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 Making Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple (Oct. 2013)

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Making Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple (Oct. 2013) Thu, 11/7/13 3:24 PM (permalink)
Since The Travelin' Man put together the last big Roadfood meet-up in New York City back in 2011, I figured it was time for me to get on the ball and organize one this year!  The Tuesday before the tour, I did a dry run of all the stops, you know, for uhhhh, "research".  I did want to find out if places took cash/credit, had bathrooms and what the walking times were between stops.  I also wanted a chance to talk to the staff/owners in person to see if handling a large group would be an issue.  I gained some valuable intel and had some tasty food!  Here are some of the highlight shots:
The baked ham, mac & cheese and buttered corn at Sylvia's Restaurant in Harlem was quite good.  

I came across more pantyhose and disembodied legs (on 86th St. on the Upper East Side) than I'd ever hoped to see at once.  I'm sure I won't have ANY nightmares about this picture down the road!

A thick chocolate malt (complete with a silver beaker with almost another 2 glasses worth) at Lexington Candy Shop really hit the spot.

It was TOTALLY necessary to make sure the cheeseburger & fries at Burger Joint were still as good as ever.  Right on.
FRIDAY OCTOBER 25TH, 2013 - Roadfooder PhillyBeth and her mom came into NYC today.  After we exchanged a few texts I went down to the TKTS booth near the South Street Seaport to pick up some Broadway show tickets for "Big Fish" for they and my girlfriend to see tonight.  We also agreed to meet in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for lunch at Peter Luger steak house.  The chance to have another one of those bacon cheeseburgers?  Twist my arm!  I met Beth and her mom, Joanne, at the bar enjoying a cocktail.


 I love that steakhouse sauce.  It really isn't meant for the steak but to pour over the tomato & onion salad or in which to dip bread.  

 We all loved the excellent bread basket and couldn't stop picking away at it.  Just really, really fresh bread.

 The sleeper hit of this meal was the wedge salad. Iceberg lettuce, chunks of tomato, a chunky & creamy blue cheese dressing and a liberal dose of that famous bacon, cut up into oversized nubs and smoky, fatty goodness.  How have I never tried this before?!?!  

 We shared sides of mashed potatoes and creamed spinach.  Both were really good but the spinach in managed to have a very creamy texture without looking or feeling like it was run over by cream.

Joanne had the salmon which I believe she thought was pretty good.  

My cheeseburger and bacon.  While I love the flavor of that bacon I thought this particular piece was a bit too fatty.  I should have asked for "extra char" on it.

My cheeseburger, cooked to medium.

Beth's cheeseburger, cooked to medium rare.  We were both loving these and each had to take a separate moment of silence to fully take in what was happening as we ate them.  The most well-balanced, harmonious cheeseburger I have ever eaten.  I had a very lovely time with both of them and I look forward to breaking bread again with them down in their neck of the woods!

After we parted ways I felt a strong urge to walk a few blocks and pay homage to Buffetbuster, ChiTownDinerCajunKing and The Travelin' Man with a slice of pie at Pies -N- Thighs.  

I spied some good looking' doughnuts by the front, no, focus Billyboy!  Pie is why you're here!  But which one??

 The Sour Cherry Pear Crumble pie was calling out to me.  Everything came together nicely in this slice and I think the next time you guys are in NYC, we need to come here.  

 Now, to work off some of this substantial lunch I went for a stroll across the Williamsburg Bridge over the east River back into Manhattan, specifically the Lower East Side.  

 Love this so much.

Another place I had contemplated adding to the tour (assuming there would be any time left!) was Sugar Sweet Sunshine on Rivington St.  Just outside the shop.  After 10 years living here, none of the bottom half of this sign comes as a shock to me.  

 I've had the chocolate chip cookie pudding before and I was craving it now. 

 Butterscotch pudding, broken up pieces of chocolate chip cookies and fresh whipped cream.  Perfect, just perfect.

 A stop at Economy Candy one block over on Rivington was in order.  After everything I had just eaten I couldn't think of a single piece of candy that I was craving.  

No matter, I was really coming to pick up a couple of bottle of Fox's U-Bet chocolate syrup.  Cheapest place I've found in the city.  

SATURDAY OCTOBER 26TH, 2013 - The big day!  I was a bit nervous as I had never led a group this large before.  I knew that this date was the weekend after the official Roadfood tour in Memphis and Little Rock so I wasn't sure what the response would be when I posted the date for this on the site.  The response was fantastic!  Our first stop of the day was for breakfast at Sylvia's Restaurant in Harlem.  

 Coconut, chocolate are red velvet?  One of these is in my very near future.

 They started us out with some fresh, warm biscuits.  I don't know how these compare to version in the South but I really liked them.  Getting her at 9:30 meant that we would miss the 11:00am brunch crowd and as it worked out the place was fairly empty when we arrived so we  had a very short wait for our tables.  We could have gotten one big table but we would have had to order from a set menu.  I'm glad we could order from the regular menu and the different tables allowed for people to sit with others they hadn't met before and have the chance to get to know one another.  

 Stephen Rushmore Jr's eggs, grits and corned beef hash.  I tried some of Stephen's corned beef hash which I thought was pretty good.  Ditto for Chris' fried catfish of which I didn't get a photo.  

