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billyboy's Profile

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Looking for some things unique to New York

Wow JoCLy52! I didn't think anyone else knew about Nora's Candy Shop in Rome, NY!! I grew up there for my first 26 years and send them as gifts at the holidays. Always have one from the gift jar that Santa brings Christmas morning! People in the city don't know what to say when I tell them I have turkey joints. They think I'm dealing some kind of new fangled drug!

Apr 28, 2011
billyboy in Manhattan

Looking for good protein (chicken) in Manhattan

I just took up running last December and try to get out 3-4 times a week to train for various races. After each run, my body is craving some protein and I love chicken (roasted or grilled). Where could I find a good place for chicken (not fried) near Central Park or on the way down to the Seaport where I live? I'm hoping to find a place where I can get a half roasted chicken or a good grilled chicken sandwich.

Preferably a place where I can take it to go home as I'll still be in sweaty gear and not really looking to sit down at a restaurant. I would usually be looking for something around 8-9pm weeknights or anytime on the weekends. I've been to East Side Poultry and not too crazy about it as I found the chicken to be dry. Thanks!

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East Side Poultry
1522 1st Ave, New York, NY 10021

Jul 15, 2010
billyboy in Manhattan

Best "Old New York" Restaurants (stuck in the past)

I think that Fraunces Tavern stopped serving food recently and is now just a bar.

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Fraunces Tavern
54 Pearl Street, New York, NY 10004

Apr 23, 2010
billyboy in Manhattan

Rub BBQ

I like it a lot. I haven't tried all of the things on the menu. The meats can tend to be a bit dry from time to time. I do like the smoked ham, and chicken. The brisket and pulled pork is hit and miss for me. Love the Burnt Ends. I've had them about 1/2 dozen times and have been great every single time. That said, they are very fatty, but it does melt away when you eat it. Think of a tender, fatty pot roast with a really dark crust on the outside and a ton of smoke in each bite. They aren't really "burnt", they just look like it and are more caramelized I would say. The BBQ beans with burnt ends in them are my favorite side dish. Very peppery, smoky and spicy. I have friends who love and those who hate these beans. The potato salad is good, nice balance of mustard/mayo. Onion straws are greasy, salty and an unholy mess. Enjoy them, but not too often. They do make some very tasty burgers on Mondays only.

Apr 23, 2010
billyboy in Manhattan

Best Chili in TOWN!!!

Check out the chili at Daisy May's Bar-B-Q on 11th Ave and 45th Street (I believe) or their street cart on 50th Street between 6th and 7th Aves. Call the restaurant first to find out if the cart is out the same day you want to go. They are usually open 11am to 3pm but they do sell out of items towards the end of the day. No tomatoes, grround beef or beans in this chili. Chunks of beef in a thick, rich and spicy concoction of chiles and spices. I've had it maybe half a dozen times and I love it more each time.

Nov 11, 2009
billyboy in Manhattan

Egg Cream Round-up

Guttergourmet, so glad to see this thread here as I am working on a chocolate egg cream tour of NYC myself. I've hit every one on your list except Veselka and HB Burger. I thought Gem Spa was the best of the lot and nailed the balance of flavors and white foamy head. I don't think they used any kind of pressurized seltzer bottle or jerk and it's served in a paper cup.
I've also been to Roxy Coffee Shop on John St, Cozy Soup-N-Burger on Broadway near 8th St., Stage Restaurant (across from Gem Spa), Bubby's in Tribeca, and the Lexington Candy Shop (on Lex. & 83rd). LCS was the best one of these and they have an old worn counter where you can sit, a pump for the three pumps of syrup and the soda fountain where the woman who made mine pushed and pulled on it to get the seltzer and foamy head just right. The service was great too. Where is HB Burger?

Does Economy Candy stock the U-Bet with sugar year round? They always have bottles on hand, but I never looked that closely at the labels.

Aug 14, 2009
billyboy in Manhattan

Dinosaur Hype

I've walked there during the day, at night, in a rainstorm (yeah, I just HAD to have it right then!). I've never had any problems. Now, I wouldn't go pulling the money out of your wallet and count it as you walk there or talk loudly about how much money you have on you for dinner (yes, I know a few people in the city who have done this!) When you get to 12th Ave, you'll start to smell the smoke. How many of you are going to dinner? I ask beacuse they are almost always busy and usually want you to make reservations a week ijn advance if you want a table. You can certainly sit at the bar or the highboys if no tables are available, but callig ahead is really the best way to go.

