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Aug 19, 2009 08:47 AM

Signature dishes of various places in NY

Hello New York!

My girlfriend has a work assignment for 3 weeks in Manhattan, so I thought I would visit from Toronto for 10 days starting this friday. During the day, i will be randomly wandering and eating throughout the city by myself. I have complied a list from what i have read here... some places are the same type so i might not visit them all, but i get help for a couple things?

1) are the dishes/items i listed the ones they are known for? if not, or if there are more, can you possibly list them?
2) can you guys fill in the blanks on what i should be ordering for ones that r missing dishes?
3) will there be a problem with having no reservations for all of these places?
4) any more suggestions of places to eat? anything special or unique is good, dont have much high end places listed since i keep hearing they need reservations weeks in advanced.

Keen's:_____ Mutton chop, kings cut prime rib, scotch
papaya king:_____ hot dog and papaya drink
serendipity :____ frozen chocolate milk (girlfriend possibly may want, not me)
les halles:_____ steak frites, steak tartare (just to see bourdains old place)
momofuko (noodle bar):_____ momofuku ramen, Korean stuffed pork buns
Sushi Yasuda:_____ omakase
Barney Greengrass:_____ lox with cream cheese on bagel
hell's kitchen : _____ ( )
murry cheese :_____ stinky cheese: what is the stinkiest?
the spotted pig :_____ ( )
Shake Shack :_____ shack burger
russ and daughters:_____ smoked salmon with cream cheese on bagel
Perilla:_____ Spicy duck meatballs (harold from top chef seems cool)
Lombardi's :_____ pizza (possibly down hill)
Katz deli:_____ Pastrami on rye
Di Fara Pizza:____ a slice, a sicilian slice, and an artichoke slice
Chikalicious:_____ cupcake/ dessert tasting
Artichoke basille:_____ square slice
Donut Planet:_____ Cake donuts ONLY. Blackout. Or Tres Leches
H&H Bagels:_____ bagel (maybe too sweet)
Rocco's Pastry:_____ Canoli
Peter Luger's: _____ steak, bacon, hashbrown (sometimes bad though)
Yakitori totto:_____ ( )
Two little red hens:_____ cupcake?
Gramercy travern:_____ ( )
Bar Artisanal:_____ ( )
Chelsea market:_____ ( )
OTAFUKU takoyaki: _____ ( )
Heidelberg resturant:_____ pork shank
laboratoriodelgelato:_____ ( )
Lupa:_____ ( )
kossars:_____ bialys
Eisenberg: ______ tuna sandwich and lime rickey (is eggcream ok here?)
Ray’s candy shop:______ egg cream
Crumbs : _____ cupcakes
Ess a bagel:_____ bagel
Pearl oyster bar:_____ lobster roll
crif dog: _____ deep fried hot dog
Mary's fish camp: ______ lobster roll/grilled whole fish
Grand central market: _____ ( )
amy ruth's: _____ chicken and waffles? (maybe willl look for more "soul food" places, i think harlem is supposed to be fairly safe to walk around in now during day these days?)
Eilieen's cheesecake: ________( )
Juiors's cheese cake:_________( ) one or the other

Probably will do RGR's LES tour on my first day here, ive gotten my body nice and lean now in preparation for fat fest...

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  1. Great list! Thanks for doing such thorough homework before posting. minor comments:

    the spotted pig : burger w rosemary matchsitck fries; gnudi
    Bar Artisanal: cheese course; gourgeres
    Crumbs : BLECH. Avoid

    1. you can usually get a table at keens without reservation...particularly for lunch. id get the mutton chop and a lagavulin 25yr distiller's edition...but thats just me. creme brulee for dessert. their oysters are great for starters...or if im gluttonous, i order their steak tartare with fries...their fries are excellent.

      as for papaya king, any hot dog really works. i live by gray's papaya on 8th and 6th ave and those are just as solid. its more like a snack than a meal

      id skip serendipity, les halles, and momofuku noodle bar...if yr going to do a momofuku, go to the ssam bar on 2nd ave. their lunch prix fixe is a good cheap way to get their best stuff including pork buns. les halles hasnt been good for 10 years.

      Sushi Yasuda...reservations are necessary. if you cant get a space at the bar, dont go! if you cant get yasuda san, ask for hiro...awesome guy...get the peace passage oyster and whatever is recommended

      the spotted avoid this place. its very inconsistent and very overrated. their burger when its good is great but that happens less and less lately.

      shake Shack...double shack burger, fries and a chocolate shack...or a concrete...sooo good...the upper west side location has no line.

      Perilla...i love this place but i dont like the meatballs...his duck entree is great though

      lombardi' skip it...too touristy. try veloce pizza or artichoke artichoke, get the square slice only.

