Hot!This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) - UPDATED ON 09/03/16

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kozel
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Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/09 05:05:03 (permalink)
billyboy
kozel, city-born and bred, eh?  I need to make time to explore Queens.  I used to work in Astoria and Long Island City but I don't get over there much these days.  Hope you're enjoying the new chapter of your life in Virginia.

I think I'd kill for a mama's special from Leo's Latticini in corona.  Virginia has nothing like it.
http://nymag.com/listings/stores/Leos-Latticini/
 
Astoria, there's Sal, Kris & Charlie who make a huge sandwich.
 
http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2010/03/the-bomb-from-sal-kris-and-charlies-sandwich-king-of-astoria-queens-nyc.html
 
 
Ed Levine wrote a column for the NY Times and wrote a great article on Heroes in New York.  That started my search.  Then there's Lioni's in Dycker Heights Brooklyn with 150+ heroes on the menu.  I have their menu hanging on my kitchen wall along with menus from Peter Luger, Durgin Park, Vincent's clam bar, Jahn's & Doe's Eat Place (Little Rock).
 
http://www.lioniheroes.com/
 
#31
wheregreggeats.com
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Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/09 06:12:31 (permalink)
Awesome.
Thanks.
Hello to you all.
#32
ken8038
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Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/09 15:17:10 (permalink)
<<Then there's Lioni's in Dycker Heights Brooklyn with 150+ heroes on the menu
 
The amazing thing about Lioni's is that I grew up about 5 blocks from there but never heard of the place until Ed Levine's article. When I think of all the lousy heroes my friends and I had for lunch from 13th Avenue during my schoolyard days in the late 50's early 60's when we could have been having Lioni's if we would've walked another two blocks it makes me wish I could go back to my childhood and do it over. But then again, things were so localized back then that going 2 blocks out of the way  was like a going to a completely different neighborhood.
 
But I made up for lost time in the years since Levine's article, on visits to family still in the neighborhood.
Oddly enough, the Lioni Mozzarella factory, which the source for their muttz, is only a few miles from me here in NJ.
http://www.lionimozzarella.com/
 
And, yes, they do have a retail store, alas, no heroes though.
 
PS: Leo's and Sal Kris and Charlies are wonderful too.
post edited by ken8038 - 2015/07/09 15:27:55
#33
FriedClamFanatic
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Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/10 20:17:03 (permalink)
Billyboy.......Well done!!!!!!!  There are trip reports and then there are TRIP REPORTS!.  I love how some of the others always include the surroundings as well, but you have it down to a Dickensian Science. I'll never do anything so comprehensive, but I admire your attention to detail, not just of the food, but the surroundings. BRAVO!
#34
kaszeta
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Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/19 14:10:37 (permalink)
I liked this review, if only because I've done the exact same itinerary!
#35
billyboy
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Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/25 15:20:06 (permalink)
kozel and ken8038, thanks so much for the info.  There are still so many places in NYC that I need to try.
 
Hello, Gregg!
 
FCF, thanks so much for the very kind words.
 
kaszeta, it was a very tasty day.
#36
JuanKerr
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Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/08/02 18:30:25 (permalink)
Wonderful report; thank you. I too am pastrami bound when visiting Katz's. Do you think it may be a condition?
#37
billyboy
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Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) - UPDATED on 06/18/16 2016/06/18 04:53:22 (permalink)
January 30, 2016 - Ralph Melton and Lori Melton (aka "icecreamchick") contacted me as they were planning to come to New York City to see the George Takei inspired musical "Allegiance" on Broadway.  I met up with them outside of the Longacre Theater on 48th Street, right in the heart of the Theater District.  It was loosely based on the experience of Mr. Takei and his family in a Japanese internment camp in the United States after the Pearl Harbor attack.  If memory serves, I believe they really liked the show.  The after-show crowd was pretty big so the chance of getting autographs was slim, so we walked to the subway to head down to the Nolita (North of Little Italy) neighborhood for our first food stop at Prince Street Pizza.  This used to be a Ray's Pizza as recently as 2010 when it was one of our stops on a Manhattan Roadfood tour.  

