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NY Food Tour / Spring Break '08


anthonybishopric
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Have you ever been to Katz's? If not, and you go, you could have pastrami, corned beef, hot dogs, specials, knishes, Dr. Brown's of various flavors; and then walk a few blocks around the corner and have Il Laboratorio's gelato & donuts from Donut Plant, all in one fell swoop :smile: !

And to finish, you could check out the Essex St. Market (and Anne Saxelby's cheeses), Russ & Daughter's for your smoked fish and caviar as well as stock up at Economy Candy on Rivington...some of these places were even around before ramen...and should be on anyone's NY food tour.

Setagaya and Shake Shack - please.

PDT and D & C - yes.

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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Have you ever been to Katz's?  If not, and you go, you could have pastrami, corned beef, hot dogs, specials, knishes, Dr. Brown's of various flavors; and then walk a few blocks around the corner and have Il Laboratorio's gelato & donuts from Donut Plant, all in one fell swoop  :smile:

And to finish, you could check out the Essex St. Market (and Anne Saxelby's cheeses), Russ & Daughter's for your smoked fish and caviar as well as stock up at  Economy Candy on Rivington...some of these places were even around before ramen...and should be on anyone's NY food tour.

Setagaya and Shake Shack - please.

PDT and D & C - yes.

Yes!! Totally agree. At the very least, you have to go to Katz's and Russ & Daughters. I'm fairly certain R&D laces the whitefish salad with crack.

Your trip sounds incredible and I'm so glad you're able to share photos of it. Aren't you full?!

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I have one free spot left for lunch: Saturday afternoon. Where should I go? I've considered these places

-Union Square Cafe

-RUB BBQ

-Shake Shack

-Tiá Pol

-Otto

I'm really leaning on RUB, but I'm not sure exactly. If you guys have any input, please help! I've already gotten help from several people, and these places all came up, but if I'm missing anything crucial here, then this is the opportunity to fix that.

Tomorrow: Tabla, Gimme! Coffee (again, for espresso this time), Setagaya, PDT

edited for spelling, silly mistakes

You're leaning on RUB because after a week of HAUTE cuisine, you'd like some down home Americana.

That said, I'd recommend going to Daisy Mae's over Rub. Their Memphis dry-rubs are amazing as are all their sides.

Get a mini-ramen at Setagaya and try out Menkuitei on the Bowery just south of St. Marks. Setagaya was always way overrated and has since gone downhill fast.... Prepare to be disappointed!

I'm not happy with Menkui Tei lately, though. The last time I went, there was raw ground pork in clumps, and they didn't offer to comp the meal. I paid and didn't make an issue of it, but the right thing for them to do would have been to comp the meal, since I had already eaten too much of the ramen for it to have been reasonable for them to replace it. Menkui Tei is on Cooper Square (the part that's an extension of 3rd Av.), by the way.

Anthony, you're going to school in North Carolina, aren't you? Isn't it a bit strange to go from Carolina to New York for barbecue? :huh:

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Have you ever been to Katz's?  If not, and you go, you could have pastrami, corned beef, hot dogs, specials, knishes, Dr. Brown's of various flavors; and then walk a few blocks around the corner and have Il Laboratorio's gelato & donuts from Donut Plant, all in one fell swoop  :smile:

And to finish, you could check out the Essex St. Market (and Anne Saxelby's cheeses), Russ & Daughter's for your smoked fish and caviar as well as stock up at  Economy Candy on Rivington...some of these places were even around before ramen...and should be on anyone's NY food tour.

Setagaya and Shake Shack - please.

PDT and D & C - yes.

That sounds especially tasty. I could go for some pastrami, caviar and smoked fish, plus that whole donut shop thing has to happen. I mean, seriously.

Your trip sounds incredible and I'm so glad you're able to share photos of it.  Aren't you full?!

Incredibly, incredibly full.

Anthony, you're going to school in North Carolina, aren't you? Isn't it a bit strange to go from Carolina to New York for barbecue? :huh:

So, that's a really good point. When I was at PDT tonight I actually met Tien Ho of Ssäm Bar, who basically said "why tf are you going to bbq in new england? go get pizza instead" and directed me towards John's Pizza on Bleecker. I can actually score some pretty tasty bbq at some local venues back home if I really want, so I'm going to focus on non-southern style cooking while I'm here.

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Spring Break '08 - First culinary tour of NY

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So with all due respect to NC barbecue, it's nothing like the likes of RUB, Daisy May, or Hill Country. Different beasts.

