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what foods do you miss most when you leave NY?

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LA hound here visiting NY later this week. i'm interested in eating "only in new york" ish food- affordable and satisfying. we often get NY transplants on the LA boards complaining about the lack of NY-ish foods (bagels, egg rolls, etc) and so i'm eager to try things that i can only find in NY, preferably beyond bagels and egg rolls since i have some good recs for those. ;)

please provide name of restaurant and location.

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  1. Foods that I miss the most since leaving NYC and can't find in LA or SF:

    1. Sushi Yasuda- 30-40 varieties of the freshest nigiri ever.
    2. Babbo- for pasta and pig's foot milanese
    3. Ess-a-Bagel bagel with whitefish salad or H&H east side so you can compare which styles you prefer.
    4. Lombardi's pizza
    5. Peter Luger's porterhouse
    6. Katz's for a pastrami sandwich (you can do your own Langer's comparison)
    7. Some sort of high end dining if that's your thing. Jean-Georges, Le Bernardin (so you can compare to Providence), L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon
    8. Patisserie Claude for croissant

    Here's notes from my last NYC visit based on what I miss most:

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/361365

    1. not a big list: porterhouse for two at a steakhouse that dry-ages its own beef; oysters as fat as your fist (winter only); italian in the style of batali; burgers in a pub with sawdust on the floor, guinness on tap and a fire to keep me warm; seafood so fresh you want to slap it; pizza that puts a smile on your face hours later when you should be asleep; and competent bartenders with decades of experience.

      hope this helps.

      1 Reply
      1. re: steve h.

        hm, i guess i was thinking of more "hole in the wall" or ethnic places. when people leave LA, they tend to crave ethnic food, in-n-out, and salad-y places.

      2. I miss:
        bings/buns from Roll and Dough (esp. the taro)
        pretzel croissant from City Bakery
        muffins from Healthy Delites
        gelato from Il Lab...
        kati rolls

        1 Reply
        1. re: piccola

          I once carried a box of City Bakery pretzel croissants with me on a plane to a Caribbean island, my love for them was so wild. I spread the love with the islanders and felt such regret when they disappeared immediately.

          There's plenty of stuff LA and SF is missing- good pizza, bagels and takeout delivered immediately to your door being just a few. That said, seize your new local treasures. I'd kill for good fruit all the way into late fall. The cheap Thai food, too - you'll never find that here!

        2. Well here I am in Tulsa and what I miss most is wandering the streets and stumbling upon places like these.

          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/334386

          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/247808

          But you can find similar in Calif. I don't miss bagels and pizza one tiny bit.

          1. Good bagels, (no where as good as New York's), Black and White cookies ( even the ones sold at a Korean grocery market are good!), pizza, wonderful Italian food, period, heavenly falafel (Mamouns)...Think next to San Francisco, New York is the best eating town in the U.S.. so there is a lot to be missed!

            1 Reply
            1. re: jinet12

              "next to San Francisco" lol

            2. I don't miss anything when I'm in LA or other big cities. What I do miss when I travel (mostly for business_ to smaller areas is basic skill in execution. I'd rather have a well-cooked grilled cheese sandwich any day than an "inventive" menu item prepared by someone whose last job was at Denny's and I've always found that's a huge problem in less populous areas that aren't prime tourist spots. Where this is concerned, suburbs of "smaller" cities and affluent but comparatively isolated areas are hell on earth in my experience as are what would be complete backwaters but for one or two large corporate headquarters. People read and watch TV and have expectations, but apparently don't have enough experience to realize what they're getting is a second or third rate at best. Can't tell you how many perfectly awful "fancy" meals I've had to sit through, while smiling and saying "how delicious" to avoid offending my benighted hosts...

              1. Ess-a-bagels and pizza.

                1. bagels,pizza,egg creams,challah bread,falafel,

                  1. i'm actually leaving NYC in a few weeks...the two places i will miss most are Russ&Daughters and the Grand Central Oyster Bar...(i'd add Sripraphai and Ushi Wakamaru, but since i'll be in Chiang Mai and Tokyo, i don't think i'll miss them at all)...

                    sidenote: i used to live in LA: and i still miss: Zankou Chicken, Sushi Ike, the Caesar salad and lobster fra diavolo at DanTana's, and Palms Thai...

                    1. I've moved away from NYC (and returned) several times and during the last stint, I found myself craving the strangest things:
                      Tiny soup buns, scallion pancakes from New Green Bo
                      Buffalo wings at 1849
                      Brooklyn Lager
                      Thin crust pizza from J's
                      Grey's papaya with onion sauce (which I normally find gross)
                      Scooped bagels with lox and chive cream cheese
                      Cupcakes from Magnolia's
                      You can get brilliant gourmet food most anywhere in the world. I certainly was able to make do in all the random places I've lived/visited. But certain dishes just couldn't be replicated anywhere else and I had to come back here for my soup bun fix. I probably ate nothing but soup buns and buffalo wings for the first week after I moved back, I missed them so much.

