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NH chowhound Q's: best deli for out of towners, dosa (and chow-worthy) near Times Square?

p
pilletsh Sep 24, 2012 06:16 AM

We're taking a totally touristy trip from NH with our 5-year-old, staying near Times Square, and going to see Annie (her first trip to the city). But we still like good food.

- Impossible question first: any good-ish restaurants near Times Square?
- What's the best deli to visit as a tourist, to deliver that stereotypical experience but with good food? Katz's or Carnegie, or something else?
- Would love to get an authentic dosa - best options near Times Square?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

  1. p
    pilletsh Oct 16, 2012 06:09 PM

    Thanks to everyone for your advice & suggestions! Here's the midtown spots our schedule allowed:

    - Cafe Edison - an experience, and I'm glad we did it, but...just not great food. Nothing - not bagels, not egg cream, and certainly not eggs - really impressed us.
    - John's Pizzeria - Yelper described wait as hell on earth. After that, who could even tell what the pizza tasted like. I think it was good. I'm not sure I cared.
    - Ellen's Stardust Diner - okay, yes, pretty darn not great food, but that setting is perfect for a tired 5-year-old and her parents. Something about it made even cynical dad smile.
    - Minar - good, not great, indian food. Nice dive-y setting.

    2 Replies
    1. re: pilletsh
      p
      Pan Oct 16, 2012 06:18 PM

      Cafe Edison has never been great, just good, dependable and cheap. If it's no longer good, that would be disappointing.

      1. re: Pan
        w
        wasny Oct 16, 2012 09:47 PM

        Oh, the Polish Tea Room is still good. Get the soup, enjoy the ambience.

        As for the rest of the restaurants pilletsh mentioned: ...? Take the five-year-old to Sake Bar Hagi for an early meal at 5:30 PM and the cynical dad should smile a lot more than at some fake diner.

    2. g
      GourmetWednesday Oct 3, 2012 05:41 AM

      For deli, Katz's, and definitely the pastrami. First trip, I ordered corned beef, and my husband had pastrami, and I regretted it until our next trip there 7 years later. After lunch take your daughter to Economy Candy, a couple of blocks away.

      Economy Candy
      108 Rivington Street New York, NY 10002

      1. a
        arepo Oct 3, 2012 05:34 AM

        Listen up! A true Noo Yawkah doesn't dare put reverent Katz's deli in the same sentence with Carnegie.

        1. v
          vinouspleasure Sep 29, 2012 07:30 AM

          there are any number of good restaurants within a 10 minute walk from time square. what do you mean by "good-ish"? anyhow, I work in the area so if you could be a little more specific I can offer more targeted suggestions. there is a lot of overpriced, mediocre food in the area targeted towards tourists.

          If you're looking for ethnic, two places that come to mind are szechuan gourmet, arguably the best szechuan in manhattan (I don't believe it's the best but one could make the argument and it's certainly one of the best) and margon for cuban, morgon is a small, crowded lunch counter with limited seating, an unconventional but great cuban sandwich and other cuban comfort food.

          when I worked on the east side, we used to send one of our co-workers in a cab to minar for rava masala dosa once every month or so. haven't been in many years, but it used to be great and overlooked.

          3 Replies
          1. re: vinouspleasure
            p
            pilletsh Oct 2, 2012 07:44 PM

            Thanks - by "good-ish" I was just trying to recognize what I thought was the state of food in the area.

            What' we'd love are:
            - Good breakfast spots
            - Crepes and/or blintzes
            - Bagels
            - Good places to get egg creams
            - Bakeries & dessert spots
            - Great, casual pizza locations

            1. re: pilletsh
              p
              Pan Oct 2, 2012 10:44 PM

              Maybe someone can tell us whether Cafe Edison in the Edison Hotel is still a good breakfast place. I haven't been there for years, but it's always been an old-school New York-style place for omelettes, matzo ball soup and the like (breakfast and lunch only).

              1. re: Pan
                w
                wasny Oct 3, 2012 05:20 AM

                They make egg creams too.

          2. Motosport Sep 26, 2012 11:14 AM

            If you want to keep it good and simple take a walk over to Murray Hill if weather permits and eat at Sarge's deli. If your child likes to walk it's not too far. Otherwise take the shuttle (subway).
            We like Katz's better if you don't mind heading down to the LES. If you go for lunch take a walk over to The Hwa Mei Bird Garden. It's a secret NYC gem. Your 5 year old will love it.
            Thumbs down on Carnegie deli. The bloom is off the rose.
            On Lexington below 33 St is Curry Hill. More Indian restaurants than you can shake a dosa at!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Motosport
              p
              Pan Sep 27, 2012 12:09 AM

              What garden? Is it a garden or/and a place to eat poultry?

              1. re: Pan
                Motosport Oct 4, 2012 10:18 AM

                Hwa Mei Bird Garden Google it!! It is not food related but something the young kids will enjoy seeing.

            2. b
              bifpocaroba Sep 25, 2012 12:03 PM

              Kattz's. Hand's down, great hot dog's as well. Worth it for the historical aspect as well"

              "Send a salami to your boy in the Army"

              Around Times Square Churrascaria Plataforma is good. I've never went to the one in TS but the one downtown is great. Also, a fun place to go is Ruby Foo's in TS area.

              1. l
                Lacrosse_Gastronomic Sep 24, 2012 12:08 PM

                Try Minar on 46th & 6th for an authentic dosa. It's a hole in the wall but serves good food. For something a bit more upscale try Saravaanas.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Lacrosse_Gastronomic
                  JungMann Sep 26, 2012 06:50 AM

                  Saravaanas is an excellent recommendation for dosas. It's a very quick subway ride uptown if you take the IRT. As far as the deli is concerned, I know I am in the minority on CH, but I really enjoy Carnegie. Yes, there are plenty of people who will tell you the rich pastrami at Katz's is worth the trip, but I am perfectly content with a mountainous Ruben from Carnegie.

                2. v
                  von_levi Sep 24, 2012 11:41 AM

                  re: Deli

                  I say avoid Carnegie.

                  As Kathryn noted, Katz's is known for its pastrami, and if you've never had it, it's worth the trip. I've heard some people claim that their corned beef is good, but I'm not aware if there is a general consensus on this.

                  For a more well rounded classic NYC deli, try Barney Greengrass.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: von_levi
                    d
                    dyrewolf Sep 26, 2012 10:05 AM

                    Barney Greengrass is hardly well rounded, it is to smoked fish what Katz's is to pastrami. (the best).. but it is as narrowly focused in "dairy" as Katz's is for meat. (they sell meat, but no one talks about it)Katz's is worth the trip downtown, but if you cannot make it downtown... go to Sarge's(3rd Ave/36th St)

                    It turns out that while Times Sq generally sucks, 9th Ave is close by and Hell's Kitchen does have good ethnic eats

                  2. k
                    kathryn Sep 24, 2012 06:21 AM

                    See Cheeryvisage's Times Square list here:
                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/833282

                    Re: deli
                    Depends what you plan to order. Katz's is known for pastrami on rye, other items can be hit or miss, for example.

                    For a dosa, go to "Curry Hill," it is not that far from Times Square.
                    http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2012/0...

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