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Overwhelmed...need help!

Thought I'd quickly give a recap of our NY eating experience - it's only 2 weeks since we were there but the diet is in full swing :-) Unsurprisingly, we didn't get to as many places as I would have liked to, but having said that, I think we made a fair dent. And it just means we have to go back!

Shake Shack - I loved the shakes, bf loved the burgers. Prefer the straight cut chips (traditionalist)
Luke's Lobster - delicious but pretty pricey for a small roll. It was actually a concept we would like to steal to take back to NZ :-)
Mighty Quinn's - same with this, great concept! Bf was in carnivore heaven. I really enjoyed too but going at 7.30pm on a Friday was a bit of a nightmare - wait for tables then long wait for carvery... not sure if best system. Amazing value for LOTS of meat
Katz Deli - great experience and at $17, thank god the pastrami sandwich was big enough to share
Russ & Daughters - this would be our preference of the two delis. Had the salmon, cream cheese and dill bagel for lunch later and it was so yum!
R-Lounge at Times Square - this was recommended by a friend and is the most amazing bar with a view! Service so-so but what an experience drinking cocktails and looking down at the Time Square action. Seems relatively undiscovered as wasn't overly packed?
Halal Guys - another one of those "I'm really in NY" moments. 11.30pm, freezing cold, but lining up with the masses for a giant bowl of rice and meat. Carefully of the red sauce - it's hot!
Maison Keyser - french bakery and cafe. I was craving savoury and did not realise they actually had rolls in their deli/bakery hiding in the fridge so ended up doing the whole brunch thing. Decent
Gray's Papaya - more for the experience, I guess a hot dog is a hot dog, but the recession special is value for money ;-)
Sylvia's - soul food in Harlem!! After a long day and tired feet, unable to find a taxi to get to Patsy's, this was actually perfect. Meant we got to eat fried chicken too :-)
Some bagel place in UES - love NY bagels! You guys are so spoilt...
Minetta's Tavern - another great experience but I thought the service was really average and actually detracted a bit from my enjoyment of the meal. Good breakfast cocktails and some unique brunch options
Juliana's Pizzeria - great salad and massive pizza. As we joined the masses lining up for 45 mins + on a Sunday afternoon, there was much debate on which pizzeria is best in NY... I enjoyed it
Clinton St Bakery - okay, sorry to say it, but while they were good pancakes I'm not entirely sure what the major fuss is about!!! We were lucky to just miss the rush, and nothing "wrong" with the pancakes but I"m not sure why the hype?
Stadium food at Yankee Stadium - well I don't think I need to elaborate but we did the cheese fries and the hot dog and bought the big finger!

Blue Bottle Coffee was frequented multiple times and we also tested Bowery Coffee and Cafe Grumpy. Was quite gutted we didn't get to Stumptown or the Barbershop one in Williamsburg but there's only so many waking hours in the day.

Thanks everyone for the recommendations and even those recommendations we didn't make aren't wasted! I have more friends heading to NY this year and will forward on the url for their reference. Plus I would like to be back sooner rather than later :-)

Apr 15, 2013
eatfreaks in Manhattan

Kiwi visitors with 4 days to eat our way through San Fran...

Just thought I'd give a quick update on our San Fran eating experience... but before I start, I wanted to say I loved San Francisco! Such a beautiful city and very friendly people - of the four cities we visited in the States, it was the one I could see myself living in :-)

Anyway, to the food.

