I hate people who are not serious about their meals. -- Oscar Wilde

Saturday, January 8, 2011


The Bird may or may not be included in service. 

Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: Hot Sauce + Pancakes = good.

You either like Shopsins or you hate Shopsins or don't know what the hell it is. Shopsins is not for everyone. If you are expecting your needs to be constantly catered to and having a michy star experience dont come. Just don’t. save yourself the trouble, hell go write a bad review on Yelp. I personally don’t care because that means I should be able to get a table at Shopsins quicker.

If you do decide to come here, come prepared. Learn their unwritten rules that are written by someone on Yelp and look up the menu before you come here. If you think the menu at I don’t know, the Cheesecake Factory is overwhelming then this menu will most likely give you an aneurysm. My friend Conway, being smart let me, a food nerd/loser that already studied the menu (horary for work time productivity) and let me do all the ordering. I came prepared and like a good food nerd, briefed my dining compatriots on the rules and after a short wait we were seated. After we were seated and I placed our order, I felt pretty comfortable. Mind you, I was actually quiet nervous, actually the most nervous I have ever been to eat at a place. Reading reviews on yelp and countless posts on Chow, I did not want to get kicked out.

Being that it was out first time here, we decided to go for the popular dishes on the menu that I heard so much about, went with a half and half order of the Mac and Cheese pancakes and the slutty cakes, the sliders, the Santana Pete and the Jihad boy and the random item that I saw on the menu, the pastrami fries (felt I had to order it because I am a sucker for the combination of meat+ fried starch). After much debate, we went for a mocha nutella shake over the toasted marshmallow. The only regret is that we should of just said fuck it and gotten both of them. The Nutella shake, although I personally would have liked it thicker, was rich and was pretty much nutella is drinkable form.

The first to come out was the pancakes. The Mac and Cheese was the one I was most skeptical about because the combination doesn’t seem to make any sense but that changed right after my first bite, a hint of crispiness from the melted cheese and the inside was both soft had a bit of the bite from the macaroni, the slight saltiness from the cheese brought the pancake altogether. Through reliable sources, like the internet, the combination of the Shopsins hot sauce and some maple syrup made the pancake combination even better. After the first couple of bites of eating the pancake as is, I tried the stoner like concoction of the hot sauce and syrup with the pancakes and WOW! Point for the internet, these already awesome and tasty pancakes became even better. Next up on the pancake front was the slutty cakes which the name alone makes you giggle a bit like a school girl. The pancake had chocolate chips, pumpkin puree and peanuts.
Slutty Cakes. 

Due to pure Gluttony, the Mac and Cheese Pancakes were destroyed like the towers of Babylon.

The only thing that Shopsins goes wrong with this is that they give you a side of maple syrup, the slutty cakes do not need any syrup and is a dish that is perfect the way it is. The pumpkin balances out the sweetness of the chocolate and the peanuts give it a nice crunch. Pancake creations such as the Mac and Cheese pancakes and slutty cakes sometimes make me wish I was a stoner, because I can only imagine the level of satisfaction a stoner would get from eating just the pancakes alone.

The slides themselves put White Castle (Or Krystals for the Southerners) burgers to shame, they were plump and juicy. Although I prefer my burgers to be on the rare-medium rare scale, these were done up on the medium and well done range but it was still juicy and had the griddle crust that makes a perfect burger.

The Santana Pete I describe it as a Ghetto Eggs Benny. It was 3 poached eggs on top of garlic bread; chorizo and I guess their version of a ghetto hollandaise. Though I would have liked to taste more of the garlic aspect in the garlic bread, the eggs were perfectly poached and the bread was crunchy and buttery. 

The Jihad Boy was solid, made of brisket, pistachios, feta and pomegranate. The brisket was not dry at all and the tang from the pomegranate worked well against the saltiness of the feta cheese. 

The pastrami fries, sounded awesome in my head and was a whim order, it cried for cheese and without cheese(also can be called, awesome fatty dairy glue) it was a bit awkward scooping up chunks of pastrami with the fries. Not something I am ordering on my next run here. One thing that needs to be mentioned and deserves praise is there crazy hot/bbq sauce concoction. It was so good that I was actually sat through the meal thinking of a suave way to swipe the bottle without looking like a scumbag. Pretty much a mix of siraracha, Frank’s red hot, too much black pepper and apple cider vinegar it had great acidity as well as a smooth heat that made it perfect on everything.

It is a pity that Shopsins gets a reputation for their unwritten rules and tendency to kick out patrons rather than for its food. Although the food is not crazy organic chicken that run 10 miles a day or farmed in the secret fields of the Hudson Vallery it is however solid comfort food. It is food that hits the spot and you will leave feeling satisfied.

My advice to those that have been deterred by eating here from the stories and the rules is to keep in mind that Shopsins is not, a restaurant in the sense that they do not want your patronage. They do not care if you eat at their place. Keeping this in mind the unwritten rules for Shopsins are not hard to follow and actually make sense in a weird way. Just figure out what you want before hand, the menu is on their website, go hungry and don’t go with a party bigger than 4. Also, don’t mess with your cell phone constantly when your at the table, you look like a douche. 

Essex St Market
120 Essex St

New York, NY 10002

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