Restaurants & Bars

Manhattan

comments and reviews from an out-of-towner (long)

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Restaurants & Bars 1

comments and reviews from an out-of-towner (long)

herbalicious | Feb 11, 2002 10:28 PM

Well, I did make my way northward from Philly to check out some of Manhattan (refer to posts about 4 days ago).
Here's a trip report, as requested.

But first a comment on an earlier post about cheesesteaks and pastrami sandwiches in Philly and New York, respectively.
Choosing to eat cheesesteaks only in Philly and pastrami only in New York is probably fine because of concerns thus far about how good they will be.
Leads me to wonder why that is true.
Ingredients for both cheesesteaks available in both places, enough transplants from each in both places, I would expect at least one of them in each should have enough expertise to open a place good enough in their new locale.

Now back to the food (thanx for all the recommendations).

Highlight was definitely Yakitori Taisho, on St. Mark's east of 3rd (sorry Eric Eto, didn't read your post till I got back to Philly, i'll try Village Yokocho next time)
$20 plus tip, Just what I wanted, Japanese street/common food. purrfect.
grilled chicken gizzards, beef intestines, and smelts.
sanma grilled whole mackerel.
motsu nabe, vegetables and beef intestines in broth.
adedashi tofu, fried tofu in broth.

Second was a Japanese market at 24 E41st, didn't catch its name.
I was originally disappointed because I was looking for a Japanese bakery there, but had some food in a mini-buffet setup they had.
everything was good, but what stood out was their vegetables.
there was a lotus wheel tempura.
also potatoes, peas in a paste of some sort, and fried.
and a rice, deep fried in what I believe is sweet dried bean curd.

Third highlight was Otafuku, E9th next to 2nd
(and Soba-ya is across the street), even though I had the food 15+ hours after they made it (don't ask).
I can only imagine how good it would have tasted right there on the street.
Had the octopus okonomiyaki and the cheese takoyaki.

next comes Odessa on A south of 7th.
sort of letdown at start, because i was expecting more russian and eastern european food then there was on the menu
(pierogies, blinis, pickled herring, potato pancakes).
But the potato pancakes were very good, twice the size she said they were. I originally got 3, because of the size she said, along with corned beef hash and eggs over easy. unfortunately i had to send them back because of a hair on the egg.
fortunately, because i wouldn't have been able to finish both plates.

also deserving mention were Alice's coffee shop, at just about A and 2nd. good solid diner stuff, with what looked like good potato pancakes. not the size of Odessa's, but a better deal for the money overall, IMHO.

I shouldn't forget the little Latino place on southwest corner of Clinton and Houston. Took a while for my Cubano Sandwich, but I recall something about good ones taking pretty long for fast food, which is what I was wanted.
But the sandwich was really awesome.

Also had dinner at Dojo East, I think on 7th west of 2nd. it was okay, but partly my expectations were too high. had soba noodles with vegetables (yakisoba?) and it was too much like lo mein. as much my fault as anything.

would have liked to try Jen Kalb's recommendations but I didn't despite the fact I was in the area.
They sound more interesting they first did, hope i get the chance to try them again.

did have a gray's papaya dog, definitely worth the 4 bits.

didn't get to try the tribeca grille extension of restaurant week's $35 prix fixe, or the aquavit cafe's $33 prix fixe. i'd like to do one next time i come up, perhaps in a few weeks.

let me end with a comment:
for some reason, manhattan chowhounders are less reviewers and more towards offering suggestions.
not saying that this is bad, but the occasional full review of restaurant/food experience adds depth to the boards.

anyway, 'til next we chow!

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