Tuesday, June 12, 2018

NYC for Foodies

By Julie, Lisa and Lorena

Toastie  8.5/10:  “Where everyone feels like a New Yorker.”

Atmosphere  ★★★★
1.       Curb appeal: Outdoor seating available. Eye catching Logo.
2.      Ambience: A well-lit open space with a great music selection.
3.      Noise level: The main seating area is in the back near the take-out counter and salad chopping station. It’s a bit too noisy.

Food ★★★★
1.       Variety: Endless NY-style sandwich options as well as salads, pizza and smoothies.
2.      Cost: You will be paying a bit more than your local sandwich shop.  Toasties uses high quality ingredients.
3.      Taste: Fresh bread and big tasty portions.

Service ★★★★
1.       Service: Everything is made to your liking; so, it’s worth the wait.
2.      Cleanliness: The tables were all clean when we arrived. Everyone was wearing gloves and hair nets. The bathroom could have been cleaner.
3.      Friendliness: Attentive and friendly staff.

Hi-New-York Student:  I recently had lunch at Toasties. I arrived with a group of friends at 11:15. It was quick and easy to order at the counter. Try and arrive early if possible, the line grew very fast.  I found the seating area inside the restaurant to be a bit loud.  I would recommend Toasties. I had the Classic American.

Hi-New-York Student:  BEST CHICKEN TERIYAKI SANDWHICH!!!! Toasties is a wonderful place if you are trying to grab a quick and delicious meal on your lunch break. It’s a bit loud; so, don’t take someone there on a date.

Europa Café  7/10:  “Cafeteria-style setting with restaurant-style taste.”

Atmosphere ★★★
1.       Curb appeal: A very convenient location, but there isn’t much curb appeal.
2.      Ambience: Average decoration with a lively feel.
3.      Noise level: There are many different service counters; so, there is a lot of noise.

Food ★★★★
1.       Variety: Countless options for lunch as well as desserts.
2.      Cost: Reasonably priced, especially the salads.
3.      Taste: We had a variety of items. The meals all were satisfactory.
Service ★★★★
1.       Service: No wait time, and all the dishes came out right away. You order and wait for your food to be brought to your table.
2.      Cleanliness: Clean and tidy. Unfortunately, the bathroom was a mess, and there was no toilet paper.
3.      Friendliness: Extremely polite and informative service.

Hi-New-York Student:  I would not typically order a pizza from a café in New York; yet, I am very glad I did. The margherita personal sized pizza was delicious with the perfect cheese to sauce ratio. The seats are set up like a cafeteria. You won’t be sitting at your own table here. This is not a very relaxing place to dine.

Hi-New-York Teacher:  I usually build my own salads at these types of establishments. As you may know, that can get expense. I was very satisfied with the amount of ingredients I added and how inexpensive the salad was. Everything was vibrant and fresh.

Russ & Daughters (Shop)  8.5/10:  “Culture in every bite.”

Atmosphere  ★★★★
1.  Curb appeal: The windows really showcased what was inside.
2.  Ambience: Old fashioned decorations and counters. Very close quarters, hard to move around. There is no seating at this location. Grab and Go.
3.  Noise level: There was a lot of commotion at lunch time, making it hard to hear the people taking our orders from behind the counter.

Food ★★★★
1.  Variety:  This is a specialty establishment with plenty of options when it comes to bagels, cream cheese and salmon.
2.  Cost: Smoked fish of this high quality is worth the extra money.
3.  Taste: Unbelievably delicious.

Service ★★★★
1.  Service: Russ and Daughters food is made to order. Expect to wait.
2.  Cleanliness: Everything appeared to be well taken care of and clean.
3.  Friendliness: Attentive and friendly staff.

Hi-New-York Student:  Best Bagel EVER! I was surprised to see they had so many types of cream cheese. This time, I chose the plain cream cheese, but next time, I would like to give the goat cheese spread a try. Russ and Daughters is in a fantastic location, just a few minutes’ walk from the F train.

Hi-New-York Student:  This was my first time trying Jewish cuisine, and I was so impressed. I do wish they had seating at this location. I ended up eating outside on a bench. I highly suggest ordering an everything bagel with the Irish salmon, plain cream cheese and a small side of their famous egg salad. It might be the best I have ever had.

Chipotle  8.5/10:  “Put a little spice in your life.”

