Category Archives: Food

Ed's Lobster Bar at World Financial Center

Claws Come Out On the Plaza…The Lobster Type

Ed's Lobster Bar at World Financial Center
Ed's Lobster Bar at World Financial Center

Anyone who has strolled through the World Financial Plaza might have noticed a few things recently. A big ol’ country house built smack in the middle of the esplanade, a glass encased metal contraption that has something to do with the weather, and not just one — but two new food stands on the upper level of the plaza.

The trend seemed to have started last year, when Merchants opened up a satellite BBQ stand on the plaza. The food was ambitious — filling in a gap for smokey bbq that doesn’t quite exist on this side of the highway. BBQ is not the easiest thing to cook up or serve to transient tourists and button down banker crowds. This year, they decided to forgo their spitfire aspirations and flip things up with a “quality burger.” Merchants has seemed to monopolize the majority of eateries this side of Broadway owning Merchants, Southwest, the newly acquired Steamers Landing and now Quality Burger.

So I was quite surprised to see standing right next to the expected Merchants fare — Ed’s Lobster Bar. One might plausibly expect that it’s just another Merchants restaurant, but this is not the case. Bringing their claws out on the plaza, Ed’s Lobster Bar serves up an easy to eat, summery and refreshing lobster roll. Some other sandwich offerings are a Grilled Shrimp Po’ Boy, Peekytoe Crab Roll, Tuna Roll and a Soft Shell Sandwich.

The average price for a meal is around $20. Which is not cheap, but unlike the impersonal burger conveyor belt service served at Quality Burger — customer service at the Lobster Bar is exceptional. Case and point, after arriving just before closing at 7pm– they stayed open long enough to receive a few late coming customers. After running out of grilled corn on the cob, they were able to procure a few stalks and offered them up to a patron for free. They were communicative towards the time it would take to grill shrimp skewers and lobster roll — all with a friendly smile and that it was no problem to stay open later than they needed to. Making the meal taste that much better.

So with open hearts and stomachs, we whole heartedly welcome Ed’s Lobster Bar to the neighborhood.

Five Guys is coming to our area

Rumblings of a Shake Shack — but Five Guys is a Better Bet

Five Guys is coming to our area
Rumblings of a Shake Shack, but Five Guys will be here first.

With the closing of Applebee’s this year, there has been a lot of speculation as to what new businesses will take over the newly and increasingly vacated spaces in the shadow of the new Goldman Sachs building.

Many have gone out on a limb to say that Danny Meyer of Shake Shack fame is setting his eyes on a downtown location. This would be great if confirmation of the move wasn’t veiled in so much secrecy. NY Eater has had it’s hand on the pulse of this alleged burger movement Downtown. Not to be overdone with the burgers, BLT is planning on opening their own Bar and Grill within The W this summer as well.

With all the hoopla surrounding the burger joint’s new arrival — I’m wondering why no one is touting another reputable burger institution, also setting it’s roots by our neighborhood.

Five Guys is set to open up on Fulton street shortly — which is a way more exciting newcomer for the following reasons:

1. Tourists + Lines for burgers = Hell.
Can you imagine the ruckus that the lines for Shake Shack would be like? For the fact that Shake Shack’s official website highlights waiting on line as part of the burger experience is sort of off putting. Why not show juicy burgers first?!

2. Five Guys has better fries.
Hands down. Plus the cost of a burger and fries from Five Guys would be half as much as a burger at PJ Clarke’s which requires us to BYOF* or else be left with a lonely hamburger.

3. Unlimited Toppings.
The topic choices at Five Guys is way more impressive than Shake Shack.

4.  Free peanuts.
Hey, in this crazy economy — if a burger joint is going to make you wait for a burger, being on a line won’t be the the only reward at Five Guys. Free peanuts for all who can ingest them.

