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Around W168th St

Ciao Hounds,

Doing a bit of forward planning for the impending arrival of a new baby, and wondering about food options on Broadway and 168th St.

Anything considered, from Latino to Chinois, as long as it's delicious, nutritious, won't kill Mama, and won't have me checking into the ER, down the hall from the Delivery Room.


- Sean

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  1. Congratulations on the baby, Sean. Now, on to the important stuff ; )El Malecon is on Broadway and about 175th on the west side of the street has awesome roast chicken. There is another place same side of the street maybe a block or 2 further that has amazing steaks. The cuts aren't the fanciest but they are marinated and the favor is not to be believed. Sorry I can't remember the name of the place but it's been a few years since I ate there. I know you'll be busy but that stretch of Broadway is full of nice little Dominican restaurants.

    1 Reply
    1. re: KTinNYC

      Ciao Hounds,

      Many thanks for all this. El Malecon will certainly be high on my list, as I know Mamacita has a weakness for rotisserie chicken.


      - Sean

    2. I just put in some time in that immediate area over the Christmas holidays, my mom was in the hospital and the hospital food was worse than awful. I live a few more than 10 blocks north of there. If you find yourself with time on your hands take a stroll up to 181st and there is a good pizza place or two, a good Chino-Latino restaurant, and a great rice and beans joint, and the best bakery in the neighborhood (Mexican)...and a Starbuck's and Dunkin Donuts. Walking briskly it takes 11 minutes -- hahaha -- I timed it.

      Plum Pomidoro on Broadway between 168th and 169th is highly recommended for pastas.

      There is a somewhat controversial place new place for Indian takeout right next door, Tawaa. I haven't tried it for myself yet.

      Mike's Bagel Shop on that block is good as well.

      If you need a drink to steady your impending parent nerves, Coogan's on 169th and Broadway is a great pub and a throwback to when the neighborhood was mostly Irish. They serve your standard breaded and fried and burgered bar food.

      There's a new, bare bones Korean restaurant on Broadway and 164th, Joa. I've heard good things on CH.

      Jou Jou Cafe right outside the ambulance entrance to the ER on 168th a few doors in from Broadway makes a very decent sandwich and a decent cup of coffee, both very very necessary during hospital stays!

      Mambi on 177th and Broadway is famous city-wide for their Cuban sandwiches.

      El Malecon, as already mentioned, does indeed have a great rotisserie chicken, tripe soup, etc. You can smell the chickens roasting in the windows a couple of blocks away. It's also open 24 hours, late night there are usually a bunch of cop cars double parked outside. El Malecon is one of the few "destination" restaurants we have in the area. http://www.menupages.com/restaurantde...

      And the Domincan steakhouse KT couldn't remember the name of is probably El Conde on 175th and Broadway. In the last couple of years three steakhouses have opened up within a few blocks of each other. Tipico on 177th is the most colorful, but El Conde serves the best food. As mentioned, you won't get thick cut American style steaks. Dominicans favor thin cuts of meat (it's impossible to get anything else in the butchers too!) from tougher parts of the cow. But there is a ton of good seafood on the menu as well. Good smoothies and tropical juices too. http://www.menupages.com/restaurantde...

      For emergency provisions and snacks, there is a very large Gristedes on the corner of 170th and Broadway.

      Congratulations on the impending addition to your family!

      1 Reply
      1. re: ballulah

        El Conde, yep that's the one. I use to be in that neighborhood a lot a few years back but not so much since my ex and I broke up. Nice call on Coogan's. Decent burgers and pub grub.

      2. I knew the uptowners had a recent discussion here on just this topic. Here's the thread for more detail and reviews of places a bit further north and a bit further south, as well as some of the places KT and I already mention.


        1. I started working at the hospital a couple of weeks ago and have yet to find any amazing places. Malecon is a classic, and you should try it if you can get up that high. Right near the hospital is a deli called tasty deli- i think its on St. Nicholas and 168 (right across from mcdonalds) and there is a little place called in vino veritas- only been for lunch but i think you can get a good panini and salad for $8- its a little past Dunkin donuts on St. Nicholas. Plum Pomidora and Jou Jou's are also pretty good.
          Good luck with the food and the baby!

