nyc: restaurant reviews

Here are my reviews of the places we ate while in New York City…

Read more about the trip at nyc: day 1

Ellen’s Stardust Diner

Meal: Breakfast 
Price: $10-$15
Food: Not good, I ate half of mine, and only because I knew I needed energy for the day.
Atmosphere: Fun, 50’s Diner
Service: The waiters and waitresses sing.  If that makes you uncomfortable, this is not your kind of place.  Our waiter forgot about us for most of the meal and we could see him just chatting away with the others.

It was DEAD when we were there so the energy was low.  My guess is that the ‘show’ is much better later in the day.  We were there for everyone’s first song of the day and they were forgetting lyrics, wandering around aimlessly, stopping singing to talk to other waiters/waitresses.

The diner is located close to Times Square and we walked there in a few minutes.

I will NOT go again.

Ellen’s Stardust Diner
My sister got Challah French Toast
My mom and I ordered the Vie de France (sooooo much cheese. gag.)

Papaya King

Meal: Lunch
Price: $5
Food: I hate hot dogs BUT, I could tell these were pretty great!  I didn’t like the papaya drink but I’ve read reviews that say you either love it or hate it.  It was kind of creamy in a weird way for me!
Atmosphere: There isn’t anywhere to sit and barely anywhere to stand.  It was pouring rain so we squeezed at a counter.  If the weather is okay, just get out of there!
Service: They want you to know what you want when you get there and they aren’t mean but certainly not friendly and smiley.

My sister got a Chili Cheese Dog that looked GOOD.  My mom got a Jumbo Sausage topped with peppers and onions that also looked pretty tasty.

We went to Papaya King between The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Guggenheim.  The walk is about 10 minutes east of the museums.

I will go again, to try something new!

Papaya King
I got The 1932
I got a frank with NY Onions…basically onions in maranara sauce.  They were kind of weird, if I’m honest.


Meal: Mom’s Birthday Dinner
Price: $35 Pre-Theater Prix Fixe Menu
Food: Great!
Atmosphere: Great!
Service: Great!

I didn’t take any photos of my food…sorry :(

I had Split Pea Soup, Pan Seared Turbot, and Vanilla Cheesecake.  It was all really great!

If you’re going to a show or staying in the theater district, I recommend eating here.  It is right in the middle of it so you can walk!

I would eat here again…but probably won’t because there are SO many places to try :)

Happy 50th Birthday, Mom!

La Bonne Soupe

Meal: Lunch
Price: $12-$15
Food: Good
Atmosphere: Quaint
Service: They were busy, but did fine.

The house dressing here is REALLY delicious.  I might go back to buy a bottle if they sell it :)  It is close to Rockefeller Plaza.

With all the options in NYC, I won’t eat here again.

My Mom got the Cobb Salad

My sister and I ordered crepes L’Italienne

Bangkok House

Meal: Dinner
Price: $16 Prix Fix
Food: Hit or miss.
Atmosphere: SO DARK!  The music was a CD of covers of current pop songs…kind of strange!
Service: Good.

The restaurant was close to our hotel so we could walk, which was nice.

I would go again but only for a bowl of soup.

Sorry the photos are rough…it was really dark in there!

The soup had fresh mushrooms and scallions and a really nice lemony brightness.

Bangkok House Chicken Coconut Soup

The spring rolls and salad were boring but the peanut dressing was pretty good.

Spring Roll and Salad

The Chicken with Basil Sauce was good, not amazing, not disgusting.  I asked for a mild sauce but it was still VERY spicy.

Chicken with ‘Mild’ Basil Sauce

Dessert was a banana friend in a wonton wrapper and topped with chocolate sauce and sesame seeds.  It wasn’t good.

Fried Banana at Bangkok House

Meal: Lunch
Price: $12 for 2 people
Food: Good!
Atmosphere: Small but bright and clean.  It’s also right under the Brooklyn Bridge!
Service: They get the job done.  Not super friendly, they are busy.

I will definately go again!

Grimaldi’s in Brooklyn
It gets busy quickly so show up early and be prepared to share a table…
Just so you know, if you have a small party, you’ll share a table with strangers!  In the photo below my mom is on the left.  The person in the Vans shirt, on the right, was our new friend from California :)
This is a small regular (perfect for 2 people): Fresh mozzarella, crushed tomatoes, and basil for $12
Grimaldi’s bubbly mozzarella goodness
Come prepared :)
$15.25 for a pizza and one soda :)  Gotta love that!

B. Smith’s

Meal: Dinner
Price: $35 Pre-Theater Prix Fixe
Food: Pretty but blah.  I had to salt everything.
Atmosphere: Great!
Service: Great!

I won’t go again.

Fried Green Tomatoes at B. Smith’s
Roasted Chicken
Key LIme Pie with Raspberry Coulis at B. Smith’s
Wafels and Dinges- Foodcart at Columbus Circle

Meal: Late Breakfast
Price: I spent about $10 for a wafel and drink
Food: Great!!
Atmosphere: We took ours to Central Park so it was AWESOME!
Service: One guy does it all.  He was nice.

I will TOTALLY go again!

My mom’s Wafel of Massive Deliciousness (WMD): Strawberries, Whipped Cream, and Chocolate
My Hot Cocoa and WMD: Bananas, Whipped Cream, and Nutella
The wafel was REALLY GOOD.  The dough is really thick and cooks up into a thick, chewy wafel that is lightly crisp.
The cocoa was good.  Semisweet and not too watery but I prefer a thicker, milkier cocoa.  Also, it was 66 degrees F outside…too warm for cocoa :) 
Wafles and Dinges foodcart at Columbus Circle, NYC
Wafles and Dinges menu

Wafles and Dinges menu

Dinges menu…dinges means toppings

So, there you have it!  Feel free to add any places you’ve been in the city that are worth sharing!!

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