62 Prince Street corner of Lafayette
about $15 for one, with a drink, without tip
A really uncool name for such a great space and location, SoHo Park opened this week to all kinds of hungry and curious visitors. There were fashionable girls in line while the Brooks Brothers-wearing boys sat at the bar; even backpack-carrying guys joined gray-haired ladies in the dining area. I stopped by after work when they first opened and ordered a Hoegaarden and a Stella at the bar. The bartender had no clue how much beers were. I said, let’s just make it $11, shall we? And he did. (They probably were about $5 apiece anyway.) After drinks, I wanted to see if I can sit on one of the camouflage-covered benches outside. I waited for the hostess to let me know how long the wait was but I could never get her attention. She needed help from other employees fast!
I returned the next day for lunch and the line was long. There were plenty of seats inside but of course, the benches outside were already taken. After we ordered, we were given old license plates that had our order numbers written on them. Perhaps a nice touch to their “park” theme but the servers walked all over the restaurant in search of the correct numbers when delivering orders. (It was 1pm, by the way, but the girl at the counter was still compelled to greet each person in line a good morning.)
The double Park burger was juicy but I didn’t get cheese with it–I wasn’t reminded by the girl at the counter that I could order it as an extra. The hand-cut Belgian fries were also pretty good.
The grilled cheese with pesto smelled heavenly and tasted like it was indeed freshly-made. The onion rings were crunchy, greasy and was our best guilty pleasure side order. The different sauces were notable especially the red-pepper ketchup and the garlic aioli. (Redundant, I know, but they had different kinds of aioli.) The turkey portobello mushroom sandwich was a bit boring and dry but the focacia bread and the barely detectable sauce saved it. (I hope they correct the misspelling on their menu board before my next visit, though.) We also ordered the fried pickles which just turned out to be, well, hot. I think I like my Gus’ pickles just the way they are.
The food took a while to come because of the time of day, but when they did, we were pretty content (and hungry). The foot traffic will be good for business for sure, but they have to act quickly and focus on the service before they start turning people away.