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restaurants with history?

t
tbrown Jan 4, 2010 04:57 PM

I am a teacher in LA. I am just beginning to plan a trip to NY with 7th grade journalists. We will be looking at the culinary history of NYC. The students will be researching, reviewing, interviewing chefs, blogging, podcasting, etc. Any suggestions on where I should start looking?

  1. greygarious Jan 6, 2010 04:16 PM

    Am I imagining it, or did I hear that the Hord&Hardart Automat was being revived? It was typically the spot where elementary school field trips into Manhattan went for lunch when I was growing up on Long Island in 50 yrs ago. For a kid, it was great fun to put money in all the little doors.

    1. j
      j. marie Jan 6, 2010 01:39 PM

      I would recommend the Lost City website http://lostnewyorkcity.blogspot.com/ as a place to look for ideas, or the "Who Goes There?" columns at http://ny.eater.com/tags/who-goes-there might be particularly helpful.

      1. c
        chow_gal Jan 7, 2010 04:04 AM

        Keen's def.

        1. k
          kathryn Jan 4, 2010 10:13 PM

          I guess we should ask... Does it matter if the food is no longer good? What's your budget, since you mention "reviewing"? Some of the famous historical spots are also quite pricey.

          2 Replies
          1. re: kathryn
            g
            gutsofsteel Jan 5, 2010 01:03 PM

            Keen's is full of history and it's a great place too. But expensive. However, I'm betting you could call and arrange for the group to take a look.

            1. re: gutsofsteel
              j
              JMJD Jan 5, 2010 05:01 PM

              Would echo Keen's (you can do the pub room for more reasonably-priced food, not cheap, but cheaper....) and add Katz's as both a culinary destination and an artifact.

              You should also check out the website of the NY Public Library -- I believe they have a collection of menus from NYC restaurants. Plus, what could be better for a school trip than a library?

          2. mcsheridan Jan 4, 2010 06:36 PM

            You can't get much more history than this still-working restaurant:

            http://www.frauncestavern.com/index2.htm

            and this volume:
            http://www.amazon.com/Historic-Shops-...

            4 Replies
            1. re: mcsheridan
              a
              Ann900 Jan 4, 2010 07:23 PM

              I would have to strongly disagree with your suggestuion of Fraunces Tavern. Yes, it is historic, but only for its association with Washington? - certainly never for the food.The food is so dreadful and the staff so unwelcoming- in fact downright hostile. It's almost as if they think that anybody who sets foot in the place is either stupid, clueless or suckers. Most certainly not the place for a group of 7th graders.

              1. re: Ann900
                greygarious Jan 5, 2010 11:35 AM

                Since Fraunces Tavern is the oldest building in NYC, and hosted meetings of America's founders, I'd say it deserves a prominent place on your itinerary. If you can pre-arrange a meeting for the kids with the manager or head chef, they may learn some interesting details about the evolution of the building and business, and the challenges of operating in a pre-Revolutionary Era edifice.

                1. re: greygarious
                  j
                  Jane A. Jan 6, 2010 01:09 PM

                  It's rarely mentioned, but Samuel Fraunces was African-American - and one of the earliest entrepreneurs in the colony overall, and possibly the first African-American. There's a museum there.
                  Gallagher's Steak House and 21 Club both started as Speakeasies. The Campbell Apartment (drinks only) was a private office/apartment in Grand Central Station - show it as an example of "adaptive reuse".
                  You may want to check out India House as long as you're downtown as an example of a luncheon club - there's a good restaurant - http://www.indiahouseclub.org/ Private clubs and their dining rooms have been part of the fabric of NYC since almost the beginning.

              2. re: mcsheridan
                ChefJune Jan 4, 2010 09:02 PM

                Fraunces Tavern has an interesting museum, but PLEASE don't eat there. The food is abysmal.

              3. a
                Ann900 Jan 4, 2010 05:39 PM

                William Grimes, a former restaurant critic for the New York Times has recently published a wonderful book that will give you lots of history and ideas for your students. Appetite City: A Culinary History of New York. It's abou $20 on Amazon.
                As the other poster suggested, Arthur Schwartz is another good source. So is the website Serious Eats - seriouseats.com- run by Ed Levine, another prominent New York food writer. Although the site covers other cities, a large percentage of their posts are on New York.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Ann900
                  g
                  gutsofsteel Jan 4, 2010 05:45 PM

                  The first link I posted is a link to the Grimes book. Second link is to Schwartz's book.

                2. g
                  gutsofsteel Jan 4, 2010 05:00 PM

                  http://us.macmillan.com/appetitecity

                  http://www.amazon.com/Arthur-Schwartz...

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