Mike R.'s Profile

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bagel recs

Same ole, same hole...Sorry, AmyMintzer, but you probably have never ventured outside your local bagelsphere, unlike the adventuresome OP!

That said, I'll reveal a little sleeper bagel cell deep in the heart of Borough Park..."Bagels & More"...ssssshhhhhh don't tell anybody you're going, but feel free to report back with your (OMG, now THAT is a bagel!) findings. No cinnamon raisin, no blueberry.

14th Avenue around 43rd Street. Closed Shabbos.

1 day ago
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Nargis Cafe - Uzbek With an Attitude

Five straight trips, five straight great meals on my side...and consistent no matter the hour. I'd be shocked if your first was anything less. The outdoor tables rock on a nice day. Weekend waiting times can be DiFara-esque.

Sep 15, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Nargis Cafe - Uzbek With an Attitude

Allow me to add two additional outstanding dishes...the Avocado Salad, a heaping wonderland of tomato, dill, and other delights, held together by the smoothly integrated alligator pear. And do not leave without an order of meaty chuchvara, another dumpling dish in sufficient quantity for three or four.

Nargis gives fair value and tosses the "small plates" concept to the trash bin. But can someone explain the 10% charge tacked onto your check before you compute the tip?

Sep 15, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Outer Borough Memories

Ebinger's...all over the place...loved the honey buns from the one on Church Avenue near East 19th Street / Brighton Line station.
Hamburger Host - On Flatbush Avenue near Beverly Road...they grilled 'em in the window and the smoke wafted onto the street - a burger for the ages!

Aug 27, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Outer Borough Memories

Hershey's KnishShop under the West End Line 50th St. station...way-way back!
Nino's Pizza and their heros, incomparable spinach and escarole pies - corner of Union & Henry Sts.
N. E.Tell's Bakery - REAL prune danish and ruggelach - Church Avenue...near the long-shuttered Scarola's and Edna's Delicatessen...and Saul's Appetizing store.
Royal Crown Bakery on 14th Av. & 65th St.- at its peak.
BoBowl - A rinkydink Chinese takeout joint on Queens Blvd. and 65th Avenue, down the street from JayDee Bakery.
...and so many more.

Aug 25, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Generous portions, cheap prices, good food--is it possible in NYC anymore?

Mooncake is an absolute gem. Splurge a little bit and go above $15...start with peashoot leaf dumplings, move on to a main/salad with grilled chicken, buckwheat/soba noodles and two delicious sauces. Wash it all down with a $2.50 pint of icecold Sapporo on draft. That's living. Split the app and salad, add another beer and you're at or below your price point.

I know you're soured on buffets, but heck they are a bargain. There are more than a handful of Chinese/Malaysian steam table joints featuring 5 items on top of rice for $5 (or in Brooklyn Chinatown, the Red Apple on 8th Avenue and 48th Street - 4 for $4.50, including a pint of tofu soup). You will be full. You will have change left. You can linger as long as you like. You may even come back. Turn the corner on 48th and have a $1 worth of pork/leek dumplings for dessert.

Gia Lam Vietnamese (across 8th Avenue from Red Apple) has full table service, excellent spring rolls and grilled pork chops, filling rice plates (squid w. lemongrass is the fave) and you'll certainly get bang for the buck.

I'm with you...looking for value and NOT "small plates"!

Jul 30, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Canadians Visiting Bedford-Stuyvesant

I see you went to none of them.

Jul 25, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Lebanon bologna?

Great stuff.

My next trip to Palmyra, PA I'm going to stock up. There's a gigantic thrift shop just off Main Street with a Lebanon Bologna factory store attached...Heaven on earth!

Jul 25, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Canadians Visiting Bedford-Stuyvesant

Fulton Street has evolved and you'll have no problem strolling up and down looking for local, authentic eats.

A & A Bake and Doubles...on Nostrand just north of Fulton...excellent Trinidad treat shop. Saltfish, chana, aloo pie...all good, especially the doubles...and won't bust your budget.

Ali's Roti - on Fulton from Nostrand going towards Bedford...try the curry goat buss-up-shut roti.

