Bad New York Treats. And some Overlooked Ones.

August 17th, 2011 § 0 comments

HG never fancied that New York street treat, the “dirty water” hot dog. HG found the fat, soft, salty pretzels that were sold on many Manhattan streets to be a glob of soggy vileness. Even worse was the sad excuse for a Knish that was hawked alongside the dogs and pretzels.

HG did fancy hot chestnuts (especially on a cold Fifth Avenue winter day). But then again, HG just loves chestnuts in many different forms.

For a real New York only inexpensive treat, HG turned to the indoor pleasures of Chinese-Cuban restaurants. After Battista had fallen many Havana based Chinese restaurant owners made their way to NYC because of the large Chinese population. These newly arrived entrepreneurs found a great niche by blending Chinese favorites with the Cuban dishes of their abandoned city. These restaurants flourished (hope they still do) in Washington Heights and on Broadway north of 145th Street. There were a number on the upper West Side as well. Have these been pushed out by chains and upscale retailers?? (Nope, says SJ. La Caridad on 78th and Broadway still dishes out some fine Cuban-Chinese) The dishes HG liked were Moors and Christians (white rice and black beans) and Cubanos (roast pork, ham, pickle and cheese sandwiches pressed into savory yumminess on a grill). Good company for these dishes was an avocado-sweet onion-orange salad followed by a bracing Cuban coffee.

HG knows that the Vietnamese sandwich has burst into the forefront of cheap NYC food favorites, but for HG the classic Cubano remains tops.

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