The Dip

They say that, in New York City, the only constant is change. While that may be true, my view is that the only constant is the better the restaurant, the smaller the space. This maxim bears out in the new kid to the East Village, The Dip.

Nestled between residential properties, The Dip asks its potential patrons to dip their bodies downward and into the literal hole in the wall that is this restaurant.

I’m being generous when I say the space can accommodate seven guests at once, maybe eight, if they’re malnourished. And there aren’t any tables, it’s all counter space and you’ll be lucky if you can snag a backless stool in a game of musical stools as customers enter and leave The Dip.

Their spare decor reflects the spare menu. There are five sandwiches to choose from, including a french dip, a buttermilk fried chicken sandwich, and grilled cheese. You can order a French onion soup, fries, coleslaw, and/or some kind of salad for a side. As there’s no alcohol here, you’ll have to be satisfied with San Pellegrino or a Coke product.

All of this is fine because, small and spare as it may be, The Dip delivers big flavors.

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buttermilk fried chicken sandwich

MDP ordered the buttermilk fried chicken sandwich, which is enough for two people to feast on because there appears to be two chicken breasts crammed between the brioche bun halves. Cherry peppers and coleslaw adorn the sandwich, with a smear of mayo to do it justice. When I asked MDP how the sandwich is, he mumbled between bites very good so I’ll take that to mean the sandwich is, in fact, excellent.

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french dip sandwich

I ordered the item to get at The Dip: the french dip sandwich. Delectable shaved steak rests aplenty on a toasted garlic bread roll, with gruyere and cherry peppers to round out the flavors. But the magic is in the deliciously salty au jus and thick, creamy horseradish on the side. Heaven on a foil wrapper.

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fries and coleslaw

We also ordered fries and coleslaw, which were nice addenda to an outstanding meal. The fries rival those of McDonald’s, but are far superior due to their just-right saltiness and crisp exterior. I found the coleslaw to taste fresh and feature just enough mayo without feeling too heavy.

While The Dip’s food is outstanding, it feels like they’re working out the kinks with fulfilling orders as of yet. The hipster-esque dude sitting next to me complained about being “here 15 minutes before [us] and they got their chicken first” to his model girlfriend. She demurred to comment on his chicken situation and went on to regale him about her eyebrow threading ritual as she stood beside him. In the end, he received his chicken sandwich a few minutes after we received our food and heartily consumed the fried chicken itself, but not the bun. Some kind of keto adaptation, I imagine.

Anyway, if you do attempt The Dip, visit on a nice day when you can take your food to go and eat at a nearby park or bench. A table is optimal if you order the french dip, so you have ample ability to, well, dip.

The Dip
58 Saint Marks Place (Between First and Second Aves.)
New York, NY
Take the N to 8th Street or the 6 to Astor Place. Walk east. 

Dram Shop

To be honest with you, I find it hard to believe that I have not yet written about Dram Shop. It’s probably one of my favorite places in New York. Sometimes, I think, I subconsciously (and selfishly) keep good places to myself and do not share them on Taylor’s Ham, so that it can be for me, and only me. But I recognize the error in my ways and would like you to know about and visit Dram Shop.

dram shop burger

burger

It’s located in Park Slope, on 9th Street between 5th and 6th avenues. It’s kind of like the part of Park Slope that people may not want to call Park Slope since the streets aren’t as tree-lined and pristine, and the brownstones are not on their second or third renovation. Yet, I am fairly certain this bar is, in fact, located in Park Slope.

MDP and I were on our way to a gig at the Bell House just a hop, skip and a jump away from Dram Shop’s locale. I felt it was a good time to return to the bar, a place I hadn’t been for at least a few years, since we had some time to kill before the show got underway. The place was hopping with eager fans of Ecuador shouting at the TV screen as they scored yet another goal in their World Cup game. We snagged a table near the entrance, but there are plenty of tables throughout the bar. And a pool table. And board games. So, if you come here, make an afternoon out of it.

dram shop fried chicken sandwich

fried chicken sandwich

Now, if you go to Dram Shop, you must order the burger. The standard is a double patty with shredded lettuce, tomato, mayo, diced onion, mustard and cheese (you can pick which kind you want). It is phenomenal. You can also order a single patty, but Dram Shop’s burgers are so thin and slender, two patties won’t kill ya. I opted for avocado and their chipotle mayo on the side, which made the burger even better. There’s something about the combination of toppings they give you that makes the burger outstanding. It also comes with fries, which are crisp and delicious.

MDP got the fried chicken sandwich that was topped with coleslaw, which I found to be an interesting, yet quite delectable choice. He was very satisfied with the sandwich and fries that accompanied his dish.

Oh, and don’t forget to order Miss Mcgrath’s Irish nachos to start. We didn’t get them this time, but last time we did, and they are amazing!

Dram Shop is a fantastic place to go on a lazy summer weekend. They’re showing all World Cup games, so it may not be as sleepy and relaxed as it normally is. But, come July 14, you’ll have the place to yourself. Go there. You won’t regret it.

Dram Shop

339 9th Street (between 5th and 6th avenues)

Park Slope, Brooklyn

Take the F/G to 4th Ave-9th Street; you can take the R to this stop too. Walk a few blocks.