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more New York

2003-01-20 17:47:59+00 by Dan Lyke 8 comments

With nothing new and witty to say this morning ("why qualify?", they ask), I'll just drop a few more New York bits here. As I ate breakfast yesterday morning with the hiking crowd I was reminded that not all eggs have to be cooked to shoe-leather. Which reminded me that there's more to salads than iceberg and romaine, too. I was amazed at the level of food, maybe there's some shift in the curve at the high end, but at the middle and low end I'll take other parts of the country, hands down.

The National Debt Clock[Wiki] is counting up again, nothing much to add to that.

[ related topics: Politics Photography Invention and Design Food New York Dan & Charlene's January 2003 New York Trip ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2003-01-20 18:32:08+00 by: other_todd

I think you're dead-on with the food. I have eaten in New York at the high end and, yeah, there's a shift in the curve. Or, rather, in New York the curve is exaggerated at the extremes; the highs are higher and the lows are lower. Street food and low-end food in New York used to be better once, I'm told, but these days it's for the birds. I have had some religious-experience meals in New York. They start at $50 a head and work their way up (WAY up) from there. Once in a while you find some cafe-style food that's worth the money. (Zen Palate has a lunch/cafe style place now which is much cheaper than their full-blown dinner menu and yet very good, for example.) But a lot of the time when I'm in New York on the cheap I find myself going someplace like Wendy's - it's not going to be all that great, but I know I won't get any nasty surprises either. A lot of tourist-restaurant food in Manhattan is shockingly rotten.

#Comment made: 2003-01-20 19:09:46+00 by: Diane Reese

I haven't lived there for a few years now, but what happened to all the good Jewish delis, where you could get overstuffed sandwiches or terrific matzoh ball soup or knishes? Or the falafel shops with hummus and tabbouleh that makes me drool now just to think about it? Or the Greek diners where the Greek salads and dips and spanakopita and tiropita were out of this world? I never did eat eggs or burgers when I lived there. The other low-end stuff was too good.

#Comment made: 2003-01-20 20:52:16+00 by: Jeffery [edit history]

In some ways, I think we may be running into a classic data sampling problem here. I was very fortunate; the two restaurants I picked at random while in town to see some Broadway shows both offered what I considered to be "middle-of-the-road" atmosphere and pricing. Both, however, offered excellent cuisine (at least for my selections). In fact, the sushi place had the best Hamachi I'd eaten in a very long time (including my days in San Francisco). I'm not a NYC fan by any stretch; perhaps I was "lucky."

#Comment made: 2003-01-20 21:06:12+00 by: Dan Lyke

Diane, we were always looking for a place to sit down, so we didn't hit any delis. The one place I had bagels and lox for breakfast, the lox was okay and there was a lot of it, but it wasn't great. The Italian place we hit on the Soho/Little Italy border was only so-so, and the Korean food was uneven. The food we had in the Village was great, but breakfasts were largely off.

#Comment made: 2003-01-20 21:17:58+00 by: Diane Reese

None of the places I used to eat were "grab and go" or "stand up and shovel", Dan -- they were all sit-down places. I have a hard time believing they're all gone, but maybe you just have to know where to look.

#Comment made: 2003-01-20 22:27:19+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, I rather suspect that the way we sampled was part of why we had the luck we did. And the results down in Greenwich Village were pretty good, which somewhat confirms that certain neighborhoods click with a person and others don't.

My experience of New York was sub-optimal, and while I think I'll be going back soon for business purposes I've had better experiences in other cities I've visited recently, including L.A..

I guess this kinda means I've dropped the east coast pretense and am really a California boy now.

#Comment made: 2003-01-21 10:39:37+00 by: meuon

"and am really a California boy now" - You were a California boy when you were in Chattanooga.. in '94..

I've always had good luck sampling momnpopish restuarants, and have found my nose to be very very good at picking out places. I remember travelling with my Dad and Ryan (son), stopping to do laundry, and smelling a little deli-ish nothing fancy looking place next door. The smell was of boiled shrimp in some unique spices. We ate 5+ pounds.. incredible stuff. Consistantly, I have picked good places. But simple rules apply like today at lunch, went with people to the NorthShore Grill for lunch. They ordered chicken sandwiches and burgers. I got a fried oyster po'boy. My rule is: Pick something from the 'House Special' column, not the 'food for people with no imagination' unless that IS the specialty. My sandwich was the best fried oyster sandwich I've had in ages. Yummy. What did you nose say about these places on the way in? What did you eyes tell you about the clientelle, were they regulars? were they discriminatory people? - Yes, I've walked into quite a few restuarants, and walked right back out.. I've been polite about it. A couple of times an owner has asked me why I left, common reasons being: too much cig smoke (poor ventilation), the smell of grease or burned grease, other smells.. unhappy looking customers.

#Comment made: 2003-01-21 13:57:21+00 by: Dan Lyke

I guess what struck me is that I've never had a problem finding good eats before, to have such a low hit ratio, especially on breakfasts (which are really hard to screw up), was extraordinary.