Archive for April, 2008

Leave Snack Dragon’s Tacos in their Cave

April 29, 2008

We’re all on the hunt for NYC’s best tacos so when we hear that Snack Dragon is serving cheap tacos in Alphabet City until 4AM on weekends, we have a reason to be excited right? Wrong. I hit Snack Dragon sober and had five tacos, only one of which was actually delicious. It’s unfortunate they were out of Carnitas pork, the self-proclaimed best and the only one I really wanted, because the chicken, steak, and fish were all lackluster.

The Nacharito above was the one standout. So how do you mess up tacos?

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Shorty’s Cheese Steaks: Creating Philly Perfection Even by Delivery

April 29, 2008

New Yorkers rejoice, Shorty’s has answered your cheese steak prayers. Midtown’s version of “wiz wit”, a cheese steak with cheese whiz and fried onions, is the truest version of the Philadelphia classic NYC Food Guy has encountered thus far. I’m yet to try 99 miles to philly or Wogie’s, but until then I’m ready to hand Shorty’s the crown for the best cheese steak and some of the crispiest fries I’ve had in this city.

I’m confident in that statement because I’ve never even eaten Shorty’s in-store, I’ve only had it delivered from their 9th Avenue and 42nd St. location to my office on 6th Avenue and 51st St.. With at least 30 separate orders to my office over the past few months, the three avenue, 9 block trek hasn’t yielded one unsatisfied eater. If that’s not a true barometer for success, what is?  Read on to find out why Shorty’s is so delicious.

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East Buffet Proves Big Money Items Are the Way to Go

April 29, 2008

NYC Food Guy’s not a buffet man, never has been, never will, unless Peter Luger’s decides to go middle America on us. If I am going to hit the buffet though, you better believe I’m going to East Buffet in Huntington Station, Long Island, where $35 (after tax and a 12% service charge) allows you to eat your weight in sushi, shrimp cocktail, steamed crab legs, and Peking duck.

But that’s just the beginning. With three massive buffet stations, a sushi bar, a wall of Korean BBQ, a raw seafood bar, and a wall of desserts, it can be overwhelming figuring out a plan of action. Enter King of Ketchup who’s eaten at East at least 15 times and has the buffet strategy down to a science.

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Lower East Side Feast: $28 All You Can Eat Ribs at Georgia’s Eastside BBQ & $4 Banana Pudding at sugar Sweet sunshine

April 28, 2008

Sunday is NYC Food Guy’s gluttony day. And what better way to invoke the 2nd of the seven deadly sins than with $28 all you can eat ribs at my favorite BBQ spot, Georgia’s Eastside BBQ. Why is it my favorite? Well aside from the meaty, fall-off-the-bone ribs, the service is great and it’s affordable.  Since my first post they’re no longer offering unlimited sides with the all you can eat, something they tinkered with early on, but that shouldn’t matter because you’re here for a carnivorous feast and Baby Back Ribs are the star of the show.  

The ribs– baked over beer between two cookie sheets before being tossed on the grill and sauced up- arrived hot, fall-off-the-bone, and very meaty.  The skin was drier than usual so we asked for extra sauce, a mandatory move, regardless of skin quality. The fries were spot on, crispy and cooked fresh.  Pass on the potato skins ($4), listed as a special, they arrived undercooked and underloaded.  The cabbagey cole slaw is sweet and light, a nice “palate cleanser” as King of Ketchup called it.  After the King and I polished off two racks of ribs each and paid our $64 bill, it was off to sugar Sweet sunshine for some of the city’s best Banana Pudding

The key to great Banana Pudding is simple: 1) Balanced ratio of ripe banana to Nilla wafer and 2) rich, creamy pudding.  sugar Sweet sunshine’s ratio favors the Nilla wafer, but it makes no difference, the pudding is so sweet and decadent, you’re forced to sit down in one of their comfy armchairs and enjoy the knee-buckling deliciousness. A $4 small cup is more than enough for two people. Their cupcakes are great as well, better than Magnolia’s. Go with the Ooey Goey (chocolate cake with dark chocolate almond buttercream frosting), it’s the co-owner Deb’s favorite. 

