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Sammy's Roumanian, never thought i'd see the day where it would be reviewed in the NYT times again.

A few years ago, my family visited Sammy's, to give my mother an "experience".

Despite my low expectations for the meal, I was very pleasantly surprised and was served some of the tastiest lamb chops I had had in a very long time. I often wish I had asked them the source of that meat.

More important, our mother had a good time, enjoyed the waiter flirting with her and the rest of the schtick.

Sep 24, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

best fancy chocolates

For chococolates, my vote is Kee's. The shop is at 80 Thompson St in Soho.

I recently stopped in after not having been there in probably 10 years. I bought a few for myself just because I was in the neighborhood and afterwards was a bit annoyed because I really shouldn't have.

My opinion changed after eating them. I had forgotten just how good they could be!

I can't imagine anyone not enjoying them or the thought behind such a tasty and beautifully presented (in an understated way) gift.

TIBERIAS NY GREAT PIZZA

Given the truly sad selection of kosher pizza in this town, even if the OP's opinion is somewhat on the mark, that would likely make Tiberias worth trying.

Sep 21, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

Tamales

afaik, just the morning weekday rush.

Sorry I can't be more specific, but I don't pass by there on a regular daily basis.

Sep 14, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

Tamales

Near the subway entrance on the northeast corner of 1st Ave (towards 15th St).

Look for the ladies running the small newspaper stand. Sometimes there is wee sign stating "tamales" by the newspapers. Otherwise you should notice the blue cooler behind them.

Sep 13, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

Tamales

Apologies yo the OP if he/she is looking strictly for retail but I'm also curious if anyone has tried any of the "sidewalk sellers" of tamales?

Not sure if they're still there, but a few I knew of were the:

1. The ladies selling newspapers by the 1st Ave L subway stop (NE corner -mornings only)

2. Outside the Our Lady of Guadalupe church on W14th (btwn 7th & 8th), iirc weekends or maybe only on Sundays?

No doubt there are others. I've always been curious to try them but the timing just never cooperated.

Sep 12, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

Eataly - Rosticceria

I really enjoy Rosticceria's porchetta sandwich, much more so than he one served at Porchetta in the EV.

Often on Thursdays, I wonder if I can think of a reason to be in hat nabe so I have an excuse to pick up their porchetta sandwich.

The sandwich is fresh, and flavorful though I wish they offered it with a small topping of greens.

For the record, Rosticceria does sell greens but only in containers that cost more than I'm willing to spend for dressing a sandwich.

I've also tried their lamb sandwich (Tuesday only). The meat was good but iirc, I felt that the sandwich lacked something that would inspire me to have it again.

Also, once had the other type of pork sandwich they offer but it was a bit dry and very forgettable.

Not a sandwich, but I have always enjoyed the whole chickens Rosticceria sells ( by weight) They are always moist and delicious. Imo, better than a Dickson's and usually cheaper too.

Sep 10, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

Great meal at Jaiya (Thai; 3rd Ave. at 29th St. location) last night

Thanks for the report!

Twenty five years ago, that Jaiya Thai was one my best friend's go to Thai places. Always great to read that a longstanding neighborhood place continues to serve up enjoyable meals.

Sep 10, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

Best Ice Cream in NYC

Gonna go with Amorino.

Not sure whether my guess is based on your prior posting indicating a preference for L'Arte or the results of my own taste test between the two.

In my case, the flavor battle was over Straticella and imo, Amorino was the clear winner.

Sep 09, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

Cheap Lobster

I also like the ease of soft shell lobsters & have been eating my fill these past few weeks as they are also $5.99/lb at Fresh Direct.

These lowere prices reflecting the smaller sizing, & are also pretty typical this time of year. Perhaps it just seems unusual based upon the typically inflated prices retailers in the NYC area can command for lobsters most of the year.

Aug 30, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

ISO a tasty Holstein Schnitzel?

Fried egg on top is the distinguishing characteristic of "a la Holstein" but imo, it's the combination of that perfectly fried egg combined with the anchovies, capers & lemon that make the dish a true taste treat!

Appreciate the suggestions & look forward to checking one out soon!

Aug 29, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

Pastrami - Bringing It Home on the Plane?

If already at Katz's, stop at nearby Russ a& Daughters. Word is that the rye bread baked for their cafe is excellent & iirc can also be bought by the loaf ( maybe in their retail shop). Better yet bring extra ziplocks and also take home some excellent sable or other smoked fishes.

FYI, Hot Bread Kitchen has a stand at the Union Sq Greenmarket on Wednesdays and maybe other days? Best to check the NYC GreenMarket listing. Otherwise, their rye bread should be available at the bakery counter of the Union Sq Whole Foods.

Aug 29, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

ISO a tasty Holstein Schnitzel?

Have you had one at a place you'd recommend?

I've been craving one lately and sadly, my previous go-to spot for that dish, Silver Swan is long gone.

iirc from a Google search a few weeks back, there are a few restaurants in town serving them but I'd really rather try one favored by you.

Appreciate all suggestions?

Aug 28, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

Pastrami - Bringing It Home on the Plane?

Katz's sells pastrami and other meats by the pound at the far end of the counter towards the back, towards the bathrooms. It's the same area where you go to pay by credit cards.

No expert here, but I'd think checked baggage should remain cool enough without ice packs. However, if you could use your hotel fridge to freeze or chill an insulated bag, so much the better. Also remember to bring some ziplock bags to ensure nothing escapes.

