Here's a toughie
There used to be a Turkish restaurant (now gone) around 85th St on the UWS that I would be able to find stuffed Grape leaves.
But other than that, I'd search and search and search and find that no one has good, freshly made stuffed grape leaves, rather than the stuff in jars. Aside of restaurants what stores have them?
Another thing strangely missing from Manhattan's shores is Armenian string cheese for sale (save for an actual Armenian restaurant perhaps). Where oh where can this product be purchased -- especially on the UWS?
I don't know where you can get Armenian string cheese on the Upper West Side. The International Grocery on 9th Av. across from Port Authority at least sometimes carries it, at a good price. Kalustyan's always has it, though they charge more. If I were you, I'd call International Grocery and ask them if they have fresh stuffed grape leaves. http://internationalgrocerynyc.com/co... If they don't, the contact info for Kalustyan's is here: http://kalustyans.com/
If you know of an Armenian restaurant in Manhattan, please tell us where it is. I don't know of any.
You can get Armenian string cheese at Murray's as well as Zabar's. If I recall correctly it's on one of the upper shelves at Zabar's, so it's not immediately visible. If you want grape leaves at a restaurant, I'd try Gazala's Place, but as far as stores, there aren't any good places on the UWS that come to mind.
Upper shelf at Zabars eh? Well, that's something anyway. Thanks Jung Man.
I am still gobsmacked that the finest city for food in the US is lacking these 2 products to the degree that one has to go searching for them instead of seeing a plethora of stores handling them.
Why even in Philadelphia there are many places to find Armenian string cheese. Practically all specialty stores carry it.
Manhattan is not prime territory for Middle Eastern food. The community that once thrived downtown was displaced by the building of the bridges and Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel. While there are enclaves in Brooklyn where I shop, the quality and options are more limited than what I was used to before moving here.
I haven't been for a couple of years, but the stuffed grape leaves at Bereket on Houston were usually pretty excellent. Bereket is basically a take out joint. Their dolma were better than most of the ones I had on an Istanbul visit.
You are in luck!! Two middle Eastern restaurants have authentic hand fresh stuffed grapeleaves.
Al Bustan in the 50's on the East Side and
Byblos on Madison and 28th ST.
By authentic I mean with lamb and not the "poser" grapeleaves that come in a big can. YUCK!!
Kalustayans has the string cheese you want. You can also get it at Mt Ararat in Bayside or at several Middle Eastern groceries in Brooklyn on Atlantic Ave.