Random NYC Experiences

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The Travelin Man
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Random NYC Experiences - Sun, 05/11/08 1:44 PM
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This is a compilation report of my two most recent trips to NYC. I managed to bring my camera with me most of the time, but I also have a few places that I hit where I forgot my camera either in the hotel or the car. The most notable camera absence was for the Katz's Deli Meet-up with EliseT and the gang. What would the pre-game odds on both wanderingjew and I forgetting our cameras before heading into the city? Still, I have enough pictures to keep busy and enough stock photos taken previously to fill in.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a flight that was delayed into Newark. If you ever fly into Newark, you know that is not a big surprise. My flight landed around 11:30 pm, and I hadn't had any dinner. After collecting luggage and spending an unneeded amount of time at the Hertz counter, I progressed towards Manhattan. Recalling ellen4641's fondness for late-night Jewish deli, I knew that Sarge's Delicatessen would be open and ready to dish out some good corned beef. Unfortunately, I only knew that it was on Third Avenue - somewhere in the 30's. Using my keen corned beef Spidey sense, I tracked the place down and even found easy street parking late on a Friday night/Saturday morning.



Given my past propensity for arriving at restaurants during hours that THEY didn't find convenient, I was pleased to see this sign greeting my arrival.



Since it was now almost 2 in the morning, I wasn't really expecting to find such friendly people working at that hour. The staff was wonderful and I ordered a corned beef on rye and a kasha knish. I knew I would have a refrigerator in my hotel room, I didn't mind the idea of having leftovers. Since I ordered the food to go, most of the food pictures are pretty dark. This one may be dark, but at least it is in focus.



Normally I don't post my out-of-focus shots (post the good ones, hide the bad ones, and you're a much better photographer!), but at least this one shows the size of the sandwich.



This was a really good sandwich. I don't know if it is the best in town, but it is really good for a late night fix, and is easily the most reasonably priced of all the major Jewish-style deli players. I want to say that the sandwich and the knish together were around $15, which is what the sandwich alone would go for at Katz's or Carnegie.


I went back and edited one of the knish photos in Photoshop and I am not sure if it turned out. If at the end, I think the picture sucks, I may just edit it back out!



Since I didn't find a "CLOSED" sign, you would figure that this was an uneventful trip, right? Well, when I got back to my car, I found out that my key was broken - it was one of those retractable keys that you press the button to make the key pop out. Well, the key wouldn't pop out - and I didn't have my Leatherman to use as a tool, since I flew earlier in the day. After a half-hour on hold with Hertz "Emergency" Roadside Assistance - good thing it wasn't an emergency - I spent another half-hour in some twisted "Who's On First" routine with the person who answered the phone. She told me to use the "auto start" (the car didn't have an auto start), she told me to press the button (umm....duh!), she told me to use the auto start - again...and this routine went on for almost another half-hour. It's now around 3 am when she told me that a tow truck would be out to help me - in another hour or so. The tow truck came and popped the key open in no time and had me on my way. I finally arrived at my hotel a little before 5 am - with very little left of a corned beef sandwich.

More to come...


The Travelin Man
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Sun, 05/11/08 3:55 PM
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My 5 am arrival necessitated some serious sleep on my part, and I was lucky to have the housekeeping staff respect my "Do Not Disturb" sign. I had made plans to meet up with one of my colleagues in the city for an evening out. mr chips and ellen4641 may remember Meghan from our Nashville trip last spring. She is a trooper and usually lets me drag her around all over town. I picked her up at her hotel and we made our way to lower Manhattan via subway. Our destination - an evening walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, pizza at Grimaldi's and dessert at Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. I have done this trip a couple of times before, but never at night. The views from the Bridge were astounding - and fortunately, the weather was perfect - and in the spring, that is always a risk.

We tried to hustle down to the bridge so that there was SOME light left.



One of my favorite things to do is to see what others see through their camera. Really, this picture was more of a way to just torture Meg!



I actually like the photo looking over Meghan's shoulder better than the actual photo!

One thing about the Brooklyn Bridge is that every time I cross it, it seems like I see something a little bit differently than I had seen it before.



Here's virtually the same picture without the heavy flash on the cable. I can't really decide which picture I like better.



Upon arrival at Grimaldi's, we were greeted by a very familiar sight to anyone who has been to Grimaldi's before - people waiting to get in!



