By Kelly Rush
Mediterranean is all the rage in Lower Manhattan, and just in time for balmier weather. Two new restaurants are giving diners more falafel and hummus options than ever. For those wanting to get in better shape, a new gym is offering intense and varied workouts. And if you need better sporting equipment, head to a store that has the clothes, shoes and gear that could make even the most painful fitness routine just a little more fun.
At the grand opening party for this new retailer, shoes and t-shirts were being given away and customers were invited to sign up for a 5K run. Must have been a sports store. City Sports, which recently moved into a space formerly occupied by Daffy’s, stocks sporting equipment for everyone from the amateur to the professional. Shoppers will find apparel, shoes and a variety of accessories such as GPS watches.
The extensive menu of this quick-serve Mediterranean grill includes such staples as hummus, grape leaves and Greek salads, but that’s just the beginning. They also offer spinach and oregano pies, specialty platters such as the chicken shawarma and chicken kabobs, plus pita and baguette sandwiches. Those looking for liquid nutrition can fill up on fresh smoothies and protein shakes.
Adding to the district’s Mediterranean dining options is this new eatery off Chambers. The Hummus shop specializes in falafel, marinated chicken and steak and lamb, wrapped in a pita, laffa, or served in a bowl. Each dish comes with the opportunity to add “fill-its” including veggies, chickpea salad and beet salad. Continue with a sauce, such as the tahini or harissa, and finish with onions, olives, spicy carrots, red cabbage or feta toppings.
This new eatery is rounding out Lower Manhattan’s vegetarian offerings with versions of classic sandwiches and salads. Sandwiches include the Thanksgiving with tofurkey, the buffalo chicken, and a meatball sub. Try with a side of quinoa, a cup of the soup of the day or a gluten-free vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting.
Clarke’s serves Angus burgers free of hormones, antibiotics, and preservatives, and inspired by the techniques and standards established by New York City’s classic butcher shops. Clarke’s also serves hot dogs and sandwiches, including a grilled chicken and veggie burger. Finish off your meal with a milkshake or an ice cream cup.
If light strolls around the park aren’t really cutting it as a fitness plan, perhaps an ultra-training session dubbed “The Workout,” burning 1,000 calories in one hour, is more your style. Ultimate Fighting Championship’s new gym on John is attracting both hard-core fitness enthusiasts and those just looking to get a more varied workout than what they might find at a traditional gym. Classes in boxing, kickboxing and jiujitsu are offered, as well as children’s classes and advanced training.