Seafood chowder at Boudin - have never done the sourdough bowl before so for us it was a novelty. Found it tasty and decent value too.
Tony's Pizza - our fave pizza in the States! Made up for the 2 hour wait while our stomachs pretty much imploded with hunger!
Blue Bottle Coffee, Mint Plaza - great atmosphere and good coffee. Went at 8.30am on a Saturday and was already getting busy
Porchetta Panino from Roli Roti - yummo! Pretty magical sitting on the wharf with bay bridge in background... also sampled some meats from Boccalone
In n Out Burger - Side trip by boyfriend as he HAD to have it. A good priced burger.
Lunch at Fish in Sausalito - once again, a wait, but not for too long and some very fresh fish. Lucky we had biked from San Francisco (and back) to make up for the fish and chips!
La Ciccia - great recommendation Greyelf. Owner remembered me from my email booking as coming from Australia and every meal item was special. Interesting bus ride back to our hotel as we were invited to a Lesbian party by a very friendly group of girls! I think my boyfriend was very tempted...
FarmTable - small cafe which had great reviews on Yelp, but just wasn't for us. Found the food very sweet and the coffee average. Great service though.
In Napa, Oxbow and Sunshine Food Market were great for casual but filling eats. Was lovely eating freshly made gigantic sandwiches in the sunshine with oxbow cupcakes for dessert. Dinner was at El Molino Central in Sonoma - thanks for the recommendation Melanie, this was great tasting authentic Mexcian at reasonable prices... bf lapped up the fish tacos, delciious guac and pulled pork something or others... mmm I'm just salivating right now.
Lastly, Bi-Rite Creamery for dessert on our last night. Pretty good icecream although Gelato Messina in Sydney still ranks ahead.
Last morning in San Fran.... cheap fruit from Napa! Had to have a fruit detox day on our travel day to Chicago....

Thanks everyone for the recommendations - I have more friends heading to SF this year so will be forwarding this forum on!

First time Chicago visit - and only 36 hours at that!

Ok... so just returned from our whirlwind trip today. Had an amazing time and found Americans (esp in San Fran and Chicago) so incredibly friendly and helpful.

As for Chicago - first night we did Frontera Grill. Really enjoyed the street eats and shared food, particularly the platter of ceviches. The mains were decent but I wouldn't rave about them - wish we had done more of the shared appetisers and then could have had room for dessert which also looked amazing (we ate so much though that the couple next to us had to comment that they couldn't believe how much we fit in!).

Breakfast was a healthy start at the Doughnut Vault. Love it especially the concept of open till it's sold out.

Coffee at Intelligentsia which was our favourite coffee spot in the States (shared with Blue Bottle at Mint Plaza in San Fran). Once again, friendly people.

Lunch at Lou Malnettis. Wow. Don't think I've had a pizza like it! So much cheese! Delicious and perfect for a freezing day, however I think I would still lean towards "standard" pizza more over the deep dish.

NBA Game - WOW! Was such an awesome game to be at, the atmosphere was electric, and the only downside was that it set the bar so high that when we went to the Knicks-Celtics game at Madison Square Gardens, we were underwhelemed!

Late dinner at Big Al's. Yummo. Great fries and although the beef rolls were drenched with soggy beef and didn't exactly "look" appetizing ... it totally worked! The staff were incredibly friendly and chatty on a post-game buzz at 11.30pm on a Wednesday.

Oh and lastly, Garretts Popcorn.... couldn't bring ourselves to have the Chicago Mix (I hate mixing savoury and sweet) but the caramel pecan, almond and cashew hit the spot nicely and we picked up more in Vegas.

And then we rolled out of Chicago early Thursday morning...

Thanks everyone for the great advice. Loved Chicago - a beautiful city with friendly people, although would probably like to visit again in Summer time!

Apr 06, 2013
eatfreaks in Chicago Area

Overwhelmed...need help!

Loved your photos!! Thanks for sharing. Lots of spots we want to visit.. What were your absolute favourites "wish-I-could-go-back" eating places??

Mar 08, 2013
eatfreaks in Manhattan

How long for dinner at Sage?

I have the same predicament - dis1010 did you do the Tasting Menu? If so, did 7pm leave enough time?

Mar 07, 2013
eatfreaks in Las Vegas

Overwhelmed...need help!

