Some New Yorkers are raising funds for a dog cafe
New York could be one successful fundraising campaign away from its first dog cafe.
New York can finally boast its own cat cafe since Meow Parlour opened in December, and now it might be getting its own dog cafe as well.
According to Gothamist, two enterprising New Yorkers have started an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds to start New York’s first dog cafe, where petless New Yorkers can sit and have a beverage and play with some puppies for a while. If they get off the ground, the relative stress levels of New York residents should plummet.
Fundraisers Maggie Chan and Mandy Chow are trying to raise $70,000 to start a dog cafe that would include a large, glass-walled play area for dogs, so the dogs could play and the restaurant could serve food and drinks without getting in trouble for having dogs running around. Customers could go inside and play with the dogs, too.
Chan and Chow say the plan is for all the dogs to be adoptable. Their goal is for the dog cafe to partner with local shelters so the dogs would come in every day to play at the dog cafe, where customers can watch and possibly participate. The dogs would not live at the cafe full-time.
So far the indiegogo campaign only has $786, but there is a whole month to go. The Meow Palace cat cafe reportedly raised $65,000 towards its opening.
New York Chef Brothers Return Home to Detroit (and to Hot Dogs)
‘‘THIS IS THE TICKET, folks,’’ says Eli Sussman. ‘‘This is the jam right here.’’ A coney has been placed in front of him on a table at American Coney Island, a red-and-white rockabillyish restaurant in downtown Detroit that could have easily doubled as the set of a White Stripes music video. In Michigan parlance, ‘‘coney island’’ essentially signifies a Greek diner, and a coney is a hot dog. And in this city, it’s only served one way: smothered in chili, yellow mustard and a fistful of raw white onions — no substitutions. ‘‘When you look at it, you say, ‘Oh, man, this is a terrible idea,’ ’’ says Eli’s older brother, Max. ‘‘Then you eat it and you’re like, ‘I kind of want another one.’ ’’
‘‘This is the ultimate drunk food,’’ Eli says.
‘‘Eli says that about a lot of stuff. He’ll probably say it four more times.’’
‘‘All four times I will be right.’’
Max and Eli have worked as chefs at some of the coolest and most influential restaurants in New York City, although they’ve since branched out on their own, dreaming up their own version of a karaoke bar, writing popular cookbooks in which they insist that anyone with a kitchen can prepare bouillabaisse or oxtail tamales, and appearing in an online video series in which they gobble their way through cities like Nashville and Las Vegas. The Sussmans, both in their 30s, grew up in Huntington Woods, a quiet suburb 15 miles north of the crumbling core of Detroit. They went to college close to home — Max to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Eli to Michigan State in East Lansing — but eventually struck out for the coasts. Max wound up cooking with April Bloomfield at the Breslin Bar & Dining Room in Manhattan, and then with Carlo Mirarchi at Roberta’s in Brooklyn. Eli worked in advertising in Los Angeles, feeling all the while a little trapped, until his brother convinced him to come to New York. With almost no formal training, Eli landed a job at Mile End, Noah Bernamoff’s homage to Montreal-style smoked meat.
Growing up in Michigan has clearly influenced how the Sussman brothers like to eat and cook: Their approach to food is as unpretentious, family-style and free of borders as the city that made them. They have come back to Detroit to revisit some of the places responsible for their love of food, and their wistful Michigan voyage de retour quickly turns into an exercise in Rabelaisian excess, with smoked fish and Thai curry and deli sandwiches and deep-dish pizza and takeout sushi and blueberry cake blurring into one extended pan-cultural banquet.
Recently, they teamed up for their first restaurant together in New York, Samesa, located in a Brooklyn beer hall called Berg’n. Samesa specializes in shawarma, a dish they grew up on — and one that’s almost as omnipresent as coneys in Detroit, thanks to a large population of immigrants from Lebanon, Syria and Iraq.
