Category Archives: Food

Best Battery Park City Burgers

Race to My Place: Burger Battle 2010

Best Battery Park City Burgers
Best Battery Park City Burgers

We’ve been holding these food races for a few months now, selecting two unsuspecting restaurants and pitting their chefs and delivery boys against each other, completely at the whim of my stomach.  Slowly but surely, we’ve waded our way through the surprising variety of cuisines offered in what is generally considered a culinary wasteland.

Today, my stomach decided it was ready for something EPIC.  We at were going to take on Lower Manhattan’s burgers, and we weren’t going to take this task lightly.  Instead of the usual two contestant race, we were going to order not three, not four, but five different burgers.

Three of the restaurants we chose are burger joints: PJ Clarke’s, Zaitzeff, and Burger Burger.  We added one of Merchant’s restaurants, Pound and Pence, to see how their burgers stacked up, and threw Kitchenette, a chic diner in Tribeca that has burgers on their menu, into the mix as well.

We tried to make this race as even as possible; we tried to order all our burgers with the same toppings:  Lettuce, Tomato, and American Cheese, but Zaitzeff only has white cheddar, and Pound and Pence had plain cheddar instead of American, so we had to take these small advantages into consideration.  Some restaurants included french fries with their burgers, so we ordered fries from all five restaurants to compare value and taste.  Also, knowing that Kitchenette had a much longer distance to deliver their food, we ordered from them first, and gave them some leniency in delivery time.

Delivery Speed

– At 21 minutes, Pound and Pence was our fastest contender, beating

PJ Clarke’s‘ 22 minutes, even though PJ Clarke’s is literally right around the corner.

Zaitzeff placed third with an honorable 27 minutes.

Kitchenette surprised us all by not coming in last with a 49 minute delivery time, only beating

Burger Burger, at 50 minutes, by a mere minute!

Packaging & Presentation

Burger Burger had the messiest container- we literally had to extract our burger from the mountain of fries and reassemble it- although Kitchenette and Pound & Pence also used a single container for both their burger and fries.  PJ Clarke’s and Zaitzeff, our fancier burger joints, packaged their burgers separately from their fries.  PJ Clarke’s placed their burgers in small cardboard containers (like the ones you use at the Whole Foods salad bar), and delivered their french fries in a separate paper bag.  Although Zaitzeff also used the paper bag approach for their fries, their burgers were wrapped in insulated paper instead of the cute cardboard box.

Although I thought PJ Clarke’s burger box was cute, I also thought that the fries that were haphazardly thrown into a box were actually crispier than the bagged fries.  When I’m eating a soft juicy burger, I like the crunch of a well-fried fry to balance out the textures in my mouth, but maybe I’m just weird like that!

For presentation, I’d have to give the prize to PJ Clarke’s.  For practical packaging, however, Pound & Pence came in first place with a tall plastic container that provided a little heat insulation as well as enough air circulation to prevent the burger and fries from becoming soggy.

Quality & Taste

For this category, some of the qualities I was looking for in the burgers was whether or not the burger came cooked Medium as we ordered, whether the patty was juicy or dry, the quality of the bread and whether or not it complimented the burger patty, and the overall flavor of the burger, bread, and the toppings combined.

Pound & Pence was the only burger that didn’t arrive a nice pink Medium color, but somehow, the overcooked patty was still incredibly juicy, soft, and the most flavorful out of the five.  Lizbeth detected some marinade on the meat, and this definitely hoisted this overcooked burger from last to first place.

Burger Burger‘s burger (how weird does that sound?) was liked all around, and designated “the perfect backyard BBQ burger” by one of our taste testers.  The burger was cooked Medium as asked, and was the only burger that had any char flavor!

Zaitzeff won juiciest burger by a mile, and the soft, squisy, sweet Portuguese bun it was served on complimented the meat and the toppings perfectly.  Although Zaitzeff’s patty wasn’t the most flavorful, their fancy white cheddar & grilled onion toppings definitely made up for it.

