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 Sylvia's

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Sundancer7

Sylvia's Mon, 04/28/03 9:18 PM (permalink)
I was in NYC a while ago and I took a cab ride up to Sylvia's. Cost me $25 for the ride through a questionable neighborhood. Restaurant was very nice and I expected very good southern food in a NYC area due to their location in Atlanta. It was a pretty large place and very busy.

My opinion was it was over rated and mediocre at best. I think they were sailing on yesterday's wind.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
 
#1
    stanpnepa

    • Total Posts: 575
    • Joined: 11/23/2001
    • Location: Wyoming (Scranton/Wi, PA
    RE: Sylvia's Mon, 04/28/03 10:29 PM (permalink)
    I haven't been there, but as I recall Sylvia's is Lou Reed's favorite as mentioned in his homage "Egg Cream".
     
    #2
      baybey

      • Total Posts: 26
      • Joined: 12/16/2002
      • Location: nyc, NY
      RE: Sylvia's Tue, 04/29/03 9:51 AM (permalink)
      Paul,

      You are correct. Sylvia's reputation nowadays is as a place for tourists who read about it in guide books. Most New Yorkers don't go there for good soul food. Unfortunately there is very little alternative as good authentic Southern style restaurants are almost nonexistent in NYC.

      Rob
       
      #3
        wanderingjew

        • Total Posts: 7384
        • Joined: 1/18/2001
        • Location: East Greenwich/ Warwick, RI
        • Roadfood Insider
        RE: Sylvia's Tue, 04/29/03 10:22 AM (permalink)
        quote:
        Originally posted by Sundancer7

        I was in NYC a while ago and I took a cab ride up to Sylvia's. Cost me $25 for the ride through a questionable neighborhood. Restaurant was very nice and I expected very good southern food in a NYC area due to their location in Atlanta. It was a pretty large place and very busy.

        My opinion was it was over rated and mediocre at best. I think they were sailing on yesterday's wind.

        Paul E. Smith
        Knoxville, TN



        I guess now you understand how New Yorkers feel about Pizza from Wal Mart!
         
        #4
          Sundancer7

          RE: Sylvia's Tue, 04/29/03 10:44 AM (permalink)
          quote:
          Originally posted by wanderingjew

          quote:
          Originally posted by Sundancer7

          I was in NYC a while ago and I took a cab ride up to Sylvia's. Cost me $25 for the ride through a questionable neighborhood. Restaurant was very nice and I expected very good southern food in a NYC area due to their location in Atlanta. It was a pretty large place and very busy.

          My opinion was it was over rated and mediocre at best. I think they were sailing on yesterday's wind.

          Paul E. Smith
          Knoxville, TN



          I guess now you understand how New Yorkers feel about Pizza from Wal Mart!



          I believe my point about buying cheap pizza at Walmart related more to what I do to it before I bake it.

          I really enjoyed kicking it up several notches by adding my in frige ingredients.

          The pizza I bought was just your plain vanilla wrapper. I added bell peppers, onions, garlic, mozzarella, jalapenos, some sausage, mushrooms, seasoning, etc. I sorta cleaned up the frige.

          We folks from Tennessee ain't too smart about some things, but we do not like bad or cheap pizza. I am sure that New York has many thousands of times more pizza buying opportunities than us poor hillbillies. That is the reason we have to doctor them up.

          Paul E. Smith
          Knoxville, TN

           
          #5
            wanderingjew

            • Total Posts: 7384
            • Joined: 1/18/2001
            • Location: East Greenwich/ Warwick, RI
            • Roadfood Insider
            RE: Sylvia's Tue, 04/29/03 10:52 AM (permalink)
            quote:
            Originally posted by Sundancer7

            quote:
            Originally posted by wanderingjew

            quote:
            Originally posted by Sundancer7

            I was in NYC a while ago and I took a cab ride up to Sylvia's. Cost me $25 for the ride through a questionable neighborhood. Restaurant was very nice and I expected very good southern food in a NYC area due to their location in Atlanta. It was a pretty large place and very busy.

            My opinion was it was over rated and mediocre at best. I think they were sailing on yesterday's wind.

            Paul E. Smith
            Knoxville, TN



            I guess now you understand how New Yorkers feel about Pizza from Wal Mart!



