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allenbank's Profile

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Best pancakes in Manhattan?

Waiting for even 1/2 the 2 hours makes "anything" that "might" be considered "the best" or even excellent > crap! Said more sedately > a joke. In my opinion; if you will permit me.

If one is forced to eat the best quality, most well prepared, intelligent, foods with the highest quality spices; served on beautiful plates; artistically arranged > blindfolded with one arm tied behind their back, how great is that really? Would not one prefer a just OK simple well seasoned hamburger with a thin slice of red onion and a slice of honest American Cheese for example, served on an ordinary white plate, without having to stand on a sidewalk for an hour? Has our collective time become so irrelevant? Has our desire to be part of the "In" crowd; to be in the know, trend-following; a need that supersedes reason? I personally do feel what much of that is about. Media and peer induced and enhanced of course.

Understand, I'm not saying Clinton St.s flapjacks are bad > I just think the experience must be looked-on as a whole. As a matter of fact I've had their pancakes twice, both times without waiting and they were OK > just OK. The revered "syrup", the maple syrup with a bit of butter incorporated into it < that's all I believe it to be, is also OK; very good > but they do not give you enough and will charged you additionally for a second thimble full. An absolute insult when they charge what they do. And when you "politely" voice this to a manager you get no more then an inarticulate grunt and a shoulder shrug. Food and customers should ALWAYS be treated with respect.

We must take the initiative and search-out; we must Chowhound the true food treasures wherever the road takes us. Chowhounding is not always as easy as punching a few keys at a keyboard...

...So in the vain of the above:

A practical suggestion to temper my personal contempt of all those which attempt to "put one over on us"... $6 for a slice of crumby L&B pizza... all that reeks of The Emperor's New Clothes is > *jump on the train or better still; walk the Brooklyn Bridge (much better time spent then waiting...) and go to Smith Street > Cafe Luluc and order-up a stack of the best pancakes in NY with Fresh Fruit and unlimited good quality maple syrup at half the price of Clinton St. pancakes without the wait.

Also superior to Clinton Sts. pancakes, and at a lesser price, without the Clinton St. wait, I believe are, also to be found in Brooklyn; are those which were prior to Sandy, served at Kevin's on Van Brunt St. in Red Hook. Presently still closed; if they are able to, which I for one hope they are, claw their way back from the tragedy; they should be on your list. They, and all Red Hook business and eateries could use our support.

ab

Nov 18, 2012
allenbank in Manhattan

Birthday cake for 1 year old party-Bk. Heights/Cobble Hill/Carrol Gardens/Red Hook

Jen:

I can't speak to time frame (things these days tend to get somewhat vague and muddled after a couple of months or so) or if my thoughts about Sunset Park bakeries initially came from an exploration after reading a post of yours. But I must admit to the possibility; as generally, if not always; quite simply > you've usually (if not always) got it right!

ab

Nov 17, 2012
allenbank in Outer Boroughs

Good N Plenty To Go has up and gone

Sarahe1:

I believe from my depths, that GNP was not only unique but for so many an essential part of their lives. It was the general store, everyone sitting around the cracker barrel, it was the bulletin board outside the local newspaper office where you'd go to to see what was happening in your town. It was the local aid station where one could go and get advise > often too much advise, but better too much then nowhere to turn. It was: Knots Landing, Dark Shadows, I Love Lucy, The CBS Evening News (with Walter Cronkite); it was The Naked City, The Twilight Zone. It was the neighborhood elevated lunch counter where after a long day of: exhilaration, routine boredom, unexpected discovery; conquest or the agony of defeat you could get a Good N Plenty plate of very tasty dinner; sit outside, slow-down, decompress; share your woes and think about, or talk about with familiar faces or new, either everything or nothing; or things in-between > how to attack tomorrow... feel safe around others; your others, communally. Either watching the world go by in chosen solitude or participating in the vaudeville of the goings-on. Or you could take your food home; put it out on a plate or not and in-between comforting mouthfuls, shoes thrown randomly about, stocking feet, give thanks that you've made it through another day.

