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Just Like Mother's -- Forest Hills Restaurant is Closed

The rent was doubled or tripled, so the restaurant closed on 8/31/2013. There's a sign on the door saying thank you for having eaten there through the years.

This was a Polish coffee shop that also served dinner. Several times over the past 20 years, Ed Levine said they had the best latkes in NYC.

Sep 09, 2013
BigGuy in Outer Boroughs

Times Square dinner with my parents AND my kids

I'm a Gray Line tour guide in Times Square and am familiar with most of the restaurants. The casual dining chains in Times Square prepare the food better than they do in the suburbs and charge about $2-5 more on every item. The Olive Garden, Red Lobster, and Applebee's in Times Square are the highest volume locations in the USA. Although the restaurants are not all on one floor like in the suburbs, they have the same level of physical comfort and spaciousness as in the suburbs and the personnel are much better mannered than most service personnel in Times Square and the restrooms are well maintained.

Bubba Gumps has about the best food of the casual dining chains in Times Square, but I'm partial to Red Lobster because they let tour guides like me use the rest room without a problem.

Just above Times Square proper, the Cafe Nicole at The Novotel at 52nd and Broadway provides nice views, reasonable prices, and is quiet enough for family conversation. It's not too touristy.
http://www.opentable.com/nicole-at-th...

If you're eating deli, I'd suggest Juniors because the service is better than at any of the other deli's around Times Square and because they have a fancy broiled burger with for less than $12.

Also, the John's Pizza on 44th between 7th and 8th, closer to 8th, is inside a renovated church and very well run.

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Applebee's
234 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036

Red Lobster
5 Times Sq, New York, NY 10036

Nov 11, 2010
BigGuy in Manhattan

Marinated Herring, Brands, Sources and Favorites.

Blue Hill Bay is Acme's gourmet brand marketed to non-Jews. Products are nearly all the same.

Nov 07, 2010
BigGuy in General Topics

Best Lobster Rolls in NYC

At Stop and Shop, they sell lobster rolls -- 3 for $11.99 on sale -- and one for $3.99 to $4.49.

There's a big Stop and Shop on Union Turnpike in Queens where I get them. The Northern Boulevard Stop and Shop has them too, that's easier to reach via subway. Here's the link to the outer borough's post.
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3201...

Jul 04, 2010
BigGuy in Manhattan

Help me understand New Haven Pizza!!

What makes New Haven pizza unique is how much time is taken to make the dough and how little time is taken to cook it. Pepe's and Sally's and Modern let the dough rise for at least a day or more, but most other pizza places let it rise for less than six hours. Baking the pie in a hot coal fired oven cooks it fast and gives it a nice char. Coal ovens get over 1100 degrees, but gas ovens can only get up to 800 or so; it's not the same.

Jun 01, 2010
BigGuy in Southern New England

Restaurants at Mohegan Sun leave a lot to be desired

i had a small bacon clam white pie at Pepe's at the Mohegan Sun on June 1, 2010. It tasted great and looked great. It was a meal to remember.

Jun 01, 2010
BigGuy in Southern New England

Heart Stoppers Sports Grill is for real and real good

The decor's a gimmick. They're trying to get the food right and the kinks out in Delray. They've been getting more publicity than needed since its a prototype for a sports bar and grill to be located on college campuses. Delray's not a big drinking town, what with so many 12 step support programs and halfway houses and so many ethnic groups that hardly engage in social drinking around, but its a good location for getting well qualified personnel and for getting their systems down before they expand to Gainesville and elsewhere in the state.

I like your reference to a famous SNL skit with Christopher Walken.

Jan 30, 2010
BigGuy in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Heart Stoppers Sports Grill is for real and real good

Heart Stoppers Sports Grill is inside the Target Shopping Center on the South side of Linton Boulevard in Delray Beach exiting heading to the East from I-95. The restaurant serves burgers and fries, hero sandwiches and fried chicken wings, and fried deserts like zeppole. Anyone over 350 pounds who asks will receive a free meal once a week and a free meal whenever the morbidly obese person comes in with someone to share lunch or dinner.

