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Young couple looking for good, cheap eats in/around Manhattan

a
adamlwinner Apr 3, 2011 09:31 AM

Hey all, longtime Chowhound reader, first-time poster. My girlfriend and I have planned a trip to New York, we are staying at the Gershwin April 7-10. I have compiled a pretty comprehensive list and mapped it (yeah, I have a lot of time on my hands currently), see links below. If I have missed something that we absolutely MUST eat while in NYC please enlighten me! Also enlighten if anything on the list you think would be a dud...

Thanks,
Adam

https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1HXXwVHB40b2CbgA918G5VJLVUSdNLfzP3D45iaeLZo4

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF...

  1. a
    adamlwinner Apr 17, 2011 12:37 PM

    all -
    thanks for all the helpful advice! here is what we ended up going on the list:

    Xi'an noodles
    We hustled over there before they closed the night we got in and got the cumin lamb noodles and the pork noodles to go. We took our prize over to a nearby bar (one of the ones they recommend going to to eat) and washed the noodles down with some Stellas. Simply fantastic.

    Stumptown Coffee
    This place was right near our hotel and the internet said good things... It's a bit of a wait but not too bad. The coffee was delicious and beautiful with the foam patterns on top. Great way to start out the day.

    Times Square Bagels
    I think we missed the time of day where they have a ton of bagels and they are piping hot and everyone is buying them. But they still had a few in the basket, we got plain with chives spread, yum.

    Shake Shack
    After checking out the park we popped over to shake shack and got a totally solid burger and fries with a "concrete." I realized what the name meant after grabbing only straws... Overall, excellent meal. We even got envious comments from actual New Yorkers in a nearby thrift store asking if the place lived up to all the hype and declaring that we were making them hungry (walking around with one of the apparently distinctive cups).

    Le Comptoir
    This place wasn't on anyone's list, but because I spotted a groupon for it while planning the trip I went there. We got the beet/bacon salad and charcuterie spread, which were both excellent. The bartender was a bit of a pain after he realized we were Groupon customers, though...

    Mamoun's
    After getting kind of tipsy and having an AWESOME time at the Comedy Cellar we got Shawarma and Falafel at Mamoun's. Both were insanely good. I have been playing around with making falafel myself, clearly, I need to go back to the drawing board...

    2nd Avenue Deli
    The next day we had a lunch feast and got matzoh ball soup, potato pancake and pastrami sandwiches. This was probably my favorite meal of the trip. The food was out of this world. I am going to buy their cookbook and hopefully make some of that myself.... Our waiter was a great guy... man, that pastrami. OK, have to stop thinking about it...

    Artichoke Pizza
    After waiting a very short amount of time to digest we got a couple of slices from Artichoke near NYU and washed them down with some brews in a cool underground college bar across the street. Our slices of "artichoke" pizza were delicious and different from any pizza I've had. Thumbs up...

    Ipuddo
    We got there on a Saturday night and were ready for a long wait (after reading all the reviews). Sure enough, we were met with a chaotic bar scene with almost no room, and the prospect of a 2-hour wait. Sure, we said. We hovered and pounced on a corner spot at the bar and started sipping on a bottle of Sake. We also ordered the fried japanese peppers. We had barely settled in at the bar when we got called, probably only a half-hour wait! After being greeted by a loud hello from the seemingly endless staff we settled in at a bar seat, directly facing the line. It was so much fun to watch them make food, I was literally transfixed the whole meal. I got the special chicken ramen and my girlfriend got the spicy ramen spiked with ginger. Both were amazing. Another bottle of Sake also helped...

    Overall, we had only excellent dining experiences in NYC and didn't put too much damage to the bank account.... thanks again, new york chowhounders!

    -----
    Mamoun's Falafel
    119 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

    Times Square Deli
    168 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016

    Stumptown
    18 W 29th Street, New York, NY 10001

    1. bolletje Apr 16, 2011 12:49 PM

      honestly, I would avoid avoid avoid places that are super-popular and have long lines. I mean, NY has so much good stuff that you don't need to waste your time on it! Yeah, Artichoke pizza is good, blah blah blah but is it waiting for 45 minutes standing around good? I am not sure.

      Same with Clinton Street Baking Company, that place is a total cluserf*ck at brunch, until like 4:30 in the afternoon.

