I’ll make this easy you so don’t have to move out of Union Square except for once. You can pick and choose. Patria: Great Cuban food get the chicken croqqetas, Union Square Cafe: everything, the best Balck Bean Soup I’ve ever had, across the street is Chat and Chew, you name it they’ve got it and cheap, Zen Palate: vegitarian but great scallion pancakes. If you move up toward Broadway you can get great barbeque at Virgil’s. Not just beef and pork but great hot dogs too. There is one other place that I always go to when in NYC and that is La Madelaine. I believe that it is at 43rd and 9th. Calm, romantic and great food.. If you are there for a Sunday morning,they make the best Bloody Mary’s in town.
Enjoy your trip!!!
"I perfectly respect your preference — I generally prefer my steak unsliced, too. But, slicing the porterhouse is Luger’s "thing." Them not slicing it would kind of be like Pepe’s in New Haven replacing the white clams on their pie with tuna."
Well, it’s not like I asked them to substitute alligator meat. To me, not slicing my steak is a pretty easy accomodation to make for a paying customer. But more than that was the attitude. When I characterized their attitude as "take it or leave it", that was just about a quote. If I wasn’t there with a date I’d have left.
I perfectly respect your preference — I generally prefer my steak unsliced, too. But, slicing the porterhouse is Luger’s "thing." Them not slicing it would kind of be like Pepe’s in New Haven replacing the white clams on their pie with tuna.
Coffee Shops – Nectar on corner 81/82nd and Madison, or Viand 61st and Madison. Pizza by the slice – Joes on Bleeker Street or DiFaras if you can shlep to Brooklyn. Pizza by the pie – La Pizza Fresca on 20th Street. Chinese go with Triple 8 dim sum or Wong Kee for other than dim sum. Italian – Il Mulino or Da Silvano. Snack, coffe, wine try a little place called ino’ at 21 bedford in the west village. French, other than the usual high end places, try Le Gigot at 18 Cornelia Street in west village. Great little place. I am sorry to say that there isnt one consistently great steak house in NYC. You can too often get a so-so steak on a frequent basis at the best places.
Well, maybe it’s me. I committed the cardinal sin of asking them not to cut my steak for me. Apparently they’re really proud of their bladework or something.
It’s funny. I’ve been to Luger’s maybe 20-25 times, and I’ve never had a problem with the waiters. In fact, I usually find them to be better than most. But, I hear this complaint often enough that I don’t doubt its validity. Unless it’s a NY vs. non-NY thing.
My vote for steak is Ben Benson’s. I thought Peter Luger’s was very good, but I was put off by the waiters’ "take it or leave it" approach to customer service. That kind of crap can be charming, or at least acceptable, at a barbeque joint, but not when I’m paying Peter Luger’s prices.
For Dim Sum — Triple Eight at 88 E Broadway is great for dim sum. The old stand-by is HSF at 46 Bowery. There is also 20 Mott, which some people say is the best in the city.
Go to John’s downtown for pizza, or Totonno’s in Brooklyn (or uptown if you can’t get to the boroughs).
For the best Chinese food in NYC, try Wo Hop at 17 Mott Street in CBinatown. be sure to go downstairs to eat, the upstairs one is totally different and not good food.
If you are into Brazilian-style grilled meats, try Churrascaria Plataforma on West 49th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues.
All-you-can eat (reasonable) prix fixe. They constantly circulate among the tables with sizzling skewers of everything from flank steak and prime rib to bacon-wrapped filet mignon and top sirloin, through lamb and bacon-wrapped turkey and sausages, pork loin and spareribs and …burp, excuse me. Yumm to bursting.
If you need a break from the carniverous carnivale, temporarily flip over your marker from green to red while you enjoy a very imaginative ultra-fresh salad buffet (white asparagus and heart of palm through tomato w/mozzarella and unsual pasta salads).
Only weak point is desserts (which cost extra anyway, so best skipped).
I was just there for the first time last weekend (Saturday, August 14), and truly loved it. (Also enjoyed the musical "Hairspray" while we weee in NYC for the day).
what neighborhood’s are you going to be in and what is your price range?
I’m glad you stipulated that he shouldn’t do all of this in one day, or else this all could have been moved to a "last meal" post — which probably would have ended halfway through Il Mulino.
You might also want to consider Peter Luger’s for dinner (or, if you’re not inclined to go to Brooklyn, or to have to pay in cash, Wolfgang’s, in Manhattan.) For a quick and cheap (but excellent) burger, you might consider The Burger Joint in the Park Meridien Hotel. And if you’re really into cheese of all kinds, you should consider a meal at Artisanal. You can literally make a meal out of cheese courses and wine; it’s one of my favorites.
The Golden Unicorn in Chinatown.
Uncle Nick’s at 747 9th Ave, New York 10019 has awesome greek food. Very casual and inexpensive – they have a flaming cheese (and I can’t recall the exact name of it) that is to die for. Also get toasted pitas and tzatziki – outta this world. One of the best seafood meals I’ve had was at the Manhattan Ocean Club, but that was during a trade show on business, during Wine Week (local wineries pair different wines with courses for free) – so that could have influenced my judgement. But non-the-less I remember the crabcakes as being awesome. Pricey though – but then again I wasn’t paying!
absolutely anything except cajun because I am coming from New Orleans
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