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Day 2 in New York City:

  1. Oms/b
  2. Ess-a-Bagel
  3. Katz's Deli
  4. Lombardi's Pizza
  5. Grand Central Oyster Bar
  6. Beard Papa

1st course

What kind of square thinker doesn’t like a good rice ball? Not me. When I heard about this little Japanese shop I made a beeline.

Clean, chic little Japanese café.

Japanese Green tea ($2.50) was the perfect complement to these rice balls. Lots of other soft drinks are available.

You can buy their set dishes which include three rice balls, an appetizer and a miso soup for about $6.50. This is a great little place for a bite on the run.

156 E 45th


Yummy little Japanese handheld snacks.

Green Tea Madeline:
An impulse buy that didn’t pay off. It was fine, but not my thing.
Spicy Tuna ($1.50): little triangle of minced tuna, mayo.

Japanese Plum ($1.50): My personal favorite (but if you aren’t big on Japanese tangy flavor, you should order something else.)

Eel ($2): Eel-ishious. They grill the eel and serve it with egg shreds. This rice ball is flavored with soy sauce.(Also in close-up)

From: 156 E 45th St.
To: 831 3rd Ave. means less than a mile


if you walk, but 1.4 miles (2.3 km) if you drive to go from Nipponese to Nosh-on-these.

Map with directions

2nd course

831 3rd Ave


2005 bunrab.com
Best Bagel award

What kind of crusty loafer doesn’t like a good bagel? Not me. When I had a chance to have one of the best bagels in town I rolled out!

Fine, but I like mine a tad stronger.

Quintessential New York bagel vibe.

Queue up, order at the counter, pay at the register. A super friendly owner came around to check on his customers.

Onion bagel with cream cheese and lox: (about $7)
They put onions, tomato and the perfect amount of cream cheese on their bagels, (I hate it when you bite into a big layer of cold, fat that gums up your mouth and smooshes out the sides of your bread.) The fish sparkles with a firm freshness (they make their lox in house)

“Everything” bagel with the same treatment as above: (about $7)
This was better than the onion bagel because it was slightly saltier on the outside. I had read that “real” New Yorkers NEVER ask for their bagels toasted (but I was skeptical.) Generally, I like the contrast of crispy toasted crustiness with the creamy cheese and fish, but I thought I’d take the plunge and forgo the toasting. I’m glad I did. The reason why these bagels don’t need toasting is because they are made in house and sliced and filled while their little hearts are still beating. The contrast of textures doesn’t need to be coaxed out of it with an extra step. It’s already there.

3 carrots out of 4

"The pearly gates to bagel heaven."


From: 831 3rd Ave.
To: Grand Central Station is


2 miles (3.2 km) to the land of pastrami.

Map with directions

3rd course

What kind of cut up doesn’t like a great pastrami sandwich? Not me. I had a chance to visit this pastrami emporium and it was just the ticket.

Atmosphere: Old style confusing cafeteria.

Service: Once you get the hang of it, it’s a snap. You get a ticket as you walk in the door. Check out the menu on the wall and order at the counter that corresponds to what you want to eat. Hand over your ticket as you order, they mark it and give it back to you. Present this ticket to the cashier and pay on your way out.

If you want to get fancy about it, sit the designated area for table service and someone will do the legwork for you.

Katz's deli
205 East Houston St.


Hand sliced pastrami

Pastrami on rye: ($12.45)
This has got to be the best pastrami sandwich I’ve ever had. Layers of warm, juicy, hand sliced pastrami bulging out of fresh slices of rye bread. Tender and with just the right amount of fattiness to flavor, but not enough to overwhelm. This beef concoction must have been what Meg Ryan was eating during her famous When Harry met Sally scene (which was filmed in this very restaurant.)

Cheeseburger: ($4.25)
Okay, but why order a cheeseburger when there’s this amazing pastrami here?

From: 205 East Houston St.
To: 32 Spring St.is just


short of a mile (1.3 km) for some
superb coal fired 'za.

Map with directions

4th course

What kind of brick head doesn’t like thin crust pizza? Not me. When I heard that there was a great pizzeria on Spring Street, I sprung.

Service: Line up outside. When the no nonsense host shows you your table, you’d better keep up.

The servers are quick and efficient there’s not a lot of friendly gabbing, hey, they’ve got stuff to do.

Yummy pizza worth checking out.

Lombardi’s Pizza
32 Spring St.


A Slice of Italy

Yeah, there's usually a line, but it's always worth the wait.

Pepperoni pizza: ($10.50 small)
Their coal burning oven gives off the intense, radiant heat to make a crispy and chewy thin crusted pie. The cheese, mushrooms and pepperoni meld together in a fatty meaty ooze that is cut by the anchovies that cut through with their salty flesh.


A dark, narrow, brick walled dining room that opens out to the pizza kitchen. Plastic clothed tables are packed together like anchovies in a can.

From: 32 Spring St.
To: E. 42nd St & Park Ave. is


a 2.6 mile (4.2 km) hike to get to
Grand Bivalve Station.

Map with directions

5th course
What kind of ice cold crab doesn’t like a great oyster? Not me. When I found an oyster bar in the middle of this grand throughfare I decided to spend some clams.

Service: Efficient and knowledgeable. Everyone hustles to get the orders out and folks moving (hey, they have trains to catch.)
Grand Central Station
Oyster Bar

Grand Central Station
(212) 490-6650

Oysters, Oysters, Oysters: (market price hovering in the $1.75 - $3.00 per oyster neighborhood depending on what you order)
Delicious fruits of the sea, freshly shucked before your eyes by strong-armed dudes at the raw bar in front of piles crushed ice.
Yummy seeded flatbread are delivered to you as you are seated. I ate them all. Yum.

Atmosphere: An echoey tiled series of rooms create a subterranean feel. Little lights trace the contours of the ceilings. There are commuters, couples, people in suits and folks in jeans.

If you like to buy bivalves and gorge on gorgeous seafood. This is the grand center where you should station yourself.

From: Grand Central Station
To: 18 E.14th St. is


less than half a mile (0.6 km) to creampuffs.

Map with directions

6th course

Beard Papa
18 E. 14th St
(inside of Café Zaiya)


Japanese Cream Puff Franchise

What kind of cream puff doesn’t like a good cream puff? Not me. When I heard about this beloved Japanese chain opening outlets in the U S of A I had to take a look see.

Service: You order and the puffs are promptly filled fresh so that they retain their crispy exteriors (nice touch.)

Atmosphere: This particular franchise is located inside of a bustling Asian café. Most of the other branches aren’t connected to other businesses. Not fancy, but not a dive.

I can see how people can get into these because of the crisp exterior/creamy interior thing. It’s just not something I’m into, (I’ve never been an éclair person either. Maybe this is a personal defect on my part.)

Regular Cream Puff: ($1.25)
Crispy outside contrasts nicely with creamy inside. Nice enough but I would spend these calories on ice cream if given the choice.

Chocolate Cream Puff: ($1.45) Special not available everyday.
I was hoping that the special would be the green tea flavor that I had heard about. This was pretty good, but didn’t ring my bell.

Chocolate was the filling of the day when I went, but there are always new specials.


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