The restaurant is a 1950's diner with a unique theme -- a heart ward. It's done with lots of design touches, like salt and pepper shakers resembling prescription vials, pretty waitresses with short all-white nurse's uniforms, and a doctor's scale, just beside the kitchen door, to measure up those seeking a free meal, like I received.

I weigh 360, read about the restaurant in the Daily News (citation below) and decided to check it out Thursday, January 28. They served me a free dinner. I had the Eviscerator -- .a combo of philly sandwich steak, italian sausage slices, kielbasa slices, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms and cheese sauce overflowing a good quality hero roll; heated up altogether inside an oven until the bread was nicely toasted and the filling piping hot. it was tasty and good.

Then I asked for the zeppole, since I normally only have those Italian fried dough pieces in powdered sugar at street fairs where the quality is always iffy. The zeppole at Heart Stoppers are so good they qualify as a religious experience. The dough is deep fried to order, fresh, in oil only used for deserts -- zeppole, fried twinkies, and fried oreos -- and then the zeppole produced are placed in a heavy brown paper bag with plenty of powdered sugar to be shaken up. It's like a fresh Krispy Kreme hot doughnut, but crispy.

Go forth and be blessed.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/natio...

Jan 28, 2010
BigGuy in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Good, simple ways to have beef liver?

Liver with Mustard sauce.

Here's a simple recipe that works out pretty well.

Soak the liver in cold water. Boil two tablespoons or so of mustard seeds in about a 1/4 cup of water for a few minutes.

Salt the liver, both sides. Fry in a teflon pan with a small amount of oil. When you turn the liver over, put the mustard seeds on top. Turn the liver over a second time cooking the liver until it's pink inside. Put the liver aside and add some evaporated milk or cream to the mustard seeds in the pan for a nice sauce (if avoiding dairy, use chicken stock).
When eating, the mustard seeds will pop in your mouth like caviar.

The results seem much fancier than what it costs to make.

Jan 06, 2010
BigGuy in Home Cooking

Dairy ham substitute

Oh, I thought the OP was looking for a bacon substitute. The vegetarian ham substitutes don't taste that good and don't have that good of a mouth feel either. At the vegetarian Chinese restaurants, they use tofu skin for duck and pork. That'll work.

Jan 06, 2010
BigGuy in Kosher

CiCi's Pizza Buffet

Ah, very good writing about a bad experience. Thank you.

Jan 05, 2010
BigGuy in Chains

Does Ruth's Chris have the best steak?

Ruth Chris does not have the best steak. They provide a better steak house experience than most. They have eliminated nearly all the negatives that can occur in a steakhouse.

Here are just two things they do. One, there are no little wax candles on the table so there's no smoke from the candles.. The little electric light bulb shaped like a small fire that they place down looks nice, though. Two, fancy steaks are usually cold by the time you're 2/3 done, but by presenting the steak on the hot steel plate, finished in butter, the steak doesn't cool off too much and stays hot enough to be tasty to the end.

Jan 05, 2010
BigGuy in Chains

Suggestions on Surviving the Olive Garden? (moved from Manhattan Board)

I am a NYC tour guide and tell the tourists that the casual dining chains in Times Square are far more spacious and comfortable than most local NYC restaurants. I tell them the food may not be as good, but the seating, the HVAC, and the service level will be as nice, if not nicer, than in the suburbs.

Jan 05, 2010
BigGuy in Chains

Dairy ham substitute

Some versions of Baco's are kosher. Osem Bissili barbecue flavor will work too.

Jan 05, 2010
BigGuy in Kosher

Yonah Schimmel is a disgrace

The Meat Knish at Carnegie Deli is very good and a bargain at $4.95 plus tax. It weighs about 3/4 of a pound. The meat knish filling consists of corn beef and pastrami scraps from the slicer added into mashed potatoes. The wrapping is a rich pie crust.