 TnTinCT's (Tim's) waffle and thick-cut bacon.

 TnTinCt's (Terri's) fried chicken & waffles.

 Billyboy's fried chicken & grits.  Loved this.  The grits were very creamy and they didn't skimp with the butter.  The chicken was pretty moist and the crust was crispy and had a nice seasoning to it.  My only regret is that I failed to read the label on the bottle of hot sauce that I had used to liberally douse on some of my chicken.  It was only after I started coughing that I realized that it said Sylvia's TRIPLE STRENGTH Hot Sauce.  I loved it but the level of heat was most unexpected!  

 Joanne's chicken livers & grits.

 From left to right:  Kendall, RFer Karilyn (Kendall's mom), RFer Ayersian (Amy), Ayersian's friend Yvel.

 Mariton, Buffetbuster, The Travelin' Man, Ayersian (Chris).

 Joanne, RFer PhillyBeth, my girlfriend Dayna.  My apologies as I forgot to take a picture of my table where Stephen, Tim, Terri and their friend Colleen were sitting.

 We wedre all pretty stuffed after this meal but some of us decided to pace ourselves for the fill day ahead (not me, of course!!).  I did have to get a slice of red velvet cake to pass around for the group to try.  I liked it but not the best red velvet I've ever tried.  

 Just inside the entrance at Sylvia's is a banner with thousands of signatures on it from many customers over the years.  

 The requisite group shot.  Front row, left to right:  Stephen Rushmore Jr., Ayersian (Chris), The Travelin' Man, Ayersian (Amy).  Back row, left to right:  Mariton, Buffetbuster, Colleen, Terri & Tim (TnTinCT), Kendall, Karilyn, Yvel, Dayna, Beth, Joanne.

If anyone from the tour has any comments or pictures to add, please feel free to do so.

<message edited by billyboy on Wed, 11/13/13 4:44 PM>
    TJ Jackson

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    Re:Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple - October 2013 Thu, 11/7/13 3:28 PM (permalink)
    A roadfooder ate at Lugers and got a non-beef item
    this is a sign of the apocalypse, i'm telling ya

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      Re:Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple - October 2013 Thu, 11/7/13 4:04 PM (permalink)
      We gathered outside of Sylvia's for the group photo and then we broke into two groups.  I knew that some would like to walk while other would prefer the subway.  One group took the subway down to our next for stop.  The other group went up to 128th Street and then walked east to the Crack Is Wack Playground.  I have seen this place for years while riding by in cars on the FDR Drive and have always wanted to see this place up close.  It was nice to walk over and have a chance to meet and chat with some of the people on the tour along the way.

      These murals were painted in the 1980s, at the height of the "crack" drug epidemic in NYC, by artist and social activist Keith Haring.  His signature style of faceless figures with their arms and legs outstretched is on display here.   More about the artist:!/a...aring/bio#.Unv7CJHuDDM


      Walking ten blocks south we met up with the other group, along with Wanderingjew, his girlfriend Sandra and his friend Ian at Patsy's Pizzeria


      While there are countless slice joints in NYC, many of them are mediocre at best and very few of them have a coal oven which really does make a difference in terms of quality.  The restaurant next door opens late in the afternoon and said they could only accommodate a large group with a minimum order per person.  I wasn't thrilled with that news but actually I did feel that eating slices while standing on the sidewalk was the perfect NYC experience so it worked out for the best.  

      The only drinks available are either from the vending machine in this picture or from the bodega/deli next door.  I opted to check out the offerings at the bodega and was rewarded with this tasty Cherries 'n Cream soda.  

      There's only room for 2-3 people per side at this stand-up counter and judging by the amount of wear kit was probably seen tens of thousands of happy slice eaters.

      To me this is the perfect slice.  Not too much cheese or sauce, chewy in the middle and crispy at the edge and the bottom has a smoky, charred flavor from that coal oven.  Everything in have ever wanted in a slice.  I felt a bit bad for the woman who walked up to Patsy's just after our group had arrived, however, the guy's behind the counter moved us all through pretty quickly.  

      Dining al fresco, as it were, at Patsy's offers up a nice view of 1st Avenue and a chance to watch the neighborhood go by and on race day one can see tens of thousands of marathoners run by on their way to the Willis Ave Bridge that brings them into the Bronx about 20 blocks north of here.  I've seen police cars pull up here regularly to pick up a few slices on the go.  It seems like EVERYONE comes here at one time or another. 


        Re:Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple - October 2013 Thu, 11/7/13 4:52 PM (permalink)
        I will have plenty to add, though Billyboy is doing such an excellent job, he hardly needs the help.  Here

        is the Roadfood legend getting his waffle on at Sylvia's.

          Re:Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple - October 2013 Thu, 11/7/13 6:24 PM (permalink)
          When Mariton and I arrived Friday night, we dropped off the luggage at the hotel and headed straight for Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station.  We sat at the counter and enjoyed the oyster pan roast for me and a huge plate of fresh shellfish, including oysters, clams, mussels and lots more.   Mariton was thrilled with her dish!  Sorry, no photos.
          TTM was staying at the same hotel, Hyatt 48 Lex and we agreed ahead of time to go out for a late night bite.  He made amazing time from LaGuardia and we grabbed a taxi to JG Melon.  This burger has been on my hit list for years and definitely lived up to expectations.  Oddly enough, a regular cheeseburger is $10.50 (before you blanch at that price, remember not only is this in New York City, but the Upper East Side), while a bacon cheeseburger is $10.95.  Add bacon for just .45 cents, who could say no to that?
          This burger

          is just what you want in a tavern burger, nothing fancy, but it is substantial, juicy and just what you need at 1:00AM.  