Atmosphere  ★★★★
1.  Curb appeal: Very basic store front, not very inviting.
2.  Ambience: Chipotle has plenty of tables and bar tops. The walls are decorated with very interesting artwork. It’s close to the MoMA.
3.  Noise level: This is a very big location. Even during the lunch rush, you can eat in peace.

 Food ★★★★★
1.  Variety:  Mexican buffet with a decent number of options. You can order burritos, tacos, rice bowls or salads.
2.  Cost: Very affordable.
3.  Taste:  100% customizable taste.  

Service ★★★★
1.  Service:  A lengthy line was forming, which made the man behind the counter rush. It was hard to hear him.
2.  Cleanliness: Extremely clean and organized.
3.  Friendliness: Although rushed, the lady at the check-out counter was very polite.

Hi-New-York Student:  I really enjoyed building my own burrito; it’s not something I have ever done. I loved my burrito, but I was surprised that the chicken was spicy. I wish there were two options for chicken. I would have liked a fountain drink with my order. Unfortunately, the machine was out of order.

Hi-New-York Student:  I ordered the 3 soft flour tacos option. They should have put less toppings on my chicken tacos; it was hard to eat. I don’t like eating tacos with a fork and knife. The chicken was spicy, but I still really enjoyed my meal.  The ordering process was rushed; therefore, my tacos came out messy. Not the best review, but I would 100% go back.

Juniors  7.5/10:  “The essential Brooklyn diner.”

Atmosphere  ★★★★
1.  Curb appeal: The location is under construction outside; so, it’s very dusty and not inviting.
2.  Ambience: Old fashioned dinner with lots of old photographs for decoration. Junior’s is a wonderful place to take the family.
3.  Noise level:  No complaints. Even with outside construction, there was no noise pollution.

Food ★★★★
1.  Variety:  Plenty of traditional diner food, not many healthy options. 
2.  Cost: A little over priced for lunch. $15 minim on most meals.
3.  Taste:  Free pickles, Cole slaw and beets upon arrival. Simple yet tasty.

Service ★★★★
1.  Service:  There was no wait, and this restaurant is very large. The waiter did take a few minutes to come and greet us.
2.  Cleanliness: Even though this location is old, it was clean and tidy.
3.  Friendliness: The server wasn’t very helpful, and he forgot to add toppings to two dishes.

Hi-New-York Teacher:  I do wish this restaurant had a few more healthy and vegetarian options. I particularly loved the free cole slaw and beets. The bathrooms were clean, but they were located in the back and upstairs. The food was average. I am not sure I would come back.

Hi-New-York Student:  I would come back here once a week just to have another taste of their amazing and enormous hot dogs. I think it was as big as my arm! The french fries were also very delicious. The menu was not very descriptive; so, I wasn’t sure what I was getting.

Nathan’s Hot Dog Stand (Coney Island)  8.5/10:  “Home of the best hot dogs on planet earth.”

Atmosphere  ★★★★★
1.  Curb appeal: You can’t miss this place - big red and yellows signs with a full view of the kitchen. You should read the menu before you even go inside.
2.  Ambience: Nathan’s made you feel like summer. It’s fun and has a lot of energy. The seating is outside, which is wonderful for people watching.
3.  Noise level:  The ambience was so great we didn’t notice the noise. 

Food ★★★★★
1.  Variety:  It’s worth a visit for the hot dogs. The cheese fries are another reason to visit Nathan’s.
2.  Cost: The portions of fries could have been larger for the price. 
3.  Taste:  This location has been open since 1916, and they know how to make the best hot dogs in New York!

Service ★★★★
1.  Service:  With at least 30 registers and countless employees working, there was no wait. The people at the registers were very effective at keeping the lines moving.
2.  Cleanliness: Very clean and tidy even outside.
3.  Friendliness: Everyone, even the man making the hotdogs, had a smile on his face.

Hi-New-York Student:  I tend to think of myself as a hot dog connoisseur. Nathan’s hot dogs made the cut. I wish I had ordered two; they are rather small. It was very nice to be able to enjoy my meal outside. This place is great!

Hi-New-York Student:  I don’t usually order hot dogs when I see them on a menu, but I couldn’t resist. This is the home of the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. I had to see what all the hype was about.

Bread & Butter 9/10:  “Where variety is a specialty.  It’s not just bread & butter.”

