Thursday, April 19, 2012

New in New York: It's Time to Take a Dip at Sticky's Finger Joint

The New in New York Sticky's Finger Joint

By Mitch Broder

I believe that Paul gave me his candy fries to shut me up.

If nothing else, the guy knows how to work his crowd.

But he does know something else: He knows how to perk up a finger. This explains why he has opened a place called Sticky’s Finger Joint.

Casual dining in New York will never be the same with Sticky Finger's like these.
These are my fingers. Above, the guy standing up is Paul.
It’s as good an explanation as any, and I didn’t press him because he was busy and because his candy fries really did grab most of my attention. They were the Okinawa Purple Sweet Potatoes Drizzled with Honey and Glitterbanged with Pecan Coconut Glitter. Per his plan, they made me less inclined to ask anything.

What's a good chicken finger without fries and this New in New York establishment has some tasty fries.
Paul Abrahamian has taken his potatoes and his chicken, not to mention his chocolate-chip sauce, and created an all-finger restaurant. Actually, he created a sign. The store took months to open. I’d have gotten the details if I hadn’t been preoccupied with his Creamy Pineapple Mint Slaw.

Paul is just a guy who can’t sit still, at least not while he’s trying to get his fingers in your face. So he made me a tantalizing lunch, sat with me briefly, gave me a fist knock, and disappeared into the kitchen, secure that his chicken would speak for itself.

It was eloquent. I had The Wasabi Finger, crunchy with zesty panko. It made me weep, though that was because I can’t tolerate wasabi. I had The Southern Finger, crunchy with fried-chicken batter. It had a buttermilk-ranch dressing described as “secret,” which I know means “healthful.” I had The Lemon Lime Candied Rind Finger, which was grilled and thus not crunchy, but candied enough so that I didn’t notice.

Step right up to the menu and begin dining in New York at this New in New York chicken finger restaurant
Along with these, I had the fries, the tastiest I can remember, and the pineapple slaw, which confirmed that what other slaws are missing is pineapple. I also had the Strawberry Slurp, which tasted like strawberries and yet didn’t clash with the lemon, the lime, the honey, or the pecan coconut glitter.

It was an unlikely meal, yet not as unlikely as it might have been. For one thing, I didn’t try the chocolate-chip barbecue sauce. And alternate fingers include The Pecoconut, The General Sticky Tso, The Salted Caramel Finger, The Pepperjack Flauta Finger, and The Buffalo Balsamic Maple Finger.

You get three of most fingers for $9, and three make a meal, particularly when you add a side order and a drink for $5. Other side orders include the Green Bean Fries and the Idaho Truffle Fries, which are “Glitterbanged With Lemon Pepper Glitter.” Sticky’s introduced me to glitterbanging.

Sticky Finger's Joint Robot mascotPaul was undoubtedly up to his hips in glitter, but he gave me the Sticky’s Finger Joint backstory thumbnail. He calls himself a “serial entrepreneur.” His last hit was a tech start-up in China. “Things weren’t working out so well, so I turned to my love of food,” he said. “I looked at the market and saw that there really wasn’t an option for fast-casual chicken.”

New in New York the restaurant may be, but this is the Sticky's Finger Joint vintage TV.You could argue that point, especially since there’s already a finger chain called Raising Cane’s. But it’s not in New York, and it wouldn’t recognize glitter if it got banged with it. Paul teamed up with Jonathan Sherman, whose father had worked for the Bojangles’ chicken chain, to build what he hopes will be a chicken chain for the cheeky.

Bojangles, of course, was a dancer. Sticky is a robot. The other thing Paul has a love of, besides food, is robots. So Sticky became the symbol of Sticky’s, and robot retro rules. On the counter is a red Panasonic TV that broadcasts snow.

Sticky’s isn’t exactly a comfy place. It’s set up mostly for take-out, its few seats are metal, and its few tables are down at your knees. But people still party there, because furniture doesn’t matter when you’re with friends and you’ve got the latest food. And half of it tastes like dessert.

Do some dining in New York at Sticky Fingers Joint.

Get stuck on Sticky’s Finger Joint, 31 West Eighth Street, at MacDougal Street, in New York City.


  1. Glitterbanging...perfect! A scrumptious post. Looks like it's a good place to party w/any friend -- real or imaginary.

  2. Sounds so weird that it must be good. Bring on the glitterbang.

  3. Glitterbanging...just the perfect word...and a tasty food topping to boot! I'm going to try to work it into my vocabulary more often.

  4. "Name That Joint" was a great dive/ sports bar on the UES, and one of the original homes of Atomic Wings before they became a franchise. It was owned by a guy from Buffalo and during the 90's when the BIlls we're a competitive team a bartender would blow a fireball from behind the bar to celebrate when they scored a touchdown. Good times for real.

    The place has since become a Brother Jimmy's and, well, that's that.

    1. I would have liked to see that. Thanks, Anon. I was also planning to include (in the above post on joints) a place called Burrito Joint, but it closed before I posted. Besides burritos, its menu offered "Bumpin' Tacos" and "Kick Ass Fajitas." It was at 126 Lex, which is now the home of a restaurant called Grilled Fish, but not Grilled Fish Joint.

  5. Best part of Sticky's is that the chicken is free range, antibiotic and hormone free. Free range, very different from cage free. "Thumbs" Up!

  6. Hey Mitch, I loved your story but I couldn't help thinking about how your fingers will be stuck to the napkins with all that glitter. A great place to go if you don't mind licking your fingers and getting them stuck on something. I will make sure I bring some baby wipes. -- Peter