Category Archives: Breakfast

Blueberry Pancake Eating Contest at Fairway Upper West Side

Blueberry pancakes are a snap. But if you’re too lazy to make your own. Or if you’ve turned your spatula into a back scratcher and your frying pan into a planter, then this Fairway blueberry eating contest is for you.

And if I’ve shamed you into cooking up some blueberry pancakes, here’s a great recipe from 101 Cookbooks. I use whole wheat pastry flour to make them extra-healthy.

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Upper West Side: Key West Diner Reopens as Manhattan Diner on Upper Broadway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tina Fey graces the wall of the Manhattan diner. Photo: Laura B. Weiss

Garish appears to be the decor of choice for any diner that’s located on Broadway between 94th and 95th streets. Manhattan Diner, a remake of the venerable Key West Diner, hews to that course with a mishmash of blues, reds and yellows, evoking an 80s disco down on its luck. (This new Manhattan Diner is also a replacement for the old Manhattan Diner at 77th and Broadway, according to MyUpperWest; yes, it’s confusing.)

The look is a bit jarring, but that’s OK.  It’s a diner. A huge blow-up photo of Tina Fey hangs on the wall.Wonder if she goes there for a quick omelet before work?

I loved the feel of the old spot. All those 1970s faux-tropical pinks and turquoises, not to mention the flamingos. It was a great piece of kitsch.

Manhattan Diner, Broadway, Upper West Side. Photo: Laura B. Weiss

A major improvement is the food. Of the three diners in the neighborhood run by the same owners–Metro, City and Key West–Key West was the weakest on the good eats scale. The grilled cheese was fine, but not as oozingly tasty as up the street at the Metro Diner. That situation has been remedied! Now, you can get a grilled cheese and tomato (the acid test for an establishment calling itself a diner) that’s overflowing with melted cheese and grilled to perfection.

“Business is just OK,” the manager told me. “I don’t think people know we’re here,” he said.

Now you do. Can’t speak for the food other than the grilled cheese but Yelpsters have given it a thumbs up.

Manhattan Diner (the old Key West Diner)

2532 Broadway
Between 93rd and 94th streets
New York, NY 10025

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Want Great Oatmeal? Try Metro Diner on the Upper West Side

I eat oatmeal most mornings and consider myself a bit of a connoisseur. Mostly, when you eat it out at a restaurant or diner a serving of oatmeal is runny or lumpy. But Metro Diner at Broadway and 100th Street cooks up an outstanding bowl of of the humble gruel. What’s more, if you ask, they’ll top it with a heaping serving of blueberries, each one the size of a Concord grape.

Girl eating oatmeal. Photo by by mliu92 via flickr.

Not in the mood to schlep to the Metro Diner? You can make this at home. Here’s how it’s done according to Nick the manager:

Use Quaker instant oatmeal (probably the fancy organic stuff works too) and use milk instead of water. It’s that simple.

At Metro Diner, they first prepare their oatmeal at 6 a.m. Then they keep it hot throughout the day over a pan of hot water.

Sometimes the simplest things are the best.

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Upper West Side Bakery Levain–Better than a Food Truck

We Upper West Siders need to get creative when it comes to getting our food truck fix. I’ve occasionally seen the Treat Truck on Broadway, but mostly the city’s new food vans leave the UWS out in the cold. In fact, if you live north of Columbus circle–other than the reliably delicious Super Taco on 96th between Broadway and West End–you’re pretty much out of luck when it comes to truck cuisine.

Until  food truck purveyors discover the Upper West Side, there are levain-bakeryneighborhood nooks you can turn to. Take Levain Bakery on West 74th Street. Levain is bigger than a food truck–but not by much. You reach the teeny place down a short flight of stairs. The smell of sugar and butter hits you full on before you even step inside the diminutive bakery. There, you’ll find cookies, scones, cakes and the like.

I gobbled up an oatmeal raisin scone. Buttery and flaky, it was delicious. It didn’t take much to convince myself that with all those whole grains, I was downing a healthy snack.

If you’re spending time on Long Island this summer, Levain also has an outpost on the East End, in Wainscott.

Levain Bakery
167 West 74th St.
New York, NY  10023
2123 874 6080
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The Best Coffee and Pastries? Try NY’s Macchiato Espresso Bar

Last Friday, I was lugging my computer down 44th Street just east of Grand Central on my way to catch the Hampton Jitney.  I felt an urge for caffeine that could not be denied. You know the feeling. If you’re not inhaling coffee immediately–as in the next three minutes–you’re going to have yourself a good cry.

What’s your favorite coffee spot in NY?

Then I spotted Machiatto Espresso Bar, a coffee place that also serves up pastries and sandwiches. I’ve walked by it before, mostly on my macchiato-espresso-barway to catch the Jitney, which makes a stop at the corner of 44th and Third. But the scrum of coffee-craving suits crowding the place always kept me walking on by.

Last Friday morning around 9:30, I stopped in. Miraculously, Machiatto was relatively empty, so I ambled inside and ordered an iced coffee ($2.00/small, $2.75/medium, $3.75/large). Naturally, I needed something sweet to go along with my caffeine fix. So I had the pixieish barista snag a chocolate and hazelnut Danish for me ($2.75).

One bite and I was totally entranced by this buttery, flaky confection. Notably, it delivered an intense chocolate hit without being cloyingly sweet. “They’re homemade,” chirped the barista when I inquired after the provenance of these goodies that, truth be told, are more puff pastry than classic Danish.

Go for the coffee at Machiatto. It’s really good. Then throw calorie caution to the wind and throw yourself an impromptu party with their pastries. I haven’t tasted the other items on the menu–which include a yummy looking chocolate cigar–but I bet they’re mouthwatering as well.  There are also sandwiches, including a tuna, turkey and egg salad, all priced between $7.50 and $8.95.

Macchiato
141 East 44th Street
New York, NY
212 867 6772
M-F 7 a.m.  6 pm , SAT 10a.m. – 2 p.m.

Related

NY Coffee Summit Set to Give a Jolt to Java Lovers

Upper West Side: Dog Days at Your Espresso Bar

West Village: Think Coffee Serves Up Great Java

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