Shopsin’s, located in the Essex Street market, is well known with the New York crowd. The owner, Kenny Shopsin, is a grumpy old man that runs the small restaurant with his family (two daughters and a son). They relocated from the west village to Essex Street market a while ago, but their fans followed them and continue to put up with the service because supposedly the food is fantastic. Calvin Trillin even wrote an article about him that was published in The New Yorker. I’ve read about the place a lot and we finally made our way down to the market a while back.
We only waited 10 minutes for a table (which is not too bad for a Saturday afternoon), but we didn’t know what we wanted to order since their menu is SO incredibly large. A lot of the menu items don’t have explanations, either, so I started asking one of the daughter’s a couple questions (which was a huge mistake). I was limited to three questions (but the menu is so f-ing large!) and we settled on the banana walnut chocolate chip pancakes:
The pancakes were a little gummy but not bad – they tasted like something you would make in your own kitchen (if you wanted to put in the effort). Part of the charm of Shopsin’s is that it’s a very small operation and the cook (Kenny), makes comfort foods that are easy enough to make yourself but at a premium that hipsters will appreciate.
Chris ordered Cubano 1:
The cubano had great chunks of sausage and melted cheese paired with a great hunk of bread. (Maybe my second favorite cubano, trailing The Spotted Pig’s work of art).
Shopsin’s is in a small corner of the Essex Street Market, but all of Kenny Shopsin’s cooking ingredients are kept in the restaurant (how does Kenny do it?!). If I ever go back, I’m studying the entire menu beforehand so I know can use my three questions wisely.