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Where to Eat in NYC 2008? The Big Topic


Saltydog
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Shake Shack is out, unless they have veggie burgers.  We dont eat BEEF.  We do eat chicken, seafood and pork.

I would totally be at Great New York Noodletown - where the two of you can dine splendidly on all the pork, seafood and chicken you can eat for under $25. The tea is free. Along with the best shrimp wontons in the city and even roast suckling pig (get there early) for lunch.

Please, to suggest that two people can't have a great, NYC only lunch for under $30 is nuts. DiPalo's will make you two awesome sandwiches (cheese, meat or both) for well under $30, and you can check out one of the great Italian delis in the country at the same time. Grab your sandwiches and walk around the corner to a concrete park (I like the one on Spring and Mulberry) and take in the city at it's finest. Have a pizza standing up at Joe's on 6th Avenue. Go to Veselka. Eat. Try and spend $30. (Hint - assorted pierogis plate is about $8). Have a concrete at Shake Shack - avoid the lines and the burgers at the same time (though I think they make a 'shroom burger). Etc.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Are you telling me that chains are my only option?

I'd prefer to avoid chains.   Any good coffee shops to get a greek salad or club sandwich?

Sure. But why would you come to NY for that?

well if you must know. I'm on a medication that prolongs gastric emptying. I dont eat big lunches. I'm not coming to NY specifically to eat at a coffee shop, I was just asking about my options.

the size of the lunch isn't the issue. it's that almost none of the food options that differentiate between NY and any town of 100,000 people are available at that price point.

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Shake Shack is out, unless they have veggie burgers.  We dont eat BEEF.  We do eat chicken, seafood and pork.

I would totally be at Great New York Noodletown - where the two of you can dine splendidly on all the pork, seafood and chicken you can eat for under $25. The tea is free. Along with the best shrimp wontons in the city and even roast suckling pig (get there early) for lunch.

Please, to suggest that two people can't have a great, NYC only lunch for under $30 is nuts. DiPalo's will make you two awesome sandwiches (cheese, meat or both) for well under $30, and you can check out one of the great Italian delis in the country at the same time. Grab your sandwiches and walk around the corner to a concrete park (I like the one on Spring and Mulberry) and take in the city at it's finest. Have a pizza standing up at Joe's on 6th Avenue. Go to Veselka. Eat. Try and spend $30. (Hint - assorted pierogis plate is about $8). Have a concrete at Shake Shack - avoid the lines and the burgers at the same time (though I think they make a 'shroom burger). Etc.

sure, we have cheap takeout food...but none of those are NYC-only in the slightest.

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Are you telling me that chains are my only option?

I'd prefer to avoid chains.  Any good coffee shops to get a greek salad or club sandwich?

Sure. But why would you come to NY for that?

well if you must know. I'm on a medication that prolongs gastric emptying. I dont eat big lunches. I'm not coming to NY specifically to eat at a coffee shop, I was just asking about my options.

the size of the lunch isn't the issue. it's that almost none of the food options that differentiate between NY and any town of 100,000 people are available at that price point.

Utter bs.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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All of my examples cited above are only-in-NYC, as far as I'm concerned.

Shake Shack is simply a facsimile of Kopp's, Leon's, Gillies and similar places in St. Louis. There is nothing whatsoever NY or original about the Shake Shack. it's simply a midwestern transplant (and Danny Meyer would tell you as much).

Veselka is no different from (and worse than many of) restaurants in other Eastern European-heavy areas like parts of Chicago and Milwaukee.

I like Central Grocery in New Orleans just as much as I like Di Paolo when it comes to sandwiches.

there are plenty of places in CA, Vancouver and Toronto comparable to GNYN.

etc.

Edited by Nathan (log)
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Are you telling me that chains are my only option?

I'd prefer to avoid chains.   Any good coffee shops to get a greek salad or club sandwich?

Sure. But why would you come to NY for that?

well if you must know. I'm on a medication that prolongs gastric emptying. I dont eat big lunches. I'm not coming to NY specifically to eat at a coffee shop, I was just asking about my options.

the size of the lunch isn't the issue. it's that almost none of the food options that differentiate between NY and any town of 100,000 people are available at that price point.

Utter bs.

I should rephrase, it depends upon the neighborhood (Chinatown and the LES (which the OP asked us not to discuss) are obvious exceptions).

it sounds to me like what we really need is a "street-food" thread...a worthwhile topic.

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Do you know where I live? I live in a Culinary Wasteland( a town of 4k with horrible food choices).

