Peter Luger's lunch
Lunch at Peter Luger is excellent, and an excellent value to boot. The hamburger at less than $10 is the best in town and the price ridiculously low.
Reservations are always required at this restaurant.
While dinner must be reserved at least 3 months in advance, lunch reservatuions are much easier to come by.
If you go on a Friday or Saturday lunch, look out for the Chopped Steak special. It's a burger made of the meat they use for their steaks, and is even better than the normal burger. Runs about $8, no bun but a big side of fried onions. Phenomenal.
I'd also recommend trying a side of the bacon. Not a whole lot of bacon for $4 - 1 very thick piece, but it's overwhelming.
And if you've got room for dessert, the cheesecake is very good - not outstanding like the other stuff, but worth having.
Whatever you do, don't get the pot roast.
For some stupid reason, I had dreams of Luger-rich chunks of marbled beef, cooked for hours with traditional German gravy on the side. The waiter endorsed it heartily, so I dismissed my normal lunch (the superb chopped steak) and said yes.
What I got was blasphemy: thin, flavorless slices of brisket, utterly without fat and reeking of mediocrity. Beyond disgusting. The saving grace on that plate was the cooked red cabbage--sweet, smoky, and delicious. Mashed potatoes and gravy were also excellent. Had the waiter returned to the table, I'd have sent the meat back, but instead I ate the sides and wished I'd had a second slice of bacon.
That's not to attack the staff, of course. We're always treated quite nicely--this guy was just slammed.