We waited about a half-hour for a table. All things considered, that's not that bad. Here's one big tip for limiting your wait - go in a smaller group. Our two-top table got called ahead of a lot of people who had been waiting a lot longer than us. Also - pay attention when the guy calls out for a group of two. When I heard the guy call for a two-top, I immediately put my hand up and looked ahead in the line to see if anyone else was a group of two ahead of us. When no one else stepped forward, and the guy called a second time for a two-top, I stepped forward. As we were heading in, I heard another guy say that they only had two - and the guy awarding tables told him to pay attention next time.

Once inside, though, things move surprisingly fast. We had this bad boy on the table in under a half-hour.



This is my absolute favorite pizza in the City. I love the small, thick, spicy discs of pepperoni, and the fresh basil adds a very different flavor than most pies around town. You cannot order a slice at Grimaldi's. So, if you want one of these...


....you need to order a whole pie and either down the whole thing or take home some leftovers. I mentioned in another thread how I now eschew take-away pizza, and this picture exemplifies why. You just can't get the same "pull" of cheese with a pie that has been sitting - even for just ten minutes of transport. As the cheese cools, you just lose that.

The perfect ending to the pizza at Grimaldi's is the freshly made ice cream at Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, which is located at the end of the block, right on the water, with a view overlooking lower Manhattan.



Yes, you do pay a premium for the location, but the quality of the finished product is what keeps a constant line out the door. Still, $5.50 for a double scoop is not cheap ice cream.



I have tried all of their flavors except the "peaches and cream." I like them all, but this trip was butter pecan and coffee - which, I think, is a great combination. So great, in fact, that I ate it before I got a picture!

Still more to come...

justtable
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Sun, 05/11/08 4:15 PM
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Man there is nothing better than good ole Sarge's on third ave. I live one block north at 38th and third. Let me tell you full service 24 7 delivered any time day or night......The corned beef is second to none.

Twinwillow
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Sun, 05/11/08 4:45 PM
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Ahh, the joy's of living in NY. Sometimes, I feel I should never have moved to Dallas in 1963. Oh well, we now have a Grimaldi's. But, no Sarge's! No Katz's! and no Carnegie Deli!

The Travelin Man
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Sun, 05/11/08 5:11 PM
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Did somebody say Carnegie Deli? Hmmm....

The following day (a Sunday), I had to work in Manhattan. I was staying out on Long Island and planned to take the train into the City. In yet another example of me not being all that bright, I read the train schedule for the weekday timetable and showed up at the train station in just enough time to see my train pulling away. I really didn't want to drive into Manhattan, so I called master NY navigator, Tony Bad to see if he had a suggestion for grabbing the subway in Queens into Penn Station or Grand Central Terminal. He, fortunately, had even better advice - and convinced me to drive into the city, with the promise that I could find easy street parking away from the Javits Center and cab myself to wherever I needed to be. Good call....and I was fortunately able to find myself a parking spot nearest to my favorite bagel joint in town, Ess-a-Bagel.



They have a good selection of bagel choices.



These are always extremely fresh, especially on a Sunday morning with a huge line of people. This stop also required about a half-hour wait.



I secured my provisions, threw the extras in the car for taking home, and hailed a cab to the west side.

After finishing work, I convinced two colleagues (the aforementioned Meghan and Brett) to join me for dinner at the Carnegie Deli. Unfortunately, Brett had to host a reception in New Jersey first. That gave me and Meg some time to kill in NYC first. We shed our work duds and set out to explore Manhattan.


Our walk took us past the Stage Delicatessen. When I was a kid, it seemed as though folks spoke of the Stage with the same reverence as the Carnegie and my beloved Katz's. I have not, however, heard that in years. So, the question begs - does anyone go here anymore? Or, is it just too crowded?

I was always a fan of the ornate architecture of the Broadway theaters. Disney's The Little Mermaid is now playing at the Lunt-Fontanne, which is pretty much smack dab in the middle of Times Square.


I also used to love saying the name "Lunt-Fontanne Theater." I don't know why, but I remember the TV commercials for Sophisticated Ladies from when I was a kid, which I think starred Gregory Hines. All the big shows had ads on TV and the announcer would always end each commercial by saying that you could get tickets at the theater box office "or by calling Tele-Charge." So, there was a time when my little inner Rain Man could remember which show was playing at which theater from their television commercials.

Since we had time to kill, we decided to take in a little bit of The View. No, not the goofy chick-themed TV show...


