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Sep 29, 2010 03:48 PM

Rant: Upper West Side Restaurants

I'm fed up. I was scanning over my takeout options tonight and realized that the lack of good restaurant options on the upper west side is really getting to me. Sure there are some great upscale restaurants if you want to spend big bucks and a relatively good burrito place (the great burrito), but if you are looking for moderately priced options for reliable takeout in almost any genre (chinese, indian, italian) you are just SOL. I've live up here for years so I have tried everything. These places are all so sub-par.

Anyway this is my first post at eater so, hello. :)

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  1. Is Chowhound a joint venture with Eater now?

    Where are you on the Upper West Side?

    3 Replies
    1. re: Pan

      OOps. I meant to say chowhound. Not sure how I made that mistake!

      I'm in the mid 80's near the park.

      1. re: MotoEater

        Have you tried Kefi? Some hounds love to hate the place, but I love it and have found it consistently very good - as in, EVERY SINGLE TIME, and that counts takeout, too. Another place you should try, if you haven't, is Zeytin, on 85th and Columbus. I haven't been there for a while (I go a block further to Kefi), but I liked their mezes quite a lot.

        505 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

        519 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

        1. re: Pan

          I live right near both of them. Kefi I will admit is pretty good and a welcome addition to he area.

          Zeytin has a couple of options that are ok, but they are few and far between. It is hit or miss but much more miss than hit.

    2. good places that are not super fancy... (i.e. not like the top-end places round columbus circle / lincoln center)

      salumeria rosi
      fatty crab
      shake shack
      mermaid inn

      they don't deliver. but you can pick up takeout i guess?

      3 Replies
      1. re: mow mow

        have not been to salumeria rosi, but have been to the other 3.

        Mermaid inn is a fun place to go eat, and the food is pretty good if you eat there, but I will have to disagree with your other 2 options.

        Fatty crab is some of the most unremarkable food I have had in the area. Not to mention it is overpriced compared to other places in the area that serve equally bland Malaysian food.

        Shake Shack? umm. No...... similarly, you won't find me standing on line at magnolias for cupcakes either. It's a burger and fries.

        1. re: MotoEater

          re: fatty crab. bland? really? many people don't like the place, complaining about its price, atmosphere (too dark, too loud, etc), or lack of authenticity. the last i can understand. it's not meant to be authentic. it's modern interpretations. but it's pretty bold, in your face kind of food, packed with heat and lots of flavor. for me it's hard to say it's bland. i mean, you don't have to like it, but the way your describe it makes it sound like we had such different experiences. maybe you had a single bad luck, or we didn't order quite the same things? have you tried the watermelon pickles salad, malay fish fry, fatty duck, or the fatty sliders? these are i think pretty good dishes, and it's hard to complain they lack flavor.

          1. re: mow mow

            Maybe I ordered the wrong thing. I barely remember what it was, it was months ago. My friend thought her dish was good, but we just didn't enjoy the overall package. It's unlikely that I would go there again. thanks for the suggestions, though

      2. One piece of good news Salumeria Rosa now delivers (although they do have a $20 minimum).

        Have you tried Ali Baba's on 85th and Amsterdam for turkey shwarma on homemade laffa (extra charge but essential) and homemade chicken soup (very haimish -- watch out for bones).

        Flor de Mayo on 84th for Peruvian only. The quality of proteins is *not* good, but the Peruvian chef knows how to season. Try the tallerin saltado (or lomo saltado) from the regular menu if the Peruvian special doesn't appeal. Any of the special spicy Peruvian soups are good, including the parihulela (which is usually obtainable as an app. or an entree), and the fish on Friday is tasty. Unfortunately, even though the Peruvian specials are usually the same every week, none of their printed menus or online listings include them.

        Sal & Carmine's is still terrific, although I have a strong preference for the plain slice only.

        And I love the pizza at Bettola (especially the one with smoked mozarella), but it doesn't work as takeout. The farro salad is a terrific starter, there, too.

        Before dinnertime, Barney Greengrass is a takeout, albeit pricey, treasure.

        Barney Greengrass
        541 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

        412 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

        Flor de Mayo
        484 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

        Sal & Carmine's
        2671 Broadway, New York, NY 10025

        1 Reply
        1. re: Dave Feldman

          some good suggestions in there, thanks

        2. I think there's some pretty good Thai -- Land is good -- and Indian -- Earthen Oven (but never had their takeout.) It's all relative -- now that I've moved to a neighborhood with no decent thai or indian or greek, I've come to appreciate the UWS more!

          Earthen Oven
          53 W 72nd St, New York, NY 10023

          1. Takeout on the Upper West Side?

            Tenzan- especially for lunch, the 3 rolls with soup or salad deal.
            Land Thai- Pad thai with shrimp extra spicy

            Thats it. Would not patronize anywhere else. Used to get the occasional takeout burger from Big Nick's but not since they raised the price to $6+.

            Fatty Crab is pretty nonsense. I've only been to the West Village location, and while they are plating some good flavors and tasty dishes, the price to portion ratio is way off. Went to Salumeria Rosi for dinner once and would not return. I could spend less at Bar Pitti for much more food and much better food. Basically unless you are a parent looking to go out to dinner with small kids you are screwed.

            Bar Pitti
            268 6th Ave, New York, NY 10014

            Land Thai
            450 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

            Fatty Crab
            643 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

            Salumeria Rosi
            283 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10023

            988 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10022

            Big Nick's
            70 W 71st St, New York, NY 10023