I still really like Seta and Shake Shack. Haven't been to the former in a while, but I really don't buy a lot of the food board talk that dictates a place has gone "down hill" when a few lukewarm reports have come in. That's just me.

With that said, Katz's is by far the best recommendation--you must get pastrami, nothing else. Paired with a slice of pizza, a bagel, and some smoked fish you've got NYC culture right there.

And how the hell did you meet Tien? You should've tried to score a reso at Ko.

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[...]When I was at PDT tonight I actually met Tien Ho of Ssäm Bar, who basically said "why tf are you going to bbq in new england? go get pizza instead"[...]

I agree with him, but New York is not part of New England. :smile:

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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So with all due respect to NC barbecue, it's nothing like the likes of RUB, Daisy May, or Hill Country.  Different beasts.

I still really like Seta and Shake Shack.  Haven't been to the former in a while, but I really don't buy a lot of the food board talk that dictates a place has gone "down hill" when a few lukewarm reports have come in.  That's just me.

With that said, Katz's is by far the best recommendation--you must get pastrami, nothing else.  Paired with a slice of pizza, a bagel, and some smoked fish you've got NYC culture right there.

And how the hell did you meet Tien?  You should've tried to score a reso at Ko.

The barbecues are different beasts, to be sure, but...

And do get at least a hot dog and a knish to go along with your pastrami at Katz's...ask for fatty stuff when they give you a taste, and give 'em a buck.

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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With that said, Katz's is by far the best recommendation--you must get pastrami, nothing else.  Paired with a slice of pizza, a bagel, and some smoked fish you've got NYC culture right there.

And how the hell did you meet Tien?  You should've tried to score a reso at Ko.

Katz's sounds much more appealing than bbq which, while different than nc's stuff, is still going to be angled in almost the same direction. And anyway, we can bbq it when we get back.

Tien came up to the bar and sat next to me. I thought he looked familiar, and I had reason to think that because while I was at the stand up bar waiting for a seat at Ssam, I saw him managing plates leaving the kitchen. Not remembering this immediately though, he started getting drinks off the menu, which led me to believe that he must be with the in-crowd. He overheard me talking about the food tour with a very wasted couple to my right and asked where I had been, etc... All in all, he seemed like a really cool guy, and I kind of buy his non-bbq rec since he's from Texas and his transition to NY food kind of reflects our own south-north deal.

[...]When I was at PDT tonight I actually met Tien Ho of Ssäm Bar, who basically said "why tf are you going to bbq in new england? go get pizza instead"[...]

I agree with him, but New York is not part of New England. :smile:

Man, I made this exact mistake just a few days before I left too. How embarrassing to make it again. Don't credit Tien with that, I was seriously paraphrasing.

And do get at least a hot dog and a knish to go along with your pastrami at Katz's...ask for fatty stuff when they give you a taste, and give 'em a buck.

Will do!

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Spring Break '08 - First culinary tour of NY

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Russ & Daughters is also on Houston but a little west of Katz's, at about 1st ave. It's quintessential old school Jewish New York, the appetizing kind, not the deli kind. You can't sit down and eat, but you can buy stuff and take it home at have it for breakfast tomorrow. I'm telling you: whitefish salad.

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Russ & Daughters is also on Houston but a little west of Katz's, at about 1st ave.  It's quintessential old school Jewish New York, the appetizing kind, not the deli kind.  You can't sit down and eat, but you can buy stuff and take it home at have it for breakfast tomorrow.  I'm telling you: whitefish salad.

I want to stock up on tasty morsels that I can bring back to nc, or at least eat on the plane, or perhaps equally likely, in the airport (Sunday: mixed wintery weather). This may be good for doing just that. I really don't want to have to buy a slice of Sbarro.

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Spring Break '08 - First culinary tour of NY

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Russ & Daughters is also on Houston but a little west of Katz's, at about 1st ave.  It's quintessential old school Jewish New York, the appetizing kind, not the deli kind.  You can't sit down and eat, but you can buy stuff and take it home at have it for breakfast tomorrow.  I'm telling you: whitefish salad.

I want to stock up on tasty morsels that I can bring back to nc, or at least eat on the plane, or perhaps equally likely, in the airport (Sunday: mixed wintery weather). This may be good for doing just that. I really don't want to have to buy a slice of Sbarro.

Russ & Daughter's is the perfect place for this...but beware of other jealous passengers.