Atmosphere  ★★★
1.  Curb appeal: The building next door was under construction, and the windows were covered; so, you couldn’t see inside. We weren’t sure what we were walking into.
2.  Ambience: This is a grab and go eatery. There is no seating on location. There are so many options, and the place seemed cluttered.  
3.  Noise level:  There was no issue with noise.

Food ★★★★★
1.  Variety:  There is something for everyone here. From a hot and cold buffet with over 50 options to salads, sandwiches, sushi and more.
2.  Cost: Great prices for the amazing quality of the food.
3.  Taste:  We opted for the hot and cold buffet. Everything was fresh and extremely enjoyable. Most meals had an oriental flavor to them.

Service ★★★
1.  Service:  We helped ourselves; so, we did not interact with a server.
2.  Cleanliness: This place was immaculate. A woman was continually making sure the buffet area was clean and organized.
3.  Friendliness: The couple at the register was helpful and friendly.

Hi-New-York Student:  There are a lot of options at Bread & Butter. Take your time to walk around and check everything out.  I had a mixed of hot and cold items in my container. The sweet corn and blueberries mix at the bottom of my container was an accident. I recommend taking your lunch onto the ferry for Brooklyn.

Hi-New-York Student:  I was a little overwhelmed when I walked in. I had never been to a place with so many options. It was unfortunate that there was nowhere to sit. The one problem with a place like this is that there is a lot of plastic waste. I wish they had cardboard containers. I would recommend the cold salad with nuts and tilapia. Everything here is so fresh.

Uno’s Pizzeria & Grill  8.5/10:  “Where New Yorkers come to eat pizza.”

Atmosphere  ★★★★★
1.  Curb appeal: Great curb appeal with many of the daily specials listed outside.
2.  Ambience: This place is lively and with bright purple decor. It was nice to watch the football game while dining for a change.
3.  Noise level: There weren’t many people dining inside, and we were far from the kitchen.  The music was low, making it a wonderful place for conversation.

Food ★★★★★
1.  Variety:  A pizza for everyone, from plain to one with the works. 4 options at the unlimited soup bar and plenty of healthy options.
2.  Cost: Affordable lunch specials.
3.  Taste: Delicious! Delicious! Delicious.

Service ★★★★
1.  Service:  You can order at your table with an ipad, but it isn’t easy. We opted for a server. She might have been new; she wasn’t very kind or helpful.
2.  Cleanliness: They must have just opened for the day because it still had the floor cleaner smell. Thankfully. pizza smells better than a cleaner smell.
3.  Friendliness: The host welcomed us with a smile and quickly took us to our table.

Hi-New-York Student: Uno’s has a delightful lunch special. You can get a berry and goat cheese salad or a salad of your choice with unlimited bowls of soup for under $11. All the soups were fantastic. I don’t know which I liked better - the pesto or the tomato soup.

Hi-New-York Student:  I love pizza, and New York makes it the best. The kid’s personal pizza from Uno’s is my favorite. It’s the perfect size and tastes so good.

Five Guys   9/10:  “Burger game on point.”

Atmosphere  ★★★★
1.   Curb appeal:  The bright red color of the Five Guys signs makes it easy to notice on busy 49th street.  
2.  Ambience: This location is small with plenty of seating. People come here to burgers and not for the ambience.
3.  Noise level: Since this place is small, the noise from the kitchen flows throughout the dinning space.

Food ★★★★
1.  Variety:  Burgers, Burgers and more burgers. There are more than 20 topping options and two flavors of fries. Not a place to come for a healthy lunch.
2.  Cost: Affordable.
3.  Taste: Juicy, perfectly cooked burgers and fries.

Service ★★★★
1.  Service:  The lady at the counter seemed rushed, and she wasn’t that polite. The men and women at the pick-up counter were a lot more helpful.
2.  Cleanliness:  This place was very clean - nothing on the floor or counters.
3.  Friendliness: Not the friendliest of employees. We took our food to go.

Hi-New-York Student:  I’m a hot dog girl. I can not give you a review on the hamburgers, but my friends seemed very pleased.  You can even get toppings on your hot dogs.  I stuck with ketchup. That’s all they need. I really liked the cut of the french fries, not too big not too small. Try the Cajun for something different.

Hi-New-York Student:  A burger lover’s paradise. A simple cheese burger is all you need. It was nice to snack on peanuts waiting for my order. We did not eat in Five Guys but went across the street and ate at a park. It was a great picnic.