Taiwanese fried chicken chain opens first NYC location today
Popular Taiwan fried chicken chain TKK Fried Chicken lands in NYC today, a collaboration with bubble tea chain Kung Fu Tea. The outpost in Gramercy at 115 East 23rd St., east of Park Avenue South, will have bubble tea and the chain’s fried chicken, chicken tenders, and wings, available in original, mild, and spicy. Also on deck is a kwa kwa bao, a sticky rice filled with mushrooms and pork that’s then deep fried in chicken skin. For the first three days, people who buy a combo meal will get a free drink, and on Saturday, the first 50 people in line will get free combo meals once a month for a year. See the full menu here.
Shake Shack and other new food vendors open in LaGuardia
On Saturday, the first 11 new gates of Terminal B at LaGuardia — part of an $8 billion overhaul of the Queens airport — will open to the public. Part of that overhaul is new food offerings in the long-beleaguered airport, run by food-service company HMSHost: the 200th location of New York-born burger favorite Shake Shack, taqueria La Chula from prolific local chef Julian Medina, and Osteria Fusco, and an upscale Italian restaurant from Chopped judge and chef Scott Conant. To celebrate the big 200 number, Shake Shack is offering $2 off of orders at all U.S. locations of the chain when app users put in the code “shack200.” Incidentally, that code can’t be used at the new LaGuardia location.
Two local businesses close after about 40 years in NYC — and another closing
Longtime West Village health foods store Integral Yoga Natural Foods is closing in December after 45 years. The market, a trailblazer in the organic and natural foods movement, said in a goodbye that there is now “overwhelming competition” in the sector. Plus, up in Inwood, Carrot Top Pastries announced that it’s closing its doors in January. The bakery and cafe has been around for nearly 40 years, but for the last year, the building hasn’t had cooking gas. Owner Robert Mancino says it caused him to lose 40 percent of his business. Carrot Top still has a location in Washington Heights. And in the East Village, cheese and beer shop Milk & Hops is having its last day of service today. It was there for more than three years, and locations still exist in Chelsea and on the Upper East Side.
New Yorker critic digs the new Taiwanese restaurants around NYC
In other Taiwanese restaurant news, critic Hannah Goldfield scans the spate of hip new Taiwanese restaurants popping up across the city, including Ho Foods, Mimi Cheng’s, Win Son, Braised Shop, and 886. The braised fare at Braised Shop is “deeply satisfying,” while Ho Food’s beef noodle soup is “stellar,” she writes. But most fun of all is 886, which has a slightly clubby vibe. The “sausage party” dish, a Taiwanese sausage with a sticky rice bun, is a particular highlight.
Times critic highlights plush dumplings from an Afghan food truck
For Times column Hungry City, critic Ligaya Mishan looks at Nansense, a food truck in a former mail truck that parks in Chelsea. Mohibullah Rahmati makes his mother’s Afghan recipes, including dumplings called mantu that have “sheer skins” and ground beef inside that has “plush burger-worthy ratio.” Also a standout: the mashawa, a stew-like soup with mung beans, black-eyed peas, and chickpeas. “It’s suffused with dill, which adds an unexpected sunniness. With each spoonful, I felt like I could walk a hundred miles — or sleep for hours,” she writes.