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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I'm not happy with Menkui Tei lately, though. The last time I went, there was raw ground pork in clumps, and they didn't offer to comp the meal. I paid and didn't make an issue of it, but the right thing for them to do would have been to comp the meal, since I had already eaten too much of the ramen for it to have been reasonable for them to replace it. Menkui Tei is on Cooper Square (the part that's an extension of 3rd Av.), by the way.

That sucks! Next time call me up I'll chew them out in Japanese. ano baka . I find the ramen much more consistent in midtown.

FWIW most of my Japanese dining cohorts who were not Setagaya fans in Japan, which is most of them, would much rather go to Menkuitei, or even Minca, Menchankotei rairaiken. Conversely, EVERYONE seems to rave over Santouka's.

I guess go try it out, and enter the great ramen debate. Please report back!

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Russ & Daughters is also on Houston but a little west of Katz's, at about 1st ave.  It's quintessential old school Jewish New York, the appetizing kind, not the deli kind.  You can't sit down and eat, but you can buy stuff and take it home at have it for breakfast tomorrow.  I'm telling you: whitefish salad.

I want to stock up on tasty morsels that I can bring back to nc, or at least eat on the plane, or perhaps equally likely, in the airport (Sunday: mixed wintery weather). This may be good for doing just that. I really don't want to have to buy a slice of Sbarro.

I make it down to NC at least once a year. Outer Banks, but a similar commute, albeit longer drive... gonna be tough to make it down with anything requiring refrigeration unless you take a cooler with you... I'd stock up on Bagels. They cost over a dollar a piece AT the H&H Factory at 45th and 12th, but if you go to the Stiles market at 41st and 9th, they are 40 cents a piece and I'm pretty certain they're the same bagels. Whatever they are, they are damn good. Buy a couple dozen, when you get him slice them in half and freeze them. That's the gift that will keep on giving

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Actually, now that I think about it, a Setagaya Ramen might really hit the spot AFTER consuming a fatty Katz's Pastrami. And they're a short walk away from eachother - 11 blocks but the blocks are really compressed in the EV and fly by.

Eat like the Japanese, with a ramen betsu-bara! (second stomach)

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Actually, now that I think about it, a Setagaya Ramen might really hit the spot AFTER consuming a fatty Katz's Pastrami. And they're a short walk away from eachother - 11 blocks but the blocks are really compressed in the EV and fly by.

Eat like the Japanese, with a ramen betsu-bara! (second stomach)

What is the Japanese term for eating yourself to ruin? Bourdain talked about it when he was in Osaka....

Sounds like (forgive the butchering) "Kwidoray"

"A man's got to believe in something...I believe I'll have another drink." -W.C. Fields

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Thursday, March 13

More than anything else, today's highlight was getting to PDT, and hanging out with folks there. I already mentioned that I got a chance to meet Tien Ho in a previous post, and I thought it was absolutely great to get what I would consider a very authoritative opinion on where to eat in the city. I'll get to the drinks later.

But, let's start with lunch. I did the Prix Fixe at Tabla.

Cauliflower Soup, Yogurt, Toasted Coriander, Pepper

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Sweet Spiced Oxtail, Tapioca Pearls, Peanuts, Leek

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Naan

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I want to point out that this naan not only looked great when it came out, but it is probably the fluffiest, most enjoyable naan I've had, period. That might be an unfair comparison with other naans simply because it's meant to be a flatbread, but my inner anglo saxon jived with this contemporary, western adaptation.

Lemon Curd, Toasted Meringue, Rosemary Shortbread

gallery_58755_5753_58551.jpg

Bryan knows first hand that I love thick veggie soups, and this was no exception. I liked how the yogurt was a nice cool contrast to the peppery mix. Unlike say, butternut squash bisque, the cauliflower here was not the single dominating taste, but rather just a major player, which I thought was interesting.

The oxtail came up next, and I thought first that it looked great. Clear tapioca pearls under rich, very saucy meat and sprigs has a color combination that I think is really classy. Overall, this was really tasty, but I definitely had hard time finding the "Indian" in it until I took a bite with the dozen-or-so peanut slices. Other than that, it basically came down to being a nice, modern use of oxtail, but not really of the genre. There was also so much of it all - tapioca is really filling, and the meat goes without saying, and I had a hard time cleaning everything up.

Dessert was really nice, but the same thing happened here. I loved the sugary mix under the lemon curd, and the light, fluffy meringue, but the rosemary shortbread, which I assume was meant to hit the dish with Indian-ness, really didn't. It ended up being more like batter-y goodness, but nothing really herby about it.

