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NYC Visit - Planned Food

tinabull Nov 10, 2008 02:03 AM

Hi everyone

Three of us will be visiting NYC from 31st December - 4th January and have been agonising over where to sample NYC's finest! We've been to the city a few times before so already have our favourite places, but am open to any alternative suggestions from the chowhounds.

It's important that the places are reasonably downscale - we travel light and therefore pretty much stay in casual gear.

Our planned choices are:

Breakfast: Clinton St. Baking Co / Skylight Diner
BBQ: RUB / Blue Smoke
Mac n Cheese: Blue Smoke
Burger: Burger Joint / Shake Shack
Steak: Peter Luger (if the budget will stretch) / Angelo & Maxie
Pizza: Patsys/ Grimaldi
Dessert: Rice to Riches

I would really appreciate feedback on the above, and in particular any alternative suggestions. Food is always a really big part of our trip and I like to try and get it right.

Thanks Chow Hounds :-)


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  1. KatieMarquiss RE: tinabull Nov 10, 2008 02:27 AM

    You might want to add Max Brenner's to the list for dessert. If you like chocolate this place is a must! http://www.maxbrenner.com/home.aspx

    2 Replies
    1. re: KatieMarquiss
      kathryn RE: KatieMarquiss Nov 10, 2008 05:11 AM

      No. Max Brenner is terrible, novelty chocolate. If you care about quality, don't go there.

      1. re: kathryn
        KTinNYC RE: kathryn Nov 10, 2008 08:36 AM

        Yes, Max Brenner is low quality dreck and should be avoided if you actually like chocolate.

    2. f
      frankki RE: tinabull Nov 10, 2008 04:36 AM

      No Chinese? Would def hit NY Noodletown, my personal favorite, or perhaps squeeze in some dim sum.

      4 Replies
      1. re: frankki
        kathryn RE: frankki Nov 10, 2008 05:12 AM

        Ditto -- however I don't really see any non-American, non-pizza places on the OP's list....

        1. re: kathryn
          tinabull RE: kathryn Nov 10, 2008 05:43 AM

          kathryn - there is a real lack of decent american food places in the UK so we try to get our American gastro feast on vacation!

        2. re: frankki
          tinabull RE: frankki Nov 10, 2008 05:40 AM

          We do like chinese however when we last visited Chinatown we didn't have a clue where to go! NY Noodletown sounds great though - I'll add it on.


          1. re: tinabull
            MMRuth RE: tinabull Nov 10, 2008 10:29 AM

            I'm not terribly familiar with Chinatown, but had good eats on this little excursion - and it's cheap to boot!


            Amazing 66 is a Chinatown restaurant that I read a lot about here, but haven't tried yet (do a search for title:"Amazing 66").

        3. s
          steakrules85 RE: tinabull Nov 10, 2008 04:50 AM

          If you cannot make it to Peter Luger, please do not go to Angelo & Maxie's. There are far better backup options tina.

          2 Replies
          1. re: steakrules85
            tinabull RE: steakrules85 Nov 10, 2008 05:41 AM

            can you suggest an alternative in a similar price bracket to A&M? We've been there a few times and always thought the strip was good,but as I say, am keen to try new places.


            1. re: tinabull
              sloane RE: tinabull Nov 10, 2008 07:04 AM

              I agree with Kathryn. Skip Max Brenners unless you just want to stop in for a hot chocolate to go while you're walking around.

              I'm a big fan of Rice and Riches. The rice pudding is great and if you are in the mood for chocolate go for their Rocky Road flavor. It's pefect for chocolate lovers. They let you sample flavors so try a few before you decide which ones you want. The line is long, but it moves quickly. I love holiday time in NY. Have fun!!!

          2. thew RE: tinabull Nov 10, 2008 08:07 AM

            for bbq - head uptown to dinosaurs - best bbq in NYC

            and i know im the heratic here, but i've been underwhelmed by patsy's pizza

            1. LNG212 RE: tinabull Nov 10, 2008 08:34 AM

              I'll second the Dinosaur BBQ recommendation. If you'd like more soul food rather than/in addition to bbq, you might try Rack & Soul.

              For mac and cheese, you might consider S'mac. Or (and I like this better) Pinch & S'mac on the UWS for both mac n cheese and pizza.

              1 Reply
              1. re: LNG212
                whitneybee RE: LNG212 Nov 10, 2008 09:41 AM

                I can't speak to the UWS location (as they don't serve any gluten-free options) but I'm definitely seconding the S'mac recommendation!

              2. s
                snickers RE: tinabull Nov 10, 2008 09:53 AM

                Agreed re: Max Brenner's. No good.
                Try the new ChikaLicious Dessert Bar in the East Village -- it offers cupcakes, amazing soft serve, and various other treats. http://www.dessertclubchikalicious.com/

                Also, RUB beats the pants off Blue Smoke for BBQ. Wings and ribs are much juicier. In fact, I've had several dessicated ribs experiences at Blue Smoke.

                I like your pizza picks for demonstrating the coal oven style but would add a slice at Joe's for the perfect example of an NYC "street slice."

                Finally, even though you didn't list any Mexican spots, I know how impossible it is to get decent Mexican in London. Mercadito (East Village) and Papatzul (SoHo) are consistently fantastic.

                Let us know how your trip goes!!

                1 Reply
                1. re: snickers
                  MMRuth RE: snickers Nov 10, 2008 10:26 AM

                  Another Mexican to consider (our London friends always want Mexican when they come to NYC) is Bistro Itzocan. They also have a location in the E. Village, but I've not eaten there. El Paso Taqueria on E. 97th is our neighborhood go to Mexican - it's quite good, but a bit out of the way, as is Bistro Itzocan.

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