EMILY Pizza - Terrific newish wood-oven pie place with supremely fresh ingredients. Salads excel and good tight tap beer selection. Try a "Q" pie with added housemade sausage...picture-perfect.

Also nearby...Saraghina's, Peaches Fried Chicken, Alice's Arbor (best mussels in gingery lemongrass broth) at happy hour.

Jul 03, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Brooklyn or Queens pizza joints

"Joe's of Avenue U"... just west of the "F" train near McDonald Avenue. Your Sicilian faves, outstanding Pulpo salad, greasy-great potato croquettes and a nightshade fantasyland what with all the tomato, pepper and eggplant variations. Freshest ricotta in town for the sandwich "specials"...including panelle.

Not full? Stroll over to Ciccio's Pizza for a sesame-crusted NY slice...On "U" by West 5th Street.

Jun 09, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Di Fara Pizza HORRIBLE

Toss one of Dom's masterly creations???...Could cause a serious case of dumpster-diving. Ask anyone who's waited an hour or more and they will gleefully eat the burnt pie you wouldn't.

Jun 05, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Where is the BEST Grandma Pie?

Yessir, that's a LoDuca's grandma pie and is recognized by pizza aficianados as one of the finest renditions.

Pepino's in Woodside even better if made the same as it was 8 years ago.

May 20, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Does anyone know where to find...

Haha!...Soemone brought a bottle of it to me a couple years ago...and I still have it!

Of course, I couldn't be sure how well it's "bottle-aged", but my alternate recommendation would be the Thrifty Beverage Center on Court Street and Kane in Cobble Hill across from the movie theatre and Chocolate Room. They have an outstanding selection from England/Scotland.

Let us know if your search is successful.

Apr 30, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

best white pie in ny other than louie & ernie's?

This thread revival caused me to remember my latest white pie slice...at...of all places...NEW PARK in Howard Beach!

A truly masterful rendition and a pleasant surprise at that. On the day we popped in, the white eclipsed their traditional red.

Apr 21, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

27 foods you can find in Tulsa but NOT New York. Am I wrong?

No more Schlitz in da Bronx...What a cool place it 'twas.

I was just reading about he General Slocum disaster today. Decimated the German Lower East Side community...many remaining moved uptown to Yorkville and opened up the Bavarian Inn, Heidelberg, Ideal Lunch & Bar, Lorelei, Kleine Konditorei, Elk Candy Marzipan and so many other historic places on East 86th Street. Aside from Schaller & Weber and Heidelberg, all gone.

Apr 19, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Bed-Stuy Fish Fry, now in Downtown Brooklyn too

It's a winner.

Gotta love those crunchy edges of their mac 'n' cheese trays. It was utterly painful watching a counterman scrape away the perimeter of burnished ends and toss it in the trash!

Smokey collard greens and other sides also nicely done.

Apr 18, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Shelsky's smoked fish - home made matzoh?

$20 a box for half a pound is not cardboard, it's way overboard.

Get the fullest experience and a choice of numerous "shmura" matzohs from Williamsburg or Kensington/Boro Park or Lakewood or even Russia at one of the huge kosher stores near 39th Street. Gonna be crowded.

Should run no more than $25 for the FULL pound. You can also score boxes of broken or burnt cakes for less. One bakery worth going to is Shatzer's on Cortelyou between East 2nd & 3rd Sts. "F" train to Ditmas or last stop on the B67 or B69.

Apr 12, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Chengdu Heaven still great?

Do not leave without ordering Chengdu's mapo dofu...sent me straight to eternity on my last Golden Mall adventure...will return to earth soon.

Tea-smoked duck also on the greatest hits list.

Apr 12, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Flushing Dim Sum: Menus instead of carts

Can think of a few selections at every dim sum parlor where shellfish wouldn't pose an issue...rice noodles with meat (?beef?), char siu bao, sesame balls with bean paste center, beef balls, small plates of sauteed green vegetables.

Try to avoid the added sprinkled-over sauces.

Mar 26, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Question about Chocolate Room

Fifth Avenue / Park Slope is moving to a different location. Likely still under construction.

Go with Court Street.

Mar 19, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

St. Patrick's Day fare Park Slope any suggestions?

