Friday, December 19, 2008

west chelsea

I work in a large arts building in West Chelsea, between 10th and 11th avenues. This location is inconvenient for a number of reasons. First of all, it is about half of a mile from the 8th ave/14th st subway stop. This is sort of a blessing, because I am forced to walk a mile each day. But when the weather is inclement (such as today), it really sucks.

Second, and most important, is the food selection. Walking anywhere is a really huge pain, and delivery gets really expensive (but is often necessary). I still haven't found anything to die for, but here are some of my favorite options:

1) Bottino: During the summer/fall, Bottino was really excellent. Their Tomato/Arugula salad is the closest I've come to loving any food in Chelsea. Unfortunately, when tomato/arugula season was over, I was unable to find anything of comparable quality on the menu. The vegetable lasagna was absolutely disgusting, and I ended up throwing away half of it. I haven't tried any of their sandwiches, so that might be my last stop before completely writing this place off until my salad is back in season.

2) Pepe Giallo: Passable Italian food with pretty quick delivery. They have a good lunch special: a salad or soup with an entree (four choices) for $8.95. The best thing I've had so far is the Fusilli with Chopped Tomatoes and Arugula. I really don't think I'd ever go here for dinner, though.

3) The Indian place on 9th avenue where all the cabbies hang out: $3 for a "half" portion of veggies and rice. $6 for an enormous plate of them. This place is awesome, even if you do have to watch them microwave your food.

4) Chelsea Thai: HIT OR MISS. I think this place used to be more of a grocery store, but now focuses on delivery, take-out, and eat-in service. I've had some really great things from here, and I've had some really terrible things. Their vegetarian panang curry is great (although their tofu leaves something to be desired), whereas their vegetarian summer rolls are really strange. The skin for the rolls tastes sort of like toothpaste, and the dipping sauce (some sort of hoisin hybrid) is just really not good. Their standard salad is pretty good and comes with a warm peanut dressing, while their vegetarian pad thai was much too greasy and required multiple packets of soy and hot sauce.

5) Diners: There are a lot of diners in this area, and they will all deliver you a veggie burger and fries when you maybe over-imbibed the night before and feel like you might die if you don't have a veggie burger and fries. None of them are really that great, but I recommend them over Better Burger. That place sucks, even if James van der Beek was spotted there once.

6) 'wichcraft: The trustiest, most dependable place yet. Yes, the sandwiches are overpriced. No, I don't have cable so I've never seen Top Chef. Neither of these things matter. There is a really good soup and sandwich special, and some really good sides like grilled butternut squash and a potato salad with mustard vinaigrette.

Things I have yet to find in West Chelsea: good sushi, passable Mexican, great salads.


CaseyMustPie said...

i dunno, james van der beek has pretty good taste in everything.

Z said...

I love Witchcraft, but they are ultra-expensive. Otherwise I'd probably go there constantly.