Surprisingly enough, next to all these other great burgers, PJ Clarke’s only made honorable mention.  I’ve always really enjoyed PJ Clarke’s, and before this race, may have even dared to call it one of my top 3 burgers in NYC.  It’s still a great burger, and we couldn’t find anything wrong with it, but in a direct comparison it just wasn’t as juicy or as flavorful as the other three burgers.

Finally, we have Kitchenette‘s burger.  What can we say?  When we added this to our list of five, we certainly weren’t expecting this restaurant to come out on top.  Kitchenette was our underdog, and unfortunately, this was not a Cinderella story.  The burger was cooked as we asked, but somehow, even though the patty was nice and pink, the texture of the meat was hard and dry.  The bread was also really dry and altogether it was like biting into a cork covered in Styrofoam.  The taste was also really off-putting, and I couldn’t decide if it was the stale bread, the vegetables, or the meat that tasted funny.  I literally took one bite of this, made a funny face, and didn’t touch it again for the rest of the night.


The cheapest and simplest order by far was Burger Burger.  $9.45 flat for a cheeseburger with fries.

Pound & Pence was next in both value and simplicity- their $10.75 burger comes with fries, and adding cheese to the order only costs you another 99 cents.

The next cheapest order was Kitchenette, which came to a total of $13.  However, if you order just a bare-bones burger sans cheese or fries, Kitchenette actually serves the most expensive burger of the bunch, at a ridiculous $11.

With a grand total of $14.8, PJ Clarke’s seems very comfortable at 4th place.   I’m equally surprised about this ranking as its quality and taste ranking.  I very much expected PJ Clarke’s to have the most expensive cheeseburger & fries, but today, that honor goes to…

Zaitzeff, where a sirloin burger with cheese and fries will set you back $16!

All things considered, this would be my final ranking for today’s burger battle:

Pound & Pence

Burger Burger

Tie between Zaitzeff and PJ Clarke’s


Surprised?  Where is your favorite burger in Lower Manhattan?

(Oh… and Check out images of our Burger Battle below!)

Se Jah Meh in the financial district has closed.

R.I.P: Se Ja Meh – A Korean Restaurant Bites the Dust

Se Jah Meh in the financial district has closed.
Se Jah Meh in the financial district has closed.

As exciting as our food news has been this summer, another local restaurant has quietly bit the proverbial dust.

Having endured not one but 3 location changes before and after 9/11, the Korean restaurant Se Ja Meh on Greenwich street has closed down for good.

It’s always sad to see restaurants close, but it’s even sadder to see restaurants with interesting ethnic cuisines close.

Another restaurant on the way towards closing is Pan Latin Cafe on Chambers Street according to several news outlets in our area.

We wish the owners of both establishments well!

Compete in the Battery Park City Cupcake Contest!!!

Battery Park City Puts (Oven) Gloves On For Cupcake Battle!

Compete in the Battery Park City Cupcake Contest!!!
Compete in the Battery Park City Cupcake Contest!!!

It will only take one sweet hour to judge this year’s Battery Park City Block Party Cupcake Contest! reader Fern Parness, will be running the competition and calling for all BPC bakers to submit their best cupcake foot forward and compete in one of the three categories:

1. Best chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting.
2. Best vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting.
3. Best wildcard flavor

For those who are interested in competing, drop off the frosted batches between 12pm-2pm at the Bake-Off Table on Esplanade Plaza (Volleyball Court)

Inatesso Cafe will judge the winning cupcakes in each category. Prizes will be given to the winners courtesy of both Inatesso Cafe and Battery Park City pharmacy.

Battery Park City’s Annual Block Party will be this Sunday, September 12th in Esplanade Plaza.

For more information contact Fern Parness directly at

Race to my place soma by nature versus seh ja meh

Race to My Place: Korean Bulgogi

Race to my place soma by nature versus seh ja meh
Soma By Nature vs. Seh Ja Meh in our Race

For each installment of the Race to My Place, we will be pitting two restaurants with similar cuisines, estimated delivery times, and prices against each other and see whose delivery reigns supreme!  We will compare delivery speed, packaging & presentation, quality & taste, and value.  For this Korean Bulgogi race, our contestants were Soma by Nature and Se Ja Meh.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Korean food, Bulgogi is a Korean BBQ dish consisting of thin sliced sirloin that is marinated in a mixture of garlic, onions, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine, and sugar, and then grilled.  If you eat this in house, you are often given the option of barbecuing it yourself, but this practice can often result in making your hair, clothes, and all your belongings smell like smoke!  For this Korean race, we ordered pre-grilled Bulgogi lunch boxes from Se Ja Meh and Soma by Nature.

