The Fat Radish- Definitely Not Bad-ish

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Pants at a Glance
  • scene: During the week, graphic designers and the women to listen to them; a downtown/Brooklyn crows, very chill and NYC looking, definitely no corporate types; during the weekend, the crowd is a little trendier, dressed to go out to all of the new spots on the LES
  • sip: For brunch there are vegetable and fruit blends that seem healthy and gross until you realize that you can add booze to the green gunk; the downtown types seemed to all be drinking some beer with a red label; the wine list is reasonably priced and pretty easy to navigate
  • savor: cheeseburger; grilled cheese; celery root pie; the hummus special
  • sit: with your vegetarian friend; with your friend that lives downtown; there was an Ugly Betty spotting, so feel free to bring your celeb friend
  • spend: $$
  • address: 17 Orchard Street (Canal & Hester)
  • phone number: 212-300-4053
  • website:

Months ago, I was so excited to try the Fat Radish for the first time, I called in a favor and still settled for the “F-K You” time of 10pm.  It was a Saturday night and we made the Fat Radish a destination, and knocked out a few other places on the LES at the same time because we never really go down there. The hostess and bartenders were friendly, which is surprising given their hipster appearance and employ at one of the hottest places du jour.  I was also surprised to see another friendly face, my friend Stevie who I have known since I used to drown my sorrows every night at Bette.  He took amazing care of us and immediately put in an order of their signature items: the carrot and kale salad and the celery pot pie, both of which I never would have thought to order on my own. I honestly think kale is gross (kale, so hot right now, kale)so that salad was lost on me, but the pot pie was a nice little package of amazingness, like a pie made out of Thanksgiving stuffing.

The menu of the Fat Radish is extremely vegetarian friendly, with outstanding grilled cheese with pickles (is it ever bad?), fresh homemade hummus and the aforementioned celery root pie. The great irony of all of this is that the best thing on the Fat Radish menu (brunch and dinner) is the bacon cheeseburger. This is a serious burger, but very approachable; it is not enormous in size, and all of the proportions are right, especially the herbed mayo, which imparts subtle flavor, not greasiness.  The fries are also worth mentioning…

Of my three visits to the Fat Radish, the food was slightly inconsistent, but the vibe and the atmosphere were almost intoxicating.  The space just feels cool, with the raw white-washed walls with old but slightly visible Chinese markings, and the flattering lighting.  The servers are helpful if not the most polished, and all very attractive in a way that they blend in with the dining crowd. Overall, the Fat Radish is putting the “rad” in radish…go now!

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