 
They have since changed owners and revamped the menu.  I had been reading some really great reviews online and after a couple of visits it has become one of my favorite slice joints in Manhattan.  I knew I'd have to bring Ralph & Lori here on this visit.  Please bear in mind that this place is TINY.  I mean tiny.  It is usually packed and the only seats are some tall stools against the wall.  Aside from that you're eating your slice standing inside, elbow to elbow, walking out on the sidewalk or taking it home.  Totally worth it.  I went to see a midnight screening of John Carpenter's "The Thing" a while back and I made sure to leave home early so I could chow down on a Spicy Spring slice before heading over to the theater.  

 
A coupla Sicilian slices.  The Spicy Spring and the Broadway Breadcrumb.  The Broadway Breadcrumb is pretty good and definitely dense.  Best if shared with others as eating this and another slice in one sitting can be daunting.  The counter man asked if I wanted it warmed up in the oven but I declined.  I should have taken him up on his offer.  After it cools, the breadcrumbs tend to get a bit mushy from the sauce underneath.  Warming it for a few minutes helps to re-toast them for that great crispy texture.  The Spicy Spring might be the best slice I have had in years.  Yes, that's right.  YEARS.  PSP bakes it in a seasoned rectangular pan that gets the edges all nice and crispy and the middle stays soft and chewy, like really good focaccia.  I hear that they use a fra diavolo sauce for a spicy kick and that thick-cut pepperoni that curls up into little meat cups with wonderfully crispy edges just sets it off and as you can tell by the picture, they do not skimp on the 'roni!!

 
We walked off some of that pizza by heading south on Mott Street towards Chinatown.  Along the way, we found a tiny chocolate shop, Stick With Me, that had some amazing looking chocolates.  Love that neon!

 
The Brown Butter Macadamia Caramel was really good, with bits of macadamia nuts in it and that great toasty flavor of brown butter.  

 
This cake was so small it could fit in the palm of my hand.  I was so transfixed on it that I forgot to ask what kind of cake it was.

 
These bonbons look almost otherworldy and almost too pretty to eat.

 
Seems like the kind of snack that Ziggy Stardust would have had in his dressing room.  Lori was kind enough to purchase my caramels and we all shared some very rich hot chocolate.

 
We walked a but further and came upon this beautifully sad mural of David Bowie as Aladdin Sane.  Bowie had passed away just a few weeks earlier after a battle with cancer and Dayna and I had just seen his latest project, "Lazarus", a live-staged musical sequel of sorts to his 1976 film, "The Man Who Fell To Earth".  Looking back after his death, it became very clear that this and his latest album, "Black Star", were his way of saying goodbye to his fans.  He was a HUGE part of my and Dayna's musical upbringing.

 
Another stop just a few blocks away was my favorite whimsical children's store, Piccolini.  They have so many things that you never know that you needed.  Like this t-shirt for NYC babies.  Love it!  They also carry a line of CDs that are songs from artists such as Jay-Z, Metallica, Bob Marley, The Beatles and The Foo Fighters, all turned into lullabies.  Classic Fisher-Price toys, NYC-themed books and adorable stuffed animals have made this a must stop whenever one of our friends has had a baby or one of their young children are celebrating a birthday.  Owner Alexandra and Flavia (her Girl Friday) are great at helping you find whatever you didn't know you could need.  

 
A few more blocks and we found ourselves at the entrance to Chinatown.

 
I love how the side streets are packed with so many different kinds of shops.  I could spend months here and not see everything.

 
We finally arrived at our dinner destination, Wo Hop.  Located under the sidewalk, I've been coming here for years, ever since my good buddy Ian (who first introduced me to the joys of Roadfood with a copy of Eat Your Way Across the U.S.A.) told me that I MUST come here.  
An interesting Wo Hop story that I have a from a few years ago is the time I went to pickup a Wo Hop t-shirt as a gift for my 9-year old niece.  We had gone there for lunch when she had visited in 2012 and said that she would really like one of their t-shirts.  I walked in by myself one day and waited next to the cop who was waiting to pay for his meal.  I asked if they had any pink t-shirts in a size "extra small".  After a few laughs and a healthy dose of side-eye from the cop and the man at the register, the cop said, "I don't know, man.  Maybe he likes half shirts. I don't judge!"

