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Best hot dog in Manhattan is @ Harry & Ida's

Stopped in yesterday for the 1st time just for a quick peek. Just had lunch so I didn't order anything but was very happy with Harry & Idas.

Chatted with owner (Will?) & learned he makes the jam they sell. Turns out the jar labeled "strawberry" was really "strawberry lavender". When I expressed my reticence, he offered me a taste and while it was nice, I still prefer my strawberry to be unadulterated.

He said next up will be some type of blueberry jam as he had just bought some flats from Phillips that morning.

Then he offered up a taste of the pastrami, that was fresh, hand cut thick and juicy. It was damn good and I may return tomorrow to buy a 1/4 lb.

Would love to try the smoked eel but that wasn't yet ready as the previous batch had sold out.

Good food, nice folks and an interestingly stocked shop open 7 days a week. A very welcome addition to the nabe!

Jun 20, 2015
was_bk in Manhattan

Cheap Lobster

IME, it's a little early in the season for cheaper lobsters.

Despite the above-cited recent article reporting on price hikes, there was a source quoted that did predict prices should come down later this summer. Also, if you noticed the low prices cited by the OP,were from late August.

Fwiw, another recent data point...a few weeks ago Fresh Direct was selling small (up to 1.25 lbs) lobsters for @$7.99, or maybe $8.99/lb.

Jun 17, 2015
was_bk in Manhattan

Good source for bones for Bone Broth

Fresh Direct sells beef bones starting at $4.99/lb but their grass fed are currently $7.99/lb. However, FD often has beef bones on sale. FD also sells pork bones @$0.99/lb and lamb bones @$2.99/lb.

Dicksons at Chelsea Market usually has beef bones, iirc @$4.99/lb but that can always be discounted @30% with their readily available Groupon or Amazon Local deal. They may have other bones?

On a related note, Dicksons sells a " beef" broth made with beef, pork and turkey bones. Curious if anyone has tried it and can share any thoughts?

Jun 11, 2015
was_bk in Manhattan

What gets sold out fast at Union Square Greenmarket?

Echoing what others have said, cleaned squid is very often sold out by noon -1PM.

Tristar strawberries are more often than not sold out no matter the day or time.

May 10, 2015
was_bk in Manhattan

best chicken soup

Does 2nd Ave charge extra for separately packing the matzo ball?

iirc, Sarges charges a few dollars more to do that.

May 01, 2015
was_bk in Manhattan

best chicken soup

Never had Katz's soup but here's my take fwiw,

Dill is most prominent in 2nd Ave Deli's excellent but pricey soup. The matzo balls are about as good as they get. Delivery via Seamless, delivery.com & iirc, Caviar.

Sarge's gets my vote for best all around chicken soup.

Offered plain, or with noodles or matzoh ball or my favorite kreplach!

Of course you can get multiple addins by ordering their Souper Soup.

Prices are a lower than 2nd Ave & delivery is prompt. FYI, looks like the $1.50 delivery fee has been dropped by Seamless but not delivery.com

Also, you often get several slices of bread (usually rye, sometimes challah) & a few saltines in the bag.

That said, gotta go with Brodo for the very best chicken broth. I prefer their Hearth broth that is a combo of chicken, turkey & beef.

Brodo also serves a chickarina soup with chicken meatballs but I can't comment as I've nevervtried it.

May 01, 2015
was_bk in Manhattan

Suggestions Needed

Just an FYI, the 1st Ave Ess-a-Bagel closed up shop back in late March.

They are supposedly going to reopen somewhere in same neighborhood but afaik, no updates on a new location have been confirmed.

However, their midtown location is still open for business.

Apr 30, 2015
was_bk in Manhattan

Pat La Frieda vs NYC steak houses

Don't judge Peter Luger's steak by what you ate in their restaurant!

I never really cared for my meals there, usually the porterhouse. It's been too long since my last visit to recall specifically what about the meat or preparation didn't work for me.

That said, I've had the opportunity to eat that same porterhouse cooked at a home, prepared in a cast iron pan, as mentioned below. The flavor and quality blew me away and is probably one of the best steaks I've ever eaten.

