Hidden gems that you don't wanna tell even the closest friend?
Any such place? Let's share! :)
Mine is Nick's Place.
From outside, the doors look like those of a garment storage.
You have to bravely open them and go into the building.
Go straight and you will find charmingly clean, tiny cafe called Nick's Place.
I like their 'Steak Taco'.
For $7, you get three tacos filled with steak (cooked when the order is placed and not pre-made) and guacamole. Not a destination place, but if you are in the Garment District, it's a good lunch option for less money.
You have to go early (like between 11:30am and 12pm) because sometimes they are sold out fast.
201 West 39th Street
(between 7th Ave & 8th Ave)
New York, NY 10018
I have a friend who recently got a new job near that area. I'll have him try it out for lunch.
Although in a 2012 Midtown Lunch post http://midtownlunch.com/2012/07/02/ni... about the place, it said the steak tacos were $8 before tax.
I don't think the Manhattan board is too populated with threads about those places. I like to come to read about those places and if I'm looking for more local neigborhood-specific fare, I'll just sift through the dredge that is Yelp. I don't want CH to be more like Yelp.
I also think that there just aren't that many true hidden gems in Manhattan (as opposed to OB) that stay hidden anymore. The food hipster hype machine just works too quickly now.
While I wouldn't say this board is "too populated" with the kind of thread that ipsedixit describes, because plainly there is audience anxious for it, but it is underpopulated with this type of thread kosmose started. I don't think yelp is alternative resource, because the number of people feeding into it whose tastebuds you don't know nullifies the advice. And frankly, I'd rather read my fave professional restaurant critics on places like Betony than Chow posts. Too often, I think Chow ends up little more than an echo chamber of the standard media buzz.
I'd like to see more threads about overlooked places, under the radar places, hidden gems, good food without a reservation, charming places, shopping break places (where the seating is spacious enough to put down your bags), museum cafes, also, places that have fallen out of fashion that are still serving delicious food, or that are hidden gems for lunch or off hours but hideous at the dinner hour.
One of the things Manhattan lost over the years (because it disappeared from the general culture) was the second-run movie house, and it often used to be a better, more reflective way to see movies, rather in the nervous stampede when all the critics had just declared a film a "must see". Too much of the New York eating culture comes across as a competitive race of driven individuals in pursuit of the new opening or menu change or chef change. It is fun to have a relaxed explorer's street level view of the city, for workers, shoppers, people out on a lark and the sense of sharing, despite the funny title of this public post. Produces a happier food culture, I think.
"Too often, I think Chow ends up little more than an echo chamber of the standard media buzz."
I think this is increasingly the case, and dissent isn't exactly welcomed.
My feeling is some good food must be getting lost in the shuffle, and those hidden gem reports are the most useful posts.... but there are less of those to dig up that haven't already been hit with the blogger/media buzz already. We have more good food choices than ever it seems, but chasing a tip for something interesting rarely pans out, because we sometimes tend to over hype our own discoveries.
Fantastic sharing, kosmose. I won't tell a soul except the people in the nightclub where I sing.