 
They've been turning out classic American-style Chinese food for 78 years and they are still going strong.  There was a long wait and a lot of people ahead of us (there usually is on the weekends).  Fortunately, the 13 people ahead of us were all in one group so we were able to squeeze ahead of them when a booth became available.  

 
The obligatory water and hot tea.  I find tea before a meal to be very relaxing and it helps me to forget about the outside world for a bit and focus on the meal I'm about to eat.

 
A pair of egg rolls to share (with sweet duck sauce and SUPER HOT, SINUS CLEARING Chinese mustard).  Holy moly, that mustard really hurt...but it hurt so good!

 
the great thing about these egg rolls (I think that they were shrimp & pork) is that they were really crispy without being greasy.  Some of the better ones I have had in recent memory.

 
These meat dumplings with a dark, garlicky sauce have always been a winner with me.  

 
The chicken fried rice went over pretty well at the table as well.  

 
And the beef lo mein, another good choice.  All three were just solid, classic American Chinese comfort food.

 
Inside Wo Hop, with the mirrored walls and faded head shots of no one anyone has heard of in some time.  

 
Our waiter was nice enough to snap this shot of us.  Thanks!

 
Well, to cool our palates from that HOT Chinese mustard, we made our way a couple of blocks north to Bayard Street and The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory.  

 
This tiny spot gets pretty full most evenings.  No seating at all so everything is served "to-go".  

 
I think that I had a scoop of the Almond Cookie and a scoop of the Zen Butter (like peanut butter but with sesame seeds instead of peanuts).

 
Ralph tried a sample of the Durian fruit ice cream and didn't mind the taste.

 
Lori, on the other hand, had a reaction similar to my own.  Not a fan.  Durian is a very pungent Asian fruit that is revered for its custard-like texture and it's bold taste, though many people are immediately turned off by the odor, err, aroma.  The Durian fruit is so strong-smelling that it is banned from airplanes, public transit and hotels in most Asian countries.

 
 
A short trip but but most enjoyable.  Always glad to have the chance to spend time with you both.  Until we meet again...
 
"Eating is an adventure, enjoy the ride" - billyboy, 2016
 
The 411:
 
1.)  Prince Street Pizza
      27 Prince Street
      New York, NY 10012
      Ph# 212-966-4100
      No website
 
2.)  Stick With Me
      202 Mott Street
      New York, NY 10012
      Ph# 646-918-6336
      Website: https://www.swmsweets.com
 
3.)  Piccolini
      167 Mott Street
      New York, NY 10013
      Ph# 212-775-1118
      Website: http://piccolininyc.com
 
4.)  Wo Hop
      17 Mott Street
      New York, NY 10013
      Ph# 212-962-8617
      Website: http://wohopnyc.com
 
5.)  The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
       65 Bayard Street
       New York, NY 10013
       Ph# 212-608-4170
       Website: http://www.chinatownicecreamfactory.com
 
 
 
 
#38
leethebard
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Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) - UPDATED on 06/18/16 2016/06/18 10:02:33 (permalink)
Thanks for a great report. Love that section of NYC!! Nice pizza.
#39
ann peeples
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Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) - UPDATED on 06/18/16 2016/06/18 13:29:04 (permalink)
Very very nice!
#40
Twinwillow
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Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) - UPDATED on 06/18/16 2016/06/19 20:15:11 (permalink)
Again, wonderful! Thank you.
#41
bartl
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Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) - UPDATED on 06/18/16 2016/06/20 08:23:18 (permalink)
I used to be a regular at Wo Hop, but haven't been there in over a couple of decades. Never had to wait in line there, though; glad it's still going strong.
 
Bart
#42
icecreamchick
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Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) - UPDATED on 06/18/16 2016/06/20 10:29:26 (permalink)
Bill, we can't thank you enough for the tour of NYC (again!) and these great reports that bring it all right back. Thanks to you, we really had a great time. We really would not see or eat half as much on our own! 
 
