Category Archives: NYC Food Scene
There’s a Post About the Olive Garden in Times Square That’s Going Viral

There are a few restaurants across the country that are just staples that people love to eat at. These are restaurants that taste okay, have quick service, and friendly staff. Typically, these are restaurants that are trustworthy. You can go there and always know what to expect. There are never any surprises and it’s a great way to get what you’re craving. These restaurants are not restaurants that you typically frequent while on vacation. These are restaurants like The Olive Garden. A post has now gone viral on Reddit because of this.

According to GrubStreet, one Reddit user posted asking people to defend why they voluntarily ate at the Times Square Olive Garden. The reason the mystery perplexes so many is the sheer fact that it’s basically a nothing-special restaurant. It’s a chain restaurant that has average tasting Italian food at ridiculously expensive prices because it is New York. Perhaps the most perplexing part is why anyone would wait in a line that long, especially visitors when they can get the same food at home.

There are some locals in New York who like to argue that the Olive Garden in Time Square epitomizes New York at its absolute worst because it tricks those who don’t live there into paying more for something they can eat anywhere.

There have been a lot of different replies posted on Reddit as to why people frequent that particular Olive Garden. Many say that being in New York is an overwhelming experience and Olive Garden is something familiar and comforting to them. Other people say that after traveling far, they just want to grab food at the first place they see instead of scoping out something far and unfamiliar. A few of the responses ended up being snarkier, one person suggested that being in New York is so hard that people become homesick for things like the Olive Garden.

Katz’s Delicatessen Opens A New Take-Out Spot In Brooklyn

Being a big fan of delis in general, I’m glad I had the opportunity earlier today to read a current article regarding New York’s world-famous Katz’s Delicatessen.

The article tells how the current owner of the deli has decided to open a new takeout-only restaurant in Brooklyn. The opening of the new Katz’s location marks the first time the deli has expanded since opening in 1888.

The owner of Katz’s Deli, Jake Dell, explains that the new deli outpost represents growth, but he intends to maintain the same high level of quality control that is in place at the original location. Jake Dell is the grandson of a previous owner of the deli.

Mr. Dell mentions the economic realities of operating a restaurant such as Katz’s in today’s world. At his restaurant, the curing and smoking of meats is performed regularly, and at any given time, thousands of pounds of meat will be on hand.

If the price of meat goes up, Mr. Dell explains, he loses money. Because volume sales are needed, the location of the new restaurant works out well. Katz’s Deli now owns a 25-foot truck that is emblazoned with photos of Reuben and pastrami sandwiches. With the new delivery truck, the deli can efficiently deliver products from the original restaurant to the Brooklyn take-out spot.

Although the Brooklyn take-out location offers the same great food as at the original restaurant, Mr. Dell acknowledges that the format is not exactly identical to the original deli. With many customers of Katz’s Deli already coming from Brooklyn to purchase food to-go, the new location is a comfortable fit.

New York City Apex Of Gastronomics

Fall in Manhattan is arguably the most majestic time of year. October takes on its own special aura as the entire city starts to softly prepare for the holiday season, and where the skies turn just a little purple at dusk reminding us that Fall is indeed upon us. With Halloween just around the corner, and Thanksgiving only a few weeks later, New York City has a near-equal celebratory event that is held in October, this year from the 12th-15th: The New York City Wine and Food Festival (

It is such a fun time of year, and there is probably not a better time to have this wonderful celebration of the panoply of true food artisans that inhabit the island. The wine is second to none, and as the entire event is sponsored by the Food Network, if you are a fan, you might see some of your favorite chefs showcasing their treats.

This is one of the nation’s most successful food festivals, and in a city of millions, rather fortuitous that the proceeds go to such an apropos cause that is in great need of all the support it can get.

In addition to the daily events, there are packages that include hotel accommodations for those that plan to make it a mini-vacation, and there is also an area on the website that is dedicated to what can be done during this festival for under $100. There are also day passes where one can gastronomically entertain themselves from dawn til’ dusk!

Rest assured, this entire event, albeit very food-centric, is not completely about consuming food. There are a number of workshops and seminars teaching skills to those interested in enhancing their understanding of food preparation.

Famished In Manhattan? Well, here’s Where You Can Grab A Bite

Ever heard of the dictum, “When in New York, eat what the New Yorkers eat?” Probably not. But that doesn’t mean that you should not make an effort to visit three of the most famous eateries Manhattan has to offer. Just like it is the case with many big cities in the world, the town is overflowing with all sorts of restaurants. But there is always a handful that stands out from the rest.

It is not unusual for a New Yorker to suggest an impromptu visit to the Public Kitchen whenever their tummies start to rumble. Apart from being superbly designed, the Public Kitchen is known for its sundry, delectable cuisines including rigatoni and smoked short rib with some nice potato salad on the side. If you want, you can also get their in-house favorite truffle pizza and live to tell the tale, passing it down from generations to generation.

