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Recommendations Requested

holdtheline Jun 22, 2010 12:33 PM

The wife and I are visiting NYC from DC this weekend as a last minute trip for a family event, staying just north of Grand Central Station. At this point we've got the eating covered except for two items, which I need your hep with. Here's the schedule:

- Fri Lunch family (unknown, not my choice)
- Fri early dinner at Yasuda, the sushi bar (we've been once before but did not sit at the bar)
- Sat 11AM brunch -- somewhere between midtown and upper Manhattan, cheap (we're eating w/ a friend w/low funds) ??????
- Sat early (5PM) dinner at The Modern - Bar before heading to 8PM symphony at Lincoln Center
- Sat need recommendation for 10:30 PM or so light dinner, assuming we'll be hungry, between Lincoln Center and midtown. Chinese or Italian preferred. Last time we had soup dumplings after the opera at Lincoln Center, don't remember which place, but we liked it (nothing like that in the DC area). Open to all suggestions. ??????
- Sun lunch at 2nd Ave Deli, bring pastrami/etc home since we can't get the good stuff here.

Thanks for the suggestions in advance.

  1. l
    Littleman Jun 23, 2010 12:18 PM

    President Obama and V P Biden had lunch at Ray's Hell Burger's in May.


    2 Replies
    1. re: Littleman
      holdtheline Jun 23, 2010 12:36 PM

      When Obama and Biden visited in May 2009, RHB went from being super busy to just insane. They've since moved/expanded the space to accommodate more diners, but it can still be really busy at peak meal times. Tom Sietsema reported today that Ray's Hell Burger Too is opening in the old RHB space.

      1. re: holdtheline
        Littleman Jun 24, 2010 02:42 PM

        Obama and Russian President dine at Ray's Hell Burger's today.


    2. r
      RGR Jun 22, 2010 02:19 PM

      The UWS Shake Shack is 10 blocks north of Lincoln Center, so it wouldn't work for after the concert since you will be heading south. But it would be perfect for that cheap lunch with your friend. Haven't been to the UWS location, but we adore the original Shake Shack in Madison Square Park.

      Shake Shack photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157622199439453/

      I'm guessing that you might have had the soup dumplings at Joe's Shanghai (W. 56th St.), since they are known for them.

      Bar Boulud, one of 4-star Chef Daniel Boulud's restaurants, is just across from Lincoln Center, on B'way. Superb charcuterie. If you like that sort of thing, I think sharing a large board with its accompaniments would make for nice late supper. There are, of course, many other good things on the menu.

      Bar Boulud photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157616424232698/

      As for the 2nd Ave. Deli's pastrami, not my idea of "the good stuff." The pastrami I was served there was a close relative of shoe leather. I prefer the superb pastrami at Sarge's. It's a few blocks away on 3rd, b/t 36th & 37th Sts.

      Sarge's photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

      Shake Shack
      Madison Ave and E 23rd St, New York, NY 10010

      Joe's Shanghai
      24 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

      Bar Boulud
      1900 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

      11 Replies
      1. re: RGR
        holdtheline Jun 23, 2010 10:29 AM

        Thanks everyone for the replies. Not really interested in burger joints, no matter how good Shake Shack etc places may be; we have plenty of great burger options in DC/VA. I doubt anything in NYC can beat Ray's Hell Burger (certainly not for the price).

        I think we might try Yakitori Totto for our late night meal, as we have few if any equivalents in DC, and they're open until 1 AM.

        RGR -- It may have been Joe's Shanghai. We'll keep it in mind if we go that way.

        I hadn't hear of Sarge before, it sounds great.

        That said, comparing 2nd Ave's Pastrami to shoe leather is unfair and must be an exaggeration, unless the place has gone completely downhill since I was last there (when it was still on 2nd Ave). I see this as a trend on these and other food boards, where posters claim that such-and-such is awful, opposing others who think its the greatest ever. Can't people just live with "I prefer Sarge's pastrami"? Plus, I'm not limited to pastrami, I also love corned beef and tongue, and matzoh ball soup.

        Just my thoughts, do with 'em what you will.

        Thanks again.

