Being a poor working middle aged man, I don't hit the fancy New York restaurants. I don't go to Cafe Grey, Per Se, or any of the super fancy and expensive places that you hear so much about and claim to be the heart of New York eating. I don't believe it. I think that the heart of New York are the small mid-priced restaurants and the soul is still the "mom and pop" places like Di Fara.
I've decided to start telling you about some of the places where the working folk eat in New York. So every once in a while, I'll be posting reviews about the non-barbeque restaurants as I come across them.
First up is Pita Grill. Now Pita Grill doesn't qualify as a "mom and pop" place as they have 7 places in New York and one in Hoboken, but I love this place. My favorite item on the menu is the goat cheese salad with grilled chicken. They have some great sandwiches and appetizers and a large vegetarian selection, if you're into that craze. It certainly lives up to it's slogan of "Positively Healthy Food." I haven't been to all of their locations, but visits to both the Upper West Side and the 2nd Avenue locations were great. I highly recommend it.
Next, there's EJ's Luncheonette. I don't know what to tell you about EJ's. I've been there before and loved it. But my last couple of visits I left feeling a bit a ripped off. I went into EJ's on the Upper West Side for lunch yesterday and ordered French Toast with a side of sausage and a glass of ice tea. The bill was just under $13. For that I got two slices of hallah bread that were sliced diagonally to appear as 4, a small orange wedge for garnish and 3 small but tasty sausages. The ice tea was made fresh, but the waitress seemed put off when I asked for more ice as it had all melted. I just don't know what's happened to this place.
And finally, Hope & Anchor Diner out in Red Hook, Brooklyn. According to their website Hope & Anchor is a "friendly little diner," and it lives up to its hype. Breakfast is served all day and night, but they're not limited to the tried and tired diner food that you find all over NY. Try the BBQ Ham and Scallion Hash, the Pork Burger or the Curry Duck. You won't be disappointed.
I won't be on the computer for a couple of days; we're taking a road trip up to Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts this weekend. I'll talk to you soon.