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And another food-centered trip to the big city....

K, so my w/end plans are almost complete -- all I'm missing is a brunch / lunch on Sat & a low-key dinner Friday night.

So far, I got the following set up:

Thursday - bday dinner at Degustation. Oh, baby. Psyched about this one.
Friday lunch - Yasuda. Man hasn't been, and I can't wait to get back.
Saturday dinner - Gennaro's, as our friend insists on taking us there.
Sunday lunch - dim sum somewhere in Chinatown

That leaves Friday dinner & Saturday brunch/lunch

Friday dinner is a big question mark. Has to be on the cheap side ($50 for two including everything would be awesome), ideally somewhere near Union Square, EV, WV, NYU area (staying near Strands bookstore, willing to walk and/or sub it, tho). No Italian, no Chinese. Anything else, I'm flexible. I enjoyed my last dinner at Back Forty, but don't need to go back. Not interested in any of the new pizza joints. Meh.

Saturday.... Russ & Daughters comes to mind - I just read about the Heebster sandwich and it sound pretty awesome. But I'm pretty flexible here as well. Our usual go-to brunch place would be White Dog Café, since it's just around the corner from where we're staying, but.... hey, I could use something new.

TIA, as ever, and I will gladly return the favor to anyone who needs a Berlin rec :-D

Russ & Daughters
179 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

Back Forty
190 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009

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    1. re: linguafood

      I only visit a couple times a year, but here are some places that were on my wishlist on my last trip:

      Laut (Malaysian) on 17th near Union Square- for the laksa
      The Redhead (southern) in the EV- had read good things about their fried chicken
      Momofuku Noodle Bar in the EV
      Yerba Buena pan-Latin in the EV
      Public- it is on the expensive side, probably much closer to $50 pp, but the menu caught my eye when I walked by

      For a casual dinner, Caracas Arepa Bar in the EV might be a good bet, although I haven't been there for a couple years

      I realize you've probably had amazing tapas living in Europe, so it might not be a treat for you, but I liked Boqueria on 19th, and they have a brunch on Saturdays, with some brunch dishes as well as some tapas.

      Hope this helps get the conversation started ;-)

      Caracas Arepa Bar
      93 1/2 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

      Momofuku Noodle Bar
      171 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

      53 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011

      210 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012

      Yerba Buena
      23 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

      15 E 17th St, New York, NY 10003

      The Redhead
      349 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003

      1. re: phoenikia

        And I recall you suggesting Terroir on another post I started about the trip. Perhaps I'm spreading myself to thinly haha.

        Maybe we'll do Terroir that night for a few small bites. We're also hoping to catch some live jazz or blues music somewhere (last time after our dinner at Back Forty we stumbled upon Blue Owl, a *great* bar very close to Momofuku Milk Bar), so that would be ideal -- somewhere close to tunes. I know that's not a topic for this website, tho.

        413 E 12th St, New York, NY 10009

        Momofuku Milk Bar
        15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

        1. re: linguafood

          I was careful not to repeat myself in this thread, figuring you'd like some other suggestions ;-)

        2. re: phoenikia

          I've been to all of those on your wishlist and while I like them all, it's going to be hard to do all but Laut for $50 for two, including tax, tips, and drink.

          Also the waits for Redhead, Momofuku Noodle Bar, Yerba Buena, and Caracas can be pretty long on a Friday night.

          Momofuku Noodle Bar
          171 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

          Yerba Buena
          23 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

          15 E 17th St, New York, NY 10003

          1. re: kathryn

            Kathryn, thanks for your comments.

            It's good to know the places I mentioned can have long line-ups on Fridays. I tend to explore the EV midweek when I visit, so I've been lucky with respect to line-ups. I spent enough time in my 20s lining up. Now that I'm well into my 30s, I avoid line-ups, especially when I'm on one of my short 3 or 4 day trips to NYC.

            Thanks also for mentioning that the restaurants I suggested do tend to cost more than $50 for two. I should have mentioned that in my reply. I wouldn't want anyone to be surprised by the higher prices if they chose to visit the restaurants, expecting the cost to be closer to $50 for two.