Delivery Speed: Tie
We have a new delivery record!  Both restaurants delivered their food in exactly 8 minutes. I don’t know how, and I’m not sure I want to know how, but literally right after I placed my order for Se Ja Meh, Soma by Nature was already calling me to come downstairs.  Then, Se Ja Meh called as I was in the elevator on my way back up; it was a hectic lunch hour!

Packaging & Presentation: Tie
This category was a tie because both restaurants had their pros and cons.  The container that Soma by Nature used had really high partitions which made it very neat and stopped all the sauces from running into each other.  However, the partitions didn’t keep the flavors from melding together, so each item had a hint of some other taste.

Se Ja Meh kept all their side dishes in separate containers which eliminated flavor contamination.  Their Bulgogi, Jap Chae, and dumpling, on the other hand were all placed in one container with low partitions, and the Bulgogi marinade ended up infiltrating everything.

It’s difficult to keep everything separate when there are so many different parts to a meal, and neither restaurant got it quite right.

Quality & Taste: Se Ja Meh
Se Ja Meh wins this category on the basis of their Bulgogi alone.  Both deliveries came with so many different side dishes, they would be impossible to compare.  Soma by Nature’s Bulgogi tasted like the kind you would get at an international buffet; it was overcooked and the garlic overpowered the marinade.  Se Ja Meh’s Bulgogi was finely grilled and the sauce wasn’t as oily or as garlicky as Soma’s.  Their rice was also softer and stickier as Korean rice is suppose to be.

If we were to compare the side dishes separately, Soma by Nature would probably be the winner.  While Se Ja Meh offered more traditional side dishes such as kimchi, jap chae, vegetable mandoo, and other various pickled vegetables, none of the items tasted quite right.  The pickled zucchini was mushy, the jap chae and vegetable mandoo were drowned in bulgogi marinade, and their side salad, while fresh, had a really strange dressing that just wasn’t very appealing.

Soma by Nature’s side dishes were an eclectic hodgepodge of quasi-Asian items.  They included two pieces of a California Roll which were actually quite tasty and brimming with avocado, two varieties of yam: one bright purple and one orange, an Asian style frittata with jap chae cooked into it, a tiny nickel-sized crab cake, a really bad seafood pancake, and oddly, a banana muffin.  There was also a random meatball on top of the rice, but nobody dared to try it, and we weren’t quite sure how it tied into the Asian theme.

Most of the side dishes took on a hint of banana flavor from the banana muffin, but besides that oddity, eating this meal was like going on an adventure without leaving your office.  We all had so much fun guessing what everything was, and sometimes, even after trying some of the items, we still weren’t quite sure what we had eaten!  When I learned that Soma by Nature was in fact a buffet style eatery, the randomness of the side dishes began to make sense.  I would definitely order this again just to see what side dishes I would get, it’s all very exciting!

Value: Soma by Nature
With all the fun side dishes, Some by Nature won this by a landslide!  Their lunchbox, at $10.95, was also cheaper than Se Ja Meh’s $12 lunchbox.

In the end, this race is still kind of up in the air.  Both restaurants deliver at a lightning fast speed, and both have their pros and cons.  If you’re looking for authentic Korean food, I would order from Se Ja Meh.  But if you’re having one of those days where you want “Asian food,” and you’d like to be taken on a flavorful adventure, Soma by Nature is your best bet!

Five Guys burger and fries

Five Guys On Fulton Street Open!

Five Guys burger and fries
A Five Guys burger is like artwork to me.

Ever since we first reported the construction of a Five Guys in FiDi, I’ve been waiting with bated breath for its opening. Since last week, the latest expansion of this Virginia-based chain is now open to the public at the corner of Fulton and Nassau. Burgers lovers: Rejoice.

