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Restaurants MOST people HATE (except you)

ny.foodie Dec 5, 2007 06:27 PM

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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    scooter RE: ny.foodie Dec 6, 2007 12:41 PM

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

    5 Replies
    1. re: scooter
      PeteM RE: scooter Dec 6, 2007 12:44 PM

      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
        TBird RE: PeteM Dec 6, 2007 12:57 PM

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

        1. re: TBird
          vvvindaloo RE: TBird Dec 6, 2007 01:40 PM

          I'll 2nd this. UWS location only.

          1. re: vvvindaloo
            piccola RE: vvvindaloo Dec 6, 2007 04:55 PM

            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
          PhishFoodie RE: PeteM Dec 17, 2007 09:46 AM

          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. n
        nokitsch RE: ny.foodie Dec 6, 2007 12:57 PM

        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
          bgut1 RE: nokitsch Dec 6, 2007 01:26 PM

          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
            ny.foodie RE: bgut1 Dec 6, 2007 02:13 PM

            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
              bgut1 RE: ny.foodie Dec 6, 2007 02:41 PM

              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
              doctorj RE: bgut1 Dec 7, 2007 02:27 AM

              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
                gloriousfood RE: bgut1 Dec 13, 2007 01:35 PM

                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
                devdas4 RE: nokitsch Dec 7, 2007 10:05 AM

                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. s
                shivohum RE: ny.foodie Dec 6, 2007 01:36 PM

                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
                  Miss Needle RE: shivohum Dec 6, 2007 03:07 PM

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

                2. s
                  small h RE: ny.foodie Dec 6, 2007 02:54 PM

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

                  1. Melanie RE: ny.foodie Dec 6, 2007 03:46 PM

                    Actually, ny.foodie, I already attacked that one ; )


                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Melanie
                      ny.foodie RE: Melanie Dec 11, 2007 01:43 AM

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

                      1. re: ny.foodie
                        Melanie RE: ny.foodie Dec 17, 2007 05:52 AM

                        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. p
                      piccola RE: ny.foodie Dec 6, 2007 04:58 PM

                      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
                        Jel212 RE: piccola Dec 7, 2007 05:19 AM

                        I second Saigon Grill!

                        1. re: piccola
                          rrems RE: piccola Dec 7, 2007 09:42 AM

                          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
                            piccola RE: rrems Dec 7, 2007 04:37 PM

                            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
                              MMRuth RE: piccola Dec 7, 2007 04:52 PM

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

                              1. re: piccola
                                rrems RE: piccola Dec 7, 2007 06:16 PM

                                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. JoanN RE: ny.foodie Dec 7, 2007 04:41 AM

                            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. NAtiveNewYorker RE: ny.foodie Dec 7, 2007 04:43 AM

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

                              1. b
                                billyeats RE: ny.foodie Dec 7, 2007 07:46 AM

                                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
                                  vvvindaloo RE: billyeats Dec 11, 2007 07:37 AM

                                  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
                                    brownie RE: vvvindaloo Dec 17, 2007 10:04 AM

                                    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. j
                                  jdmetz RE: ny.foodie Dec 7, 2007 10:14 AM

                                  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. jakew8 RE: ny.foodie Dec 7, 2007 10:33 AM


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

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: jakew8
                                      vvvindaloo RE: jakew8 Dec 11, 2007 07:46 AM

                                      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. ny.foodie RE: ny.foodie Dec 11, 2007 01:44 AM

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

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: ny.foodie
                                        jakew8 RE: ny.foodie Dec 11, 2007 06:00 AM

                                        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. holland_oats RE: ny.foodie Dec 11, 2007 06:47 AM

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

                                        1. m
                                          MomoMed RE: ny.foodie Dec 13, 2007 08:12 AM

                                          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. f
                                            fooodie RE: ny.foodie Dec 13, 2007 01:43 PM

                                            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
                                              cdog RE: fooodie Dec 17, 2007 06:07 AM

                                              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.

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