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OT - Drinking and Eating in NYC

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#1 TrueBluePhD

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 04:33 PM

So it's been quite some time since I was last in NYC(we're talking pre-9/11) so I figured I would solicit some recommendations. Some friends and I are heading down this weekend for three days for one last trip before we all go our separate ways across the country with new found responsibilities. We're staying in Midtown a few blocks away from Rockefeller Center. None of us are exactly high rollers, so we want some good drinking and food without breaking the bank, but don't want to be relegated to dive bars either. I'd prefer to keep things in the general area, but would be willing to travel a bit if it's worth it. Any and all recommendations are appreciated.

#2 MattPie

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 05:37 PM

View PostTrueBluePhD, on 20 July 2014 - 04:33 PM, said:

So it's been quite some time since I was last in NYC(we're talking pre-9/11) so I figured I would solicit some recommendations. Some friends and I are heading down this weekend for three days for one last trip before we all go our separate ways across the country with new found responsibilities. We're staying in Midtown a few blocks away from Rockefeller Center. None of us are exactly high rollers, so we want some good drinking and food without breaking the bank, but don't want to be relegated to dive bars either. I'd prefer to keep things in the general area, but would be willing to travel a bit if it's worth it. Any and all recommendations are appreciated.

There's a few places down on St Mark's (8th St) around 1st Ave (Bua[0] and Crif Dogs as examples). That's the only area I know in Manhattan (and even then I haven't been there in awhile). I don't really know much up in Midtown, but the subway is pleasant enough these days to hop a train. My friends live in Queens/Astoria now, so they tend to stay out there more.

[0] Bua is the site of my only "rock star" moment, which I'll relate in the Awesome thread some time.

#3 rakish

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 06:07 PM

My favorite restaurant in New York is The Cottage, 77 and Amsterdam.  I think the dumplings in hot oil sauce is wonderful, and if you are nice to the waitress, they bring carafes of free box wine

For Indian we use to go to Panna II, maybe 1st Ave and 5th Street, they too did not have a liquor license, so you bring your own bottle of wine or beer.  If you google it, you can see the goofy decor

I would consider something you can't get at home, Ethiopian is good.

#4 biodork

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 08:21 PM

I honestly can't recall how the food was, but eating here was a fun experience years ago when I was last in NYC:

http://www.jekylland...b.com/home.html

#5 qwksndmonster

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 08:25 PM

If you find yourself at Park Slope, there are options among options of delicious and inexpensive restaurants on 5th Ave.

#6 nfreeman

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 08:40 PM

Most of the really good eating in midtown is high-end and very pricey.  If you find yourself needing to eat dinner near your hotel, I would just use the map function on zagat.com and go anywhere that looks budget-compliant with a 22 food rating or higher and an 18 decor rating or higher.  Otherwise, I would try to eat in the Village (West or East), the Meatpacking District, Soho or Chelsea.

I completely agree that you should lean towards stuff you wouldn't get at home (or that probably wouldn't be nearly as good at home).

Other recommendations:

-  Walking up the high line
-  Before or after that walk:  get a drink at the bar upstairs at the Standard Hotel.  It's a bit fancy but a very cool scene, including the bathrooms (not for anonymous trysting -- not that there's anything wrong with that -- but because you're sort of on a perch high above the city)
-  Water taxi across East River to Brooklyn ferry landing and lunch at Grimaldi's or Roberta's -- but go early or else it's at least an hour in line for pizza, which is silly.  Then you can walk back to Manhattan over the Brooklyn Bridge.
-  Get sandwiches to go from the Carnegie deli, Stars deli or one of the other big midtown delis and take them to Central Park for lunch.  Then stroll up the East side of the park to the Metropolitan Museum and/or the Guggenheim.
-  If your group likes museums, the MOMA is fantastic and is a short walk from Rockefeller Center.
- If your group likes blues or jazz, there are a few spots in the West Village that are pricey and tourist-trappy, but nevertheless have extremely cool atmospheres and great music.
-  If your group likes watching basketball, the cage in the West Village (w. 3rd St. & 6th avenue) has great pickup games.

