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Son of the Revenge of the East Village Culinary Tour


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1. Neptun
1st Ave between 11th and 12th
(formerly KK Restaurant)

Polish-American Home Cooking. Stick to your ribs granny food. When they recently closed for remodeling and a name change, I was sure they'd class the joint up and raise their prices. No on both counts. The place still has the same 6-shades-from-its-once-upon-a-time-white tiles and cheesy Dad's-basement wood paneling, only now the tables are darker wood and all the trim is painted green. You can still get eggs, toast, potatoes, and a coffee for about $3.00 , blintzes for 5 bucks or a hearty bowl of homemade soup for $2.50 with your choice of buttered bread. Move over Kiev.

2. San Loco
Ave A between 9th and 10th
2nd Ave betwen 7th and 8th

Simply the best Tex-Mex beef tacos this side of the Hudson. The rest of the menu is passable, but the taco here rocks. Their hot sauces range from mild to hot to serious to stupid.

3. Downtown Bakery
69 1st Ave between 4th and 5th
(and another just like it a block below that)

Real Mexican by real Mexicans. Almost everything on the menu is 4 bucks. Enchiladas with red sauce or green tomatillo sauce, mole poblano, cactus burrito, Yumm. Take it from a Texan: This is the real deal.

4. New Saigon
59 1st Ave between 3rd and 4th

Rice vermicelli w/great spring rolls or BBQ pork, Squid w/Hot Pepper and Lemongrass, Curry w/Bok Choy, Vietnamese grilled pork chops, FOUR BUCKS!

5. Mee Noodle House
219 1st Ave at 13th Street

Awesome gigantic soups, killer dumplings, lunch specials from 11am to 4pm, and special platters including the delicious and nutritious Beef with String Beans, all under $5. I've been eating here for 7 years and tried most of their over 200 items on the menu. Not one has been a miss.

6. New Century Kitchen
1st Ave between 13th and 14th

Run of the mill hole in the wall Chinese. Don't ask for the menu, and for God's sake DON'T ask for the health report. Just say two words. "Chicken Wings". You will be rewarded with the only edible item they serve. And what an item! Four batter dipped and interminably deep fried large chicken wings with a crispy tasty golden crust. Grand total? Two bucks! Don't even LOOK at that Popeye's up the block.

About the writer: Unlike that wuss Eric Rice, Tex is not a vegetarian.


What are your favorite dirt-cheap restaurants? Send suggestions and comments to

Posted January 1, 2002 12:00 AM






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