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Jun 30, 2008 03:56 PM

Where does a southerner get grits near Lincoln Center?

A southern colleague on a professional listserve who will be meeting at Fordham law school in August has posted the following question: "What are the odds... that I will be able to get grits with my eggs and sausage at breakfast in NYC (Northern Yankee Country)?"
So far he has received quippy answers from the listserve. I thought I might find a real answer from my fellow chowhounders in the know. Thanks, ADR in portland Oregon.

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  1. Well the restaurant at the Met, right in the heart of Lincoln center, serves grits. If you're willing to travel a little bit up in the neighborhood, you can get grits at Good Enough to Eat and Madaleine Mae. Travel a few blocks more and you can even get some redeye gravy at Popover Cafe.

    5 Replies
    1. re: JungMann

      JungMann, have you ever actually eaten at the Metropolitan Opera House? The Grand Tier restaurant is open for dinner only, and a fancy, expensive and not so great one at that. To the best of my knowledge they have NEVER served breakfast because they are only open when there is a performance, and opera singers would never sing in the morning unless forced to do so for student matinees!
      Good Enough to Eat is at Amsterdam Ave. between 83 and 84th St., a healthy walk from Fordham at 60th St. (or a cab ride from there). They do have grits along with some very nice breakfast dishes.
      Brooklyn Diner on W.57 between 7th Ave. and Broadway, not horribly far from Fordham, serves a decent breakfast too. They don't serve white grits with their eggs but they do have polenta, which is pretty much the yellow version of grits. It also gets crowded, as does GETE.
      Unfortunately Fordham is in an area not known for breakfast, or for that matter, known for any meal. Whole Foods is in the lowest level of the Time Warner building, about 1 long block from Fordham. I've never been in there that early in the day, but I wouldn't be surprised if there is a breakfast bar in the prepared foods area. It is also possible that they have hot cereals on it. You can eat in the seating area near the checkout lines. Btw, if you go there, don't be afraid of the lines. Even at their longest they move right along, and the longest I've ever stood in line at dinner rush hour is about 7-10 minutes.

      Grits at the Met . Oh, the horror!

      1. re: joannabar

        According to the Grand Tier's website, they serve grits during their lunch service. Admittedly, their lunch service is news to me, but as it pertains to the colleague's incredulity, grits is closer than he imagined.

        1. re: JungMann

          Because the Virgo in me won't let me rest until I know about stuff like this, I went to the Met today to find out if the quest for grits can be satisfied there. As I suspected, they never serve breakfast. Lunch and dinner is served only to ticket holders before a performance.
          I know I'm a neurotic person, but that makes me something of a typical New Yorker even if I live in NJ. I feel better. :-)

          ADR, do you think you could persuade the prof to try a NY experience and go to Zabars for the takeout breakfast? The corner takeaway shop is at 80th and B'way. All he'd have to do is go to the 1 train at 66th and take it 2 stops to 79th. A bagel, cream cheese, and lox sandwich, coffee, and juice is, last I looked, $5.79, a bargain in anyone's book. He may never want to go back to grits again!
          Please let us know where he ends up, ok?

      2. re: JungMann

        Good Enough to Eat is an enjoyable breakfast place. From Fordham at Lincoln Center get on the 1 subway and go uptown to 86 St., walk one block east to get to Amsterdam.

        1. re: paperpest

          Although they post a lunch menu, it is still most likely open only to ticket holders for the matinee on Saturday. If you click on the "hours and directions" link you'll also see that the restaurant is only open at 6:00pm for dinner and intermission service, again, only for ticket holders. Of course a phone call would confirm your statement. Either way, it's a VERY mediocre restaurant in a world class setting. It just isn't worth it for the expense.
          Adr, your guest is much better off at any of the other places listed here. Where is the Neptune Room, Jane?

      3. Try a search on for "grits". It should turn up a list of restaurants which have grits on their regular menus. Hopefully some are within shouting distance of Fordham by Linc. Center.

        1. In the neighborhood of Popover and Good Enough to Eat (84/85 on Amsterdam) you might think about Neptune Room for brunch. Only one dish really really worth ordering and it's the country breakfast. I've had it many times, always good and it is an absolute mess of food, really enough for 2 people, and about a gazillion calories. It's eggs, cheesy grits, bacon, sausage, gravy and a biscuit. Now, it isn't super-Southern the way I know the dish should be and I think why it works for me is that it isn't trying to absolutely mimic the original but be it's own respectable take on the dish (maybe "upscale" take, too -- I think we're talking like $15). I think this differs from Good Enough to Eat which is trying to authentically recreate the grits/egg/sausage biscuit combo. For me, I prefer the interpretation (Neptune) rather than the recreation (Good Enough) because sometimes I just feel like it's better to have something that I know going into it is going to taste different rather than go into thinking it is hopefully going to taste exactly the same. This is really just a matter of adjusting my expecations -- I can appreciate something for what it is, rather than what it should really be.

          1. Bobby Flay has just about made grits his signature dish. I've tried them, and being a Southerner I can tell you, they're pretty great. Of course, Mesa Grill is nowhere near Lincoln Center...just thought I'd mention it.

            1 Reply
            1. re: douglas525

              The Cosmic Diner at 888 8th Ave (52nd st.) has a decent breakfast menu. No grits, but there are different kinds of sausages with the egg dishes. It is only about 10 blocks south of Fordham.
              I still advocate for bagels and lox...

            2. go to and use the find a food search function. It should yield you some results there as well.