The View is the revolving rooftop restaurant at the top of the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square. I don't know that I would suggest getting the food [url='http://www.marriott.com/hotelwebsites/us/n/nycmq/nycmq_pdfs/THE%20VIEW%20LOUNGE%20MENU%202008.pdf']menu[/url]), but I have always enjoyed getting a beer and enjoying the view of Manhattan from above.





I didn't get a photo, but they have these cool beverage napkins that list all the different buildings in downtown so that you can spot them as the restaurant revolves. All in all, for under $20, you can enjoy a couple of beers and kill an hour or so watching the world go by. For Manhattan, that ain't such a bad deal.

While killing time is a fine pastime, we were getting a little hungry. We hadn't heard from Brett yet, but we figured that we could head back towards the Carnegie. By now, darkness had set in. In Times Square, that just means one thing....


LIGHTS!

On the way towards Carnegie, we did take one more opportunity to waste some more time.


Not only do they sell all things M&M, including colors you've likely never seen before, but they have an enormous outdoor video display that rotates through some cool scenes.





And, my favorite...


We also walked past the Winter Garden Theater, with their cool dynamic marquee.


We were STILL a few minutes ahead, so I went and showed Meghan one of New York's great "secrets." Anyone who has gone in search of a good burger in the City has probably come across this sign.


Meghan was staying in NY a little longer than I was, and she assured me that she would head back there at some point.

Food coming in the next post...I promise!

Twinwillow
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Sun, 05/11/08 6:10 PM
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Yeah, keep them coming, please.

ann peeples
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Sun, 05/11/08 6:36 PM
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Beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!

ChiTownDiner
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Sun, 05/11/08 8:56 PM
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That pizza picture may be the best I've ever seen...thanks!

ellen4641
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Sun, 05/11/08 9:29 PM
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So neat to hear you were able to get to (almost all?) your favorite NYC deli and bagel places , Steve!
And I'm flattered you took the late night deli tip for Sarge's. That IS a big plus, the fact it's open 24/7. I had great service the 2 time I was in there, as well. ("Donna" with the spiked hair was a doll)
It's funny, cause I've only discovered Sarge's within the last year, even though they've been around since 1964. They keep a low profile.
It's not a touristy place.
(plus I was bouncing around Las Vegas & L.A. for a lot of years after college, so it was'nt like I was always living here in Jersey.)

I know Ess-a-bagel is your favorite, so I'm glad you were able to stock up. Also, I see that burnt crust at Grimaldi's. I remember you love burnt crust, so I'm happy to see that, as well...
I still have'nt tried that Brooklyn Ice Cream factory yet, as the line was too doggone long when we were there last year.
And you know how much I love homemade ice cream.

I can supplement your juicy corned beef shot (as long as you don't mind, Steve) by adding my Sarge's pastrami.... it's a match made in heaven, pastrami & corned beef

enjoyed by Ellen , Feb. 2008


SURE, I remember Meghan! A lovely young gal.... and I remember the special drive the 4 of us had to the Loveless Cafe for that great fried chicken last April!
l-r: Steve (the one and only "travelin' man") , Meghan, me, and Mr. Chips in Nashville, Tennessee 2007

And I remember she was a real trooper, like you said, as you took her way out to a bbq joint over an hour away from Nashville; she was willing to try lots of new places.

Keep those pics coming , Steve...
Me commenting about other Roadfood buddies trip reports is easier than working on my own! (these trip reports take lots of time, as you know. So I sure appreciate all of yours , Steve!!) (there should be "awards" , , like free trips for the posters that do the most trip reports( pics must be included, of course) . I bet THAT would get a lot of Roadfooders out there posting, editing, and pasting... etc.. I can just imagine the "trip reward" plaques getting handed out at the banquet award ceremonies .

And certainly all your baseball & bbq Trip Reports would be in contention , Steve!




mr chips
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Sun, 05/11/08 11:58 PM
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Great report, Steve. Your adventures are consistently interesting.

The Travelin Man
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Mon, 05/12/08 2:27 AM
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Thanks for all the comments so far, folks. I do appreciate it. This will be the last installment for tonight. But, it will be worth waiting for. I think these are some of the best photos I have taken yet! It helps that I had a pretty good set of subjects!


I would love to see someone get this photo without that fire escape in the way, but I don't think I have ever seen a photo without it!