No matter your means; good food is always something that elevates our humanity, our self perception, our outlook on today / now, and the future. No matter what went-down during the day; whether it was successful or a "back to the drawing-board" what am I going to do now day... ...a good meal with well thought-out, well prepared food, from a familiar kitchen can bring a sort of equilibrium to the world, to life. To the life of an individual. You, me, anyone and everyone: Anna down the hall, Mike in the apartment above who always, although not meaning too, always walks heavy. The guy on the first floor who combs his slick and shiny black hair 40 times a day and wouldn't be caught dead without his 25 cent plastic pocket comb. The guy you smile at in the hall who doesn't know you're alive. All of us unique individuals. GNP; who they were, what they did; seemed inherently to know all this. And what their role was in the play. They knew their audience and gave them what they needed to nourish them in all ways.

Good N Plenty To Go was... the place to go. It was "The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of". And a place where dreams were born and nurtured.

Quite simply > it was the best of New York from a time when New York was New York.

Now that it's gone; where do we now go? Starbucks; Eataly... somewhere where the staff, in their matching uniforms and corporate mandated smiles are instructed to move people along if they linger? Somewhere where their Frank, the stalwart ever present GNP employee in his orange baseball cap doesn't know who you are or have strong felt opinions he's not afraid to and will take the time to spill. < As long as he didn't spill your soup > bring it on Frank > that's part of why we're all here. "But now listen to me Frank, and I'll tell you what's really going on"... and back and forth over our: sandwiches, meatloaf, shrimp dumplings, pulled pork empanadas, moist and crispy (although not quite as moist and crispy as Charles Southern Kitchen) "Southern" Fried Chicken. All lovingly, thoughtfully prepared. GNP knew it's role in all this. in the day to day drama which they catered and maintained with it's staging. The Days Of Our Lives.

Thanks Frank. Thank you all.

What are we supposed to do? Go someplace where the din drowns out the substance and the wonderfully absurd silliness. Where the mundane is to be maintained at all costs. Where La De Da outweighs an over the top > Yes! Yes! Yes! < "of course darling". GNP was a place where movements had started and stars were born and stars came back to for comfort and recognition of past greatness.

I thought GNP needed a goodbye and thanks.

ab

P.S. And think of the effects on our local, national and worldwide: theatre, film and TV industries > where do the aspiring now get "real world" schooled? Where do the aspirations and dreams of the up-and-comers get their nurturing and nourishment? The ones with the 1 way return bus tickets in their sock draws > where do they now get fed? Their pats on the back? Their hard knocks reflected in their tomato bisque? Their pats on the back and kisses on their checks?

What are we supposed to do? Get theatre and movie reviews from The Times or the unthinkable... from Entertainment Weekly?

Nov 17, 2012
allenbank in Manhattan

Fletcher's BBQ

The oven anchoring Fletcher's BBQ seems to be the same one used at RUB (I once knew, but forgot the maker and volume); it is fueled with wood (gas assist possible); which makes sense as the Pit Man apparently put in some time on 23rd Street.

Re: St. Louis Ribs > I also have always believed it to be butchering technique as you'd described. When I put it to Baron Kirk he confirmed it as we wiped the grease from our chins.

Being nearby as you say you are, due your duty, bite the bullet and the brisket and hopefully > wipe the grease from your chin and give the dope on the que.

ab

Nov 16, 2012
allenbank in Outer Boroughs

Birthday cake for 1 year old party-Bk. Heights/Cobble Hill/Carrol Gardens/Red Hook

Jen:

Baked was opened, I believe 2 days after (possibly the day following) Sandy. Other businesses > not so lucky or determined. *Cupcake power! The anchor of the neighborhood; Fairway will not open for many months; and if it's to be believed, as some have speculated, ever.

*Actually I'm not a cupcake guy > but their coffee cake is spectacular. For my money, the best thing that comes from their ovens. And; now with the passing of Good N Plenty To Go, Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies have moved into my no. 1 spot. See my post > Good And Plenty To Go has Up and Gone.

And my 2 cents on a 1 year olds' Birthday cake > forget the taste as you say, the kids will not know the difference. The gaudy, colorful, wonderfully goofy; beautifully fun & funny decorated cakes sold at a number of bakeries in Sunset Park (I can't recommend any specific bakery) > the kids would, I'd think > and hope, get a blast out of. What's more fun then dayglo food colored frosting? As well as the themes being kid appropriate I'm sure they're a fraction of the cost of a cake at "grown-up, oh so sophisticated" bakery. In the display windows each sample cake has a small square piece of paper with a number in front of it. I love the idea of ordering your cake by the number. The closest thing I can think of to the days of the automat. Whenever I pass one of these windows full of gooey fun I smile and wish I had a kid to throw a birthday party for so I could go in and say I'd like a no. 23 with the name Sam on it. Sometimes I think I might buy one anyway. Bring it to a girlfriend > but then I think; she probably wont get it and it's going to be a long cold winter.

ab

Nov 16, 2012
allenbank in Outer Boroughs

Good N Plenty To Go has up and gone

R.I.P. G&P...

