Visiting NYC- suggestions on my itinerary
My wife and I are coming to NYC for a week from LA and will be in Manhattan for a few days of that time. Here's where was thinking of hitting:
9th Ave Food Fair- snacks/lunch on Sat/Sun
WD-50- some evening for a fancy, interesting dinner
Babbo- may try to walk in at 5 as was unsuccessful at securing a reservation
Katz's or 2nd Ave deli for corned beef and pastrami
Hungarian Meat Market 1560 2nd Ave- supplies for the trip home
Spotted Pig- drinks with friends some weeknight
Il Cortola- possible if in little Italy
Number of pizza possibilities off nycslice.com
Any comments or suggestions?
I could use another bar with decent food besides the Spotted Pig, preferably somewhere not ruinously expensive.
I'm looking for Jamaican and Turkish food, too- any good ideas in Manhattan?
Thanks for the mention, fdr! :-) I'll save him the trouble and post it here:
LES Food Excursion
For the quintessential NYC deli experiences, no place beats Katz's, on the corner of Houston (pronounced "how-stun") & Ludlow Sts. You're there specifically for the pastrami sandwich. When you enter, you will be given a ticket. Instead of opting for table service, do what the "natives" do and get on line for counter service. When you reach the counter, put a $1 for each sandwich in the counterman's tip cup – though not mandatory, it is a tradition -- and order pastrami on rye. He'll give you a piece to taste. If you like it (the best pastrami is juicy and has some fat on it), tell him o.k., and he'll make your sandwich, give you some sour pickles, and punch your ticket. Then, continue along the counter for sides – the cole slaw is good -- and drinks. Find seats at a table in the center of the room. (Tables along the wall have menus on them and are reserved for waiter service.) When you’re done, take your ticket to the cashier in front, where it’s cash only. To pay by credit card, go to the counter at the rear where the salamis are sold. Note: For the purposes of this tour, unless you have a gargantuan appetite, it would be best to share one sandwich in order to leave room for more tastings along the way.
When you exit Katz’s, turn left and continue along the same side of Houston St. You will come to Russ & Daughters, famous for all sorts of smoked fish and many other goodies. It's not a restaurant, but they make sandwiches to go.
After leaving the Russes, continue west a couple of blocks until you reach Yonah Schimmel's. Get a tasty potato knish, and make sure to ask them to heat it up.
Now it’s time for the quintessential NY drink – the egg cream. So, reverse yourself and head east on Houston until you come to Avenue A. (Note: Avenue A becomes Essex St. on the south side of Houston.) Turn left on A and head north until you get to the block between 7th St. and St. Mark’s Place. Look for a hole-in-the-wall candy shop, closer to 7th, with an overhead sign jutting into the street that says, “Belgian Fries.” (The place’s official name is Ray’s, but there is no signage to that effect.) One of the women behind the counter will make you a delicious chocolate egg cream.
When you’re finished licking your lips, go back to Houston St. and make a left (east) one block to Norfolk St. Turn right and walk down Norfolk until it ends at Grand St. Two places to look for at the corner of Grand and Norfolk: Kossar's, for freshly baked bialys (another very NY food) and the Donut Plant (self-explanatory).
Next, walking west along Grand St., you will come to Orchard St. Turn right. At 87 Orchard, snack on a pickle from Gus's World Famous Pickles.
Then, continue to 97 Orchard, b/t Broome & Delancey, where you will find the Tenement Museum. The tour will show you what life was like for immigrants to NYC at the beginning of the 20th century. ( http://www.tenement.org
Once you have finished the tour, Il Laboratorio del Gelato, right next door at 95 Orchard, is a must for some of the best gelato anywhere.
If your sweet tooth is still not completely satisfied, the final stop on this tour should do it. Continue ahead (north) on Orchard, crossing Delancey, then one more block to Rivington St. Make a right and you will find Economy Candy at 145 Rivington.
Note: It’s best not to take this tour on a Saturday since some of the spots are closed because of religious observance. Also, Donut Plant is closed on Mondays.
Enjoy and Bon Appetit!
My present, amended list of Manhattan (Queens and Brooklyn list is posted on the Outer Bouroughs Board).
-WD-50 fancy evening out at a molecular gastronomy joint
-Babbo- may try for walk in at 5pm on a weekday, unable to secure reservation
-Katz's - deli
-The Spotted Pig- bar, tasty food
-Hungarian Meat Market- place I used to go as a kid
-Gennarro's- Italian, reasonable I'm told, cash only
-Il Cortola- if hungry in Little Italy
-Tide's Seafood- lobster roll comes recommended
-Ali Baba (Turkish)
-Temple Bar or Angel's Share- Bar options for decent food
Many thanks for all the help!
The restaurant in Little Italy is called Il Cortile, which means "the courtyard." I haven't been there in years, though. I sometimes walk up Mulberry St. just to look, but always eat in Chinatown or have Italian food further uptown. "Little Italy" is so small that there's no reason to get hungry while you're there; it disappears after around three blocks. Instead, walk up Mott St. and get a Vietnamese sandwich at Banh Mi Saigon Bakery, between Hester and Grand. Eat it in the park on Spring and Mulberry, and feel like you're in Little Italy.
I like Taksim and recommend the location just south of 6th St. on 2nd Av., but others differ. If you do go there, the various kebab sandwiches are good and you'll probably want the Doner Kebab sandwich. I like most of the mezes, except for the stuffed cabbage. The main dishes at the steam table that I've tried have upset my stomach, but that's probably because my stomach doesn't like bell peppers.
I like Temple Bar, but I've never gotten food there and I'm not sure they had any.
I may have ordered wrong the one time I went to Spotted Pig, but I found it overpriced and unimpressive and have no intention of ever returning.
For old-fashioned NY pizza I would suggest Patsy's on 1st Ave at 117 Street (all other Patsy's are a franchise not affiliated with the original). For two people, get a house salad and a plain pie. Toppings are not what Patsy's is about.
You can take a cab from Midtown or grab an M15 bus up 1st Ave. for the return just walk across 116 St to 2nd Ave for a cab or bus.
In regard to the last thing on your list, one of the better pizza places in NYC is Grimaldi's in Brooklyn. The most fun way to get there is to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge (has great views of downtown). Grimaldi's is right under the bridge. Also, the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory is about a block from Grimaldi's and they get ranked as having some of the best home made ice cream in the city every year.
19 Old Fulton St.(under the Brooklyn Bridge)
Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory
2 Old Fulton St