four party rooms downstairs, each featuring  a multi-lingual karaoke machine!

100 Allen Street, near Broome

212-941-1818

Open 10:30am-12:30am Monday-Thursday & Sunday, 10:30am-2am Friday & Saturday

Web site

Delivery

Congee Bowery

Revel in the tacky decor as you slurp down big bowls of congee (rice porridge). There’s an extensive menu featuring many other Cantonese dishes.One of the best bargains in the neighborhood – and they deliver!

207 Bowery, near Rivington

212-766-2828

Open 11am-midnight every day

Web site

Delivery

El Nuevo Amanecar

A Mexican spot on Stanton Street serving all the standards (tacos, burritos, enchiladas) — plus lethal margaritas. Don’t expect speedy or attentive service, but if you don’t mind waiting, it’s a good time.

117 Stanton, at Essex

(212) 387-9115

Hours Daily 11am-11pm

Menu

Delivery

Creperie

A favorite of late night bar crowds, this “hole in the wall” spot serves sweet and savory crepes until the wee hours.

135 Ludlow, near Rivington

212-979-5521 or 212-253-6705

Hours Sunday-Thursday 11am-3am; Friday-Saturday 11am-4am

Web site

Cash only, late night

Bun & Company

CLOSED

Cambodian-style sandwiches – served in gourmet hot dog buns and stuffed with pulled pork, brisket, catfish and other interesting  ingredients.

78 Rivington, near Orchard

212-253-8441

Hours Monday: 12pm-10pm; Tuesday-Wednesday: 12pm-12am; Thursday-Saturday: 12pm-2am; Sunday: 12pm-10pm

Web site

Delivery

Birdbath Bakery

The organic cafe in the New Museum run by Maury Rubin of the City Bakery. There’s a nice selection of pastries, sandwiches, soups and salads.

235 Bowery, at Prince

212-219-1222

Hours Wed: 11am-6pm Thu: 11am-9pm Fri-Sun: 11am-6pm

Menu

Big Hing Wong

A dependable Cantonese place on Grand Street, specializing in noodles, congee and a $5.95 lunch special.

300 Grand Street, between Eldridge and Allen

(212) 925-1662

Hours 8am-10pm

Menu

Delivery, Cash only

Classic Coffee Shop

Like the sign inside says, Carmine Morales has been “serving real Lower East Siders since 1976.”  The Classic Coffee Shop is only open weekdays. The menu is super-basic: egg sandwiches, grilled cheese, pb&j, cold cuts. But the price is right. A turkey sandwich, for instance, will set you back $3.50. Coffee is a buck. This is a place to be treasured while it’s still around.

56 Hester, near Ludlow

917-685-3306

Mon-Fri, 8am-4pm; Sat-Sun, closed

Menu

Cibao

Dominican diner serves up comforting stews and soups, plus a tasty cubano. The tostones (fried plantains) are also a highlight.

72 Clinton, near Rivington

212-228-0873

Sun-Thu, 8am-9pm; Fri-Sat, 8am-10pm

Menu

Delivery

Cheeky Sandwiches

The white picket fence signals your arrival at the LES’s New Orleans-style sandwich shop. Owner Din Yates offers a half dozen or so made-to-order creations. There’s fried chicken on a biscuit, pulled pork, delicious oyster and shrimp po’ boys, etc. And for breakfast, beignets and Cafe du Monde coffee. Din’s a friendly, laid back guy who quickly established a loyal following in the neighborhood. A series of glowing reviews has not hurt business.

35 Orchard, near Hester

No phone

Monday-Friday 9am-6pm, Weekends 10-6, but actually open until 8 most days

Menu

Pizza Shack

A dependable option for pizza and so much more (you can get everything from a burger to Shrimp Scampi).  At least one Lo-Down reader touts the meatballs. Fast delivery, gentle prices.

525 Grand Street, near Henry

212-477-3374

Menu

Delivery

Tiengarden

A vegan Chinese restaurant that also prepares dishes without garlic and onion (gasp!). Stay away from the mock meat dishes.

170 Allen, near Stanton

212-388-1364

Hours Mon-Sat, 12:30pm-10:30pm; Sun, closed

Menu

FEATURES

Chinese, vegan, delivery, lunch

Wing Shoon

In the former home of the legendary Garden Cafeteria, this old-school Cantonese restaurant does a reasonably decent job with dim sum, barbecued meats and seafood dishes. The price is right. Downside: they don’t deliver.

165 East Broadway, at Rutgers

212-780-0238

Hours: 7am-11pm

Menu

Lam Zhou

There’s no English sign and you can’t expect a warm welcome, but these hand pulled noodle soups and (very thin-skinned) dumplings are some of the best in the neighborhood. A bag of 50 frozen dumplings will set you back 8 bucks.

144 East Broadway, near Essex

(212) 566-6933

Menu