Haha love the enthusiasm - and already on our food plan for Chicago (close to our hotel and a "light snack" before we head to the Bulls game)... I will need to go on a serious diet after this trip!!!

Mar 05, 2013
eatfreaks in Manhattan

Overwhelmed...need help!

Thanks Kathryn - any recommendations for fried chicken other than Pies n Thighs? (not sure we will make it to Williamsburg...)

Good idea re Russ & Daughters to go - didn't think of that.
And will put Central Park + Met together on the Saturday - brilliant. In which case, any ideas for a spot for breakfast (between our ridiculous early morning line up for SNL and the Met)? I'm looking at the list of suggestions from above and don't think any of the breakfast suggestions are in that area...

Praying to the weather gods for sunny (albeit cold) weather!

Mar 05, 2013
eatfreaks in Manhattan

Overwhelmed...need help!

Ok good to know - we will see how our timing goes on the day, but I've taken down the details of Feeding Tree (have never tried Jamaican food - and I highly doubt we'll get that in Singapore!)

Mar 05, 2013
eatfreaks in Manhattan

Overwhelmed...need help!

Okay, so here is our initial draft of our New York feasting extravaganza… it's long, so bear with us... comments in brackets are what we plan to be doing activity-wise:

Late Lunch - Shake Shack, UES
(explore midtown)
Coffee – Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Midtown
Dinner – Share a lobster roll at Luke’s Lobster then BBQ at Mighty Quinns, East Village

Bfast – Katz Deli, LES
(have a downtown Manhattan tour that will use most of day, can’t plan lunch stop)
Early Dinner: Gray’s Papaya (pre-8pm show), Time Square area
Late Dinner: Halal Guys, Midtown West

(Line up EARLY for SNL tickets… realising that despite the early wake up, we still may not get them - sad face)
Bfast – Russ & Daughters, LES
(The Met)
Lunch – Patsy’s Pizzeria, Harlem
(explore Harlem)
Snack – Two Little Red Hens, UES
Dinner – undecided (torn between Casal Adela, Ukranian National Home, El Castillo de Jagua…may just decide on the day )

(Early morning Central Park visit)
Early bagel – Zabars, UWS
(Statue of Liberty Cruise)
Brunch – Minettas, Greenwich
(Brooklyn and Bridge)
Snack – Juliana’s Pizza and / or Brooklyn Icecream Factory
(Knicks Game 7.30pm)
Late dinner (if we feel like it) – Miss Korea BBQ, Korea town (or any other late night recommendation in the area?)


Breakfast – Clinton St Baking Company, LES
Visit to Economy of Candy, LES
Lunch / Snacks pre Yankees game – Mike’s Deli / Gino’s Pastry Shop / Madonia Bros, Arthurs Ave Area
(1.15 Yankees Game)
Dinner (if we can fit it) – any recommendations at JFK T3

I know it’s a lot of food and a lot of activity... and we may have bitten off more than we can chew (ha, excuse the food pun). But this plan isn’t set in stone and we will just roll with it if things change. I’m sure we will be back! We don’t intend on having full-on meals at every place we go to and will often share or grab a snack to go. I have written down all the coffee spots above and will swing by if in the area.

Welcome any suggestions for improvement.

Thanks again everyone for their input - I wish we could go to every place recommended!

And if anyone ever needs Sydney, Melbourne or NZ recommendations, please let me know :-)

Mar 05, 2013
eatfreaks in Manhattan

Kiwi visitors with 4 days to eat our way through San Fran...

Very good to know... I am well-known to have "eyes bigger than my stomach". Having said that, I am also well known to "be able to put a lot away"...I will heed your advice though! Thanks.

First time Chicago visit - and only 36 hours at that!

I actually managed to get a Frontera Grill dinner reservation for when we arrive. So swapping Frontera and Lou's around... can't wait! And San Fran is sussed now too... thanks everyone for the help.

Mar 05, 2013
eatfreaks in Chicago Area

First time Chicago visit - and only 36 hours at that!