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            Re:Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple - October 2013 Thu, 11/7/13 7:00 PM (permalink)
            Billyboy, you can never get enough pictures of Peter Lugers Cheese Burgers. My wife loves the bread basket at Lugers, the salted one are addictive. I had you figured for the Banana cream pie at the pie place.....I know you worked hard on the food tour, it shows......Great job.......Bill
              TJ Jackson

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              Re:Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple - October 2013 Thu, 11/7/13 7:08 PM (permalink)
              But seriously tho - salmon?  at Lugers?

                Re:Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple - October 2013 Thu, 11/7/13 7:54 PM (permalink)
                billyboy - I love the cherry crumble pie you ordered. That's in my top pick category. Great choice!

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                  • Roadfood Insider
                  Re:Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple - October 2013 Fri, 11/8/13 8:49 AM (permalink)
                  Dang, we missed the initial photo shoot!
                  Ian had a blast . This was his first "official" roadfood event, although it was not his first "roadfood" get together. A little over 3 years earlier Ian and I  met with Joe Rogo in Old Forge  for some old forge pizza on the way to a Scranton Yankees game.

                    Re:Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple - October 2013 Fri, 11/8/13 9:34 AM (permalink)
                    Sylvia's was definitely a winner for chicken and waffles - I enjoyed them thoroughly, really beats out Roscoe's in LA. I still have to give the chicken at Gus's in Memphis top honors.
                    I've been dying to try Patsy's in Harlem for quite some time - it was terrific. As you can see by my photo below, I have my priorities in order. A bite - then a photo   Here's a picture of us taking up space on the sidewalk waiting for slices. This was truly a NYC treat - eating a hot slice right on the sidewalk.


                      ann peeples

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                      Re:Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple - October 2013 Fri, 11/8/13 11:24 AM (permalink)
                      What a fun tour! From the looks of it, I would drink Peter Lugers sauce ! And that salad!Everything else looked awesome, as well. Thanks billyboy, and all, for sharing your experiences!
                        The Travelin Man

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                        Re:Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple - October 2013 Sat, 11/9/13 1:09 AM (permalink)
                        TJ Jackson

                        But seriously tho - salmon?  at Lugers?

                        PhillyBeth's mom doesn't eat red meat.

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                          Re:Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple - October 2013 Tue, 11/12/13 6:50 PM (permalink)
                          After downing those tasty slices, we walked south to 116th St. and then west to Lexington Ave. to catch the 6 train down to the Upper East Side.  Harlem definitely has more of a family/neighborhood feel to it than many areas of Manhattan and the influence of the residents, especially in Spanish Harlem can be seen here in the form of religious figurines and images for sale and Lucha Libre masks.

                          After a brief ride on the subway, we got off at 86th St. and walked one block east to 3rd Ave. and our third stop, Papaya King.  The hot dogs here are not the best I've ever had but they do scratch a certain itch and sometimes I just crave them.  Getting a couple of hot dogs and a cold papaya or coconut drink here at this tiny, tiny place is a true NYC experience.  

                          Roadfood approved!!


                          I've always been a big fan of the Papaya and the Coconut Champagne drinks.  Sometimes after a run in Central Park I'll come over here and get a couple of dogs and a drink as my post-run reward.

                          I love all of the different signs they have in here promoting the drinks as health tonics.  My favorite is the one that says their hot dogs are tastier than filet mignon.  I do enjoy these dogs but that may be pushing it!

                          I'll take one of those really dark, crusty dogs, please.

                          A dog with sauerkraut, mustard and ketchup and a Papaya drink was just what I needed.  The dogs usually come plain and the countermen will add sauerkraut and/or onions in sauce free of charge.  Adding mustard and/or ketchup is at the customer's discretion.  

                          Stephen Rushmore Jr. and a few others headed across the street to pick up some shakes at the Shake Shack across the street.  And as Stephen recalled, this location recently started serving fresh cut fries.  He brought some over and they were really good.  I took a pull off of The Travelin' Man's Chris' Pumpkin shake which was also quite good.  

                          A few people peeled of the tour and went shopping and met up with us at the next stop, Lexington Candy Shop, which was just a short walk from Papaya King.  This was a bit tight.  They were pretty busy and 15 or so people walking in at once made it even moreso.  Between booths and seats at the counter we managed to make it work.

                          Love that neon!

                          And a vast collection of commemorative Coke bottles on display in the window. I always seem to find one I've never seen before.


                          I went with a root beer float with chocolate ice cream which was good.

                          I really loved Dayna's rice pudding.  I LOVE Rice To Riches on Spring Street but this rice pudding really reminded me of the one I had as a child and it truly tasted homemade.

                          As Buffetbuster was perusing the menu he came across the first audible of the day.  This Lexington is known for their malted, shakes, egg creams ands such but a "butter burger"?  Wisconsin this is not but he opted for it and a few of us gave it a try.  While I'm sure this burger won't leave anyone at Solly's in Milwaukee quaking in their shoes, it was mighty fine.  A nice amount of pink still in the meat and buttery good!  Well played, BB!!