Peter Luger sells both their porterhouse and strip steaks. They ship the steaks fresh, not frozen. Given that their website only mentions shipping, I've always wondered & meant to call to ask if arrangements could be made to pick them up locally?


Mar 27, 2015
was_bk in Manhattan

good bluefish in nyc

Luckily, I'm pretty sure the OP's trip is smack dab during bluefish season.

A possibility to keep in mind would be a restaurant attached to a fish store?

Somewhere like Cull & Pistol or Wild Edibles? I've not eaten at either place but perhaps even if bluefish isn't on the menu, they might accommodate a request for such a simple preparation?

Mar 27, 2015
was_bk in Manhattan

Los Angeles family staying Midtown East between Christmas and NYE, please advise...

Another vote for Kee's Chocolates, a very short walk from Laduree.

For chocolates that have a more kid-centric feel, I see a lot of recs to take kids to Max Brenner? Check out some of the many kid-centric threads.

Back to Soho, also close to Kee's is Pi Bakerie, that serves up some excellent Greek pastries. iirc, they also have some savory dishes & may make for a nice, quick lunch stop.

If food halls are on the agenda, try Essex St Market. Definitely has history & a different vibe than Chelsea Market or the Plaza. Nordic Preserves for smoked fish sandwiches and Saxelby Cheese seem to get top raves.

Dec 18, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

Help with restaurant name, PLEASE

That location does closely describe Little Poland located on the east side of the street. (200 Second Ave).

Teresa's was similarly located but on 1st Ave. (no. 203)

fwiw, Kiev was on the west side of 2nd Ave.

Christine's & Polonia were further down 1st Ave

Dec 17, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

Where to Buy whole pre cooked brisket in New York

Replying to myself to let you know that Delaney's recently announced their Christmas offerings that can be found at


Turns out they also offer delivery to Manhattan

Dec 05, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

Where to Buy whole pre cooked brisket in New York

Another idea in the bbq brisket vein, Delaney's BBQ aka Brisket a Town usually sells whole cooked briskets to take home around the holidays. Their Manhattan outpost is closed for the winter but they're just a short hop into Brooklyn.

Here's what they offered at Thanksgiving.


Dec 03, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

Don't shoot me... looking for red-sauce Italian and "NY Chinese"

Second on the John's of 12th St. For old school red sauce Italian. The candles alone are worth a visit.

Check out this trailer of a recent documentary on John's, not so much for its content but rather to get some nice glimpses of the restaurant's interior and see if it fits your bill.


Dec 03, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

Great bars/restaurants for winter/Christmas?

For a good burger & pint by a real fireplace, try Molly's Shebeen (on 3rd @21st St) though iirc they keep the seasonal decor to a minimum.

Haven't been, but I suspect you could overload on seasonal decor at "Miracle on 9th St", a Christmas pop up bar that recently opened in the EV


Dec 03, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

used cookbooks and Sichuan in chinatown

Reports are that Bonnie Slotnick has found a new home for her cookbooks, in the EV


Nov 26, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

What do New Yorker's think about Dean & DeLuca and other expensive gourmet shops?


I usually stop by Eataly when in that area, especially if it's a Thursday or Sunday when Rosticceria is selling their porchetta sandwiches. Alternatively, I might also be be persuaded to pick up one of their roasted chickens.

While Eataly's Rosticceria chicken is very tasty, it's certainly not inexpensive. Knowing myself, if Costco were right next door, I'd likely opt for that lesser quality, yet more affordable chicken.

However, knowing how much wasted time, sitting in traffic, a bus takes to get up & back from E Harlem I'm usually willing to pay the 2/3 premium Rosticceria charges.

On a side note, I recently visited the Chicago version of Eataly and if ours was easy to maneuver around, even with crowds, as theirs, I'd probably visit the one here more often.

Nov 24, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

What do New Yorker's think about Dean & DeLuca and other expensive gourmet shops?

As everywhere, it just depends upon what you purchase.

On my, admittedly infrequent, trips to Dean & Deluca I rarely spend more than $10.00.

