photo credit: Kate Previte
Forsyth Fire Escape
Before Forsyth Fire Escape started their current residency inside Chelsea's Olly Olly Market, the process of acquiring one of their scallion pancake burritos felt like a scene out of a Looney Tunes cartoon.
As a pandemic-era pop-up, they used a rope and bucket to lower their burritos from an apartment's fire escape to customers waiting down below. Eventually, they started taking online orders that you could pick up at a Chinatown bodega on Sundays. Now, the operation is less cartoonish—but the burrito is as flaky, saucy, and meaty as ever.
The only food item on the menu, Forsyth's $14 burrito comes with pernil, fried queso blanco, guacamole, and fish sauce-heavy lemongrass chili crisp oil—all wrapped in a thick scallion pancake. It's a tasty, greasy package of food, and the strong lemongrass flavor gives the whole thing a surprising kick.
Forsyth's official hours are 12-8pm, but arrive after 4pm and you might find an empty stall with a sticky note that says "Sold Out :(." We once encountered someone who proudly announced they took a sick day from work to come here. Whether you should use your PTO to snag one of these burritos is up to you.
Scallion Pancake Burrito
Forsyth's burrito is a mashup of Chinese, Thai, and Dominican flavors, repped by the crispy scallion pancake, lemongrass chili crisp, and slow-cooked pork, respectively. The scallion pancake takes to the pernil like it’s an old friend, and the lemongrass chili crisp provides hits of punchy sour flavor that isn’t too spicy. They top the burrito off with some mild guacamole and try their best to fold the thick pancake carefully enough to hold everything together (but don’t always succeed).
Coconut Iced Tea
This is the only other menu item. The tea is on the thinner side, but it's not too sweet and has a hint of coconut flavor. We’re fans.