Gramercy Café 184 3rd Ave. New York, NY 10003 www.gramercycafenyc.com
The first place I ate in New York. The menu has everything from soup to salad, burgers to sandwiches, and pasta entrees. There was dessert too, but I passed on my visit. I chose the pasta which came with a complimentary glass of wine. A sign in the window also advertised a draft beer and hamburger special, something I’ll definitely look into next time I go.
Katz’s Delicatessen 205 East Houston New York, NY 10002 katzsdelicatessen.com
I’ve seen it on dozens of travel shows and it was even featured in the film When Harry Met Sally. My original destination was Russ and Daughters, a couple of doors before, but somehow I found myself here. Grab a ticket and either have a seat to be waited on, or belly up to the counter. With each order comes a free sample of the sandwich filling. None of that slimy luncheon meat here. All their meats are cured in house. The pickles were the best, but probably not such a good idea so early in the morning.
Mumbles Bistro 179 3rd Ave. New York, NY 10003 www.mumblesnyc.com
Great little bistro on the corner of 17th Street and 3rd Ave. There’s patio seating and bar service, but I chose a seat by the window. Lots of great options on the menu. I hadn’t had fish, and I went with the sea bass with lobster fricassee. Food was perfect, the wine was great, and the service wasn’t bad either. I hadn’t dined by candlelight in a long time and that was nice.
Minetta Tavern 113 McDougal St. New York, NY 10012 www.minettatavernny.com
A step through the curtain is a step into a different time. The service was top notch and the food was excellent. Definitely going to try their dinner. I went for brunch and had the ham in hay. According to their website, Minetta was originally opened in 1927, and I’m glad they didn’t change a thing. Remember to dress to impress and tip well.
Coffee Shop 29 Union Square New York, NY 10003 thecoffeeshopnyc.com
I didn’t know what exactly I’d gotten myself into when I walked into this place, but I was glad I stopped in. Even though the brunch crowd was long gone, the restaurant was still fairly busy for a Sunday evening. The menu revealed that this is a Latin fusion restaurant with some diner favorites thrown in too. Brunch earlier that day included feijoada, a Brazilian stew. There was also the Media Noche, a pressed Cuban sandwich with fries. The Dijon mustard threw me off when they brought me my Media Noche, but it wasn’t half bad when I tried it on my sandwich.
Gray’s Papaya 402 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY100111 www.papayaking.com
Where better to eat after the bars let out than a hot dog joint, right? No frills, no hype here. Five bucks gets you two dogs and a drink. Skip the fountain and have an in house made fruit drink. The papaya drink was delicious and there’s several other tropical options available as well
Highliner Diner 210 10th Ave. New York, NY 10011
I figured if this place was open in what apparently had been a legendary dining spot at one time, it couldn’t be that bad. Turns out I was wrong, but I’ll be a little forgiving here. After I was served, one of the staff revealed to me that they’d only been open a week. Ok so they were working the kinks out of the menu. There came a point in my meal where I felt like I was a guinea pig and my dinner was some lab experiment gone horribly wrong. The chicken didn’t taste as slow roasted as had been touted, and the gravy was a big miss. Another disappointment is that there weren’t many options to choose from. I knew I should have walked out when I had the chance, but I’ll try anything once. Happy birthday to me, right?
Toasties 25 Union Square W. New York, NY 10003 toastiesny.com
My last meal in New York City. Hard for me to wrap that around my head still, but it was well worth a stop in. The pastries left a little to be desired, but other than that, I had no complaints. I had the House Special, a grilled pastrami and corned beef with Swiss, Russian dressing, and cole slaw. Like I said, the essence of New York between two slices of bread. There’s other options available, but this one stuck out at me. I read on their website they accept online orders and they deliver too, but I enjoyed my picnic on the steps of Union Square.