          3 Replies
          1. re: JillAnn

            congrats on the baby. i've worked up there for many yrs. conde and malicon are especially good and well-liked by my colleagues. mike's bagel store has amazing bagels and very fresh deli items. the bagels are made daily and they are really nice in there. this is one of my favorite places up there. jou jou is fine and they actually have another location right in the lobby of babies hospital so you won't have to walk to w168th for jou jou. cafe x is also ok. plum pomidoro has completely gone downhill b/c they just lost their best cook, armando. i still miss their old place, kuhinya, that was a huge success but they felt a need to expand and change the menu so they moved next door. it was just barely tolerable for a while after the switched from kuhinya to pomidoro (while i cried for 3 months)but now it's a lost cause. tawaa is another disaster. i posted about this earlier. i find myself in wendy's these days [sigh] on w165 and brdwy right out the door of babies hospital. coogans is mediocre. i always liked el presidente, especially the cuban sandwich. dallas bbqs will do if you are desperate. oh, and then there's carrot top next door to wendy's which has good sandwiches but you might like the sandwiches better at mike's bagels. there are a couple of more places i know by sight but i'll check menus from my office and post details later today. you might also want to walk over to the milstein hospital which is on fort wash behind babies hosp and go up to "top of the nines" on the 9th floor. it's a restaurant on the fancy smancy floor of milstein where famous people are hospitalized. the food is not great but the views of the river and the bridge from the huge windows are astounding. if anyone who is reading this is thinking of opening a restaurant up this way, PLEASE DO!!! we were teased with some new, hopeful openings only to be disappointed. kuhinya was the best of the bunch with people waiting on lines out the door and then it closed.

            1. re: nativeNYer

              Ah yes! I'd forgotten El Presidente! Their cubans are good.

              I wish I'd known about the 9th floor of Milstein. My mom was on the 7th for 10 days!

              I'm sorry to hear that Plum Pomidoro has gone south. That's a bummer, you really recommended it highly!

              1. re: ballulah

                i know i did. [shudder]. this is true. [sigh]. i am so devastated. i was just there Tuesday after a short break (yeh, it wasn't so great the last time i went) from the place and.... ugghh... i asked for al dente pasta which took 20 min to prepare (not a good sign) and, when it arrived, it was like mush. even though i had made no indication that i felt i was waiting too long, i heard the waiter tell another waiter "al dente means cook shorter. why are they taking so long?!" after awhile, the waiter stopped by, saw the mush on my plate and said there are new cooks in the back and that armando had left. ugghhhh!!!!!!!

          2. BTW, I just had a Cuban sandwich from Mambi on 177th and Broadway last night, and I know I recommended it before, but I'm back to give my original recommendation a sound pat, make that a thump, on the back. It had been awhile since I'd last had one, and I obviously forgot how friggin' good they are. $3.25 for the perfect Cuban. So good, it's ridiculous. Did I mention the $3.25. Haha. I was waiting at the counter with a friend late at night last night, and everything on the steam tables being served up looked unbelievably good as well.

            1. All these places are great (and I am still ordering from PP) -- if you're willing to go down a little further, they just opened a little cafe on Riverside and 157 that has great salads, sandwiches and quiches, as well as great baked goods. The guy who owns it sells his bread to a bunch of places in the city, and was the kitchen manager for Pain Quotidien (and it really shows). Everything is really delish and totally fills a need in the nabe (and how).

              1 Reply
              1. re: weezie1818

                You mean all the Mambi places?

                Thanks, Sean.

              2. Ciao Hounds,

                Well the baby arrived safe and sound, and both ladies are doing great.

                El Presidente has been a breakfast place for me for the past two days, and I'll probably do it tomorrow as well.

                Plum Pomodoro was disappointing, although they had an organic beer there last night, Nut Brown Ale, that was excellent. The salad was fine too, but the garlic fries were nothing short of a disaster. I was warned, I know.

                Tonight is Malecon night and if I can I'll have a pint in Coogan's while I'm up that way.

                Thanks all.

                Fr. Sean

                9 Replies
                1. re: Sean Dell

                  Congrats on the new little girl to you and your wife and thanks for the update. I just had a cuban sandwich at El Presidente literally five minutes ago. I haven't been there in about a year but it was as good as I had remembered and much better than Mambi (sp) a further up north.

                  Plum Pomidoro just lost their best cook and the pasta is now worse than ever - like mush and all stuck together. Even the waiters notice it. On April 30, someone wrote a review about their sticky pasta on menupages which was very accurate. I then followed it up with my thoughts.

                  Tawaan is also a disaster. I haven't been back in months and I never see Columbia students nor employees in line.

