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Tuesday, May 4, 2010


There is a diner menu, then there is the Ultimate diner menu. In a cushioned chair at the end of Essex Street Market, sits foul-mouthed Kenny Shopsin. He watches every element of Stall No. 16 like a hawk. Only this man would be ballsy enough to formerly come from a diner space to a 50 sq. ft. kitchen and produce an extensive 1000-item menu. Shopsin and his daughter keep breakfast items in the simplest form, but reinvent the wheel with mac 'n' cheese, s'more pancakes and slutty cakes (glazed pumpkin, peanut butter & pistachio). I mean, how could these dishes not a gather a cult following?

The Moe I ups the ante on the McGriddle. Two doughy pancakes with the thickest slices of maple bacon stuffed in the middle, topped by two sunny-side up eggs. The bacon has been soaked in syrup, so much that none needs to be poured on. Now you can't pick this bad boy up, but who wouldn't want the real version?

The pulled pork sandwich, aka ATW, was slopped with BBQ sauce, along with bacon, caramelized onions, cheddar cheese, jalapenos that overwhelmed the meat of the sandwich. It couple have been simple, pulled pork on ciabatta.

One disappointment were the jalapeno grits - I would like to think a place like this could get grits right, but they were undercooked and undersalted.

Drawbacks: Unless you arrive at 9am, expect a lengthy least 30 minutes to an hour and do NOT go with more than 2 people. Read the menu before being seated or while waiting. They do not care for undecided folks.

Shopsins 120 Essex Street @ Rivington