We arrived at Carnegie before our boy, Brett - and we were too hungry to wait for him to arrive. Not able to come up with an alternative, we did what any other right-thinking Roadfooders would do - we ordered dessert first (paging buffetbuster - buffetbuster, please pick up the white courtesy phone). Dessert at the Carnegie should be none other than NY-Style cheesecake.



The cheesecake runs about $9/slice, but it easily fed all three of us (yeah...we saved Brett a bite or two). We tried, we really did try to wait for our friend....but, we just couldn't wait any more.



The famous "Woody Allen" sandwich - half corned beef, half pastrami. This was an ENORMOUS sandwich. Yeah...I know....duh. But, really - this was HUMONGOUS. I can put away a Katz's Deli sandwich in one sitting - easily. I could NOT finish this sandwich, which will, at least, make my doctor happy. Still, I felt a little less manly.

Here is a close-up of the cross-section.



Good golly, Miss Molly. I am still thinking back fondly to this sandwich. Seriously, this sandwich should come with about half a loaf of rye bread to make this into edible portions.

I couldn't stand to eat a knish on top of the sandwich and the cheesecake, so we decided to split an order of the fries.


The salt is glistening off the crispy fries. These were delicious. They kind of remind me of the original Nathan's fries.

B-Dog finally arrived and decided to take the "When in Rome" attitude, as such...


...he joined me in dining on a Woody - and he looks pretty happy with the selection!

The lady in the background has been working at the Carnegie for a long while. She regaled us with tales of celebrities that came in to dine and her turns as an extra on Law and Order. Living in New York, as mentioned by twinwillow above, is a different world.

So, I spent the better part of today writing this section of the trip report (and screwing around with my new Photoshop Express account). This is the fruits of some of that screwing around.



That's all I have for today, but if you want to check out any of the other pictures that I took that may not have made the cut for this report, you can always scope out my[url='http://www.flickr.com/photos/81181002@N00/']flickr account[/url].

Still more to come...

bwave
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Mon, 05/12/08 2:28 AM
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Stage Deli was horrible, it started raining when we were walking by, stopped in for a quick bite, as we were leaving town in 45 minutes. 2 small glasses of oj and 2 bagels was $15! The waiter was extremely rude and pissy and brought us the check at the same time as the food like hurry up and eat and get out since you're not going to spend any real money. I've had better frozen bagels and school cafeterias have better oj.

billyboy
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Mon, 05/12/08 3:04 AM
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TTM, awesome report, man!! Just awesome! You hit a lot of my hangouts! Glad to hear you loved Sarge's. "Corned Beef Spidey Sense", nice. That was my "2 am special" when I worked the 3rd shift near there. Love that pastrami and those fries! Did you have Donna as your waitress? She's a gas!

Wish I could've made the Katz's meet, but I had an engagement in Queens that day.

I love those pics of the Brooklyn Bridge at dusk. Gorgeous! That's my neighborhood (on the Manhattan side, near Pier 17). The Bridge is one of my favorite walks in the city. Carmine's and The Bridge cafe are right near there and have some great food. Bridge Cafe is really best for brunch and is the oldest continuously running bar in NYc (since 1847) and the building has been there since 1794. Somehow, I haven't yet made it to Grimaldi's. Why? WHY? And I adore the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory! Their strawberry and peaches & cream are probably two of the purest ice cream flavors I have ever had. The fruit had such a wonderful presence and harmony with the ice cream. And the view? Fuhgeddaboutit!!

Where exactly is Ess-A-Bagel? I've never been and feel I might have to tomorrow morning. I've never been in The View, but the gf and I saw "Cry-Baby" at the Marquis a couple of weeks ago and it was pretty good. Love those shots of Times Sq.! I work right by the Winter Garden!

I'm guessing that neon burger is from The Burger Joint at the Le Parker Meridien Hotel. haven't been, but if you want to the skinny on that and some other great places to eat in the city, check out www.nycfoodguy.com He's a new memeber on RF and I hope it's okay for me to put in a plug for him. He's helped me find some tasty places.

Give me a shout if you're coming to town again. Would welcome the chance to break bread with you. Happy eating!

EliseT
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Mon, 05/12/08 3:33 AM
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I want that pizza RIGHT NOW. Great photography, showing how thin it is.

