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Holes in the wall/takeout

Hello! My boyfriend and I are staying at 136 W 55th Street in NYC for the next 6 months. We're looking for good takeout/delivery and hole-in-the-wall type places within 10-15 mins walk of the address given. Complexity of food and hipness of establishment not really an issue - we just want good eating of any kind. Middle Eastern, American and South American especially, but it all works. BBQ of any provenance, too.

I can offer Montreal recs in return, thanks. :)

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  1. You'll like Tehuitzingo (sp?) on 10th ave in the high 40s for authentic (no Taco Bell) tacos and tortas. It's actually a deli, and the food is located in the back. One of the better Mexican joints in NYC.

    1. I'd recommend taking a short walk to 9th and 10th Aves. There are many good, local spots. Rice & Beans for Brazilian; Uncle Nick's for Greek; Hell's Kitchen for Mexican (high end); Burritoville for Mexican (inexpensive); Hall Berlin for German; Daisy Mae's for BBQ (on 11th Ave). If you don't mind a quick trip to Chelsea, check out Hill Country BBQ. IMHO, it's one of the best in Manhattan.

      BTW - I'd avoid Carnegie and Stage Delis. You can get better deli in Montreal.

      OK... Where's the best poutine? Montreal bagels?

      3 Replies
      1. re: fsd1116

        I just had Uncle Nick's the other day, I definitely 2nd, very tasty :)

        1. re: fsd1116

          btw, montrealfoodie, fsd's suggestion of walking along 9th and 10th ave is a really good one. there are numerous, inexpensive, tasty places on those streets. there are also more restaurants in this area that are -- importantly for you -- open on the later end. it might be more fun for you and your SO to browse the options for yourself.

          uncle nick's and hill country might be in a higher price range than you want. not too hole in the wall (tho they serve good food).

          1. re: cimui

            you could try either Queen of Sheba or Meskerem (both Ethiopian) in the 40s/10th Ave. Good and quite cheap.

        2. Tulcingo 10th and 46th I think, really good spanish food - kind of hard to find middle of the block west side of the street, 10th and about 49th Desi Deli and Desi Junction, both great cheap indian takeout. La Paloma, mexican take out 45th and 9th

          1 Reply
          1. Why the neighborhood constraints? It's incredibly easy to get around by subway, and you'd have a lot more to choose from. That's a pretty desperate area for good food. Unlike Montreal, you really don't need a car to get from neighborhood to neighborhood, and in fact would be hindered by one in many cases.

            1. Definitely do the Halal carts on Ave of the Americas. ... remember it's a night thing.

              Look --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqBHA2...

              2 Replies
              1. re: Cheese Boy

                You can get the same Halal cart food during the day on the SE corner of 53rd and 6th during the day as reported by midtown lunch and I can confirm.

                1. re: KTinNYC

                  Yeah, I've done it, too. The cart on the east side of the st. is certainly there at lunch time.

              2. here are a couple to get you started:

                Empanada Mama
                Daisy May's BBQ

                these aren't N/S American or middle eastern, but I think they're worth a try:

                Pam's Real Thai
                Hallo Berlin (cart and restaurant)

                since you're right by the (in)famous halal carts on 55th st. and ave. of the americas, it's not a bad idea to give that a go, too, as cheese boy suggested. the carts on the east and west side of the st. are owned by the same folks, but the one on the west side is always has a much longer line.

                p.s. up at columbus circle, 59th st., there's a whole foods market if you want to do self catering at any point.

                705 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

                Daisy May's BBQ
                623 11th Ave, New York, NY 10036

                Hallo Berlin
                626 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036

                17 W 45th St, New York, NY 10036

                Pam Real Thai
                404 W 49th St, New York, NY 10019

                19 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036

                Empanada Mama
                763 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

                Hallo Berlin Juicy Food Stand
                W 54th St and 5th Ave, New York, NY 10019

                1. Thank you for all these responses - we now have a solid list to work our way through - first stop, I think, being the halal cart.

                  As for the limited area this is due to a)me not knowing the geography of NYC at all and mostly b) my boyfriend is working on a Broadway show and usually ends up finishing, exhausted at about 10:30pm. He doesn't have the energy or the will to travel very far for food on work nights, but on Sundays we'll be exploring a much wider area. I am especially looking forward to Katz's and being able to make the Mtl. vs NYC smoked meat judgment for myself. ;)

                  Hmmmm...Montreal poutine? I say it's a tie between La Banquise and Patati Patata, with Frites Alors a good choice if you're hungry and/or don't want to go far (there are a number of different locations in Mtl.). Some would disagree on the quality of Frites Alors but I've always enjoyed it and their sauce selection is yummy. Avoid Nickels - Celine Dion's chain - the poutine there is shameful. Oh and the steak at Frites Alors is cheval/horse, fyi.

                  I'm not the person to ask about bagels because I scandalously prefer the doughier non-Montreal style bagels but I doubt you could go wrong with St Viateur Bagel. A bag full of these, warm, on a crisp morning after having lined up for them is a Montreal tradition.

                  I'll be keeping an eye on this thread so any other recs would be appreciated but as I said, this is a great starting list and I'm off to find them all on Google maps. Thank you again!!!

                  1. Azuri cafe (51st btwn 9th & 10th... a bit further than 15 min) is considered by many to be the best falafel in town. Can be a bit annoying on the service, but def a cheap and tasty hole-in-the-wall

                    Chai Thai Home Kitchen (8th btwn 55th & 56th) is tasty thai. Relatively cheap, but with a nice decor as well.

                    1. three more places to mention:

                      burger joint (open till 11:30 p.m. most nights) -- it is quite literally a hole in the wall ... of a hotel lobby

                      island burger and shakes (closes at 10:30 most nights)

                      on sunday: shake shack in madison square park

                      Burger Joint
                      118 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019

                      Island Burgers & Shakes
                      766 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: cimui

                        Amen...Island Burgers rocks my world. Good call!


                      2. I will heartily agree with the 9th and 10th avenue suggestions mentioned along with the burger joint endorsement. I'll add eatery to this list which is open late. while these are not hole in the walls, you may also want to hit ouzeria which is next door from and owned by uncle nick's. it's open far later than uncle nick's and there's sort of a nice greek spirit inside if that appeals to you.

                        Nick's Ouzeria: next door at 749 Ninth Ave. tel. 212/397-2892

                        having been to montreal twice, i don't know how i missed those bagels. had many unforgettable dinners there, though. great city! anyway, enjoy your time in nyc and i'd love to hear feedback on which places wind up appealing to you.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: nativeNYer

                          Hi nativeNYer:

                          Montreal bagels are a treat. Flavor-wise, kind of like a cross between a bagel and a pretzel. Definitely worth a try next time you're up North.

                          1. re: fsd1116

                            thanks, fsd1116. will do for sure. [kicking myself].

                        2. We (well, he, I'll be in and out as classes permit) are here until the show opens in Oct./Nov. so everything that's been suggested will be tried. Merci!

                          nativeNYer, definitely hit St. Viateur next trip (it's outside of the central area so that may be why you didn't find it previously), the bagels there are classic Montreal.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: montrealeater

                            THANKS! I can't believe this never occurred to me as I definitely went out of the central area on both trips.