Here is a review I did of Dinosaur:

http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Review/2755-4167/dinosaur-bar-b-que

and a recent trip there:

http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/My-new...
(This one trip really sums up much of my feelings towards the Dinosaur) - FYI, I am biased as I grew up not far from the original in Syracuse, so my love for it runs deep!

Jul 31, 2009
billyboy in Manhattan

Tim Hortons

I went to the Tim Horton's on 34th Street near 7th Avenue a few days ago (next door to the Old Navy store). Had a honey dip and a glazed chocolate cake donut. The honey dip was good. Reminded me of the fried dough I'd eat at fairs as a kid, just not quite as good. The chocolate cake donut was a huge letdown. No crispy crust on the outside and the texture of the inside was almost...pasty. One of the most disappointing donuts I've eaten in a long time. I didn't exactly set the bar very high as the people working there aren't the owners as you would find in an independent shop. When the owner is working onsite, the attention to detail is almost always better. Think I'll stick to the Donut Pub on 14th Street and the Doughnut Plant on Grand Street.

Jul 31, 2009
billyboy in Manhattan

Corner Bistro burger

I went to the Corner Bistro once last year around Thanksgiving, I think. It was a Friday around 5:30pm, no line to get in and I was seated right away. I chose the one smallish table between the bar and dining room that was right across from where the burgers come out. I got a cheeseburger and fries. I really thought it was a great burger! I brought my camera with me to post about it on another site, so I spent some time analyzing it, cutting it in half and getting all of my shots. When I cut it in half, a fair amount of juice squirted out. I thought that it had a good beefy flavor and the tomato, raw onion and lettuce were of good quality. The fries however, were nothing to write home about. Shoestring, I guess, simiar to McDonalds in shape and size. The had a bit of "fryer grease" flavor to them that was unappealing. Now Jim Leff speaks of the "evil twin" syndrome and maybe I had the good one that night. One visit certainly isn't definitive by any measure, but I'll definitely be back.

Jul 31, 2009
billyboy in Manhattan

Bacon, Egg, and Cheese?

Have you tried the fried egg, bacon, gorgonzola and frisee sandwich on ciabatta bread at 'wichcraft? Amazing! A bit pricey and an occasional indulgence for me, but wicked good! Here is the review I did:
http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Re...

There is also a really good street cart on Water Street about 2-3 blocks south of the South Street Seaport on the east side of the street. They are there Mon-Fri and I think they are open from 7 am to 10 am. Fairly new cart and really good breakfast sandwiches. I usualy get a egg, ham and swiss with pepper and ketchup. The roll is pretty fresh and the ham is pretty thick.

Jul 02, 2009
billyboy in Manhattan

Pappa Perrone's Truck

Is there a website or posted hours for the truck? Is he always at the same corner? Weekdays only?

Jul 02, 2009
billyboy in Manhattan

Best Steak and Cheese?

Your friend coming to Boston, is she expecting to try a "steak and cheese" or a "cheesesteak"? Many people use the terms interchangeably, but they are two different things. I always thought of steak and cheese subs as having lettuce, tomato, onion and maybe mayo in Boston, whereas the cheesesteak is meat, cheese (whiz, america or provolone) and sauteed onions on a hoagie/sub roll.

May 09, 2009
billyboy in Greater Boston Area

Cupcakes that don't taste like a stick of butter

I'd check out Batch on W. 10th Street in the W. Village for the Chocolate Dragon cupcake, Two Little Red Hens on the Upper East Side for the Lemon Pucker cupcake or Big Booty Bread Co. in Chelsea for the Red Velvet cupcake.

Apr 05, 2009
billyboy in Manhattan

Best takeout BBQ in downtown Manhattan?

I'd second the Hill Country recommendation, although it can get pricy rather quickly. The brisket is pretty amazing though and the hot links are excellent. Here is a review I wrote (with pictures):

http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=5080&RefID=5041

R.U.B. BBQ on 23rd Street is pretty good too. The burnt ends, ribs and baked beans are top notch.
http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Write...

Enjoy!

Apr 03, 2009
billyboy in Manhattan

best RICE PUDDING in NYC??

I like Kozy Shack from the supermarket, but my favorite is Rice to Riches on Spring Street.

Here is the link to a report I did for Rice to Riches on Roadfood.com:

http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/Mini-t...

It's towards the end of the report.

Feb 15, 2009
billyboy in Manhattan

Authentic Cuban Restaurant in NYC ?