...the end of an era. The end of one of the best, most accommodating, comfortable and interesting outdoor people watching and interacting porticos in New York.

The wonderful take-away prepared foods, soups aside > the best "simple" baked goods baker in the city; responsible for absolutely unequaled Chocolate Chip Cookies with dries cherries and my personal favorite; again, simple; baked good in NY, their perfectly balanced in tastes and textured Maple Cookie, will remain a treasured taste in my memory for some time to come. No one even, to my knowledge, attempts a maple sweet of the type and for my ccc cravings I'll have to depend on my no. 2 > a very very good one at Baked in Red Hook.

What certainly wont be able to be even approximated is what G N P To Go was to the neighborhood / The City > it was the scene of the place.

It was an outdoor meeting hall for the cream of NYs working and hopeful actors, writers, producers and general New York characters. The talk wasn't so much of where the best this or that food stuff could be found (although there was good and plenty of that) but who was mounting what and yes, who was mounting who. Open auditions where? He's doing a showcase when? She sold her book for how much? When does your gig start?

On a single, ordinary but not typical day this past summer while enjoying a coffee and lingering with a maple cookie watching the world > seemingly the entire world, pass by:

A couple sat at a table next to mine and began a conversation while I unapologetically eavesdropped, which began with an older gent saying "when I was working with Huston on that Falcon Picture..."

A bit later that same languid afternoon... 2 woman came out of G&P with soup and salads (one a pristine garden salad and the other with a 1/2 pint container of always exceptional, the precisely perfect amount of Extra Heavy Hellmans added, tuna. Both had clean white cardboard take-out containers of tomato corn bisque. Both women were immaculately groomed, every subtle dyed hair in its perfect place, their pocketbooks shared an unused chair covered with an open paper napkin for protection. You got a sense of care and longevity being required and carried-out by the pair. Their conversation began with one women after tasting her tuna saying, " when I was dating Aldo Ray he made the best tuna salad... he used to put in a small bit of grainy mustard." "It was a spicy mustard". Her friend interjected with "spicy like Aldo"; without missing a beat her friend continued, chuckling "spicy yes, like Aldo, this tuna is so good". Their conversation turnned to the present talking about not Aldo or the Tuna > "did you know that upstairs at Sardi's on Tuesdays your SAG card will get you a $12.00 dinner"? "No?" "And it ain't bad".

The Dunkin Donuts guy; the guy who's got to get up to make the donuts, walked by wearing a Woody Allen all weather floppy rain-hat and waved hello to a guy with a parrot on his shoulder a few tables back from me.

The cutest poppiest pop queen jumped out of a cab; no she actually sort of sprang, spring-loaded out of a cab and jumped into the arms of a girlfriend who'd been patiently preening and making nice to her cell phone while nursing a fresh roast turkey sandwich with a ruby red slice of tomato edging its way out of the sandwich. Jumping in olympic acrobatic precision "I got the commercial, I got the commercial, can you believe it I GOT THE COMMERCIAL?" Everyone within earshot busted into applaudes > people, kindred spirits who'd walked the road were obviously reacting to the joyousness and understanding that she'd got a paying gig. Her Big Break. You know many resumes were updated that night.

As the sky was darkening I was on my last couple of sips of coffee, an hour and a half past since I'd planted my ass; mostly unread Times at my side (all that was going around was much more interesting then the latest politico bashing; being bashed by...) And my fixation on the maple goodness, I was getting ready to call it a day. Yes, by the way; to this point, all I'd related above had taken place in just an hour and a half or so.