        Yakitori Totto
        251 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

        Shake Shack
        Madison Ave and E 23rd St, New York, NY 10010

        Joe's Shanghai
        24 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

        1. re: holdtheline
          ellenost Jun 23, 2010 11:04 AM

          I also prefer Sarge's pastrami to Second Ave. Deli. I also love Sarge's corned beef and matzoh ball soup; they have something called the "Super Soup" that has noodles, matzoh ball and kreplach--delicious! Sarge's noodle pudding is yummy! Their chopped liver is very good too (even though the consistency has become smoother recently while I prefer a coarser texture). Sarge's is also less expensive than Second Ave. Deli.

          1. re: ellenost
            gutsofsteel Jun 25, 2010 03:49 AM

            Of course it's less expensive - it's not kosher.

            1. re: gutsofsteel
              ellenost Jun 28, 2010 07:08 AM

              Yes, but I'm not kosher so I can't see a good reason to pay more for meat that (IMHO) isn't as good as what I get at Sarge's, If you're kosher, I guess you have limited options.

          2. re: holdtheline
            RGR Jun 23, 2010 12:02 PM

            "Can't people just live with 'I prefer Sarge's pastrami'?"

            Sorry, but this was not a case of "preferring." I had the pastrami at the "new" (though not so new anymore) 2nd Ave. Deli exactly once. And it was dry, dry, dry. And that was after I specifically told our waitress that I wanted "very fatty."

            1. re: RGR
              holdtheline Jun 23, 2010 12:06 PM

              Well that just doesn't match my previous experiences at 2nd Ave nor have I heard anyone else make such a complaint. Hopefully it's not a typical experience. I'll let you know how it turns out, whichever deli we end up at.

              1. re: holdtheline
                RGR Jun 23, 2010 05:22 PM

                I haven't been back to 2nd Av. Deli, but I probably will sometime. I will skip the pastrami and, instead, order knoblewurst. I took home a chunk, and it was very good.

                Edited to add: Oh, and the round potato knish was first-rate.

                1. re: RGR
                  serious Jun 24, 2010 05:34 PM

                  I think that Pastrami Queen on Lexington just north of 77th beats all of 'em.

                  1. re: serious
                    ellenost Jun 24, 2010 05:41 PM

                    Really. That's interesting since I've moved uptown. I'll check it out. Is Pastrami Queen an eat-in restaurant or more for take out?

                    1. re: ellenost
                      serious Jun 25, 2010 02:10 AM

                      It's both, i've only taken out but there are tables.

            2. re: holdtheline
              orthorunner Jun 23, 2010 07:58 PM

              Some options for you-
              Second Bar Boulud, it is right across from Lincoln Center and lots of small plate (french bistro-style) options. Nice to sit outdoors and watch the world go by at night.
              There are also quite a few wine bars in the area with small plates such as Riposo 72 and Wine and Roses.
              For brunch:
              Depending on how inexpensive you want and how much food, you could go to Bouchon Bakery in Time Warner. Solid food, and a fun spot to go for brunch complete with people watching.
              You could also go somewhere like Zabar's which has various options; I have never been there specifically for brunch but I imagine it would work nicely if you are interested in that atmosphere (ie, somewhat of an afterthought in a gourmet marketplace)

              Bouchon Bakery
              10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

              Bar Boulud
              1900 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

              Riposo 72
              50 W 72nd St, New York, NY 10023

          3. l
            Littleman Jun 22, 2010 01:22 PM

            J G Melon might work for Saturday lunch @1291 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 212- 650-1310. The burgers are the main item. They have other sandwiches, salads and a few entrees like fish/steak. There are outside seats to dine as well. Sit at the bar if it's busy. This is a bar and stays open late so you will have some company on Saturday. They don't take reservations.

            Cafe Ronda might work for Saturday night. They serve until 12PM and it's Latin American.


            1 Reply
            1. re: Littleman
              Ann900 Jun 22, 2010 03:05 PM

              I'm always surprised at how many people on his board recommend J G Melon. IMO their food- burgers included- are just mediocre and overpriced for what you get. I might eat there if I were standing in front of the place, but I certainly wouldn't make s special trip.
              UWS Shake Shack would work- but be warned that it can be very busy on weekends.

              Shake Shack
              Madison Ave and E 23rd St, New York, NY 10010

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