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AndyNYC's Profile

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L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon -Counter or Table?

I am going here tonight with my wife to celebrate our anniversary. I know counter seating is preferred but being it is our anniversary, are we better off with a table? More intimtae perhaps? Anyone have a suggestion? Thanks.

Dec 05, 2009
AndyNYC in Manhattan

Chipotle vs Benny's- any others??

Chipotle is pretty good but the way they assemble their burritos makes for uneven ingredient distribution. They put a row of meat, row of rice, etc. and what happens is when you bite into it, you get a mouthful of only rice and then a mouthful of only meat, etc. It would be better if they could mix the ingredients before making the burrito. Otherwise, its pretty good.

Jun 06, 2007
AndyNYC in Manhattan

Lunch in the Chelsea Market

I love the Chelsea Market - the architecture is incredible and there is always a good vibe in the building. I love to see all the food companies making their food and it's nice to be able to buy retail from them. However, I find there really is no place to get lunch in the building, especially if you want to sit down. There seems to be tons of office workers looking for food at lunch time, but I can never figure out why there aren't more options. I like the Thai place which has a few seats, but more often than not, I find I have to leave the building and go to 8th Avenue to grab a bite. It's not like in midtown where you have a good deli or even Cosi or Pret on every other corner. Am I crazy or is the Chelsea Market like the Grand Central Food Market upstairs but missing a real dining concourse? Any suggestions on what I might be missing and where I should go? Thanks.

Apr 20, 2007
AndyNYC in Manhattan

Eating at Starwich - Did I just enter the Twilight Zone?

What goes on at Starwich? Every time I go there, I think they must be run by aliens. There is never anyone in the few I have seen (75th and Lex, 38th st., 42nd St.) and it always takes so long to get you food. They are not even cooking anything! Only making sandwiches. Plus, the decor is weird - what is up with the chesterfield furniture? Not to mention how big their menu is - I know some people like variety, but please tell me why anyone would have both Applewood smoked bacon and slab bacon - what is the difference? Plus, you can't get tomatoes or lettuce - it's heirloom tomatoes and mesclun. And I think the biggest joke of all - the sandwiches are listed as $7.95 in big bold letters on their menu - this includes no meat! All main ingredients (meats) are at least $1.00 extra. It's almost like advertising that a side dish at a restauarnt is $5.00 but in small print telling you that if you want an entree, add $20.00. Well, not exactly, but you get my drift.

The real kicker is that even if it is weird and expensive, at least it should be great which it is far from. I hear they want to open up a lot of these. Why bother?

Mar 05, 2007
AndyNYC in Manhattan

Pinkberry is good - How do I make Frozen Yogurt at home?

I recently tried Pinkberry and found their style of frozen yogurt to be quite good. Its actually frozen yogurt, not pseudo ice cream so it tastes like real yogurt. It made me think about all the lousy so called frozen yogurt places I ate at over the years - TCBY, Columbo, etc. and how none of it was really yogurt just fake ice cream. Is it really hard to make real frozen yogurt? Does anyone know how to do this - is it just like ice cream only made with yogurt? And if I wanted to have it be like the soft serve you get from the machine, can I do this at home or do I need a big, expensive, commercial machine? Thanks for any help.

Feb 28, 2007
AndyNYC in Home Cooking

Burgers! Please Opine regarding your faves

Are you kidding me? RARE blows - most overrated burger in New York.

Feb 22, 2007
AndyNYC in Manhattan

Best Burgers - Grilled or Griddled? [moved from Manhattan board]

I know there is constantly discussions on who has the best burgers. As I continually search for my favorite burger, it struck me that the 2 most important things in a burger is the quality/type of meat and how it is cooked. I love both shake shack (griddle cooked) and burger joint (grilled), but as a result of their different cooking methods, they are very different burgers. I also realized most of my favorite places use a griddle (PJ Clarks, JG Melon). As a kid, we had a barbecue and my childhood memories of good burgers are thus grilled and I can remember that smoky taste you would get with every bite. But now that I live in an apartment, I find myself using a very hot pan to cook my burgers and I am really digging the crispiness I get on the outsidee. So chowhounds, what do you think - is a burger better on the grill or on the griddle?

Jan 05, 2007
AndyNYC in General Topics

Stand is fantastic!

Take a look at the link from a hamburger today below. Although they may have liked it slightly more than me, clealry they thought it was mediocre. They definitely do not share Hardcore's enthusiasm that it is "fantastic".
http://www.ahamburgertoday.com/archiv...

Dec 22, 2006
AndyNYC in Manhattan

Stand is fantastic!

Hardcore, I was there the same night as you and the place was half full at best. Also, even though they only had about 30-40 people eating, when we came in we were asked to wait because the kitchen was behind before being seated. I know it was their second night, but we're talking burgers here not complicated stuff and the owner has other places - he is not a neophyte. As for the burger, it literally had no taste except a hint of the char from the grill. You could not taste the beef itself. As for the bun, since it wasn't soft on the outside, it had a slight almost rubbery crust which naturally assured that when you bit into it, everything squirted out. I looked around and it seems that everyone was having a similar problem. Also, the no substitutions policy is because it would be difficult for the staff to make changes as they take your order on a handheld device - now there's a good idea, don't give the customer what he wants because you insist on using unnecessary technology.

