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Of course New York is a great food city, and a world-class one at that. First, we have a much deeper local food culture than just Italian-American and Ashkenazi.

 

West African cooking in the Bronx and Harlem. Staten Island's Sri Lankan restaurants. Astoria's Greek and Egyptian communities, to name just a few. America is young, we don't have 500-year-old soba shops. But after decades, these places are also very much part of the fabric of the city. I don't want to get Leffed off of this board, but there are excellent meals to be had even if these restaurants care more about serving their neighborhoods than Michelin.

 

Now I wish we had a Sri Lankan Atomix.

 

Secondly, while I don't travel a lot, I have recently eaten French food in Paris. Parisians certainly get a better value as far as price to quality is concerned when talking about mid-level upscale dining. I think that was kind of JTF's original point? And look, Le Chateaubriand is better than Contra and Wildair. At least we have Contra and Wildair. To Sneak's point, I actually do think Aska and Atomix would rank high anywhere in the world...but admittedly, my world dining experience is relatively limited.

 

I also ate affordable-ish modern Korean food in Paris at a place that was very good, but nowhere near the level of Atoboy. The host was also just not nice. Really cold in turning us away the first night. Then, when we returned, I had one of the weirder restaurant interactions in my life, when I tried to switch one of our backless stools for another empty table's chair and not only did she scold me, she actually almost ripped the chair out of my hands. Apparently the tables are set like that on purpose, with two backless stools and two seats with backs. Anyway, it was jarring, and we debated leaving but it was late. Someone in my group very nicely told her that we felt her treatment was kind of rough and she kind of relaxed after that and apologized. In the end I was happy we stayed.

 

One last thing about the greatness of NYC food: we have two great MFF examples right here. I'm reasonably confident that any city in the world would be more than happy to have a Mekelburg's or a Foxface set up shop.

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The way I see it, once you say that NO food in New York is as good as French food in Paris, the problem then isn't that French food in New York isn't as good as French food in Paris (that's only to be

Further on down the road, before attending a show last night, we stopped here for a glass or two and a bite or two.  Now I do remember the last meal we ate here, absolutely hating my pasta (it was aft

I love old Leslie Gore singles. I listen to them all the time. But I would never claim they’re objectively good the way Bach is good or Prince is good or Ornette Coleman is good.

That's the good thing about living in NJ; all of the BYO restaurants. That reduces the price of a nice meal to $100 to $150 per COUPLE. I would rather pay more for food then triple or quadruple the price of a bottle of wine. Granted the food might not be as avant garde as NYC but at least it is affordable.

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NYC does have something top notch - lunch. A lot of high-end restaurants serve lunch at ridiculously low prices. Feb. 17th was our wedding anniversary and lunched at Aquavit. A three-course lunch for $65pp was terrific (could have been $55pp for two courses but we splurged a little), service was friendly and professional - a great value. Nice bottle of 2011 Blaufrankisch was $41!!!!

 

Some of the best NYC values are at lunch - and then just skip dinner that night.

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I just went though a budgeting exercise (I'm in contract on a house in the burbs and just wanted to make sure I wasn't doing anything stupid) and it revealed to me all of my spending on food in 2019.   Which include Tokyo and Mexico with my wife and Spain with the whole fam as well as a year of NYC restaurants.

 

What a depressing exercise for someone NY based.

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One last thing about the greatness of NYC food: we have two great MFF examples right here. I'm reasonably confident that any city in the world would be more than happy to have a Mekelburg's or a Foxface set up shop.

I don't want to speak for those guyys (lord knows neither of them are shy,,,)

 

Think about the model those guys chose tho. Both couples who run successful businesses outside of their food ops who settled on an unorthodox model to do their food thing.  Information in that.

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That's one reason that I agree with joethefoodie about Paris being a better place to eat well (IF you don't miss a lot of the stuff I'd miss & I think that you, Seth G. and even joe would miss.

Actually, I’d cook the stuff I miss. With better ingredients.

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West African, Greek, and Egyptian aren’t NATVE food cultures.

 

People mention Ital-Amer and Ashkenazic because in the first case it was a pronounced local adaptation of a foreign cuisine and in the second case everybody who didn’t come here was murdered.

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I just went though a budgeting exercise (I'm in contract on a house in the burbs and just wanted to make sure I wasn't doing anything stupid) and it revealed to me all of my spending on food in 2019.   Which include Tokyo and Mexico with my wife and Spain with the whole fam as well as a year of NYC restaurants.

