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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?

v
vocesf Sep 29, 2010 03:19 PM

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.

  1. Steve R Sep 30, 2010 08:18 AM

    Having been to SF this year and doing pretty much what you're doing in the opposite direction, here are some things (some are repeats of others' suggestions) I'd recommend:

    -Mile End for Montreal Smoked Meat. (Brooklyn)
    -food stalls in the downstairs Flushing (Queens)Mall for various ethnic Chinese (non-Cantonese & worth going)
    -Brighton Beach (Brooklyn) for Russian food
    -Kebab Cafe (Astoria Queens) for unique food by Ali ($40 or so... have him tell you what to order)
    -Katz' pastrami (Manhattan)
    -Russ and Daughters (next door to Katz'... get "appetizing" and eat outside)
    -read Dave Cook's "Eating in Translation" blog... he's ferreted out everything you'd want in obscure hole in the wall and storefront ethnic foods.

    1. m
      MacTAC Sep 29, 2010 09:34 PM

      Coal oven pizza at Patsy's. Never had a problem getting a table, probably because of the location.

      1. MVNYC Sep 29, 2010 09:09 PM

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

        1. c
          Chuck Lawrence Sep 29, 2010 08:01 PM

          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

          -----
          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
            o
            onrushpam Sep 29, 2010 09:16 PM

            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. k
            kathryn Sep 29, 2010 04:05 PM

            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/queens/world-s-fare-blog.htm

            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/692820#5454962

            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

            -----
            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. a
              AubWah Sep 29, 2010 03:33 PM

              jewish food

              1. penthouse pup Sep 29, 2010 03:29 PM

                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...

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

                5 Replies
                1. re: penthouse pup
                  WCchopper Sep 29, 2010 08:12 PM

                  Is the Ukranian restaurant across the street Veselka by chance?

                  -----
                  Veselka
                  144 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                  1. re: WCchopper
                    k
                    kathryn Sep 29, 2010 08:56 PM

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

                    -----
                    Veselka
                    144 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

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

                    1. re: kathryn
                      p
                      Pan Sep 30, 2010 01:36 AM

                      Stage is a Polish restaurant.

                    2. re: WCchopper
                      penthouse pup Sep 30, 2010 06:39 AM

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

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

                      1. re: penthouse pup
                        k
                        kathryn Sep 30, 2010 08:31 AM

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

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