Finally, I'd suggest buying your rye bread elsewhere...Orwasher's or Hot Bread Kitchen (also sold at the UnionSq Whole Foods) as imo, the rye used by Katz's is woefully deficient.

No doubt shipping costs suck, but perhaps it's worth reconsidering in light of the schlepping, worrying & prep to ensure your dad enjoys his pastrami?

Safe travels & enjoy your tasty souvenir!

Aug 28, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

Where can I buy authentic Basmati rice?

Replying to myself to add that it seems Food Emporium may not be carrying Tilda anymore?

I was in the Union Sq Food Emporium yesterday & checked for it but didn't see it or even its label on the shelves.

Aug 01, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

Where can I buy authentic Basmati rice?

Trader Joe's brown basmati is good and was my go to brand before finding and switching to imo, the more flavorful Tilda's a Wholegrain (aka brown) Basmati.

Aug 01, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

Where can I buy authentic Basmati rice?

fwiw, Tilda Basmati is also available at Food Emporium or was the last time I searched.

Sadly, my fave (Tilda's Brown Basmati) isn't sold in the US & I have to buy it from shops in Canada or the UK. If you do run across it here please report back!

Jul 31, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

Looking for AMAZING food trucks/stands/carts

My first visit to Jeni's left me wondering what so many folks love about this ice cream? I can't even recall what flavor I had but do know that none offered that day were particularly inspiring.

I was hoping that perhaps my expectations were too high but the fact that your second visit confirmed both our opinions that Jeni's ice cream is unremarkable and overpriced makes me think another try won't make any difference.

Jul 22, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

I found the best organic eggs in manhattan

Appreciate the name & availability update! Thanks

Jul 12, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

I found the best organic eggs in manhattan

Any idea who or what farm is the source of those eggs?

It would be great to see if they can also be bought elsewhere.

Jul 11, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

Fancy Food Show-next week

I last time I went there were several tequila tastings available.

Jun 25, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

Fancy Food Show-next week

Stuffed is putting it mildly!

Just an FYI, be forewarned that the extent of your fullness won't really hit you until you leave & walk outside into what is usually, extremely hot & humid weather. Every year like clockwork, the FF shows falls on days that are scorchers.

No joke, grazing for miles is all well & good in an air conditioned space but your stomach will not be happy once you leave and especially if your next stop is a crowded bus or subway.

Jun 25, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

First Ave Pierogi Deli - Soon to be a Manhattan Memory

I froze a cheese blintz last week and cooked it up yesterday. While not as good as fresh and certainly, not indicitive of a longer deep freeze, the blintz held up better than I would have imagined.

While I used to stick to the blintzes, In an effort to stave off total withdrawal, I also bought some pierogi, both fresh and the ones they sell frozen. I'm curious if I'll notice any difference between the two.

Jun 25, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

First Ave Pierogi Deli - Soon to be a Manhattan Memory

What options remain as a source of fresh blintzes to prepare at home?

Years ago, I once purchased cold blintzes to go at an EV Polish/Ukranian restaurant but can't recall which one. Even if I could recall its name, odds are that place is long gone too.

I will be very sad come early July, that this neighborhood shop will be history. That said, I was pleasantly shocked when the shop actually reopened after sporting a sign that it was "closed for construction" a few years ago.

I wish the owners a very happy retirement but doubt my blintz withdrawal will be easily remedied.

Jun 20, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

Where do you buy ground coffee in Manhattan to brew at home?

Monsoon Malabar is my favorite bean (as noted in an earlier post) so I appreciate the heads up about Porto Rico!

While I still enjoy the MM as well as the house blend from Raging Sage, having a backup is always a good thing.

Jun 15, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

Where can I get zeppoles?

You may be thinking of Led Zeppole, located a few storefronts east of Artichoke. A few years ago, Led Zeppole was replaced by Chubby Mary (Italian hero shop) that may have also served zeppoles.

However, Chubby Mary recently closed.

May 15, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

Tim Tams and other Australian foods in NY?

Holy Land Market on St. Marks (btwn 1st & A) carries Tim Tams.

I know that the movie theatre (Sunshine?) on Houston did sell Tim Tams but I can't confirm that they still do..

Finally, there is an online Australian food site located in Arkansas that ships To NYC.

Apr 30, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

Black Hound Closing

The most memorable & beautiful birthday cake I ever received was made by Black Hound.

The top was decorated with fresh flowers. That was back when the shop was located on First Ave. & sadly they stopped offering those years ago.

I always enjoyed the variety of small cakes, especially their carrot, which was spicier than the typically bland offerings of other bakeries. BH also offers a tasty selection of savories

I do hope they reopen elsewhere. While I don't eat desserts much these days, I appreciate the niche they fill.

Mar 08, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

Where do you buy ground coffee in Manhattan to brew at home?

Blue Bottle in Brooklyn emphatically refused to grind beans on principle, despite my reasoned request.

fwiw, if you like a rich/bold coffee order up some Monsoon Malabar from Raging a Sage Coffee Roasters (Tucson, AZ) and yes they do grind beans upon request.

Mar 03, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

Trying to recall name of barbecue place where you buy "shares" to use later

Yes. There are periodic opportunities to pre-order brisket. Best bet is to get on the email list & watch for an announcement.

That said, buying too much brisket may impede your ability to enjoy the pork ribs or other meats & sides offered.

Dec 25, 2013
was_bk in Manhattan