We stopped at Stage for take-out around 8 or 9pm on a Friday night and it wasn;t very crowded at all. Everyone was really nice to me. But the corned beef (we asked the hotel to refrigerate it until our room was ready the next day) got lost along with my insulin. The drama of getting the insulin back made Bob forget the corned beef. I was like, OK, so I'm not going to die - but where the heck is my corned beef? The cheesecake that we took a bite of was good but not spectacular. The chocolate rugelach was good (even if I can only have one).


will_work_4_bbq
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Mon, 05/12/08 8:13 AM
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Fabulous report! The pictures are ALL wonderful! Esp the pizza and the Carnegie sandwiches....and the cheesecake!

buffetbuster
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Mon, 05/12/08 8:26 AM
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Travelin Man-
Some of these photos are as good as anything I have ever seen posted on Roadfood. Just wonderful photos. You, of course, realize, we will be expecting this high quality everytime now!

Looking forward to checking out the flickr account.

mr chips
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Mon, 05/12/08 8:50 AM
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What magnificent photos!

cecif
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Mon, 05/12/08 9:49 AM
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Great stuff Steve! Fun times you had...! (Hey where'd you get the trip report title anyway?! )

kland01s
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Mon, 05/12/08 10:12 AM
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Great report Steve, thanks for taking us along!

Nancypalooza
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Mon, 05/12/08 10:18 AM
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Steve now you have to tell us what kind of camera you used for those terrific pictures--the cheesecake looks like I can pop it off the screen and have a bite.

I also have an ignorant deli newbie question. What's the difference between pastrami and corned beef anyhow?

The Travelin Man
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Mon, 05/12/08 1:06 PM
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Wow...thanks again, to all, for the kind words.

Re: The Stage - I am not surprised to see less-than-stellar reviews, but I am almost tempted to go there and see for myself. The problem with doing that is that I am giving up a meal at Carnegie or someplace else, which I know will be stellar. bwave - You can't really be surprised by the prices, though, can you? $15 seems high, but not outrageous for NYC - bagels could be $2.50 at a sit-down place or even $3 each; and the juices could easily be another $3.50 a pop. There are still those who think poor service in NY is still "charming!"

@ billyboy - I am bummed that you didn't make it to Katz's on Sunday. You were missed. But, only the insane (i.e. wanderingjew) could possibly make both Roadfood meet-ups in that one weekend! The neon burger is, most definitely, from the Burger Joint. If you are a fan of Shake Shack or other good NY burgers, the ones at Burger Joint will compare favorably. They get dinged for not using fresh-cut fries. They get a big plus for atmosphere. If you have never been to Grimaldi's, you need to make a point of going. If you have the opportunity to avoid their mad rushes, you would do well. I have been there at 1:30 on a weekday afternoon and the place was still well-attended, but we were able to be seated and fed with no wait.

There are two Ess-A-Bagel locations. I have only been to the one on 3rd (and I think it is around 51st???). I think that their original location is on 1st, but I would have to check their web site to be sure. This should also be a must-stop on any NY'ers list. I am sure that I will be up that way again - sometime - and we will be able to meet up.

Re: The pizza photo and the camera - I think I got lucky with the pizza photo. Some of the other photos are touched up with Photoshop - seems like there is an exponential learning curve with using that software, as well as using my camera - but, the pizza photo is au naturale! Just prior to the holidays, I purchased a new Olympus E-410 DSLR. There is some excellent information about this camera found here: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympuse410/

Pigiron
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Mon, 05/12/08 1:40 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by The Travelin Man



There are two Ess-A-Bagel locations. I have only been to the one on 3rd (and I think it is around 51st???). I think that their original location is on 1st, but I would have to check their web site to be sure. This should also be a must-stop on any NY'ers list.


Ess-a-Bagel's two locations are:
1st Avenue on the corner of 21st Street (the original location)
3rd Avenue between 50/51 (much larger place with a bigger selection of sandwich fillings, minus the charm of the downtown locale)

They are the best bagels on earth.

Shara
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Mon, 05/12/08 6:16 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by billyboy

TTM, awesome report, man!! Just awesome! You hit a lot of my hangouts! Glad to hear you loved Sarge's. "Corned Beef Spidey Sense", nice. That was my "2 am special" when I worked the 3rd shift near there. Love that pastrami and those fries! Did you have Donna as your waitress? She's a gas!

Wish I could've made the Katz's meet, but I had an engagement in Queens that day.

