Nosy Neighbor: How Many Fake Restaurants Are on Seamless?

Joes Noodles websiteI noticed a new Chinese restaurant on Seamless called Joe’s Noodles. The address is 121 Reade Street next to Hudson. I haven’t walked by yet but that address appears to be the Tribeca Abbey apartment building. Do you have any idea what’s going on? Is the restaurant on Seamless just a front for another location? —Archie

If you’ve ever wondered whether all the Chinese food delivery in the city comes from one kitchen, or how on earth there could be so many Chinese restaurants in FiDi, this post is for you.

Joe’s Noodles is on Seamless, GrubHub, Menu Pages, et al, with 646-301-4010 as a phone number. There was no answer when I called at lunchtime. The Joe’s Noodles website listed the same number for ordering, but also 212-729-0499 at the bottom “for other information.” I got a recording saying that the voicemail wasn’t activated. So I Google searched the number, and what came up was AAA Asian Food at 325 Broadway. Clicking through to AAAasianfood.com, however, led to a home page with “Asian Diet Food” as the restaurant’s name—and more confoundingly, it listed two locations: 325 Broadway and 5600 N. Clark St. in Chicago (with the phone number 212-233-3915).

I called the number for 325 Broadway (212-233-7447), but it was busy. 325 Broadway is the same address as Arome Cafe, so I was wondering if the kitchen there was pumping out Chinese food—but they had no idea what I was talking about.

Then I noticed that on AAAasianfood.com’s “location” page, Asian Diet Food is listed as a sister restaurant at 70 John. I called that number (same as the Chicago one, 212-233-3915): “You want to order?” replied the person to each of my questions, so I asked for the owner—who confirmed that the food from “Joe’s Noodles” and “AAA Asian Food” comes from their kitchen.

Only after I hung up did it occur to me to use Google Street View to see if there actually is an Asian Diet Food at 70 John—and from what I can tell, there isn’t. And when you Google “70 John NYC,” you also get a restaurant called Joe’s Dumpling….

The question remained: Where is the actual kitchen for the false fronts listed online at 121 Reade, 325 Broadway, and 70 John?

I called Asian Diet Food (“70 John”) again and asked: Where is the kitchen? The answer: 31 Oliver Street. So I Googled that, and now we know: Lily’s Japanese & Chinese Restaurant is the source of all this food. The only question that still remains is how many more restaurants on Seamless and the like are fronts for it or other establishments. (Forget it, Jake….) Actually, there’s one more question: Is GrubHub Seamless (it’s one company now), which certainly benefits from showing restaurant growth in the period before it goes public, aware and/or complacent about the issue?

UPDATE: “I wanted to thank you for calling this to our attention,” emailed Abby Hunt, GrubHub Seamless’s director of PR. “As I write this email, our team is taking steps to correct the situation. GrubHub Seamless takes measures to ensure that every restaurant is correctly represented on our services and invites diners to report inaccuracies to our customer care team.”

31 Oliver Street
Got a question? Email it to tribecacitizen@gmail.com.

Previous Nosy Neighbor posts:
Is a 60-story hotel going up on W. Broadway?
Why are the BMCC trailers still there?
Didn’t Bread Tribeca have plans to reopen?
When is the Arman building getting its Arman?
Why is 15 Warren painted that way?
Where do Laughing Man’s profits go?
Are dogs allowed at outdoor restaurant tables?
When will FiOS come to Tribeca?
What’s up with 60 Hudson?
Will the W. Broadway construction ever end?
What’s happening at 87 Leonard?
When will the West Street trailers be removed?
What goes on at 444 Greenwich?
When will the Chambers Street Elevators be fixed?
Why are Goldman Sachs’s lights always on?
When will Pier 25 be fully restored?
What’s the story with the Batmobile?
Is 5 Franklin Place stalled again?
What’s going on with 88 Thomas?
Is another Equinox opening in IPN?
Is this the new dog run?
Any update on the Chambers construction?
Who’s responsible for the snowflake lights?
Is the scaffolding on 110 Hudson ever coming down?
Are the Hudson and Chambers reconstructions delayed?
What’s going on at 165 Church?
Is 93 Reade adding a floor?
Why is Pier 25 ripped up?
Is 28 N. Moore going residential?
Why does cobblestoning require sprinklers?
Do newspaper boxes need permits?
Why does 161 Duane say “Whalebone”?
What’s the story behind those Harrison townhouses?
What are those white things at 137 Franklin?
What’s that thing at W. Broadway and Leonard?
What happens to old cobblestones?
Are buses allowed to idle on Laight?
What’s happening with the Verizon building?
Will the construction at Hudson and Laight ever end?
What is Esoteric on Walker Street?
Is N. Moore getting cobblestoned?
What’s happening at 73 Warren?
Can you recommend any Tribeca picture books?
Why are those shuttles on Greenwich?
Who enforces sidewalk-café regulations?
What’s going on at 27 Desbrosses?
When will those trailers on West Street go away?
Do you know anything about 20-24 Varick?
What’s happening to my parking lot?
Is Pier 26 being worked on again?
What are those black pellets on Pier 25?
What do the characters on 47 Vestry mean?
Where is the Special Forces monument going?
Who’s moving into 151 Hudson?
What’s going on at 172 Duane?
What’s up with those Verizon carts?
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Who are the guys in the geeky pants?
Why are the windows above Ponte’s boarded up?
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How come every every film and TV shoot seems to have a trailer with doors marked “Lucy” and “Desi”?

11 Comments

  1. Accord Asian is the same. We used to order and the food was great and then we ordered one time and the quality was inedible. Walked by the storefront and it is closed so the orders are being directed to some other kitchen of much lower quality.

  2. My first thought was whether there could be listings on Seamless, etc. set up solely to get your personal and credit card information.

    If their controls are so loose that they list restaurants that don’t exist, what’s to stop scammers?

    • Kind of obvious…

      Seamless doesn’t pass credit card information on to the individual shop. That’s why the charges show up as “seamless” on your statement. Just like if you buy something on Paypal, it’s not like they give your credit card to the guy selling the item. That’s the point.

  3. TC, I’d be very curious to hear seamless’ point of view on this. Will you send this article to them?

  4. What’s even more shocking is the price difference across the various “dummy” restaurants. General Tso’s Tofu at Lilys is listed at $10.95 while at fake Joe’s Noodles it costs $16.95. This is appalling, it’s the same thing!

  5. What I don’t understand is how the restaurants benefit from this – do they make money or are they covering up bad reviews by creating fake restaurants?

  6. Good work TC!!

  7. Nice work on this article Eric.

  8. Certainly where I live, an Indian take-away sold their number to another place when they shut so that if you didn’t know you would think you were getting the food from the old place.
    However I used to go and collect the food so went there and found it dark.

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