I had seen an episode of Bobby Flay's "Boy Meets Grill" and he went to Jersey City in search of some Cuban and think he may have mentioned that it has the largest Cuban population outside of Miami.

Here's the link to the restaurant he ate at: www.hardgrovecafe.com

Hope this is helpful!

Feb 15, 2009
billyboy in Manhattan

Shake Shack Fries Suck Horribly

Les Halles on John Street in Lower Manhattan has the best Fries/frites I have ever had in the city. Crisp, creamy inside and perfectly salted.

As for the Shack, I like the crinkle cuts, especially when I dip them in my concrete or shake like I did at Mickey D's as a kid!

Feb 14, 2009
billyboy in Manhattan

Burger Joint, like Corner Bistro...but not Corner Bistro.

I went to Corner Bistro not too long ago on a Friday evening around 6pm and got right in, ensconced myself at a small table and was chowing down in under 10 minutes. It was definitely bustling, but not crazy busy. Maybe I lucked out that night.

Have you tried Paul's da Burger Joint on 2nd Ave near St. Mark's? It's a couple of storefronts from Pommes Frites. Really beefy, juicy burger. The American cheese is standard fare and the bun is just okay, but there was a ton a flavor in that patty.

Feb 14, 2009
billyboy in Manhattan

Shoo Fly Pie...WHERE?

I don't know if the Rue-B is a tradiaitonal Amish version as their menu lists is as Alambama "shoo-fly" Pecan Pie.

Ivy Bakery's site says that they do offer individual portions of some of their sweets at the store. Maybe worth a call.

Feb 14, 2009
billyboy in Manhattan

BEST BAGELS IN NYC

Murray's just opened up a new outpost called Leo's in the Financial District. $1.00 per bagel. Not bad, but it gets a bit pricey once you start adding fillings. They're at 3 Hanover Square at Stone Street and can be found on menupages.com. I don't think their website is up and running just yet. I work down there on the 3rd shift and pick up a few hot bagels on the way home. Most tasty!

Feb 14, 2009
billyboy in Manhattan

I need mint chocolate chips!

cakester, how soon do you need them? I may have a bag I can spare for a couple of bucks. I bought them in Central NY when I visited family. The Wal-Mart up there has Andes Candies baking chips and I usually stock up when I go.

Feb 14, 2009
billyboy in Manhattan

Soups On Wheels cart @ Broadway & 51st Street

A couple of years ago I was working in midtown and stumbled upon a great soup cart called Soups On Wheels at Broadway & 51st Street just outside of Mars 2112. I was wondering if it is still there or if it has moved to a new location. I had some great soup from that guy! Thanks!

Dec 05, 2008
billyboy in Manhattan

BBQ near Penn Station

Go with Hill Country. Call ahead to make sure you can get it to go. I think they do that. Here is a link to a review I did (with pictures). I hope it's helpful:

http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic....

Oct 27, 2008
billyboy in Manhattan

Hill Country: Most overrated BBQ in NYC

squirrel, I'm not surprised they ran out of some items. That happens in many barbeque places. They only make a certain amount and then it's gone. No holding or heat lamps for the meat. R.U.B. on 23rd Street runs out sometimes too. I've been to Hill Country many times on love it. My last time was with an out of town friend and we arrived at 8:30pm and they were out of about 5-6 meats. Not surprised. Saturday around 9pm just isn't a good time to go there. Probably crowded (especially with a big game on). Lunch is a good time to hit them. More food still there, less people, less waiting.

I wasn't a fan of the pork ribs as I've always found them to be a bit tough on two occasions. I'm not a fan of the moist brisket either. Too much like prime rib in texture for me. I think fat is good is the cooking process to keep things moist, but I don't want it as a significant part of the end result (especially if I'm paying by the pound)! The lean brisket has been perfect EVERY time! Good smoke penetration, a nice crust on the edges from the salt/pepper rub and pulls apart with the slightest tug.

I've never waited 20 minutes in the lines. 10 minutes, tops. I did wait 1 1/2 hrs for a table (won't do THAT again). The "different lines" thing is part of the set up that I think mirrors its counterpart, Kreuz Market, in Texas. If you're a native NYer or have lived in the city a long time, having to do your own "work" at a sit down restaurant can be crazy. Personally, I don't mind it.

Oct 27, 2008
billyboy in Manhattan

Best Chicken Parmesean in NYC?

I've had great chicken parm at Carmine's on Beekman Street in Lower Manhattan near the South Street Seaport. Not connected at all with the CARMINE'S near Times Sq. This portion is not as huge, but lots of flavor and great sauce.

