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Cheeky is a small sandwich place that I noticed walking to Chinatown and decided I should try it. It turned out to be one of the better places I’ve been to in NY in a long time. It’s one of the many new restaurants that have opened up in the Lower Eastside that is really making the neighborhood’s food scene markedly better. The owner is a really nice guy from New Orleans and he opened up the place in December 2009.
The place is small and the kitchen takes up a good amount of the place with benches along the sides where you can eat. Most of the clientele is pretty local and I think are mainly regulars as everyone seems to know the owner and vice versa. The menu is fairly small and consists of 5 or 6 New Orleans style sandwiches and some sides like chips and beignets. I love specialist type places and this is a very good one.
Here’s what we got:
- Chicken sandwich: This is fried chicken on a house-made buttermilk biscuit with coleslaw & gravy. This is delicious albeit very unhealthy. The buttermilk biscuit is really good, very flavorful and buttery, not overly salty and just generally good. The chicken is fried to order, nice and crispy, not overly oily. It all goes well with the thick white gravy and the coleslaw which is actually mainly just red cabbage (different than normal cole slaw, which I’m not a big fan of). Really great sandwich.
- ½ Fried Oyster and ½ Fried Shrimp Po’boy: this sandwich is unbelievable. The oysters and shrimp are high quality and fried fresh when you order. The batter he uses is so good. It’s dressed with a little mayo, lettuce and tomatoes. The bread he uses is really good too. It’s pretty self-explanatory, but definitely one of the best sandwiches I’ve had in NY.
- Beef sandwich: This is braised short-ribs with wild arugula, cherry tomatoes, & horseradish sauce on challa bread. The bread is really good, semi sweet and grilled similar to a grilled cheese sandwich. The beef is quite tender and tasty, I would like it to be slightly more together as it’s completely braised until its strands of beef, but nonetheless quite good. The cherry tomatoes and horseradish sauce go very well with the beef, another winner.
- Beignets: these are similar to doughnut holes, but the batter is a bit heavier than a regular doughnut. They are fresh fried to order and then dusted with confectioner’s sugar. I really like these a lot.
Overall, this is a great restaurant. I highly recommend going there ASAP.
35 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002
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