I followed your suggestions and left New York very happy with my eating experience – thanks a lot.
When I arrived Tuesday night it was late (9 p.m.), but I hadn’t eaten yet, so I moseyed over to PJ Clark’s, which was packed. I had to squeeze my way through the bar to get to the seating area. It was worth the squeeze. My hamburger (medium rare) and fries were the best I’ve had in ages. I’m not usually a big burger person, but this one won me over. Both burger and fries had a melt-in-your mouth texture that’s difficult to describe, but utterly satisfying. The burger’s taste was almost steak-like, and it was just the right size. The pumpkin pie for dessert was only so-so, but it did have real whipping cream.
The next day, I had breakfast at Ess-a-Bagel and also lunch there. The turkey for my lunch sandwich was sliced right in front of me, and I happily scooped up a dozen poppy and everything bagels to take home to my wife and kids. I haven’t been to New York enough to know if these bagels are the best in town, but I can’t imagine any bagel being much better. They were large and chewy, liberally speckled with poppy seeds. Why it’s so hard to find bagels like this here in Chicago is beyond my comprehension. Only New York Bagel and Biali in Lincolnwood comes close.