Have a great time and feel free to PM me with any questions.

#7 That Aud Smell

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 09:17 PM

I'm a NYC neophyte, but I had amazing success with going to one of these guys' restaurants back in the spring. I'd recommend looking them up - they have several ventures.


http://mobile.nytime...?referrer=&_r=0

#8 Tom Backyard

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 09:37 PM

Eating in midtown is going to be more upscale and a little pricey.  Quality meats is a great steakhouse which, while certainly not cheap, Isn't  necessarily wallet crushing.  Burgers at the Parker Meridian are amazing and people wait in line for them.  

You could always go to Brother Jimmy's (Southern BBQ) right next to MSG on Eigth Avenue,  There's also one on the Upper West Side.  It's nothing to write home about, but I have eaten many plates of Brother Jimmy's over the years.

Another Bar/pub that is decent for tying one on with your pals is Beer Authority.  Food is pretty good, large beer selection and lots of space. I think they also have an outdoor beer patio, but I usually go in the winter before Rangers games so I haven't experienced the patio first hand.  It's a few blocks from MSG.  

There are a few Shake Shacks that you could hit up.  Just google it.  There is one in Madison Square Park, The Theatre District, and one on Columbus Ave near Central Park in the Upper west side.  


A wildcard out of the way spot would be Chinese Mirch.  It's on 23rd and Lexington. The menu is Chinese/Indian fusion.  I like it because there are chiles in almost every dish and unlike most restaurants, they can make a hot pepper eater like myself actually sweat it out.  


Let me know if you need any other info and I'll try to help out best I can.

#9 Andrew Amerk

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 09:56 PM

I second the recommendation of Carnegie Deli. Much better than Katz's. The prices may look high, but the sandwiches are ENORMOUS.

I would also recommend Serendipity 3. Excellent food. http://www.serendipity3.com/food.htm

#10 PromoTheRobot

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 10:26 PM

My favorite cheap eat in the Lower East Side is Yonnah Schimmel Knish Bakery on Houston.  They run about $3.50 a piece and come in a variety of flavors and fillings. An absolute hold in the wall place just a few blocks from Katz's.  They even have Dr. Brown's sodas.

#11 ChileanSeaBass

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 10:40 PM

I've been a few times in the past 5 years for work, and my coworkers and I always stop at Spice Market in the Meatpacking District.  Good food and a neat experience.  They have these small private dining areas that are great for smaller groups, and offer a bit of privacy.

http://www.spicemarketnewyork.com

Edited by ChileanSeaBass, 20 July 2014 - 10:40 PM.


#12 nfreeman

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 10:46 PM

View PostAndrew Amerk, on 20 July 2014 - 09:56 PM, said:

I second the recommendation of Carnegie Deli. Much better than Katz's. The prices may look high, but the sandwiches are ENORMOUS.

I would also recommend Serendipity 3. Excellent food. http://www.serendipity3.com/food.htm

We've been over this before, but the bolded part is as wrong as wrong can be.

View PostChileanSeaBass, on 20 July 2014 - 10:40 PM, said:

I've been a few times in the past 5 years for work, and my coworkers and I always stop at Spice Market in the Meatpacking District.  Good food and a neat experience.  They have these small private dining areas that are great for smaller groups, and offer a bit of privacy.

http://www.spicemarketnewyork.com

Good call.  Very good place.

#13 MattPie

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 09:31 AM

I'll definitely second the recommendation of the High Line and Brooklyn Bridge walks. Great stuff. If I remember right, there are some pretty awesome food carts on the south end of the high line.

#14 bklynsabre

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 11:02 AM

Pizza! Get out of midtown and find Lombardi's (Spring and Mott) or Patsy's (several) ... Motorino and/or Nicoletta in the East Village are also very good. For a nice change of pace, Cafe Habana in Soho rocks as well ...

