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Moving to 105 and Broadway - Whats good up there?

Would love some help as we are moving to a new hood. Upscale and casual as well as any specialty stores.

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  1. Sun Chan for yakitori, Jerusalem grill for falafel, babaganoush, etc. on Broadway between 103 and 104. Thai Market on Amsterdam is my favorite of the Thai options in the area, Saiguette on Columbus for Vietnamese. Silver Moon bakery on 105 and Broadway has some good baked goods, Absolute Bagels at 108 are quite good. The new branch of Legend is sadly not as good as the original, but is a welcome addition for Szechuan food.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Alan Henderson

      I went to silver moon earlier today- i bought the whole wheat hazelnut sourdough loaf and a few of the raisin whole wheat rolls- and i'm a little dissapointed...the hazelnut loaf could have used a stronger sourdough flavor as well as more time in the oven (good number of hazelnuts in it) and the raisin rolls were no where near as good as those from amy's or tom cat.
      Did i buy the wrong thing? Are they better for dessert pastries than breads? Or maybe i should have bought their more basic bread..? I'm in the area once a week or so and willing to give them another try.

      1. re: Ttrockwood

        I haven't tried their breads but like their pastries.

        I love Jerusalem, which Alan Henderson recommended above. Their falafel and shawarma are really flavorful, and the last time I went a few months ago, they were using a lot less fat than they had before (which had been my only objection). Nice people, good service, and one of the few cheap places in the neighborhood.

        The rest of this information is a bit dated, as I don't frequent that part of the Upper West Side much anymore:

        El Malecon on Amsterdam just north of 97 St. makes excellent pollo a la brasa. A bit closer to you is the Peruvian-Chinese Flor de Mayo, which also makes excellent and somewhat different polla a la brasa, with some other decent items (their beans are better than El Malecon's, and I prefer their black beans).

        For Malaysian food, try Malaysian Grill on 104 St between Broadway and Amsterdam (on the south side of the street, whereas the post office is on the north side). A few years ago (2011), when my brother and I were spending a lot of time on the Upper West Side, we were regulars there. The owner is from Singapore, and when we told him we used to live in Malaysia and wanted food that tasted just like what we ate there, he went into the kitchen and said something to them in Chinese, and they made everything spicy, with the vegetables (I think string beans or okra) with belacan made with plenty of belacan and red chilis (they didn't have kangkung, and there menu still does not show any kangkung). Every time we went there, we greeted the owner and had Malaysian food that was good and real. http://malaysiagrillnyc.com/food-deli...

        For Indian food, you can try Indus Valley on 100 St. on the east side of Broadway. I always found their tasty food tasty, though it was always a little rich (many Indian restaurants in New York like using a lot of ghee and oil). Prices are a bit high, but that's par for the course in that neighborhood.

        That part of the Upper West Side has really changed greatly in the last year or so, with several new Sichuan restaurants among others.

        1. re: Ttrockwood

          My favorites at Silver Moon are their Ethiopian bread, their Cheese bread, and the dark caraway rye.
          There's a Szechuan Gourmet at 105th which is pretty good. Koko wings at 106th off Bwy has excellent Korean fried chicken. Awadh at 98th and Bwy is the best Indian in the neighborhood, and pretty good for any neighborhood. X'ian Famous Foods at 102/BWY for excellent spicy noodle dishes of various kinds (hand-pulled). Noche Mexicana on 101/Amsterdam is very good, home-style Mexican. Gennaro at 92nd and Amsterdam is a very good neighborhood Italian. Agree with Malecon: excellent Dominican food. Jin Ramen at 125th/Bwy is some of the best Tonkatsu ramen in the city. Near there is also Dinosaur BBQ which is quite decent. Sal and Carmine's on 102/Bwy for a classic New York slice.
          That's enough to get you started.

          1. re: strangemd

            +1 for Awadh. I'd say other than Tamarind, it's the best Indian I've had in the city. We live all the way downtown and will gladly go there for dinner any night.

            1. re: strangemd

              Auuugh- i saw the blank spot behind the sign for the ethiopian seeded bread, i wanted to try that one but they sold out earlier. Didn't see a dark caraway, that sounds really good- I should be in the area next week in the morning (I don't live in the neighborhood myself-yet) so I'll be sure to go early and give them another shot.

              1. re: Ttrockwood

                Sometimes in the mornings they also have "Brie sticks" which are a kind of semi-foccacia dough permeated with a ton of Brie and black pepper. Makes a nice savory breakfast snack. They also (sometimes) have hot soft pretzels.

                1. re: strangemd

                  Oooooh, hot soft pretzels?? I will definitely look for those!

              2. re: strangemd

                I really like Awadh. But I'm no Indian food expert.

              3. re: Ttrockwood

                My favorites on the bread side are the semolina loaf and the Gruyere bread.

            2. Machiavelli excellent Italian and a nice brunch too
              Regional also excellent Italian
              Gabriella's for Mexican

              1. FREDA'S Caribbean & Soul Cuisine (109th St. and Columbus). This is a neighborhood place, very humble, nothing fancy--extremely good.