            I absolutely agree that most of the places I mentioned would likely cost more than "$50 for two including everything", unless perhaps the ordering was kept to a main and a non-alcoholic drink. I read linguafood's statement that "$50 for two including everything would be awesome" meant that while she would ideally like a place that would cost $50 for 2 including everything, she would be ok with some suggestions that might cost more than that. I would think dinner for 2, a couple drinks, tax and tip would come to $75-$100 at most of the places I suggested. I don't tend to order more than a cocktail or glass of wine when I dine out, so my estimates are likely on the low side, compared to most Chowhounds who dine out in NYC.

            1. re: phoenikia

              "I read linguafood's statement that "$50 for two including everything would be awesome" meant that while she would ideally like a place that would cost $50 for 2 including everything, she would be ok with some suggestions that might cost more than that. I would think dinner for 2, a couple drinks, tax and tip would come to $75-$100 at most of the places I suggested."

              You absolutely read that right. Given that Degustation and Yasuda combined will be quite a bit of money, it _would_ be nice to stay on the lower side of $100... so hole in the walls would be fine, too!

              We generally drink more than a cocktail or one glass of wine with dinner, but if we're gonna catch some live music later that eve, there might be more drinking involved.

              Guess we'll just save to booze for the bar '-)

      2. For Saturday brunch: Russ & Daughters sounds great! An upper west side (sit-down) alternative is Barney Greengrass on Amsterdam just north of 86th St. (not far from Gennaro).

        There is a wonderful lower east side eating tour from RGR if you'd like to make a day of it. I think it includes Russ & Daughters.

        Bon appetit!

        Barney Greengrass
        541 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

        2 Replies
        1. re: rteplow

          Oh yeah, I totally forgot about that.... where do I look for that again?

        2. Friday dinner: Ippudo? Fits the budget, right neighborhood, great. The downthread suggestion of the Redhead is great too.

          65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

          1. I think you might enjoy checking out Snack Taverna, Itzocan Cafe or Kasadela. If you want to go very casual, I think you'd get a kick out of Bun & Co, a somewhat comfortable sandwich restaurant from an accomplished Cambodian chef, or Xi'an Famous Foods, which, although Chinese, offers up some very intriguing options from Western China.

            I am a big fan of Barney Greengrass, but you are more likely to run into me at Russ & Daughters nowadays, particularly because their mini bagels are a better portion size for me.

            Barney Greengrass
            541 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

            Russ & Daughters
            179 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

            647 E 11th St, New York, NY 10009

            Snack Taverna
            63 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014

            Itzocan Cafe
            438 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009

            Bun & Co.
            80 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

            1. Wow! Thank you all so much for your input -- even tho it looks as if I'm gonna have to stay longer than one long weekend to take advantage of all your great recommendations... but it won't be the last time I visit.

              Now I have to decide. Uh-oh. /headexploding/

              5 Replies
              1. re: linguafood

                linguafood, did your long weekend in NYC take place? If so, where did you dine?

                1. re: phoenikia

                  not yet, it's the first october w/end. now friends in brooklyn want to go for korean bbq somewhere, but i'm kinda meh about that.

                  also, in a new yorker this summer i saw a write up on a mediterranean/middle eastern place in brooklyn i'd be much more interested in. gotta look up the name....

                  god i hate having to make decisions. why can't i just live in nyc and go everywhere i want to go?????

                  1. re: linguafood

                    I hear ya. It's really hard to dine wherever the friends want to go, especially when it feels like you're giving up an opportunity for amazing chow!

                    I was in NYC for a bachelorette party 2 years ago, and my friends dragged me to Serendipity, a terrible overpriced meal at Bagatelle in the MPD with crappy service, an awful jumbo rice ball filled with frozen peas at a deli in Little Italy, a very mediocre mojito at the Marriott's revolving restaurant near Times Sq while they ate the overpriced buffet. I drew the line at breakfast at Starbucks, and while they stood in line, I ordered an egg on a roll from a cart. We did have what I thought was a good meal at Babbo, by snagging a last minute reservation, which only happened because the somewhat sceney-er (not sure if that is still the case) Da Silvano happened to be closed for the 4th of July. Near the end of the visit, one of the friends declared the steak frites at Bagatelle to be the best meal she had in NYC, and that Babbo (which cost the same amount as Bagatelle per person) had been a rip-off.

