Tag Archives: 10025

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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Sneak Peak: Key West Diner on Upper West Side Dropping Tropical Look; New Name Needed

The Key West Diner is being renovated. Photo: Laura B. Weiss

For 22 years, the Key West diner, an Upper West Side institution, has served standard diner fare in tropical-themed dining room that can only be described as extreme diner kitsch. Now, the neighborhood eatery which for years has boasted a vibrant–some might say garish—turquoise and tangerine decor designed to evoke its sub-tropical namesake, is undergoing a gut renovation intended to create a more modern look.

When will the new place, a favorite of upper Broadway denizens and of guests of the Hotel Newton next door, open?  November, says owner Frank Tsiamtsiouris.

And, to go with the new, sleeker interior, management is searching for a new name for the place. The owners are asking the public for suggestions. Send  them as comments to this post, and I’ll pass them on.

Key West Diner pre-renovation in its tropical phase.

As for the menu, “it will be pretty much the same,” says Tsiamtsiouris. That means you’ll still be able to get their refreshing fresh squeezed lemonade—maybe the last of its type in any diner in New York.  Also likely to be kept around are the gargantuan omletes, mammoth salads that are enough to feed a family of five and other over-sized dishes.

As for the color scheme, dabs of tangerine will still exist here and there. But “there will be some browns, along with a higher ceiling, and a terrazzo floor,” says Tsiamtsiouris, who also owns the nearby Metro and City diners on Broadway as well as two other diners elsewhere in the city.

“After 23 years, the floor was breaking” and there was other structural deterioration too, he says, explaining why he decided to renovate now.

Key West Diner
2532 Broadway
New York, NY (Btwn 94th & 95th St)
212 932-0068

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Upper West Side Restaurants: Falafel, Druze Restaurants Turn Neighborhood Into a Middle Eastern Mecca

Soom Soom. Photo: Laura B. Weiss

If you want falafel or maybe something more exotic from the Middle East, the Upper West Side is sprouting an array of joints to help you sample cuisines from around the region.

Soom Soom, which opened recently on 72nd Street just east of Broadway is a falafel lovers delight. The golden orbs are perfectly fried, then tucked into loaves of pillowy pita. Best of all is the salad bar-like set up which allows you to pile your falafel high with all the veggies and sauces—not to mention endless tahini—that make a falafel a meal in itself.

I went wild at the salad bar—to the point that my sandwich was really a tower of  toppings with the falafel shoved into the bottom of the pita almost as an afterthought.

Also new to the neighborhood is a restaurant serving up Druze cuisine. Another Gazala Place, which already has an eatery in Hell’s Kitchen, is to be situated at 380 Columbus Avenue, near 78th Street, Grub Street reports. Druze dishes are similar to those found in other Middle Eastern countries, but instead of pita, the Druze use a thin crepe called sagg.

Not on the Upper West Side, but yearning for a great falafel?

Click here for Serious Eats’ Best Falafel list.

Soom Soom

166 West 72nd Street
New York, NY
212 712 2525

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Upper West Side: Truffle Store Comes to the Neighborhood

Fresh Truffles. Photo: Urbani Truffles.

Truffles?  What ever happened to lox as the delicacy of choice on the Upper West Side?

The neighborhood is going ever more upscale with the opening of Urbani Truffles on West End Avenue at 60th Street. The shop is slated to open sometime in September, says  Vittorio Giordano, Urbani’s VP.

Truffles, of course, come from the Piedmont section of Italy. And the site of the new store couldn’t be more different than that lush area, which is marked by rolling vineyards and quaint hilltop towns. (I just spent a week there, dining on truffle accented dishes and drinking lots of Barolo.) In fact, the shop, a glittering glass boutique, is situated directly across from a grungy parking lot, the hulking Con-Ed plant, and Western Beef.

Why the less-than-scenic locale?  “Because it’s Manhattan and West End Avenue,” explains Giordano. The area is “improving,” predicts the truffle seller, with Trump and other towers springing up along the western side of the street.

Ubrbani mostly sells wholesale but you can buy their products online and eventually at the new store.

By the way, Urbani Truffles “are certified kosher,” says Giordano.

The day I was there, the place was still under construction. But already  cans of truffle pate, and packages of truffle oil and black and white truffles were on display like precious jewels.

Want a truffle fix? Of course, it’s not cheap

In Piedmont, I was able to buy various truffle pates for about 5 Euros or $8 at the exchange rate in early July. At Urbani, four ounces of fresh summer truffles are $59.90. More affordable is a jar of mushroom and truffle sauce for $8.26.

You can have fresh white and black truffles delivered right to your doorstep within 24 hours as well. And you can find Urbani truffle products at Citarella’s and at Agata and Valentina’sl.

Urbani Truffles
10 West End Avenue (60th Street)
212 2478800
www.urbanitrufflesonline.com.

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Upper West Side: Cupcake Cafe Crumbs Moves into Shiny New Digs on Amsterdam Ave.

Cupcakes. Photo: CRUMBS Bake Shop

Not able to resist an apparently unstoppable trend, New Yorker’s continue to wolf down cupcakes. In fact,the Upper West Side branch of Crumbs has moved into shiny new digs.  And the chain is expanding nationwide.

In a recent story, the Wall Street Journal, wrote about New Yorkers’ obsession with the little frosted cakes.  Personally, I don’t get it. I know they’re considered by many a cheap indulgence, but frankly, it’s kid food for adults.

If you’re looking for the new Upper West Side Crumbs, you can find it at 350 Amsterdam Avenue at 76th.

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