                OXTAILS, Rice & Peas, Candied Yams, Collard Greens, & Jamaican Ginger Beer. The Rice & Peas have a slight suggestion of coconut, which is a pleasant surprise.

                Freda's JERK CHICKEN is not made on a fire grill, as one would expect; it is baked in the oven. After my first taste, I said: "Who Cares?" It's that good. It's nice and spicy. The BROWN STEW CHICKEN is also good.

                At lunchtime (before 3:30 pm), you can order any chicken dish, rice & peas, with one side for $8. We ordered Jerk Chicken w/Sweet Plantain & Brown Stew Chicken w/Calalloo (spinach & okra with a taste of coconut)--absolutely delicious. Because the sides are reasonably priced, I'd order additional sides (they're that good).

                OXTAILS are not on the lunch special, but they come with two side orders. I recommend an additional side order of Sweet Plantain to whatever you get.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ZaZa

                  Yeah, Freda's is very good, though a little rich.

                2. Another place I thought of: Great Ethiopian, best I've had in New York, at Zoma, 113th St. and 8th Av. (Frederick Douglass Blvd.). http://www.zomanyc.com/

                  1. Seconding a few others:
                    Awadh is the best Indian restaurant on the UWS, and Indus Valley also is reliable. Gennaro is a solid neighborhood Italian restaurant. Zoma may be a bit better, but Awash is a fine Ethiopian restaurant. Sura and Thai Market are the best of the Thai restaurants in the area. Absolute Bagels, of course. Las Palomas is a cute Mexican grocery on 100th St. east of Broadway. And stay tuned for the Halal Guys' brick and mortar restaurant.

                    1. I don't live in the area but visit family often at 104th. I am especially fond of the pana cotta, the chive cheddar pastry and the chocolate orange rolls from Silver Moon. I think the chocolate orange rolls are only available on the weekends. I just had one toasted with butter and it was a great way to start my morning. I also think Xian famous foods is really good and inexpensive if you like spicy noodles. And don't forget Absolute bagels on Broadway between 107-108th. I also like La Caradid del Rey on Amsterdam near 108th for chicken, beans and rice. Wish I lived in the city with all the great food choices instead of the suburbs. I visit any chance I get!!!

                      1. Szechuan Gourmet 98 is very good. They also have one on 105th, which I haven't tried yet but have heard good things about.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: rrems

                          So, funny story on that one. The 98th street branch started out very good. Then apparently there was a fight between the partners and it's no longer Szechuan Gourmet but Szechuan Taste. And it's a little toned down on the spice level compared to the original opening. If you insist on it being seriously hot when you order, they will accommodate you, but you have to push. Having said that, though, it can be quite good.

                          1. re: strangemd

                            Interesting. When did the change occur? Have you tried the one on 105th and if so, how do you think it compares?

                            What's really funny, or perhaps a bit sad, is that in an earlier discussions about SG 98, I questioned how as more and more of these places open, will they be able to sustain the quality and spiciness, or will they dumb it down because there are not enough diners who appreciate the real thing.

                            I wrote about SG 98 in my blog, http:robertrems.com back in July, and we went there again in August. The second time, we ordered the cumin lamb and were disappointed that it was almost all batter, the meat hardly detectable, though the other dishes we had were fine.

                            1. re: rrems

                              I think the switch over was about a month ago. I could lower a bucket from my apartment window to pick up their take-out, so I still get certain things there, but getting things spiced right requires a conversation with the maitre d', who knows me, or a quick use of Google Translate to tell the waiter what I really want in Mandarin.
                              I have often thought of your previous post on this issue, and sadly, I think you were right. From a business point of view, they're catering to what the neighborhood seems to want. The SG on 105th is consistently better, and more legit on the spicing, presumably because they get more Asian kids from Columbia, who always seem to keep the place packed.

                          2. re: rrems

                            Szechuan Gourmet is now Szechuan Taste and is definitely going downhill.

                            Xi'an Famous on 101st and Broadway is good.

                          3. I echo strangemd's recommendations. Of all those recommendations, I think Jim might be the strongest (although my affection for Sal and Carmine's is abiding).

                            I want to add a couple of neighborhood joints on Amsterdam. Arco, on 103rd and Amsterdam, is a Sardinian-Italian restaurant. Stick to the Sardinian pastas and specials and you will probably be happy.

                            Buster's, just a few doors north, is a tiny place, and the atmosphere is provided mostly by Fidel, the waiter-co-owner. His partner, Glenn, is in the kitchen, cooking light and most healthy "spatinental" cuisine. It's a charming place.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: Dave Feldman

                              What are the Sardinian specialties?

                              1. re: plf515

                                http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/... The Sardinian pastas are labeled as such, but sometimes there are Sardinian specials as well. Gnocchi is ordinarily one of my least favorite pastas, but I particularly like the gnochetti here, although the preparation is quite simple.

                                Portions are smallish and in general the food is lighter than even "authentic" Italian in NYC.

                                1. re: Dave Feldman

                                  Gnocchetti, which are made from flour and are just a particular shape of pasta, are really not related to gnocchi. The name is only a result of their resemblance to small gnocchi.

                                  1. re: rrems

                                    Thanks for the correction. And I realize on reflection, that few Italians would consider gnocchi a pasta.