Even going to London, ON is no big thrill. We're in NYC for 3 days. I'm simply not interested in fine dining on this trip. If I could eat pizza for 3 days straight I would!! ( I grew up in S. Florida and I love NY style pizza)

I hesitated before posting my request, I feel like if I dont want a $250.00 tasting menu, I shouldnt be posting here.

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CaliPoutine- is spicy food an option? If so there are also Saravaanas (South Indian- vegetarian), Szechuan Gourmet and Olympic Pita (schwarma, felafel, kebabs, etc.)to consider. They are easily done at your price point, and near the tops in their respective genres. Close to, or in, midtown as well.

aka Michael

Chi mangia bene, vive bene!

"...And bring us the finest food you've got, stuffed with the second finest."

"Excellent, sir. Lobster stuffed with tacos."

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Do you know where I live?  I live in a Culinary Wasteland( a town of 4k with horrible food choices).

Even going to London, ON is no big thrill.  We're in NYC for 3 days.  I'm simply not interested in fine dining on this trip.  If I could eat pizza for 3 days straight I would!!  ( I grew up in S. Florida and I love NY style pizza)

I hesitated before posting my request, I feel like if I dont want a $250.00 tasting menu, I shouldnt be posting here.

the thing about NYC is that it's so fricking expensive here that even a casual sit-down meal can be easily a $100 a pp. (when people talk about Ssam Bar being inexpensive they mean that you can eat there for $50-75 a person with care). it's not about fine dining. it's about the rents.

with that said, I thought you were coming from CA. yes, we have lots of great street and ethnic food (though so do Toronto and Ottawa).

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CaliPoutine- is spicy food an option? If so there are also Saravaanas (South Indian- vegetarian), Szechuan Gourmet and Olympic Pita (schwarma, felafel, kebabs, etc.)to consider. They are easily done at your price point, and near the tops in their respective genres. Close to, or in, midtown as well.

I can't eat spicy, but my spouse loves it. Are those places that adjust the "heat level" to your preference?

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Do you know where I live?  I live in a Culinary Wasteland( a town of 4k with horrible food choices).

Even going to London, ON is no big thrill.  We're in NYC for 3 days.  I'm simply not interested in fine dining on this trip.  If I could eat pizza for 3 days straight I would!!  ( I grew up in S. Florida and I love NY style pizza)

I hesitated before posting my request, I feel like if I dont want a $250.00 tasting menu, I shouldnt be posting here.

the thing about NYC is that it's so fricking expensive here that even a casual sit-down meal can be easily a $100 a pp. (when people talk about Ssam Bar being inexpensive they mean that you can eat there for $50-75 a person with care). it's not about fine dining. it's about the rents.

with that said, I thought you were coming from CA. yes, we have lots of great street and ethnic food (though so do Toronto and Ottawa).

I live 2.5 hrs from Toronto, I only get there a few times a year. But, it can be really expensive where I live. We ordered a pizza from a chain in a neigboring town. It had 3 items and cost 33.00. It sucked too.

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I hesitated before posting my request, I feel like if I dont want a $250.00 tasting menu, I shouldnt be posting here.

I promise that $250 tasting menus are entirely unnecessary for you to eat well here. Manhattan is expensive, it's true, but there are plenty of good places for you to go to, especially if you can increase your budget for dinner, which sounds like your preference. Kathryn had linked to a bunch of articles that talked about street food in NY and I know that the NY Magazine website (www.nymag.com) has even more. They do an annual "cheap eats" roundup that you can easily find.

I think that if you can budget $30-50/person for dinner you can eat very well. The $20 dinners I have tend to be in Chinatown or Queens. I'm totally sticking with my earlier recommendations of Terroir, Otto and Lupa for good, not expensive Italian food - Lupa and Terroir being better in my opinion than Otto. If you don't drink at all I don't see how you'd spend more than $30/p at Otto and Terroir, and maybe $40-45 at Lupa. Don't be thrown off by Terroir being a wine bar - and the food there is excellent. Also I'd throw in Tia Pol for tapas, again, not expensive but really good. I think that without alcohol you can eat at Momofuku Ssam for $40-50 a person, and we all heartily recommend it.

I'm going to echo Weinoo's suggestion (I do that a lot, I know) for a slice at Joe's on 6th and Bleecker/Carmine. Best slice. There's good gelato on that block as well, at either Cones or Grom. Stop into Murray's Cheese as well. Great food block.

I didn't mention Katz's earlier b/c I know from that thread that you're going there, but the places you have lined up for that walking tour are utterly NY and not expensive either.

