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quick trip report

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SF hound in NY for two weeks, briefly in May and then just now in sweltering July.

I didn't have time for a lot of research, and I had a few places left from previous research.

Iced coffee all over town: Manhattan finally has decent coffee! Blue Bottle on the High Line!
I had shakerados at Bomboloni (three of them at a bargain $3 each) and an excellent one at Lucid Cafe on Lexington. Fine slow brew iced coffee at Rize and Kaffe 1668 in Tribeca. I also loved Culture Espresso. Maybe next time it'll be cool enough for me to get a cappucino.

Snacks:
We tried five kinds of Bomboloni. I liked the traditional raspberry the best; my companions liked the caramel and lemon. They will fill to order. And we watched them replenish all kinds of crazy flavors. Definitely worth a stop.

Guluoglu for 20 kinds of baklava and Turkish coffee. Heaven. I loved the experimental flavors like sour cherry and baklava stuffed with chestnuts. And walnuts and pistachios. Sticky delights.

Still in love with the doubles from the Trini Paki Boys cart, my first meal when I arrived and the best $2 you can spend in Manhattan. With chile and tamarind sauce. I also got the sweet and sour fish with naan. Yum!

Got a lobster roll at Luke's downtown. Not cheap, but perfect.

Meals:
- Excellent yakitori at Totto. Not too expensive if you can make yourself order one or two at a time and take it easy on beer and sake. Sit at the bar for the full experience.

- Loved the ramen and atmosphere at Ippudo. Just go.

- Lucked out and walked into Torrisi Italian Specialties on a Friday and snagged a seat at the bar. Dinner was so good! From the hand-pulled mozzarella to the pork rib over shaved bean slaw and "rice a roni." My duck breast entree suffered from a thick layer of coarse salt on top. I did not love the cannoli. And the domestic wine list was just silly; overpriced CA wines and Hamptons' vineyards versus just getting Italian imports.

-Took my vegetarian friend to Blossom, which we loved, especially the pistachio and pepper dusted tofu and crepe and the wild mushroom tart.

-I had a couple of decent but unexceptional Korean dinners, one night raw beef, the other raw fish.

-A friend tipped me off to a Malaysian restaurant off Bowery near the Manhattan bridge, whose name I've forgotten, where I got fresh soft-shell crab and ogled the food at the other tables.

-Returned to Scarpetta for a San Remo cocktail ($15) and it was as good as I remembered from last year so I had another. Tip: order an appetizer at the bar and they will bring you the full bread basket including the prosciutto bread.

-We had a fun lunch with terrible service at Empanada Mama's. They ignored us for at least half an hour. Fried yucca, lots of great empanadas and especially arepas, sangria and coffee, and fresh fruit drinks. Also I think open 24 hours.

-Cousins took me to Le Colonial. A pan-Asian chain wouldn't have been my choice, but the food was excellent especially the shrimp salad with lemongrass and my shaking beef. $5 for coconut rice? It is real Vietnamese food, despite the front of the house. We had truly incompetent wait staff who repeatedly gave us the wrong dishes. But it was a good dinner. Just glad I wasn't paying.

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  1. Thanks for the report. Interestingly, I'm from NYC and i've learned of what sounds like a bunch of good spots from you. I too like Luke's, Le Colonial is Ok if you are in that area.Ippudo, Torrisi, Scarpetta , and Totto i've been to, but the rest are all new to me, I'll have to check them out. Especially Empanada Mama's, i love empanadas. In Tribeca i like Laughing Man the best for coffee, and Billy's for cakes or muffins, Jack's coffee is good by South St. ( and Amagansett)

    1 Reply
    1. re: foodwhisperer

      I'm from NYC originally. The first step was doing my own research rather than listening to less houndish friends and family about what bagels they like : )

      My other criteria is foods that NY does better than SF. For years I just ate pastrami and pizza and Greek diner salads.

      Thanks for the Tribeca recs! I'll save them for the next trip.

    2. Which Café Blossom did you eat at? The Carmine Street location just opened up one block over, but I haven't tried it yet—do you think it's interesting enough for non-vegetarians/vegans?

      1 Reply
      1. re: loratliff

        The one in the Meatpacking district or Chelsea. I'm an omnivore and loved it. It's an interesting menu.