Yes, there is stiff competition for burgers in the area (and soon Shake Shack), but here are Five Reasons to give Five Guys a try:

5. Free peanuts
You probably won’t have to wait long, but here’s something to pass the time with, regardless

4. Lots of free toppings
I normally choose mayo, grilled onions and jalapenos, but feel free to go with grilled mushrooms, relish, hot sauce, or one of many more options to choose from.

3. It’s fast-food, thus cheap
You might pay more than the average McDonald’s combo meal, but you’re still all-in for less than $10.

2. Delicious fries
Regular or cajun-spiced. Either way, you’re in for a treat.

1. Juicy, great tasting meat
I don’t know the secret, but I like it nonetheless. Any place that defaults to two patties is my kinda place.

So give Five Guys (112 Fulton Street) a try. They don’t deliver to our neighborhood, but do offer call-in/pickup service. Just go take the short walk over to Fulton Street… the extra calories you’ll burn by walking will be more than made up for by eating.

Check out some of the pictures of the new location!

Tajin Restaurant 85 Greenwich

8 Great Take Out Restaurants Not On Seamless Web

Tajin Restaurant 85 Greenwich
Tajin Mexican Restaurant on 85 Greenwich

As we’ve been mulling over the restaurant changes in our neighborhood, it got us here at thinking and talking about how reliant we are on food delivery, more pointedly

Unfortunately, there are some really fantastic restaurants you can’t get to through SeamlessWeb. Just like our past movie list — here are our favorite places you can’t get to on Seamless Web.

Battery Park’s Favorite Restaurants You Can’t Order from on Seamless Web
(In no particular order! — and feeling kind of British-ish calling “Take Out” “Takeaway”)

1. Inatteso (Thanks Tom!)
Our area is deluged with hundreds of Italian restaurant options. Inatesso seems to be Battery Park City’s best kept secret — although the restaurant is packed nightly, they also have a strong delivery service. Consistent and delicious. One small drawback is that some of us wish they gave us a little more of their delectable bread.

2. Elixir
Sometimes after a Friday night bender, all you want is a healthy hangover helping smoothie. Unfortunately, Elixir (located in the World Financial Center) is not open on the weekends — nor do they offer delivery service. In comparison with other smoothie offering places, sometimes it’s worth waiting for Monday to roll around.

3. Les Halles
The spotlight at Les Halles is often on their Chef-At-Large Anthony Bourdain, but should really be on their Steak Frites. Although they don’t have a delivery service, if you’re craving a quick steak or a hearty bistro brunch, Les Halles offers takeaway.

4. Majestic Pizza
The best pizza is sometimes the most unassuming. When we have our staff pizza meetings, we often agree on pies from this long standing pizza institution. We don’t know if its the well seasoned ovens but we love their traditional New York style slices.

5. Le Pain Quotidien
Yum. Tartines and a semblance of healthy rustic eating. Le Pain Quotidien’s new location in Battery Park City offers quick lunch options with a new to-go case. Including fresh and pre-made sandwiches and take away soups.

6. Tajin
From Tartines to Tajin. Located right off Seamless Web-friendly diner George’s at 85 Greenwich Street. Tajin is one of our favorite Mexican joints in the area. They offer an extensive selection of burritos for delivery, but their sit down menu options are equally impressive, especially their fresh daily specials and enchiladas.

7. Baoguette
Vietnamese sandwiches have taken New York City by storm and we’re big fans of the classic “Baoguette.” Drawing on classic Vietnamese flavors on crusty French breads — it’s nice to see that we have our very own in the neighborhood when our cravings call.

8. Picasso Pizza
If it hasn’t been officially designated, it should be called the first pizzeria in Battery Park City. Where Majestic doesn’t always have the delivery manpower to reach our neighborhood on weekends, Picasso is always there for us. Honorable mention for the fact they have instituted their own delivery system on their website.