I'd say overall, if you want to get a large amount of food at lunch, Tabla would be a good choice for what you're paying for, and I would definitely come back here for a slightly more pretentious business lunch (Tabla is next door to EMP, I got the same Credit Suisse jitters)

Then dinner happened. This was probably the biggest error I've made in the trip so far, and I regret not having done more precautionary work before making this choice. I got to midtown in search of Menkuitei (which is not where it is. Google Maps was totally wrong). I wasn't able to find it, obviously, so I ditched it an started looking for other food. Somebody had recommended "something-ya" in a previous post, and I saw a place called Sushiya, and headed in. (looking back, it was Soba Ya, not Sushiya)

Sashimi

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Crazy, Crunchy, Something Something Insane, Hot, Spicy Spider Roll

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Red Bean Ice Cream

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To be fair, it wasn't that bad. Being completely, totally spoiled at this point, my goal of noodles looked pretty grim when I asked the waitress which version of the ramen to get. I will admit that the tofugu on the insane roll had a nice crunchy texture, and the ice cream was pretty nice, I liked the little chunks of bean. Other than that, it was a lukewarm meal.

Kind of upset, I hustled over to the 6 line to get down to PDT. Things got really good from there. I had two drinks (Apparently, 2 is my limit nowadays)

I started off with Falling Leaves, which is a dry Riesling with brandy, honey, and bitters. it was served in a smallish glass with I thought the combination of sweet wine and sweet liquor was really cool. There was one star anise petal in the glass to reinforce the kind sweet bitterness of the drink.

The second drink I got was Captain Lawrence's IPA, which was a little more bitter than I'm used to for IPAs in general. But for half a pint, it worked splendidly. I think overall, the environment was really fun. I got to talking with a nice couple to my right who recommended some more restaurants to try out on Saturday, and who carried on a nice conversation overall. Between that, the speakeasy environs, chatting with the couple and Tien, and really tasty drinks, I had a great time. I really want to go back and talk a little more with the bartender, who seemed really knowledgeable, but was busy training a new mixer when I got there.

Well, the less-than-haute experience at Sushiya would be supremely made up for at Jean Georges on Friday. (note from the future: it definitely was. Holy Moly)

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Spring Break '08 - First culinary tour of NY

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Thanks for all the great photos.

I have to agree about the hot dog thing though. If your in NY you have to have pizza and a "dirty water dog" aka street dog (or Grays Papaya)

With that said, Katz's is by far the best recommendation--you must get pastrami, nothing else.  Paired with a slice of pizza, a bagel, and some smoked fish you've got NYC culture right there.

And how the hell did you meet Tien?  You should've tried to score a reso at Ko.

Katz's sounds much more appealing than bbq which, while different than nc's stuff, is still going to be angled in almost the same direction. And anyway, we can bbq it when we get back.

Tien came up to the bar and sat next to me. I thought he looked familiar, and I had reason to think that because while I was at the stand up bar waiting for a seat at Ssam, I saw him managing plates leaving the kitchen. Not remembering this immediately though, he started getting drinks off the menu, which led me to believe that he must be with the in-crowd. He overheard me talking about the food tour with a very wasted couple to my right and asked where I had been, etc... All in all, he seemed like a really cool guy, and I kind of buy his non-bbq rec since he's from Texas and his transition to NY food kind of reflects our own south-north deal.

[...]When I was at PDT tonight I actually met Tien Ho of Ssäm Bar, who basically said "why tf are you going to bbq in new england? go get pizza instead"[...]

I agree with him, but New York is not part of New England. :smile:

Man, I made this exact mistake just a few days before I left too. How embarrassing to make it again. Don't credit Tien with that, I was seriously paraphrasing.

And do get at least a hot dog and a knish to go along with your pastrami at Katz's...ask for fatty stuff when they give you a taste, and give 'em a buck.

Will do!

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I had the quail and sundae last month in what sounds like the same seat at Casa Mono, and man, that was good stuff.

Of course, I'm not entirely used nibbling the meat off a quail leg with the whole foot still attached, but it was damn good quail. Very entertaining to watch the cooks from so close up, if you don't mind your hair smelling like paprika smoke after.

Keep reporting! This is great vicarious culinary tourism.

Cooking and writing and writing about cooking at the SIMMER blog

Pop culture commentary at Intrepid Media

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