            I believe my point about buying cheap pizza at Walmart related more to what I do to it before I bake it.

            I really enjoyed kicking it up several notches by adding my in frige ingredients.

            The pizza I bought was just your plain vanilla wrapper. I added bell peppers, onions, garlic, mozzarella, jalapenos, some sausage, mushrooms, seasoning, etc. I sorta cleaned up the frige.

            We folks from Tennessee ain't too smart about some things, but we do not like bad or cheap pizza. I am sure that New York has many thousands of times more pizza buying opportunities than us poor hillbillies. That is the reason we have to doctor them up.

            Paul E. Smith
            Knoxville, TN





            Imagine how we feel about good barbeque and southern fried chicken. I have to drive all the way down to Richmond Virginia to find something decent!
             
            #6
              FlattedFifth

              • Total Posts: 34
              • Joined: 2/2/2001
              • Location: New York, NY
              RE: Sylvia's Thu, 07/3/03 3:16 PM (permalink)
              I am not a big fan of Sylvia's anymore. (And their bottled hot sauce is the worst out there.)

              If you want good soul food in NYC try Amy Ruth's
              http://newyork.citysearch.com/profile/7172976
              quote:
              Originally posted by baybey

              Paul,

              You are correct. Sylvia's reputation nowadays is as a place for tourists who read about it in guide books. Most New Yorkers don't go there for good soul food. Unfortunately there is very little alternative as good authentic Southern style restaurants are almost nonexistent in NYC.

              Rob
               
              #7
                jdg68

                • Total Posts: 47
                • Joined: 5/25/2003
                • Location: richmond, VA
                RE: Sylvia's Sun, 08/3/03 7:47 PM (permalink)
                I do have Sylvia's cookbook which I got for $1.00 when starting my Good Cook membership. Some good recipes there.
                 
                #8
                  Texicana

                  • Total Posts: 185
                  • Joined: 7/19/2003
                  • Location: Ashland, KY
                  RE: Sylvia's Sun, 08/3/03 8:21 PM (permalink)
                  Never been to NY so I haven't had the chance to try Sylvias but since they are featured quite regularly on the Food Network, on lots of different shows, I could tell I wouldn't be impressed with the fried chicken, since every shot I have seen of it, it looks like it doesn't have a good crust on it. Crust is very important to me.
                   
                  #9
                    Sundancer7

                    RE: Sylvia's Sun, 08/3/03 8:52 PM (permalink)
                    I have been to Slyvia's in NY and believe me, it is way overrated. In my opinion, the only reason she makes it in NY is most people up there have never had any southern food.

                    I rated it average at best. In addition, my cab fare there cost me $25 east Tennessee dollars.

                    Paul E. Smith

                    Knoxville, TN
                     
                    #10
                      Texicana

                      • Total Posts: 185
                      • Joined: 7/19/2003
                      • Location: Ashland, KY
                      RE: Sylvia's Sun, 08/3/03 8:57 PM (permalink)
                      Didja have the chicken Sundancer7?
                       
                      #11
                        Sundancer7

                        RE: Sylvia's Mon, 08/4/03 1:43 AM (permalink)
                        Chicken, cornbread, greenbeans, grits and I forgot what else.

                        Paul E. Smith
                        Knoxville, TN
                         
                        #12
                          goldsborscht

                          • Total Posts: 128
                          • Joined: 4/16/2003
                          • Location: brooklyn, NY
                          RE: Sylvia's Mon, 08/4/03 2:58 AM (permalink)
                          When I moved to NY, I couldn't wait to go to Sylvia's. Soul food in Harlem. A heavenly proposition. What a disappointment. It really sucks. How could NY not have good soul food? This is NY. Don't pass along soggy ribs as bbq ribs. Don't call spinach out of a can collared greens. Many people migrated here from the south. They must have brought recipes. Where's the bbq, the smothered steak, even cajun. NY needs help. The old delis are dying. The Italian markets are closing. Nothing is filling the void. Someone stole the soul.
                           
