UES Take Out Rec? plus breakfast places, plus food shopping.
Looking for good and fairly reasonable take out in the E. 84th and Lex area. Any ethnicity. ALSO, any good breakfast spots would be greatly appreciated. AND, if I'm not being too pushy, any great food shopping that I shouldn't miss - butchers, produce, cheese, etc.?
a fav of mine is BEYOGLU
81st and Third
delicious Turkish Mediterranean
As much as I like Eli's (80th and Third)
their prices are astronomical.
Do like I do...shop at Fairway (Broadway), then bus it crosstown - 79th St.
If the rumors are true, Fairway is coming to 86th St. between 2nd & 3rd Ave.
where Barnes & Noble/Circuit City used to be.
cascabel taqueria - 2nd ave and 80th st
paty's taco truck - lex and 86th
wa jeal chili house - szechuan food, 2nd ave and 81st
chana - south indian and dosas 1st and 87th
lili's noodle house - 3rd and 84t
gracie's corner - 86th and 1st
viand - 2nd ave and 86th
the pickle/olive store on 1st and 86th
I tend to prefer Japanese fried rice, so feel free to take this with a grain of salt, but I think they serve some of the best fried rice in NYC. It's made to order, so it's always hot & fresh.
The pork buns, however, are just decent. Excellent value compared to other places around the city, but not in that top tier.
re: Bone Thug n Hominy
I'm a fan of their Curry Ramen. Yum. It's not bad for ramen in the UES. I'm also a big fan of Pio Pio (Peruvian roasted chicken & french fries). I'm not sure about breakfast places since I'm still looking for a good brunch place. Uptown Lounge does a pretty good brunch. Corner Bakery isn't too bad either. I am enjoy their corn bread. :) Welcome to the neighborhood! Oh yes, don't forget Two Little Red Hens for Brooklyn Blackout Cake and their cheesecake. Mmm.
Breakfast in a real hole-in-the-wall joint calls for Burger One (Lex @ 79th St), where I liked the egg sandwich w/bacon & cheese as well as the fries. For coffee & a cherry danish or similar such Hungarian pastry, there's Andre's Cafe (@ 84th St). Fancier breakfasts can be found at Sarabeth's (@ 92nd St), but I actually like Alice's Tea Cup better. The cornmeal pancakes w/fruit are very nice, and my wife seriously adores the scones. Note, however, that the kitchen tends to be rather slow, so they can get terribly backed up on the weekends.
Take out: Chicken Festival on First at 82 Street. Same Peruvian chicken as Pio Pio only cheaper.
Breakfast: Peter's Gourmet Diner om First at 83 Street. They really know how to fry eggs properly and the home fries are delicious. Fresh squeezed orange juice, the coffee is good and the staff recognizes the regulars. Only problem is they open at 11 am.
Gracie Mews at First and 81 Street is good but the home fries are not so. They make the best waffle in the neighborhood - very light and fluffy. Also the OJ is fresh squeezed.
Shopping: We rely on Fairway crosstown but Agata & Valentina has a lot to offer, albeit a bit more expensive in some areas. The apples are crispier than from Fairway. Try the ciabattini - it's a ciabatta roll a little larger than a club roll and makes a great hero sandwich if you feel like pigging out on cold cuts. The olive oil is great (as good as Fairway's) and has come down in price lately. The best deal on olive oil is at Costco, their house brand Tuscan oil is 12.99 per liter and I suspect it is the same Tuscan oil as at Agata which is $20 per 750ml.
Agata & Valentina
1505 1st Ave, New York, NY 10021
1606 1st Ave, New York, NY 10028
1550 1st Ave, New York, NY 10028
1584 1st Ave, New York, NY 10028
I would try Ottomanelli's on York in btwn 86th and 85th. Its a great spot to go with kids (BYOB) or for take-out. I think the quality is consistent and great prices. I agree with Gracie's Corner for breakfast. Eli's on 90th in btwn york and 1st is great for brunch on the wknds imo. Great bloody mary and the potatoes make the meal.
I used to play the part of a pack mule and schlep my groceries from Trader Joe's at Union Square (including wine). Then hoof it up to the top of my 5th floor walkup. Yikes! :-)
For takeout, my fave was Beyoglu (as mentioned by pbjluver). I still hit that place when Im in the nabe. Patlican domades soslu and cacik are heaven. The shrimp casserole is also delicious and travels well. It's also a great spot for a weekend lunch.
Andres (hungarian on 2nd ave) makes divine cherry strudel and they are also good for breakfast.
I love Alice's tea cup for any time of day (they have great breakfast dishes, too).
I also used to go to Vinyl for breakfast when they served their egg sammy on a biscuit (biscuits are hard to come by in NYC!), but they have since switched to a roll which I don't enjoy as much.
Gracie's is good diner food - great waffles. (And they are good about trying to keep families on one side of the diner, and non-kid groups on the other side).
I used to order pizza from a place called Giorgio's. I found it was the best in the area for delivery when I didn't want to leave the apt.
As a side note, since the UES pizza is hit-or-miss (to put it kindly):
Gotham Pizza (77th & York) is a great slice joint. High-quality, standard issue NY pies--until you get to the crust, which is dusted with breadcrumbs for extra crunch. I've recently noticed a few other places have imitated this style with much less success.
Abitino's (82nd & 1st) makes a mean grandma pie. It's weird, because almost every other location of this mini-chain is truly awful.
Pintaile's (91st & Mad) is good if you're into fancy toppings and organic crust. If not, it's ah, interesting. I'd give it a try if it sounds up your alley.
Il Fornaio (97 & Lex) is run by an old Italian dude named Frank. Frank has one oven and is the only person who works there. The slices may not be super consistent (he often makes a bunch in the morning and reheats during lunch hours), but when they're in top form, they're the best slice near you. No delivery, though.
Nick's (94th & 2nd) and Giovanna's (100 & Lex) compete for best Brooklyn-style pizza. Both are decent enough.
re: Bone Thug n Hominy
gotham is good, but in no way standard issue - because of the crust - which has cornmeal. that crust style was made at two boots for many years before gotham opened.
my favorite slice in the area is italian village on 80th and 1st. crust has both crisp and chew - essential for NY pizza, some people say the sauce is too sweet for them, but i like it. but then it's the pizza i grew up on - so it's a baseline slice for me.
there's a new place on 78th and york that's decent, has several different styles
delizia on 73rd and 1st has a devoted following, but honestly, their pizza was great some 15 years ago, but since they moved next door, the quality has declined.
re: Bone Thug n Hominy
i read the entire thing - and i was not arguing against you. i had a quibble w/ your use of the phrase "standard issue" , but then i think pizza is defined by the crust so, to me, being standard except the crust is not being standard at all. the guy said cornmeal to me when i asked, but i wouldn't swear to it. the only other place i've seen with that style of pizza in NYC is two boots, which predates gotham by a good decade or 2, so i feel more like gotham is the imitator, not the imitatee.