[Sca-cooks] Times Square, was re Pop Tart Sushi Re: Pop Tarts Sushi in NYC [ewww]

Christiane christianetrue at earthlink.net
Tue Aug 10 13:48:26 PDT 2010

Master A says: 
>My most recent experience (we've passed through TS several times recently going to and from the Port Authority, which is Evil Spawn's preferred travel hub to and from school -- I like to visit the bronze statue of Ralph Kramden) is that for the most part, locals can be identified by their total absence. At the time, I actually remember thinking, "Oh, for the good old days when Times Square was sleazy, the people of ill repute were home-grown, and the people with ridiculous bleached-blonde hair in silly shapes were all New Yorkers. Now they're all from Cleveland." It seems to me like Vegas without the gambling. For me, the problem is that every large city has an area like this; sort of a Tourist Zone that is completely without any of the character of the host city, and identical to every other city's Tourist Zone. And if that's the case, why travel anyway?

I usually wind up in NYC at least once a month these days for business, usually a conference or meeting someone for lunch. Since most of the people I have to see have offices near Grand Central Terminal, and I come into the city via Penn Station, I always wind up walking back through Times Square (yes, I know I could take the subway, but it's my penance for the lunch). But yes, it is pretty much a locals-free zone. Unless it's women going to Sephora. 

>If I'm very lucky, the next restaurant I dine in that isn't in my own neighborhood, or thereabouts, in Queens, will be Randazzo's Clam Bar on Emmons Avenue in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn... now _that_ is a culturally broadening experience. Fuhgeddaboutit!  It's a crying shame that I never managed to get to F.W.I.L. Lundy's (the building, a virtual cathedral of seafood, still stands, but isn't a single huge restaurant anymore) before they closed.

We took a friend and his wife out to Lundy's one year for his birthday dinner. It was AMAZING. The wife's family actually came from Sheepshead Bay (or as her little old grandmother called it in her thick accent, "Sheeps-heddabay."

Places where I have eaten lunch in Manhattan; keep in mind that with the exception of the Turkish restaurant, these were all chosen by business associates to impress me or they were convenient to their offices:

Mesa Grill (was not impressed)
Osteria Laguna (that was yummy, but though the restaurant claims to be Venetian, it's really not)
Capitol Grille (meat-o-riffic and always consistent, but not really a New York restaurant, so to speak)
Trattoria dell'Arte (homemade and Buffalo milk mozzarellas on the antipasti menu, yum yum yum)
Craft (excellent that night I was there, a gorgeous space inside, and I got to have Jerusalem artichokes, but I've heard it can be hit or miss)
Cafe Centro (pretty good, but not outstanding)
Fresco by Scotto (excellent homemade pastas, but it's pricey for what it is and be ready to pay extra for your bread basket; also can be hard to get a lunch reservation because the political types apparently like to eat there).
Tribeca Grill (good and a fun experience on a nice day)

And on the way cheaper but still very tasty side, Akdeniz Turkish Cuisine, on 42nd street between 5th and 6th Avenues

For the wife of the friend we took to Lundy's, I took her out one evening to her fave restaurant at the time, St. Andrew's on West 46th. Cute Scottish accented waiter in a kilt who took good care of us, Belhaven Ale, and bangers and mash for the win!

One thing I did notice last time I was in Manhattan; a certain lack of vendors selling Sabrett hot dogs, at least in the areas of Midtown I was in. A Sabrett with the special onion sauce used to be my mom's favorite treat. But every cart where I was seemed to be a falafel/shish kebab/gyro truck.

Oh, man, now I want a Sabrett.

Adelisa de Salernum


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