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Besides the office, the SE staffers probably spend the most time during the workday at our beloved New York Mart, about 20 steps from our front door. (On any given day, at least one person will yell, "hey, anyone want anything at NY Mart?") This time, I came back with a styrofoam clamshell of hot food.

It's always a game of Chinese steamtable roulette when you approach these dizzying selections of roasted meats, greens, fried fish, tripe, and other mystery items. This one's not quite as overwhelming as Deluxe Market across the street, but there are easily 25 options. For $4.25 you get a choice of any three dishes plus fluffy rice.

I'm a real sucker for oily, saucy, totally bad-for-you, Chinese eggplant. This was exactly that; bright purple skins with their meaty, soft centers, ready to smother a forkful of white rice. I went with greens as the second since this was within days of our stuffing tasting (in which I consumed scary quantities of brown, butter-infused starches) as well as a shrimp and celery dish that wasn't memorable, but much improved with some chili garlic sauce hanging out in our fridge.

This lunch won't blow your mind but it's hot, cheap, and easily two, if not two and a half meals for $4.25.

New York Mart

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

About the author: Erin is the national editor of Serious Eats. You can follow her on Twitter: @erin_zimmer

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