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Jul 15, 2007 02:35 PM

From DC to NYC: What We've Heard So Far

Heading up for the weekend from DC, we get in to Penn Station at 10:30PM on a Friday night and are staying at the Benjamin Hotel (125 East 50th Street).

We’re looking for a few suggestions and have been doing some research. Your thoughts on any of this would be great . . .

Late night:

Haven't heard much here. Any ideas? Dives are fine.

Breakfast/Pastries -- Here is what we have gleaned so far:

Ess-A –Bagel
Between the Bread
Amy’s Bread
Patisserie Claude
Doughnut Plant

Dim Sum/Banh Mi/Dumplings:

Dumpling House
Golden Bridge

Last, we’re looking for any good culinary shopping for items we can bring home.

Suggestions so far:

Chelsea Market
Dylan’s Candy Bar

What do you think?

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  1. Zabar's and Chelsea Market are both terrific choices to check out for "culinary shopping" (Fairway would be good too and not too far from Zabar's but it's probably frightening for someone not used to crazy and crowded shopping). Amy's bread is also good.

    As for a late night arriving suggestion, it may sound weird but there's a place actually in Penn Station that serves pretty good food and has a really good raw bar. It's called Tracks Bar & Grill and is right by the LIRR windows in Penn. It's kitchen is open late.

    1. Gourmet: add Murray's Cheese to your list.
      I don't think Dylan's Candy Bar is a place for culinary shopping (it's a franchise). Just my opinion.

      7 Replies
      1. re: LeahBaila

        Thanks Leah and LNG--

        LNG: Frightening and crowded is fine. I love it. I'll check out Fairway too. Thanks for the tip about Tracks.

        Leah- Thanks for the Murray's tip. I agree on Dylan's -- not really culinary shopping -- maybe that's a tourist moment hehe.

        1. re: dcfb

          Ess-A-Bagel should not be missed. If you're going to Chinatown, check out Moon House at 67 Bayard St. IMHO, Chelsea Market is best for its architecture.

          1. re: fsd1116

            If you are in Chinatown/Little Italy, I wouldn't miss Di Palo - wonderful Italian products.

            Di Palo's Fine Foods
            200 Grand St, New York, NY 10013

          2. re: dcfb

            No apologies...many people envision Dylan's as a candy destination when they visit NYC. There are much better places out there. Try La Maison du Chocolat. Enjoy!

            1. re: LeahBaila

              If you want great chocolate bonbons, go to Kee's Chocolate. It's one of my personal favorite chocolate shops.


            2. re: dcfb

              If you're okay with crowded, then definitely stop by Fairway. Cheese dept. is the best -- and ask for tastes of stuff, they are always accommodating. In terms of dessert/treats, in addition to Maison du Chocolat (mentioned by another poster) there is Jacques Torres's store and factory. If you do hit Chinatown, I like Kam Man.

              1. re: LNG212

                Candy? Economy Candy on the Lower East Side...They have everything your sweet tooth desires...and at discount prices...Skip Dylan's and fine true authenticity here.

          3. I love that you have done research, looks very good too. If you want to shop for kitchen-cooking stuff, here's where I go in Manhattan:
            Zabars--upstairs, go an an off time mid week if possible to avoid the peak rush
            Broadway Panhandler--8th Street
            Bridge Kitchenware
            There's a bunch of restaurant supply places on Bowery St, in the chinatown area.

            Oh--I hear Claude is on Vacation for the month of July--so call first to avoid disappointment.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Ora

              If you're going to Chelsea Market anyway, there's a "branch" of Bowery Kitchen Supplies in there too. They have great (and cheap!) stuff. I just got the neatest little teabag holders (plates? not sure what you call them) and some big mason jars.

            2. Thanks everyone. So much to see and do! We're already planning a second trip. Any more ideas on late night options? We're struggling on that one. Partner is suggesting Congee Village, but I am curious about things a bit closer to Midtown East- even if they're a cab ride away.

              3 Replies
              1. re: dcfb

                How late is "late"? And what kind of food are you looking for? But to get you started, here are two that are convenient to your hotel, i.e., walking distance:

                Smith & Wollensky, on the corner of 3rd Av. & 49th St., is open until midnight, but the less expensive Wollensky's Grill is open until 2 a.m.


                Sarge's Deli, on 3rd, b/t 36th & 37th, is open 24/7. Not as good as Katz's,. but certainly more than decent.


                1. re: dcfb

                  Congee Village is great for authentic chinese food. It is one of my favorite places to eat in Ctown! Also try Na Trang on Bayard St. in Ctown for some tasty Vietnamese food!

                  1. re: dcfb

                    In the past I've thought Congee Village was very good, but never deserving of the adoration it gets on Chowhound. My last meal there, with a group of 8, a couple of months ago, was thoroughly mediocre (though they have the best scallion pancakes). Congee notwithstanding, I think Phoenix Garden on E. 40th is far superior for Cantonese food. I don't know how late they're open, though.


                  2. Kalyustan's on Lexington for culinary shopping. I'd also go to Murray's over Ess-A-Bagel, but I seem to be in the minority.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: a_and_w

                      I swear, I will get over to ess-a-bagel and try it one of these days... but Murray's is so consistently great that I never feel the need to go anywhere else. I'm with you!