305 Church Street corner of Walker
$25 for two, with two drinks, without tip
Update, 2008: Province has closed
Oh, mantou, where have you been all these years? Mantou, the steamed bun mainstay of northern Chinese street food stalls is finally in TriBeCa. And I hope it stays because the neighborhood could use a practical place to eat where good food is served without the frills and the bill. A mantou sandwich is $3.75 and you can choose between bulgogi with kimchi, spicy pork, grilled chicken or braised pork shoulder with pickled radish. Each mantou is freshly-baked and grilled so the sesame seeds on top get toasted for a nice smoky taste. They’re dense but spongy; doughy but not heavy. If two mantous are not enough for you, the bowl of cold sesame noodles with tofu, eggs, carrots and cucumber in soy-ginger sauce is substantial for less than $7. It’s a refreshing summer lunch.
Province calls itself the Chinese Canteen and frankly, I like that name better. I would even call it the Asian Canteen because you can practically sandwich anything with mantou. Its simple unfinished decor reminds me of Momofuku Noodle Bar, only less pretentious and less crowded.
Momofuku Noodle Bar