                          And of course, the obligatory picture pif a Roadfooder taking a picture of their food.  Thanks for the action shot, TTM!!  WJ's friend Ian and Stephen Rushmore Jr. had to take off at this point.  Thanks for joining us guys!

                          Chris & Amy had peeled away from this stop to check out another place and on the way there came across Le Churro, the second audible of the day.  

                          Churros are a fried dough piped into a deep fryer and usually coated in a cinnamon-sugar mix or offered with dipping sauces.  

                          Chris & Amy shared this chocolate coated one which was really good.  

                          I picked up an order of 4 with a side of Milk Caramel dip.  Another winner and that dip was amazing.  Reminded me very much of dulce de leche.  The only weak point for me is that the dip was served cold and had I known I would have asked for it warm.

                          Buffetbuster and Mariton grabbed a thick hot chocolate and said it was quite good.  Looks like I'll have to make another trip to check out some more churros!

                          After out tasty churros snack we took the Lexington Avenue line (the 6 train) down to 59th Street and walked west past Central Park to our next stop.  Apparently, you CAN get to Carnegie Hall without practice, practice, practice!!

                          A few blocks south we arrived at the Le Parker Meridien Hotel

                          Just inside the lobby and inside the velvet curtain is this neon cheeseburger sign, home of Burger Joint.  Honestly, I had tried this one time some years ago and just didn't get the appeal.  Then Stephen Rushmore Jr. had written a review here on RF and I decided to give it another try.  Boy, am I ever glad that I did.  This is one place you would never think to find when walking by an upscale midtown Manhattan hotel.  

                          Plenty of interesting signs while you wait in line.  It's a tiny place and the line can be pretty long to get in.  When I came by earlier in the week it was 38 minutes from when I stepped in line until I ordered. I had thought about scrubbing this from the tour as it really can be problematic with a large group but I felt that the burgers were really worth it so I had faith that it would all work out.  As it turned out about nine of us went to the hotel and six of us ended up going in while the others checked out the hotel.  Dayna, myself, Wanderingjew, Sandra, Karilyn and Kendall waited in line for about 20 minutes.



                          Just know what you want and how you want it as they are usually very busy and want to keep things moving along.

                          A simple menu

                          The burgers here pick up a wonderful flavor from being cooked over an open flame grill.

                          My cheeseburger (cooked medium) with ketchup, mustard and mayo.  Not the best shot ever but a darn tasty cheeseburger and very juicy.

                          My cheeseburger with the "works" from earlier in the week.  A much better picture.  These are a joyous mess to eat and totally worth the wait.

                          My burger and fries.  I do like the fries here though they are not the best I've ever had.  Like McDonald's style, only better.

                          I finally decided to try the chocolate shake.  This really reminded me of the McDonald's version.  Far from the best shake I have ever had it really came into its own when I used it as a dip for my french fries, which elicited many arched brows from my fellow booth companions.  Fortunately, I was vindicated later on when Chris said he used to dip his fries into his Frosty at Wendy's as a kid.  I knew I liked you, man!!

                          Some shots of the hotel lobby


                          We exited through this bar. I really was drawn to this and would love to come back for a drink.

                          Initially, my thought was that some of us could take our burgers and fries to go and sit here in Paley Park on 53rd Street near Madison Avenue.  There are a few parks like this in the city with waterfalls that provide an tiny oasis away from the noise and craziness of the Big Apple.

                          And right next door, as I discovered were 5 sections of the Berlin Wall on display.  We didn't make it here as this stop would have put us behind and we might have missed our last stop on the tour.  Here's some info in case anyone wants to check it out on another trip:

                          We took a short walk and hopped on the R train at 57th Street and exited at 23rd Street & 5th Avenue, right in front of the iconic Flatiron Building (named so as it resembled a cast iron clothing iron from the time when it was built (1902)).  I love the building from this angle.  Almost seems like an optical illusion.  Link:

                          Our last official stop on the tour was Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop, right across the street from the Flatiron Building.  



                          Love those old stools.

                          Man, EVERYBODY is into Breaking Bad!

                          When we arrived Tim, Teri and Colleen were already here and seated at a table in the back.  I was disappointed to find out we couldn't sit in the back as well as they had closed it off for the night.  We had gotten there at 5 and they were closing at 6.  So the gang found space at the 2-tops and stools in the front.  

                          I split an egg salad with lettuce on rye with Karliyn.  A classic sandwich that they do very well. 

                          A side of tart potato salad that I think was a mayo/vinegar mix.

                          And a chocolate egg cream to wash it all down.  I know some of the others had ordered pastrami sandwiches, matzo ball soup, tuna/egg salad combo sandwiches, etc.  Please feel free to post any photos/comments, I'd love to see them!  Eisenberg's is really a classic New York place that has me coming back again and again.

                          The Travelin' Man and a photo of Josh Ozersky (aka Mr. Cutlets).  Separated at birth?  