For the Sussmans, the local gold standard can be found at one of the stops on their itinerary, Pita Café in the town of Oak Park. The shawarma here is moist and compact — quite unlike the typical messy avalanche of meat and tahini. With future Samesa locations on their mind, the brothers have become fairly obsessed with this stuff. ‘‘We were talking about — God, it sounds so lame to say this, but, like, sauce distribution,’’ Eli says. He gives the Pita Café prototype an admiring look: ‘‘This is totally, exactly, what I always want to eat.’’
Max cracks a big smile: ‘‘It’s pretty much the perfect drunk food.’’
SINCE THEY WERE KIDS, the Sussman brothers have been going to the Detroit Institute of Arts to gaze at the massive Diego Rivera murals that glorify the city as a workers’ paradise. Standing before them now, they seem no less awestruck. ‘‘It’s a very profound thing to have in the middle of a postindustrial collapse,’’ Max says. ‘‘What this place could have been, as opposed to what it has become.’’ They study it for a few moments more. Then Max says: ‘‘Let’s go light some cheese on fire.’’ For almost as long as they have visited the murals, they have followed it up with a trip downtown to Pegasus Taverna for some saganaki, a dish of Greek cheese that gets flambéed and then extinguished with a spritz of lemon juice.
Max and Eli were living in New York when Detroit declared bankruptcy in 2013. Conventional folklore has it that the city stands, or wobbles, as a parable of regression and rust, and all you have to do is drive around to see that there’s plenty of truth to that narrative. But if you take the time to talk to people, you find remnants of the go-go energy that propelled the city to prosperity a century ago — and which could help shape what Detroit will feel like in the future.
It would be naïve to proclaim that a grass-roots food crusade is going to save Detroit, but a lot of chefs, urban farmers and activists seem determined to try. There’s a new wave of restaurants leading the charge, energizing neighborhoods and reintroducing the Midwestern larder to the best local ingredients. At the front of the pack is Rose’s Fine Food, where Molly Mitchell (a veteran of Tartine Bakery in San Francisco) and her cousin Lucy Carnaghi have converted a fading coney island into an affordable, artisanal outpost for brisket hash, rabbit sandwiches and blueberry pancakes served with a crisp slab of fried trout.
Another is Supino Pizzeria, situated in the Eastern Market neighborhood, steps away from a halal slaughterhouse, where the Sussmans’ friend Dave Mancini pays a monthly rent so low (for both his pizza parlor and for La Rondinella, a new Italian spot he’s opening next door) that it would make a Manhattan chef weep. And Mancini earns it back three times over on a single Saturday afternoon, when throngs flood the area for a farmers’ market. ‘‘It’s insane,’’ Mancini says. ‘‘It’s like being at a sports stadium, crazy crowds all day long.’’
The Sussmans see the sweep of change, too, at Selden Standard, where the chef Andy Hollyday serves up duck congee, squid-ink chittara and sticky smoked lamb ribs. The old name of the neighborhood, Cass Corridor, used to be Motor City code for ‘‘stay the hell away.’’ Now the area has a Whole Foods.
With the sudden influx of creatives taking advantage of cheap rents and warehouse spaces, observers may grumble that parts of Detroit are in danger of being ruined by too many baristas and Baby Gaps. As if to offer a culinary corrective, Max and Eli climb back into the car. ‘‘I’m taking you to the trashiest place I can even take you,’’ Eli says. ‘‘The finish line draws near.’’
We head for the town of Royal Oak, where they plan to score a coney at National Coney Island, a spot where they used to linger for hours in high school. Royal Oak was once a wonderland of record stores and bookshops. ‘‘It’s really not like that anymore,’’ Max says, as we cruise past block after block of Starbucks and Qdoba signs. ‘‘It used to have a great deal of charm,’’ Eli says. ‘‘Now it looks like a mall.’’