                          #13
                            chilidawgguy

                            • Total Posts: 32
                            • Joined: 8/10/2003
                            • Location: Centreville, VA
                            RE: Sylvia's Thu, 08/14/03 2:20 PM (permalink)
                            quote:
                            Originally posted by wanderingjew

                            quote:
                            Originally posted by Sundancer7

                            quote:
                            Originally posted by wanderingjew


                            Originally posted by Sundancer7

                            I was in NYC a while ago and I took a cab ride up to Sylvia's. Cost me $25 for the ride through a questionable neighborhood. Restaurant was very nice and I expected very good southern food in a NYC area due to their location in Atlanta. It was a pretty large place and very busy.

                            My opinion was it was over rated and mediocre at best. I think they were sailing on yesterday's wind.

                            Paul E. Smith
                            Knoxville, TN


                            I guess now you understand how New Yorkers feel about Pizza from Wal Mart!


                            I believe my point about buying cheap pizza at Walmart related more to what I do to it before I bake it.

                            I really enjoyed kicking it up several notches by adding my in frige ingredients.

                            The pizza I bought was just your plain vanilla wrapper. I added bell peppers, onions, garlic, mozzarella, jalapenos, some sausage, mushrooms, seasoning, etc. I sorta cleaned up the frige.

                            We folks from Tennessee ain't too smart about some things, but we do not like bad or cheap pizza. I am sure that New York has many thousands of times more pizza buying opportunities than us poor hillbillies. That is the reason we have to doctor them up.

                            Paul E. Smith
                            Knoxville, TN




                            Imagine how we feel about good barbeque and southern fried chicken. I have to drive all the way down to Richmond Virginia to find something decent!
                            [/Decent barbeque in Richmond? News to me, and I've lived in VA 30 years. As long as you're driving, you might as well continue south on I-95 15 miles over the North Carolina border to the little town of Weldon, home to Ralph's BBQ. They serve a lunch and dinner buffet that is to die for. In addition to the outstanding pulled pork and excellent fried chicken, you'll find things like chicken and pastry, country fried steak and gravy, baked chicken in brown gravy and some of the best vegetable sides you'll ever taste. You can make a meal on the hush puppies alone. If you should be unfortunate enough to be there between the hours of 2pm and 5pm when the buffet is closed, you can still get a great all-the-way chilidog and cheeseburger at the take out window. quote]
                             
                            #14
                              Spudnut

                              • Total Posts: 655
                              • Joined: 6/30/2003
                              • Location: New York, NY
                              RE: Sylvia's Thu, 08/14/03 2:41 PM (permalink)
                              I agree with the (unanamous) consensus: Syliva's is no good. I haven't tried Amy Ruth's yet, but hear great things about it. My wife catered my 40th birthday party this year from another Harlem soul food restaurant called Copeland's, and it was fantastic. I can't compare it to soul food from the South, although I imagine this particular meal would've compared well, even if "NYC soul food" in general does not.

                              NYC has an amazing array of great food, but we're kind of hurting in the soul, BBQ and Mexican categories (except for very high-end Mexican -- we have some good choices there.)
                               
                              #15
                                wanderingjew

                                • Total Posts: 7384
                                • Joined: 1/18/2001
                                • Location: East Greenwich/ Warwick, RI
                                • Roadfood Insider
                                RE: Sylvia's Thu, 08/14/03 3:03 PM (permalink)
                                quote:
                                Originally posted by Phil J.

                                I agree with the (unanamous) consensus: Syliva's is no good. I haven't tried Amy Ruth's yet, but hear great things about it. My wife catered my 40th birthday party this year from another Harlem soul food restaurant called Copeland's, and it was fantastic. I can't compare it to soul food from the South, although I imagine this particular meal would've compared well, even if "NYC soul food" in general does not.

                                NYC has an amazing array of great food, but we're kind of hurting in the soul, BBQ and Mexican categories (except for very high-end Mexican -- we have some good choices there.)


                                I grew up in NY and completely agree. Same here in Rhode Island, can't find a good steak too. Shhh! Don't tell Jgleduc that
                                 
                                #16
                                  tamandmik

                                  • Total Posts: 949
                                  • Joined: 6/25/2003
                                  • Location: Las Cruces, NM
                                  RE: Sylvia's Thu, 08/14/03 3:33 PM (permalink)
                                  How does Jestine's in Charleston SC stack up against Sylvia's? Jestine's is the only soul food place I've dined at, and found it outrageously good.
                                   
