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Please Help a Tourist

1. I crave soft pretzels. Constantly. Am I likely to do significantly better at a certain location, than random vendors on the street? -- Also what do they go for now from a street vendor... $2?

2. Sushi -- without getting ridiculous, where can one find a decent sushi meal in Manhattan? A meal for 4 should be under $300.

3. Any local joints that I can't/shouldn't miss? I am staying in a condo near Times Square.

Thank you, Manhattanites!

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  1. 1. Every "soft" pretzel I've ever bought from a street vendor in NYC has been hard as a rock (esp. in comparison to that Auntie Anne's mall chain). Like, you need to tear it apart with your hands hard. Sorry, can't help.

    2. For four people, that's a sushi meal under $75 including tax and tip. Are you planning on ordering mostly maki rolls? Nigiri? I would try Ushiwakamaru, Kanoyama, Lan.

    3. Not that much in Times Square you should go out of your way for but there are plenty of local joints you can't miss. Pizza. Bagels and smoked salmon. Katz's deli. Egg creams. Check these threads out:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/544954
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/544817
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/544074

    5 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      If you mean soft pretzels as opposed to dutch (hard, dark) pretzels, then yes, the street vendors are the way to go. Don't miss getting the mustard.

      1. re: kathryn

        Must agree with Kathryn. Any time I have been tempted to buy a pretzel from a street vendor -- with starving kids in tow -- they have been hard, stale, and awful. The only people I see getting them are tourists who don't yet know how bad they are...NOT soft! Stricly carbs, no taste.

        If you walk west from Times Square, over to 9th Ave., there are a lot of reasonable ethnic restaurants that are good ways to sample NYC's great diversity.

        1. re: City Kid

          I agree, street pretzels are for unwitting tourist that don't know any better.

          1. re: KTinNYC

            born and raised in NYC - and i buy the pretzels on occasion

        2. re: kathryn

          Lazzara's has some pretty fantastic pizza right near Times Sq on 38th btw 7th & 8th. Probably not the best on the island, but pretty damn good.
          lazzaraspizza.com

        3. David Burke at Bloomingdale's has a pretzel pannini, with chicken and provolone. I've never had it, but the sliders are god.

          1. Philly is the real soft pretzel heaven IMO. The best soft pretzel I've had in the city was at the Ginger man, which also has a great selection of beers. Even then, it's not that far past the street vendors, especially if you hit up the busy ones so it's reasonably fresh.

            3) There's plenty of fine dining in Manhattan, but if you really want to get to the heart of NYC, you practically have to leave the island. If you want a taste of neighborhoods, the lower east side still has Katz's for a jewish style deli, barney greengrass ect. For chinese, there ar elots of good Chinatown suggestions, or hit up Shzechwan (I know, I butchered it) gourmet, or look in the outer boroughs for info on queens. Go grab a slice at one of the coal oven joints, lombardis, Grimaldis, what's the one in manhattan?

            Alternatively, head up town and get soul food in Harlem (I've heard good things about Mannas and Charlies) or up to washington heights for domincan food. The Mofongo house on Dyckamn and broadway, Malecon on 175 and broadway, Floridita in that neighborhood for a great cuban sandwich.

            -----
            El Malecon
            4141 Broadway, New York, NY 10033

            Grimaldi's
            1 Front St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

            Ginger Man
            11 E 36th St, New York, NY 10016

            2 Replies
            1. re: chargeorge

              To clarify, for appetizing... Russ & Daughters is on the LES (take-out only). Barney Greengrass is on the UWS and has sit-down service.

              1. re: RGR

                I live on the upper west side. 3 blocks from Barney Greengrass. Thirty years ago Barney Greengrass may have been good. Not any more. They live on their name now, not on their food.

                Katz's, on the other hand, is still the very best.

            2. Agreed that soft pretzels at carts are always disappointing. Best I can think of are at a German bar called Loreley on the Lower East side. You could go there for beer and pretzels and then eat on the Lower East Side (Katz's, il Laboratorio del Gelato, etc. -- search this board for some good ideas.)

              1. Monster Sushi (they have three Manhattan locations (see http://www.monstersushi.com/m_frame.html) has very nice, BIG pieces of sushi and is very affordable.

                2 Replies
                  1. re: nixienox

                    Why??? Never been disappointed, ambience isn't much but sushi was fresh, large and inexpensive... better suggestions?