Friday, April 3, 2015


The hottest eatery opening in the city right now is Marcus Samuelsson's Streetbird at 116th Street and FDB.  Harlem's notable celebrity chef debuted his second, more affordable restaurant uptown yesterday but how was the food which was inspired by the various ethnic eateries found throughout the neighborhood?  M&G Diner's old neon sign lights the back of the dining area with the saying Old Fashion but Good and that immediately comes to mind.  We kind of enjoyed that overly priced, fussy comfort food kind of ended its run here with offerings that are approachable and straight forward good eating.

The star of the show of course is the perfectly roasted chicken which does come with a subtle sprinkle of spice and optional side sauces such as Smokey Q,  Sweet Soy, Jamercain, Green Cowboy or the signature Streetbird Hot Sauce.  After asking for a recommendation from our Jamaican waitress, we chose the jerk option which really was delightfully somewhat on a whole different level with a magical balance of heat and fresh, smokey flavor.  A quarter chicken order with a choice of dark or white meat only rung up for $5.50 and we always prefer the juicier cuts which offer up the most flavor.  Green garnishes like scallion and cilantro are also a nice touch that add a bit of sharpness to this typically unadorned fare.  Hungrier guests  have the option of choosing larger half or whole chicken portions if so desired.

Another key dish at the Bird is the Lo Mein noodles which is also a great option for the vegetarians out there. Cabbage, scallions, pickled mustard greens, dill and caraway are all sauced together in a brown gravy that is both fragrant and spicy at the same time. We actually have quite a hot palate but enjoy it when the heat does not take over the dish completely like they do over at the trendy Mission Chinese downtown.  Everything here is served on kitsch plates which are a little tongue-in-cheek nod to the origins of the cuisine.  Eddie Huang would probably wring his hands at the whole affair but this is not really about introducing exotic bao buns or soup dumplings to the neighborhood.

Sandwiches, Ethiopian Injera, piri-piri catfish, fries and various sides are also part of the selection but one can only try so much the first time around.  French fries are shoestring cut and will remind folks of the upgraded version of that famous fast food chain but probably just a bit fresher in the just cut sort of way.  Spicey green cucumber pickle is basically Streetbird's version of green kimchi which added a nice brightness to the meal at hand for the day.  Other dishes we wished we could be trying right now include the crispy bird sandwich, Bird Broth or even the Kale salad which can be upgraded with fish chicken or shrimp.  More of the menu which is also up for home delivery can be found online.  Another point to note is that right now the restaurant is focusing on the food and does not have cocktails, wine or beer set up yet.

For more on Streetbird, check out our past post: LINK

1 comment:

  1. My wife and I stopped by Friday night. It was so good, and so cheap, that we went back the next day for lunch! They have two special cocktails, one of which '' the "Juicy Fruit" -- is unlike anything I've ever had before. This place will be a Harlem treasure for a long time to come. Kudos to Marcus and his business partners on another home run.