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Manhattan for 5 days over New Year

Thanks for the replies everyone, lots of great suggestions here.

Two Little Read Hens sounds good for cheesecake. I'll probably go there or pick up an S&S from Zabar's. If I'm passing Junior's and just want a slice would it do for an NY cheesecake fix?

Street food suggestions sound good as well, I've got lots to go on here.

Thanks for the comprehensive reply Kathryn! Keen's sounds great for the steakhouse. I'm leaning towards that though Strip House and Spark's are also contenders. I think Peter Luger is just a bit too far away. I'll reconsider my pizza options as well.

For BBQ I love pulled pork so Dinosaur sounds like a solid bet. Might pop into Daisy May's for a boll of chilli some day, that also sounds good.

If anyone has any advice for a good Mexican that'd be great.

Dec 27, 2009
Aidoscuz in Manhattan

Manhattan for 5 days over New Year

Yeah, it'd definitely be cream cheese-based rather than ricotta-based that I'd be looking for.

Dec 27, 2009
Aidoscuz in Manhattan

Manhattan for 5 days over New Year

Hello all

I'm off to New York on the 29th of December with my family for a 5 day holiday. I just finished college exams a few days ago and have been really busy since so I haven't got to do much research yet, so any suggestions and help are much appreciated! I'm coming from Ireland and staying in Midtown west on 10th Avenue/36th Street.

So far I've worked out I'd like to try a pizza place, a Mexican, BBQ, a steakhouse, and I'm open to suggestions to anywhere really for the last dinner (as long as it's relatively reasonably priced).

I was in NY a couple of years ago and went to Grimaldi's which was amazing, I'd certainly be happy to return there for the pizza. Went to Blue Smoke as well which I also really liked but I've since had better barbeque. Would Dinosaur be a better bet?

For the Mexican I'd love somewhere that has good Mole. The "Best Mexican" threads seem to throw up a lot of conflicting opinions. Given my Mole craving I was looking at the obvious option of Mole on the LES, but I've also heard good things about Baby Bo's in Murray Hill and La Esquina in SoHo

Haven't got to do any looking at steakhouses yet. I'll post back when I do find some potential choices but for now could people recommend their favourites?

On my previous visit I also visited Katz's deli. I'll certainly be going back for another pastrami fix! I also plan on getting to Burger Joint and/or Shake Shack for a burger. Definitely want to try a couple of good hot dogs as well. Maybe Gray's Papaya? Any other lunch/snack/street food recs?

We're also all big cheesecake heads. Where'd be the best place for authentic New York cheesecake? Eileen's?

Apologies again for all the questions and lack of preparation. I'll peruse the Manhattan and The Best boards soon but any suggestions to get me going would be great!

And Happy Christmas everyone!

Dec 24, 2009
Aidoscuz in Manhattan

Visiting London for 3 days from Ireland

Thanks for the recs. Bocca di Lupo sounds perfect for what we want. It sounds like it's extremely popular from all the reviews - would I need to book fairly far in advance?

Jun 23, 2009
Aidoscuz in U.K./Ireland

Visiting London for 3 days from Ireland

I'm going to be going be heading over to London for 3 days in about two weeks time. I'm coming from Dublin in Ireland so fish and chips, pub food etc aren't exactly novelties as they may be for American visitors! That said I would like to try a good seasonal/modern British restaurant. Preferences for the other nights would probably be Indian and Italian/Mediterranean.

I'd mainly be looking for mid-priced restaurants, nothing massively expensive or formal. So far I'm thinking of St. John or Hereford Road for the British place, and the Painted Heron for Indian. I'm not sure about the Italian - I was looking at L'Anima but it might be a bit formal for what we're looking for. Can anyone comment on the atmosphere there?

Any further accommodations and comments would be much appreciated. I haven't started looking at breakfast or lunch places yet. We'll be staying in Chelsea. My preferences would probably be for fairly hearty breakfasts and light lunches/snacks.