Better yet, with that $10, I'm able to purchase certain brands and specific items (pasta, french butter, tortillas, preserves, teas, etc) that few, if any other NYC retailers carry. I appreciate that diversity and wish more "high end food retailers" would curate their product selection as well.

On a similar note, I found a much smaller, but similarly diversified product selection at the (now closed) Gotham West outpost of Bklyn Larder.

Given that I rarely need those particular items, I appreciate the hordes of tourists supporting D&D and the like, so that it can remain in business and will still be there the next time I want to buy something only they carry.

Nov 24, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

Eating our faces off, any suggestions?

For some delicious sweets to eat then or take home, you can't go wrong with the baklava or galaktoboureko from Pi bakeri (Broome St) or maybe a stop at Kee's (Thompson St) for a creme brulee truffle or other very tasty chocolates.

Nov 21, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

Where can I still find great "dairy" babka, rugelach, and cheese danish?

Breads on E16th near Union Square makes some damn fine babka, especially their chocolate version.

Wish I could help you on the rugelach front but I've yet to find a respectable replacement for Rigo Hungarian pastry, that served up the best rugelach I've ever had.

Same for the cheese pockets that were served up warm from the oven by (the now long gone) Cafe Geiger.

Nov 21, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

SOUP for Thanksgiving

Since, the cited posted thread focuses on the sipping broths, the OP should note that Brodo also has traditional soup on their menu in addition to the selection of sipping broths with add-ins.

iirc, the soups are a ribollata or chickarina. Not sure if that ever changes?

I haven't tasted either soup but given the basic broths are excellent I'd imagine so are the soups.

fwiw, I'd opt for the Hearth broth which has a definite turkey flavor and would be a perfect choice for Thanksgiving.

Nov 16, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

More and more Whole chickens/turkeys coming WITHOUT giblets?

The majority of whole chickens I've bought lately from the Whole Foods USQ have come without giblets.

I've bought both Bell & Evans and WF store brand but can't recall if the missing giblets were limited to a specific brand.

Nov 09, 2014
was_bk in General Topics

Coffee House Lower Upper East Side

deleted post

Nov 09, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan


Given that Brodo was asked about in another thread ("God is my co-protein") I thought I'd chime in my first impressions.

Happened to walk by on its 2nd day (11/4) and joined the little crowd outside the window. Marco Canora was perched at the open window chatting with anyone who stopped and was offering tastes of all 3 sipping broths.

All 3 were excellent.

Usually, I'm a chicken soup kinda gal so I wasn't surprised to like it. That said, I really enjoyed the lingering turkey flavor in the "Hearth" (chicken, turkey & beef) broth.

The beef broth deserves 2 FYIs:

1. the version, sold to be sipped in cups, is really a beef with ginger broth. Despite not really being a ginger lover, I thought the ginger essence was subtle and didn't overpower the beef flavor.

2. the version, sold in jars to take home, is NOT flavored with ginger, NOR salt. After handing me the jar of beef I bought to take home and make soup with, he kindly reminded me again that it has no salt and to be sure I adjust my recipe accordingly.

I've yet to make that beef goulash soup but am happy to be starting with a really flavorful base rather than the typical grocery store broth options.

Gotta say, I was skeptical when I first read about a standalone "sipping broth" place but it was really enjoyable! More so, it's a nice break from the typical tea or coffee drink offerings.

Looking forward to reading other opinions, especially about the soups that I didn't get a chance to try.


Nov 07, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

Know anything about Jacques Brasserie 200 block of E. 85th St.?

I haven't been there in several years but back in the day they had a good & reasonably priced moule frites special.

Oct 28, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

Anyone been to the new Westside Market on 3rd Avenue?

It's large, clean & has a lot of stock. The selection is broad albeit somewhat typical. I don't recall seeing any item that isn't readily available elsewhere in the EV/USQ area.

Prices also seemed on par with the area but produce on special would be a savings. Bottom line is that imo, it's a great addition but not worth making a special trip for.

Oct 26, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

Help me plan a one-day food adventure through East and West Village

Breads had cinnamon babka when I stopped in a few weeks ago.

Oct 13, 2014
was_bk in Manhattan

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.


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