Nice Day Fuses Chinese Takeout with American Comfort for Maximum Deliciousness

2021, Aug 07

Nice Day Chinese Takeout (f.k.a. Junzi Kitchen) in Greenwich Village specializes in Chinese takeout classics ‘remixed’ with American comfort foods, and expertly toes the line between traditional flavors and resplendent creativity.

I popped into Nice Day earlier this afternoon with the plan to pick up one of their Cheeseburger Egg Rolls, which has been on my ‘must-eat-again’ list ever since I first tried one earlier this summer. After a quick menu consultation, I also decided the time was as good as any for mapo mac and cheese.

Did I want that with or without sausage? queried the friendly cashier.

Well, I had eaten about six cookies earlier as part of a soon-to-be-revealed neighborhood ranking, and was also recovering from a cheeseburger-chorizo double-lunch — but yes, Ms. Cashier, you bet your bottom dollar I want sausage in my mapo mac and cheese.

The Cheeseburger Egg Roll was as hefty as I remembered, holding about a Happy Meal’s worth of beef and cheddar. I ventured dipping the roll into the side of mustard and relish, which turned out to be a delightful cheat code. The sharp mustard flavor cut the saucy, meaty umami of the roll with a pungent kick; every bite had plenty of cheese, steaming-hot and redolent of chili-oil.

I was delighted by the multiple full-bodied textures in the mapo mac and cheese; deep-fried tofu cubes shared equal footing with savory Chinese sausage. Heady shiitake mushrooms were also in the mix. The creamy mapo and sharp cheddar sauce was subtly cheesy, and ultimately, a great blanket for macaroni.

I give Nice Day an 8.7; I love this place, and not just because they stuff cheeseburgers into fried egg rolls. The staff is friendly, the menu is inspired, and frankly, they’re the absolute best option for a cheat meal when I’m tired of the routine burgers-and-fries.

Nice Day — formerly known as Junzi — and yet a rose by any other name…

Until next time.