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Sammy's Famous Roumanian Restaurant


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Go with a group.. Its the type of place where if you are eating with 2 people or 6 people you will order the same amount of food, the bar tab is the only thing that will change.

 

The best, best, best chopped liver I have ever had.. Served table side a la Cesar Salad or Guacamole, the burnt onions and the extra hit of chicken fat take it to the next level..

 

 

The potato latke's are bricks..I am a huge fan of the sausage..

 

This aint the Ritz so take it for what it is.. Its a unique experience which is going to be as fun as you make it..
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That's the secret of enjoying Sammy's. Eat as little as possible.

Ketle (sic) One vodka? More like Shtetl One, amirite?

Go with a group.. Its the type of place where if you are eating with 2 people or 6 people you will order the same amount of food, the bar tab is the only thing that will change.   I will speak stri

Still keeping my fond memory of the family gathering there and no one got sick. We must have taken at least 8 tables, each with a frozen block of ice housing a bottle of vodka (?) and plenty of egg creams to go around. Walked out into a night of fireworks off in the distance. You can't take that away from me.

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Aside from the chopped liver, he didn't say anything about the food except that the steaks were big. Talk about pulling punches. I expect better of Brooks. I get the fact that he enjoyed the atmosphere but surely the fact that the prices are rapacious takes a lot of the luster off the experience.

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Aside from the chopped liver, he didn't say anything about the food except that the steaks were big. Talk about pulling punches. I expect better of Brooks. I get the fact that he enjoyed the atmosphere but surely the fact that the prices are rapacious takes a lot of the luster off the experience.

I think Brooks views these pieces as "slice of life" stories, and he isn't trying to be a serious food critic. The overall tone of the story was positive, so I would assume that his steak was good enough not to have detracted from the experience. In past "Who Goes There?" pieces, if the food was bad, he didn't hesitate to say so.

 

No one is going to visit this place regularly (at least, I assume they're not), so if you find this kind of experience charming, prices are beside the point. It's not cheap, but it's less money than I've spent in a ton of places that were less enjoyable.

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I really liked it the time that I went. For what it is, there really is no competition in New York. Amazing to think that the city used to have a number of these, and all but one are extinct.

Wilfrid's not giving you enough action on the Michelin thread? You've got to resort to this? :lol:

 

I went Sammy's once with a group almost 20 years ago. Most of the food was bad, the rest was adequate at best. The comedian was funny for about 2 minutes but it got old real fast. Imagine the late Henny Youngman's act. Then imagine if Henny Youngman wasn't particularly funny. There was a whole lot more groaning than laughing going on.

 

Nobody had warned us. Based on the poor food and low rent ambiance of the place we figured we'd get out cheap. We had split some large steaks, had a few sides and drank a couple of shots of vodka. We really didn't eat or drink that much.

 

It wound up costing us around $120 a piece back when $120 was serious money. We were stunned and sat around recomputing the bill, amazed that they had managed to ratchet up the check by that much. Finally we paid the bill and everyone in the group swore an oath that they'd never return. Since that time I've talked to a number of other people and their experiences were identical.

 

I get the idea that they're delivering on an old time Jewish experience. That's fine. What's inexcusable is that they're charging outrageous prices for bad food and an unfunny comedian. If the food was better and the price was cut by 50% I'd say that it could be a fun evening. But at those prices my sense of humor really goes away.

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I went Sammy's once with a group almost 20 years ago. Most of the food was bad, the rest was adequate at best.

I am not, even for a second, disagreeing that this happened.

 

But remember that, in about the same time frame, Mimi Sheraton wrote three reviews of the place, all favorable, culminating in three stars. (In those days, the Times generally published two starred reviews per week, which allowed for much more frequent re-reviews.)

 

I've had terrible meals at restaurants that other competent people love—San Domenico on Central Park, for instance. Naturally, I stand by my impressions. But I also recognize that restaurants have bad days, and when other competent people say they had good meals there, I assume that is true.

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Look at it this way - you can take that $150 a person that you'll pay at Sammy's and eat virtually anywhere in the city. Sammy's isn't some funky ethnic bargain joint - it's the Venus Flytrap of restaurants, luring in the unwary with promises of kitschy fun and then stinging them with a punishing bill.

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Look at it this way - you can take that $150 a person that you'll pay at Sammy's and eat virtually anywhere in the city. Sammy's isn't some funky ethnic bargain joint - it's the Venus Flytrap of restaurants, luring in the unwary with promises of kitschy fun and then stinging them with a punishing bill.

You need to be someone who finds that kitschy experience, every once in a while, charming. When we ate there it wasn't anything remotely close to $150 a person. I don't think it was half that. And it was pretty good, for what it was.

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When we ate there it wasn't anything remotely close to $150 a person. I don't think it was half that. And it was pretty good, for what it was.

Recent reports on CH mentioned the $150 figure and almost 20 years ago I spent over $100. Brooks of Sheffield referred to the prices as being "sky-high." What more do you want?

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Our party of 3 had a steak apiece and shared an order of the chopped liver (it is emminently shareable). They don't charge $450 for that. The steaks were $33.95 apiece, the chopped liver was $9.95, and a side of home-fried potatoes was $5.95. The cover charge was $3.95 per head.

 

Now, if you start doing shots of vodka at $10 a pop, it'll add up. Do you do that in other restaurants? I don't.

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