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I lived in NYC for many, many years and always loved the Olive Tree (mostly middle Eastern, but also has other types of food). It's very, very low priced with really good food and a funky atmosphere. The Middle Eastern platter was fantastic, as were many other dishes. I haven't been there for several years now, since I moved out of NY, but from the reviews, it sounds like it's still a great place. They don't have a website, but here are some reviews:

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&um=1&ie=...462233762398033

Edited by merstar (log)
There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.
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All of my examples cited above are only-in-NYC, as far as I'm concerned.

Shake Shack is simply a facsimile of Kopp's, Leon's, Gillies and similar places in St. Louis. There is nothing whatsoever NY or original about the Shake Shack. it's simply a midwestern transplant (and Danny Meyer would tell you as much).

Veselka is no different from (and worse than many of) restaurants in other Eastern European-heavy areas like parts of Chicago and Milwaukee.

I like Central Grocery in New Orleans just as much as I like Di Paolo when it comes to sandwiches.

there are plenty of places in CA, Vancouver and Toronto comparable to GNYN.

etc.

This argument makes no sense whatsoever. The poster is not going to New Orleans, St. Louis, Chicago, Milwaukee, Vancouver or Toronto. The poster is coming to NYC.

And Shake Shake itself exists only in NYC. In Madison Square Park. As do Veselka and DiPalos (I doubt that Central Grocery makes it's own mozzarella and ricotta daily, to say nothing of its selection of Italian cheeses).

So, don't go to Per Se because you can get some of the same dishes at French Laundry. And don't go to WD-50 or Tailor because Alinea in Chicago does similar or even more experimental stuff. Don't go to Patsy's in Harlem because there's Pizzeria Bianco in Arizona. Don't go to Sririphai because there's great Thai in Vegas and LA. Hogwash.

A great meal can be had in New York for $30...it wont be Per Se, it won't be Yasuda or Masa (btw, I hear there's sushi in other cities as well), but by picking correctly, a wonderful NYC dining experience can be had.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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All of my examples cited above are only-in-NYC, as far as I'm concerned.

Shake Shack is simply a facsimile of Kopp's, Leon's, Gillies and similar places in St. Louis. There is nothing whatsoever NY or original about the Shake Shack. it's simply a midwestern transplant (and Danny Meyer would tell you as much).

Veselka is no different from (and worse than many of) restaurants in other Eastern European-heavy areas like parts of Chicago and Milwaukee.

I like Central Grocery in New Orleans just as much as I like Di Paolo when it comes to sandwiches.

there are plenty of places in CA, Vancouver and Toronto comparable to GNYN.

etc.

This argument makes no sense whatsoever. The poster is not going to New Orleans, St. Louis, Chicago, Milwaukee, Vancouver or Toronto. The poster is coming to NYC.

And Shake Shake itself exists only in NYC. In Madison Square Park. As do Veselka and DiPalos (I doubt that Central Grocery makes it's own mozzarella and ricotta daily, to say nothing of its selection of Italian cheeses).

So, don't go to Per Se because you can get some of the same dishes at French Laundry. And don't go to WD-50 or Tailor because Alinea in Chicago does similar or even more experimental stuff. Don't go to Patsy's in Harlem because there's Pizzeria Bianco in Arizona. Don't go to Sririphai because there's great Thai in Vegas and LA. Hogwash.

A great meal can be had in New York for $30...it wont be Per Se, it won't be Yasuda or Masa (btw, I hear there's sushi in other cities as well), but by picking correctly, a wonderful NYC dining experience can be had.

Well, since you mentioned pizza, I must ask.....

I thought I read somewhere that Patsy's is a brick( coal?) oven pizza. Is that correct? I actually prefer the NY style pizza( the foldable kind).

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CaliPoutine- is spicy food an option? If so there are also Saravaanas (South Indian- vegetarian), Szechuan Gourmet and Olympic Pita (schwarma, felafel, kebabs, etc.)to consider. They are easily done at your price point, and near the tops in their respective genres. Close to, or in, midtown as well.

I can't eat spicy, but my spouse loves it. Are those places that adjust the "heat level" to your preference?

Szechuan Gourmet (39th between 5th and 6th) has non-spicy dishes on their menu, but they also say that they can alter the spiciness according to your taste. There is a thread on eG that should give you a good idea about the place, there is even a link to the recent Frank Bruni review: click

Olympic Pita (38th between 5th and 6th) has a spicy sauce that they put on the sandwiches, just opt not to have any. Their laffa bread is made on the spot right at the sandwich counter, a better (and larger, fwiw) option that a pita.