Georgia’s Eastside BBQ 192 Orchard St. b/t Houston & Stanton New York, NY 10002 (212) 253-6280
sugar Sweet sunshine 126 Rivington St. near Norfolk St. New York, NY 10002 (212) 995-1960

Eating at Shea Stadium: Nathan’s Foot Long Chili Cheese Dog & Nathan’s Fries

April 25, 2008

Unlike Dodger Dogs in Los Angeles, Chili Cheese Coneys in Cincinnati, or Garlic Fries in San Fran, Major League Baseball in New York is known more for its overpriced players than its overpriced stadium grub. Enter NYC Food Guy. I’m here to tell you that if you’re going to Shea Stadium the best bang for your buck may just be the $7 Nathan’s Chili Cheese Foot Long Hot Dog.

$7 for one hot dog is ridiculous, but this puppy is a meal. Beefy chili, artery clogging cheddar cheese sauce, and a plump, juicy dog (ask for a well done one). It’s obviously not as good as the Nathan’s in Coney Island, especially when it comes to the flimsy white bun, which collapsed under the weight of the dog and toppings. The dog is typical Nathan’s, not too snappy with a balanced flavor between garlic and beef. The chili is beefy and thin but works well with the overtly artificial cheese sauce, which was killing me slowly.

The fries ($5.00) are certainly Nathan’s style, but definitely not up to par. They’re never really crispy, even at the real Nathan’s, but most of the time at Shea they’re not only soggy but cold too. I’m a french fry addict, I have a hard time not getting them, but I will definitely pass on these next time I attend a Mets game and I suggest you do the same. Honorable mention to Leo’s Latticini (a.k.a Mama’s) Italian heroes which I hear are significantly better at the actual Corona, Queens store.

Wondee Siam’s Pork Drunken Noodles (Key Mao Pork): Skimpy Portion & Undesirable Veggies

April 24, 2008

Wondee Siam was recommended to me after the Midtown Pork Drunken Noodle Showdown between Topaz and Pam Real Thai Encore. Pork Drunken Noodles (flat noodles sauteed with Thai Chiles and Basil) is my favorite Thai dish and I haven’t found anywhere that does it better than Topaz. I’m the NYC Food Guy, however, and I have an open mind, so it hurt me that much more when Wondee Siam showed up with two skimpy portions of Drunken Noodles ($8.50 each) filled with the most undesirable and out of place vegetables I’ve ever encountered in any Thai dish.

Cauliflower? Cabbage? Zucchini? What are these vegetables doing in my Drunken Noodles? They’re obviously there to make a severely small portion look heartier and to decorate the appearance of some extremely mediocre pork (tough and stringy). Overall, this dish was greasy, weak on flavor and spice, and a straight up rip off. I usually like to give places more than one chance to impress but Wondee Siam gave me NO REASON to return.

See the rest of my Drunken Noodle Tour here.

Wondee Siam 792 9th Ave b/t 52-53 St. New York, NY 10019

(212) 459-9057

Carnegie John’s $4 Cheeseburger: Grilled & Griddled, It’s the Best of Both Worlds

April 23, 2008

Charcoal broiled Cheeseburgers remind me that summer grilling is on the way. There are few better thoughts.

This is the $4 cheeseburger from Carnegie John’s street cart on 56th near 7th Avenue and it’s delicious. First it’s griddled, then charcoal-grilled, then put back on the griddle before being covered in American cheese, shredded lettuce, and tomato. It’s a two-hand burger and it’s only $4. Go pick one up and eat it outside. Read on for Carnegie John’s other go-to option for a cheap and tasty lunch…

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NYC Food Guy Recommends… Cheap Late Night Eats… With one worthy exception

April 18, 2008

NYC Food Guy loves nothing more than ending a night on the town with a delicious meal. Everyone has their late night pizza spot or diner, but sometimes you need to think bigger and better. I’m here to make that very easy for you by shedding light on places that stay open past bedtime or way past last call.

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Midtown Drunken Noodle Showdown: Topaz vs Pam Real Thai Encore

April 14, 2008

When you talk about Midtown Thai, there is no hands down go-to spot. Everyone has their individual favorites because everyone’s definition of great Thai varies. NYC Food Guy has been in the process of paring down the competition by eating one of only two dishes at every place: Pad Thai with Chicken and the Dish of the Day Drunken Noodles (Pad Key Mao) with Pork. This is New York and there’s no better way to determine who’s best than by pitting two places together in a head-to-head fight to the death. In other words, an NYC Food Guy Showdown! There will be a lot more of these, but what better to debut with than a fiery Drunken Noodles battle royale?