                          That's it for the official tour.  WJ, Sandra, Karilyn, Tim, Terri and Colleen had to take off so we said our goodbyes,  Buffetbuster and Mariton decided to call it a night but would be around tomorrow to meet up.
                          But stay tuned...much more to come at the "after tour" and the next day!!!
                          <message edited by billyboy on Sat, 02/22/14 4:53 AM>

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                            Re:Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple - October 2013 Tue, 11/12/13 10:45 PM (permalink)
                            Great report Billyboy. It looks like lots of fun with some great friends. Thank You for the report.

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                              Re:Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple - October 2013 Wed, 11/13/13 12:27 AM (permalink)
                              BB, thanks so much for the action shot. That was a tasty waffle.  And I never, ever tire of that combination and fried chicken, waffle, maple syrup and hot sauce!  That JG Melon cheeseburger is a good one.  Wish I could have joined you guys but I knew I needed my beauty sleep so I could get up bright and early the next morning for the start of the tour.
                              pnwchef, thanks for the kind words.  The burger at Luger still wows me.  I forgot to ask them from where they get their bread basket.  Note to self for next time.  Just not a big banana cream pie fan.  Now banana pudding...that's a different story!
                              CTD, it just called out to me and I was justly rewarded for heeding the call.
                              WJ, sorry about that.  I wish I had had the presence of mind to step back from time to time and take more action shots of the gang at each of the stops.  Very glad Ian came along and we were able to break bread with him.
                              TnTinCT, a shot with a bite taken out of it?  That must be a Roadfood first!    I'm so glad we ate on the sidewalk as I really feel that standing up is truly the best way to appreciate a NY slice.  
                              ann peeples & Texascajun, thanks so much.  We had a great time.
                              <message edited by billyboy on Tue, 02/11/14 4:17 AM>

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                                Re:Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple - October 2013 Wed, 11/13/13 6:00 AM (permalink)
                                Great stuff. LOVE the Sugar Sweet Sunshine sign!!!! (and the bike thing preceding it...) 

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                                  Re:Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple - October 2013 Wed, 11/13/13 6:25 AM (permalink)
                                  After the gang broke off at the end of the tour, a small contingent of us soldiered on and decided to walk a couple of blocks north to check out Mario Batali's Italian food market, Eataly.  I regret not taking more photos here but this place was a bit of sensory overload for me.  It smelled and looked incredible.  It's not just foods to go but also a pasta restaurant, seafood restaurant, pizza place and sandwich shop, just to name a few.  Many of the prepared food and packaged items we saw were very new to me, but Dayna has been here a number of times and has really enjoyed it.  



                                  We didn't buy anything at Eataly so we made our way to City Bakery, a favorite of mine.

                                  Their thick, super-rich hot chocolate is perfect for on a cool night.

                                  And perfectly paired with their flaky, buttery and salty pretzel croissant.  

                                  This Baker's Muffin is like a smaller version of pull-apart bread and studded with apples, raisins and walnut and cinnamon.  This wasn't the freshest specimen but we did arrive shortly before closing.  Earlier in the day I would highly recommend it.

                                  Chris, Amy Yvel and TTM decided to head over to Katz's Delicatessen for some sandwiches while Beth, her mom, Dayna and I were craving some mac & cheese and took the subway over to S'MAC in the East Village.  

                                  We tried to get into the main location but it was really packed and there seemed to be lots of club kids/drunk college students waiting to get in as well.  Thankfully, they have a takeaway spot right next door.  We did order them to go but were able to eat some of them on the spot as there was a small space to sit by the window while we waited.

                                  Choose your size.  I've never gotten anything larger than the Nosh as it's the perfect size for my appetite.  

                                  Dayna's Garden Lite Mac & cheese with Lite Cheddar, Parmesan, roasted cauliflower and portobello mushrooms, roasted garlic, broccoli and scallions.

                                  My Alpine mac & cheese with Gruyere and slab bacon.  This came recommended by The Travelin' Man and I can't thank him enough.  The cheese was really assertive and that thick-cut smoky bacon just put it over the top for me.  Good call, TTM!!

                                  Beth and her mom's All-American mac & cheese.  After we noshed for a bit we walked through the East Village and parted ways at the subway in Union Square, making plans to head down to Philadelphia for some great eats in the near future.

                                  SUNDAY OCTOBER 27TH, 2013 - I slept in somewhat late on this morning but after a few texts, I made plans to meet Buffetbuster, Mariton and The Travelin' Man for lunch in Chinatown.  While walking to meet them I discovered that Billyboy gets no no love!!  What gives??  

                                  Chinatown is packed with many restaurants and the side streets are full with the possibility of many great meals.

                                  I had to stop at a bakery to pickup some buns to share with the gang.  I'd never been to Super Wang Inc. Bakery before but I'll take any chance to pop into a tiny store.  

                                  A pineapple bun, egg custard bun and a coconut custard bun later I was on my way.

                                  Seaweed peanuts and shrimp chips are just a few of the treats they offer.

                                  Pineapple bun

                                  Egg custard bun

                                  Time for lunch at Yee Li Restaurant.  

                                  Buffetbuster, Mariton and The Travelin' Man after a tasty lunch.

                                  Lobster, shrimp with cashews and duck.  I know there were more dishes and I'm not sure of the names but it was all very good.  Van you guys fill in the blanks?  

                                  Classic orange slices and fortune cookies for dessert.

