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[Photograph: Jessica Leibowitz]

When I saw Alice Gao's photos of NY Mart on Mott Street, I was immediately drawn to the shots of the roast meat counter. (If health were no object, I'd subsist on roast pork and peking duck, with a dumpling thrown in for good measure.) They have various containers set out on the counter so you can grab and go at lunchtime, and there weren't lines at checkout, either. The portion may be more than you really need, but here in the SE office, there's always someone who's stuck to a computer subsisting on handfuls of cereal and spoonfuls of peanut butter. The entire trip from our office and back took maybe six minutes.

At $4.95 a pound, the roast pork and spare ribs may not be the cheapest in the neighborhood, but they're certainly not pricey. The container of roast pork came out to $3.76, and a single person probably couldn't finish this much. Some pieces were moist and would be perfect for chopping up into fried rice, while others (mostly at the ends) were a little dry and tough. This stuff is salty enough to make you seriously thirsty.

The spare ribs may be the better choice; they're significantly more moist, though they have a slightly awkward bone in the center. The meat-to-bone ratio varied from totally satisfying to kind-of-sad gristly. Some bites were candy-sweet, others satisfyingly porky.

Though it's not at the level of Great NY Noodletown or Big Wong King, we'll likely pick these up again.

New York Mart

128 Mott Street, New York NY 10013 (map)
212-680-0178

About the Author: Maggie Hoffman is the editor of Serious Eats: Drinks and coeditor of Serious Eats: Sweets. You can follow her on Twitter @maggiejane.

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