Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Shopsin's - Lower East Side

Shopsin's occupies a small corner of the Essex St. Markets currently, but not before accumulating a large following and notoriety by means of their previous location in the West Village. There's a lot of buzz surrounding Shopsin's because of the off-kilter characteristics of owner Kenny Shopsin and the family business as is elaborated on quite beautifully in the documentary I Like Killing Flies, which is on Netflix streaming by the way, but the important part here is the food--the glorious food.

Take traditional food item and add nontraditional ingredient or flavoring and get a Shopsin's dish, which doesn't sound that bizarre in things like Luke's Famous Duck Gyro (below) and makes perfect sense in dishes like The Wow: eggs, bacon marmalade, cheddar, ciabatta. But then you come across combos like mac'n cheese pancakes and buffalo fried avocado that may invoke skepticism, but are executed without any doubt.

The huge menu has literally 100s of items and when you see how small the space they work with is, in that tiny corner of Essex Markets, you'll wonder how they do it. Minimal resources and space, huge demand, short hours of business, vast array of multicultural food concoctions--it all seems like a challenge, but Shopsin's pulls it off well.

No parties more than four. Don't act like your normal self-entitled self. No cell phones. That's not too much to ask for I guess, right?

120 Essex St., New York, NY 10002, Shopsins
Shopsin's General Store (Essex Street Market) on Urbanspoon

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