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Restaurants MOST people HATE (except you)

CIMUI- I hope you don't mind, I twisted your great topic around :)

Have you ever raved about a place and get the look or the "you gotta be kidding me-that place is so over" deal? Even the critics pan it I have 2. One is Breeze on 9th Ave by 46th St...it's a Thai fusion place. Mabye people were expecting designer dining..I don't know, but the food was fantastic. Especially the scallops and also the beef noodle soup.

The other one, I want to see if anyone mentions it here first...

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  1. Well, I actually like Ollies. Apparently I'm an idiot.

    5 Replies
    1. re: scooter

      Ollies is good if one is stuck in a culinary wasteland (Morningside Heights) or on an abandoned island.

      Other than that, I do find it a rip off.

      But I don't find it hard to believe that people like this place. I don't find it appallingly bad like some nominations that I am expecting for this thread. =)

      1. re: PeteM

        ruby foo's! uws location!! :-)

        1. re: TBird

          I'll 2nd this. UWS location only.

          1. re: vvvindaloo

            I like - not love - both those places. They do perfectly decent veggie dumplings and steamed veg/tofu combos, both of which make me happy when I don't feel like cooking.

        2. re: PeteM

          well, i love ollie's... never had a bad meal there or felt ripped off, and their steamed veggie dumplings are great. (mostly the 84th st one. )

          i also think Carmine's (UWS one) is really not as terrible as everyone on here makes it out to be... There used to be times I went in the past where everthing sort of tasted the same, but now I don't go very often, and it's always been good. and Tony Dinapoli on the UES- same kind of thing, have always had a good time there with a group, and food has been fine.

      2. L'ecole. Seriously, I've went three times and all three times were absolutely top notch experiences - the service is always top notch, the food is great, and so is the wine. Most people on these boards don't like it.

        6 Replies
        1. re: nokitsch

          Carmine's - Altough popular with tourists it's hated by most foodies. I like it for a fun meal with a large crowd.

          1. re: bgut1

            Oh yes, fun place and the food is pretty good too. No babbo, but we aren't looking for that kind of quality....still a good place to take the group after a show...I forgot about this one :)

            1. re: ny.foodie

              As a holiday gift to my staff, I take them every year to the midtown location. I've tried to "expand their horizons" but they refuse to go anyplace else.

            2. re: bgut1

              carmine's if FUN! just go with the flow over here.. bistecca isn't a bad deal -- you can feed the a table of 8 with that one steak!

              1. re: bgut1

                Carmine's works for me too, but only the one on the UWS (not as crowded and loud as the one in midtown and larger space).

                I also like Sal Anthony's in (gasp!!!) Little Italy. So sue me.

              2. re: nokitsch

                me too! i've had two great birthday meals there (two years in a row) and enjoyed every bite. the food is a little heavy, maybe, but still tasty and the service has always been with a smile.

              3. Crumbs - although I've only tried the chocolate chip cookie dough cupcake, and that only at Dylan's Candy Bar. And I only ate half, because it was so large. And I knew it wasn't particularly gourmet. But it did put a big smile on my face anyway.

                1 Reply
                1. re: shivohum

                  I concur. I love their interesting varieties. And I think it's so much tastier than Magnolia.

                2. Two Boots. So there. Nothing wrong with the pizza AT ALL. Unless you're some sort of purist. Meh.

                    1. re: Melanie

                      I am so sorry for missing it...good one :)

                      1. re: ny.foodie

                        hey, great minds think alike! :) Plus, you're getting different responses. This may be one of those posts that needs to be reposted once every few months...

                    2. I'll throw in Nice Matin (one of my fave brunches on the UWS) and Saigon Grill (totally serviceable and super cheap fusion-y Asian food).

                      Oh, and Angelica Kitchen. Yes, it's supposed to be kind of bland - it's macrobiotic.

                      5 Replies
                        1. re: piccola

                          I'm shocked. I love Nice Matin and I even searched this board and could not find a serious criticism. Who hates it?

                          1. re: rrems

                            Eh, lots of people have criticized it for the sceney ambiance and the admittedly high prices. I've never had those problems at brunch; maybe it's a dinner thing.

                            1. re: piccola

                              I had a lovely late lunch there one cold Friday afternoon - didn't find it sceney at all either.

                              1. re: piccola

                                Sceney? Maybe. I just go for the very good food and ignore the crowded bar and sometimes uncomfortable seating (if I don't like the table they try to give me I just insist on a different one). The prices are moderate. I normally spend $60 or so per person with wine. And the service is usually very good. I can't think of a place with better value for the quality.

                          2. Dallas BBQ. (Duck and cover!) Haven't been in a long, long time, but I used to really like their chicken and fries. Used to wait for the grandkids to come to town so I'd have an excuse.

                            1. Red Eye Grill. Something on the menu for everyone. Yummy food.

                              1. For me, Mesa Grill would fit into that category. I've had nothing but great meals there. It's a little pricey, but always impresses me nonetheless. I think most haters simply resent Bobby Flay's celebrity success.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: billyeats

                                  I have to agree with you (though I wasn't aware that most people hate these restaurants). I have had good meals at both Bolo and Mesa Grill (strong preference for Bolo).

                                  1. re: vvvindaloo

                                    agreed! i love Mesa Grill, never had a bad meal there. hated Bar Americain, though and was only so-so about Bolo.

                                    To throw in the other 1 of my 2 cents: Nice Matin, I've hated, poor service and the food just wasn't that great. However, the bread, IIRC, was delicious. Saigon Grill is what it is and i prefer the UWS location, but it's really tasty, so what if it's not super authentic, still good!

                                    For a while there, people hated Bellavitae, but I've always loved it.

                                2. I have a soft spot for the Carnegie Deli. Been going since I came into the City on trips with my family when I was young. Touristy, expensive and not as good as Katz's, but I still like it when I'm gorging in midtown.

                                  1. Tao

                                    Full disclosure: I go there all the time on business lunches and I never have to pay.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: jakew8

                                      I am on the fence with TAO. Personally, I don't get why so many people truly HATE it. But they sure do. From my own experience (I've eaten there several times), the management is overwhelmed, the bar is uncomfortably crowded, and the volume is distractingly loud. On the other hand, I am not sure that they deserve some of the venomous feedback I have read on these boards. My food and drinks have always been very good there. I would happily eat there again. That said, I would not choose to go back there if it meant waiting 20 minutes for bar service while begging the uncaring hostess to help me out bc my companions are ready to walk out after waiting 40 minutes past reservation time.... I am done with that.

                                    2. Vong was the other one. The Times killed it. Twice in one year.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: ny.foodie

                                        I think Vong would be okay if a) it didn't have a Michelin star, b) it wasn't so expensive and c) it wasn't associated with JGV (of course that would require a name change).

                                        All of those facts create an expectation that it's never lived up to.

                                      2. angelica kitchen: that dragon bowl is good! that cornbread is good! plus it's byob! and cheap! and clean!

                                        1. Craftbar seems to take a lot of flack on chowhound, but I really like it. It didn't get any love from the NYT either when Bruni gave it a very unfair one star. I will admit that the service is consistently slow and the restaurant is huge, the combination of which leads you to believe that you may have actually been forgotten by the waiter. But the menu is fun and interesting, the price point matches the menu, and the restaurant itself is energetic, comfortable, and accomodating to a variety of different type of customers(dates, after work crowd, friends hanging out).

                                          1. Philippe. Although I don't go here often, I had a great experience and still dream about the chicken satay. mmmm.....

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: fooodie

                                              after marco left and after they moved to a new location, craftbar really started to lose a step. i still stop by from time to time for the meatballs as they are still some of the best.