Another eating Manhattan dining spot you ought to visit is Emily West Village. Owned by Emily and Matt Hyland, this is the place where pizza lovers flock in droves because, well, love comes in different shapes, sizes and slices of pizza, so they say.

The employees, just like the food they serve, are exciting and fun to be around. If you access the latest list of top rated eating spots in Manhattan following this link ( ), you will realize that the spot is ranked second most exciting place to eat when in Manhattan.

Last but not least, Alta is also another place that you want to check in for a quick bite. They seemingly have everything for every meal and time of the day. Some of the in-house favorite dishes include steak tartare, zucchini, mushroom quesadilla and chia oatmeal just to mention a few. So whether you choose to eat at Public Kitchen, Emily West Village or Alta, you can always look forward to good food, great vibes and well, a full tummy.

New York’s Famous Katz’s Deli Expands

Katz’s Deli has been a New York City staple for almost 130 years. Last year, Zagat’s rated Katz’s 4.5 out of 5 and named it the top New York deli. The deli moved once in 1917, but shockingly little has changed since. Their pastrami is legendary and sells by the ton every week.

The Katz family ran the deli from 1903 to 1988. At that time, with no descendants to take over, the owners sold it to the Dell family. In 2009, Jake Dell became operations manager and was recently promoted to owner at the age of 29. Last month, Dell did the unthinkable and expanded Katz’s.

In an interview with Grub Street, Dell explained the reasoning behind the expansion. As it turns out, Dell has no intention of trying to replicate the classic Katz’s experience. Instead, he orchestrated the opening of a take-out only location in DeKalb Market Hall to better serve patrons coming over the bridge.

The new location means that New Yorkers that are tired of rubbing elbows with tourists can get the location’s famed corned beef sandwiches without the ordeal of the original location. When asked if further expansions were possible, Dell played coy, saying, “People may not like this. How many restaurants fail in New York?”

When the interviewer pressed, Dell conceded that if the customers responded well to the take-out location, more locations were possible. Katz’s already has a 30,000sq ft distribution center that is shipping the deli’s famous pastrami to all 50 states.

Kubeh Ready to Tempt Those Middle Eastern Taste Buds

With the wide array of New York restaurants available, seemingly every international taste has been accounted for when it comes to dining options. However, Greenwich Village will now have a place that’s specifically focused on serving kubeh, the dumpling that continues to tantalize discriminating palates around the world.


The new restaurant, known simply as Kubeh, will be run by Long Island native Melanie Shurka and is located near 11th Street at 464 Sixth Avenue. It will serve the dumplings that are filled with bulgur wheat and semolina, with enhancements to flavor coming through the broth in which it’s served.


Shurka is looking to widen the dining options, which is why those getting a bite to eat will have five different forms kubeh and four different broths. This is a staple of the Middle East region of Levantine, which connects the nations of Jordan and Syria with Palestine.


A sampling of those possible options whet the appetites for those who enjoy exotic foods. Kubeh-based items like Kurdish siske in chicken broth or Syrian Codfish in a tomato, arak and fennel soup can be enjoyed with side dishes like haricot-vert salad that includes items like yogurt and dukkah or fried kibbeh with dill and sweet pea.


In the area of broths, some of those options include hamusta, which combines zucchini, lemon and Swiss chard or selek, which merges celery, herbs and beets.


Straying only slightly from the main dish, diners will also have the opportunity to try the kibbeh, which is similar in nature to kubeh. In this case, these tasty items are deep-fried concoctions that offer some added bite. If those aren’t to the liking of that diner, there’s always something like tahdiq or a bowl of sabich, the latter of which happens to be a favorite of Jews in Iraq.

Former Knicks’ Player John Starks on His Favorite New York City Restaurants

Former New York Knick’s star John Starks is still a fan favorite. He played from 1990 to 1998 for the team racking up 10,829 points. He now spends many of his days raising funds for many worthwhile causes. Recently, he gave Grub Magazine an interview about some of his favorite New York City restaurants.


John likes to eat at the J House Café in Greenwich Village where he frequently has the black-bean soup for an appetizer followed by the grilled snapper for the main course. This eatery features American cuisine that is all prepared in full sight of its high-end customers.


MishMosh in is a favorite delicatessen of John’s where he frequently orders the grilled chicken, tomato, and lettuce sandwich. He is particularly fond of their Naked protein juice smoothie.


John also likes to eat the brunch at the Club Bar & Grill inside Madison Square Gardens. When dining at this establishment, he likes to have the French toast, smoked salmon, crab cakes and a glass of orange juice. This restaurant opens two hours before every Knicks and Rangers game and stays open at least one hour after the game is over giving everyone a chance to watch the game while enjoying fabulous food.


John also likes to dine at Café 31 Sports Bar & Grill when watching the action at Madison Square Gardens. When dining here, he likes to eat the vegetarian minestrone with pasta and vegetables and enjoys the large Greek salad with shrimp. He says that when he eats at other restaurants his order often varies, but that is almost always the same thing at this restaurant that he eats at frequently.