                                  #17
                                    marberthenad

                                    • Total Posts: 509
                                    • Joined: 2/19/2003
                                    • Location: Washington, DC
                                    RE: Sylvia's Sat, 11/1/03 9:10 PM (permalink)
                                    There still is great soul food in New York. Charles' Southern Style soul food on Frederick Douglass Blvd in Harlem has fried chicken that I have not been able to better anywhere in the South. Another restaurant is Spoonbread. I think they have a couple of locations. Sylvia's is not what its reputation says it is. Copeland's is good for Gospel Brunch. Jazz there is fun too. The Soul Cafe in midtown is a great place too for some late night soul food ...
                                     
                                    #18
                                      hilldweller

                                      • Total Posts: 168
                                      • Joined: 7/20/2003
                                      • Location: Staten Island, NYC, NY
                                      RE: Sylvia's Sat, 11/1/03 11:14 PM (permalink)
                                      How about the United House of Prayer? There was an article about it in the NY Times a few weeks ago. Sounds neat.
                                      [url='http://www.chowhound.com/boards/manhat/messages/88661.html']United House of Prayer write-up[/url]
                                       
                                      #19
                                        Cosmos

                                        • Total Posts: 1448
                                        • Joined: 5/14/2002
                                        • Location: Syracuse, NY
                                        RE: Sylvia's Tue, 01/13/04 1:02 PM (permalink)
                                        Keep your eyes open for the Dinosaur BBQ opening in Harlem in early summer. Great Q and soul food sides.
                                         
                                        #20
                                          angelfood

                                          • Total Posts: 204
                                          • Joined: 12/15/2003
                                          • Location: Lowcountry, SC
                                          RE: Sylvia's Thu, 03/11/04 4:32 PM (permalink)
                                          The last time I saw Sylvia's on the Food Network, her daughter was saying how she'd finally convinced her mother, Sylvia, to update her recipes in order to serve healthier food. They replaced smoked hocks with smoked turkey wings, etc. I wonder if that's what stole the soul... .
                                           
                                          #21
                                            marberthenad

                                            • Total Posts: 509
                                            • Joined: 2/19/2003
                                            • Location: Washington, DC
                                            RE: Sylvia's Thu, 03/11/04 6:07 PM (permalink)
                                            Good soulfood in New York can be found at Spoonbread, and at Charlie's Southern Fried Chicken (this chicken is out of this world). Spoonbreak is in the Upper West Side, while Charlie's is in Harlem, a little further up from Sylvia's. Agree that Sylvia's is overated. Everything is drowned in sauce ....

                                            Goldborscht -- I couldn't agree more.
                                             
                                            #22
                                              andypants

                                              • Total Posts: 18
                                              • Joined: 3/27/2004
                                              • Location: Baltimore, MD
                                              RE: Sylvia's Sat, 03/27/04 4:20 PM (permalink)
                                              quote:
                                              Originally posted by Sundancer7


                                              I believe my point about buying cheap pizza at Walmart related more to what I do to it before I bake it. I really enjoyed kicking it up several notches by adding my in frige ingredients. The pizza I bought was just your plain vanilla wrapper. I added bell peppers, onions, garlic, mozzarella, jalapenos, some sausage, mushrooms, seasoning, etc. I sorta cleaned up the frige.

                                              We folks from Tennessee ain't too smart about some things, but we do not like bad or cheap pizza.


                                              IMO the best frozen pizzas are the Freschetta brand (the original style only, NOT the brick oven type, those are horrible). I still tend to
                                              add toppings (extra cheese, some more pepperoni). The crust is what makes it better than other brands, even DiGiorno. I'm sure the ones you get at Walmart are much cheaper though.
                                               
                                              #23
                                                howard8

                                                • Total Posts: 355
                                                • Joined: 5/12/2003
                                                • Location: randolph, NJ
                                                RE: Sylvia's Mon, 03/29/04 2:56 PM (permalink)
                                                I recently tried Sylvia's canned collard greens, mixed greens and lima beans. The greens were very tasty and although pricey (about a dollar for a 16oz can), on sale for 50 to 79 cents its a pretty good buy. The limas were very smokey and although I love lima beans, I am used to frozen limas with butter and a little garlic and onion. I did soak the other can of Sylvia's limas in a few changes of cold water and they were edible to my taste.
                                                 
                                                #24
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