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Harlem? Does anyone eat uptown?

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I wrote in last week for advice about food in the vicinity of 120th St and Frederick Douglass Blvd... and still no response. Maybe this shows the true demographics of Chowhound? I hope not. Please let me know if you have any advice for eating in any area of Harlem.

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  1. Try Bayou on lenox ave/125th St for good cajun, Dalia's on 109st/amsterdam for tapas, and the original Patsy's Pizza on 118/1st Ave for a great slice of pie.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Minda

      I'm a big fan of Amy Ruth's on 116th just west of Lenox. Great soul food, should warm the heart of any southerner. (Though I'm not sure there's a healthy thing on the menu. When you get chicken and waffles, do you pour the syrup on the chicken, or just the waffle???)

      I was pretty underwhelmed by Bayou, but I haven't beent there in a year.

      1. re: higgins

        I like Amy Ruth's on W116th Street - great southern style country cooking and pleasant service in a nicely decorated (casual) room.

        I've had brunch at Bayou and thought it was very good.

        I didn't particularly like Sylvia's - except for some pretty terrific cornbread.

      2. re: Minda

        Update...Bayou has closed. Instead go around the corner to MoBay on 125th Street.

        Uptown Flavor http://uptownflavor.blogsome.com

      3. If you're a fan of Caribbean food, try A & R Roti Shop on FD, near 126th. I agree with your suspicions about the demographics of Chowhound. I post frequently on the "Outer Borough" message board and find most of the posts to be concentrated in Park Slope and Carroll Gardens. Whenever I post about restaurants in Flatbush, Crown Heights, Richmond Hill, etc. I get very little response. By the way, I must confess that I have never eaten at A&R, as I do 99% of my dining in Brooklyn(I saw it recommended on a website). So if you try it, please post feedback.

        1. Don't forget about good desserts.Sweet potato cheese cake at Make my cake(not sure the name),110th st & Lenox and 139(138?)th st & A.C.Powell blvd,reviewed by Times years ago.I think 110th store is better.Once in a while they make pretty good doughnut.Try early in the morning,when the doughnut is hot!

          2 Replies
          1. re: Aki

            The Make My Cake at 110th and Lennox no longer exists, alas. A multi-million dollar condo with park views is being built in its place. Said condo is also taking the place of a corner grocery store that used to have a mural on it saying, "Forever Harlem."

            1. re: Tristram

              there's a sign up on the corner of st nicholas and 116th (i think) saying that there's a new location slated to open there. from the outside, it doesn't look like it's happening too soon. i've only had the red velvet cake (very good stuff) but sweet potato cheese cake sounds amazing.

          2. while it is a bit north of where you mention, you can not go wrong with charles souther kitchen on 151 and fred doug.

            they have a $9.95 all you can eat packed with their famous fried chicken (even if it is slightly better from the take-away window) collards, ribs, sweet potatoes, cornbread and delish (if a bit odd) banana cream pie.

            1 Reply
            1. re: johnnyfood

              The trick with the all you can eat fried chix at Charles Southern Kitchen is to wait until they are low or out of a particular section (eg white meat, leg etc) and then ask the waitress if there is more coming soon. When they bring in a fresh batch from next door attack it and you will not be disappointed. They are so nice and the food is soooo good - check out their southern style potato salad, country ribs, collard greens, and lots of other goodies GREAT VALUE FOR MONEY!!!

            2. 116th between 2nd and 3rd - try the little taqueria on the south side of the street with the cauldrons of meat in the window and the jukebox in the back.

              Just south of 145th st on St Nicks (east side of the street) try the famous fish fry place...take out only.

              Copelands on 145th (near B'way) has a good cafeteria side for reasonable quick eats.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Mark M
                Thomas E Gorman

                I will vouch for that little Taqueria. It's called TacoMix, but the awning seems to only say "Hecho en Mexico." It's an outstanding taco, especially the beef (from the cauldron) or the carne asada. Best mexican i've had in NYC by far (born and raised in SF).


                1. re: Thomas E Gorman

                  Hear hear for TacoMix -- extraordinary flavor, very juicy, great piled with toppings. I lived in Harlem for about a year and that was the best food I found -- unless you're looking for fast food or pizza, of which there's plenty, of course. Soul food tends to be leaden. But my boyfriend (he's also from SF, and knows his Mexican) and I still make frequent pilgrimages to TacoMix.
                  P.S. I think the awning's gone now....

              2. Is this a genuine query or just an excuse for a thinly veiled rant? Frankly, my experience has been unprofessioinal service and lackluster quality.

                1. Africa on 116th is amazing. Ate there two nights ago and had delicious grilled chicken, cous cous with a vinegary onion and green olive sauce. Le Worogoudou on 8th and 118th is also great. Try the banana mash with oxtail stew. The banana mash has the texture of slightly sweet gnocchi, and the stew is marrow-y delicious.