The potato and kasha knishes at Carnegie aren't bad either.

Dec 23, 2009
BigGuy in Manhattan

Katz's--A Disaster

You may be right about that, and I may be wrong, but it does feel worse behind a deli counter when the weather's hot and humid than when it's nice out.

Nov 22, 2009
BigGuy in Manhattan

Does anyone have a one-pot recipe for Shabbos lunch that will replace the boring Cholent?

Braised lamb shanks. Recipezaar lists about 20+ ways to make them.

A root vegetable stew can be good too. Carrots and rutabagas and turnips and parsnips roughly chopped up atop onions and garlic that have been fried a bit (before sundown), covered with water and baked slow in the stove. Additional flavor can come from dried fruit and apple pie spices -- apricots, raisins, cloves, cinnamon.

Nov 22, 2009
BigGuy in Kosher

Katz's--A Disaster

When there's lousy weather, there's usually fewer people in the restaurant and the food doesn't turn as quickly. That's the main way the weather affects the food.

But the weather affects people even more so than the food. When its hot and humid, the slicers at Katz's tend to be irritable, just like everybody else is, so maybe some of them won't feel like treating you nicely. And when the weather's cold and dreary, a hot pastrami sandwich tastes better than usual just because of how good it feels to eat a hot sandwich on a cold day.

Nov 22, 2009
BigGuy in Manhattan

Katz's--A Disaster

Deli's strive for consistency, but food quality varies much more than at fast-food chains. Most of this type food tastes better when prepared in smaller amounts. That's why most any deli meat at a deli tastes better than a deli meat from a take-out supermarket counter.

I've had very good pastrami and so-so pastrami at Katz's. How busy or slow the restaurant is, how good or bad your slicer is, and the weather make a big difference in how good your sandwich is. At most deli's, including Katz's, the food is better when the place is busy, but not super busy.

The differences among all these places are not all that great. I think we're kidding ourselves to think so. Ben's in Rego Park when it's busy will usually be better than Katz's when it's real slow.

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Katz's Delicatessen
205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

Nov 18, 2009
BigGuy in Manhattan

Why do people usually buy eggs that cost the most?

The gist of my post is that people do not purchase eggs via the efficient market theory and classical economics. Consumers often buy what they perceive to be the best or the most convenient, not what costs the least. I posted about this on another site and someone suggested look up a book by an MIT prof:

PREDICTABLY IRRATIONAL
The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions.
By Dan Ariely.
280 pp. Harper/HarperCollins Publishers. $25.95.

Here's the New York Times book review:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/16/boo...

Nov 18, 2009
BigGuy in General Topics

Why do people usually buy eggs that cost the most?

Yes, that's my point. Efficient market theory assumes a rational customer, but nobody seems to be that. Or, it could be that for rational customers, buying the eggs that are cheapest per ounce is not what they construe rational behavior.

As best as I can tell from what people have responded, hardly anyone buys eggs like I do, always purchasing the eggs that are cheapest per ounce.

And the math to figure it out isn't that hard at all. It's sixth grade math, not even junior high school.

Oct 12, 2009
BigGuy in General Topics

Why do people usually buy eggs that cost the most?

Why do people usually buy eggs that cost the most?

Efficient market theory and classical economics sometimes seems bogus. What's that got to do with the price of eggs? An awful lot -- if people always acted rationally, they would buy eggs that cost the least per ounce, but people hardly ever do that. I know I do so, but I don't know of anyone else who does.

Does anybody here buy eggs the way I do? I always buy the eggs that are cheapest per ounce. A dozen small eggs weigh 18 ounces, medium -- 21, large --24, extra-large -- 27, jumbo --30. Usually at Trade Fair here in Queens, small eggs are cheapest, but sometimes Jumbo eggs cost less per ounce, and once a month, medium eggs are cheapest during a weekly sale.

BUT large eggs are the most popular, even though large eggs are usually the most expensive per ounce and NEVER on sale. If people act rationally, why do they usually buy the eggs that cost the most per ounce?

