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Checking In: An 8th Street Report

Two years ago, your dining options around in the NYU zone of 8th Street between University and Broadway were fairly limited. You had a Johnny Rockets, a Subway, a Chipotle, and a slice joint. Yet six new establishments, the majority of them chains, have opened on that one block since May '06. And another is opening Friday. We decided to stop by the area to see what's been going on. All the new developments, from University to Broadway:

1) Dessert Truck: Located on the southeast corner of 8th St. and University, Dessert Truck launched October '07. Desserts, food trucks, and living in the Weinstein dorm has never been the same since

2) Dallas BBQ: This location of the substandard barbecue chain was often packed with NYU kids using fake IDs to drink half priced margaritas. It shuttered in the summer of '07. It will be replaced by a bank, naturally.

3) Australian Homemade: The brand spanking new addition to the street, and the umpteenth chain, Australian homemade will open their second NYC branch on Friday much to the dismay of the nearby Tastee D-Lite.

4) Crumbs: This outpost of the UWS cupcake giant Crumbs opened on 8th Street in January 2007 and competes for the sweet tooth dollars with Dessert Truck.

5) Cosi: The mega sandwich chain opened April 07. It offers free wifi and competes with Au Bon Pain and 'wichcraft down the street for the lunchtime sandwich crowds.

6) Rickshaw Dumpling Bar: Opened September '07. Heavily catering to the NYU demographic, the food is cheap, fast, and supposedly tasty.

7) Maoz: A branch of the Union Square falafel joint opened last week and is the newest open addition to he street.

8) 'wichcraft: An early comer, 'wichcraft opened in May '06 and was the first place on the block to challenge the trifecta of Subway, Au Bon Pain, and Chipotle.