      A good thing to do is go to more popular places on off hours, like Otto is really mellow at 3 in the afternoon but I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole at 7pm on a Friday. Service can be terrible with harried waiters trying to turn tables over, deal with clueless diners who are pissy because their reservation was a half hour ago, etc. Not just at Otto, at most popular places.

      I would suggest, if you have a phone that is web-enabled, download the Yelp app. Then you can do searches by wherever your location is. Even though you have to take Yelp with a grain of salt, I find a lot of great places that way--being hungry in some random part of the city and just searching "tacos" near "my location"

      -----
      Otto
      1 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003

      1. loratliff Apr 16, 2011 10:41 AM

        Just a question: where are you staying? You mention the Madison Avenue Shake Shack and Minetta Tavern as both being right by your hotel, but they are actually not close to one another at all. Minetta Tavern is in Greenwich Village and Shake Shack is in Madison Square Park.

        A few other notes:

        Also, I recommend to Macdougal Street Artichoke Pizza. Much less crowded and takes credit cards. The only reason that the other two have fewer reviews is that they are newer.

        Also, Citarella has a location on Sixth Avenue too.

        Lobster Place is *in* Chelsea Market, just so you don't spend a ton of time searching for it outside. There is another Lobster Place location along Bleecker Street, as well as Murray's Cheese, Amy's Bread, Faicco's (great Italian sandwiches), and Rocco's (cannoli and other Italian pastries).

        -----
        Murray's Cheese
        254 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

        Faicco's
        260 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

        Rocco's Pastry Shop
        243 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

        Minetta Tavern
        113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

        Citarella
        424 6th Ave, New York, NY 10011

        Amy's Bread
        250 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

        The Lobster Place
        75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

        The Lobster Place
        252 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

        Bleecker Street Bar
        56 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012

        Artichoke
        111 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

        1. f
          film_score Apr 3, 2011 05:52 PM

          I don't live in NYC, but, like you, I have accumulated a list of cheap eats (which is below). I've had about 95% of the stuff on the list on my assorted visits to New york so I can definitely recommend pretty much everything on here. And, yes, there is a lot of overlap with your list...

          And I definitely recommend you do "waste" time at Shack Shack. Yes, it's a straight classic burger, but it is good (and make sure to get a concrete...)

          EAST VILLAGE

          Artichoke Basille (pizza slices, Sicilian in particular)
          328 East 14th (between 1st and 2nd avenue)
          Also 114 10th Avenue (at 18th street)—sit down
          Also 111 MacDougal (just south of 3rd street, 1 block east of Avenue of the Americas)

          This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef (Pastrami Sandwich and “That Way” on Roll)
          149 1st Ave (between 9th St & St Marks Pl)

          Momofuku Milk Bar
          (get pork buns—chocolate chip cookie, blueberry cookie, free ice cream sample)
          207 2nd avenue NYC 10003 (13th street and 2nd ave)

          Xi’an Famous Foods (Savory Cumin Lamb Hand-Pulled Noodles)
          81 St. Mark's Place (1st avenue)

          Caracas Arepas Bar (Arepa de Pabellon)
          93 1/2 E 7th St. (just east of 1st avenue)

          Dumpling Man (mango shaved ice)
          100 St. Mark’s Place (AKA 8th street just east of 1st avenue)

          Mamoun (falafel)
          22 Saint Marks Place (AKA 8th street between 2nd and 3rd avenue)

          Porchetta (sandwich)
          110 E 7th St (between 1st Ave & Avenue A)

          Motorino (Neopolitan-style pizza)
          $12 Price Fixe Lunch 212-777-2644
          349 East 12th Street (and 1st avenue)

          Pizza Gruppo (super-thin New York style pizza)
          186 Avenue B (between 11th street and 12th street)

          The Stand (toasted marshmallow milkshake)
          24 E 12th St (between 5th Avenue and University Place)

          DessertTruck (bread pudding or donut holes)
          3rd Ave & Astor Place or St Marks Place, Tues-Sun 6 pm - 12 am

          Pommes Frites (Belgian fries with dips)
          123 2nd Avenue (and 7th Street)

          Ippudo (Akamura Modern Ramen)
          65 4th Avenue (10th Street and Park Avenue)

          Eataly
          200 5th Avenue (23rd and 5th/Broadway)