#15 PASabreFan

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 05:32 PM

View Postbklynsabre, on 21 July 2014 - 11:02 AM, said:

Pizza! Get out of midtown and find Lombardi's (Spring and Mott) or Patsy's (several) ... Motorino and/or Nicoletta in the East Village are also very good. For a nice change of pace, Cafe Habana in Soho rocks as well ...

This is what it took to get you to come out of lurking?

#16 Andrew Amerk

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 10:52 PM

View Postnfreeman, on 20 July 2014 - 10:46 PM, said:



We've been over this before, but the bolded part is as wrong as wrong can be.


Nah. IMHO, Carnegie is better than Katz's.

Considering how much smaller Katz's sandwiches are now compared to what they used to be only a few years ago, and how much you pay, Carnegie is the better value while still being great quality.

#17 X. Benedict

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 04:42 AM

My only recommendation in NYC with time is go to the better restaurants for lunch. Cheaper specials, no waiting, save moolah.
Go ethnic for dinner - lot of great little places in the west 40s for stuff I can't pronounce.

#18 sabres26

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 06:22 AM

I am heading to the city tonight until sunday. The 2 places I always have to go are Grimaldis pizza (located under the Brooklyn Bridge) it is coal oven pizza that takes about 4 mins to make. A large is about $12. My favorite pub to go to is Gabby O'Haras. Its probably within 5 blocks of you. Excellent beer selecrion, great food and the bartenders are from Ireland, which makes for some good stories. Enjoy!!

#19 TrueBluePhD

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 10:54 AM

So I'm back now (technically got back yesterday, but I was exhausted and incoherent). Had an amazing time...wish I had more, but that will be reserved for when I'm a bit more well off. I sincerely thank everyone for your recommendations. We were able to hit up quite a few places listed here, and there wasn't a dog in the bunch - all very very good. I will single out Freeman's Grimaldi's and Brooklyn Bridge suggestion because it took a lot of arm twisting for me to convince everyone to go out of the way for pizza, but down to a person they all said it was worth it afterwards. Bravo.

My overall impression of NYC was much more favorable than last time I was there, probably in no small part because I'm old enough to enjoy it more (both the food/drinking and the history angle, and having been to more cities to compare it to). Definitely on my list to return when I can spend more time.

One last note: the 9/11 Museum is spectacular. I know there was a lot of controversy and angst over the planning, cost, and time it took to complete...but as the saying goes, better late than never. I have no idea if the extra time actually improved the final product, but it alone was worth the trip. I'm not a very emotional guy, but I got choked up more than once (to say nothing of the females I was with, who were full-on crying). Powerful, powerful stuff.

Edited by TrueBluePhD, 29 July 2014 - 10:55 AM.


#20 nfreeman

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 11:05 AM

View PostTrueBluePhD, on 29 July 2014 - 10:54 AM, said:

So I'm back now (technically got back yesterday, but I was exhausted and incoherent). Had an amazing time...wish I had more, but that will be reserved for when I'm a bit more well off. I sincerely thank everyone for your recommendations. We were able to hit up quite a few places listed here, and there wasn't a dog in the bunch - all very very good. I will single out Freeman's Grimaldi's and Brooklyn Bridge suggestion because it took a lot of arm twisting for me to convince everyone to go out of the way for pizza, but down to a person they all said it was worth it afterwards. Bravo.

My overall impression of NYC was much more favorable than last time I was there, probably in no small part because I'm old enough to enjoy it more (both the food/drinking and the history angle, and having been to more cities to compare it to). Definitely on my list to return when I can spend more time.

One last note: the 9/11 Museum is spectacular. I know there was a lot of controversy and angst over the planning, cost, and time it took to complete...but as the saying goes, better late than never. I have no idea if the extra time actually improved the final product, but it alone was worth the trip. I'm not a very emotional guy, but I got choked up more than once (to say nothing of the females I was with, who were full-on crying). Powerful, powerful stuff.

Glad you liked it!

I can't bring myself to go to the 9/11 museum.





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