The ice cream shop was great, but the Durian fruit ice cream...eww! One of the few frozen confections I've ever met that I didn't like! ;-)
 
The Broadway Breadcrumb pizza slice was really different and good. All the slices at that shop were fantastic!
 
I got a few of those gorgeous chocolates from Stick With Me, and they were incredible. I seriously rationed them out. 
 
Also, I bought a children's book based on Bob Marley's "One Love," and my niece and nephew loved it. <3
 
Finally, you are right - we really enjoyed seeing "Allegiance," and I'm glad we got there before the show closed. Thanks again for a great evening in your beautiful city!
#43
TJ Jackson
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Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) - UPDATED on 06/18/16 2016/06/20 10:54:23 (permalink)
I think that bread crumb pizza may actually have been sfincione
 
http://www.seriouseats.co...-pizza-with-bread.html
#44
mar52
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Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) - UPDATED on 06/18/16 2016/06/20 11:07:24 (permalink)
Always outstanding and I always smile when I see a new one.  Thank you!
#45
Ralph Melton
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Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) - UPDATED on 06/18/16 2016/06/22 15:42:11 (permalink)
My own food highlight of our time with Bill was probably Prince Street Pizza. I agree that the breadcrumb pizza would have been better warmed up, but I was glad to try something new and all three of our slices were very good.
 
I was also glad to try the durian ice cream - this was my first taste of durian. I didn't find it so unpleasant - to me it just tasted fruity and somewhat peppery.
 
Thank you very much for guiding us again!
#46
mar52
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Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) - UPDATED on 06/18/16 2016/06/23 01:29:44 (permalink)
My only experience with Durian was buying a package of Durian wafer cookies at Ranch 99.  I ate two cookies trying to figure out the flavor.  I didn't like it and tasted it the rest of the day.
 
Never again in any shape or form.
 
A Billy tour of New York is a sort of dream of mine.
#47
pnwchef
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Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) - UPDATED on 06/18/16 2016/06/23 10:39:28 (permalink)
I always thought Billyboy missed his calling as doing a Roadfood subway tour in NYC. Just think of how much traditional NYC food could be covered starting from Patsy's pizza slice on 117th  to a warm Knish at Yonah's bakery. Bullyboy tell me you wouldn't love a day doing this. Your personality would make this a tour to remember......Another great post......Thanks .....Bill
#48
billyboy
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Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) - UPDATED on 06/18/16 2016/06/24 00:26:07 (permalink)
TJ Jackson, I saw that same article on SE as I was writing up this report but I wasn't sure if the version at Prince Street was a "traditional" version, so I opted to leave out the link to the article.  It is a great piece of info and actually how I first learned about the slices at Prince Street.  
 
Mar52, thanks so much for the kind words.  If you do make it to NYC I'd love to show you around or at least put together a "greatest hits" tour for you.  I tried that Durian ice cream once before and can safely say I have checked it off of my to do list for good!  Though, I have this somewhat morbid sense of curiosity that makes me want to try actual Durian fruit.  I feel like that bank robber at the beginning of "Dirty Harry".  Hey, I gots to know!!
 
pnwchef, I already conducted a subway tour back in November of 2013.  We started at Sylvia's in Harlem for breakfast, slices at Patsy's, hot dogs at Papaya King and much, much more.  I enjoy putting together the tours but I don't know if I could do it as a weekly event.
#49
hatteras04
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Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) - UPDATED on 06/18/16 2016/06/24 10:05:44 (permalink)
My wife and I went to that Rays in 2011 when we were there for my 40th and I've always been disappointed that it closed because I loved it.  Now I can't wait to get back and try the Spicy Spring at the new place.  I'll probably only be able to eat about half of it with my tiny stomach but it will be worth it.  I think I'll stay away from the breadcrumb one since something that dense might be too much for me. 
 
