Friday, January 20, 2012

Eating My Way through the East Village: St Marks Edition

For years I avoided the East Village like the plague – too many people, too many choices, too far. Now that I live here, I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I am super lucky to have an East Village building with a laundry room, dishwasher, and central heating and air so I count my real estate blessings every day. I can walk to almost anywhere and surprise – the East Village has amazing restaurants. Welcome to my list of recently discovered neighborhood eats. Perhaps your favorite is on here! If not, comment and let me know what yours is so I can try it!
Sticky buns bring back good childhood memories of monkey bread and the Pilsbury Dough Boy. And that ubiquitous Cinnabon that I used to walk by holding my nose. Jane’s buns are hot, sticky, gooey, and, well, sexy. I wanted to try the Old Fashion (like the drink, get it!) with Bourbon, sugar, bitters, vanilla, and…pecans. I was crushed, pun intended. However, Jane’s friend working the counter gave me a fresh one right off the baking sheet without pecans. And it was delicious. While I don’t find myself craving sticky buns, the option is there. They’re open late, too (midnight on weekends!), should day drinking find you on St. Marks hankering for something sweet.
image from Yelper Lucille C
Jane’s Sweet Buns, 102 St. Marks Place between 1st Ave and Ave A

I am ashamed to say that I lived next to one of the best bahn mi sandwich places in all of New York for two years and never once tried one. Saigon, I’ll remember you fondly for your smiling faces and coconut waters only. The tiny shop, literally the size of my bedroom, was always packed. I read how great they were, but once I went in there I always got intimidated and ran out with Gatorade and Pocky. So walking down St Marks the other day I stopped in front of Xe May. The signage and restaurant was colorful, clean, and new, so I decided to give it a whirl.
image via Yelper Athena C

Schiesse, y’all, it’s GOOD. It’s quite possibly a perfect sandwich, with fluffy white bread (you can choose wheat), carrots, daikon, cilantro, cucumbers, and my choice of lemon grass chicken and mild chili mayo. I had to wait about 5 minutes for my sandwich which is made to order (by an older Vietnamese lady), so I struck up a conversation with the guy at the counter. He was so helpful and nice and offered for me to try the pate that I’m still kind of scared of in the original sandwich. I liked being able to customize my order, the $8 lunch deal (chips, huge sandwich, and drink), the fact that I could pay with a card on an iPhone, and the kick ass Lychee Green Iced Tea. I don’t have a picture of that because I drank it all before I got home, a whole block and a half away. Go there. Seriously. Go. PS they have bahn mi tacos too. And salads. And summer rolls.
Xe May Sandwich Shop, 96 St Marks Place between 1st Ave and Ave A

New dessert joint in the neighborhood? I’m ON IT. I have been waiting for Puddin’ by Clio to open for about two months. Urban Daddy, Thrillist, and the whole gang wrote it up and I immediately went running down St Marks to find it still under construction. I stalked them on Twitter. I walked by the shop. And then finally two weeks ago they opened….and ran out of pudding in 40 minutes. Working with only a small kitchen, they make the pudding in batches which are available around 4pm. I waited until 5pm once to walk down there and the butterscotch was already sold out. Today I actually got there at 5 til 4pm and  6 people were before me. They start serving pudding 4pm til late, but I imagine if you get there past 5:30 your choices are severely limited. The butterscotch has a great scotch finish to it, but the sleeper hit is the vanilla. Vanilla + butterscotch, I nearly swooned – love at first bite.  This is going to be an expensive habit financially and calorically, but that’s what spin is for, right?
image by Yelper Jamie K
image by Yelper Madhav T
Puddin’ by Clio 102 St Marks Place between 1st Ave and Ave A
The reason for lack of my own images is that I ate everything before I could get back to my camera! Block and a half, people. Block and a half.


  1. You have central AC??!! SO jealous!!

    I love that sweet buns place, it's so bright and happy, and yes I will have to go and try that Old Fashioned as well, it sounds amazing!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...