Hybird and Questlove Bring the House Down; Here Are Photos

Hybird entices onlookers to stop by
When David Chang defeated Questlove in a battle of fried chicken supremacy, The Roots drummer and budding gourmand took his second place finish in stride. While the competition reinforced Chang's excellence as a chef, it also put the fried chicken world on notice that the musician/DJ/The Hoodie Shop owner had time to focus on drumsticks of the non-musical variety.

The result? A collaboration with Stephen Starr called Hybird, which opened in Chelsea Market in May to the restaurant equivalent of a standing ovation. To celebrate, the chicken-and-dumpling spot hosted an afternoon featuring its co-owner on the turntables paired with a menu of cheap eats. Here's a look at Tuesday's event for those who missed the live performance.

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Nearly Free Japanese Curry This Thursday!

The signature katsu curry, without further toppings, will be 55 cents this Thursday.

Japanese curry is a strange entity, so remote from Indian curries (themselves a sort of convenient fiction), that a resident of Bombay would be unlikely to identify a Japanese curry as such. Yet, it's one of the most popular dishes in Japan, usually a thick brown gravy faintly flavored with commercial curry powder in which vegetables like carrots and potatoes and a meager collection of meat chunks swim. One of the most popular brands in Japan is called Vermont Curry, which shows you how strange the Japanese idea of curry must be.

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Monster Hot Dog Spotted at Union Square

Find it at Adel's Halal cart on the east side of Union Square.

FiTR has expressed more than a passing interest in hot dogs and all their permutations around the city, so when we discover a new one, we can't wait to tell you about it. Stumbling out of the Beth Israel Medical Center at Union Square yesterday, we spotted Adel's Halal Food, one of those humongous street carts plastered with color pictures of fast-food dishes from a dozen cuisines, from which steam billows into the wintry air. A row of log-size beef sausages immediately caught our eye.

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Mei Yu Spring's Superb Chive Pancake

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The "chives pancake" (it's really more of an empanada, and yes, there are plural chives in there) at Mei Yu Spring, a new restaurant on Catherine Street. Shown broken open with a dab of Sriracha

Fifteen years ago new places like Fried Dumpling on Allen Street and Vanessa's on Forsyth revolutionized the world of Chinatown cheap eats. No longer were the best deals to be found at Cantonese coffee houses, serving a menu of congees and over-rice charcuterie, but at places that sold five Northern Chinese pot stickers bulging with pork and scallions for an almost ridiculous $1. Added to this was a perfunctory menu of hot-and-sour soup and pie-wedge-shaped sandwiches made with a homemade sesame bread that seemed nearly Arabic. Gradually, these dumpling stalls have become more like restaurants, with an extended menu of Northern Chinese, Fujianese, and even Sichuan fare, and Mei Yu Spring is a new place on the edge of Chinatown in the vanguard of that trend.

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Delectable Masala Dosas From a Cart at Washington Square

Eat with your fingers for maximum enjoyment!

Carnivores: Vegetarian and even vegan food won't bite you! And it's often just as good or even better than meat-bearing fare. A case in point is the masala dosa available from the vendor called NY Dosas, usually parked at lunchtime near the intersection of LaGuardia and West 4th on the south side of Washington Square. For around $5, and available in several permutations, you get a giant crisp pancake made of fermented lentil and rice batter and stuffed with a potato mixture that sometimes contains nuts, a real South Indian treat. It comes with a spicy soup called sambar and coconut chutney for dipping the pancake. Eat it with your fingers for maximum authenticity.

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Chicken Festival: Where to Go for Inexpensive Seafood in Jackson Heights

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Jalea is one huge heap of seafood!

Maybe the last place you'd think to look for great cheap seafood would be a Peruvian rotissserie in Jackson Heights, Queens, much less one whose name is Chicken Festival. Well, we were surprised, too. The best thing on the menu we've tasted so far is jalea, a standard of Peruvian cuisine, consisting of sea creatures fried in abundance and heaped on railroad ties of fried yuca, which goes just as well (or better) with fried seafood than french fries or even tater tots.

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Sharaku's 5-Course Lunch Deal

This is the main course, and the fourth of five courses (dig the onion ring at the right).

Anyone who's read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein remembers TANSTAAFL, an acronym which originated in the 1930s and stood for "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch." Well, it's still true - lunches are not quite free - but these days they're often a much better deal than other restaurant meals.

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UWS Street Cart Offers Cut-Rate Hot Pastrami Sandwiches

You read it right -- pastrami sandwiches for only $2.50 each.

A street cart parked at the southeast corner of 72nd Street and Broadway, the crossroads of the Upper West Side, has started outflanking area delis by offering a hot pastrami sandwich at the incredible price of $2.50. Typical pastrami sandwich cost in the neighborhood: $15.

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A Year Older? Celebrate With Restaurant Birthday Freebies All Over New York City.


Living in New York isn't cheap, but at least celebrating a birthday here doesn't have to be pricey. From sweets to snacks and appetizers to alcoholic beverages, simply showing an ID with your date of birth can earn you some food freebies around town. Try out this bunch below.

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Great Eats on 41st Street Near the NYPL

At Mai Sushi, the pigfoot (tonkotsu) ramen is about half the price of Ippudo's.

This week Counter Culture breezes into four (now three) fast food spots on East 41st Street in Midtown, the block running east of the New York Public Library's main branch, constituting a kind of open-air Japanese food court. Here are some suggestions for the best things to try on the block.

Read the full Counter Culture review here.

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