          Shake Shack (burger and concrete—vanilla with caramel and chocolate-covered toffee)
          Bottom of Madison Square Park (23rd between 5th and Madison)

          - - - - - - - - - -

          LOWER EAST SIDE

          Katz’s (just get a 1/4 pound pastrami)
          205 East Houston Street at Ludlow (just east of 1st ave)

          Russ and Daughters (lox, herring, etc.—Super Heebster)
          179 East Houston Street at Allen (just east of 1st ave)

          Schiller’s Liquor Bar (Sticky Toffee Pudding)
          131 Rivington Street (1 block north of Delancy, 2 blocks west of Clinton)

          DessertTruck Works (Chocolate Bread Pudding)
          6 Clinton Street (between Avenue B & Houston St)—3am-11pm (midnight on weekends)

          Rice to Riches (Rice Pudding)
          37 Spring Street (between Mott and Mulberry St)

          The Meatball Shop (meatballs and ice cream sandwiches)
          84 Stanton St (between Allen St & Orchard St)

          Baohaus (Chairman bao bun)
          137 Rivington Street (between Norfolk and Suffolk)

          Vanessa’s Dumplings (sesame pancake with beef or dumplings)
          118 Eldridge St (between Grand St & Broome St)

          Prosperity Dumplings (pork and chive dumplings)
          46 Eldridge St. (between Canal & Hester)

          Mac Bar
          54 Prince Street, New York, New York 10012 (Lafayette—1 block S. of Houston)

          - - - - - - - - - -

          CHINATOWN

          Banh Mi So 1 (Vietnamese sandwich)
          369 Broome St (1 block south of Delancey, between Center and Bowery)

          Xi’an Famous Foods (Savory Cumin Lamb Hand-Pulled Noodles)
          88 E. Broadway, near Forsyth St.

          Sau Voi Corporation (Vietnamese sandwich—back of record store)
          101 Lafayette St # 3 (just south of Canal)

          Yao’s Dragon Beard Candy Cart
          Canal between Elizabeth and Mott
          Near Bowery, Mott, and Canal--11am to 7pm

          Doughnut Plant (cake donuts--tres leches & blackout)
          379 Grand Street (south of Delancey, west of Clinton)

          - - - - - - - - - - -

          TIMES SQUARE AND MIDTOWN

          Gray’s Papaya
          539 Eighth Avenue at 37th street

          Shake Shack (burger and concrete—vanilla with caramel and chocolate-covered toffee)
          44th street and 8th avenue

          Virgil’s BBQ (good BBQ, but expensive)
          152 West 44th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenue)

          Burger Joint (burger)
          119 W 56th St (Between 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue)

          Momofuku Milk Bar—2nd location in Ma Peche
          (chocolate chip cookie, blueberry cookie)
          15 West 56th Street (between 5th avenue and 6th avenue)

          The Plaza Food Hall by Todd English
          One West 59th Street (11am to 10pm) (just west of 5th Avenue)

          - - - - - - - - -

          UPPER WEST SIDE

          Levain Bakery (chocolate chip cookie)
          167 W 74th Street (and Amsterdam) 8am-7pm

          Jacques Torres (Hot Chocolate and chocolate chip cookie)
          285 Amsterdam Avenue (at 74th Street)
          Also 350 Hudson at King Street (1 block South of Houston)
          10am – 8pm

          Zabar’s (market)
          81st & Broadway

          Barney Greenglass (Lox & Bagel)
          541 Amsterdam (between 86th and 87th)

          Gray’s Papaya
          2090 Broadway at 72nd street

          Shake Shack (burger and concrete—vanilla with caramel and chocolate-covered toffee
          366 West Columbus Avenue (between 77th and 78th)—near Museum Natural History
          Also, bottom of Madison Square Park and 44th street and 8th avenue
          Also, 691 8th Avenue (44th street)
          Also, 154 East 86th (Lexington)

          - - - - - - - - -

          WEST VILLAGE/CHELSEA

          Doughnut Plant Chelsea (cake donuts--tres leches & blackout)
          220 West 23rd Street (between 7th and 8th in Hotel Chelsea)

          Taim Falafel
          222 Waverly Place (11th Street and 7th Avenue)

          Gray’s Papaya
          402 Sixth Avenue at 8th Street

          Bleecker Street Pizza (Nonna Maria slice)
          69 7th Avenue South (at Bleecker)