A lot of the items at Saravanaas aren't killer spicy, but I don't think you have the option of varying the degree of heat one way or the other. Even if you get something mild like idly or vada it will come with the sambar, which may have too much of a kick for you, unfortunately.

aka Michael

Chi mangia bene, vive bene!

"...And bring us the finest food you've got, stuffed with the second finest."

"Excellent, sir. Lobster stuffed with tacos."

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All of my examples cited above are only-in-NYC, as far as I'm concerned.

Shake Shack is simply a facsimile of Kopp's, Leon's, Gillies and similar places in St. Louis. There is nothing whatsoever NY or original about the Shake Shack. it's simply a midwestern transplant (and Danny Meyer would tell you as much).

Veselka is no different from (and worse than many of) restaurants in other Eastern European-heavy areas like parts of Chicago and Milwaukee.

I like Central Grocery in New Orleans just as much as I like Di Paolo when it comes to sandwiches.

there are plenty of places in CA, Vancouver and Toronto comparable to GNYN.

etc.

This argument makes no sense whatsoever. The poster is not going to New Orleans, St. Louis, Chicago, Milwaukee, Vancouver or Toronto. The poster is coming to NYC.

And Shake Shake itself exists only in NYC. In Madison Square Park. As do Veselka and DiPalos (I doubt that Central Grocery makes it's own mozzarella and ricotta daily, to say nothing of its selection of Italian cheeses).

So, don't go to Per Se because you can get some of the same dishes at French Laundry. And don't go to WD-50 or Tailor because Alinea in Chicago does similar or even more experimental stuff. Don't go to Patsy's in Harlem because there's Pizzeria Bianco in Arizona. Don't go to Sririphai because there's great Thai in Vegas and LA. Hogwash.

A great meal can be had in New York for $30...it wont be Per Se, it won't be Yasuda or Masa (btw, I hear there's sushi in other cities as well), but by picking correctly, a wonderful NYC dining experience can be had.

I said these places weren't unique to NY. Now you agree. to me, when I see the words "only in NY" I think food that in North America can only be found in NYC.

If you just mean a physical location. well, yeah, the Olive Garden on Times Square is "only in NY".

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I hesitated before posting my request, I feel like if I dont want a $250.00 tasting menu, I shouldnt be posting here.

I think that if you can budget $30-50/person for dinner you can eat very well.

I COMPLETELY agree. I just don't think $15pp is very realistic. it's not even really realistic for Chinatown (after tax and tip)...unless you're just grabbing a Bahn Mi to go (which I do indeed do all the time).

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One problem with this thread is that people are applying criteria that I don't think CaliPoutine meant to have applied.

I'm sure lunch at JG is a wondrous thing and a great value, but not everybody wants to spend that kind of time and money on lunch. I'm sure that most people here spend less than $15 on lunch every day. And I'm sure they try to go to good places rather than bad places. I'm not saying that every workday lunch spot is a worthy answer to CaliPoutine's question, but there MUST be a lot of places that people here would recommend for a lunch that will cost up to $15. (OTOH, CaliPoutine should realize that what she's requesting aren't "destinations," so the answer to her question really depends on where she's going to be.)

I've already mentioned the turkey club (with rice pudding for dessert) at the Viand in Midtown.

In Soho, Alidoro on Sullivan St. between Prince and Spring is a fabulously good Italian sandwich shop. (Seating is very limited, so you may have to carry out to the park next door.)

In the Financial District, Alfanoose on Maiden Lane just east of Broadway is some of the best Middle Eastern I've had in New York.

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I said these places weren't unique to NY.  Now you agree.  to me, when I see the words "only in NY" I think food that in North America can only be found in NYC.

If you just mean a physical location.  well, yeah, the Olive Garden on Times Square is "only in NY".

Try not to put words in my mouth. I said they are unique to NY, because they are in NY. You cannot get the Shake Shack experience, or the DiPalo's experience, or the Veselka experience, or the Great NY Noodletown experience exactly because they are in NY. You for sure can get somewhat similar food in a lot of other places.

The Olive Garden reference is bullshit, because it's a chain. Nowhere did I mention any chain restaurants.

And in Chinatown, you can for sure get great food for under $15 a head. As you can by sharing a pizza and a number of verdure at Otto, as you can by having lunch specials at various Japanese restaurants or ramen, at say Rai Rai Ken, or by sharing a turkey sandwich, a knish and free pickles at Katz's...

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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