Such are the perils of coming home. But their mood brightens as they spy a glow down the road. The red is radiant and garish, a beam of scarlet that seems to encompass an entire building and can probably be spotted from outer space. This is National, where a coney goes for $2.29. ‘‘It’s like a shining beacon,’’ says Eli. And into the parking lot they go.
What is a Michigan Style Hot Dog?
A Michigan Style Hot Dog is Northern New York regional specialty! It consists of a steamed hot dog, served on a New England Style bun, topped with a meaty sauce, generally referred to as &ldquoMichigan sauce&rdquo. Michigans are commonly served with chopped onions and mustard. If served with chopped onions, the onions can either be buried under the sauce, under the hot dog itself or sprinkled on top of the sauce.
You can find Michigans in New York&rsquos North Country, which happens to be New York&rsquos extreme northern border, think the tippy top Canadian border New York!
Getting Around New York
New York is separated into many different neighborhoods, each with a unique atmosphere. Here are the best ways to get from Brooklyn to the Upper East Side and everywhere in between:
Subway: The subway is the best way to get around NYC. You’ll avoid all the bumper to bumper traffic, and it’s super affordable! The trains run 24 hours a day, and you can download a subway map to make sure you get off at the right stop.
Uber/Taxi: If you’ve got a lot of luggage or shopping bags, it’s easier to take a cab than get on one of the crowded subway trains. You can easily hail a yellow cab from the street or request a ride with Uber. Even though taxis are an iconic part of NYC culture, I highly recommend taking an Uber. The drivers are more reliable and the fares are cheaper. However, there’s no quick way to get around the city with either option so stick to the subway as much as you can.
Walking: Prepare to walk a lot! With most of the top attractions within walking distance of each other, you don’t need to rely on public transportation to get around all the time. NYC is a walkable city, and you’ll discover a few hidden gems along the way.
Guy's Top Eats in the Aloha State — Triple D in Hawaii
From island classics to Asian fusion, Hawaii has a bit of everything when it comes to its unique cuisine. Guy's visited restaurants, drive-ins, food trucks and roadside stands across the islands to find the best offerings around. If you're headed to Hawaii for some fun in the sun, make sure these places are on your must-eat list.
Photo By: Citizen Pictures
Photo By: Citizen Pictures ©2800 Speer Blvd Denver CO 80211
Photo By: Citizen Pictures ©2800 Speer Blvd Denver CO 80211
Pan-Fried Wahoo — Dean's Drive Inn
With over 40 years of experience, Dean Mishima is cooking up some of the best and freshest food at Dean's Drive Inn in Oahu, with help from his wife and daughter. Locals love his seafood specialties, like the Pan-Fried Wahoo, or Ono as it's called in Hawaii. The fish fillets are dusted in flour and seared on the flat top before being topped with a ginger sauce that's bloomed with hot oil and seasoned with soy sauce.
Fried Boneless Pork Ribs - Thai Mee Up
Guy heads to Thai Mee Up for Thai-inspired Hawaiian food right by the airport. The boneless pork ribs take Guy to new heights. &ldquoOn a scale of 1 to 100 that&rsquos a 101,&rdquo he says of the immaculate dish. &ldquoThis is like a freight train to Flavortown.&rdquo
Kalbi Short Ribs — Da Kitchen
At Da Kitchen, Chef Les Tomita cooks classic Hawaiian dishes like loco moco, but it's his Kalbi ribs that are famous. He sells 2,000 pounds of ribs every week. The recipe starts with a house-made teriyaki sauce, in which the short ribs marinate for 24 to 36 hours. They're then grilled to perfection in just five minutes.
Lilikoi Pork Pizza — The Outrigger Pizza Company
In Maui you can get terrific pizza in a parking lot at The Outrigger Pizza Company run by Philly native Kevin Laut. Try his Lilikoi (passion fruit) Pork Pizza, which is topped with garlic aioli, braised pork, sweet Maui onions, bell peppers and mozzarella and romano cheese. Once it's out of his custom-made oven, it's topped with parmesan cheese and lilikoi sauce. "You can't get pizza that good in most restaurants," Guy said after tasting the pizza.