To be fair — Shake Shack has ridiculously good custard, not sure I would welcome the lines, traffic and hoopla into our neighborhood for it. I was always glad to know that craziness existed far away from home. If the rumor becomes fact, we’ll just have to wait and see what the net effect will be.

The Applebee's in Battery Park City is gone.

Applebee’s Battery Park City Is Gone!

The Applebee's in Battery Park City is gone.
The Applebee's in Battery Park City is gone.

Apparently we really do know how to “Eat Good In the Neighborhood.” So much so, it seems that Applebee’s has closed for business in Battery Park City.

We have been careful to report the closing of this restaurant after our peek-a-boo experience with Ciao Bella, who had momentarily closed down in a rent dispute with Brookfield.

However, it seems that the Applebee’s is really gone for good as the location has been taken down from its official website.

We’ve put together some reasons as to why Applebee’s never had a chance:

1. There are way too many superior burger and wing restaurants in the area to choose over Applebee’s.

2. The location right smack next to our local New York Sports Club, made going into the Applebee’s a highly guilt ridden experience.

3. The food was just terrible. New Yorkers are naysayers of large food chains. (All except for IHOP. For the love of God will someone please open one of those in Manhattan?!)

We feel for Applebee’s closing down but now that Goldman Sach’s is in town — it will be interesting to watch what ends up in that space. There are murmurs of Shake Shack coming down this way. If that’s becomes a reality — things are about to taste a little bit better in this neck of the woods.

The Energy Kitchen

Get This Deal: 50% off Energy Kitchen

Guess what?!  All throughout the month of May, our recent Race to My Place contestant, Energy Kitchen, is offering 50% off all smoothies and salads.  This discount has come just in time for the hot and humid weather we’ve had all week! Grab a smoothie and enjoy Andrew Zuckerman’s Wisdom exhibit at the WFC, a stroll along the Esplanade, or check out some of the landmarks in our “Places” Tab!

Energy Kitchen
71 Nassau St
New York, NY 10038
(212) 577-8989

Tokyo Bay Sushi

Race to My Place: Sushi!

Tokyo Bay Sushi
Tokyo Bay Sushi

For each installment of Race to My Place, we pit two restaurants with similar cuisines, estimated delivery times and prices against each other to see whose delivery reigns supreme. This Friday, our contestants are Sun Cafe and Tokyo Bay Japanese Restaurant.

We ordered a Rainbow Roll to test both their sashimi and their California Rolls, a Spicy Tuna Roll, and a Shrimp Tempura Roll for those who are squeamish about eating raw fish.

Delivery Speed: TIE
I was extremely impressed — both restaurants somehow managed to deliver the food in exactly 16 minutes!  This does make me worry a little about whether or not they have the rolls pre-made, but we didn’t order anything that would take too long to prepare, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

Packaging & Presentation: Sun Cafe
Sun Cafe won the packaging and presentation category by a landslide.  It is rare for a restaurant to put so much effort into presentation for deliveries, but it really helps give a good first impression. I was so taken with the small touches and attention to detail that Sun Cafe demonstrated, that I was almost ready to name Sun Cafe the winner right then and there.

Yeah, that’s right, that orange blob you see is a butterfly carved out of carrot.  How cool is that? They also included a cute little plastic tray to use for mixing soy sauce and wasabi, which I really appreciated. I always have a hard time getting the right wasabi-to-soy-sauce ratio in those sauce cups that normally come with delivery.

Tokyo Bay opted for a neater, plainer presentation, simply packing all three rolls into one container.

Quality & Taste: Tokyo Bay
Tokyo Bay redeemed itself with its quality and taste. The sashimi used in their Rainbow Roll was fresh and delicate, unlike the tough and fish fare from Sun Cafe.  Tokyo Bay also had a better rice-to-fish ratio. Additionally, the rice was soft and sticky — the way good sushi rice should be.

