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Aug 30, 2012 07:54 AM

Upper West Side

My wife and I will be spending a weekend in NYC,staying on the Upper West Side around 87th and Broadway.

I'd like some suggestions for good breakfasts in the neighborhood. We may want dinner in the neighborhood, too. As for lunch, I'm not sure where in NY we'll be at lunchtime. For dinners, looking for something moderately priced (say entrees that max out at $25, preferably $20 or less) We're open to any sort of cuisine, but as my wife only eats vegetarian or fish at non-kosher restaurants, it should have good vegetarian or fish options, (or be a supervised kosher restaurant.) We might get theater tickets, so any suggestions in the theater district are welcome, too.

We're also taking dinner-hour train out of town at the end of our trip, so any suggestions of where to stock up for a portable meal so we can avoid the Amtrak cafe car cuisine would be greatly appreciated. (That includes places with a good selection of wine in half bottles.)

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  1. Bkfast: Grandaisy Bakery, Levain Bakery, Tal Bagels (assuming you're not wanting a full "sit down and be waited on" meal)

    Dinners: Gazala (perf for your wife), Cafe Frida...

    5 Replies
    1. re: LeahBaila

      I like Gazala a lot but many people I know prefer the Hells Kitchen one. Cafe Frida, although they have a lovely rear garden (the one on 98th), can be difficult to do vegetarian as there are only a couple of choices (not sure of the fish selections they offer).

      1. re: LNG212

        Space-wise, Gazala UWS is much better.
        I went to Cafe Frida last night and made a meal out of chips, salsa, cheese enchiladas, and a rice casserole.

        1. re: LeahBaila

          Rice casserole? Hmm I don't recall that on the menu. I'll have to check it out. I do like the assortment of salsas that you can get. Do you think the menus at the 2 locations are the same? I've never checked that since I'm rarely at the 78th Street location anymore.

          1. re: LNG212

            Yep, the rice casserole was delicious! The salsa trio is awesome, just pricey. I'm not sure about the 2 menus, as I've only been to the 78th St. location. Great cheese enchiladas w/ mole sauce, btw!

        2. re: LNG212

          I'm really pretty sour on Gazala's, both locations. I used to be a big fan, but the prices have increased and the quality has seemed to drop off, especially at the uptown location.

      2. Seeing as your wife keeps kosher to some extent, and there are many kosher restos on the Upper West, why not just go for a kosher place? A repost on the kosher board might help, but my vote would be for Ladino, a bit south of the Upper West but still great.

        1. Sit down breakfast (& classic NY): Barney Greengrass.

          For a train "picnic" consider Zabar's or Salumeria Rosi.

          4 Replies
          1. re: LNG212

            I had a very good meal at Salumeria Rosi, so I'm a fan, but what would someone who keeps kosher except for vegetables and fish eat there?

            Greengrass, yes, very good recommendation.

            1. re: Pan

              <<salumeria rosi>>

              Oh good point. I totally blanked on that.

              I'll second the Kefi rec below too. We love that place.

              1. re: LNG212

                I like Kefi, too, and they have very good vegetable and fish dishes.

            2. re: LNG212

              Barney Greengrass is an excellent choice.

              Go on a weekday to avoid daunting crowds

            3. Kefi for fish, Saravanna's for vegetarian South Indian.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Alan Henderson

                2nd both.

                For the portable meal, try Epicerie Boulud and Francois Payard Bakery.

                1. re: Riverman500

                  I hated my one experience at Kefi. It was cramped, loud, and the food was not particularly good. I seem to be in the minority though, so ymmv.

                  1. re: Tubulus

                    ditto...i hated Kefi on my one visit: loud, sub-mediocre food (who shreds a Greek salad into confetti and adds sugar?? -- awful), and poor service...while i respect the experiences of veteran hounds who like it, i'm unlikely to ever return unless by some odd chance...

                    1. re: Simon

                      Third. No redeeming features to report on our single visit a few months back. No plans to return.

              2. For your take out: There is a large kosher take-away store on Broadway at about 87th; I'm blanking on the name. Zabar's at Broadway and 80th carries many kosher prepared foods. And Fisher Bros. & Leslie on 72nd just west of Broadway is a top-notch kosher butcher and sells lots to go.

                3 Replies
                1. re: alc

                  It's Kosher Marketplace and it's closer to 89th or 90th on the east side of Broadway.

                  Barney Greengrass is great! A classic. Kefi is good.

                  Basic go-to spot near you is French Roast on 85th and Broadway, which is open 24 hours. There are a couple of non-Starbucks coffee places: one on Amsterdam & 86th (Coffee, Tea, Leaf and Bean?) and another on Columbus near 85th (Joe, the Art of Coffee).

                  There is a new-ish kosher sushi/steak restaurant place near you: KO Prime on 85th east of Broadway. I don't know how good it is.

                  There are lots of vegetarian options, mostly on Amsterdam in the 80s.

                  1. re: rteplow

                    For vegetarian, Candle Cafe West is on Broadway between W 89th and W 90th. I used to live on West 85th, up the street from French Roast. I never thought the food was great, but if you're just looking for a place to have coffee and linger for a while, it's perfect. And being open 24 hours is a great virtue, of course.

                    I've never been there, but I have friends who liked Recipe on Amsterdam between 81st and 82nd.