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Five questions for NY Hounds and Overall Itinerary Critique?

We are staying at the Courtyard Marriot Times Square South.
Address: 114 West 40th Street (btw 7th and 8th) I’m traveling with my DH and his parents.

Friday Sept 21
Today Show
Dean and Deluca for coffee/snack
Top of the Rock
Foods of NY Tour (Soho/Village Tour)
Magnolia Bakery 1) Is there a better cupcake nearby?
Yankee Game - Nathan’s hot dogs
2) Do you hounds recommend anything else at the stadium?

Satuday Sept 22
Staten Island Ferry
World Trade Center / St. Paul’s
3) I’ve done all kinds of searches without any luck. Can someone recommend a good diner, bagel, patisserie place in the financial district? (Plan B is Donut Plant near Chinatown.)
San Gennaro Festival / Little Italy
Il Laboratorio del Gelato
Vice Versa
Juniors for Cheesecake
4) I have a feeling Juniors will be packed with post-theater crowds. Any other off-the-beaten-path dessert recommendations in the area?

Sunday Sept 23
5) Breakfast in the lower UWS or lower UES? We’re more low-key than scene-kinda people. Would Good Enough to Eat or Café Sabarsky be best?
Museum of Modern Art
Central Park
Burger Joint
More Central Park
Café Lalo

I’m all ears. If you disagree or love something let me know! Thanks from a newly joined Texas CH.

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  1. There are so many Magnolia haters out there, but I think they make the BEST cupcakes in the world. IMO, you need to the judge. :)

    1. Annie's. 79th and 3rd for breakfast.

      1 Reply
      1. re: nyeguy

        Annie's gets WAY too crowded (they don't take reservations) if you go later than 10am on a weekend, FYI. Sometimes the line can take 1.5 hours.

      2. --Il Lab is terrific. --I'm not a fan of Good Enough to Eat. Maybe others can suggest something better. --I prefer Cafe Edgar to Cafe Lalo (unless you're going there because it was in "you've got mail", and then, well, ...). --You could also stop in at the Boathouse in Central Park for a drink/view (they do food too; but that may not fit your schedule).

        Enjoy your trip.

        1. Okay you've covered the snacks... but what really good restaurants are you going to?

          1. Wow, I am tired just reading that! Great local places to get a flavor of the city, but do agree with previous poster, that, if budget allows, I would incorporate at least one of the NY's gourmet restaurants. That is part of what NY means to me...

            1. I've been a Yankee fan for 40 years, and, sadly, I must tell you that our stadium food sucks. All of it. No, wait... I must admit that I do like the Dippin Dots ice cream. Have you tried these? Little tiny spheres of ice cream, frozen to some crazy cryogenic temp. They are fun. Otherwise... go to Katz's deli on Houston, get a couple of pastrami sandwiches and bring those to the park!

              5 Replies
              1. re: woodburner

                the in-shell peanuts are decent too...but certainly not a meal.

                i agree with woodburner. make it a real new york experience with some serious ny deli takeout.

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  triple that - Katz's to go for the stadium -- or get something on your food tour, at Murray's Cheese or Amy's Bread

                  you know Junior's is in Brooklyn, right? DeKalb stop on the train, 1st express stop in Bklyn (www.hopstop.com is VERY useful for plotting trains
                  )It will not be packed with after theater crowds.

                  San Gennaro is a hideous tourist trap, so make sure that's what you're looking for.
                  I'd have Chinese or Vietnamese or Thai in Chinatown instead (and instead of eating neat WTC/Wall St)
                  Lots of specifics discussed on this board already if you're actually interested in Asian.
                  Plus then you can enjoy the bounty of counterfeit purses on Canal St.

                  1. re: pitu

                    No, there's a newer Junior's location in Times Square with both a takeout/bakery section and a sit-down restaurant. I've gone post-theatre, and while there's usually a wait, it's not bad. The Times Square Junior's is pretty large.