...So, as the sky was darkening... I'm getting ready to head home; a guy struts by with a stack of magazines under one arm and a flute under the other and a guy calls him > "Yo Mat, my man Matty; my main man Mr. Mat, what's happenin', how the hell are ya"? Matt > "Cool man, cool man, cool man; got to run". Where are you going? Matt > there's a Bette Lavette show in Madison Square Park. My ears perk at hearing this. Understand, that I really dig Bette Lavette (I won't go into who she is or why anyone / everyone who's the least bit into soul / R&B should know who she is). Although her music is never too far from my machine I've never (in her or my 50 years seen her live) I whip out my smart phone (thrilled I had a purpose to use it other then as a phone or to check my e-mail) Google Bette Lavette + Madison Square Park. Sure nuff > in 20 mins. Bette Lavette is giving a concert in Madison Sq. Park. A FREE concert at that! I run downtown > amazing show... small intimate crowd... met a "swingin" girl from Norway...

...Why so much about a concert; why so much excitement and what does it have to do with the closing of Good N Plenty to Go? Well for me; just matter-of-factly hearing; no overhearing, about a concert; a free concert, in an intimate location, of an artist I really like but have never seen live, from someone on the run; not even speaking to me which started in 20 mins. when I was just getting ready to hit the B Train and head home... well that's New York.

And Good N Plenty To Go was New York. A New York that's quickly becoming Old New York and I for one will miss The Old New York which will be extinct in the blink of an eye; with the combustion of scoring a first tv commercial. "The" Big Break. Every dreamer only has 1 very fast Big Break and then its gone. But like G&P To Go; it should be remembered and savored.

Once upon a time there was the automat at 34th Street and Good N' Plenty To Go on 44th. I remember once a long time ago an assistant director on The Maltese Falcon was talking to a friend. I was eating a maple cookie the likes of which you'll never know...

ab

Nov 15, 2012
allenbank in Manhattan

Favorite cookie?

IMPORTANT "relatively speaking of course" NOTIFICATION...

Good N Plenty To Go has up and gone! An end of an era.

An end to my beloved Maple Cookies... Oh The Horror!

R.I.P. G. N P. > the lesson > enjoy what you can, while you can; because tomorrow is just a possibility.

ab

Nov 15, 2012
allenbank in Manhattan

Not Your Mama's Sahadi's...

Miss the spinach pies next door at Near East.

ab

Nov 06, 2012
allenbank in Outer Boroughs

Favorite cookie?

Finger's crossed, but not too tightly to stop the circulation... Leske's on 5th Ave. after their impending; any day now, reopening (under new "supposed" loving and respectful of the tradition ownership).

ab

Aug 09, 2012
allenbank in Manhattan

Favorite cookie?

EMP also ends their meal with Eucalyptus Oil infused toothpicks that are the highlight of the repast. < I don't believe me!

ab

Aug 09, 2012
allenbank in Manhattan

Favorite cookie?

I realize the question asks for a "favorite" cookie, but audacity aside; all earlier responses are incorrect. The correct answer is...

...the Maple Cookie at Good N Plenty To Go.

A "cakey" cookie with a creamy; beautifully overly sweet authentic maple frosting which is intentionally tempered by the minimally sweetened "cakey" part of the "cakey" cookie below the hand swirled maple cap. The balance of sweet & not is art. The meat of the cookie is studded with precisely the correct amount of large walnut pieces.

Perfection > particularly with a cup of hot coffee frothed with steamed milk.

Tuesdays only > and sometimes; not even then < for me this adds an additional level of excellence: the intrigue, the anticipation of... will there be or won't there be. < That IS the question! < Apologies to Mr. Shakespare who's legendary love for food inspired the name for The Hamburger Shack < I made that up. Certainly more exciting then buying a piece of paper and scratching. Or scratching any itch for that matter.

ab

P.S. With a glass of ice cold milk > their Chocolate Chip Cookie with Dried Cherries is also singularly outstanding.

Aug 09, 2012
allenbank in Manhattan

Best French in Brooklyn

John Francis > Quercy has "bit the dust". For it's older twin; which has unparalleled light streaming in its 10th Ave. window in the late afternoons > try La Luncheonette. Say Hello to Melva.

ab

Jul 07, 2012
allenbank in Outer Boroughs

Flavor straws----seriously.

All roads and trips to the dentist lead to and emanate from > Economy Candy on the Lower East Side on Manhattan. If it's cavity producing and turbo sugar rush providing you'll find it there.

ab

Mar 24, 2012
allenbank in General Topics

Where in Manhattan can I get great cannoli to go?

Bruno Bakery on La Guardia.

ab

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Bruno Bakery
506 LaGuardia Pl, New York, NY 10012

Jan 30, 2012
allenbank in Manhattan

Food of Spain

Excuse me > Despana; Broom Street.