Hmmm maybe we do b/fast at Intelligentsia with a donut to go! Will see what the weather is doing... I actually don't know how to prepare myself for such cold!!! Maybe it will improve by 3 weeks time!

Thanks everyone. I'll give a de-brief after the trip.

Mar 05, 2013
eatfreaks in Chicago Area

Kiwi visitors with 4 days to eat our way through San Fran...

Thanks everyone! I have to admit I knew about the crabs but not the clam chowder... it just sounds so delicious though!!

I have everything locked into my spreadsheet now so will keep you posted on eating experiences... thanks again!

Kiwi visitors with 4 days to eat our way through San Fran...

Hmmm Tadich Grill could be an option - looks like a bit of an institution / old school San Francisco? Gets a bit more kudos than Sam's it would seem too. Asian food is great but people have been right to point out that I will have plenty of Chinese food in Singapore (and chilli crab is of course a speciality there which I've had the good fortune to sample many times!)

Kiwi visitors with 4 days to eat our way through San Fran...

Hi Civil Bear - where would you recommend for Dungeness crab? A quick google search brings up PPQ Dungeness Island, however it's probably a bit further than where we would want to go given it will be mid-afternoon by the time we get through customs etc and arrive at hotel.

Fish looks amazing and could be what the doctor ordered in the seafood department.

LOVE pho, but do get a pretty good version of it here in Sydney :-)

Kiwi visitors with 4 days to eat our way through San Fran...

OK.... so here's a proposed itinerary based on our planned activities.

Arrive 12.30pm Friday, and imagine will just be wandering/exploring that afternoon

Fri Late Lunch - Clam chowder - either Boudin Sourdough Bakery (O'Farrell St is closest to our hotel) or would somewhere at Fishermans wharf be better?
Fri Dinner - Straw (a little torn on this one, food sounds pretty heavy but a twist on "American"?) or Tony's Pizza

Sat will be hiring bikes and exploring waterfront, golden gate, Sausalito...

Sat bfast/snacks - Ferry Building Markets (Boccalone and Roli Roti, Cap'n Mikes have been mentioned for great rolls/sandwiches), Blue Bottle Coffee
Sat lunch - The Grove (a colleague recommended this place to me although I haven't seen it mentioned on these forums..maybe somewhere in Sausalito is better if anyone has recommendations?)
Sat dinner - La Ciccia (we are happy to muni to get there)

Sun early bfast - Saigon Sandwich (wanted something easy to go as will be doing a food tour)
Sun lunch - Foodie Adventures Mission Food Tour
Sun late dinner - Burma Superstar as have never had Burmese before (and have never seen it in Singapore on one of my many visits)

Renting car and heading to Napa
Mon early bfast - Farm:Table (near hotel)
Mon lunch - Oxbow Markets
Mon dinner - Ad Hoc

Departing 10.30am on Tuesday - where's best for brekkie at SFO?

Thoughts? I feel like I'm missing Mexican here... are there food trucks worth pursuing? I have a feeling that casual eats is the way we're rolling...

Also, love the icecream suggestions (if we can fit it given the food tour) but where is the best place for donuts (or any other recommended SF snacks) and any other coffee suggestions? BF works for a boutique coffee roasting company so would be great to experience the local favourites.


(and I can always return the favour if you need Sydney / Wellington suggestions!)

First time Chicago visit - and only 36 hours at that!

You're completely right escargot - I think because it was my first ever chowhound post, I was a little bit vague... I was reading about so many amazing places and just wanted someone to tell me to do! But I wasn't really considering about where/what we would be doing that day... I'm starting to firm up a plan now so will be posting it shortly for some feedback.

Mar 03, 2013
eatfreaks in Chicago Area

Kiwi visitors with 4 days to eat our way through San Fran...

