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Jun 16, 2014 08:03 PM

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Manhattan Memories

Luchow's on East 14th Street; Mamma Leone's on West 48th; Ratner's on Delancey; The Stork Club on East 53rd; HoJo's in Times Square.

One more of lesser reknown was El Coyote on Broadway between NYU and the Strand bookstore.

Classic New York destinations.



So what were your favorites?

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  1. I have memories of Ratner's back in the early 70s, when it was good and I was a little kid. The HoJo on 47 St. (I think that was the corner) held special memories for me because I went to High School of Performing Arts on 46 St. between 6th and 7th, and not only did I go to the HoJo now and then with friends, but my math teacher treated me to an ice cream sundae there when I got 100 on the algebra Regents test.

    Some other well-remembered places include Foo Joy, again from the 70s, Leshko's (80s), a good Sichuan restaurant on the 2nd floor of a long building between 109th and 110th Sts. and Broadway (late 70s), and a place one door from Chatham Square on East Broadway that specialized in Manchurian hotpot (70s).

    My parents really liked Gitlitz, but I didn't like pastrami yet in those days (I did like roast beef sandwiches there, I seem to remember).

    4 Replies
    1. re: Pan

      When we were high school seniors, we'd come in from NJ and order a cocktail at the 47th Street HoJos. They'd never card, and we thought we were oh, so sophisticated.

      There was a huge Woolworth on 34th Street that made the best fried chicken--either to be eaten at the counter or taken out.

      And no one's mentioned Chock Full O' Nuts. My local one was on Madison. Cream cheese on date nut bread. Mmmmm.

      1. re: JoanN

        Back in those days of High School, we used to go to:

        La Crepe and Teacher's(Teacher's Too)

        My first venture to upscale Fine Italian was Piccolo Mondo.

        For Chinese...HSF

        1. re: fourunder

          I loved Piccolo Mondo. That was the first restaurant where I had marinated, grilled zucchini. What an eye opener that was. Great restaurant.

          1. re: fourunder

            Teacher's Too was a favorite of ours in the early years of our marriage.

      2. Ratners for sure. Hwa Yuan on east broadway, little Szechuan on Oliver street, tin pan alley in times square (pork chops and Mac n cheese served in an anarchist lesbian punk rock dive)

        6 Replies
        1. re: debinqueens

          debinqueens: What anarchist lesbian punk rock dive are you talking about? Where? About when? In Tin Pan Alley, Times Square? Please let me know--for sure. (Just wondering why I can't place it).

          1. re: ZaZa

            the place was actually called Tin Pan Alley, and it was on 49th street in one of the old SRO hotels that used to be so common around that area. i forget which faceless clump of stuff replaced the building. the place had a lot of great bands play ... a lot of post-no wave type people, art rockers, poetry readings and a cat that would walk the bar as you tried to eat. i found one photo online....i never took any myself back then.

            1. re: ZaZa

              Thanks. I knew Arthur Russell (cello); he used to play with Philip Glass, et al. Had a look at the website. It was good to see pix of him again.

              Those were difficult years; we lost so many people. He crossed the threshold many years ago.

              It's no wonder I enjoy life to the utmost now.

              1. re: ZaZa

                ZaZa: I'm a big fan of Arthur Russell's music. The last decade has seen a resurgence of interest in his music. Much of his unreleased material has been released (just check Amazon or iTunes) and his music has been used for the soundtracks of at least one film and a commercial in the UK (search YouTube for "Arthur Russell/This is How We Walk on the Moon/Commercial T-Mobile UK"). And, in a month, the Red Hot organization will be releasing a compilation of covers of Arthur's music by major contemporary musicians, benefitting AIDS charities.

                1. re: famdoc

                  I'm just happy to see Arthur Russell mentioned on CH, instead of an "affordable" $150 meal.

                  1. re: hungrycomposer

                    He used to come round with Donald. I assure you, he didn't starve with us!

          2. When my wife and I graduated from law school together (New York Law - evening division - 1979 -- after 4 years of classes!), we invited both families to New York for the graduation -- it was a big deal. We took everyone out (maybe 20 people) to a Chinese banquet at Chef Ma on Pell Street in Chinatown. I went in the week before, set a per person budget for the banquet with the management, and told them to figure out the menu. It was great! And I prepaid so there was no wrangling for the check by my dad and my wife's dad. A fun day to celebrate a great achievement for both of us!

            1. I have a Ratner's story.

              We were eating there back in the late 1970's sometime.

              My wife found a huge cockroach in her blintz.

              From then on, the place was always "Bugner's" to her "because I haven't found a rat in my food yet."

              We did continue to eat there -- but were more careful about inspecting the food.

              3 Replies
              1. re: JimmySee

                Diner to Ratner's waiter, "What's that roach doing in my blintz?
                Waiter to diner, "Sleeping?"

                1. re: BluPlateSpec

                  The roach we found was cooked! And imagine! A roach in a dairy restaurant! That goes against all kashruth dietary laws!

                2. re: JimmySee

                  It's "blintzeh." :)

                  I had a similar experience with a rather elegantly served broiled vegetarian cutlet at a really nice vegetarian sit-down place somewhere in the East 60's that was run by the Seventh Day Adventists. That's also been gone a long time and I still miss it, despite that verminous encounter.

                3. 20 Mott Street for dim sum
                  Jim McMullin's, a reliable East side neighborhood place
                  Ennio and Michael in the Village