          John’s Pizzeria of Bleecker Street (no slices—can get small pizza)
          278 Bleeker St (just East of 7th avenue at Jones)

          Artichoke Basille (pizza slices, Sicilian in particular)
          111 MacDougal (just south of 3rd street, 1 block east of Avenue of the Americas)

          Mamoun’s (falafel)
          119 MacDougal St (just south of 3rd street, 1 block east of Avenue of the Americas)

          Ali Baba (lamb schwarma and falafel)
          126 MacDougal St (just south of 3rd street, 1 block east of Avenue of the Americas)

          Yatagan Kebab House (doner kebab and $2.50 falafel)
          104 MacDougal St (just south of 3rd street, 1 block east of Avenue of the Americas)

          - - - - - - - - - -

          UPPER EAST SIDE

          William Greenberg Bakery (Black & White Cookie)
          1100 Madison Avenue (between 82nd and 83rd)

          Two Little Red Hens (classic cheesecake)
          1652 2 Avenue (between 85th and 86th)
          (212) 452-0476

          Shake Shack (burger and concrete)
          154 East 86th (Lexington)

          Papaya King (hot dogs)
          179 East 86th Street (at 3rd Avenue)

          OTHER PLACES IN THE CITY

          Wafels and Dinges (Waffle Truck)
          get speculoos spread—which is gingerbread cookie spread
          the Liege waffle is not as crispy as the regular…
          check schedule online for time and places which vary by day

          Dylan’s Candy Bar
          1011 Third Ave (at 60th street)

          Times Square Hot Bagels
          200 W. 44th (between 7th and 8th avenues)

          Ess-a-Bagel
          359 1 Avenue (21st and 22nd)
          831 3 Avenue (51st)

          - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

          BROOKLYN

          Mile End Delicatessen (smoked meat sandwich and Ruth Wilensky sandwich)
          97A Hoyt Street (Atlantic Avenue, 1 block E of Smith)
          New York, NY 11217

          Pies n Thighs (chicken biscuit—8am to 11am)
          166 S. 4th Street (just E of Bedford, just N of Williamsburg bridge, at Driggs)

          Peter Luger (burger)
          178 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY (718) 387-7400

          QUEENS

          BZ Grill (Pork Gyro)
          27-02 Astoria Blvd. (28th St.) [Astoria (Hoyt) Subway Stop]

          Point Brazil (Acaraje—Blackeyed Pea Fritters)
          38-01 31st Avenue (38th Street & Steinway)

          LUNCH PRIX FIXE

          Jean-Georges (2-course $32 prix-fixe + assorted items, $16 for additional course)
          1 Central Park West (60th street) (212) 299-3900

          Bouley (5-course $36 prix fixe lunch)
          163 Duane St (Hudson, 2 blocks above Chamber) (212) 964-2525

          Gotham Bar & Grill (2-course $24 prix fixe lunch, + $7 for dessert)
          12 East 12th Street (east of 5th ave) (212) 620-4020

          Picholine (2-course $28 prix fixe lunch, $12 for additional course)
          35 W. 64th St. (just west Central Park West, east of Broadway) (212) 724-8585

          Convivio (2-course $32 prix fixe lunch, $12 for additional course)
          45 Tudor City Place (1st ave & 42nd street) (212) 599-5045

          L’Ecole at French Culinary Institute (3-course $28 prix fixe lunch)
          462 Broadway (south of Broome, north of Grand) (212) 219-3300

          8 Replies
          1. re: film_score
            a
            adamlwinner Apr 3, 2011 06:34 PM

            wow... comprehensive. if you had to name, say, five, which would they be? We're only there for three days.

            1. re: adamlwinner
              f
              film_score Apr 3, 2011 08:18 PM

              Well, the way I do it is to generally not eat an actual meal anywhere. Just nosh as you go. You have two people so just share everything and definitely get small portions and just eat throughout the day.

              The things I highly recommend are the Sicilian slice at Artichoke (although I will confess, the last time I had it something was off, but normally it is very good), the pastrami sandwich at This Little PIggy was really good, the Savory Cumin Lamb Noodles at Xian was the favorite of everybody I was with and was probably the best thing we had, a cookie or slice of candy bar or crack pie at Momofuku. And all of this is literally all around the corner from each other so you can do it all in one stop. And of course some pastrami at Katz's (you can always just get a quarter pound of pastrami and ask for some mustard if you wanna save room for other stuff--and try to go at off-hours or early in the morning).