I would think a bar on Fifth Avenue between 12th & 16th would have it...Freddy's, Sidecar, Commonwealth maybe even Prospect.

Or Sharlene's on Flatbush?...gotta be someplace adding a couple of corned beef & cabbage trays for the revelers.

Mar 16, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

The route of the lechon in Puerto Rico

Whatever you do, at whichever lechonera, just point to the head and ask for some "cachetas" (cheeks).

Drove the road a couple years back, stopped at BRUNY'S late afternoon. Was I glad to see their 60-lb. pig had nothing but the head and shoulders left. Hit it with their homemade spicy sauce and try a few side dishes, a piece of morcilla and the succulent turkey.

roast duck, dumplings, and sauerkraut.

Yorkville Packing House had a devastating fire and never returned. The Hungarian Goulash mural remains on the East 81st Street side wall, but it's a Chirping Chicken now.

Schaller & Weber and the Heidelberg on 85th & 2nd...Andre's Hungarian Bakery...across the street...that's all folks.

Mar 10, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Brunch/Beer Before/After Brooklyn Brewery

Hardened veteran of BL...the place has such a great vibe and selection and the staff knows its suds. Even more special when their backyard patio is open for warm-weather imbibing.

Get on their weekly e-mail list.

Mar 02, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Just moved to Bay Ridge - looking for advice (restaurants, provisions, etc)

Is there any love for the Indian restaurants along 3rd Avenue?

Feb 08, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

All inclusive family vacation

Check the specs and reviews of Paradisus Punta Cana Resort...which seems to fit your criteria nicely.

I was there in December and there's sufficient variety for all ages, especially food. Two buffet centers, six or seven upper scale restaurants included with basic package. Everything was freshly prepared with lots of tropical fruit and vegan choices. The staff is attentive.

After the nightly shows, the bars stay open and there's a side buffet station - with lobster.

Tasty new Mexican restaurant in Kensington

Ditto on Wheated.

A far as Tacos El Catrin goes, a single diner is at a disadvantage in one sense...the three-to-an-order (single skins) taco plate for $7 can be only a singular variety of taco. I really wanted to sample their lengua, mushroom and al pastor but could not. Perhaps they could bend this rule when not too busy.

That said, flavors, especially their salsas, crispy-salty chips and complex guacamole were distinctive and authentic. Mexican-owned and operated, cool decor which will get even better.

Jan 26, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Punta Cana recommendations?

Dangerous?...It can be viewed as such if you are unfamiliar with the DR's laws and customs. If you are city folks, Punta Cana / Bavaro has all the trappings of a city, including tourist traps and souvenir shops AND typical places where real folks eat lunches and dinners.

We spent a pleasant afternoon in Higuey, the closest off-resort city. It was an adventure, to be sure, requiring a taxi to the intercity bus station, but for $3 per person each way, it was a fun ride and down to earth as far as seeing the countryside, quite colorful. Yes, the cab rides can be dear IF you don't negotiate them. On the return trip from Higuey, the bus makes stops in front of nearly every hotel.

I would exercise some caution in town walking thru the bustling marketplace area. As we discovered, having a companion with language command works best.

Higuey has the wonderfully unique Basilica and a pastel-hued Dominican Restaurante ("Aqui Me Quedo") directly across the main road with great fish and native comidas. Priced fair.

Back in Bavaro/Punta Cana Beach, we had a beautifully prepared fish dinner at "El Capitan Cooke", by the beachfront. The hosts were super-accomodating and sent some extra appetizers to the table. Whole fish and native lobsters their specialty. Credit cards accepted.

Puerto Rico Report

Loved El Fogon de la Cuerva...and its wonderful owners!
Excellent native "comidas latinas"...including a special, broth-y mofongo. The meats were also superb.

South & West Puerto Rico - Latest & Greatest

Meal-planning for upcoming family vacation in Ponce/Guanica area next month.

We are looking for good native home cooking, coffee and dessert places and a couple of classier seafood restaurants.

Already know about the King's Creamery in downtown Ponce and have been to Villa Parguera restaurant in the past. Still good I hope.

Can travel about half-hour each way if needed...and willing to try quality off-the-beaten path.

Muchas gracias.