Dec 24, 2011
allenbank in Manhattan

Food of Spain

Despana!

Dec 24, 2011
allenbank in Manhattan

Bagels/Bialys (to go) in or around midtown

One very final addition...

Upon rereading your original post of the 14th; about your 2 day NY stay...

...Nevermind!

ab (12/19/11)

Dec 19, 2011
allenbank in Manhattan

Bagels/Bialys (to go) in or around midtown

A short addition to my above post...

In a pinch; As it hasn't been suggested: I would recommend Murays Bagels downtown and for bialys I would agree with an earlier poster as a "good"; just "good" bialy can be found at Kossar; which once was "it" as far as bialys go. < C'est la vie.

And a note about my view of H&H Bagels. First, in my opinion; a blatant rip-off (when last I saw, $1.15 per. > might be more now, as it was a while ago) from the school of "we'll charge what ever "they're" willing to pay. I've not seen a comparably priced bagel, irrelevant of quality, anywhere in NY. I'm not commenting on the quality, as that's just too subjective. But know, and this is fact > in comparison to every other contender I know, they use a boatload of sugar in the dough. I personally believe this is the reason so many people tout them.

Dec 19, 2011
allenbank in Manhattan

Bagels/Bialys (to go) in or around midtown

Greetings:

The best bagel in NY, in my opinion, Including those of: H&H, The Bagel Hole... is actually located in midtown. Times Square Bagels on 44th St. is the joint. The owner is the same cat who owned the late lamented Columbia Bagels, which had been my "go to" and was located on the upper west side. I used to walk weekly from Brooklyn to CB for my weekly allotment. One sunny Sunday morning, walking up Broadway, within striking of CB, looking a half block ahead > S--T! They're gone!!!

After a bit, a small bit; of "Columboing" I discovered the sister store in Times Square. No easily evident connection; beyond the after-fact of the quality of the bagels. Now; once every 2 or so weeks (got to cut back given the economy and my growing girth) I order a dozen "custom mix" bagels, chew the fat with "the boys" and return in a couple of hours to pick-up my booty. If you take this route; you are insured the freshest bagel possible. *A note: you MUST ask for these NOT to be bagged until they cool or you'll be left with soggy bagels steamed inside a "moist" brown bag. Also forgo any plastic bag with even mildly warm bagels. Between your ordering and your picking-up the goods; walk west on 43rd St. to either: Good & Plenty To Go for a lunch or Little Pie company for some pie and a cup of joe. Or... simply point to the various types of bagels in their wire bins; cooled and ready to travel.

ab

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Times Square Hot Bagels
200 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036

Dec 19, 2011
allenbank in Manhattan

Anniversary in Brooklyn, short notice

I have no reservation about this recommendation: Convivium Osteria on 5th Ave. in Brooklyn. Not only is the food consistently superb (both meat and vegetarian dishes) but the space is cozy, romantic; very well suited to adult conversation > an anniversary. The wine cellar; I find to be the most romantic > otherworldly of the 3 distinct rooms.

Sergio, the wine master; let's just say, "he knows his stuff". And is as personable as one could ask for.

Some of my favorite dishes are: Olive Oil & Mint Braised Artichoke, Quail served with a Port Reduction, their Green Apple & Cinnamon Ravioli w/ Duck Ragu < I realize this dish sounds "ify", but it is "spectacular. Although technically a main dish (all of their pastas, by the way are exceptional, I will often order it to be shared as a starter; sometimes pared with the Quail which is also listed as a starter. Two excellent meat entrees are the Lamb Chops and the Rib Steak for 2 (which I do understand will probably not be an option for you). < Although, you might well rethink your decision of vegetarianism as / if, a steak passes your eyes and nose. As a note; the steak comes with an Peppery Arugula Salad with does a superb job in tempering the richness of the beef and fried potatoes; which; more or less are prepared and served in a traditionally Portuguese manner (which the restaurant has a vague, alluded connection to) but, I find them sadly limp when crisp is what's, in my book, called for.

You'll never feel rushed or wanting to leave as soon as you can.

I rarely suggest restaurants these days as personal tastes and particularities are so; well personal, but I believe I can make this recommendation with some degree of confidence. I ALMOST am prepared to say; if you don't like it; I'll throw down my plastic. < ALMOST!