                2. re: woodburner

                  katz's sandwiches to the park is the most brilliant thing i've ever heard- eat a dog on the line while you wait to tide you over for the subway ride to da bronx- genius!!! enjoy fb

                  1. re: woodburner

                    I actually think the hot dogs are tasty. Not the steamed ones the guys come around with in the stands. (Blech!) The grilled ones sold at the inside stands. At one time, they were Hebrew National, but now I think they're Nathan's.

                  2. ok, sounds like you've incorporated some great stuff.
                    A) I would say that the cupcakes at Magnolia are neither "fantastic" nor "awful"- they are ok (not as good as they were years ago), and they are still incredibly popular. If you are looking for an alternative in the area, Amy's on Bleecker near 6th ave. has good cupcakes and layer cakes by the slice (though Magnolia wins for cutesy atmosphere).
                    B) Yankee Stadium (a holy site, IMO) does not serve Nathan's hot dogs- I am pretty sure they serve Sabrett. In any case, they are ok, nothing very special- I prefer the jumbo stadium dogs at the concession counters to the wimpy ones the vendors sell in the stands. I honestly like the chicken tenders with fries the best, should I be looking for a meal at the Stadium.
                    C) The Feast of San Gennaro has changed a lot over the years (most would argue not for the better), but it remains an important ingredient in NYC cultural heritage. If you want to go for the experience, then I say skip the heavy food and just kind of walk a couple of blocks of it (seeing it all will take hours with heavy crowds) and find some zeppole to eat on the way to your next stop.
                    D) Skip Junior's, the cheesecake is nothing like what it used to be. In fact, skip all of the food in the Times Square area (sorry- but food is not the strong point here).
                    E) May I recommend that you use Sunday to fit in a more upscale meal? Why not skip the mediocre breakfast you'll get in that area (I much prefer breakfast/brunch downtown), go to the UWS for some bagels at H & H, cream cheese/lox/whatever else at Zabar's next door, and then head over to the park? Spend some time in the park, and then make your way over to the MoMA for the afternoon. Post MoMA, there is the Modern, or even the Bar Room at the Modern is very good. Cafe Lalo is probably one of the most popular cafes in the city, in one of the most picturesque neighborhoods, and may require a bit of a wait. I prefer the pies to the cakes, but you may want to get your cheesecake fix there instead of Junior's, its actually much better.
                    have fun!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: vvvindaloo

                      My kind of secret West Village cupcake tip is to go to Grey Dog. They may not have them that day though...Maybe Joe (the art of coffee)? If you do end up at Magnolia, get one or two and split them. They're awfully sugary.

                      As for breakfast on the UWS, I used to live there and I will defend the options there! Barney Greengrass for old school NY. The Neptune Room for comforting but laid-back and a little hip. There's also Ouest for a nice, but more pricey, prix fix brunch.

                      1. re: kathryn

                        Cupcakes at Grey Dog are a recent phenomenon, and I believe they now serve them daily (a very small number though, in a tiny case behind the counter, which always sells out). They don't look like anything special to me, but I've never tasted them. I really like their muffins, breads, and even their chocolate croissant.

                    2. yankee stadium: mike's deli inside gate 4. this is the arthur avenue mike's. get the special sub. grab a decent beer or two at outrageous prices at the international beers place on the upper level and hang out with the rest of us fans in the nose-bleed section on the first-base side of home plate.

                      good day at the office today: yanks win, both boston and detroit lose. sweet.

                      1. NYC Report 9/20/07 – 9/23/07

                        Thank you for all the advice. We had an absolute blast!!

                        Junior’s (Times Square)
                        We went here late Thursday night after we got in. I tried the chicken fingers which were so-so but the homemade honey mustard was good. The hubby tried the chicken wings and liked them. We should have gone straight for dessert which was devil’s food cheesecake. We ate a third and took the rest home.

                        Dean and Deluca (Rockefeller Plaza)
                        Everything was great. They had chocolate croissants like I’ve missed from Barcelona. Mom-in-law had the rhubard tart and liked it.