                                  Lots of interesting parts on display in the front window.  We did see a whole pig being brought through the dining room but I was too slow on the draw to get a good shot.

                                  Color me surprised!  Fellow RFer and Forums Moderator Tony Bad and his son, Anthony, met us outside to share some roast porks buns and join us for a few stops.  

                                  Durian fruit anyone?  I've only tried it as ice cream and it was rather pungent!

                                  For dessert we made the long trek across the street to The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory.  

                                  Regular or Exotic?  Depends on what you grew up eating. 

                                  BB, ready to get down with a double scoop cone with Taro/Ube and Black Sesame.

                                  My double scoop of Almond Cookie (my default flavor here!) and Mocha Chip.  Loved them both.

                                  Hello kitty!  I see these in many storefronts in Chinatown but I am unaware of the origins.  Can anyone elaborate?

                                  Truer words...

                                  We decided to walk up and check out the Lower East Side Pickle Day happening on Orchard Street but as we approached we realized it was utterly packed and decided to hit Katz's Delicatessen as one can never have enough of that gorgeous. steamed meat!  We passed some interesting signs along the way...

                                  As well as this curious display of paint splotched blue jeans attached to the wall of a building.

                                  Ahh, yes...!!

                                  As these photos can attest it was insanely crowded and at leafs 5 people deep to get to the counter.  We opted to get out sandwiches to go as no one really felt like jockeying for a table and TTM had to catch a flight.



                                  I had planned on getting a corned beef on rye with mustard as I've never had a corned beef sandwich here before.  However, the sample the counterman gave me was too fatty for my taste so I went with my pastrami instead and was rewarded with this jewel of a sandwich.  At $16.95, some feel it is too much money for too little sandwich but I really feel that this is worth every penny.  

                                  That's all folks!!  I can't thank everyone enough for turning out and letting me guide them around my adopted home and showing off some of my most favorite places to eat.  While Roadfood is good, the company of friends and loved ones (Roadfood or not) are what truly make it GREAT!
                                  "Eating is an adventure, enjoy the ride!" - billyboy, 2013
                                  The 411:
                                  1.)  Peter Luger
                                        178 Broadway
                                        New York, NY 11211
                                        Ph# 718-387-7400

                                  2.)  Pies-N-Thighs
                                        166 S 4th St
                                        Brooklyn, NY 11211
                                        Ph# 718-529-6090
                                  3.)  Sugar Sweet Sunshine
                                        126 Rivington St
                                        New York, NY 10002
                                        Ph# 212-995-1960
                                  4.)  Economy Candy
                                        108 Rivington St
                                        New York, NY 10002
                                        Ph# 212-254-1531
                                  5.)  Sylvia's Restaurant
                                        328 Malcolm X Blvd
                                        New York, NY 10027
                                        Ph# 212-996-0660
                                  6.)  Crack Is Wack Playground
                                        E 127th St @ 2nd Avenue
                                        New York, NY 10035
                                  7.)  Patsy's Pizzeria
                                        2287 1st Ave
                                        New York, NY 10035
                                        Ph# 212-534-9783
                                  8.)  Papaya King
                                        179 E 86th St @ 3rd Avenue
                                        New York, NY 10128
                                        Ph# 212-369-0648
                                  9.)  Shake Shack
                                        154 E 86th St
                                        New York, NY 10128
                                        Ph# 212-237-5035
                                  10.)  Lexington Candy Shop
                                          1226 Lexington Avenue @ 83rd Street
                                          New York, NY 10028 
                                          Ph# 212-288-0057 
                                  11.)  Le Churro
                                          1236 Lexington Ave
                                          New York, NY 10028
                                          Ph# 212-649-5253
                                    12.)  Burger Joint
                                            119 W 56th St
                                            New York, NY 10019
                                            Ph# 212-708-7414
                                  13.)  Berlin Wall
                                          520 Madison Avenue (courtyard)
                                          New York, NY 10079
                                          No phone
                                  14.)  Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop
                                          174 5th Ave
                                          New York, NY 10010
                                          Ph# 212-675-5096
                                  15.)  Eataly
                                          200 5th Ave @ 23rd Street
                                          New York, NY 10010
                                          Ph# 212-229-2560
                                  16.)  City Bakery
                                          3 W 18th St #1
                                          New York, NY 10011
                                          Ph# 212-366-1414
                                  17.)  S'MAC
                                          345 E 12th St
                                          New York, NY 10003
                                          Ph# 212-358-7917
                                  18.)  Super Wang Inc. Bakery
                                          42 Mott Street
                                          New York, NY 10013
                                          Ph# 212-732-3886
                                          No website
                                  19.)  Yee Li Restaurant
                                          3 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013
                                          New York, NY 10013
                                          Ph# 212-219-3686
                                          No website
                                  20.)  The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
                                          65 Bayard St
                                          New York, NY 10013
                                          Ph# 212-608-4170
                                  21.)  Katz's Delicatessen
                                          205 E Houston St
                                          New York, NY 10002
                                          Ph# 212-254-2246
                                  <message edited by billyboy on Wed, 11/13/13 11:22 AM>

                                    • Total Posts: 6086
                                    • Joined: 8/16/2007
                                    • Location: brick, NJ
                                    Re:Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple - October 2013 Wed, 11/13/13 7:47 AM (permalink)
                           guys.What a comprehensive report!! What wonderful food! What great fun. I wouldn't know where to begin. All hits, no misses! I've never made it to to try. And boy does S'mac look like fun. Great food eaten with great friends....Heaven!!!