Jun 21, 2009
Aidoscuz in U.K./Ireland

Visiting Chicago from Ireland for 5 Days

Thanks again for the replies. I'd seen lots of praise for Hot Doug's but it seemed a bit far away - is it worth going to even if we're not in the area? We'll be there on a Friday and Saturday so we'd be able to to try out the duck fat fries... Though it's hard to believe something like that even exists!

I'm still not sure about the pizza, I like the idea of Giordano's stuffed pizza but Lou's and Pizano's seem to get more positive responses. In the end I'll probably just have to flip a coin and choose one randomly. As a newcomer to Chicago pizza though I'm sure any of them will taste good.

Jul 25, 2008
Aidoscuz in Chicago Area

Visiting San Francisco from Ireland for 4 Days

Apologies for not replying for the last couple of weeks, I've been in Barcelona (lots of excellent food there too!). Anyway I think I'm pretty much set for the trip, I've got loads to go on here.

As regards Slanted Door, I think I've decided to leave it out for dinner. We actually have a good few Vietnamese restaurants in Ireland, including one five minutes from my house. I think I'd rather try the other stuff on the list though it's still an option for lunch.

The breakfast and Mexican places sound great, hopefully we'll get to some of them. I had heard about the Zuni burger, should be a nice reward after a long day's travelling!

Thanks again for all the helpful advice. I'll report back afterwards to let everyone know we got on.

Jul 25, 2008
Aidoscuz in San Francisco Bay Area

Visiting San Francisco from Ireland for 4 Days

Thanks for the replies everyone. I went for La Ciccia over Incanto and Delfina as we've got lots of good Italian restaurants here in Ireland, but no Sardinian. I'm curious to try it out and I don't know of any other places I could. I'll scratch Colibri off the list - I've decided on Mexican places in Chicago and LA which I'm guessing are better than what SF has to offer. Zuni is near our hotel and we'll be getting late from Chicago the day we arrive, so it'll be handy to be able to walk to it. Seems to get better reviews overall than the Slanted Door as well. I will look into it for lunch though, thanks for the advice.

I'll try to get to Yank Sing for Dim Sum. The location's quite handy. I saw people saying it was expensive - around how much would lunch for 4 people typically end up at? Also is either branch better than the other or are they basically the same?

Unfortunately we won't be in SF on a Saturday so we'll miss the market. I'll definitely have a wander around the Ferry building, sounds fun.

I forgot almost about burritos and tacos. I'll do some looking on the boards but does anyone have any particular recs to get me started?

Also any good breakfast places, preferably in/near Hayes Valley?

ceekskat - I'm 19 and my brother's 17, we're going with our parents. We certainly won't be bored by quiet restaurants! We're fairly adventurous eaters and have eaten in all kinds of places.

Thanks again everyone, this is great feedback.

Jul 08, 2008
Aidoscuz in San Francisco Bay Area

Visiting Chicago from Ireland for 5 Days

Thanks very much for the replies everyone. I've added some breakfast and snack places to my map.

As regards Frontera versus Mixteco, Mixteco sounds good but I think I'll stick with Frontera. It's literally three block from our hotel and I don't mind the prices so it's tempting to just go there.

I think I'll have to try some Italian beef as well - I'm looking at Al's No 1 Italian Beef, Mr Beef and Luke's Italian Beef, depending on where I am in the city. I've also got Weiner Circle and Portillo's down for hot dogs, and Billy Goat Tavern for a quick burger. Any other burger/beef/hot dog places people would recommend?

Jul 08, 2008
Aidoscuz in Chicago Area

Visiting Chicago from Ireland for 5 Days

Hey all

I'll be in Chicago for 5 days this August with my family (4 of us). We're visiting from Ireland and we're staying in the Hilton Garden Inn, just north of the river. We'd mainly like to experience the kind of stuff we can't really get at home. I've been trying to narrow down the eating options over the past few days and I've come up a list of places for dinner - how does this look to everyone?

1. Giordano’s
2. Spoon Thai (with translated Thai menu)
3. Frontera Grill
4. Fat Willy’s Rib Shack
5. Blackbird

A couple of comments. We definitely want a stuffed/deep dish pizza of some kind - I chose Giordano's to get the full stuffed, double crust experience but I could go for a deep dish place if people think it's better. I did some looking but it seems that there's no real consensus on the "best" pizza place in Chicago. We're within walking distance of Lou Malnati's, Gino's East, Pizano's, etc, and Uno and Due are right outside our door. Any comments on these or should I just stick to Giordano’s?

