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Sep 23, 2013 06:26 AM

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.

    13 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.

        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.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  I have had one meal at Awadh so far - a fish cooked in yoghurt and an eggplant dish.Both really excellent. As good as best Indian in Manhattan I believe. Of course much better than Indus Valley (100th B'way) which has slipped.
                  Good wines too which, unusual for Indian, most people seemed to be drinking.

                2. re: strangemd

                  It took us a while to get around to trying Awadh, and I'm glad we did.

                  Grilled prawns, baby goat, chicken with cashew sauce, and cauliflower with tomato sauce were excellent.

                  Prices are a bit higher than Malai Marke, our other favorite for Indian, but still moderate.

                  Full report on my blog:


                  1. re: rrems

                    Do you think it's good enough to warrant a trip from the Lower East Side?

                    1. re: Pan

                      Only if you're tired of Malai Marke and want something a little different.

                3. re: Ttrockwood

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

              3. 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.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: ZaZa

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

                    1. re: Pan

                      The calaloo was really off last night. I told Ruby, when I left.

                      It was the only thing I left on my plate, but it still ruined my dinner. Prior visits, I've enjoyed their food, but it will be a long time until I go back. I'm so disappointed.

                      1. re: ZaZa

                        That sucks. Was it too old?

                  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.).

                    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.

                      13 Replies
                      1. re: americanafan

                        Has anyone tried the new Indian 97/98 and Broadway where Alouette used to be?

                        1. re: Fuffy

                          Yes, we had a great dinner at Awadh and would definitely return.

                        2. re: americanafan

                          +1 ZOMA for Ethiopian (rather than Awash).

                          The food at Awash is too bland for my palate. Had to request additional spice (mitmita). They are not generous with the injera. We had to request injera more than one time.

                          Zoma is my favorite Ethiopian restaurant in the city.

                            1. re: Pan

                              I haven't tried all the others but I agree Zoma is terrific.
                              ZaZa, what is injera?

                              1. re: Fuffy

                                Injera is the thin, round flatbread with a spongy texture that is served in Ethiopian restaurants. It is prepared with fermented batter, traditionally made with teff flour.

                                Placed on a platter, one flatbread is served as "the plate" for the different servings of delicious food you order.

                                Rather than using a fork, we break pieces off another, which is rolled up or folded (served on the side of the main plate) to scoop bite-sized morsels of food.

                                Near completion, we begin to break off small pieces from the injera plate, which has absorbed the food (until a clean platter is before us).

                                As carb-conscious diners, we were quietly astounded for the need to ask for additional injera at AWASH.

                                1. re: Fuffy

                                  Injera has a slightly sour, tangy taste that is delicious with the food, which is rather easy to scoop up, because of the little holes formed during fermentation of the teff batter.

                                  Teff is a gluten-free grain, indigenous to Ethiopia.

                                  It's fun to share several selections on one plate with others.


                                  1. re: ZaZa

                                    The injera at Zoma in particular is a real sour dough injera, and by far the best I've had in New York to date.

                                    1. re: Pan

                                      You should try Abyssinia on 135, it started as a injera bakery for the Ethiopian community and is now a full fledged restaurant. Everything is good, but the injera is standout, you sometimes get it just as it is made, really good.


                                      1. re: Alan Henderson

                                        Interesting. Thanks for the recommendation.

                                        1. re: Pan

                                          I give thanks to you both! Pan, for turning me on to Zoma... and Alan, for the Abyssinia rec.

                                        2. re: Alan Henderson

                                          At Abyssinia Ethiopian, I enjoyed two vegetable dishes--Ye Misir Wat and Shiro ("Ethiopian comfort food")--both really good--with Awazi Tibs, which was not spicy enough, although I specifically requested "spicy."

                                          So, if you want it spicy, you really have to emphasize this request (with further emphasis).

                                          I prefer the injera at Zoma w/o need to overly emphasize preference for spice; they always get it right. Zoma is my temple for Ethiopian food in New York.

                                        3. re: Pan

                                          The injera, at Zoma, is a little thicker than the other places I've been. Love it.