              Definitely a Gray's Papaya hot dog with everything, the pabellon arepa at Caracas was really good, Motorino pizza is very good, definitely get yourself a Shake Shack concrete (shake) for sure, and I recommend a burger although you might say it's nothing special. It's just a very classic hamburger done perfectly. A bahn mi sandwich from anywhere if you haven't had it. And Levain bakery chocolate chip cookie is pretty darn good. And, hey, I also like the roasted nut guys on the streets, too.

              Those would pretty much be my must-haves from the quick, cheap eats department.

              I also really recommend going for a lunch at Jean Georges, a 4-star restaurant which for $32 you get two courses (plus bread, 3 amuse bouche, about 1-2 small little desserts as well all included). Add another course for 3 courses total and it comes out to $48. And definitely tell them in advance if you are celebrating a birthday or anniversary and sometimes they will throw in another dessert. Without a doubt, it is the best deal for a totally high quality place (make sure to sit in the main dining room--although you shouldn't wear jeans and should dress reasonably nice). But call now to see if you can get a reservation...

              Have fun!!

              -----
              Jean Georges
              1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

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

              Levain Bakery
              167 W 74th St, New York, NY 10023

              Gray's Papaya
              402 6th Ave, New York, NY 10014

              Artichoke
              328 E 14th St, New York, NY 10003

              Xi'an Famous Foods
              81 St. Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

              Momofuku Milk Bar
              251 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003

              Motorino
              349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

              This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef
              149 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

              1. re: film_score
                a
                adamlwinner Apr 3, 2011 08:23 PM

                is gray's papaya different than papaya king? if so, what's the difference?

                1. re: adamlwinner
                  f
                  film_score Apr 3, 2011 08:35 PM

                  i think they're basically the same (I think papaya king was first) but in my opinion Gray's Papaya is slightly better. Also you don't need to waste your time getting the papaya drink or whatever. It is not good. Just get a dog...

                  -----
                  Gray's Papaya
                  2090 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

                  1. re: film_score
                    a
                    Anthony A Apr 15, 2011 11:34 PM

                    Note that a couple of places on your list are now closed:

                    Gray's Papaya 37th and 8th
                    Convivio in Tudor City

                    -----
                    Gray's Papaya
                    2090 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

                    1. re: film_score
                      t
                      tpigeon Apr 17, 2011 01:46 PM

                      that advice is insane. Papaya drink + hot dog =awesome.

              2. re: film_score
                s
                sugartoof Apr 17, 2011 11:00 AM

                Good list...but there's much better BBQ than Virgil's.

                -----
                Virgil's Real Barbecue
                152 W 44th Street, New York, NY 10036

                1. re: film_score
                  r
                  RichardMW Apr 21, 2011 06:26 PM

                  Mostly a very good list.
                  But, Convivio closed.
                  Shakeshack had just barely good burgers and mediocre fries. Five Guys is a national chain but their burgers are much better and their fries are amazing.

                2. k
                  kathryn Apr 3, 2011 01:38 PM

                  If you want ramen, go to Ippudo.

                  Not sure why you have 2nd Ave Deli and Katz's and Sarge's on your list. What are you looking for? I think Katz's pastrami is tops for example but 2nd Avenue Deli has better chicken soup and matzoh balls.

                  If you're into espresso and coffee, add on Cafe Grumpy, 9th St Espresso, Joe the Art of Coffee, and probably a bunch more. You should also note that Abraco is closed Mondays and doesn't stay open very late.

                  Also know that the Greenmarket is only Mon, Wed, Fri, and Sat, form 8am-6pm.

                  If you're looking for a lobster roll, I'd head to Pearl Oyster Bar, not Lobster Place.

                  I don't see any NYC brunch places on your list like Clinton St Baking Company, Prune, Locanda Verde, Five Points, Blue Ribbon Bakery, etc.