Question about Spoon Thai - I got the translated menu from lthforum.com. This was posted in 2007, so does anyone know if it's still the same menu?
http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?...

As for Frontera Grill, it seemed to be the best choice out of Salipcon and Adobo grill. Correct me if I'm wrong.

For BBQ, I was looking at Honey 1 and Smoque as well. They're all in the same area so is Fat Willy's the one to go for?

Finally Blackbirds sounds like a great American place, I think I'll stick with that.

We'll be going to San Francisco and Los Angeles afterwards if that affects things.

I haven't really looked at any lunch or breakfast places - we're not big lunch eaters, we'd generally be looking for light snacks at lunch rather than sit-down meals. Any recommendations for breakfast places nearby and lunch places around the city?

Thanks for reading. Any comments and further recommendations much appreciated.

Jul 05, 2008
Aidoscuz in Chicago Area

Visiting San Francisco from Ireland for 4 Days

Hey all

I'll be in San Francisco for 4 days this August with my family (4 of us). We're visiting from Ireland and we're staying in Hayes Valley. We'd like to get a good idea of the kind of foodie experience SF can offer. I've been trying to narrow down the eating options over the past few days and I've come up a list of places for dinner - how does this look to everyone?

1. Zuni Café
2. La Ciccia
3. Aziza
4. Ame

We don't have any particular preference for cuisine types - basically anything that isn't excessively expensive (Ame would be the upper limit "splurge" level). We're willing to travel to places by car and walk a couple of miles.

Some other places I had on my list: Colibri Mexican Bistro, Incanto, Delfina, Tadich Grill, Slanted Door, Burma Super Star. What are people's opinions on these compared to the ones I've chosen?

We'll have already been in Chicago and will be travelling to Los Angeles afterwards if that affects things.

I haven't really looked at any lunch or breakfast places - we're not big lunch eaters, we'd generally be looking for light snacks at lunch rather than sit-down meals. Although we've never had Dim Sum so I think Chinatown in SF would be a perfect place to rectify that!

Any comments and further recommendations much appreciated.

Jul 05, 2008
Aidoscuz in San Francisco Bay Area

Cheap Places in Barcelona

Hey Everyone

I'm going to visit a couple of friends in Barcelona in a few days. They've got an apartment near the Sagrada Familia. Anyone have any recommendations for cheap but good places in Barcelona? Any type of food really.

My friends aren't all that into food and probably won't be that willing to travel to restaurants, so places in the Sagrada Familia area would be best. All suggestions are welcome though.

I've already looked through this thread, which had some nice sounding recommendations: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/496975.

Thanks in advance

Jul 05, 2008
Aidoscuz in Spain/Portugal

In San Diego for a week

Thanks for the replies everyone.

It's good to know that Tapatio is so widely available. Although as goodhealthgourmet said we may be better off just ordering a load off the website.

The convention is on in the Downtown Convention Center, the one on 111 West Harbour Drive. He's got a car so he's able to travel; I assumed that the area around the hotel would be pretty poor for food.

All these recs sound great. San Diego probably isn't the place to be looking, but does anyone know of any good BBQ places?

Any more suggestions much appreciated.

Oct 11, 2007
Aidoscuz in California

In San Diego for a week

Hey all

My dad's going to San Diego for a week on Saturday for a convention, and he was looking for some recs for decent restaurants. He's staying in the Handlery on Hotel Circle, just off I-8. He's looking for places near either the hotel or convention centre in downtown, or anywhere in between them.

He'd probably be leaning more towards American, BBQ, Mexican, Italian, or Seafood then Chinese, Thai or Japanese. If anyone has any recs for places for breakfast, lunch or dinner that'd be great. Budget would be kind of mid-range - nothing hugely pricey or really cheap.

Also - Does anyone know where he could pick up some Tapatio hot sauce while he's there? I got a bottle when I was in Los Angeles over the summer and I've been addicted since! I've found Hot Licks in Seaport Village but they don't list it on their site.