                                      • Total Posts: 4737
                                      • Joined: 11/5/2004
                                      • Location: Stoughton, WI
                                      Re:Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple - October 2013 Wed, 11/13/13 8:37 AM (permalink)
                                      Outstanding job from concept through execution, Billy!  You really picked some great stops and the audibles weren't too shabby, either!
                                        Tony Bad

                                        Re:Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple - October 2013 Wed, 11/13/13 9:51 AM (permalink)
                                        Masterful work Bill, from start to finish. Thank you.
                                          Michael Hoffman

                                          • Total Posts: 17853
                                          • Joined: 7/1/2000
                                          • Location: Gahanna, OH
                                          Re:Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple - October 2013 Wed, 11/13/13 10:43 AM (permalink)
                                          Is it OK to say WOW! again?

                                            Re:Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple - October 2013 Wed, 11/13/13 11:05 AM (permalink)
                                            Here's a couple of additional photos to add from the great day of eating!
                                            Papaya King's direction to be "greener" for the environment!

                                            Our dining from Eisenberg's -
                                            Tim had the egg salad which you've seen - here's our matzoh ball soup - the broth was amazing, the dumpling light and fluffy - actually one the best I've had -

                                            I had a pastrami sandwich and Colleen had the pastrami reuben - unlike Katz's where this is sliced from a steamed hunk of meat, this sandwich appears to have the pastrami griddled then put on the sandwich - adds some crispier pieces which is nice, but also can add an extra level of grease / fat - which on the regular sandwich is nice, but the reuben with the additional of grilled bread and cheese seemed a bit over the top, although Colleen loved it!


                                            Thanks again to  Billyboy for organizing such a great day - great food, and great company!!

                                              • Total Posts: 192
                                              • Joined: 8/29/2007
                                              • Location: Raleigh, NC
                                              Re:Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple - October 2013 Wed, 11/13/13 11:30 AM (permalink)
                                              Great report, thanks for sharing.
                                                Mr. Poboy

                                                • Total Posts: 2
                                                • Joined: 4/27/2010
                                                • Location: Charlottesville, VA
                                                Re:Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple - October 2013 Wed, 11/13/13 11:35 AM (permalink)
                                                Really terrific report, I'd love to have been there! Thank you!
                                                  ann peeples

                                                  • Total Posts: 8317
                                                  • Joined: 5/21/2006
                                                  • Location: West Allis, Wisconsin
                                                  Re:Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple - October 2013 Wed, 11/13/13 11:48 AM (permalink)
                                                  Just when you thought it was done...just got better! Thanks-what a terrific report.

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                                                    • Joined: 3/16/2011
                                                    • Location: Kennewick, WA
                                                    Re:Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple - October 2013 Wed, 11/13/13 12:05 PM (permalink)
                                                    Bill, Billy, Billyboy, why do you fight the forces of nature. How can one pass up the pastrami at Katz's, it's the best in the world. I really think the only reason you like corned beef is, it looks like ham. I agree, the $16.95 for the  pastrami sandwich is the best money you can ever spend on a sandwich. That sandwich is a true taste of great deli food of a time gone by, treasure it while it lasts............pnwc

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                                                      • Joined: 6/24/2007
                                                      • Location: McKinney, TX
                                                      Re:Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple - October 2013 Wed, 11/13/13 12:08 PM (permalink)
                                                      Mr. Poboy

                                                      Really terrific report, I'd love to have been there! Thank you!

                                                      Took the words right out of my mouth!
                                                      Welcome to Roadfood!
                                                      (I love C'vl.  When I went to The University, development was a little sparse north of Barracks Rd. and ended with a golf driving range on Rio!)
                                                        The Travelin Man

                                                        • Total Posts: 3699
                                                        • Joined: 3/25/2003
                                                        • Location: Central FL
                                                        Re:Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple - October 2013 Wed, 11/13/13 12:47 PM (permalink)
                                                        I have a few additional photos, if billyboy doesn't mind me poaching the end of his trip report and some quick thoughts.
                                                        Our first stop of the day was for breakfast at Sylvia's Restaurant in Harlem.