Great pics as always!
#50
hatteras04
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Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) - UPDATED on 06/18/16 2016/06/24 10:21:36 (permalink)
Speaking of seriouseats and with a nod to the original part of this trip report, an hour long podcast with two members of the family from Russ and Daughters was just posted.
 
http://www.seriouseats.co...ed-levine-podcast.html  
#51
pnwchef
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Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) - UPDATED on 06/18/16 2016/06/24 13:24:16 (permalink)
billyboy
TJ Jackson, I saw that same article on SE as I was writing up this report but I wasn't sure if the version at Prince Street was a "traditional" version, so I opted to leave out the link to the article.  It is a great piece of info and actually how I first learned about the slices at Prince Street.  
 
Mar52, thanks so much for the kind words.  If you do make it to NYC I'd love to show you around or at least put together a "greatest hits" tour for you.  I tried that Durian ice cream once before and can safely say I have checked it off of my to do list for good!  Though, I have this somewhat morbid sense of curiosity that makes me want to try actual Durian fruit.  I feel like that bank robber at the beginning of "Dirty Harry".  Hey, I gots to know!!
 
pnwchef, I already conducted a subway tour back in November of 2013.  We started at Sylvia's in Harlem for breakfast, slices at Patsy's, hot dogs at Papaya King and much, much more.  I enjoy putting together the tours but I don't know if I could do it as a weekly event.


Billy, I'm thinking 3 times a week 4 hr tour with limit of 20 people at $85 ea. The only cost to you is setting up a web site. Three tours a week is $5100.00 a week. there's no over head because your using public transportation. There's no building cost or any other B&M costs. You have a lot to offer to a real New York food excuration. Just sayin'!
#52
billyboy
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Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) - UPDATED on 09/03/16 2016/09/03 20:51:48 (permalink)
Wednesday July 20, 2016 - Rather than start a new trip report I thought that I would continue to add on to this one, featuring excursions into the different boroughs and neighborhoods of New York City that I have the pleasure of taking with family, friends and fellow Roadfooders.  I received a text from the one and only ChiTownDiner, seeking advice for an upcoming trip he and his lovely wife Patti would be taking to NYC.  After many helpful (I hope) exchanges, I was looking forward to meeting them for a few meals and to catch a Broadway show.  Before heading over to Brooklyn for breakfast with CTD & Patti, headed over to the Lower East Side to pick up a few provisions.  I came across this mural  and it really stuck with me.  

 
Just a brief stop at my favorite neighborhood store, Economy Candy.

 
My local fix for Cadbury from across the pond.  CTD had mentioned that he loves the Chunky candy bar, so I picked up a couple along with some Rocky Roads, Bit-O-Honeys, Mary Janes, Toffee Crisp and a Zagnut bar.  They can be tough to find in the average grocery store/pharmacy these days.

 
A Mary Jane bar is something I rarely see anywhere other than Economy Candy and 99 cents is less than what I would expect to pay in other retail locations. 

 
I passed an Asian restaurant called SOY on the way to Brooklyn and liked their use of Legos for their signage.

 
Heading to the pedestrian path on the Williamsburg Bridge.

 
Looking south on the Williamsburg Bridge (aka the "Willy-B") towards the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges.

 
I haven't walked across the Willy-B in years and underestimated how long it would take me to get across so I was a bit late in meeting Gregg & Patti at our first stop, The Bagel Store.

 
I'm glad I didn't keep them waiting too long and Gregg offered me some of his rainbow bagel with scallion cream cheese.  I had been here in last month with the Brooklyn tour but this would be my first bite of the (in)famous "Rainbow Bagel".  I was underwhelmed.  A bit of sweetness to the dough but the flavor and texture just didn't stand out to me.  Not a bad bagel, but not one I would go out of my way for either.  It really is a work of art but I can think of at least four different bagels I would want before this one.

 
Next up was a short walk to our second stop, Pies-n-Thighs.  Some call it "hipster soul food" but it is pretty darn tasty.  Will you pay more than you would in a small southern town?  Yup.  But it is NYC and the costs of running a restaurant are generally higher here and those get passed along to the customers.

 
Gregg and I both had our eyes on the pies, donuts and fried green tomatoes.  

 
We opted for a mix of different things for that table to share.  Clockwise, from the top: cinnamon sugar donut, two fried chicken breasts (I ordered one but since they were small, they gave me two for the price of one.  Score!), fried green tomatoes (with a spicy remoulade sauce and pickled onions), chocolate (cake) donut, Lemon Chess pie (with a rhubarb compote) and Blubarb pie with a side of Burnt End Baked Beans.

