Short Weekend in Manhattan
Here is what I am planning
Friday Afternoon - Katz
Friday Evening or Night - Yasuda (if i can sit by yasuda) or Babbo (if I can't)
Saturday Morning - Barney Greengrass
Saturday Afternoon - Undecided, perhaps a cheesesteak sandwich at pastis
Saturday Night - probably taken but looking for suggestions just in case
I have been craving sandwiches lately so let me know what your favorites in the city are. Also, if you can improve on my itenerary please do. I eat anything and everything and lots of it so I am also looking for absolute not to miss stuff as well. One caveat is I don't feel like wearing a jacket.
Thanks in advance.
Lamazou, on 3rd Av., b/t 26th & 27th St., is a small shop that has a menu of freshly-made sandwiches. Quality ingredients and wonderful breads. There is also a variety of ready-made foods, as well as a superb selection of cheeses. It's all take-out, so you might want to put together a picnic and head over to nearby Madison Square Park.
Since you say you "eat anything and everything and lots of it," you might want to consider taking my (in)famous Lower East Side eating "tour." It actually starts at Katz's, which you've already got scheduled. I'm appending the tour 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 your weekend in NYC and Bon Appetit!
If they have it, and you like licorice, try the licorice. The vanilla and chocolate are both superb, and I enjoy all of the nut flavors. The first time I took my husband there, he got three flavors, and then said "Next time, I'll try x, y and z flavors." Little did I know at that momentmthat he intended to (and did) immediately get on line again to try said flavors!
They vary their flavors from week to week, I think the owner told me. I went yesterday and had the buttermilk and maple walnut. I strongly recommend both. Keep in mind that they will give you a few samples. I thought the cinnamon was also an excellent flavor but that it would have overpowered any of the other flavors I was considering having.
Ok, Here was my weekend in a nutshell, this weekend was about stuff I could not get in Miami.
Friday - Yasuda great as always - nothing has changed still the best sushi I have had. You can't come even close in Miami.
Saturday - Breakfast @ Barney GG same as always - soft scrambled eggs, nova onion
2 plain untoasted bagles.
Saturday late lunch - Katz's pastrami in an aborted attempt at RGR's tour. Pastrami was outstanding - got a call for an early dinner to go to...
CraftSteak - I did not choose this place btw. Had the sirloin which they overcooked slightly but was still very good. The lobster for the table was outstanding and the sides were very good.
I thought this was the end of my food trip in NY because I had a bbq I was supposed to go to on Sunday. But that did not happen. So I did a modified RGR tour instead.
It wasn't until noon that it was confirmed the BBQ was not happening and I had not eaten since craft early last night. Oddly enough, I was not that hungry (meaning I can only eat about twice what a normal person can eat). Sad, but determined, I started the tour with a modification, partially because I did not want to start off the day with a pastrami sandwich. So I went to...
Patisserie Claude - What a treat, I had the croissant, the pain chocolate, and one regular and one coffee eclair. My god they were good. Just as good as any I had in France. I walked while eating and started the official tour.
Now the rest of the tour
Katz - was even better than saturday's pastrami - ate the whole thing
Russ and Daughters - I have not been to this place in too long. Bagles, Cream Cheese & Locks. Dropped half the bagel unfortunately. The best I remember having eaten.
Yonah Schimmel's - It is a little strange having a bagel and locks and then a knish right after. Yonah's was a very good knish but I have had better. Even after heating it up for a few minutes it was still cold in the middle. Definitely the most underwhelming part of the tour. I would also suggest that you go here after katz as going after russ seemed somewhat strange to me.
Another alternative: do Russ first to get a bagles & lox or some other fish type thing for "breakfast" then do katz then Yonah for "lunch".
Egg Cream - the only thing different from RGR's description was that there were no women behind the counter when I went there. Everything else is exactly as described by RGR. I was down by delancy by the time I finished the egg cream where I hit...
Kossars - I don't really like bialy's or at least I didn't until I tried theirs, really, really good.
Donut Plant - Because my appetite was not as strong as usual, I only had one dougnut here. Vanilla glaze filled with jelly. Homemade jelly made a real difference here. Excellent. Normally I would go to a place like this and eat anywhere from 4-10 dougnuts depending on how hungry I was.
Note, I was pretty full by the time I got to Kossars and when you are full, the sad fact of the matter is food does not taste quite as good as "normal" when you are hungry, so you must keep in mind that I am probably underrating everything after kossars somewhat.
I then went to Gus's - 2 pickes for a buck. I thought they were slightly better than the sour's I had @ Katz's. I started taking them out of the bag while on line at...
Il lab - OK by this time I was full. My body temperature was probably at around 100 in a vain attempt to burn off the food and I started sweating while I was eating Gus's pickles on line.
Two guys were behind me and they were talking about the similarites in the genetic makeup of pigs and humans. I found this deliciously ironic, considering that despite being stuffed and sweating, I am eating sour pickles and standing on line to get gelatto. I guess some people are more similar to pigs than others :).
It was very late in the afternoon so unfortunately no chocolate left. I took a large cup ( see those guys were right :) ). Pinapple sorbet (very good but the worst of it) and a cup of vanilla, strawberry and rice flavors. The gelatto was amazing and I can no longer say that Otto's oo gelatto is the best.
For sure, the rice was even better (the best way to describe it is it is somewhat similar but better than the best rice pudding you ever had). The vanilla and strawberry were of better quality than the gelatto at Otto but I was unable to tell which I would have rather had without comparing them closer in time and hunger level.
For me to say this about anything considering how stuffed I was at this point means that Il lab is truly a special place. I was frankly shocked at how much I enjoyed it so I decided to end the tour on that high note.
Thanks RGR for your great idea. It was really special and I got to know a part of town I had very little familiarity with too to boot.
Thanks so much for your excellent detailed report! Needless to say -- but I'll say it anyway -- I'm always thrilled when someone says they enjoyed my tour. :-)
I basically arranged it geographically. But I've never thought of it as set in stone, so people are free to arrange it any way that suits them. I do think it helps if you do the tour with at least one other person so you can share everything. Otherwise, as you found out, you end up stuffed to the proverbial gills! lol
Glad you had a great weekend in NYC and that you got home safely. Come back soon! :-)
-tuna salad with sliced egg sandwich or Slow Roasted Pork sandwich at Bouchon Bakery (Time Warner Center)?
-or pull pork sandwich at Gramercy Tavern (Bar)?
-or Pork Buns or Banh Mi at Momofuku Ssam Bar (as suggested by kathryn)?
- or Porchetta sandwich at Centovini?
- or a quick bit of ham and fried egg sandwich with gorganzola cheese at wichcraft?
- last but not least, ice-cream sandwich at Otto?
Tartine of Slow Roasted Pork on Pain de Campagne spiced pulled pork shoulder, whole grain mustard, braised red cabbage and shaved Fuji apple
Sorry for the confusion! The "Tartine of Slow Roasted Pork on Pain de Campagne spiced pulled pork shoulder, whole grain mustard, braised red cabbage and shaved Fuji apple" was the description of the pork sandwich that I had at Bouchon Bakery. I didn't remember exactly what kind of pork was in the my sandwich, so I looked it up on the internet. Now the description really triggers my craving for that sandwich!
Whenever I am in the mood for a sandwich (or burger) I head to Bar 89,89 Mercer Street in SoHo. I haven't tried any of the pork sandwiches, but the Country Cousin, Tuna, BLT and Grilled Cheese are great. So are the appetizers! Affordable, except for the drinks, which are large and potent!