The Downtown Chow Hound

Humanity can be split into roughly two halves. There are those who view lunch as a functional meal that should be eaten hastily, even spitefully – as if that gummy sandwich with who-knows-what on it were an enemy of productivity. And then there are the rest of us; who see the second meal as a chance to satisfy our cravings, discover something new, or experience a bit of fun in the midst of the workaday routine.

Unfortunately, the neighborhood where I work, Lower Manhattan, has a reputation of being a bastion of the lunch-scarfers, the blah-soup and drat-burger set. But I, as a member of the proud band of good-eats-seekers and connoisseurs of delicious and digestible comestibles, am here to loudly proclaim this: Lower Manhattan is a great place for a Chow Hound! You may be skeptical, but the proof, as they say in Montreal, is in the poutine.

So without further ado, here is my first run-down of some of my favorite Downtown spots. All happen to be places that are in – or near – the area the Downtown Alliance has dubbed Greenwich South.

Se Jah Meh has settled nicely into its new digs at 114 Greenwich Street, where it serves up the best and most authentic Korean food this side of 32nd Street. The lunch menu offers big portions for prices that, while not cheap, are offset by the generous panch’an assortment that arrives – for free! – at the table before your main course.

Tajin, just down the block at 85 Greenwich Street, is spare on décor, but makes up for it with generous, tasty and authentic Mexican fare. My personal favorite: the spinach and mushroom enchiladas. Other excellent options include anything served with their rich mole. Though, really, you could make a meal of their fresh guacamole, chips, and homemade lemonade.

Trinity Place, at 115 Broadway, is not exactly a secret among Downtown employees. But for those of you further-uptowners who need a little bait to come into the Financial District, here it is in two words: Lobster BLT. (Or is that five words?) A mini-version of this amazing sandwich is regularly featured on our Downtown Eats food tours, but if you want the big version, you’ll have to go on your own time.

So come down to the neighborhood, and check out one of these places. Let me know some of the places you think satisfy your cravings for the second meal.

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