Delivery Highlights in Quarantine Part I – NYC
Hello from quarantine! Can you believe it’s April, and we’re still quarantining? I’ll be the first to admit, this pandemic is much more serious than I originally thought. NYC has highest number of COVID-19 victims in the world, and hospitals are currently overwhelmed. So, like a good citizen, I’ve been social distancing and have not been going out unless absolutely necessary; even though I live across Tompkins Square Park, and every day I see people living their lives like nothing happened. I’m seriously jelly, but not enough to go outside and risk getting infected.
As for food, we’ve been cooking a lot more at home, and buying groceries through Amazon Fresh. For Korean groceries, when absolutely necessary, I’ve been walking to HMart in my social distancing gear (gloves, mask, and sunglasses). It’s crazy times. We’ve also started ordering Seamless a bit more (use this link for $5 off your 1st order), but not as much as the start of the quarantine. While I want to support local businesses and restaurants, I’m cautious of too much contact with the outside world at the moment. (I do have a little newborn at the moment to worry about!) So when I do order, I make it count. Here are my recent delivery highlights. And if you have any recs, please share!
Koko Wings has a newish location in the East Village, and so far I’ve ordered twice, and the Korean fried chicken wings in soy garlic flavor is spot-on. The chicken is crisp with an amazingly light outer shell, and the soy garlic flavor isn’t too salty.
They have a lunch special too during the week, but if you’re like me and really like fried chicken, you might as well order a little extra for dinner. A large order (20 pcs) is $25.95. As for other menu items, I haven’t ventured beyond the wings aside from an order of takoyaki, which I wouldn’t recommend. It was soggy and pricey for the amount included.
Visit Rating: 4/5 stars
Pro Tip: Soy-garlic fried chicken wings FTW! Skip the soggy takoyaki.
Wolfnights is a tiny wrap shop on the Lower East Side that makes their wraps fresh. I ordered 2 wraps recently, and as soon as I placed my order, they were practically ringing my doorbell downstairs. Of the 2, the dire wolf ($14.99; pictured bottom) made with a ginger dough, and filled with fried chicken, lamb bacon, cheddar cheese, green papaya slaw, pickled shipka peppers, and ketchup was my favorite. Because, helloooo???, fried chicken… Also the melty cheese and ketchup made it nice and saucy, and the pickled peppers added an acidic, fiery kick.
The beast ($13.99; pictured top) made with turmeric dough and filled with charcoal grilled steak, BBQ crunch, blue cheese, green olives, cilantro, and red chili mayo was also good, but not as good as the chicken. The steak wasn’t as juicy, and in general, the wrap wasn’t as satisfyingly messy. Still not bad.
Visit Rating: 3.75/5 stars
Pro Tip: If you like fried chicken and spice, don’t sleep on the dire wolf.
The East Village has a ton of restaurant options, but sadly, it doesn’t have one Korean-Chinese restaurant. More annoying, there isn’t one in the remote vicinity that delivers to the East Village. However, because of the restaurant shutdown, restaurants in K-Town, like Shanghai Mong, now deliver to a wider vicinity. Which sucks why it’s available now, but it’s a huge win for home-bound jajangmyun lovers. HUGE!!!
I’ve been going to Shanghai Mong for years, and while not my favorite, it’s up there. Prices are a little bit higher than other Korean-Chinese restaurants, but if you order at lunch, it’s much more reasonable.
I went with the Korean-Chinese classics when I ordered a few weeks ago: jajangmyun (자장면, noodles with black bean sauce; $9); jjambbong (짬뽕, spicy seafood noodle soup; $14); and, tangsooyuk (탕수육, sweet and sour pork; $15). Considering it was the first time in the 10 years I lived in the East Village I was able to get jajangmyun delivery, everything was crazy delicious. The jajangmyun wasn’t too sweet, the jjambbong had a ton of seafood, and the tangsooyuk, although soggy from transit, after a pop in the air fryer was crunchy and not too greasy.
Sorry I don’t have more pics, but I was so excited for lunch I didn’t even bother taking photos. 😚 Luckily, I took one pic years ago at the restaurant.
Visit Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Pro Tip: Order at lunchtime when the prices are more comparable to typical jajangmyun restaurant prices.
More delivery highlights to come in the next few weeks. Hopefully, the situation in NYC, and in general, the world, improves, but until then, safe and happy eating!