9. Ruchi
Our Indian food options are most always in Tribeca. However, Ruchi (which is located amidst the construction and hustle of Ground Zero) offers solid Indian delivery options to our neighborhood. For those who want to venture to the restaurant, they offer a similar 50% off lunch for customers who choose to dine in.

10. Charly’s
Sometimes when 9pm rolls around, delivery options become a barren wasteland in our area. For those with both an empty fridge and empty stomach, Charly’s offers 24 hour delivery to our neighborhood. Sure it’s not lobster and crabcakes — but seriously, sometimes life calls for an emergency burger and fries. Charly’s is the place to get it.

11. Little Pie Company
The pies here are phenomenal and they offer delivery to Battery Park City as long as you meet the minimum delivery requirement and place your order before 4pm.

Did we miss any of your favorite restaurants? Let us know!

Crumbs Wall Street

Crumbs Wall Street Gives Away Free Weekend Cupcakes!

Crumbs Wall Street
Crumbs Wall Street

First of all, how could you miss the memo about the Crumbs on Wall Street?

Secondly, how could you not take them up on their summer cupcake giveaway? Crumbs Wall Street is offering a buy one get one coupon on the weekends at their new Crumbs location in our area. Ok, so it’s not entirely a free giveaway — but since when were cupcakes a loner food? Cupcakes are best consumed in pairs. In general and with others.

In order to get your free cupcake, make sure to print out their coupon here.

The offer is good throughout September 5th — clearing your way to a summer weekends filled with cupcakes!

87 Beaver St (Pearl/Hanover)
New York, NY 10005

T 212 480 7500
F 212 480 7507

Sunday: OPEN!
Monday: 7:30am – 8pm
Tuesday: 7:30am – 8pm
Wednesday: 7:30am – 8pm
Thursday: 7:30am – 8pm
Friday: 7:30am – 8pm
Saturday: OPEN!

Battery Park city restaurants serving cheesecake

Battery Park City Celebrates National Cheesecake Day!

Battery Park city restaurants serving cheesecake
We've listed some Battery Park City cheesecake restaurants!

Today is an important day in New York cuisine. It’s National Cheesecake day!

Junior’s Cheesecake a veritable New York institution is celebrating National Cheesecake day as well as their 60th Anniversary today by giving away 60 cent slices of their delicious cheesecake at their original Brooklyn location.

As New Yorkers we take our Cheesecake’s very seriously, so if you can’t make it to Brooklyn to Junior’s for a taste of their world renowned cheesecake — we’ve got some neighborhood options for you.

Gatehouse – New York Style Cheesecake $5.50

Il Mattone – Cheesecake $5.00

Ivy’s Bistro – Homemade Strawberry Cheesecake $7.95 and Fried Cheesecake $8.95

Kitchenette – Cheesecake with Fruit Slice $6.50

Merchants – New York Cheesecake $7.95

PJ Clarkes – New York Sweet Cream Cheesecake $7.70

Pound and Pence – New York Style Cheesecake $3.50

SouthWest NY – Dulce de Leche Cheesecake $7.99

Tribeca Barnes & Noble – Cheesecake Factory Cheesecakes! (Varied prices)

Little Pie Company – New York Style Cheesecake $65.00 (Whole Cheesecake)

So go forth today and do not take your New Yorker given right to enjoy cheesecake! If there is a cheesecake serving restaurant that we have forgotten let us know on Facebook or of course right here in our comments!

Chicken Tikka Masala Baluchis

Race to My Place: Baluchi’s vs. Taj Tribeca/Indian Express

Chicken Tikka Masala Baluchis
Who's chicken tikka masala won the race?

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 will compare delivery speed, packaging and presentation when applicable, quality and taste, and value.  This week, our contestants are Baluchi’s and Taj Tribeca.

Indian food is one of the most flavorful cuisines in the world, and for most people, authentic Indian is just way too spicy.  Therefore, one of the most popular “Indian” dishes is Chicken Tikka Masala, a dish that actually may have originated in the UK.  The dish is made with chunks of chicken that have been marinated in yogurt and baked in a tandoor oven, and then paired with a creamy tomato sauce.

Both restaurants serve their Chicken Tikka Masala with rice, but I decided to order plain Naan on the side as well to dip into the left over sauce.

