A Nuyorican at Better Being


Whenever you fantasize about comida casera, now you can get the flavors of Puerto Rico in a killer sandwich at Better Being 940, the newest midtown outpost from the creative force behind downtown’s Better Being Underground.

The sunny spot, which opened November 2012, is energizing the area’s food scene with its colorful market-driven menu, funky art, and downtown vibe. But the real headliner, to this Latinfoodie at least, is The Nuyorican, inspired by the Puerto Rican flavors of the Lower East Side and one of the restaurant’s most addictive sandwiches.

“The way all of our sandwiches emerge is that someone has an idea and brings it to the table,” said co-owner Shari Drewett over the phone. “William, the General Manager, had tasted sofrito in the Lower East Side and said why don’t we make a sandwich out of this?”

The Nuyorican ($9.99 with a bag of Vicky’s chips) brings together familiar Caribbean ingredients like avocado, maduros, and shredded sofrito chicken to create a spicy, tangy, creamy, and sweet simple meal with real zing.

“We thought the heat was really balanced. The plantain and the avocado helped to balance it out,” she said. The source of this heat are the Scotch Bonnets popular in Jamaican cuisine, which are blended with sweet Dominican peppers and culantro to create the savory sofrito. Drewett sources all of her ingredients at the Essex Market in the Lower East Side.

So why “The Nuyorican”?

“Because of the Lower East Side and the Puerto Rican population. I used to go to Nuyorican Poets Cafe. It’s just very New York at the same time,” she said.

Other Fan Favorites:

Kale Salad

The Squashbuckler

The St. Luke

Better Being 940 // 537 Ninth Avenue @40th street

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