On weekends when I don’t have to necessarily rush to go anywhere, I like to take my sweet ol’ time going to brunch with a friend or a few (if it’s possible) but I managed to have Helen fairly last minute. I know I’m admitting something relatively shocking but I have never been to Shopsin’s before my visit two Saturdays ago. Yes! Mock me, why don’t you?! As a native New Yorker who’s never eaten here, I know it’s a relative shame despite reading about Shopsin for years. Back to the story… I arrived to Shopsin’s around 12 PM with a shorter line than what you see above. (I took this toward the end of my meal around 1.) It’s just two parties ahead of me.
Once we got seated after waiting about 15 minutes or so, we’ve been staring at the legal-sized, double-sided menu that’s squished with what seems like a hundred or so choices. Eventually, we made up our minds and ordered. However, we had to wait for our food for 20 minutes or so because of a mishap that I will explain later.
Helen gotten herself the State Fair plate. What enticed her was the fact that everything is fried. A large chunk of deep-fried breaded sausage (which is the corndog), a large flat golden brown foodstuff that’s actually fried egg, and s’more cakes. Just to make this plate a bit healthier, they threw in a few slices of fresh watermelon.
Helen’s favorite part of the dish was the s’more cakes since it’s very sweet. When I tried a wedge, I felt like I’m eating little pancakes that’s made with a pound of sugar. It ain’t bad but these were meant to be for Helen. (In case you didn’t know, she loves sugar. And I mean LOTS of it.)
What you see above is Helen’s weird way she eats her food. If you do hang out with her long enough, you’re accustomed to witness this. What she did was take small chunks of each food item on her plate and stab it on her fork then topped it with strawberry jelly, or whatever fruit jelly’s available (that’s what you see on top of the sausage). Did this somewhat crazy concoction work? Admittedly, yes – the salty bite of the sausage, the sweet of the s’more cake, and the fruit jelly adds a fruity twist; except the egg doesn’t add anything except for a greasy taste.
As for me, I gotten myself bacon & eggs pancakes for the sake of sounding like breakfast, which I didn’t really have that morning. Unless you consider a cup of coffee and a piece of fruit breakfast. What I didn’t expect was to have small pancakes that’s made with cooked scrambled eggs and bacon. So, it’s literally a cross of savory (eggs and bacon) and sweet (pancakes).
How I ate them was to drizzle maple syrup all over my food and squirted ketchup. I just wish I’ve asked for some Tabasco sauce; it needed a peppery kick.
Also we shared an order of sliders. These babies were the main reason why we’ve been waiting for so long. What our waitress told me, the kitchen had “an accident” with our sliders so they’ve delayed delivering our food until it’s all set. We’re happy to see the food and all’s forgiven. We’re starving by then.
Once Helen started to get her hands onto one of the sliders, a whole mess of caramelized onions started to dangle out of the bun. Looks tempting, no? I usually prefer my burgers medium-rare (the rarer, the better) but they cooked it well, except I like them a lot. The meat’s flavorful and the sweet onions and melted American cheese added flavor, sweetness, and gooey texture. The buns were the standard soft bun but in the slider size, which I don’t have any issue with. I haven’t eaten a burger or in this case, slider this tasty in a while.
By the time we finished everything, we’re stuffed. When our plates were about to be cleared, one of the guys (whom I would presume is Kenny Shopsin’s son) done the classic Shopsin language – using the f-word but in a non-insulting way. It almost felt wrong if I didn’t hear it once after reading so much about it. We asked for the check and waddled around the Lower East Side to burn a few calories that we just ingested.
In the Essex Market
120 Essex Street, Stall #16
New York, NY 10002 (map)