 

What a depressing exercise for someone NY based.

 

You should see my restaurant spending in Capetown....... I could easily be an alcoholic if I lived there.

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@seth

 

But if you asked me to pick anywhere in the world to go eat, Roosevelt Avenue wouldn’t be on my list. It would be number 1 in Queens, and a worthwhile destination in New York. The diversity is great, but the best food I can think of there is good to very good at the price, not world class.

Well, that just gets back to what one values - the one gold medal vs. ten silvers and six bronze medals argument. For me, that diversity IS what makes it great. I get more from Roosevelt than Robuchon.

 

Okay, one night in NYC:

 

So last summer I was sherpa-ing for a group of Dutch chefs doing a dinner at the James Beard House. Sourcing ingredients, finding prep space & equipment, etc. (Fun Fact: the kitchen at the Beard House is UTTER SHIT.)

 

Night after the dinner, a bunch of them along with a Dutch food journalist wanted to go eating, a little food tour, what neighborhood should they go to where they can have stuff they wouldn’t get back in AmsterRotterDam? So I took them to Roosevelt Ave.

 

We started with some Ecuadoran at the food trucks on Junction. Lamb Tripe soup and Bollo de Pescado (plantation flour tamales stuffed with tuna and peanut butter... don’t knock it till you try it) - made our way East, quick taco stop (lengua y cabeza) - leche de pantera with raw crab at Cevicheria El Rey - on to Esquina Del Camaron Mexicano for octopus cocktail and fried shark flautas. Mixed the leftover cocktail juice with some mezcal (I came prepared) then floated a round of cold Modelos with that as we walked. Stopped for some momos to go with the beers. Made our way to Kababish for curried goat brains and livers. Then over to Three Aunties Thai Market where they picked up some dried bugs to snack on for the plane, and some dried banana candies. Grabbed a jar of fermented clams, some durian paste, and pandan leaves for future use. Stopped at Solid State (craft beer joint) for a couple rounds. Then on to Tito Rad’s (Filipino) for Dinuguan, Bicol Express, and a giant roast tuna jaw (among other things) which we opened a couple mags of champers with. (They came prepared too)

 

If anyone can name one other city on this planet where anything similar is remotely possible - even in a car, let alone on foot - I’ll accept that NYC may have competition in my heart for best food city. I could care less if we even have indigenous cuisines. Yes, there may be better examples of some of these individual things elsewhere. I accept that.

 

But that’s just me, YMMV. Not trying to convince anyone not to enjoy Paris. Just saying I’d probably get bored living there.

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So last summer I was sherpa-ing for a group of Dutch chefs doing a dinner at the James Beard House. Sourcing ingredients, finding prep space & equipment, etc. (Fun Fact: the kitchen at the Beard House is UTTER SHIT.)

Fun Fact 2:  We cooked our graduation dinner from Peter Kump's in that kitchen...I was head chef!  And I volunteered any number of times to be a kitchen slave for visiting chefs - there were some great ones back in the day.

 

And while the kitchen was not exactly great, Jim probably never cooked for 75 people, and I'm pretty sure it worked just fine for him and his coterie of food friends.

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So last summer I was sherpa-ing for a group of Dutch chefs doing a dinner at the James Beard House. Sourcing ingredients, finding prep space & equipment, etc. (Fun Fact: the kitchen at the Beard House is UTTER SHIT.)

Fun Fact 2:  We cooked our graduation dinner from Peter Kump's in that kitchen...I was head chef!  And I volunteered any number of times to be a kitchen slave for visiting chefs - there were some great ones back in the day.

 

And while the kitchen was not exactly great, Jim probably never cooked for 75 people, and I'm pretty sure it worked just fine for him and his coterie of food friends.

 

I was just shocked that it's basically good for a la minute and not much else. They bring in these chefs (or in this case, about a dozen chefs) and it's like... just gotta find your own prep space somewhere else, I guess. And I wouldn't be surprised if it was the exact same equipment as was available at your grad dinner. Like, I can understand not having a PacoJet or a centrifuge or whatever, but a rudimentary sous vide set-up seems like it would be de rigueur in any modern kitchen by now. I almost had to loan them my chamber vacuum (which I was not looking forward to transporting) until a connection found me an available one closer (and a PacoJet, to boot.)

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