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New York flavor

We are planning to make full use of a Saturday 10 am to 4:30 pm Newark layover this summer. Plan is to see the Statue of Liberty (possibly from the Staten Island ferry), tour the tenament museum, and buy my Mom's birthday present at Brown's Pens. We'd love to get some iconic New York food while we are there. I'm thinking of Katz's deli and some NY pizza, but that sounds so cliche I'm not sure it will even be good anymore. My 9.5-yr-old son is loosing his chow pup nature, but might be enticed with something simple. I love Mediterranean and African foods. What quick and yummy places would you suggest in lower Manhattan?

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  1. I say, go to Katz's deli for pastrami sandwiches. You won't regret it.

    1. Katz's, cliche? To each his/her own taste, but that does not compute to me. If it's a cliche, what makes it trite?

      2 Replies
      1. re: Pan

        Katz's could be perceived as cliche because if this were Family Feud and the question was what's most popular restaurants in NYC Katz's might be #1 most popular answer

        1. re: AubWah

          Carnegie Deli. Remember where most tourists hang out.

      2. You day sounds pretty packed and of course you'll want to leave plenty of time to make your connecting flight.

        I think Katz's would be a great idea since you'll be near the LES anyway if you want to go to the Tenement Museum (buy tickets in advance).

        From there you can also walk to South Brooklyn Pizza in the East Village for a very good slice of pizza.

        Pastrami sandwiches and slices of pizza in NY? It's not cliched, it's delicious!

        1 Reply
        1. re: kathryn

          I agree. You don't have a ton of time. If you want to do the tenement museum, then certainly go to Katz's. It's iconic because it's really quite good. You'll also be right near Il Laboratorio Del Gelato for a great gelato fix, and Russ and Daughters to pick up wonderful smoked fish to go.

        2. In case you'd like a little dessert after Katz's, about a 1 minute walk from there is IL Laboratorio Del Gelato, on Ludlow St.

          1. Definitely go to Katz's, eat the food, look at the pictures on the wall, don't lose your ticket that they give you when you walk in, or you will have a 'real New York" experience. i like the gelato rec across the street from katz;s , I second Laborotorio Del Gelato. Try some pizza at either Motorino or Grand Daisy. Grab a falafel at Mamoun's on MacDougal or St Marks. A hamburger at Big Nicks, Cornerstone Grill, or Corner Bistro. Get a rugalach at Russ and Daughters , up the block from Katz's. Meatballs at the Meatball Shoppe. Italian Ice at De Roberti's Paticceria on 11th and 1st.They have been there since 1904. Great pastries too. Then get a Sabrett's hot dog with everything on it from the hot dog umbrella carts. Oh , I almost forgot , get a NYC egg cream drink at Gem Spa ( St Mark's and 2nd ) or B&H Dairy a few doors down.

            5 Replies
            1. re: foodwhisperer

              Mostly good recommendations, but just because Di Roberti's is old doesn't mean they are good. When have you found them good, and for what?

              1. re: Pan

                I found their pistachio gelato, and Italian Ices excellent.. I also found their pasticiotti and sfogliatelle delicious. The oldness of the place is just something I enjoy to see i.e. tin ceilings , tile floors, etc. Veniero's I used to like, but it has changed drastically. I like Rocco's gelato too. Also, Amorino.
                When did I go to Di Roberti's last , i think you asked, About a week ago.

                1. re: foodwhisperer

                  OK. I was there about 2 or 3 years ago and had things that were mediocre. I don't actually really remember what.

                  1. re: Pan

                    Recently, I brought a few sfogliatelle from DeRobertis to my grandma. She thought they were delicious, with the right amount of filling, and asked me why I didn't bring more than just 2. I also got some biscotti and rainbow cookies that were delicious.

                    And, as foodwhisperer said, the oldness, tile floors, the atmosphere is something I also enjoy very much.

                    1. re: iluvcookies

                      The place is pretty; that's not an issue for me at all.

                      Since it's in my neighborhood, maybe I'll try something there at a whim some time to see if you and foodwhisperer are right. I always thought it was a bit less good than Veniero's back in the days in the 80s when Veniero's was actually good, though, and it's never impressed me.