                                                        To be sure....YOUR first stop of the day was at Sylvia's. I introduced buffetbuster and Mariton to the joys of Ess-a-Bagel. Yes, we stopped to get food on the way to breakfast.
                                                        I was not as enamored with Sylvia's as others seemed to be. I ordered what has now become known as The Travelin' Man Special (style guide annotation). While the fried chicken, as expected, was the star of the plate, just about everything else I tasted was no better than a six on a ten-point scale, and some items didn't nearly score that high. The mac and cheese was pedestrian, lacking in real cheesy flavor; the biscuits were no better than ordinary; and the pancakes were truly bad, as they had a crunchy texture - not a word that should often describe pancakes. That said, there was plenty more eating. I wasn't too upset. I just thought the place was a little overrated.
                                                        Patsy's is, perhaps, THE quintessential New York slice.
                                                        As I am not much of a hot dog guy, I was with the group that escaped across the street to Shake Shack. A slight correction to billyboy's post. It was Chris' pumpkin shake that you tasted. I wolfed down a black-and-white shake, instead. Those fresh cut fries were phenomenal.
                                                        Lexington Candy Shop also found itself on my "I don't ever have to do that again" list. As billyboy mentioned, our group was split due to the restaurant's seating limitations. That's fine. One of the two groups received far superior service, and our group was not the lucky one. I usually try not to let poor service bias my food experiences, especially in a place as crowded as this. However, it seemed almost as though we were getting intentionally bad service. On top of that, as soda fountains/candy shops/luncheonettes go, this was place was on the expensive side - even relative to Manhattan standards. All of that said, I was told that my drink choice, the freshly squeezed lemonade, won our table's beverages; the butter burger wasn't as horrifying as the gloopy mess I had at Solly's, and actually tasted quite good; and the apple pie ice cream was well-above average, with nice chunks of apple pie mixed in with a vanilla/cinnamon ice cream.
                                                        The churro stop was brilliant. Having done some previous trips with ayersian, I can tell you that Chris is one of the top audible creators of all time. When he says he sees something and wants to give it a shot, you should probably listen.
                                                        I broke away from the group when they headed for Burger Joint. I've been's good, but I didn't need another burger right then. It's a sprint...and a marathon. Instead, I met up with PhillyBeth and her mom for some afternoon cocktails in the bar attached to my hotel, Lexington Brass. Fortunately, I was able to apply my free hotel breakfast coupons for afternoon drinks!
                                                        We re-met the tour group at Eisenberg's, a place that I had never been in all my time in New York. Unfortunately, we were up against the clock, as they close relatively early and they had begun closing off some menu items (I wanted an omelet!), in addition to the back section of the restaurant. Still, I managed to have a LEO (lox, eggs, onion) on a bagel. In my world, I would replace the onion with bacon, but then you couldn't call it a LEO, could you? I would love to go back to Eisenberg's when they are fully operational to get the opportunity for some additional menu items.
                                                        I felt like Eataly took a little arm-twisting to get others interested in stopping in. It's kind of a hard place to describe, and I used the phrase "like a Costco for Italian food" trying to evoke the size and scope of the place....but, perhaps misleading others into the thought that this was more like a big box warehouse. I just don't know what other words I could have used that would possibly prepare people for what was inside. Still, I think most everybody enjoyed seeing some of the unique imported Italian items available for purchase, as well as all of the different prepared foods that were available.
                                                        The pretzel croissant at City Bakery was maybe the single best food item I tasted all day.
                                                        It was really tough choosing between Katz's with Chris, Amy and Yvel or S'Mac with Beth, JoAnn and Bill. I knew I was going to Katz's the next day with buffetbuster (and, at that point, was hoping that Tony Bad would join us, too!). I love S'Mac; but, Katz's, if you put a gun to my head and made me choose, would probably be my #1 Roadfood Restaurant of All-Time. I went to Katz's. I also pulled a move that I had made once before and encouraged the ordering of the brisket sandwich, on a hard roll, with gravy. The four of us split the brisket sandwich and a pastrami - fortunately, Amy is a good divider-of-foods! I believe that it was agreed that the brisket is the secret menu item at Katz's that is better than anyone might expect.
                                                        Sunday was a blur. I am glad that billyboy and Tony Bad were both able to join us. Chinatown, especially on a Sunday, is a bustling, crowded place, which we managed to handle deftly, considering we were pretty easy to identify as outsiders!
                                                        I am sorry that we were unable to dine at Katz's on Sunday due to my early flight home. It's quite possible that we missed out on this (HT: billyboy). They were crazy busy, though. I don't know that I have ever seen them so packed. I am grateful for having my own private chauffeured service to LaGuardia, which enabled me to hang out with group longer than I otherwise could.
                                                        Big time thanks to Bill for hosting this event. He put a TON of work into making it a special weekend for everyone involved. He referenced my previously "arranged" New York meet-up. All I did was tell people I was coming to New York and asked if anyone else wanted to go and eat at a couple of places. No work involved...I assure you. His effort was tremendous! Good job, my friend!

                                                          • Total Posts: 2363
                                                          • Joined: 1/23/2005
                                                          • Location: New York City, NY
                                                          Re:Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple - October 2013 Wed, 11/13/13 12:52 PM (permalink)
                                                          TTM, thanks so much for the wonderful input.  Please post away with the photos!

                                                            • Total Posts: 2363
                                                            • Joined: 1/23/2005
                                                            • Location: New York City, NY
                                                            Re:Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple - October 2013 Wed, 11/13/13 12:57 PM (permalink)
                                                            OOH!  I knew there was something I had forgotten to include in this report.  I have often told friends and family visiting from out of town that for as much as I truly love going to a Broadway show, all one has to do is walk around this city long enough and some form of human comedy/drama will play itself out in front of you.  Well, we caught a snippet of a day in the life of a couple on the outs when walking to Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop.  A few blocks away from our destination a woman hurriedly walked past us and soon after a man was briskly walk/running after her, shouting, "Baby!  Please don't go!  I promise I will NEVER sleep with your sister again!!!"  
                                                            Move over TNT, there's a new tagline in town..."NYC - We Know Drama!!!"
                                                            <message edited by billyboy on Sat, 02/22/14 4:51 AM>
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