Ed. Note: Our new neighborhood is so riddled with crazy inexpensive eats that we've decided to try out as many as we can. Our lunch today could be your lunch tomorrow.
Sometimes it's 2:00pm and you haven't had lunch yet, and given that you've been nibbling on olive oil tortas and chocolate ice cream all day, you don't need a real lunch, just something moderately substantial and snackable to tide you over 'til dinner. (Or am I the only one who finds herself in that situation?) When I need something between a snack and a meal, I've been sneaking over to Malaysia Beef Jerky for a few strips of jerky; sometimes beef, sure, but other times sliced pork or spicy pork. Every flavor I've tried has had a great sweet-savory balance, and has been chewy-tender, not like the American kinds that can tire out your jaw before you've finished a piece. They're a bit greasy, sure, but I find that you don't really need more than a slice or two to satisfy. While I'm still working my way through the flavors at this shop, I may have to check out Chinatown's other jerky shops, too...
Malaysia Beef Jerky
95A Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10013 (b/n Grand and Hester; map)