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My New York itinerary -comments and suggestions please!

Hi all!
I'll be in NYC for only three nights. This is my third (short trip) here. Hoping to try new places so, with that said:
I've been to Babbo (three times!), Gramercy Tavern (dinner), Le Maison du Chocolat, Di Fara's, Grimaldi's, Otto, Russ and Daughters, (that place with the pastrami sandwhiches... brain fart with the name!), "The Cart," Grey's Papaya, as well as Tony Dragonas' saurkraut dog cart too. All these places I've loved because they're so uniquely New York (I am from L.A.). For this trip I've planned sofar:

Thursday dinner: Gotham Bar and Grill

Friday:
Breakfast- (need a suggestion)
Lunch- Shake Shack
Dinner- Aureole (We have reservations here but, if we catch a show Friday night instead of Saturday, we will probably end up at "The Cart").

Saturday:
Breakfast- Balthazar's
Lunch- Gramercy Tavern (in the Tavern part of the restaurant)
Dinner- (hoping to see a show so, something quick... maybe I'll hit up "The Cart" again). If we are unable to see a show, we might try to get into Pastis, which I'm fearing we will have nil chance of getting into. I'm nervous because we might not be able to find a decent place to eat that has seating!!!

Sunday:
Brunch- Prune

So... there's my itinierary with all its quirks and what not. Do you think that the places I've picked are a good representation of what is unique to New York, and are chowish places to dine in New York?

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  1. For Friday breakfast - how about Sarabeth's? Almost the same menu as brunch, with none of the wait.

    Or even just bagels and lox, at Ess-A-Bagel.

    Katz's is the pastrami sandwich place, I think...

    1. You should consider adding Chocolate Haven on West St. at the lower end of the village to your itinerary. Get the sundae or the ice cream cone or the ice cream chocolate chip cookie sandwich and some of JT's truffles to go.

      If it is convenient, Brooklyn Diner makes a nice breakfast. Also you may want to check out The Noho Star:

      http://www.nohostar.com

      And yes, Katz's is the place for the pastrami sandwich.

      1. Breakfast Friday - Barney Greengrass, 86 and Amsterdam. Smoked fish. My favorite is sable.

        Shake shack - I've never figured out why this place gets raves. I mean, it's a good burger, but not some sort of buger epiphany.

        7 Replies
        1. re: plf515

          You have a good point there... Although I've never been to Shake Shack, I'm wondering if I should skip it because California (L.A. and S.F.) both have excellent burger joints. I definitly wouldn't want to waste a meal at a place the can be easily replaced by some west coast joint. I guess the reason why I wanted to go there in the first place is because people on this board talk about it all the time... but the real question is, "Is it unique to New York, and can't find anything like it anywhere else?"
          Thanks!!

          1. re: banquisha

            I think Shake Shack is just the opposite, although I don't have much experience in other cities.

            What's unique about shake shack is that....here's a Hamburger shack serving good burgers and stuff, and IT'S IN THE MIDDLE OF MANHATTAN.

            If you were on a burger quest, tracking burgers all over the country, I'd say GO FOR IT. But unique to NYC? No.

            1. re: plf515

              It's not just that the Shake Shack is in the middle of Manhattan. In my view, the thing that makes it unique is that it's in a NYC park (Madison Square Pk.) and one cannot eat inside. Instead, there are plenty of outdoor tables and chairs where people can relax and enjoy their food. So, I only go to the Shake Shack is when it can be an al fresco dining experience. When the weather is not conducive, I prefer to get my burger in that neighborhood at Molly's.

                1. re: plf515

                  Anyone from LA that has access to IN-N-Out Burger will not find Shake Shack all that special at all...

                  1. re: Ora

                    Agreed. But if you really want a burger at a place "unique to New York," head to Peter Luger's. I would also suggest Spotted Pig (if you like roquefort).

                    1. re: Hungry Esquire

                      What impresses you about Spotted Pig, and how recently were you there?

        2. Yes. Katz is the place I was thinking of! I have to say that it was a rather disappointing New York meal for me.
          However, the MOST unique experience to New York I've had thus far is "The Cart." I can't even find food like that in L.A. inside a restaurant. Having it out of a cart makes the experience that much more unique to New York!

          1. How about Florent for either breakfast on Friday? Hearth or Red Cat would be other nice dinner options.

            1 Reply
            1. re: m de p

              I actually have updated my itinerary to include Hearth due to the heavy amount of praise it has gotten here! I will be going there on Saturday night :-D