The Eat Index, Vol. 2

Nine fancypants chefs dish on the best cheap eats in town

By Shari Gab

The Eat Index, Vol. 2
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21 October 2016

They say that if a barber has a great haircut, you should go to his barber.

Same goes for the city’s best chefs. Where do they eat when they get a night off?

Hence: the second edition of The Eat Index, a series in which we hunt down some of the city’s most well-regarded chefs and ask them about their go-to holes-in-the-wall where they chow down.

Ivy Stark — Executive Chef, Dos Caminos
Don Pepe's Tortas y Jugos
“They have around 40 different tortas all under $10, and I've tried most of them! My favorite is the Hawaiian with ham, bacon, spicy pork and pineapple — it’s gigantic and more than enough for two meals of unbelievable torta goodness.”
3905 5th Avenue, Brooklyn (map)
Website

Benjamin Sormonte — Co-owner, Maman
The Hideaway
“The best chicken wings in the city: meaty, sticky and the perfect amount of fire!”
185 Duane Street (map
Website

Elisa Marshall — Co-owner, Maman
The Cornerstone Grill
“The chicken fingers: like the chicken fingers you used to have as a kid. Tender white-meat chicken coated in a dubious yet totally delicious deep-fried breading. And don't forget to ask for a side of honest mustard for dipping.”
327 Grennwich Street (map)
Website 

Josh Laurano — Executive Chef, La Sirena
Cup and Saucer 
“I get a bacon, egg and cheese with a diet peach Snapple and French fries, well done. And a side of Tabasco to spice up the ketchup. The place is close to home, consistently delicious and supremely comforting. There are mornings when a greasy sandwich is the only remedy.”
89 Canal Street (map)
Website

Luis Jaramillo  — Executive Chef, Fifty NYC
El Gallo Giro 
“I love the burritos is at this taco truck called El Gallo Giro on Roosevelt Ave. and 74th Street in Queens. They have amazing late-night burritos and my go-to order is usually a Burrito de Chorizo, which I get extra spicy. It's stuffed with smoky chorizo, rice, black beans, lettuce, tomatillo salsa, super spicy salsa and is best when it's washed down with a Tamarind Jarritos."
Roosevelt Avenue (between 74th & 75th), Queens (map)
Website

Missy Robbins, Chef and Owner, Lilia
Cafe Mogador
"I'm a big fan of this place. It's a favorite spot for lunch. I always order the Chicken Chermoula; it's the most comforting dish."
101 St. Marks Place (map)
Website

Marc Forgione, Chef and Owner,  Restaurant Marc Forgione
Banh Mi Saigon Bakery
“It’s right near my apartment and I love the #4 Banh Mi Pate Cha.”
198 Grand Street (map)
Website

Justin Smillie, Chef and Partner, Upland
Great Jones Cafe
"The burger is big, hits the spot, and they always cook it to a perfect medium rare. Must order with cheese, of course, and the fries aren’t to be missed either."
54 Great Jones Street (map)
Website

Daphne Cheng, Chef,  Mother of Pearl
Buddha Bodai
“I love the dim sum there. My favorite things to order are the rice rolls, rice in bamboo leaves, vegetarian meat and coconut peanut mochi.”
5 Mott Street (map)
Website

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