                  -----
                  Joe the Art of Coffee
                  141 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10014

                  Pearl Oyster Bar
                  18 Cornelia St, New York, NY 10014

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

                  Five Points
                  31 Great Jones St, New York, NY 10012

                  Sarge's Delicatessen
                  548 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016

                  Blue Ribbon Bakery
                  33 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014

                  Second Avenue Deli
                  162 E 33rd St, New York, NY 10016

                  Cafe Grumpy
                  224 W 20th St, New York, NY 10011

                  Ninth Street Espresso
                  700 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009

                  Abraco
                  86 E 7th St, New York, NY 10003

                  The Lobster Place
                  75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                  Prune
                  54 E 1st St, New York, NY 10003

                  Ippudo
                  65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

                  Locanda Verde
                  377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

                  Clinton Street Baking Co.
                  4 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: kathryn
                    a
                    adamlwinner Apr 3, 2011 01:42 PM

                    Brunch... good call. =)

                    thanks for the other suggestions too, much appreciated

                    1. re: adamlwinner
                      k
                      kathryn Apr 3, 2011 02:13 PM

                      BTW Minetta Tavern is not really cheap...

                      -----
                      Minetta Tavern
                      113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

                      1. re: kathryn
                        a
                        adamlwinner Apr 3, 2011 02:22 PM

                        yeah solid point... a NYC friend of mine was raving about it, probably won't go there though.

                  2. a
                    adamlwinner Apr 3, 2011 12:06 PM

                    thanks for the suggestions... much appreciated!

                    1. sgordon Apr 3, 2011 10:33 AM

                      A couple notes on your list, going in order...

                      Burgers: Minetta Tavern doesn't draw raves from absolutely everyone. Or, I should say while most everyone agrees the burger is very tasty, you'll find a great number of people who don't think it's $26 tasty. I did a cost analysis here some time ago (here - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/707379 - about 4/5 down the page) and they're actually charging you more per ounce for the meat than they do for their Cote de Boeuf - and the burger is made (partially, no one knows the exact percentage) from leftover scraps from said Cote, with lower cost cuts as filler. And I like McNally's restos, mind you. I just thing the BLB is a rip-off.

                      Asian: don't let David Chang hear you call his restaurants "Asian" now. If you were to go to Noodle Bar and just get the Ramen and Pork Buns, sure, you'd be having a spin on Asian food - but nearly everything else will be seasonal American. Ssam Bar is a New American restaurant through and through with touches of many different cuisines - I've had single meals that touched on Chinese, Korean, Mexican, Italian, and Japanese. Both great, though. I'd do Noodle Bar for lunch some day (less busy) to try the Ramen and Pork Buns, and Ssam for dinner for the more fancy stuff.

                      Banh Mi: I shouldn't even get into this, since it seems any mention of eithe Banh Mi or Pho sends the Chowverse into a war over who's the "best" or "most authentic" - but I'll just note my faves: I like Zon, Nicky's, and Sau Voi Corp. The last one mainly because you a.) get your BM from an old lady behind a counter in a store that sells Vietnamese CDs, lotto tix, and women's underwear, and b.) because you can take it Columbus Park a block away and eat while watching local Chinese musicians play.

                      Bagels & Lox: No need to hit them all. Most people will probably agree that Russ & Daughters has the best lox by a mile, though I'm sure that will trigger contrary opinions. Barney Greengrass has their fans as well, and they're certainly good. Depends what part of town you're in, I suppose.

                      Deli: I like Katz's. They've got some haters, sure, but they tend to be the sorts who hate on any institutions.

                      Mexican: for a town not known for it's Mexican food, you've got quite a number of places listed. Most are just okay. Tehuitzingo is very solid, and moreso just a great experience. Probably the best tacos in Manhattan right now, though, are at the new (24/7!) Tacos Morelos street cart parked on Ave A & 2nd Street. They're a branch of a place in Queens that Robert Sietsema (from the Village Voice) considers the best Mexican restaurant in the entire city. The tacos are fantastic - the lengua and barbacoa especially good, I think. The sopes are also solid. I'd skip the burritos - they're merely average, and no sense getting a big thing full of one meat and fillers when you could get an assortment of tacos for the same price.

                      French: Porchetta isn't French, they're Italian. But while speaking of them, I'm not the biggest fan. I found the famed sandwich overly greasy (and I like greasy, within reason) and surprisingly underseasoned. That said, I understand others will differ. For a mass of pork between bread I much prefer a good Cubano - and for my money, the best Cubanos are currently at Cibao on the corner of Clinton & Rivington.