Transformation of New York City Food and Restaurant Scene Over the Past Twenty Years

In the past 20 years, the food and restaurant scene has transformed in New York City. The younger generation is becoming more health conscience and selecting quality restaurants with top chefs. Young people are becoming restaurant business owners curing meats, rotting items in the cellar, and creating their sausages. Customers are more interested in the expertise of chefs without selecting a particular item from the menu. When Business Insider interviewed TV personality and executive chef of Brasserie Les Halles, Antony Bourdain, he explained the changes in the NYC food and restaurant scene he observed throughout the years.



Mr. Bourdain told Business Insider that he noticed a majority of customers were concerned about the chefs and cooks who were preparing their foods in the restaurant industry, today. As he reminisces the 1990’s, the culture of famous chefs was prevalent, but different from the present. One of the most significant changes was people the ages of 18 to 35 spending their money dining at quality restaurants rather than purchasing designer purses, based on a study by Eventbrite. With the scare of processed foods on the rise nationally, NYC restaurants are catering to these people to ensure their menu items contain fresh ingredients.



It has caused a negative impact on certain restaurants to the point of consumers questioning the quality of foods, including meats, grains and vegetables. They want to know the name of farmers and what they were feeding their livestock. Although some customers aren’t concerned with the information, Mr. Bourdain is grateful that people are becoming health conscience. Restaurants are educating their staff more than ever about the quality of ingredients in main course meals. If a customer questions the ingredients, the waiters are knowledgeable of the quality of every menu item.



The transformation of restaurants is not only in New York City, but in other parts of the country. Antony Bourdain is ecstatic about what the young people have created in Manhattan and surrounding areas. Restaurants may have had a small price to pay in the transformation process, but it has attracted more young people than ever before. It’s a magnificent thing for the customers, restaurant establishments, chefs, and the younger generation contributing to creating different tasteful foods.


Making the Most of Your Brunch in New York City

The very nature of eating brunch means sitting back and relaxing because the available food encompasses two specific meals. Restaurants understand the concept, with many making the appropriate accommodations to make sure that everything is just right. A number of different places do it better than anyone else in the New York area, which means that knowing where to go can make life so much simpler.


One of the best places to enjoy such relaxation might be Upland at 345 Park Avenue South, with food that some might consider basic. However, those that taste things like spinach-infused omelettes with Bulgarian feta or Cloumage cheese on top of pizza would likely beg to differ with such an assessment.


More hectic surroundings can be found at Prune on E. 1st Street, which opened nearly two decades ago. There’s not much room to go around, with roughly 20 or so tables fitting into the surroundings. Yet despite such coziness, the staff remains attentive to orders like Monte Cristo sandwiches, blueberries on top of Dutch pancakes and any number of potential Bloody Mary options.


In the Williamsburg area, Sunday in Brooklyn could operate just as well on any other day. That helps explain why crowds flock there, drawn by such concoctions as an innovative take on the standard sausage, egg and cheese sandwich. Here, that sausage has just a hint of maple syrup and sage, while things like malted pancakes also find a way to garner attention.


International bruch options can be found in places like Paowalla, which focuses on Indian dishes like Egg Kejirwal from its Spring Street location. Not to be outdone, the Australian-based Two Hands Restaurant & Bar in the Tribeca area on Church Street offers items like Brassicas and ricotta pancakes to hungry diners looking for a unique experience.

Empellon Comes to Midtown

Finding Mexican food in Midtown isn’t necessarily a tough task, though finding a place that’s put so much thought into the entire concept may be difficult to find. That belief may start shifting now that Empellon has found its way to this area, the latest evolution in chef Alex Stupak’s rise in the New York restaurant community.


Stupak is, by training, a pastry chef, yet the wonders that he’s created since the first incarnation of Empellon came to the West Village in 2011 have seemingly zeroed in on his capabilities when it comes to Mexican cuisine. The standard corn tortilla and taco hardly resonate with more refined palates, but when that tortilla is filled with pastrami and short ribs, the focus sharpens.


This newest version of Empellon, located at 510 Madison Avenue, expands the notion of just opening up a standard restaurant and letting people flock in to enjoy the food. Instead, Stupak has created a glossier impression by having two levels of eating areas and a room to hold any sort of party or celebration.


Such visual delights and the upscale food involved means that prices aren’t of the mom-and-pop variety. Of course, your friendly neighborhood taco shop won’t offer a Japanese Wagyu-infused fajita that will cost $125 or house tacos that set you back $30. Tamales with shredded duck inside and gourmet tacos, the latter of which has nine menu items, offer a clear message that this is anything but traditional Mexican food.


If that food isn’t filling enough Empellon also has desserts to tempt those whose sweet tooth can never be satisfied. Avocado parfait is one of the more exotic, yet the available drinking options may be seen as more tempting to those that want to sit back and relax.



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