Samís Spring Roll
23 Essex St
City: New York, NY
Phone: (212) 777-7211
Site: Visit the restaurant site
Area: Lower East Side
Dedicating yourself to one item and getting it right is the idea behind Sam's Spring Roll. This quirky spot on the Lower East Side is tight with some counter seating and a few tables. Chairs are covered in paint splatters (luckily it's dry) and don't be surpised to find graffiti sprawled on your table. But the real reason to come here is the food.
The spring rolls are one of a kind with a crisp, crunchy shell. Crack one open and you might find the aroma of cumin engulfing a mix of rice and chicken spiked with a bit of Worcestershire. Pork partners up with leek, while the "bulgogi" gets a filling of beef with mushroom soy and sesame oil. Buy one for $2, or three for $5, although it's pretty much guaranteed you won't be able to stop at just one.
Sauces include a creamy verde will jalapeno and garlic; chimichurri gets lots of fresh parsley; and a spicy Thai sauce, fondly dubbed "crack," is made with Thai chili peppers, fish sauce and cilantro. Yes, it is addictive, especially when ordered with a side of waffle fries ($3); add cheese for a buck extra. You can also have a roll with a rice bowl topped fried egg and pickles, or mixed greens with sesame miso dressing.
Service here is friendly. The crowd is hipster.
Review By: Thomas Rafael