In any case; where ever you chose to celebrate your anniversary > enjoy.

ab

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Convivium Osteria
68 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Dec 13, 2011
allenbank in Outer Boroughs

Joe's S(u)perette in Carroll Gardens closes

At least now there'll be a space for Ann Taylor. < I hope the following isn't necessary, but one never knows do one? Just kiddin'! Joe's < R.I.P., you will be missed.

Zito's < R.I.P., you are missed.

May 18, 2011
allenbank in Outer Boroughs

Pancakes at Clinton St. Baking Co.

Oh yes > if you were wondering or have any interest...

...Cafe LuLuc 214 Smith St. Brooklyn.

May 16, 2011
allenbank in Manhattan

Pancakes at Clinton St. Baking Co.

If one's not Brooklynphobic > there's a joint where the pancakes are twice as good as Clinton's Streets' and half the price. And walking over the Magnificent Bridge is free, and will peek your appetite < a most potent ingredient in any recipe.

It ain't Tom's.

So it's a beautiful Sunday morning, the sun is blazing. The air "seems" cleaner then you think is possible, you dust off your walkin' shoes and hit the road. You walk the Brooklyn Bridge understanding why you put up with so much crap that we NYers do. Holy Moses; you're in Brooklyn! Coming off The Bridge you ask a kind Brooklynite "which way is Smith Street". Without hesitation and with a smile of one who doesn't have to live paying Manhattan premiums at places like The Clinton St... you get the word. You meander The Streets; slowly being receptive to all around you. You might even catch a stickball game in progress while munching a hunk of the baguette you picked-up at Almondine in Dumbo after you'd walked down the many steps at the Brooklyn end of The Bridge, signifying you've reached the promised land. You're in William Bendix, Henry Miller, Walt Whitman, Ralph Kramden, Jackie Robinson... territory. About now, you're hunger is peeking and that's great > perfect timing > you've just turned onto Smith Street and you can smell; taste your stack of crispy edged, fluffy, banana and strawberry pancakes. The anticipatory river of maple flowing as veins of gold around and down the sides of the burnished plate sized disks. As you open the door, part the Madrid Red floor length curtains the fragrance of fresh brewed coffee confirms the worthiness of your mornings' efforts. You walk through the restaurant; turning your head left, right; then left again; marveling at the Pancakes... and happy, mouth filled patrons. Your pace quickens a bit, to the soulful latin music and so you can get to your table and order.

You're walking through the restaurant, to get to the pastoral garden, with the stone fountain as it's centerpiece in the back. It's that kind of Sunday! On your way out-back, to the promised land, on your left you'll pass the kitchen. Stop, take a look, a smell; greet the cooks and wipe the droll from your lips.

You're seated > you peruse the menu and right below (or above > I forget) the very good "by the way" Eggs Benedict, there it is...

... PANCAKES WITH FRESH FRUIT and maple syrup.

$8.50 raised from $7.50 a while back. You might even think to yourself, particularly given these times, that pancakes shouldn't be; why are they, more then, what? $6.00. But your also thinking, giggling and internally smirking that The Clinton Street Bakery charges an outlandish $15. AND they have the chutzpah to charge extra if your request any more then the tiny ramekin of maple-butter syrup they provide. When they're charging what they do for pancakes and wont... < Outrageous! Simply taking advantage at that point.

You ask for " Pancakes Crispy please, just to ensure you get them as such. 95+ percent of the time you needn't have mentioned crispy in your order; but just to be on the safe side...

You get your breakfast (endless syrup placed on your table) > you relax... you eat, you talk; you smile; you're never rushed > oh baby!!! Sunday's were made for this.

In summation: in comparison to The CSB & directly to the original posters' question...

Better > much better Pancakes
Cheaper < less expensive
"Sometimes" on weekends a minimal wait
Never a rushed feel... Hell it's Brooklyn Jake.

May 16, 2011
allenbank in Manhattan

Lyon

This joint "seems" to... > I've eaten there once and have just seen your attached link to the Sifton review, have nothing to do, that I can see, with the "genuine" bouchons of Lyon. As someone who hold that tradition close to my heart and has traveled to the region and the city, Lyon, with fork in hand > not to visit the Bocuses'... but to feast and revel in the "simple" fare, of "the people", I see no valid comparison in: food, price, atmosphere and most glaringly, not in; ethos or intent. That said, it is not required a restaurant emulate any particular experience, and I am not judging it on what it is. I am only saying, that by my singular, personal estimation, there is no discernible comparison to the bouchons I know and love in Lyon; which is what I was hoping for. As with ALL, one must make his / her own determination as to what a restaurant is or is not and what they are in search of.