I love those pics of the Brooklyn Bridge at dusk. Gorgeous! That's my neighborhood (on the Manhattan side, near Pier 17). The Bridge is one of my favorite walks in the city. Carmine's and The Bridge cafe are right near there and have some great food. Bridge Cafe is really best for brunch and is the oldest continuously running bar in NYc (since 1847) and the building has been there since 1794. Somehow, I haven't yet made it to Grimaldi's. Why? WHY? And I adore the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory! Their strawberry and peaches & cream are probably two of the purest ice cream flavors I have ever had. The fruit had such a wonderful presence and harmony with the ice cream. And the view? Fuhgeddaboutit!!

Where exactly is Ess-A-Bagel? I've never been and feel I might have to tomorrow morning. I've never been in The View, but the gf and I saw "Cry-Baby" at the Marquis a couple of weeks ago and it was pretty good. Love those shots of Times Sq.! I work right by the Winter Garden!

I'm guessing that neon burger is from The Burger Joint at the Le Parker Meridien Hotel. haven't been, but if you want to the skinny on that and some other great places to eat in the city, check out www.nycfoodguy.com He's a new memeber on RF and I hope it's okay for me to put in a plug for him. He's helped me find some tasty places.

Give me a shout if you're coming to town again. Would welcome the chance to break bread with you. Happy eating!


Just an FYI, "Ess" is Yiddish for "eat" so "Ess-a-Bagel" equals eat a bagel. I smiled when I saw the pic of that place. Reminded me of my dad taking me to the now gone Ratner's on 2nd Ave and telling me "We're goin essen."

Wonderful trip report! I especially love those gorgeous Brooklyn Bridge pics. Thanks so much (from a lurker) for shaing them!

i95
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Mon, 05/12/08 9:11 PM
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Two things:

(1) As stated[url='http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1036']previously[/url], I am a huge fan of the Stage Deli. Yes, Katz's is better but so what. When you're north of the Theater District and you don't necessarily find yourself in the Lower East Side, the Stage will more than do!

(2) Secondly and purposely sounding like that old man sitting across the street and on his porch when Jimmy Stewart escorted Donna Reed home after the big dance in "It's a Wonderful Life," this is a private message just for The Traveling Man re. Meghan:

"Why don't you kiss her already??"





Nancypalooza
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Mon, 05/12/08 9:13 PM
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I did wonder that myself Steve. You refer to her as a 'colleague' so maybe that's Not Okay, but she is awfully cute, and you don't find a good, giving Roadfood-game girl just anywhere.

i95
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Mon, 05/12/08 9:23 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Nancypalooza

...she is awfully cute, and you don't find a good, giving Roadfood-game girl just anywhere.



Nancypalooza
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Mon, 05/12/08 9:37 PM
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Well, great minds and all that, i95. ;)

edited to add: now watch, we've poked the boy into complete and total silence on the subject ;)

cecif
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Mon, 05/12/08 10:41 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Nancypalooza

Well, great minds and all that, i95. ;)

edited to add: now watch, we've poked the boy into complete and total silence on the subject ;)


Yeah, now I'm gonna subscribe to this thread Nancy & i95... I am waiting with baited breath for the answer...


wanderingjew
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Mon, 05/12/08 11:08 PM
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Ya got me in suspense too!!

Twinwillow
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Mon, 05/12/08 11:29 PM
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I said it before and, I'll say it again. GREAT REPORT!!!

mr chips
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Tue, 05/13/08 9:31 AM
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Meghan is very nice. it was a real treat to have dinner with her, Ellen and TTM in Nashville last year. I will state that she and Steve live a fairly good distance apart. Back to my usual reluctance to comment on other's lives.

wanderingjew
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Tue, 05/13/08 9:48 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by mr chips

Meghan is very nice. it was a real treat to have dinner with her, Ellen and TTM in Nashville last year. I will state that she and Steve live a fairly good distance apart. Back to my usual reluctance to comment on other's lives.


As usual,

Mr Chips is the voice of reason

Nancypalooza
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Tue, 05/13/08 9:52 AM
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Yeah, now the morning after I'm kind of feeling sorry that I did too, chips. Steve, you can come out and not talk about it? It's really none of our business. /me looks stern at the other children lined up at the fence

rjb
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Tue, 05/13/08 10:01 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by Nancypalooza

Steve now you have to tell us what kind of camera you used for those terrific pictures--the cheesecake looks like I can pop it off the screen and have a bite.