                      Bargain: you've got a couple more Mexican places here. Other than the fish tacos (which neither Tehitzingo nor Morelos have) there's no need to visit either Esquina or Pinche for tacos, for my money. That aside, La Esquina has great sit-down food. They're a great brunch option on the weekends in the cafe (entrance around the corner from the taqueria) as well - the Pozole is spot-on, and the Huevos A La Esquina with chicken-poblano hash is fantastic and filling.

                      And Xi'an is a must, yes. I don't anyone will disagree with that. The only thing we might disagree on is what to order if you're only going there once. (For me: the Mt Qi Pork Noodles, Cumin Lamb Noodles. EIther of the burgers are good, too, if you just want something hand-held and smaller. Skip the "lamb face" salad - I found it less than exciting. Also, go to the Chinatown location and skip the crowds on St. Mark's

                      )

                      -----
                      Barney Greengrass
                      541 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

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

                      Katz's Delicatessen
                      205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

                      Tehuitzingo
                      695 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036

                      Momofuku Ssam Bar
                      207 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                      Minetta Tavern
                      113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

                      Sau Voi
                      101 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10013

                      La Esquina
                      106 Kenmare St, New York, NY 10012

                      Nicky's Vietnamese Sandwiches
                      150 E 2nd St, New York, NY 10009

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

                      Pinche Taqueria
                      227 Mott St, New York, NY 10012

                      Cibao
                      72 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

                      Pinche Taqueria
                      333 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

                      Porchetta
                      110 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

                      Banh Mi Zon
                      443 E 6th St, New York, NY 10009

                      Xi'an Famous Foods
                      88 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002

                      Tacos Morelos
                      2nd Street and Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: sgordon
                        g
                        gutsofsteel Apr 3, 2011 10:37 AM

                        Russ and Daughters and Barney Greengrass both have excellent, excellent appetizing. Russ and Daughters however is a takeout counter, while Barney Greengrass has tables and waiter service as well as takeout.

                        -----
                        Barney Greengrass
                        541 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

                        1. re: sgordon
                          k
                          kathryn Apr 3, 2011 01:33 PM

                          What sgordon said.

                          BTW, I find that the porchetta sandwiches at Maialino and Locanda Verde both very tasty and flavorful. But different from Porchetta's style.

                          -----
                          Porchetta
                          110 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

                          Locanda Verde
                          377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

                          Maialino
                          2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                        2. g
                          gutsofsteel Apr 3, 2011 10:23 AM

                          Please don't waste one of your meals at Shake Shack. It's a fast food burger chain. At least go somewhere and have a good burger at somewhere New York-y. Like at the bar at Wolfgang's.

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

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: gutsofsteel
                            a
                            adamlwinner Apr 3, 2011 12:11 PM

                            any particular location? looks pretty expensive, is the bar pretty reasonable?

                            1. re: adamlwinner
                              g
                              gutsofsteel Apr 3, 2011 02:35 PM

                              I like to eat a burger at the bar at lunchtime at the Park Ave/ low 30w Wolfgang's. I only get a burger and sides and salad and beer. I have no idea if you'd consider the burger reasonably priced or not - I don't even remember what I paid for it the last time I was there, which was a couple of months ago.

                              As for the rest of the menu....prices are line with the other top steakhouses in the city, and Wolfgang's is certainly among them.

                              -----
                              Wolfgang's
                              4 Park Ave, New York, NY 10016

                            2. re: gutsofsteel
                              sgordon Apr 3, 2011 12:48 PM

                              I will differ and say go ahead and waste your time at Shake Shack. It's a "fast food style" burger (as opposed to a pub or diner burger) but an excellent example of such. It's kind of like the burger you'd get at a beach shack in New England - only the best of its kind. Some just don't like that style to begin with, is all.

                              1. re: sgordon
                                g
                                gutsofsteel Apr 3, 2011 02:33 PM

                                I like the style just fine. I think however that if somebody has limited time in NYC, Shake Shack is an utter waste of time and stomach space.

                                1. re: gutsofsteel
                                  MVNYC Apr 3, 2011 07:16 PM

                                  I agree with guts, the shake shack burger is fine but it really is just a fast food burger and not really much different from other versions of the style.

                                  Wolfgang's burger is excellent as are the house made potato chips they have their. It is not too expensive.

                                  I also really like Molly's Shabeen on Third ave as well. Very well made burger.

                                  -----
                                  Molly's
                                  287 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10010

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