When I looked beyond the carrot butterflies (apparently there to draw attention away from the actual food) that came with Sun Cafe’s sushi, I noticed just how thick the layer of rice was on all of their rolls. This definitely made their rolls more filling, but it made the sushi less enjoyable and more difficult to chew. It probably didn’t help that their rice was really hard: I couldn’t tell if it was undercooked or stale.

Sun Cafe’s spicy tuna roll had zero heat to it, but instead had a strong sesame flavor. Enjoyable, yes, but a spicy tuna roll it was not. On the other end of the spice spectrum was Tokyo Bay’s spicy tuna, which had a nice tongue-tingling spiciness –just enough to be exciting, but not so much that I was reaching for my water. Both shrimp tempura rolls were decent, although I should note that Tokyo Bay added avocado and cucumber to the roll while Sun Cafe did not. I found the cucumber a little overwhelming, but it did add even more crunch to the tempura.

Value: Tokyo Bay
I had a difficult time deciding the winner for this category. Here is the price breakdown:

Sun Cafe
Spicy Tuna Roll: $6
Shrimp Tempura Roll: $6
Rainbow Roll: $9

Tokyo Bay
Spicy Tuna Roll: $5.50
Shrimp Tempura Roll: $5.95
Rainbow Roll: $12.95

As you can see, there wasn’t much of a difference between the spicy tuna and shrimp tempura rolls.  Sun Cafe’s rolls were a little bigger, but they also used a lot more rice. The main difference in value was the Rainbow Roll. However, the extra $4 for Tokyo Bay’s Rainbow Roll is definitely worth it, because Sun Cafe’s was inedible to the point that not even their cute presentation could compensate.

To sum it up, although Sun Cafe’s presentation and packaging skills almost won me over, the poor quality of their rice and sashimi was unforgivable. Tokyo Bay’s plain-looking but higher quality sushi was the winner of this race!

Sun Cafe (3/6 pizza slices)*
67 Reade Street
New York, NY 10007-1821
(212) 608-3822

Tokyo Bay Japanese Restaurant (4/6 pizza slices)
183 Duane Street
New York, NY 10013
(212) 431-8666

Happy Hour: SouthWest NY

Happy Hour: SouthWest NY

Happy Hour: SouthWest NY
Margaritas at SouthWest NY

This new Eats segment will focus on finding places to wind down after work and enjoy a drink with coworkers, friends or even a hot date. Every week, we’ll be taking one for the team and hitting happy hour at a different Battery Park City watering hole. We’ll report back on the quality of the venue’s libations, the specialness of their specials and the tastiness of the food on which we nosh to prevent ourselves from descending into a stupor.

For our seminal happy hour, we headed to SouthWest NY, which, it ironically turns out, does not have any happy hour deals of which to speak. Still, now that the weather is warming up, the venue’s waterside location in the World Financial Center Plaza and its bountiful outdoor seating make it an ideal place to grab a drink and watch the sun set.

Continue reading Happy Hour: SouthWest NY

Race to My Place: Health Food

Race to My Place: Health Food

Race to My Place: Health Food
Energy Kitchen's tuna steak proves that ordering in can be healthy.

We’ve all had those days. It’s 7 PM, you’ve just come home from work, exhausted, and the last thing you want to do is cook up some food- especially if you’re feeding more than one mouth.  You consider ordering delivery, but you’re starving and don’t want to wait an hour for your food to get there.  That’s where we come in.

For each installment of Race to My Place, we pit two restaurants with similar cuisines, estimated delivery times and prices against each other to see whose delivery reigns supreme! We compare delivery speed, packaging and presentation, quality and taste, and value. For this health food race, our contestants were Energize Me Foods and Energy Kitchen.

After eating greasy take-out everyday for a week, my stomach was begging for a break. I decided to reward it with more delivery, but this time, with health food!  Today we are comparing two similarly named restaurants, both claiming to serve food that will boost your energy AND keep that spare tire off your midsection. Let’s see if there’s any truth to their claims.