      Katz deli...pastrami on club bread with mustard...dr browns black cherry soda

      Di Fara avoid difara...its too difficult to get a slice there...i think artichoke's squares are just as good without the hassle.

      Donut Planet...i actually like their yeast jelly donut the best.

      Peter Luger's...i prefer keens these days but if you go, its steak for two med rare, german potatoes, and bacon

      Gramercy travern...i always found gramercy to be completely boring. maybe i should give it another shot. id go for lunch over dinner.

      Bar go the original on park ave rather than this new outpost. id eat nothing but cheese though. everything else is rather meh.

      Chelsea market...i only go here on rainy cold days. get a chocolate hazelnut milkshake at ronnybrook farms.

      OTAFUKU takoyaki...ive only been here once but the octopus balls are great.

      laboratoriodelgelato...ive never been. id rather get their ice cream at stand on 12th who put it in their milkshakes.

      kossars...right by donut plant...

      Eisenberg...tuna salad on rye with american cheese and a lime rickey...egg cream is fine here but lime rickey is the way to go.

      Crumbs...this is a corporate cupcake shop...its very meh.

      Pearl oyster bar...i prefer mary's fish camp due to the service issues ive had at pearls.

      3 Replies
      1. re: sam1

        Re: Shake Shack - I took some friends to the UWS location last week and they both raved about the Double Stack - Cheeseburger and a Shroom Burger on a bun. I didn't try it, but they kept going on and on about how great it was.

        1. re: whitneybee

          re: Shake Shack on the UWS - I haven't gotten in there yet - every time we seem to be in the area there's a long line.

          Shake Shack
          366 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024

        2. papaya king:_____ hot dog and papaya drink: I THOUGHT THE PAPAYA DRINK SUCKED, BUT...WHEN IN ROME...
          the spotted pig :_____ ( ) SCALLOPS ARE GOOD; BURGER IS TASTY
          H&H Bagels:_____ bagel (maybe too sweet) I PREFER TAL BAGELS
          Peter Luger's: _____ steak, bacon, hashbrown (sometimes bad though) AT LUNCH, PL MAKES A KILLER BURGER, GREAT ONION RINGS TOO
          Eisenberg: ______ tuna sandwich and lime rickey (is eggcream ok here?) GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH...SO SIMPLE, YET SO GOOD
          Crumbs : _____ cupcakes BETTER CUPCAKES ELSEWHERE

          1. Nice! I see you've done your homework.

            My comments:

            Momofuku Noodle -- I find the ramen to be one of their weaker offerings as their noodles are too mushy for my taste. For ramen, I'd recommend Ramen Setayga or Ippudo (though Ippudo is a different type of ramen).

            Spotted Pig -- agree with the gnudi; also huge fan of the chicken liver

            Chikalicious -- note that the cupcakes are at Dessert Club across the street from Chikalicious. While perhaps not a signature, I love the cheesecake at Dessert Bar. Just wanted to warn you that it's not a typical NY cheesecake -- more of a light cheese custard topped with strawberries and crumble.

            Yakitori Totto -- love, love the chicken hearts (and I usually hate the stuff)

            Two Little Red Hens -- blackout cupcake

            Shake Shack -- the UWS location's line tends to be shorter than the Madison Park one. But there can definitely be a line going around the block during certain times.

            Il Labatorio del Gelato -- I like it but prefer Grom. I find that Il Lab's gelato is served way too cold, blunting the flavors. Of course, if you have patience (unlike me!) you can wait a little to let the flavors come around a bit.

            Agree with those who say to skip Crumbs. And please don't think about Magnolia. Here is a good round-up of cupcakes in


            And I believe a poster here did a pretty impressive cupcake tasting here. Can't find the link.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Miss Needle

              nice article! so hungry now, i should just skip work tomorrow and hurry to NY...

              is this the cupcake tasting you were talking about?


            2. Awesome list! I agree with everyone else, skip Crumbs - their cupcakes are so-so. For cupcakes, people on the boards really like Sugar Sweet Sunshine (and I'm also a fan of Billy's Bakery).

              As someone who lives in Harlem and has tried most of the chicken and waffle places, I think Amy Ruth's is okay, but not my favorite. I always feel kind of gross after having their chicken and waffles, to be honest! I like Melba's a lot, mostly for her eggnog waffles with strawberry butter. Really great - the chicken is pretty good but the waffles are very memorable! Harlem is fine, just be reasonable - take the main streets to feel the safest. Melba's is on 114th and Frederick Douglass Blvd - 114th between FDB and Adam Clayton Powell is not the greatest street to walk down!

              Also, in terms of bagels, H&H is fine, but might not be a destination-type place.

              Perilla - agree, ordered the duck meatballs because they are known as his specialty but actually it was my least favorite dish. Everything else was AMAZING.

              Enjoy your trip!