                      1. i miss Russ & Daughters and Marina sauce from Di Palo's and sandwiches from Faicco'son Bleecker. Sniffle Sniffle

                        1. Lombardi's
                          Shake Shack
                          La Bella Ferrara hazelnut gelato
                          olives from Four Seasons bar
                          steamed pork buns

                          1. 1. In California you can get pacific ocean fish quicker and fresher, how does sushi in Manhattan get fresher than here?
                            2. You are right, Italian in California is a disgrace, hopefully Mario will open an of shoot of Babbo in LA.
                            3. Its the water, the bagels suck here with all the chlorine in the water.
                            4. We don't have coal ovens, so you won't find your craving in CA quenched for good pizza.
                            5. Peter Lugers is always rated the best so I'm sure our frozen steak from Ruth Chris slathered in butter won't cut it.
                            6. I have never had a pastrami on Rye better than any decent deli in NYC in CA, period.
                            7. Some sort of high end dining? You my friend have been breathing the Manhattan air too long, San Francisco and LA are just as good high end as Manhattan, the weather is warmer so we don't wear tuxedos to dinner. Don't get confused, some would say San Francisco is #1 in America as far as high end dining.
                            8. Not a croissant guy, I'm sure you're right.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: irishkevbo

                              re #2 i think i read mario is opening a place in los angeles. re #7 you are confusing sf's profusion decent upper middle class joints with high end.

                              1. re: irishkevbo

                                "1. In California you can get pacific ocean fish quicker and fresher, how does sushi in Manhattan get fresher than here? "

                                Because Yasuda sources his fish from all over the world and brings in quality and variety that no LA sushi establishment has been able to match. I've had sushi in LA, SF, and NYC at multiple establishments touted to be the "best" in each city and that's been my experience. The "LA is closer to the pacific" argument is flawed. That would assume SF has great sushi (I mean top tier) and it doesn't. Sushi is also dependent on the skill of the rice preparation (which is exacting at Yasuda) and things like fresh wasabi (which can be found on occasions at Kiriko, Mori, etc. but not all the time). That's exactly the reason why I recommend Yasuda to people visiting from LA or SF so they can experience how top tier sushi is done elsewhere. If you're dedicated to sushi, you will notice a huge difference. Which is not to say you still won't prefer Kiriko because you like that style better.

                                "6. I have never had a pastrami on Rye better than any decent deli in NYC in CA, period."

                                Get thee to Langer's then because that's also widely debated. I like Katz's personally (2nd Ave before it closed) but many prefer Langer's.

                                "7. Some sort of high end dining? You my friend have been breathing the Manhattan air too long, San Francisco and LA are just as good high end as Manhattan, the weather is warmer so we don't wear tuxedos to dinner. Don't get confused, some would say San Francisco is #1 in America as far as high end dining."

                                Few people claim that SF is #1 for high end dininig. SF is superb for middle tier, but for high end, NY takes it. As for LA, you'd be hard pressed to list 10 foodworthy top end restaurants. LA's strength is ethnic asian eats and mexican...for which LA is unrivaled. See the below thread:

                                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/368581

                                1. re: irishkevbo

                                  "1. In California you can get pacific ocean fish quicker and fresher, how does sushi in Manhattan get fresher than here? "

                                  People here eat it 3 hours ahead of you guys.

                                  sorry just bad sarcasm. heh.

                                  Cuz were NEW YORKERS!!!!! We don't need reasons g'dammit!

                                2. Kaiser Rolls.

                                  1. hero rolls
                                    rugelahs (sp)
                                    vast array of ethnic groceries and cooking supplies
                                    falafels
                                    bagels
                                    pizza
                                    diner food--it aint the same outside NY
                                    jamaican beef patties (and other caribbean foods generally)
                                    grays papaya hot dogs
                                    chinese bakeries
                                    bubble tea

                                    1. Commute to NYC (FFD CT) so the "miss" is a daily event:

                                      NYC has, suburbs do not:

                                      Bagels
                                      Bialys
                                      Lox (novey please)
                                      Knishes
                                      Corned beef
                                      Pastrami
                                      Street food (sausage and pepper sandwiches)
                                      Italian food (really not any great Italian out here)
                                      Falafel
                                      Hamburgers (until Cherry St reopens)
                                      Sushi
                                      Peking Duck

                                      We have better hot dogs out here
                                      Pizza is a push

                                      1. The #1 food item/type is great Kosher deli. Sorry, there is no substitute for the pastrami sandwiches I get in NYC compared to anywhere else. It's just nowhere near as good. If I could, I'd fly into LGA with a large suitcase packed with ice just to stock up on my favorite sandwiches every now and again! :)

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: MDhaliwal

                                          Katz's ships. You can order it online.

                                        2. Bagels and to an extent, high-end dining. Other cities have wonderful high-end dining options, but for breadth and depth of high-end dining, New York is still tops to me. Those are the two major things I miss most.

                                          Other than that, I miss being able to walk down the street and pick up a hot chocolate here, a chocolate twist there, and then some nuts, etc. New York is one of the few American cities where you can nosh your way down the street.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: sidwich

                                            That is because America doesnt have many real cities. Most are just glorified suburbs

                                          2. nyc (all boros) has way too many options for my small mind to comprehend. i guess i'll keep trying.