For me, the best I've ever had is at Fiorentino's on Avenue U in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn. I did a write-up with some pics. Here is the link:

http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overv...

Wicked sauce, lots of fresh mootz and they let it get all brown and bubbly and the chicken is very tender!

Sep 15, 2008
billyboy in Manhattan

Big Booty Bakery

Haven't had the soups or sandwiches, but I love that place. My girlfriend threw a Cinco de Mayo party for my birthday last year and we ordered Red Velvet cupcakes, corn/corn & cheese arepas and a HUGE Tres Leches sheet cake from them. All of it was delicioso and they were a pleasure to deal with. Sometimes, if I'm in the neighborhood, I 'll stop in and get a round bun that has Nutella inside. Perfect breakfast bun or snack!

Sep 03, 2008
billyboy in Manhattan

South Street Seaport: Sequoia? Salud? Quartino? or just fugeddaboutit and go farther afield?

There are a few good places worth checking out. First, I have never had a decent meal from anyplace in the Pier 17 building. I ahven't eaten in there in some time, so maybe it has changed.
Quartino is no longer there. A restaurant called Acqua is in its place. Similar menu, but the prices seem much steeper than Quartino's. haven't tried it yet.
Bridge cafe is good, but I've never really been wowed by dinner there. I've always felt their strength is in their brunch.
Love Carmine's on Beekman Street. Great ols school red sauce place. Highly recommend the lasagna, pasta alla Amatriciana and lobster fra diavolo.
Il Brigante, next to Carmine's has good, upscale Italian. Pricey, but very good.
Salud, great pan-Latin tapas place and decent drink specials.
Nelson Blue, first "Kiwi" bar in NYC and has really good burgers, lamb chops,wines.
If you're willing to go a bit outside of the Seaport, Les Halles and John Street has been my standby place for 5 years. Great hangar steak and frites, mussels, penne with Gruyere cheese.

Sep 03, 2008
billyboy in Manhattan

Les Halles: a review

Thank you for such a thorough and wonderful review!! Great descriptions and assessments of ther pros and cons without making the cons a personal thing (a trap many of us fall into)!
I've not yet been to the Park Ave. locale, but have eaten at the D.C. spot and am a HUGE fan of the John St. one since my first visit there in July 2003. I almost always have the hanger steak with frites and salad. Spot on every time I ordered it and the best frites I have had so far in the city. Love the mussels too and yes, the half order is huge and that wonderful bread (TomCat Bakery?, Balthazar?) is great for mopping up the tasty broth. Also like the croque monsuier, macaroni and gruyere and the chocolate mousse. I've always had good and sometimes great service at John St. and I find the atmosphere to be relaxed and not crazy as I imagine Park Ave. can probably be.

Aug 04, 2008
billyboy in Manhattan

Olives @ The W Hotel - A good thing?

I've been there 4 times in the past few years and have loved it every time. I always order the proscuitto, fig jam and gorgonzola flatbread as an appetizer and love the salty, pungent, sweet combo. The bread basket is very good and has a nice array and the tapenade is a nice touch.

The entree portions are a pretty good size and price for NYC and the butternut squash tortelli with sage and brown butter and the free range chicken are two of my stand-by dishes. The desserts are usually pretty inventive and tasty. Hope this helps.

Aug 04, 2008
billyboy in Manhattan

What not to miss at Dinosaur BBQ

Huge, huge fan of their pulled pork!!! Love the ribs, but would get the pork over ribs any day. The Wango Tango wings are meaty, smoky, spicy, messy and insanely good. I'd make a trek up there if that is all they served.

Love the beans, BBQ fried rice, salt potatoes (a Syracuse specialty not to be missed-hope you like a pool of melted butter!), solid french fries, the greens are usually pretty good, love the iceberg wedge and Bar-B-Blues dressing (though not everyone is a fan of the dressing) and ask what they veggie of the day is, they get creative with it sometimes. I've had a tomato and cheese casserole with toasted breadcrumbs and some killer carrot raisin salad (like a mayo based slaw, only somewhat sweet).

Not a huge fan of the fried green tomatoes, although I think it's more about me not liking FGT than their execution of it. Had to try it once though. Deviled eggs are pretty good and my most favoriet sandwich is the Pork-Sket-Texas Beef brisket topped with melted cheese & pickled jalapeños, layered with pulled pork & finished with coleslaw. Like a brisket sandwich and a pulled pork sandwich had a love child!! Happy Eating!

Aug 04, 2008
billyboy in Manhattan