Continue reading Race to My Place: Health Food

Get This Deal: 30% off Landmarc

Today, is offering a pass code that will give you 30% off of lunch or dinner at Landmarc. And, if you have a Visa Signature card, you can also get a free dessert tray for your party of four or less. The offer is valid at both Tribeca and Columbus Circle locations!

You have until April 27th at 8:30 AM EST to get this deal, and the special expires May 26th.

Landmarc [TriBeCa]‎
179 West Broadway,
New York, NY 10013
(212) 343-3883‎

Caruso's pizza pie, half pepperoni half plain

Review: Caruso’s Pizza

Caruso's Pizza on Fulton Street Pizza Box
Caruso's Pizza on Fulton Street

When I was asked to blog about food (my one love) in Battery Park City (my favorite neighborhood), there was no way I could turn the opportunity down. I recently moved back to Battery Park City after living in the East Village for four years, so you can imagine my surprise when I couldn’t find any recommendations for decent Pad See Ew on or any website besides Yelp.  My goal for this blog is to be able to remedy that. I’ll try my best to seek out the hidden gems in BPC, FiDi and lower Tribeca, and maybe along the way, steer some people away from places that didn’t quite hit the mark.

For my first assignment, I had planned to compare delivery from two different pizzerias, but due to a personal technological muck-up, I was left with just one pizza from Caruso’s.  We ordered a large plain pizza, half with pepperoni ($22).  The pizza came in exactly 35 minutes, which wasn’t too shabby, and it came with an entire bag of paper plates, plastic utensils and even small plastic containers full of the standard NY pizza condiments. Things were looking up.

Caruso's pizza pie, half pepperoni half plain
Fast pizza might mean haste makes waste

We opened the box, and an oddly white pizza stared back at us. They must have used fresh mozzarella, which is one of my favorite pizza toppings, so I couldn’t wait to shove a slice in my mouth. Without even using any of the condiments they offered, I quickly took my first bite.

And was quickly disappointed. The mouthful I got was chewy and bland. The crust was more doughy than crusty. The sauce was oddly sweet and somehow tasteless at the same time.  While the fresh mozzarella added a nice touch to the pie, it did absolutely nothing for the flavor of the pizza. The condiments that they so graciously delivered did improve the flavor, but then it just felt like I was eating bread with red chili flakes and oregano.

Now, the pizza wasn’t completely awful, and perhaps if I walked by at lunch time I’d grab a slice fresh out of the oven. However, there were two other people helping me eat the pizza, and at the end of the night, there were still three slices left in the box. You do the math.

When I sampled a slice of the pepperoni, the meat added some much needed sodium. That’s really all this particular pie was wanting: salt and perhaps a few extra minutes in the oven.  I may try a slice from Caruso’s in the future with some added toppings, but I am not inclined to try their plain cheese pizza again. It was just, well, plain.

140 Fulton Street
New York, NY 10038
(212) 267-2927

Ciao Bella in the World Financial Center is Gone

What Happened to Ciao Bella?

Ciao Bella in the World Financial Center is Gone
Ciao Bella in the WFC vanished without a trace or clue.

You might have noticed that just in time for the early summer weather our local gelateria Ciao Bella has vanished.

The retail location of the popular Italian desert originally opened back on May 1, 2006, making the location a little less than 4 years old — although it has felt like it has been here forever.

-=UPDATE | April 22, 2010=-

While we were covering Tribeca Film Festivities, we were surprised to be greeted by a reopened Ciao Bella. Ciao indeed!

After shutting operations down for a week or so, it turns out the shop is back in working order and might make it’s 4th birthday after all. According to an employee in the shop — the owners had a dispute regarding renewing their lease forcing the store to close.

The employee also described the negotiations as “just like a marriage — when there is trouble you gotta work things out.”

It’s nice to know that the neighborhood’s best ice cream shop is back in business for the summertime.