Shopsin’s is not what it was. But even what’s left of it, in its new pocket-size quarters in the Essex Street Market, offers plenty for hounds to chew on. The famously exhaustive menu, which ran to 10 pages of tiny type in its old Village locations, has been edited to two pages of tiny type, still well over 300 items. Most beloved favorites made the cut, including cheeseburger “slyders”: “3 little beauties on potato rolls with caramelized grilled onions, so good I forgot to ask for ketchup,” confesses guttergourmet.
Other enduring hits include pancakes of all kinds—with berries, or macaroni and cheese, or the amazing “slutty cakes” (with pumpkin, pistachio, peanut butter, and cinnamon), tasty enough on their own that you won’t need butter or syrup. Many of Kenny Shopsin’s numerous Mexican-influenced dishes also survived the move; of these, DavyTheFatBoy recommends Blisters on my Sisters (tortillas, beans, rice, and vegetables, covered with fried eggs and cheese and briefly run under the broiler). Sleepers include a killer chocolate malt, delicious house-made ice cream, and a little-discussed but exemplary egg cream.
The new space—cramped yet bare-looking, compared with the old trinket-cluttered digs—is next to Saxelby Cheesemongers, a happy development that has resulted in some new menu items, including a superb breakfast sandwich of fluffy scrambled eggs and aged cheddar on a crusty roll. Even Shopsin’s condensed menu “could take a lifetime to go through,” guttergourmet observes. “I will start now.”