Everything else was equally mediocre. The side salad was literally romaine and frisee with a splash of oil and vinegar and a ton of salt. Fries were just okay, onion rings dreadful. Their house sauce is a poor repro of In n out. The waitress insisted we try the pot of pickles as she said it was so good - has she ever been to any deli in NY? Homemade ketchup? You gotta be kidding me - there are certain things you can't improve on like heinz and hellmans. The only good tasting thing on the menu were the unusual fountain drinks - we had a pineapple soda and a surprisingly food lemon basil frappe. But it was a small glass filled with a ton of ice and for $5, I think it cost about $1 a sip. Give me JG Melon or PJ Clarke anyday over this temple of mediocrity.

Dec 21, 2006
AndyNYC in Manhattan

Top 5 Burgers

Rare blows. Burger Joint or Shake Shack is where its at. Also went to Stand last night and in the mediocre category, we have a new winner.

Dec 20, 2006
AndyNYC in Manhattan

Top 5 Burgers

Has anyone tried the new burger place "brgr"? I also hear another one is opening tomorrow called Stand.

Dec 14, 2006
AndyNYC in Manhattan

Why are there no burger places like The Counter (LA) in NYC?

With all the new burger places opening, I would think someone would have done a build your own burger place. At The Counter in LA, there are a ton of cheeses and toppings to choose from, sort of like a tossed to order salad with burgers instead of salads. Does anyone think that would be popular or do people only want to choose the basics (lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, cheese, bacon, etc.)?

Nov 30, 2006
AndyNYC in Manhattan

The Counter Burger Toppings - who is ordering this stuff?

I first have to say that I have never been there, since I live in NYC. But I have heard a lot about them and took a look at their menu on their website. Not that I am a burger purist, but I was flabbergasted. Black Olives, Scallions, Carrot Strings, Grilled Pineapple - are they kidding? No way do any of those items or a bunch of others on the menu belong on any burger, not to mention their ridiculous sauces. I like the idea of a build your own burger, something we don't have in NYC, but I think what actually works on a burger is more limited. Am I crazy or is this menu as silly as it sounds?

Nov 30, 2006
AndyNYC in General Topics

Lack of nice cafes in NYC

Yeah...go into bathazar or bouchon bakery and order just a cup of coffee and watch the look on the server's face, especially at lunch or dinner. They are restaurants, not cafes. My point was that in Europe, a cafe is a place where you can get decent, light food and also linger over a cup of coffee. The places you named do not fit that bill.

Nov 21, 2006
AndyNYC in Manhattan

Lack of nice cafes in NYC

I think one thing that European Cafes seem to have in addition to coffee and pastries is real food. In Paris, you can get tartines, and some light classic bistro fare at most cafes. Spain has tapas. In New York, it seems you either go to a diner which generally has mediocre food and coffee or a bakery/cafe which as coffee and limited food. There are no places that satisfy both. I think le Pain Quotidien comes close, but the food is really mediocre. I, too, want a place where I can have a real, light meal but also linger over coffee. In NYC, it does not exist.

Nov 21, 2006
AndyNYC in Manhattan

Dos Caminos 3rd Avenue - Basement Dining Room Looks Llike Olive Garden

Went to Dos Caminos on 3rd last night. I like the one on Park and this one is closer to where I live. I was also enticed by a 20% off offer for their opening. The food was fine, although as expected, not as good as yet as their others. Guacamole made out of sight of table was really bland and had to be remade. Overall food wasn't too bad and acceptable, especially for a new restauarant. However, the one thing I could not understand was the decor. Park Ave. location is highly and appropriately designed. Although there is a 1st floor dining area on 3rd that looked nicely designed, most of the rstaurant is actually in the basement and has no decor whatsoever. I mean it actually looks like they ran out of money and told the architect to stop. Bare walls and ceilings, nothing interesting. Especially when you are going to have a dining room in an uninteresting basement with no windows, surely you should compensate with clever and interesting design. I actaully felt like I could have been in any chain restauarant in America - Olive Garden comes to mind. Did david Rockwell actually design this location? Maybe Steve Hanson said people will come no matter what - why spend more money on design? He may be right, but I will never go back to this location. Of course, I am sure they won't miss me.

Nov 12, 2006
AndyNYC in Manhattan

Good "Real Lunch" in Manhattan

Where can I go in the City for a casual lunch that has a menu of real lunch foods? I'm talking about a great menu of soups, salads, and sandwiches - the food people really want to eat for lunch. I am also talking about a restuarant with waiter service - not a quick serve like Cafe Metro or Hale & Hearty. When I eat at my desk I go to those places. But sometimes I want to be able to be served by someone and eat on china, not paper, and not have to clean my own table. Of course there are an abundant amount of waiter service restaurants offering lunch, but I find most of their menus to be dinner dishes served for lunch. I like to eat soups, salads, or sandwiches for lunch. No one seems to offer an extensive menu of those things other than quick serve. I want something casual, too so I can get in and out quickly, no fuss. The closest thing I can typically find is Le Pain Quotidien, but their food is mediocre. And coffee shops and diners just don't have anything too sophisticated or upscale and I always worry about the quality. I have spent some time in LA and it seems there are more restuarants like this out there. Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?

Nov 01, 2006
AndyNYC in Manhattan