If you chose to "give it a go" no matter on what basis you judge it; I do hope you enjoy.

P.S. During my travels, while in Lyon, I was told the same "joke", asked to answer the same riddle, numerous times, by the locals. It goes like this > "What are the the 3 rivers of Lyon?" "Dit moi", in my best New Yorker French I'd reply. Each time the answer lovingly with jovial pride came back > "The Seine, The Rhone and The Beaujolais". Yes! Copious amounts of Beaujolais must be consumed with any true meal taken at a "true" bouchons de Lyon. In my humble...

P. P. S. If one visits the wonderful city of Lyon; make sure to visit the the "home" of the Brothers Lumiere. The home of motion pictures.

Jan 19, 2011
allenbank in Manhattan

Brooklyn "sliders" at home? [moved from Outer Boroughs board]

Greetings:

There are miniscule burger of various description You got you your: Shopsin's, your "Hackensack" White Manas, your Little Owl meatballers... all good in there way. But then there is the archetype. I of course speak of White Castles. How many food items do you crave, that at the same time makes your mouth water and your stomach churn? There are nothing like White Castle burgers; when you NEED White Castle burgers. Even the esteemed Jonathan Schwartz after spinning hours of Frank has a ritual of going to White Castle to "come down" after his radio show. I'd bet even The Chairman, not that character from the Food Network, but the one and only, The Chairman of the Board, ol' you know; had the craving from time to time. He of course probably had them delivered, but we mortals...

The problem with White Castles are; if for whatever reason you want to eat them in the privacy of your own castle; be it the unexplainable possible embarrassment (I can't understand that one, but have heard it said), the reek of last nights patrons... it just can't be done. About 25 seconds after they come off the grill, they begin to lose their; what do you want to call it; their oniony White Castleness. Their um um goodness. As they cool they don't just lose heat, they as if by alchemy become deadly weapons; heavy, grainy, cardboardy. The speed at which they go from ethereal to "almost" inedible is extraordinary. Even if they become so; they never are really inedible, I've never thrown one in the garbage I'm proud to say. Now that would be scandalous!

Many foods don't travel well and that should always be a consideration when ordering anything; "to go". White Castles are interesting in that, on the move, nothing smells as good. Have you ever been in a bus, with a sack... everyone salivating, the air thick with White Castle greasy-onion. Everyone knows what you have. Nothing on Earth smells like it. You may even feel a pang of guilt knowing what it's doing to your fellow riders. You flash back to the 3rd grade, when you were scolded by Mrs. Kirshner; "if you don't have enough for everyone..." But as this relentless beautiful aroma permeates the environment, your clothes; everything, the deliciousness is simultaneously quickly fading. I'm sure there, in nature; must be an equation which can express this phenomenon.

I'VE CRACKED THE CODE! After exhaustive research, I've discovered the secret not only to maintaining the quality; the taste and texture of White Castles, but improve upon it. I won't even go into radical additions / toppings, such as the filling of a Sahadi's mushroom leek pie (filling only), but only what comes out of those beautiful little boxes.

Here it is > you simply remove each White Castle from it's box fold a single sheet of paper towel around it as you would wrap a tamale, place it in a microwave (3 for 111 seconds) and out comes a piping hot, steaming White Castle of indisputable perfection. As I said, better then at The Castle. The grease is not simply warm, on its way to solidification, it's hot and it glistens as it permeates the bun. The texture of the bun remains soft yet toothsome. This consistency of the bun has been a major obstacle in the past. Without wrapping in a paper towel, if you want the burger hot, the bun becomes rubbery. I "assume" the paper towel allows steam to heat the burger while keeping the bun tender. During the process; the onions melt into the bun and cheese (got to be Whites with cheese). The ketchup and pickle warm together to create a garlicky tomato vinegar "sauce".

Then you sit in front of the tube, watch The Simpsons and be glad to be an American while waiting for the belly bombs to explode.

Make sure you've got a clean path to the bathroom.

Ain't life grand!

ab

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Sahadi's
187 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Jan 06, 2011
allenbank in Chains

Leons Bakery gone?