                    I've realized while mediocre and downright bad food experiences might be a waste of my time and money, and might make me feel like I lost a good opportunity for something that could have been special, they also make me appreciate the better meals in my life even more!

                    Hope you find the name of that Middle Eastern place in Brooklyn, and that good food ends up on your plate wherever you end up dining in NYC!

                    110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                    Da Silvano
                    260 6th Ave, New York, NY 10014

                    1. re: phoenikia

                      tanoreen is the name of the place, and it's on 3rd ave. in brooklyn. it sounds nice, with armenian dishes, too -- and we *really* crave that kind of food where we live, since everything that opens here is "asian". yes, it's that descriptive. unless it's a bank, of course, of which we only have about 40 in town.

                      1. re: linguafood

                        Very worthwhile to visit for Palestinian food. As you know from the Home Cooking boards I'm often relegated to my kitchen for good Arabic food in Manhattan.

              2. I love the heebster at russ & daughters but i think the meshugge is my favorite sandwich there. jungmann gave a good tip about the mini bagels, it's a good way to try more at russ and daughters.
                my favorite brunch places are maialino and locanda verde. for your friday dinner maybe clinton st baking, dbgb, or cafe habana.
                by the way when i went to berlin i actually thought the lox at ka de we (i think that's how it's spelled) was better than in nyc. but i dont think the bagels there are any match for the bagels here.

                3 Replies
                1. re: daffyduck

                  oh! for your friend night 50$\2 dinner you could try katz or sarge's. and i heard that the best dim sum in the city is actually not in chinatown it's at chinatown brasserie which is in soho. so you may want to consider looking into that.

                  1. re: daffyduck

                    Yeah, but it's much more expensive. And it's not in Soho but in what people call either the western edge of the East Village or NoHo. You can look at their menu from their website:


                2. For dim sum in Chinatown, you might have a good meal at Red Egg on Centre St. or just an OK one, but your safest bet for a good meal is Dim Sum Go Go, right off Chatham Square on East Broadway.

                  As for your cheap dinner, well, I think even at Laut, $50/2 people, including tip is pretty unlikely. My meals there have been closer to $60/2 people. I do recommend the restaurant, provided that you make clear to them that you want your food really spicy and Malaysian-style, and stick to Malaysian dishes only (I have no idea how good or bad the non-Malaysian items are, but I doubt they're the restaurant's forte, and it sure won't be any good for your credibility to ask for non-Malaysian food to be made Malaysian-style). Part of the problem with Laut is that their main dishes are a little small, so you'll probably want to share one or two appetizers, a couple of mains, and then you might or might not want dessert. It adds up.

                  I'll tell you what I'd suggest, if you're willing to walk a fair bit: Casa Adela, inexpensive, excellent Puerto Rican cuisine served in what feels like someone's living room. Their pollo a la brasa (rotisserie chicken) is delicious, as are their bacalao and their beans. I have been there only once so far but especially given some reinforcement from the reports I've read from others, I don't hesitate to suggest it as a relaxing, inexpensive, very good place to eat. However, it's on Av. C between 4th and 5th, so it's at least a 15-minute walk from where you'll be, and possibly longer.

                  Another possibility you didn't mention is Murray Hill. If you're staying around 12th St., 27th is definitely walkable if you so choose, and that would open up a bunch of inexpensive South Indian vegetarian restaurants and some other Indian places.

                  Dim Sum Go Go
                  5 E Broadway, New York, NY 10038

                  Casa Adela
                  66 Ave C, New York, NY 10009

                  1. ANother EV option that wouldn't be too pricy if you aren't ordering too much to drink is Mercadito. (there are a couple of locations; here I refer to the one on Ave B) I believe they take reservations, but if not it does get crowded. They are known for their tacos, which are small but come 4 to a plate, so you could mix and match with your friend to have 2 of each. We went with a large group so I got to taste quite a few, and the best IMHO were the chicken mole, mahi, and chicken/pickled sweet potato ones. The guacamole was also excellent. However, I would recommend staying away from the ceviche, which was not at the same level of execution.