                  You will definitely enjoy Malecon, and if you grow tired of breakfast at El Presidente, slide on over to Mike's bagels (near Tawaan) . They have wonderful spreads and awesome bagels. That has been my favorite lunch spot up here these days!!! : (

                  Congrats again and enjoy!!

                  1. re: nativeNYer

                    Thank you thank you. My post congratulating you and your fellow staff members was censored, so I can tell you that we are now back home, after a grand journey, culinary and otherwise!

                    I went to Malecon last night and we had a feast of chicken, beans and various other bits and pieces. The chicken was just perfect.

                    I also stopped by Pomodoro on my way back to the hospital to try again the organic beer they were serving to discover that all their draft beers had been taken off for what the barman said were 'technical' reasons. The place was empty. Seems the wheels really have fallen off, which is a shame.

                    My last meal in the 'hood was this morning, where I had the funky Cafe con Leche in El Presidente along with some toast. I was intrigued by their mashed potatoes and, I think, mashed plantains, but I never got to try them. I had some important transportation to arrange, and it was a quick breakfast.

                    All through the stay I enjoyed the little Jou Jou cafe in the lobby of the hospital. Their soups and sandwiches really are excellent.

                    Thanks again for your recommendations. They confirmed my affection for Washington Hts, and for the amazing staff at the hospital.

                    - Sean

                    1. re: Sean Dell

                      The falafel cart on the northwest corner of 168th and Ft. Washington is first rate.

                      1. re: Sean Dell

                        Congratulations, Sean!

                        Coincidentally, I was part of a table of 2 for lunch at El Malecon today. 1/2 pollo a la brasa with yellow rice and black beans, fresh orange juice for me, fresh papaya juice with milk for her. Part of the wing was burnt, but so what? Delicious food and good drinks, and all for precisely $14 plus tip.

                    2. re: Sean Dell

                      Congratulations Sean Dell! What wonderful news! A mini-Chowhound! I'm glad we could help you find good eating uptown.

                      I'm going to have to drag my tired bones back down to El Presidente some time soon and do a side-by-side comparison. Mambi is much closer to my house and I get lazy!

                      1. re: ballulah

                        glad you took full advantage of the nabe, sean. it wasn't until i arrived home this evening and read your post recommending places for a first date, that I realized I was a day late and you and your wife had arrived home with baby. congrats again! anyway, i completely agree with your take on all the places you tried. we really need more places uptown as tawaa and pomidoro are out of the question for me.
                        as i mentioned, i've been resorting to wendys out of sheer frustration.

                        ballulah, mambi really does seem like a great place and it was packed with cubans (good sign). the food looked fresh and was served in huge portions by friendly servers who knew each and every customer. i just thought the cubano was really dry although the quality of the meat and cheese was great and you gotta love their bread. when i went to el presidente today, i was blown away by their cuban sandwich and it was exactly as i had remembered it. i don't know what makes theirs less dry. is it the meat? i don't see a dressing on it. do they butter the bread? not quite sure what makes it different. anyway, ballulah, i'd like to hear what you think after you've done your side by side.

                        1. re: nativeNYer

                          Not to be contentious, but are you sure the people you see in Mambi are real Cubans and not Dominicans (does this remind anyone else of the Seinfeld episode)? It seems to me that most Cuban restaurants in NYC are run by Dominicans. I would like to try a Cuban restaurant run by Cubans in NYC.

                          1. re: KTinNYC

                            I don't think I've ever seen an actual Cuban person at Mambi. Since my first love affair with their Cuban sandwich I've been back a bunch of times in the past few weeks and it's really really mouth wateringly good about 50% of the time. The other 50% it is on the dry side, and occasionally I get one with no pickle (!!!). Sometimes the bread is buttery and garlicky, and sometimes it's just pressed and toasted. I chalk it up to "what do you expect for $3.25!?"

                            The other day I got a small order of fried platanos at Mambi, and ate them straight out of the takeout container walking home. Soooo good.

                            1. re: ballulah

                              ok, hounds. i must do two things: (1) try mambi's cuban sandwich at least two more times, and (2) take a closer look at the customers. 'Tis true that the nabe is primarily Dominican. When I visited Mambi, there were two large tables of customers who had darker hair and lighter skin than my Dominican co-workers and seemed to have similar characteristics to the two Cuban co-workers that I have known. I then made the assumption they were Cuban b/c we were sitting in a Cuban restaurant. However, perhaps I misspoke. REgardless, although the cuban sandwich was on the dry side that day, there were many customers who appeared to be regulars and were thoroughly enjoying the food.