 
We all liked the cornmeal-crusted fried green tomatoes.  Crispy, tart and I think the remoulade had a slight kick to it, if memory serves.

 
When it comes to poultry, I'm a white meat guy, all the way and these breasts were great.  Nice crunch on the crust, the meat was juicy and a little drizzle of honey and a splash or three of hot sauce and I was in heaven.  Not sure if Gregg & Patti tried these.  The beans were very thick and rich.  I loved them but I take issue with the name on the menu.  There were some shreds of meat in there but I couldn't tell if they were burnt ends and there wasn't any discernible smoke flavor.  I LOVE burnt ends and I've had them in baked beans before and when it is done right, it is heaven for my taste buds.  However, unless you are making burnt ends IN HOUSE and putting CHUNKS of them in your baked beans, please do not use the term BURNT ENDS on the menu!!  I don't quibble about too many foods but this one drives me crazy.  

 
Look at those beautiful fault lines!  This was one seriously craggy and chocolatey donut.  

 
The cinnamon sugar was a nice runner-up and would be perfect for dunking.  Keep in mind that these are $3.00 a piece.  About average for the NYC donut scene and are definitely worth the price tag, IMHO.

 
This slice of Lemon Chess pie was a bit runny but had a good lemony tang to it, although I could have done without the rhubarb compote.

 
The Blubarb pie won me over completely.  A perfect balance of tart and sweet and the crust on both pies was clearly homemade.  Oh, the young guy who waited on us was really cool and helpful in answering any questions that we had. 

 
Next, we headed over to Gregg & Patti's car and made the brief drive to Peter Luger for our 12:45 reservation for lunch.  We were lucky enough to score a spot just a block down the street.

 
One of the main dining rooms.  I'm guessing that very little of the decor has changed since the late 19th century.

 
The complimentary bread basket and "steak house" sauce. 

 
Anytime I see someone eating a puny little leafy salad, I am overcome with the urge to walk over to them with this plate and say (in a Crocodile Dundee voice), "That's not a salad.  THIS is a salad!!"  They wisely use a combination of creamy and crumbly bleu cheese atop iceberg wedges and tomatoes and then shower it with chunks of their house bacon.  While their steaks are known throughout the U.S. I think that this salad and the cheeseburger are the sleeper hits.  Of course, I am perfectly happy only having steak once a year, so I could be wrong!  

 
A medium rare steak for one.  Plenty to split between the three of us.  Very tasty, though a bit too rare for me.

 
No worries though as this is what I was really craving.

 
A perfect medium cheeseburger with bacon.  The cheeseburger by itself was $8.95 when I first tried it in 2009 and it is now up to $12.95 (or $13.95?  I need to write these things down!) but still worth every penny.  

 
We may have overdone it a bit by ordering an extra side of bacon as we never touched this.  Gregg & Patti said I should take it home and my girlfriend Dayna totally appreciated it.

 
Across the street from Luger's, we spied this mural.  I couldn't help but think that it had a Monty Python meets Salvador Dali quality about it.

 
Looking at the Willy-B from outside Peter Luger.

 
Our last stop was for dessert at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.  This turned out to be a bit problematic as the area was jammed with cars and pedestrians as the area has undergone a revival of sorts and is more popular than ever.  Parking was impossible, so Gregg & I hopped out to get our ice cream while Patti sat ready to move the car if need be.  They couldn't stay long as they had to meet people on Long Island so we had to cut our day short.  Hopefully they can come back and we can explore Brooklyn Bridge Park another day as it really is quite lovely, as the following pictures will demonstrate.

 
A small shop with big flavors.

 
Always on the hunt for a good place to stage my pics.

 
I went for two scoops: coffee & butter pecan, topped with warm hot fudge.  Perfect.

 
Lots to do and eat in the park.  They have added a Luke's Lobster, No. 7 Sub (off-the-wall sandwich combinations), Shake Shack to the area so it's a perfect place to grab some lunch, spread out a blanket and just chill for a few hours.

