Although our report this week mentions Nathan's in Coney Island...makers of very good hot dogs...on subsequent trips we found we liked Gray's Papaya even more. I don't know how much they cost now but our trips to Gray's featured the Recession Special. Two delicious, natural casing hot dogs...with mustard and sauerkraut...and a cup of their papaya juice for only $1.98. Several locations in Manhattan, we went to the shop at
Our first trip there, I had to cut off my wife and Tim after a couple of dogs (they wanted a few more) because we had reservations at Tavern on the Green and I didn't want to ruin our appetite. The Tavern was good, very good in fact, but later my wife said she'd have been just as happy to gorge on the dogs and forego that experience.
Since we're talking about Tavern on the Green, you should know that this landmark closed its doors on New Year's Eve.
Another delicious and cheap option are bagels. We found Tal Bagels at 979 1st Avenue to fit the bill perfectly. A great variety of bagels, fresh from the kitchen, with a plethora of toppings for just a buck or two. They also have a lot of other baked goods and fresh coffee. A large dining room offers a place to relax, enjoy your food, and take in the scene. One thing though, know what you want before you go to order. The staff are very busy and very impatient.
Up a couple of notches in ambience and price is Sam's Place, just off of Times Square at 132 E. 39th Street. Nominally an Italian kitchen, I like Sam's for the most delicious pork chops I've ever had. Served with a glaze of carmelized onions and mashed potatoes, it's the best, sit down food I've had in Manhattan.
Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons
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