Tay:

I'm replying to this with some trepidation, as more then once, trumpeting a treasured favorite has led me, given my personal limits of acceptability in respect to: crowds... and the inevitable dilution, to varying degree, of greatness, to have to back-away with a dirge in my head. As example > after 30 years reveling at and with Dom(s), feasting on not only obviously outstanding pie, but braised rabbit, baked swordfish, ethereal pasta dishes, heros and salads, ultimate soups...; I haven't been able to, chosen not to; visit Dom, Jr., Margaret, Michael... to feast (I do stop by to wish all well from time to time). One of the beauties of Dom's has always been it's democracy < rightly so. Everybody waits! Although I have thought about developing a system which delineates between those who truly will appreciate... beyond the great masses who believe they should... after reading a review in NY Mag., as example. But how? In my mind, not; is it right / correct; but how!

The above said: It's the Christmas... season > so, with malice towards none...

...Spectacular soulful rugelach can be found at > Margaret Palca Bakes: 191 Columbia St.

In addition Margaret is a doll.

ab

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Margaret Palca Bakes
191 Columbia St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Dec 03, 2010
allenbank in Outer Boroughs

Apple fritters in NYC?

Fairway Cafe > Red Hook.

Not only delectable, but enormous > as big as a small manhole cover. OK, a tiny tiny manhole cover.

What you do is this:

Ask the girl behind the counter to place your Apple Fritter under the broiler for a moment to crisp it up. Grab a pint of Hagen Daz from the ice cream freezer > a knife, fork and spoon and head out to the best "alfresco" in town. < Better before the world was hip to it. But still... particularly on a weekday < I know this is a luxury; hang in the shadow of "The Lady" to your right and relax while watching the tugs, barges and on Thursdays; floating cities drift by. Slap on a pair of headphones and you're in another world. My personal favorite time, when the elements aline: dusk, as the daylight fades and a fast approaching, rip roaring thunder storm fills the sky > Josh White inspired lights, pounding rain; protected by Fairway's awning. Families romping in the foreground.

After your warm crisp Apple Fritter ala mode > buy a crisp skinned, golden Roasted Chicken with 2 sides for $8.00, a Brooklyn Lager and return "outback" for your second course.

Read a paper, smell life wafting by; eat, drink and relax >WYSC > While You Still Can.

ab

Aug 25, 2010
allenbank in Manhattan

Drinks and Sides at Peter Luger

In my opinion > Luger's fries are amongst the best, if not the absolute best in town; far superior to the German Potatoes.

The other side of note I'd mention, and with reverence, is their thick sliced bacon. Brilliant! As others have mentioned with regularity. The resulting deliciousness due as much to being broiled and charred in their super-hot oven as to the quality of the pork. Presently, I believe the 2 at the top of the bacon heap right now are the perennial Lugar's and Maialino's.e

Aug 20, 2010
allenbank in Outer Boroughs

Looking for Best Almond Croissant

Unquestionably, in my (not so humble) opinionated opinion, the best Almond & Chocolate Almond Croissants are to be found in Brooklyn at Almondine. Like White Castle > Buy 'em By The Sack > if they haven't sold out as they often do.

My suggested home preparation after arriving home with my croissants is to: first, bottom side up; place the croissant under a broiler for about 30 seconds and taking it out of the oven, leaving it top down so the "crispy" won't become soggy > then after cooled repeat with the top exposed to the flame for about 10 seconds. Remove, place bottom down on a paper towel until 96% cooled. Dig in. Dig it and savor each bite.

Or, as soon as the counter person places it in front of you, aim a corner towards your mouth, open with enough clearance, close you eyes with anticipation, guide a corner into your salivating mouth > & JUST DO IT. Repeat until finished. Brush the crumbs off your shirt, eating the larger bits (intact pinhead size or larger) and leave satisfied.

Either method will delight.

P.S. I've had examples from all the suggestions previously mentioned as well as some not. As of today ALMONDINE's the joint.

Aug 20, 2010
allenbank in Manhattan

more feuds

Moto:

Went way way back to check...

The 2 posts I referenced were both from 1999 < of course, End Of The Century...

...the correct titles of the posts were:

End Of The Century Chowhound Favorites

Best Coffee Shop?

Must have had a lot of free time in '99.

ab

Jun 24, 2010
allenbank in Manhattan