Hi Escargot - I think because this was my first ever Chowhound post, I was probably a little bit too vague!
I've learnt from the experiences of planning our Chicago and NY eating, that I need to do my eatery plan based on where we expect to be that day.

Will start compiling and then will share for some feedback. Thanks for the advice :-)

Overwhelmed...need help!

Ukranian National Home gets great kudos - welcome any order suggestions Pan?

Mar 03, 2013
eatfreaks in Manhattan

Overwhelmed...need help!

Have heard about Parlor Coffee!! Well actually, just heard about amazing coffee served behind a hairdressers... So this will definitely be on our list!

Agree with your point re sampling what US /NY roasters have to offer... Although if I start getting flat white withdrawals, we now know where to go!

Mar 03, 2013
eatfreaks in Manhattan

Overwhelmed...need help!

Yankees vs Red Sox, opening day - excited is an understatement.

Are there any particular stores on Arthur Ave where we should buy these sweet cookie goodness you describe?? Perhaps we can visit before the game.

Mar 03, 2013
eatfreaks in Manhattan

First time Chicago visit - and only 36 hours at that!

Ok... I think I have it.

Given our limited time frame, I've tried to pick places that are central to where we are staying and around things we want to see/do.

Tues Dinner: Lou Malnati's
Weds v early Bfast: Do-Rite Donuts (opens 6.30am) + Dark Matter Coffee
More coffee: Intelligentsia (bf was familiar with the name so we should give it a whirl)
Weds Early Lunch: Frontera Grill
Weds Early Dinner: Portillo's
Weds Late Dinner: Purple Pig (toss up with Girl and the Goat but this is closest to our hotel)
Thurs Brekkie: Tortas Frontera and Garetts Popcorn (snack for the plane)

Will also take down the names of the other coffee shops and if we happen past, then it's meant to be!

Hopefully that will tick most of the boxes!

Will let you know how we get on... now to plan NY where the food opportunities threaten to overwhelm me! (And if only the San Francisco forum was as helpful as this one...)

Mar 03, 2013
eatfreaks in Chicago Area

Overwhelmed...need help!

Thanks for the app rec - will do.

Realise that our plans are rather ambitious, which is why we're trying to do as much planning and research as possible (hence the spreadsheets and maps!). Thankfully we can both sleep on planes...

Working with the recommendations Chowhound members have provided and our three locked in activities, we should be guaranteed to have a fantastic gourmastic trip! We fully accept we can't do everything, but will try to get to at least 8 of the recommendations above over our 4 days.

As for the stomach capacity aspect, having a 6 foot 5 partner means that he's always hungry and wanting to snack, and I can always "just have a bite" to taste it!

And it also means we will just have come back another time to try the places we miss...

Mar 01, 2013
eatfreaks in Manhattan

First time Chicago visit - and only 36 hours at that!

Loving the suggestions and have our Chicago food itinerary "mentally mapped", although will add it to the official spreadsheet by the end of the weekend!

Thank you all for your input - it's getting us very excited! And loving the NY vs Chicago pizza debate (I have a NY thread going too...).

Given the rather sizeable amount we just paid for our bball tickets (granted, good seats and have to remind ourselves that these are once in a lifetime experiences...!), I'm guessing that the bf will definitely NOT want to leave the game early! But Girl and the Goat or Purple Pig could be perfect. Cocktails at the Aviary sounds rather appealing too

And I'm going to ring Frontera and plead my case for a Tuesday night dinner reservation! Hopefully they understand my accent...

And last question - places to pick up a decent coffee? Bf works in boutique coffee roasting here, understand that American coffee will be "different" (filter-based) and coffee preferences can be a rather personal thing, but welcome recommendations anyway...

Thanks again!

Mar 01, 2013
eatfreaks in Chicago Area

Overwhelmed...need help!

Wow!! This is amazing and exactly what we are looking for. Much better idea than us paying $50pp to do a food tour I reckon... Love the passion and enthusiasm - we LOVE food and are obviously coming to the right place!