Thanks in advance

Oct 10, 2007
Aidoscuz in California

In Paris for three days

Thanks very much Souphie, they sound like some great spots. I'm getting jealous that I'm not going myself!

Sep 18, 2007
Aidoscuz in France

In Paris for three days

Hey all

My dad and my brother are off to Paris next weekend for the Ireland - France rugby match. They'll be staying in the 17th arrondissement near the Arc de Triomphe. It's a fairly short visit - they're flying out on Thursday morning and coming back Saturday night.

They're looking for a few good restaurants, both in the 17th and elsewhere in case they're eating when they're out sightseeing. Price range is around €30-€40 per person. Can anyone recommend anywhere to give them a sample of really good, not too pricey French food?

Thanks

Sep 16, 2007
Aidoscuz in France

BBQ in the Valley

Thanks for the link, looks like an interesting discussion. Seems picking a BBQ place will be more difficult than I thought!

Aug 04, 2007
Aidoscuz in Los Angeles Area

BBQ in the Valley

I'm staying on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City and looking for a good BBQ place. I don't mind driving a bit if there's anywhere that's really worth it. Boneyard Bistro is nearby, and I was looking at Ribs USA as well. Anyone have any other recommendations? I'd be looking for good ribs and pulled pork in particular.

Thanks

Aug 02, 2007
Aidoscuz in Los Angeles Area

Normas

Norma's is really amazing, I went there a few days ago while on holiday in NY and I loved it. I'd recommend the French toast with caramel sauce. They don't accept reservations by phone but you can use www.opentable.com to get one.

Apr 12, 2007
Aidoscuz in Manhattan

Best Blue Smoke Dishes

Hi everyone, I'm just back from New York today. I absolutely loved Blue Smoke!

We got there at about 8.30 and had to wait for a little while. I was planning on making an opentable reservation but didn't have internet access in my hotel, so I rang them up. They said they weren't taking any more reservations for Sunday so we just went along. Luckily we just had to wait about 15 minutes and got a nice table upstairs.

I was a bit surprised when I looked at the menu to see that only the pulled pork platter was there, not the sandwich. The waitress assured me I could still get the sandwich though. Crisis averted... My dad ordered the Blue Smoke Burger, and I stuck with the sides I had chosen beforehand (mac and cheese, fry bread and hushpuppies).

Everything was delicious when it arrived. I have next to no experience of proper BBQ but the pulled pork tasted brilliant to me, really smoky and juicy. Despite my misgivings the coleslaw was delicious. All the sides were great, but the mac and cheese was particularly good. I devoured almost the whole portion in a few minutes. I tried some of the burger as well and it was excellent. I didn't get to try any other burgers in NY for comparison but it tasted damn good to me.

On to dessert. I was torn between the chocolate layer cake and sticky toffee pudding, and went for the chocolate cake in the end. It was absolutely incredible! It was unbelievably moist, and wasn't overly sweet or heavy. Came with a nice glass of milk to wash it down as well.

Overall I was really happy with the visit. Thanks for all the help with the choices everyone!

Apr 10, 2007
Aidoscuz in Manhattan

Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory - Open late?

Thanks for the info. I'll check Ciao Bella out. From what I can gather it seems to be part of another restaurant, Rice's I think. Is this the place you're thinking of?

Apr 04, 2007
Aidoscuz in Outer Boroughs

Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory - Open late?

Anyone?

Apr 03, 2007
Aidoscuz in Outer Boroughs

Best Blue Smoke Dishes

Ok, I think I've finally settled on what I'll order. I'm going to go for the pulled pork sandwich and my dad's going to get the rib sampler. I'll stick with the fry bread, hushpuppies and mac and cheese for the sides. Should give us a nice sample of the menu hopefully. One more thing - does the coleslaw come in the sandwich or separately? I'd prefer to have it separate in case I don't like it.

I think I'll make a reservation the day before I go to just to be sure I don't have to wait too long.

Thanks for all the advice everybody, it's really helped. I'll report back on how I got on!

