Before our office moved to Chinatown, I'd only experienced Great New York Noodletown in the wee hours of the morning, on the far side of a few rounds of drinks, or as a comfort food congee-and-roast-meat stop on a cold winter night. But it's a great option for lunch, with lots of affordable picks (look to the Barbecued Items On Rice section and the Rice Plates section of the menu for a bevy of choices under 5 bucks.)
Splurge for the Roast Baby Pig ($7.95) if they haven't run out. The skin is the thing: remarkably crisp, layered with fat, dangerously snackable. "This is like pig candy," commented the Serious Eaters. It's served on rice with a bit of sweet cabbage; you could get two meals out of this if you stop yourself before devouring the whole thing.
The meat itself is moist and salty, a little bit smoky and plenty greasy—most of us find it a slightly better choice than the sweeter standard roast pork, though some were torn between the two. But why choose? Go with a friend and order both.
Great N.Y. Noodletown
28 Bowery, New York NY 10013 (near Bayard; map) 212-349-0923