Oct 12, 2009
BigGuy in General Topics

Beef Liver - Do you choose to eat it?

Here's a simple recipe that works out pretty well.

Soak the liver in cold water. Boil two tablespoons or so of mustard seeds in about a 1/4 cup of water for a few minutes.

Salt the liver, both sides. Fry in a teflon pan with a small amount of oil. When you turn the liver over, put the mustard seeds on top. Turn the liver over a second time cooking the liver until it's pink inside. Put the liver aside and add some evaporated milk or cream to the mustard seeds in the pan for a nice sauce (if avoiding dairy, use chicken stock).
When eating, the mustard seeds will pop in your mouth like caviar.

The results seem much fancier than what it costs to make.

Sep 15, 2009
BigGuy in Home Cooking

Small Reception in NEW HAVEN After a funeral on Sunday, Sepember 13

We had a group of 37 at the restaurant from about 2:20 to 4:15. The food was very high quality. They allowed our guests to order from the lunch menu or the Sunday Brunch menu. A Jewish crowd eating together after a burial, not a single person ordered any alcohol or any pork products. It came to $603 including the 18% gratuity and sales tax.

Our friends and relations were pleasantly surprised to have eaten very well.

Sep 15, 2009
BigGuy in All New England Archive

Lobster Roll Recommendations

Stop and Shop sells lobster rolls that are very good. Here in Queens and all over New England they have a special of 3 for 10.99 about once every six weeks or so. See the thread below.
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/320111

Sep 12, 2009
BigGuy in All New England Archive

GODFATHER style Italian restaurant

Ralphs on 9th Avenue at 56th Street.

Sep 12, 2009
BigGuy in Outer Boroughs

Small Reception in NEW HAVEN After a funeral on Sunday, Sepember 13

Thank you, bagelman01. Your comment is reassuring. My father's brothers and sisters and their kids, my cousins, grew up in New Haven, but of the 24 people altogether only four still live in the area, so I had to do the planning online from my mom and dad's condo computer down in FL.

Sep 12, 2009
BigGuy in All New England Archive

Small Reception in NEW HAVEN After a funeral on Sunday, Sepember 13

I made reservations at Lena's Cafe and am about to send out an email to everybody. If that might actually be a mistake, please let me know.

Sep 10, 2009
BigGuy in All New England Archive

Small Reception in NEW HAVEN After a funeral on Sunday, Sepember 13

My mom is to be buried at B'nai Jacob Memorial Park near Southern Connecticut State University. Is there a restaurant nearby, with parking, that anyone would recommend for a group of 25 people or so?

Sep 10, 2009
BigGuy in All New England Archive

Junior's Times Square branch

I work in Times Square and have eaten at Juniors several times. In fact, that's where I go to get a tongue sandwich, which is hard to find nowadays. Most delis don't serve tongue, and those that do charge more for it. Juniors does not.

The service at Juniors in Times Square is far superior to that in Brooklyn and superior to the service at Carnegie Deli and Stage Deli. The portions are smaller than at Carnegie, but who needs a pound of meat in a sandwich?

I liked my tongue sandwich the last time I had one at Juniors, but it took some time to get what I asked for: steamed, heated tongue (not microwaved) on toasted rye. I was served grilled tongue on soft rye, requested that the sandwich be remade on toasted rye, and then received cold sliced tongue on toasted rye, requested again hot tongue on toasted rye, and that's what I got the THIRD time, about 20 minutes after my initial order.

By the way, the only deli that will heat up tongue for you around Times Square is Juniors. And nobody will toast the rye for you either, but Juniors. But it takes some time for the waiters to get things right.

Many of the wait and kitchen personnel at a place like Juniors are working on autopilot, so to speak, so any time you ask for something that's even slightly out of the ordinary, they may get it wrong. So, be patient and be polite, but be assured you will be treated much better than at other delis in and around Times Square.

Aug 22, 2009
BigGuy in Manhattan