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Coming tomorrow....E. 85th area regs & BW Question

jck Dec 27, 2008 07:42 AM

We are staying at relatives flat (they are abroad) near 85th and 1st Ave. for 2-3 days...looking for casual (we have a 9 year old) spots in neighborhood for breakfast & dinner. Good pizza would be great.....but tells us your favorites in area. Also, we are arriving by train at Penn St. around Noon and walking to 2 PM show up Broadway by 53rd....any reqs for good and casual lunch along the way. Great Deli would work or possibly diner...Thanks. JCK

  1. teresa Dec 27, 2008 07:36 PM

    If you're looking for pizza, Totonno's is pretty good. It's on 2nd Avenue between 80th and 81st Streets. A little pricey for pizza, but yummy! Also, there is a new Two Boots pizzeria on 2nd Avenue and 84th Street. Their pizza is not the typical NY pizza though.

    1. scoopG Dec 27, 2008 02:23 PM

      If you are willing to walk 5 blocks west, the Lexington Candy Store is worth a visit at 1226 Lexiongton (at 83rd.) The restaurant dates from 1925 and was last re-modeled in the 1940's I think. They are the only spot in the northeast that still serves coke the old fashioned way: a pump of syrup followed by seltzer water. It was the place where Robert Redford went to get lunch on that ill-fated day for his co-workers in "Three Days of the Condor." Decent diner style food served up by longtime employees. I love their cole slaw - if made by co-owner Robert. It has vinegar whereas the other co-owner John's is more sweet and without the vinegar.


      Sharz Cafe and Wine is another neighborhood place on 86th (between York and 1st) that serves up comfort style specials.


      1 Reply
      1. re: scoopG
        chet steadman Dec 28, 2008 05:14 PM

        Re: Lexington Candy Shop: it's a pretty cool place. I wasn't blown away by the food, but that's not the point.

      2. f
        fredid Dec 27, 2008 01:56 PM

        For dinner, you might all enjoy Beyoglu (Turkish). We had a family dinner and the two boys found things they liked - especially the chocolate dessert! Nice but informal, so nice for parents, too!

        1. f
          fredid Dec 27, 2008 01:52 PM

          I don't know that MidTown area well (foodwise) but a couple of thoughts, especially as you may be tight on time if your train is late - In the LIRR (Long Island RailRoad) corridor at Penn Station, there are a bunch of inexpensive deli sandwich type places that also have things like eclairs - Not so much interesting food as a convenient way to pick up a lunch you can carry with you. Margon - Cuban sandwich place that people like, is near the theater...and if you have time ahead, check the threads on food carts, and you might find something on the way, also probably in the fifties. Finally, Penn Sta is right by lots of Korean places, but I don't know what's fast there...

          1 Reply
          1. re: fredid
            fredid Dec 27, 2008 02:08 PM

            Here's a street cart:http://www.eatingintranslation.com/20.... Might not be around in the cold, but...Also, that whole blog, put together by CHer Dave Cook, is terrific!

          2. MMRuth Dec 27, 2008 09:02 AM

            Nick's at 94th & Lex has great pizza, if you are willing to travel. Two of my favorite neighborhood Japanese are very near you:

            Gajyumaru - another poster has mentioned a great Japanese "hamburger" that they have.
            1659 1st Ave, New York 10028
            Btwn 86th & 87th St

            Tokubei 86
            314 E 86th St, New York 10028
            Btwn 1st & 2nd Ave

            You are quite near Two Little Red Hens bakery on 2nd between 85 & 86th - I don't know if they sell breakfast items, but worth stopping in for some cupcakes. For some good German sausages etc., try Old Heidelberg, just north of Two Little Red Hens - I was back in November and had an excellent meal again after some disappointing ones - I particularly like their potato pancakes, though I suspect that the apple sauce is not home made.

            I think there is a Viand coffee shop quite near you - 86th & 2nd - I've not been to that one, but find them reliable for breakfasts, sandwiches, etc. There's always hot dogs from Papaya King at 86th & Third. Another possible place to get things for breakfast is Tal, on the north side of 86th between 1st & 2nd - smoked salmon, etc., or Mohr'.s on the south side, near Tokubei - I like their Kenya AA coffee, and they get baked goods from Balthazar Bakery. Will post more if I come up with other ideas. Cafe d'Alsace is very good, and I liked my one meal at Parlor, a bit further north.

            4 Replies
            1. re: MMRuth
              chet steadman Dec 27, 2008 09:36 AM

              My two suggestions are Kurio (eclectic american) and Pio Pio (Peruvian roasted chicken). They're reasonably nice places, but nothing remotely fancy. A kid shouldn't be a problem.

              I think Viand is a little overpriced (though it's a great 4am meal). If you are just looking for a simple breakfast (coffee and a pastry), I would suggest going to M Rohr on 86 between 2nd & 3rd.

              For pizza, I second Nick's. It's a hike, but it's one of the better pies in New York (and thus, the world).

              And another option (though I haven't been) is the European bakery across the street from Two Little Red Hens. With Hens right there, it's obvious why I've never been, but they seem to have more cooked food in addition to pastries.

              1. re: chet steadman
                MMRuth Dec 27, 2008 09:40 AM

                I like Kurio very much as well - and also Zebu Grill - the Brazilian across the street from it. I've never eaten in at Pio Pio. A little further afield, is Ottomanelli at 93rd (I think) and Lex - great hamburgers. And - thanks for the spelling of M. Rohr - that's what I meant by Mohr's (oops!).

                1. re: MMRuth
                  MMRuth Dec 27, 2008 01:39 PM

                  Oh, and for Chinese - Chef Ho does a pretty good Peking Duck, and for some reason I love their wonton soup. I'd stay away from the dumplings though, unless you really like thick wrappers. Wu Liang Ye is on E. 86th, and quite good as well - Szechuan food - I have a list of favorite items if you want it.

                  1. re: MMRuth
                    chet steadman Dec 27, 2008 01:43 PM

                    Yes, Ottomanelli.. As loathe as I am to keep recommending the same places every time a UES thread pops up, I have to second them as one of the best values in NYC.

                    They make a better burger than PJ Clarke's, imo, and my favorite sub-$20 steak.

              2. e
                esyle Dec 27, 2008 08:36 AM

                Welcome to the hood!
                Walk up 1st Ave to 91 St to Cipolla Rossa for great tuscan food. It's BYO. Great paninis for lunch too.

                Gino's pizza on 85th b/t 1 and 2nd, north side of street next to Triangolo.
                Big Daddy Diner over on 2nd on 85th is another casual place.
                Gracie's diner on the corner of 86th and 1st is good for breakfast too.

                1. r
                  RGR Dec 27, 2008 08:18 AM

                  Cafe d'Alsace, on the corner of 2nd Av. & 88th St., is a bustling French brasserie with very good food. No breakfast. Dinner 7 days, lunch Mon.-Fri, and brunch Sat./Sun.


                  For you pre-theater lunch, I would not recommend either of the famous delis in the Theater District area, Stage and Carnegie. With regard to diners, there is Ellen's Stardust, on the corner of B'way & 50th, with its retro 50's theme and singing waitstaff.


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