I also have an ignorant deli newbie question. What's the difference between pastrami and corned beef anyhow?

Both start out as beef briskets that are cured in salt brine that typically contain various aromatics, typically garlic, mustard seed, coriander, bay, etc. as well as sugar. Pastrami is covered with a coarse spice mixture (cracked black pepper, coriander, other aromatics() and lightly smoked.

It's possible to find pastrami made from beef round, but I don't recommend it.

Nancypalooza
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Tue, 05/13/08 10:12 AM
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So they're basically the same thing, except for the spice mixture on the outside of the pastrami? (And thanks for answering that. I can tell you way more about meats to be barbecued than I can about most deli items.)

i95
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Tue, 05/13/08 10:14 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by wanderingjew

Mr Chips is the voice of reason


Are you freakin' kidding me?? More like the "voice of treason"! The Prince of Portland just threw a smoke bomb in the room then called the fire department on the way out. Reason- schmeason.

We now have a new story arc on this web site, people, and I, for one, can't wait to tune into this thread later to find out if Steve and Meghan really find love or will love escape these two career-driven yet lovelorn young people.

All this on "As the Stomach, er...World Turns."

Now a word from Derwood Kirby for Ivory Soap...





Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Tue, 05/13/08 10:21 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by Nancypalooza

So they're basically the same thing, except for the spice mixture on the outside of the pastrami?

And the smoking, which to my mind is even more important than the spices.

alesrus
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Tue, 05/13/08 10:25 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by Nancypalooza

So they're basically the same thing, except for the spice mixture on the outside of the pastrami? (And thanks for answering that. I can tell you way more about meats to be barbecued than I can about most deli items.)


Nancypalooza,yes the spices and the smoking. Almost the same as smoking a brisket. In fact you can take a corned beef and rinse it re-season it and smoke it and get Pastrami.

No Talent
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Wed, 05/14/08 8:18 AM
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Has anyone heard from C.C. Baxter ?

CajunKing
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Wed, 05/14/08 4:13 PM
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TTM

Another awesome report and some TOTALLY AWESOME pix. Those shots of the "Woody Allen" made my mouth water. The high def of the sandwich makes you almost taste it through the monitor.

I am glad you had such a great trip with such great company....


And while we are on the subject

You do not find a girl like Meghan very often, distance can be overcome, don't lose out on a chance of a lifetime.

The Travelin Man
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Wed, 05/14/08 4:51 PM
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Let's clear something up right away. Meghan is a wonderful girl who deserves far better than me! We are great friends, and will continue to be - by very mutual agreement. She is much more like my kid sister than anything else.

I am glad, though, that you all like the trip report. I do have some other stuff to add, although there is a serious lack of photographic evidence to accompany. I will try to be as visually descriptive in the writing as I can....

But, it will have to wait until after I finish with work, dinner, and chores tonight.

i95
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Thu, 05/15/08 7:11 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by The Travelin Man

She is much more like my kid sister than anything else.


So, you're telling me there's a chance.










Nancypalooza
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Thu, 05/15/08 7:46 AM
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Only in Kentucky, West Virginia, or South Carolina, i95. /me runs away from the forum

CajunKing
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Thu, 05/15/08 3:35 PM
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Durn it Kurt

You made me shoot banana puddin out my nose

i95
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Thu, 05/15/08 3:42 PM
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Gotta love..

.


The Travelin Man
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Wed, 07/20/11 11:12 AM
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Three years later, this seems like a good enough place to resurrect this old nightmare.  In the current "What constitutes a restaurant?" thread, I mentioned that I had a similar experience last summer and would write it up, as I didn't want to detract from the discussion over there.
 
Last year, I made a purchase from this guy.  As a matter of fact, three of us, including Roadfood.com member Lexi and her son Ben made the trek out to Greenspoint.  It was maybe a month after we paid a visit that he got his shut down notice from the Board of Health.
 
My personal take was that Ben (Dr. Claw, not Lexi's Ben) was always looking for attention for his "underground" operation.  If I am not mistaken, one of the NYC food blogs called his lobster rolls one of the worst kept secrets in New York.  Heck, I found out about him by reading New York Magazine - not exactly sworn to secrecy.  On the night that we went, there was a film crew from a European television show doing some filming, so he was inviting some people down in to see his operation.  We arrived about the same time as a hipster-looking lesbian couple (very appropriate to this section of Brooklyn), and he invited them in.  No amount of begging from Lexi was going to change his mind about us.  Face it - we just didn't have the "look" for TV.  We looked way more like tourists than hipster Brooklynites.

