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What would be your itinerary on a weekday off?

I will be taking two days off to spend time with a friend who is in town from San Francisco. We both love all varieties and ranges of food (I just moved from SF myself)and I am thrilled at the idea of hitting some ordinarily swamped places at an off time. The big question is...where would you go/what would you do to take advantage of the no-crowd situation? I'm talking breakfast, lunch (I've been to Shake Shack already, but that's the type of example I'm looking for)early dinner, etc. etc. Oh, and has anyone had the foie gras french toast at Norma's???
Thanks in advance!

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  1. Not in Manhattan, but for the best pizza and without the weekend wait, I'd suggest going to Di Fara's in Brooklyn.

    For an Italian meal, go to Roberto's in Arthur Avenue for lunch.

    I've done these before on weekdays and they did make my days-off from work.

    1 Reply
    1. re: RCC

      i'm going to have to second the di fara recommendation. the difference in wait time between going on a weekend versus weekday can be hours.

      good breakfast spot would be cafe habana in nolita. this can be another killer wait on weekends. their challah french toast and chilaquiles verdes are stellar.

    2. I live in Connecticut and go to NYC (Manhattan specifically) regularly just to eat. Here's what I've loved on my chowhound walks around the city:

      1. Pommes Frites (Belgian Fries with amazing sauces) at 123 2nd Ave
      2. Dumpling House on Eldridge in the LES
      3. Crif Dogs on Greenwich Ave
      4. Burger Joint in Le Parker Meridien hotel
      5. Blue Smoke for brisket

      enjoy!

      2 Replies
      1. re: masha bousha

        But Blue Smoke isn't difficult to get into. Acturally, are any of them?

        1. re: masha bousha

          Masha Bousha is, without question, a chowhound to be reckoned with and to be respected. I have to, with all due respect, and at risked of getting stoned in the public square, dissent from the venerated Burger Joint, however. Not that the burger isn't good. It is. But, to be honest, I don't see why it is so good to warrant a 45-minute wait. The only burger joint that I believe to be worth that kind of wait time - if you have to include one long wait place on your NY itinerary - is Shake Shack, if only because their burger is slightly more unique, what with the brisket mixed in there. The Burger Joint burger is more along the lines of your nuts and bolts burger. For me, it doesn't live up to the hype.

        2. I'd go to a nice prix-fixe lunch at Jean-Georges or the other places recommended on this board. Or go to Balthazar for a leisurely, quiet breakfast. I've never managed to do this, just been told when I complain about the noise and the scene that I would like it better on a weekday morning. The usual dives that I like best aren't so hard to get into that I'd go on a weekday.

          4 Replies
          1. re: AppleSister

            along the same line, if the weather is pleasant then an unhurried mid-morning breakfast at pastis is a lot of fun.

            1. re: AppleSister

              I too was going to recommend Balthazar on a weekday morning. Earlier in the week is better, though. Later in the week there are more tourists and more people doing power breakfasts.

              1. re: Peter Cuce

                I agree with the Balthazar suggestion and would add, that earlier is always better. I eat breakfast there two or three times a month and I get there when they open at 7:30 a.m. I find that by 8:30 it is pretty noisy and crowded. I spread out the Times, order a bowl of Latte and some eggs and bacon and relax to the classical music soundtrack they play. It is a great way to start the day.

              2. re: AppleSister

                Agreed for both of these. The breakfast at Balthazar is even better than the brunch in terms of selection.

              3. With all due repsect - I'd skip Crif dogs and get myself to Clifton, NJ to Rutt's Hut for the real thing. Nobody does deep fried dogs like Rutt's. That would be my day off lunch. I'd then hang out in NJ until "dinner" when I would hit White Manna in Hackenack for a cheeseburger. I would then end the day with a trip to my cardiologist ;-)

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