Archive for Restaurant

A slice for a buck…..its 1985 all over again!!

Posted in NY Times, NYC, Restaurant with tags , , on March 16, 2010 by mattyfresh697400

As a kid growing up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, a particular advantage us city kids had was that we could leave school property every day and hit the neighborhood spots for lunch. Many many years later this might not seem like a big deal, but as a 6th grader being able to roll out to the eating establishment of your choice was a big deal. But being 6th graders we were not terribly discerning, it was either Burger King located on 82nd and Bway ( Now Long Gone)…and there was BIG NICKS, also known as pizza Joint and Burger Joint. A Pizza and Burger spot connected inside that is still going strong today.

I can not tell you how many times the poor wait staff kicked me and my rowdy little friends out of that place, but every day they let us back in. Now the pizza was excellent at Big Nicks and of course the price was right. Which brings me to todays topic.

In 1985 for two dollars and 75 cents you could get two slices and a soda….even back then, with little lunch money in the pocket, that was a deal. FLASH FORWARD 25 years and lord have mercy… THE DOLLAR SLICE IS BACK!!

In the past few weeks I am sure you noticed “Dollar Slice” spots popping up all over the city. The original as far as I know (and the NY TIMES yesterday backs me up here) is 99 Cent FRESH PIZZA located directly behind Port Authority. Now being a resident of this neighborhood , I can tell you that you would be hard pressed to find a more down and out area. The less fortunate of our fair city congregate behind the bus station and in addition there is a homeless shelter on the same block. So not only is the proprietor helping all the average working people hit hard by the recession, but in fact he is helping the people who need inexpensive decent food the most! KUDOS to the team at 99 cents fresh.

And what is more AMERICAN than some good old fashion capitalist competition! 99 Cent Fresh is not the only dollar pizza game in town, Two brothers Pizza (originally located on St. Marks) has opened a few locations. One location conveniently right next to my office and let me tell you, YOU WOULD THINK they were giving the pizza away the way the masses line up. So last week I figured why not, I need to see what all the action is about, and in the immortal words of Vince Vaughn in Wedding Crashers ….

“Its like Pizza baby, even when its bad..Its good!!”

And the Pizza at Two Brothers was good, my two slices and my soda went down like it was 1986..not bad at all!  But in all seriousness I am not sure how long the dollar slice will last, but if the state of our economy is any indication, they might be around for a while, and that is a good thing…for all of us!!

Spigolo – Upper East Gem!

Posted in Restaurant with tags , on March 8, 2010 by mattyfresh697400

I am not a big fan of the upper east side when it comes to dining out. There are just other neighborhoods that I would prefer to explore and lets be honest the people watching element on the upper east can be a bit dull. Maybe I am still plagued from my years of taking the dreaded cross town bus at 86th street to get to High School.

But if you happen to be on the Upper East (as I was this past weekend) then I suggest stopping into Spigolo. Again its 81st street location makes you feel like you might be dining in Connecticut, but the food and cute atmosphere more than make up for it. I had a delicious jumbo shrimp appetizer , followed by some heavy gnocchi with pancetta. It was excellent.

The staff was and service were great and even though Spigolo is tight in terms of space, there was no wait to get a table.  If you happen to be in the no mans land that is 81st and second avenue, I highly suggest popping by Spigolo.


1561 Second Avenue (at 81st)


Tanuki Tavern NYC –

Posted in Restaurant with tags , , , on March 2, 2010 by mattyfresh697400

Tanuki Tavern NYC

Skip it and go to Benihana!!!!!!!!

I had the pleasure of getting together with a big group of friends this past Saturday Night at the Tanuki Tavern. The only thing interesting about this spot is that it’s located in the Gansevoort Hotel in the heart of the meatpacking district, so there is plenty of action as soon as you step outside. Inside I was not too impressed.

They stuck my party of 7 upstairs in the deepest corner of the restaurant. Now for me personally, when I go out to these spots, half the fun is the people watching. The only people I got to see were the other 6 in my party (check that..5 if you count my sister who has her own unique concept of time) So literally I could have been almost anywhere, I got no sense of the decor or even what type of crowd was there that evening. My buddy Oliver put it best when he said “It’s like they knew we were going to be the loud, obnoxious bunch when they stuck us up here”

Anyway the food was fair at best, a little too heavy on the spicy mayo which appeared to be on everything. I have little more to say about the Tanuki Tavern because my experience there was truly uneventful. I was more curious about what was happening across the street at Bills Burger Barn or whatever its called..

All that being said, here is the what the Tanuki Tavern website states:

“Tanuki Tavern, a Japanese gastropub and sushi bar in the heart of the Meatpacking District, takes its name from the mischievous and jolly creature of Japanese folklore while the atmosphere draws its inspiration from a Japanese izakaya. With its light wood interior, glowing paper lanterns and eclectic indie soundtrack, Tanuki Tavern’s casual and convivial vibe is great for a quick bite, leisurely meal or late night snack.”

