Skip to comments.Lost, Then Found: New York Classics
Posted on 07/31/2012 2:31:10 PM PDT by nickcarraway
TRAVELING in the United States, one often encounters food proudly touted as authentically New York, including pizza, hot dogs, cheesecake, Manhattan clam chowder, pastrami and loaves of rye. Sadly, such honorifics almost always prompt invidious comparison, resulting in a good laugh if not a few homesick tears.
I still recall biting into a bialy about 15 years ago at the Broadway Deli, a favorite in Santa Monica, Calif., that closed in 2010. I was doing research on that scrunchy, savory Jewish-Polish onion roll. Identified as a New York bialy, its rubbery, pale appearance was fair warning. It came as no surprise that what looked like a white Rubbermaid sink stopper would taste like one, too.
Similarly, I have never met an out-of-town New York bagel that was not huge, puffy, soft-crusted, slightly sweet and lacking a sharply defined hole. New York cheesecake away from home is usually closer to the all-American Sara Lee model: thin and creamy, often with flavors that deviate from the traditional vanilla or lemon rind.
Even more depressing, though, is the difficulty of finding what I consider authentic examples of these foods at home in New York. Economics, technology and altered sensibilities have brought changes, and the foods that I cherished from the 1930s to the mid 50s are (like myself) not quite what they used to be.
Hence this search for true New York classics. Better is not the issue; this is about lost tastes. Nor is this an attempt to find new variations on old favorites. Rather, its a search for foods that recall my original ideals.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
If you’re from New York, nothing equals it. If you’re not from New York, like me...pffffft.
New England Clam Chowder tastes like pasty snail swill. Manhattan Clam Chowder Rocks!
I do miss my Authentic Buffalo Chicken wings, Roast beef on Weck, favorite pizza places & greek restaurants.
Pizza is really a personal taste, but I prefer what some people call New England or Connecticut pizza, which is also thin crust but they crisp it up.
But I always try to get a good pastrami sandwich when in New York. Best deli's in the country.
Maybe authentic NY food requires a combination of soot & someone spitting in your food while making it...
I used to live 20 blocks from Orwashers and would walk up there on a Saturday morning to get my loaves of bread for my mother to pick up on Sunday. She was a bread fanatic, I was not.
Darling Mimi would not like my choice of bagels: Essa Bagels on 3rd Ave around 54th. Fantastic! And Katz does make excellent pastrami despite what Mimi says.
And there’s nothing wrong with a good old dirty water hot dog (Sabretts) sold on every street corner in NYC.
Doesn’t take long for the NYC haters to come on board...
It often seems to me that it’s impossible anymore to get real pastrami - let alone “good” pastrami - outside New York.
I'll have to head over there. Langer's, located across the street from MacArthur Partk in the Westlake district, has been in business for decades and has seen a lot of businesses in the area come and go.
Pizza is dead on Long Isand. Even in traditionally Italian nabes such as Deer Park (which I have formerly called ‘Little Brooklyn”) I can’t find a slice that isn’t dumbed-down. You can still find a slice here and there on this 20 mi by 80 mi island but the days of just stopping in anywhere are gone. I make it at home now and the crust is more authentic (to New York) than the crap that the “professionals” are churning out. If I had an oven that could get up to 800 degrees I’d toatlly clean their clocks.
Exactly!! I was 12 when I,a life-long New Englander,first tasted Manhattan clam chowder on a trip to NYC.I had never even heard of it and when it was served I was shocked.I took a spoonful and was even more shocked...tomato soup with chunks is all it is!
Well, potato soup with chunks is all New England clam chowder is, lol.
Have you ever been to New England?
New England clam chowder is nice when done properly, but so is Manhattan clam chowder. If Manhattan is just tomato soup with chunks, then New England is just potato soup with chunks.
That's the key...get it at "the source".I've had New England clam chowder all over the region,including coastal Massachusetts,New Hampshire and Maine...all fine restaurants.My one exposure to the Manhattan variety was at a very nice restaurant Manhattan restaurant (can't recall the name,it was many years ago).
I’ve only got two that I’ve made a point of hitting when I’m up there. One is Jimmy’s Harborside in Boston and the other is a rambling old place with a gorgeous view of the Atlantic from atop a cliff, a few miles outside of Ogunquit, Maine. Couldn’t tell you the name, just know where it is.
It sounds like you might remember Bocce Club Pizza...
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