Delivery Speed:  Taj Tribeca
Both restaurants delivered their meals in under half an hour, but Taj Tribeca beat Baluchi’s by a little over five minutes.

Quality & Taste: Baluchi’s

Baluchi’s Chicken Tikka Masala was really creamy and buttery.  The chicken was soft and moist, but you could tell they actually roasted the chicken beforehand in a tandoori oven- the tandoori flavor was discernible through the sauce.  You could taste the tomato in the sauce as well, and the Naan was soft and pillowy, perfect for soaking up the sauce!

Taj Tribeca’s chicken on the other hand was really dry, but it still managed to be strangely soft and tender.  The sauce was nice and spicy, but it really didn’t taste like tikka masala- there wasn’t much of that buttery tomato flavor.  Instead, it tasted kind of sweet like a Malaysian curry.  The Naan was flat and dry, and wasn’t really the best for dipping into sauce.

Value: Tie
Both Taj Tribeca and Baluchi’s Chicken Tikka Masala cost $13.95.  Although Baluchi’s naan was 45 cents more expensive than Taj Tribeca’s, Baluchi’s  naan was definitely worth the extra price.

Although Taj Tribeca’s delivery speed and price were marginally better, Baluchi’s was definitely the clear winner.  What really gave Baluchi’s the upper hand was their use of a tandoor oven, or at least something similar to one.  The tandoori flavor really shone through in the chicken, and their Naan was puffy as it should be.  Taj Tribeca’s chicken wasn’t roasted or marinated in a tandoori style, and the naan was more like a pita.

blt bar and gril w hotel downtown

NOW OPEN: BLT Bar & Grill at W Hotel Downtown (PHOTOS)

blt bar and gril w hotel downtown
Food scene grows in Battery Park City with the opening of our own BLT

Are you looking for a great dinner option tonight, and have gotten tired of the restaurants around you?
You’re in luck because today marks the opening of the long awaited BLT Bar & Grill at the new W Hotel Downtown on Albany Street.

“We are pleased to partner with the W and become a presence in Lower Manhattan,” says Jimmy Haber, owner of the BLT Restaurant Group, “The BLT Bar & Grill concept was tailor-made for the neighborhood, offering a variety of dining options under one roof for friends, businesses and locals.”

The BLT enterprise has been testing our downtown palates with their GO Burger trucks at the South Street Seaport for a while, you can consider that they’ve done their homework on our neighborhood. With the rumored openings of Shake Shack and Blue Smoke in our neighborhood, Battery Park City is set to be a veritable foodie fiefdom.

According to the press release the restaurant bills itselve as “a modern tavern — offering modern American bar food with a wide selection of cocktails, beer and wine” with Executive Chefs Christophe Bellanca and David Craine at the helm of the cuiisine. The restaurant seats 23 at the bar, and has two levels of seating, including a private dining room and an outside patio area.

As BLT is billing itself as “affordable fare for everyday dining, ” that may be considered fighting words for our beloved Gatehouse, which has been the only other restaurant offering everyday pub-ish fare on Albany Street for years.

In terms of the menu, include the following selections:

Brioche French Toast with cinnamon-caramelized apples
“Downtown” Burrito, cheddar scrambled eggs, peppers and onion tomato salsa.

Eggplant & Taleggio Panini with caper aioli
Cuban Sandwich pressed with pork belly and speck.

Spiced Rotisserie Chicken with cabernet honey and chicken jus
Fish & Chips with zesty tartar sauce
Filet Mignon, Bone-In Ribeye and NY Strip steaks.

There are daily specials being offered and to find out more check out their breakfast, lunch, dinner, and bar menus here.

The restaurant is open daily serving breakfast from 6:30AM -10:30AM, lunch from 11:30AM – 2:30PM and dinner from 5:30PM – 10PM. The bar is open from 11AM-1AM, which includes its own special bar menu.  Lucky condominium residents and guests of the W Hotel can count on BLT to provide them sustenance at their beck and call for “in residence dining”, including offering food options at Living Room Bar and Terrace location within the hotel.