The procedure was to "like" a designated page on Facebook (again, this information wasn't all that hard to come by).  Once there, you were given a phone number to text your order - with strict instructions about phone calls versus texts and other rules and information.  You were supposed to text your order while standing in front of a red garage on a tree-lined street in Brooklyn.
 

 
 
OK...we found the tree-lined street and we found the red garage door.

From there, you had to wait for a text confirming your order, then walk around the block a few times and he would text back the location of the meet.  As it turns out, the meet up place was right out in front of his house.  His neighbor was outside, too.  Again, if you are trying to keep this thing a secret, he wasn't doing a very good job of it.  I could see neighbors getting annoyed at a parade of people coming through their street, engaging in activity that looked suspiciously more like a drug deal than a lobster roll deal.  I guess you could get the neighbors "in" on it - ply them with lobster rolls once in awhile to keep their mouths shut, but the more people who know, the more people who could turn you in to the Department of Health.  I'm not SURE of what shut him down, but if I were to bet, my gut says that it was a neighbor fed up with the unwanted traffic who blew the whistle on him.  
 
In what one could only describe as irony, when we were doing our laps around the block, we found that the local police station was about a half a block from where the guy was doing business.  Why would you want to run an operation that looks like drug deals taking place in the middle of the street in full view of the local po po?

If I remember right, the lobster rolls were $14 each.  I handed the guy $45 - he doesn't make change on the street.  We were happy to consider the extra as a tip, even though we were disappointed that we weren't deemed "hip" enough to get the underground tour.  We took our stash and made for the subway.
 


OK...so how was the lobster roll?
 

 
In short, it was good.  Really good.  There was just enough mayo binder to hold the thing together, but it was mostly drenched in butter - a la the Connecticut-style, rather than the dreaded lobster salad version.  The lobster was obviously fresh, and even after waiting a few minutes for the subway, when we unwrapped our packages, the rolls were still warm - so, his packaging worked, as well.  The looks from other subway riders was priceless.  New Yorkers, usually a bunch of folks who don't ever look up from their newspapers to see anything, were gawking like there were celebrities on the train.

Overall, a fun experience.  The prices were obviously kept in check, as compared to local restaurants, by NOT getting any regulatory approval and minimizing other overhead expenses.  Is that fair?  No.

In some ways, as I have said, I think the guy wanted to get caught.  It makes for a better story.  Well, he did get caught - and, as for the better story.  He managed to parlay his notoriety into a new show on the Cooking Channel.

buffetbuster
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Wed, 07/20/11 11:35 AM
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I haven't decided which name I like better yet, Dr. Claw or The Lostah Pushah.  Great stuff TTM!  This type of thing could only happen in New York.....

Lexi
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Wed, 07/20/11 12:06 PM
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I NEVER beg!

The Travelin Man
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Wed, 07/20/11 12:15 PM
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You....ummm....kinda begged.
 
Then, you prodded.

billyboy
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Wed, 07/20/11 12:35 PM
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Dr. Claw:  We are building a lobster roll of extraordinary magnitude!!
 

MiamiDon
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Wed, 07/20/11 1:05 PM
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Too cool, TTM!  Sounds just like NYC.

Howard Baratz
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Wed, 07/20/11 2:51 PM
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billyboy


Dr. Claw:  We are building a lobster roll of extraordinary magnitude!!


 
Kentucky Fried Lobster Roll???????????????????????????????/


mr chips
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Wed, 07/20/11 9:43 PM
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Wow! Interesting stuff happens to you, Steve.

The Travelin Man
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Thu, 07/21/11 8:52 AM
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Yeah...you'd think that with all the interesting stuff that happens to me, I should start a food blog, or something....

kozel
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Thu, 07/21/11 9:41 AM
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Last year there was a guy doing an illicit grilled cheese sandwich delivery service.
 
http://www.vanityfair.com...ese-sandwichtrade.html

Nancypalooza
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RE: Random NYC Experiences - Sun, 07/24/11 7:11 PM
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The Lobstah Pushah, definitely.  It must be the NYC version of the little front-yard cooler-and-a-grill operations I see in a couple neighborhoods in LA.  It does look like an awfully yummy lobster roll.