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pre- or post-Cloisters recommendation

uwsgrazer Oct 17, 2008 08:27 AM

Planning a weekend visit, most likely on a Sunday. Can someone recommend some nearby places to eat? Would prefer something more representative of the neighborhood. Otherwise, I would just as soon eat in my neighborhood. So I guess the question really is, are there any places worth checking out? Open as to food type, would prefer to keep costs reasonable (not looking for anything special, just a basic place that might be worth a visit while we're already there). Also, since we don't really know the area I'd prefer a place that's not hard to get to.

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    racer x RE: uwsgrazer Oct 17, 2008 11:17 AM

    Not sure what you mean by representative of the neighborhood.

    Right within Fort Tryon Park, you'll find the New Leaf Cafe.

    5 Replies
    1. re: racer x
      piegirl74 RE: racer x Oct 17, 2008 12:05 PM

      Agreed. New Leaf Cafe is wonderful! It's great for a drink or coffee or for dinner. I'll be the views are nice this time of year, too!

      1. re: piegirl74
        bronwen RE: piegirl74 Oct 17, 2008 01:35 PM

        I think the New Leaf is the only game in town. As you go up the hill to the Cloisters it's right there.

      2. re: racer x
        uwsgrazer RE: racer x Oct 17, 2008 02:25 PM

        Racer x, sorry for the confusing message. What I meant to write was that I'm more interested in an "ethnic" restaurant that might reflect the character of the area's population. I thought the neighborhood had a fairly large immigrant community (don't recall exactly from where anymore) so I was more interested to visit restaurants with dishes from those regions. New Leaf is an interesting idea, too. I like Scott Campbell, and am happy to see he has another venture.

        Thanks for the suggestion.

        1. re: uwsgrazer
          racer x RE: uwsgrazer Oct 17, 2008 10:24 PM

          There are several ethnic/cultural conclaves in the neighborhood (Yuppies affiliated with Columbia U health sciences; Jews who work at or attend Yeshiva U; older Jewish retirees, including some Holocaust survivors; middle-class Manhattanites of all stripes who have been priced out of the rest of Manhattan; younger generations of Latin American and Caribbean immigrants and their families).

          The largest community is Dominican, and most of the restaurants serve Dominican food. I haven't eaten in the neighborhood in a few years, so my suggestions may not be up to date. But some popular places in the past have been Albert's Mofongo House, La Casa del Mofongo, La Nueva Espana, and, further south, El Malecon.

          Rancho Jubilee, which is not exactly cheap but isn't too far from The Cloisters, has a kitschy Dominican decor that appeals to some who are nostalgic for life "back home."

          Hispaniola is an upscale fusion (Latin, Asian, Euro) place on 181st, if you're willing to try something a little different. (I've never been there.)

          Try searches on Inwood or Hudson Heights.

          1. re: racer x
            intrepid RE: racer x Oct 18, 2008 07:41 AM

            hispaniola is very good, do it

      3. c
        cimui RE: uwsgrazer Oct 18, 2008 01:57 PM

        Alberto's mofongo house is decent, but make sure you order something with gravy. The dry mofongos are pretty darn dry.

        I haven't tried it, but someone recently recommended Mamajuana Cafe to me. Perhaps other Chowhounds can comment.

        1. ballulah RE: uwsgrazer Oct 19, 2008 08:38 AM

          It all depends on which side of Ft Tryon you enter to go to the Cloisters. The north end of the park has more options in terms of dining, but I think the south end might have some of the better and more varied options.

          As well as the immigrant groups already mentioned, historically the area is also very Greek and Irish. One of NYC's best burgers in an Irish pub is at Piper's Kilt on 207th and Broadway. But I've never seen any Greek food in the area.

          Recently there's been an influx of immigrants from Mexico and El Salvador to the neighborhood. Mexican food is more readily available around 181st and St Nicholas, Salvadorean food is available along a wide north to south swath of Broadway just below the park. La Cabaña Salvadoreña on 187 & Broadway (total hole in the wall, on the slightly grimy side) has some amazing Salvadorean tamales.

          New Leaf Cafe inside Ft Tryon is very very nice for brunch, I find that dinner there is NOT worth the price tag. The service is well meaning but completely inattentive and slow. The food is ambitious in intent, and doesn't deliver on taste or execution. BUT I'll say again, that brunch there is excellent, some of the most delicious and inventive omelets I've had anywhere.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ballulah
            uwsgrazer RE: ballulah Oct 20, 2008 07:18 PM

            Thanks for the ideas, everyone.

            Judging by the website info I guess I would take the A train to the 190th Street stop. Sounds as if that might give me the better dining options, too

            1. re: ballulah
              lemonyc RE: ballulah Jan 4, 2010 08:39 AM

              i thought id reply to this since i went to the cloisters yesterday and then went to new leaf for brunch afterwards. i thought for 18.99 there would be more food, or at least more than 1 course. you had a pretty decent choice (i had duck confit with poached eggs and cheese grits) but it only came with coffee and a small gladd of OJ. I guess if I spending almost $20 for brunch I would think it would at least be 2 courses....not even a bread basket ! (muffin / bread basket was extra 8 or 9). Anyways, its a nice restaurant, great atmosphere but food wise I dont think its worth the $$.

              New Leaf Restaurant & Bar
              1 Margaret Corbin Dr, New York, NY 10040

              1. re: lemonyc
                uwsgrazer RE: lemonyc Jan 4, 2010 06:50 PM

                Thanks, lemonyc! Appreciate the feedback on New Leaf for when I visit the Cloisters again. Won't be for a while, though, in this cold weather!! Bbrrrrrrrrr ....

            2. u
              UES Mayor RE: uwsgrazer Oct 21, 2008 07:36 AM

              Casa de Mofongo!!!!!!!!!!!!!! very good and reasonable-staff barely speaks english but you'll get by-very large restaurant but not packed during day time. you will love!

              1. krystle920 RE: uwsgrazer Aug 8, 2009 11:23 PM

                Any good chicken and waffles type places nearby?

                1. il Trifulau RE: uwsgrazer Aug 23, 2009 07:56 PM

                  My wife is Colombian and we have a special fondness for Caribbean/South/Central American Latin food.
                  We LOVE El Malecon on 175th and Broadway.

                  El Malecon
                  4141 Broadway, New York, NY 10033

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