Apr 03, 2007
Aidoscuz in Manhattan

Best Blue Smoke Dishes

Wow, thanks for all the replies everyone! Looks like choosing is going to be harder than I thought...

Seems there's a lot of different opinion on the ribs. I might risk it and try the Texas Beef ribs. Should I get a half rack and leave some room for the sides or go for a full rack?

On to the sides. Seems like the whole menu's been recommended! If I leave out a starter, how many sides do you think two of us would be able for? If we were going for, say, three would Fry bread, Mac and cheese and Hush puppies be a good choice?

Apr 02, 2007
Aidoscuz in Manhattan

Visiting NY for 3 days over Easter

Thanks for all the advice RGR, it's really helpful. I think I've got everything planned to perfection now - If I think of anything else I'll post back!

Apr 01, 2007
Aidoscuz in Manhattan

Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory - Open late?

Hey all

I'll be in New York over Easter and I'll be heading to Grimaldi's and the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory on the Friday when I fly in. It might be pretty late when I get to Grimaldi's so does anyone know when the Ice Cream Factory closes?

Also, I may as well get some recs while I'm here. Are any of the topping in Grimaldi's and ice creams at the factory particularly unmissable?

Thanks

Apr 01, 2007
Aidoscuz in Outer Boroughs

Best Blue Smoke Dishes

Hey all

I'm visiting NYC this weekend and one of the restaurant's I'll be visiting is Blue Smoke. Does anyone have any recs on what to get? I'm thinking of getting ribs but I'm not sure which ones I should go for. I don't like Coleslaw (which they all come with) so would I need to get some extra sauce or something for the ribs instead? Also, what about the sides? There'll be two of us going so would one side each suffice? As for dessert, I've heard good things about the Chocolate Layer Cake so I'll probably go for that unless any of the others are better.

Thanks

Apr 01, 2007
Aidoscuz in Manhattan

Visiting NY for 3 days over Easter

Yeah, I'd say I'll be having pretty big breakfasts/brunches and then a snack in the afternoon rather than a full lunch, something like a bagel or a street vendor hot dog :) Does Zabar's have a place where you can eat in or is it just a food store?

I was wondering about reservations. I presume Grimaldi's doesn't take them, but would I need to make reservations for Blue Smoke and Rocking Horse? And what about Norma's and Vnyl for breakfast and brunch?

Mar 31, 2007
Aidoscuz in Manhattan

Visiting NY for 3 days over Easter

Thanks for the recommendations everyone. I think I've got a plan worked out for where I'll eat. Anyone have any comments?

Friday Night: Grimaldi's Pizzeria and Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory for dessert.

Saturday: Brunch at Vnyl
Lunch at H&H Bagel Midtown east
Dinner at Rocking Horse Cafe

Sunday: Breakfast at Norma’s
Lunch at burger joint
Dinner at Blue Smoke

Monday: Breakfast at Times Square Hot Bagels
Lunch at Katz's

I'll be around the Met Museum on Saturday, and the Museum of Natural History and Midtown on Sunday so does any one have any other ideas for lunch around there? And how do the breakfast/brunch selections look?

My mouth is watering already...

Mar 31, 2007
Aidoscuz in Manhattan

Visiting NY for 3 days over Easter

Hey all

First time Chowhounder here.

I’m visiting Manhattan for 3 days over the Easter Weekend from Ireland and I’d like to try out some classic NY restaurants. My hotel’s just off Times Square but I’ll be out and about a good bit so I don’t mind where they are. Ideally I’d like try a Pizza Place, a BBQ and a Mexican.

Pizza: John’s on Times Square sounds good and would be convenient. Or it worth going to some other place like Gimaldi’s or Lombardi's?

BBQ: I know NY isn’t going to be the best place for authentic BBQ but I’d say anything would beat our attempts in Ireland! I was thinking of Blue Smoke. Sound good?

Mexican: Quality seems to vary a lot from what I’ve read. I was looking at places like Agave, Zarela, Rocking Horse and Maya. Anyone have any other rec’s?

Thanks!

Mar 27, 2007
Aidoscuz in Manhattan