DE LORENZO’S Tomato Pies – Trenton NJ

Posted in Restaurant with tags , , on February 23, 2010 by mattyfresh697400


If you happen to be in TRENTON  New Jersey anytime soon then you MUST stop by the legendary DE LORENZO’S TOMATO PIES. This spot is the definition of OLD SCHOOL! This is more than a  pizza place, it’s a pizza institution , albeit a pizza institution with no public restroom (more on that later)

DE LORENZO’S was a favorite of my Uncle Bobby , who swore up and down that this was the best pizza on the planet. My Uncle Bobby was right on the money.

But at De Lorenzo’s you are not getting a pizza pie, you are getting a Tomato Pie and there is a difference. The secret recipe is so old it dates back to 1936.

In 1947 “Chick” De Lorenzo opened what would become a real  Trenton NJ landmark location and 63 years later, the De Lorenzo family is still making those sweet Tomato Pies (now at two different locations)

Chick & Sophie De Lorenzo 1951

But you must go to the original location at 530 Hudson Street,  if for no other reason than there is NO MENU. They sell only delicious Tomato Pies ( no slices) But who needs selection when you have wonderful Tomato Pies to eat right?. The spot is so small you literally eat in the kitchen, which is just fine. Being only a few feet away from an oven as old as Moses and a rotary telephone that still rings like its 1947, its a bit like eating in a time machine. Famous italian legends grace the walls (they had me with the classic pictures of Joe D. and Yogi eating at the restaurant)

Oh and yeah there is no bathroom for the public. De Lorenzo’s is so old, that the law actually does not require the restaurant to have a restroom. That is OLD SCHOOL. But do not fret , there is a lovely train station close by with a more than adequate Mens room.

De Lorenzo’s Tomato Pies is thin crust at its finest, as the saying goes:  “Trenton Makes, The World Takes”

Trentons’ De Lorenzo’s is worth taking.

P.J. Clarke’s

Posted in Restaurant with tags on February 16, 2010 by mattyfresh697400

915 3rd Avenue

P.J. Clarke’s is over 125 years old and its a certainly a pretty cool NYC landmark. I hit the Lincoln Center location on my UWS excursion this weekend.  On a cold and shiny New York Saturday , I warmed up with the New England clam chowder and finished with some oysters on the half shell. I just really enjoy the decor and historical aspect of P.J. Clarke’s. Its what I picture a bustling New York circa 1924 to be like.

Now of course the real landmark is the 3rd Avenue location. The history of what is dubbed the “Holdout Building” is very interesting . Check out the story at the P.J. Clarke’s website.

Regardless of the location you hit up, have the cheeseburger…its a classic!

P.J. Clarke’s established 1884!!

The Heart Attack Grill (The Nurses)

Posted in Restaurant with tags on February 8, 2010 by mattyfresh697400

You Got Fries To Go With That Shake?

I forgot to add that the “NURSES” really care about the “Patients” at the HEART ATTACK GRILL

The Heart Attack Grill

Posted in Restaurant with tags on February 8, 2010 by mattyfresh697400

The Menu

The Heart Attack Grill….Fat People Eat For Free!!

After the Superbowl feast I prepared yesterday,  and it was a FEAST!!!  For some reason Fara and I decided it would be smart to throw on the Travel Channel   and watch a little “Man vs. Food”

Fortunately I happened to put on the travel channel a few minutes early and caught some other show about eating in Burger joints (the name of the show escapes me.)

But what does not escape me is the burger joint highlighted on this particular evening.   “THE HEART ATTACK GRILL”

Ah yes “THE HEART ATTACK GRILL” is a very real restaurant located in the booming metropolis of Chandler, Arizona. This joint is a hospital themed restaurant where your waitress is a “NURSE” your orders are “PRESCRIPTIONS” and the customers are…well what else “PATIENTS”

The menu includes “Double” , “Triple” , and “Quadruple Bypass” Hamburgers The Quadruple weighing in with 8000 Calories!! The “Flatliner Fries” are cooked in pure lard. And if the massive killer burgers and death fries are not enough, they also sell Unfiltered Cigarettes and Jolt Cola.

But the real kicker is this. If you weigh over 350 Pounds….YOU EAT FOR FREE!!!

Ok granted I just got a full physical and my doctor instructed me to work out, diet and just be mindful of my health in general, but if I happen to find myself in Chandler, Arizona..I am having the “QUADRUPLE BYPASS”

The HEART ATTACK GRILL was Founded in 2005 by Cardiologist Dr. Jon Basso .