                  1. What about Spoonbread (110th, between Columbus & Manhattan Ave)? It's all about soul food.

                    1. A couple recommendations on the Westside...

                      Peppo's - NW corner of 137th & Broadway, right out of the 1 subway stop. Great Mexican food and super cheap - also the staff is very friendly. My fav is the chicken enchiladas which give you 4 chicken stuffed enchiladas topped with green sauce and sour creme, rice and black beans. It's about $6 and it's enough food for two meals. The guacamole is also great - they don't offically have chips, but will fry some up for you if you ask. Also, make sure to ask for jalanpenos in your guac or else you'll end up with "gringomole" (which is still tasty!). It's best for take-out since there is only 1 4-top, 1 2-top and a few counter seats. But if you do eat-in make sure to check out the jukebox stocked with Tejano bands covering '80's top 40 hits.

                      La Floridita - SW corner of 141st & Broadway. Typical Puerto Rican "Spanish" food, but tasty, cheap and you gotta love the attitude! Make sure to sit in the front window so you can watch the neighborhood go by. A great place to take visitors for a real "slice of life" expereince. Oh, and don't forget the sangria. I swear it's made with grain alcohol and cool-aid. You'll go from being sober to being passed out on the floor after just one glass!

                      Starbucks - Across from La Floridita. This is not a serious recommendation... Just wanted to know if anyone else finds it ironic that Starbucks is trying to sell lattes for just a dollar less than you can get a full meal in this neighborhood??

                      1. bringing this thread back to life - anything in the last 2+ years come up?

                        what about non-soul food (as much as i like it)?


                        2 Replies
                        1. re: The Jumps

                          GINGER on 116th & 5th ave. Fantastic food, great beer on tap. healthy chinese-stle food. try it out.

                          Link: http://www.gingerexpress.com

                          1. re: bill

                            I'm unimpressed by Ginger. Sure, their short ribs are outstanding, but the apricot glazed chicken is way overpriced and the mixed chinese vegetables were nasty.

                        2. We finally visited Revival this week. It's a bistro on 127th/Fred Douglas. I've tried most establishments in the neighborhood, Sylvias, Amy Ruths, Spoonbread, Ginger, Native, Bayou (We miss it since it moved from Lenox to 109/Broadway), Mo-Bay, etc. Revival is a bit more unique than most of the "soul food" places dotting the area. Decor is nice, service pleasant. Menu is interesting and it recommends wine pairings with each dish which was a nice touch. And almost every wine is sold by the glass at reasonable prices.

                          Had the cornbread mushroom app which was bizarre but very tasty. Mains were just OK. We both had fish dishes that would have benefitted greatly from a little less fussing with flavors and sauces.

                          Would definitely go back to the bar for happy hour and snacks, and maybe dinner again to try something with less sauce.

                          Best place we have found is Taste of Seafood on 125th/Madison. Just get the all fish meal. Take it home and serve immediately with salad or other greens. Fantastic.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: ellenlovesny

                            Actually the sides at Taste of Seafood are also quite tasty. The mac and cheese, greens, cabbage, etc. The side portions are enough to eat as a meal by themselves.

                            1. re: ellenlovesny

                              Is Sokobolie still there? (2529 Fred Douglass [8th Ave] at 135th St) Went there a couple of years ago and it had really good Guinean/Senegalese food. Don't expect much decor though. I've got a hankering for inexpensive good African food so I think I might head up there soon.

                              Old Village Voice review (scroll down):

                              1. re: Ike

                                W 116 between Lenox and Douglass (8th) is the place to go for West African food. I havent been in a while but there are lots of people on this board who have. They've also mentioned La Marmite, slightly farther north.

                                1. re: Brian S

                                  la marmite has great lamb shanks slathered with spicy onion sauce.

                                  1. re: rose water

                                    I second the lamb shank at Marmite. In fact, the whole place is a hidden gem in my book. Good stuff.

                              2. re: ellenlovesny

                                Finally made it to revival. I agree with the former poster - very pleasant, tranquil room and informed service. They can make a cocktail. That cornbread/mushroom dish was the hit - mushrooms in a creamy sauce soaked up by the spongy bread, with a sharp little salad of al dente chickpeas in tomato sauce as a contrast.

                                Entrees were indeed less exciting, but not bad.

                              3. I love Strictly Roots (around 123rd and 7th) - though it's more of a quick lunch spot than a destination place.

                                1. Society (Frederick Douglass, south of 116 - maybe 114?) is a nice recent addition. Great smoothies, lots of good wines by the glass, and the paninis and salads are decent. Copeland's on 145th is great (we always go to the cafeteria, not the restaurant). Jimbo's Hamburger Palace is great for burgers (there are several locations in Harlem, including two on 145th). M & G diner on 125th is great for salmon cakes and grits. Also El Toro Partido on Broadway b/w 139 and 140 is good for Mexican fare. And we can't forget The Famous Fish Place (is that the right name?) for fried fish take-out on 145th and St. Nicholas. My favorite juice in the neighborhood is a glass of half carrot w/ milk, half pineapple at The People's Choice on Frederick Douglass and 146th Street. They also have good johnny cakes.

                                  1. People's Choice also has great Oxtails. And their juices are fantastic!