Will go through the replies over the weekend to create our "Food Heaven" spreadsheet, while taking into account locations and also things we already have booked in (Knicks, Yankees, Broadway... excited much?!).

Once again - thank you!

Also, maybe a little curve ball, but the bf works in the boutique coffee industry (in Australia and NZ) - so does anyone has some recommendations for where we can find great coffee on our NY travels?!

Mar 01, 2013
eatfreaks in Manhattan

First time Chicago visit - and only 36 hours at that!

AWESOME! Thank you. Just salivating at my desk now...

This is exactly the type of information we need - lots of choices but not so many as to overwhelm me and make it impossible to choose. And also reinforcing previous suggestions which is great!

I do promise a post-trip food report...

Feb 28, 2013
eatfreaks in Chicago Area

First time Chicago visit - and only 36 hours at that!

All look amazing and starting to pick and choose which ones go into the spreadsheet (aptly titled "Eating Extravaganza")!

Purple Pig could be perfect post game... I do love cheese... and don't get me started on cured meats...

Feb 28, 2013
eatfreaks in Chicago Area

Overwhelmed...need help!

Sam. Wow. Friday afternoon sitting at my desk wishing it was the weekend and now actually salivating... roll on three weeks!

Thanks, this is exactly the sort of info I'm after!

Feb 28, 2013
eatfreaks in Manhattan

Kiwi visitors with 4 days to eat our way through San Fran...

Stealing from another forum post (which actually got me on to the Chow website in the first place):

- Tacqueria Vallarta
- Flour and Water
- Smuggler Cove (I think I saw this on an Anthony Bourdain programme too... looked somewhat tacky but still appealing?!)
- Clock Bar
- Prospect
- Commonwealth
- Straw
- Rooselvelt Tamale Parlor

I read that it's also worth making the effort to get to Berkeley / Oakland for their food scene? Cheeseboard Collective sounds amazing (cheese and wine make me very happy)

And other notes I've made (although who knows where from):
Boudin Bakery
Curry Village
900 Grayson
Yamo Noodles
Dynamo Donuts
Ferry Building Market - Primavera stand and/or Prather Ranch

I realise I need to get my geographies sorted and plan accordingly, so the above is a bit of a brain dump so far... that's why I'm hoping to get a much more "refined" list that what I have...

Essentially our "must-haves" include - Mexican, seafood (chowder plus others), pizza, cheese, great coffee... and perhaps Korean?

Oh and we're also booked in for a four hour food tour of the Mission District...

Overwhelmed...need help!

Papaya Kings, Ess-abagel, Calexico, Taim, Katz, Pudding NYC, Excellent Dumploing House... self-confessed novice foodies, we are "youngish" first-time visitors to NY in three weeks time. I've been researching NY eateries however am overwhelmed by the number choices and my list is reaching a fulll A4 page.

Hailing from New Zealand, currently living in Sydney, we will shortly be vacationing in the US, before moving to Singapore next month. We only have 4 days (Thurs pm - Mon pm) to explore NY's food scene - oh and everything else NY has to offer! We pretty much eat anything, love to experiment with lots of cuisines, and will be after cheap and cheerful casual eats in NY.

My research on amazing SF food spots (as well as research for eateries in Chicago, NY, and Vegas) is starting to overwhelm me so thought I'd just go to locals for advice. There is nothing more upsetting to me than paying money for a bad meal in a place where good food is plentiful!

I welcome all food ideas and itineraries - breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. We are staying in the Upper East Side and also hope to get to Harlem and Brooklyn. We will manage our tourist attraction schedule to our food one (other than our NBA and MLB games). I know asking for a four day eating itinerary seems a little "lazy" however I just don't know how to pick from the dozens of options I have - first world problems huh.

Thanks in advance - I don't think 4 weeks, let alone 4 days, will be anywhere long enough!!

Feb 28, 2013
eatfreaks in Manhattan