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NYC Advice needed...

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by BadgerBeer, Dec 1, 2006.

  1. BadgerBeer

    BadgerBeer Well-Known Member

    I will be visiting NYC for the first time Sat. My wife and I are bringing my mom to the big city. I am looking for any must see spots. I know of the big ones but am looking for some little known secrets, if you will. Especially food. Best pizza? Good steak (not an arm and a leg place)? Maybe a great burger? Also a place to watch the Packer/Jets game Sunday. I am staying near Times Square. Any help would be appreciated.
  2. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    Paging IJAG.

    IJAG, please pick up the yellow courtesy phone.
  3. kleeda

    kleeda Active Member

    It will cost some money, but I can't say enough about Peter Luger Steak House. When I'm traveling, I eat steak, ad this place serves the best one I've had. Oh, bring cash. No plastic.

  4. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    If you want the quintessential NY slice, go to Famous Ray's on 11th Street and 6th Ave. It's the original that all of the other Ray's around the city stole their name from. There's about a pound of cheese on each slice, so it ain't the healthiest stuff around, but this is the place people overseas send long-distance orders to. If you want more of a sitdown place pizza place, John's isn't nearly as good as it once once, but there is one relatively near Times Square. I think it is 44th b/w broadway and 8th, and it is still pretty good. More of a thin crust, brickoven type of pizza. The one near Times Square is in a pretty cool space--it is an old church, with high ceilings. Make sure to get the house salad bowl with the pizza. It's really good.

    I'm a vegetarian, so I am not the right person for steakhouses, but one place with a good rep is Sparks Steakhouse (cross town, 46th b/w 2nd and 3rd). It's where Paul Castelano got gunned down. Peter Lugar's in Brooklyn, just on the other side of the Williamsburg Bridge is old school--no menus, you sit, order steak for two, potatos, spinach, etc. You'll have to catch a cab. Again, not cheap, but considered one of the best steaks around. I'd call ahead. Reservations likely needed.

    I never do the football in the bar thing, so again, I may not have the best advice, but a good sports bar that isn't too ESPN Zone like, is Proof, Third Ave. b/w 19th and 20th. Just a comfortable, lounge, type place with lots of TVs. I'd avoid the ESPN restaurant in Times Square if you can. If you want a more tradional Sports Bar, Blondies on the Upper West Side (79th b/w Broadway and Amserdam) is a good shot. You can get the wings and beer and all the sports bar stuff. One of the owners is a former Playboy Bunny, for what it's worth.
  5. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Really, for people from 90 percent of the country, you could pick just about any NYC pizza joint, even at the bus station, and it would qualify as the best they've ever had. I'll agree with a previous poster's recommendation of John's, but I would choose the one on Bleeker Street in Greenwich Village. It's just a weird, cool neighborhood with lots of interesting shops nearby. One thing to understand is that at the better pizza places like John's, you cannot buy by the slice, you have to buy a whole pie, do not even ask for a slice.

    I'd recommend P.J. Clarke's for a burger:


    I'd recommend against steak. You can get a good steak in most decent-size cities; you'll just pay a whole lot more for a hunk of dead cow in NYC. And at the top steakhouses, it's all a la carte. So, it's like, you know, $35 for the hunk of cow, $10 for a baked potato, $8 for a veggie. And you can get steak anywhere. You're in Manhattan, why not try for something esoteric? When I lived in Manhattan a million years ago I knew a waiter at Smith & Wollensky. He said if it weren't for people on expense accounts, no way restaurants like that would exist. They are not for normal people.

    Stay away from most restaurants in the Theater District. Overpriced. The lone exception that I'd recommend is Virgil's Real BBQ, which is not bad if you've never had the real thing in the South. And it's reasonably priced considering the location. Although for NYC faux Southern BBQ, I would recommend Brother Jimmy's on Second Avenue in the 70s. I don't know about NFL games, but if there are any ACC hoops on TV, that's what they'll be watching there. I really like the ribs. It's not like Carolina 'cue, really. The ribs are meatier and chewier. But still very good.


    If you want something classier that isn't ridiculously expensive and that women tend to enjoy, try Sarabeth's on Madison at 92nd. It's a really nice neighborhood, the food is good and is inventive without being bizarre. I can vouch only for that location, have not tried any others. I usually have wound up with something like lobster risotto.


    You could try Chinatown/Little Italy, but to be honest with you, I've always been so grossed out by some of the sights and smells on the always-filthy streets that I never really enjoyed any meals no matter how clean the restaurant looked inside.

    I would consult New York Magazine's reliable capsules:

  6. BadgerBeer

    BadgerBeer Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the help everyone. It is very much appreciated.
  7. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    You want Peter Luger's type steak . . . go to Wolfgang's. Same thing. Two locations in Manhattan.
    Downtown's less crowded. Go late (after 9) and your chance of a bad wait is lessened.
    Best restaurant key lime pie I've ever had.

    Borderline arm-and-leg, but pain is lessened if you stay away from the wine list.
  8. hockeybeat

    hockeybeat Guest

    O'Lunney's Pub on 45th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues.
  9. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

  10. OTD

    OTD Well-Known Member

    Man, I remember that place from my first adult trip to NY, about a millon years ago. It seemed like a pretty cool bar back then.
  11. Jones

    Jones Active Member

    I'll second P.J. Clarke's: A cheeseburger, sides of onion strings and creamed spinach, and a pint of the best Guinness outside Ireland. Awesome.
  12. grrlhack

    grrlhack Member

    Definitely head down to the Village and walk around. If you like the sometimes odd and bizarre and you're not going to run screaming if you see an actual gay person, it's a fun place. It may be just major touristy, but I always liked getting hotdogs at Gray's Papaya in the Village.
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