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San Francisco Chowhound coming to NY for a week. What can't I find in San Francisco that's really unique?

I'm an adventurous eater with a week on my hands in October, and I'm looking for interesting ethnic and otherwise eats in Manhattan and the boroughs. I get plenty of Mexican, Thai and Cantonese in SF. I'm looking for things that are really hard to find out West. This includes oddities such as Montreal Smoked Meat, A real Pastrami Sandwich, obscure great bagels and things like Albanian, African and other far-flung spots on the globe. Not to mention that perfect NYC pizza slice that hasn't been overrun yet.

Thanks for your help.

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  1. Not innovative (that's for sure) but I bet you can't get hot borscht or matzoh brei the way B&H makes it (2nd Ave/7th Street) and the Ukrainian restaurant across the street with its stuffed cabbage isn't likely to be SF fare...

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    B&H
    127 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

    5 Replies
    1. re: penthouse pup

      Is the Ukranian restaurant across the street Veselka by chance?

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      Veselka
      144 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

      1. re: WCchopper

        Across the street from B&H Dairy is Stage Restaurant. Veselka is on 2nd and 9th.

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        Veselka
        144 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

        B&H
        127 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

        1. re: kathryn

          Stage is a Polish restaurant.

        2. re: WCchopper

          It's within the Ukrainian National Home, and is called the Ukrainian East Village Restaurant...Second Avenue near 9th Street, 140 2nd Avenue.

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          Ukrainian East Village Restaurant
          140 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

          1. re: penthouse pup

            Got it. I thought you mean literally across the street.

        1. I don't know of many places to get Montreal style smoked meat except for Mile End in Brooklyn.
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/677349

          For a proper pastrami on rye, I prefer Katz's Deli. I pulled up a thread called "Don't Leave New York Without Eating" that should also help.

          I think NYers are so obssessed with pizza it's hard to find a pizza place that "hasn't been overrun yet." Also it seems like a lot of the high quality places nowadays are pies only. My pizza recommendations are in one of the threads I linked to below.

          You said you get a lot of Cantonese in SF, what about Sichuan? We have some great Sichuan restaurants here like Szechuan Gourmet. As well as some of the harder to find Chinese cuisines: Xian and Fuzhou in Manhattan, and many more in Flushing (Shangdong/Qingdao, Henan, Dongbei to name a few).

          List of Ultimate Chinese food dishes in NYC
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/709440

          For really interesting ethnic food, I would recommend a trip to Queens. The Edible Queens "World's Fare" blog is a good read:
          http://www.ediblecommunities.com/quee...

          Here are some threads on things I think NYC is good at, like brunch, bagels/smoked salmon, pickles, egg creams, pastrami, pizza, mixology, "ethnic" niches, street food etc.

          Best breakfast and brunch:
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/707772

          Please help me eat during a month in new york
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/716238

          Don't leave NY without eating these foods
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/610739

          Pizza in NYC
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6928...

          BTW, I highly recommend RGR's self guided Lower East Side Gustatory tour but sub in Pickle Guys for Guss' Pickles:
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/493333

          Best foodie shopping:
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/585538
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/697174
          http://www.chow.com/lists/33
          http://www.chow.com/lists/924

          Union Square Greenmarket advice
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/705073
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/727570

          Best mixology / bespoke cocktails:
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/609073
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/709227

          Bars for beer geeks
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/733207
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/572919

          For non-Western European/American
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/729498
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/731732

          Foreign Street Grub
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/701278

          totally obscure, odd, and intriguing menu items
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/722130

          Great upscale dining
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/733990

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          Union Square Greenmarket
          Broadway and E 17th St, New York, NY 10003

          Pickle Guys
          49 Essex St, New York, NY 10002

          Szechuan Gourmet
          21 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018

          1. Go for the real NY "jewish" food - deli and smoked fish:
            Katz's - pastrami sandwich
            Russ and Daughters - smoked fish (retail but can take out bagel sandwiches, they also make egg creams)
            Barney Greengrass - the sturgeon king - smoked fish breakfast/lunch
            Hotel Edison Coffee Shop - matzoh ball soup, cabbage soup, mushroom barley soup
            Zabar's (market/take out), one block away from H&H Bagels

            New York steakhouse (not cheap/ethnic but authentically unique):
            Peter Lugar (Brooklyn) - porterhouse
            Strip House - NY strip, truffle spinach

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            Barney Greengrass
            541 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

            Strip House
            13 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

            1 Reply
            1. re: Chuck Lawrence

              Oh my... can't believe I just saw Hotel Edison on Chowhound! Many years ago, I stayed there on my first ever visit to NYC. I'll never forget how kind they were to a young, sorta lost young Southern girl. On the morning I left, in the wee hours for a very early flight, they sat me down in that coffee shop and plied me with coffee and a roll whilst I waited for the car service to collect me. If I recall, my coffee/roll was "on the house"! I don't think the coffee shop was even officially open. They just took pity on me. I probably looked like I needed pity... I'd had a whirlwind good weekend with friends who were trying to "make it" in the theatre biz.

            2. For Albanian post in the outer boroughs board, there is a lot of good food up in the Bronx.