Afternoon Snack: $2.50 Greens at 212 Grand Food Corp

From Serious Eats: New York

It’s late afternoon and dinner is a few hours away. Where do you get a quick bite to carry you through the day? Afternoon Snack looks at quick bites to tide you over without spoiling dinner. Got a snack we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.


[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

If you want to eat like a cheapskate in Chinatown, you better love carbs. Because your sub-$2 snacks are, for the most part, creative uses of steamed, baked, and fried starch.

But if you pony up an extra 50 cents, you can get yourself a pint of nicely steamed greens with some chili sauce on Grand Street, plenty portable and far less likely to give you a stomach ache from overindulging. That’s just what Erin did earlier this week, and I’m grateful for her discovery.

You can find said greens at 212 Grand Food Corp, a purple awning’d tofu and snack shop that also sells some tasty (and greasy) you tiao. Head towards the back of the shop and you’ll find a steam table with some rotating options, but usually greens. One day may be yu choy; another might be bok choy. They’re bright and tender but with firm stalks, not the mushy steam table fare you may be accustomed to.

No matter what greens you find, be sure to ask for some “hot sauce” spooned on top. It’s a sweet and spicy relish of hot chilies mixed with preserved vegetables, and its mustardy heat gives the greens just the boost they need.

212 Grand Food Corp (Kong Kee)

212 Grand Street, New York, NY 11013 (map)

About the author: Max Falkowitz is the editor of Serious Eats: New York. You can follow him on Twitter at @maxfalkowitz.