 
The view of the East River and Lower Manhattan from the big lawn.

 
Looking westward at Lower Manhattan and the Financial District from the top of the steps in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

 
This view just never gets old.

 
And a closer shot.

 
I made my way back into Manhattan to pick up a birthday gift for a friend's daughter who was about to turn 1 year old.  I stopped into Piccolini, my go-to gift shop for kids and fell in love with this very plush lamb which I hope was a hit with their little girl.

 
Walking through the Nolita (North of Little Italy) neighborhood, I passed by L'asso which has pretty good pizza and is also the spot where I performed stand-up comedy for the very first time in 2005.  I haven't been on stage in years but I remember it being the most terrifying, exhilarating experience.  I had to take this picture as I love Keith Haring murals and that photobomb of Bill Murray on the left is just classic!

 
The streets of New York are not just interesting but educational as well!  In case you were wondering...

 
A local taqueria with many flavors of Jarritos.  I'm partial to the Mandarin and the Pina.

 
Monday July 25, 2016 - Gregg & Patti came back to the city after a relaxing long weekend in Long Island and they managed to check out a wide array of what the city has to offer.  One of those was to see their first Broadway show.  Dayna and I are big fans of Broadway and we recommended that they see "Kinky Boots" at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.  Al Hirschfeld was an illustrator and caricaturist who was well known for his drawings of Broadway celebrities and the theatre was renamed in his honor in 2003.  

 
I've saved the best for last.  What better way to end this section of this ongoing trip report than with a shot of ChiTownDiner showing off his "kinky boots"?!?!  Work that runway, Gregg!!!

 
Gregg & Patti, thank you both so much for sharing so much of your time with Dayna and I.  We had a blast with you both and I can't thank you enough for lunch at Luger's.  I hope we can make it to Chicago next year to check out the traveling company of "Hamilton" and spend some time with you both in your fine city.  
post edited by billyboy - 2016/09/03 20:54:24
#53
lleechef
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Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) - UPDATED on 09/03/16 2016/09/03 22:17:47 (permalink)
The food looks great as do the shots of Lower Manhattan.  Something magical about living in a big city.  But the pic of Miss Kinky Boots is........well........PRICELESS!!!!  Glad you all had a good time!
#54
leethebard
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Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) - UPDATED on 09/03/16 2016/09/03 23:09:29 (permalink)
Nice gams ChiTownDiner!!
#55
joerogo
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Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) - UPDATED on 09/03/16 2016/09/04 07:08:31 (permalink)
Leftover bacon???  That couldn't have been CTD! I think you dined with an impostor!!!
#56
ScreamingChicken
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Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) - UPDATED on 09/03/16 2016/09/04 10:33:12 (permalink)
billyboy
I was a bit late in meeting Gregg & Patti

As long as you were there by 5:15.
#57
ann peeples
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Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) - UPDATED on 09/03/16 2016/09/04 10:49:09 (permalink)
Who wouldn't love that cute lamb! Great addition to an already stellar report. I fell in love with Manhatten a couple of years ago and told Bob if I was single I would live there. So much to see and by walking! Thanks billyboy!
#58
MetroplexJim
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Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2016/09/04 11:32:50 (permalink)
billyboy, thank you so very much for this!
 
INYC, the greatest city on the face of the earth.
 
Every time I visit, I discover something "Oh, WOW!" great; thanks for guiding me to places I hadn't visited before. 
 
Last month we decided to do a three day stop in the City after three weeks in Europe.  Thanks in part to your pictures we devoted an afternoon to exploring the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge, including an early lunch at Grimaldi's and dinner at the River Café.  Just delightful!  The only thing that really had me scratching my head was the loud Latino music playing at Grimaldi's!  Whatever happened to Sinatra?  But the pizza was truly wonderful!
#59
ScreamingChicken
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Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2016/09/04 13:30:24 (permalink)
As someone who's basically averse to most urban environments NYC has always been pretty much the last US location I've ever wanted to visit, but a tour guide like Billy would undoubtedly make it a far less painful (and certainly less hungry) experience!
 
#60
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