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NYC Food Guy’s Cheap Eats: Superb Subs at Dave’s Bagel Stop in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn

April 11, 2008

Dave’s Bagel Stop delivers each of the 3 essentials NYC Food Guy requires for a great cold sub while offering a free can of soda when you buy a 12-inch hero ($5.50). All I need is a chewy, airy roll that’s light and sturdy, big portions of high quality, thin-cut cold cuts, and fresh, thinly sliced lettuce and tomato. I recommend you go for the lean and moist pastrami with provolone, lettuce, tomato, oil and vinegar, and mayo and mustard. Ask for the dressings on the side, because if you’re traveling with the sandwich they’ll soggy up the bread. Dave’s is down the block from the Sheepshead Bay Road/16th Street B/Q Subway station, so grab a meal on the go and know you’re being good to your stomach and great to your wallet.

    Dave’s Bagel Stop 1424 Sheepshead Bay Road, Brooklyn, NY 11235
    718-648-7348 Hours: Mon – Fri 6AM to 8PM Sat – Sun 6AM to 5PM

Veselka Bacon Cheeseburger: Backyard Grill Flavor & Great Bun

April 11, 2008

Josh “Mr. Cutlets” Ozersky, co-creator of NY Magazine’s Grub Street, and author of “Hamburger: A History”, recently proclaimed his love for the bacon cheeseburger ($10.50 deluxe) at Veselka, a 24-hour Ukrainian diner in the East Village. I’ve had this joint on my to do list for a long time but it was Mr. Ozersky’s claim that lit the burner on this mission. Could it really be the best burger in the city?


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UWS Slice Tour: Caesar’s Palace Pizza, New Pizza Town, Bella Roma and Francesco

April 10, 2008

What better way to start the day than by continuing NYC Food Guy’s Upper West Side Slice Tour? Today it was 4 slices over the course of 30 blocks.

Can any spot lay claim to the best slice on the UWS? Are any really worth going back to? Only one way to find out….

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NYC Food Guy’s Cheap Eats: China Gourmet’s General Tso’s Combo Platter is Midtown West’s Best

April 8, 2008

Like everyone else, NYC Food Guy wants nothing but bang for his buck when it comes to Chinese takeout. It’s a ray of light from heaven, therefore, when the food is not only cheap but delicious. China Gourmet offers a General Tso’s combo platter with generic but fluffy pork fried rice, and a greasy yet crisp egg roll for $6.35.

And here’s the NYC Food Guy inside info: Pay $1.40 extra for white meat and you’ll get freshly cooked General Tso’s the way it’s meant to be eaten. Piping hot with a sweet, spicy sauce covering crispy nuggets of juicy chicken. No cartilage. Only a couple little pieces of nothing but fried skin.

I’ve had this exact dish three times in the last 3 weeks and it has been delicious everytime. Just have some coffee ready because if you can actually finish this massive amount of greasy perfection, a serious food coma is inevitable. Beware the dumplings, by the way, they’re awful, particularly the steamed vegetable variety which looked like mint green play-doh ravioli.

China Gourmet 877 8th Avenue (b/t 52nd & 53rd St.) (212) 246-8181, (212) 246-8191, For Credit Card: (212) 489-3088 $6 minimum for delivery

NYC Food Guy on Cool in Your Code.com’s “Code Words”

April 8, 2008

As if being the NYC Food Guy isn’t cool enough, now I get to be Cool in Your Code’s food guru in their newest online column, “Code Words“. Cool in Your Code is a great show on NYCTV which breaks down what’s cool, new, undiscovered and different throughout NYC’s 200+ zip codes. I’ll be holding down the food while teaming up with other New Yorkers in the know who will give you the low down on fashion finds, artistic creations, and ways to improve your life.

You’ll now be able to find NYC Food Guy’s honest and delicious reviews at NYCFoodGuy.com and on CoolInYourCode.com. Get on over there right now and check it out, they’re sporting Part 1 of my East Village Food Tour.