                        Foods of NY - Greenwich/Soho Tour - (http://www.foodsofny.com/
                        )Your tour of about 15 people follows a local expert through the neighborhood. You stop at local restaurants and he’ll run in and grab samples. Very efficient. We learned so much about the area and ate a bunch of good food that we could have never found on our own. The tour helped us get comfortable with the neighborhood…so much so, we went back for lunch on Saturday. Highly recommend it! Raheem was a great guide. Here’s where we got samples:

                        Indian Bread Co. - Indian Street Food Eatery (favorite sample)
                        Press Toast - An Israeli Sandwich Shop
                        Ali Baba - A Syrian Eatery
                        Jamaican Flavors - An Authentic Jamaican Eatery
                        The Baggot Bar - (tried McSorley’s beer here – not included in tour)
                        Joe's Dairy - A Cheese Shop (Fresh Made Mozzarella with passion!)
                        Pino's Meat Market - An Italian Butcher Shop
                        Grandaisy Bakery - An Italian Bread Shop
                        Yogurt Shop - A Greek Yogurt Shop and Bakery

                        Blue Ribbon Sushi - 119 Sullivan St
                        This was on recommendation from our guide, Raheem. The place has no sign because “it needs no sign.” Went at about 4pm…right after our tour. I know…how can you still be hungry?!? All four of us had the miso soup which is unique because you add the miso yourself….not the typically salty soup…tasted fresh. Then, we all shared sushi rolls. The total came out to about $105 without tip.

                        Yankee Stadium – we had the typical grilled dogs which were great in my opinion.

                        Pershing Square (90 E. 42nd Street - right under a bridge)
                        Breakfast right across from Grand Central. It was decently priced for NYC and good blueberry pancakes. Service was lacking a bit but worth it for the food.

                        Back to MacDougal St. for Lunch
                        Killer good fallafel from Mouman's
                        Kathi roll from Indian Bread Company
                        Fresh mozzarella and sun-dried tomatoes from Joe's Dairy.
                        Dried pasta from Rafetto’s – this place makes all kinds of fresh pasta and sauces, makes you wish you had a kitchen in your hotel!

                        Over to Greenwich Village to see Magnolia Bakery. We didn’t go in because the line was horrendous. Luckily, we had stopped at L’Arte del Gelato earlier. Incredible gelato!! The owner was serving customers who all seemed to know him by name.

                        I swear - we ate the entire time!! We cancelled our reservations at Trattoria Trecolori since we were so full. Instead, we went to Little Italy to witness the tourist trap. Didn’t eat anything…kept walking through Chinatown and saw all the fresh fish, fruit and vegetable markets. I saw things I’ve never seen before.

                        Junior’s was a perfect distance from Spamalot. We waited 7 minutes tops for a table. Lucked out and were seated outside. Service was quick and efficient. We tried the French onion soup, burger and raspberry cheesecake. The cheesecake was awesome.

                        H&H Bagels
                        We got 2 “everything” bagels and wished we had gotten a dozen. We got the cream cheese and lox because I’d never tried it before. Not a huge fan but no biggie. Also, we walked through Zabar’s which also made me want a kitchen. Then, we grabbed iced mochas at Café Lalo (because I’m a You’ve Got Mail dork). Here’s a map for all you fans:


                        Burger Joint in the Le Parker Meridian Hotel
                        Small place with a simple menu (cheeseburger or hamburger, fries and shakes). Definitely good food and good tunes. Packed at 2pm on Sunday.

                        Cupcake Crawl (all three of these places have locations on the UWS)
                        Alice's Tea Cup – tried the red velvet (the cake was a little dry but the frosting helped)
                        Buttercup – tried the PB & J (seemed a bit more moist, liked the uniqueness
                        )Crumbs - I had to take my Crumbs to go, because my heart was racing like crazy. Got the 12 mini cupcakes variety pack. Definitely my favorite of the group. I loved the red velvet, black out, cappacino...all of them were so good when we got back to Houston.

                        That's it. New York is so much fun to visit. The hubby wants to move there. Thanks again!! For all those voting for upscale dinning, we will be back for Babbo and more!!