Oxtail Soup — The Alley Restaurant
A few miles from the Honolulu airport, you'll find The Alley Restaurant, located in a bowling alley. Chef Glen Ueda used to work in New York City before he came to Hawaii. His oxtail soup, based on his mom's recipe, is perfumed with dried dates, orange peel, star anise, ginger, peanuts and dried shiitake mushrooms. He spikes the broth with whiskey as it finishes cooking. It's served with a special sauce made from daikon, soy sauce, lemon juice, chile flakes and sesame seeds. "You win the best oxtail soup in the world award," Guy told Glenn.
Mochiko Chicken — Boots & Kimo's Homestyle Kitchen
Brothers Rick and Jessie Kiakona honor their father by cooking his recipes at Boots & Kimo's Homestyle Kitchen in Oahu. While Rick runs font of the house, Jessie is the chef. His Mochiko Chicken uses boneless chicken thighs, cut into pieces, tossed in a marinade of sugar, rice flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper, garlic and soy sauce, plus eggs to act as a binder. The chicken is deep fried and served with rice and macaroni salad.
Misiake Beef — He'eia Kea Pier General Store and Deli
At He'eia Kea Pier General Store and Deli, Chef Mark Noguchi prepares Misiake Beef, a dish that practically left Guy speechless. It starts with beef marinated in teriyaki sauce. It's stir-fried in a wok before getting glazed with a sauce made with sake, mirin, sake kasu, white and red miso pastes, salted black bean sauce and toasted sesame seeds. Served simply with white rice, it's a taste of Japan in Hawaii.
Ahi Tuna Poke — Fresh Catch
At Fresh Catch, you'll find some of the freshest seafood selections, and a wide variety of poke, including octopus, shrimp and the classic Ahi tuna. Chef Reno Henriques butchers tuna himself. Once the fish is cut into cubes, he tosses it with salt and chile flakes, kukui nut, chile pepper water, sesame oil, scallion, white onions and seaweed. "I could sit here and eat this by the bucketful," said Guy.
Marlin Burger — Nico's Pier 38
At Nico's Pier 38, French-born chef Nico Chaize is dishing out fine dining dishes at rock bottom prices. One of his signature menu items is the double-patty marlin burger. Fresh fish is pureed and combined with onion, garlic, Dijon mustard and seasonings before being formed into patties. it's served on a toasted hamburger bun with cilantro aioli.
Crunchy Shrimp — Big Wave Shrimp Truck
It's all about shrimp at the Big Wave Shrimp Truck. One of their top dishes is the Crunchy Shrimp. Large fresh shrimp are butterflied, dipped in a tempura batter, and coated in panko before getting pan-fried. The hearty portions keep customers happy, as 10 pieces are served with rice and a sweet-and-spicy dipping sauce.
Thai Hot Wings — Opal Thai Food
At Opal Thai Food, chef and owner Opal Sirichandhra happily customizes dishes for his customers. For Guy, he made hot wings, which begin with simply deep-frying chicken wings without any coating. But it's the sauce that's special. It includes lots of garlic, chile paste, soy sauce and palm nectar. Once the sauce is heated in a pan, the chef adds more garlic and the chicken wings. The dish is topped with deep-fried basil. "That's the most garlic I've had on anything," said Guy.
Chicago Dog — Hank's Haute Dogs
Back in the 1950s, Chicagoan Hank Adaniya's parents used to run a hot dog joint in Hawaii. It was only natural that Hank open Hank's Haute Dogs in Honolulu. His top seller is the Chicago dog, which has the classic toppings of yellow mustard, green relish, onion, tomato, pickle, sport peppers and celery salt. He even ships in most of the ingredients from Chicago, so it's as authentic as it gets.
Authentic Hawaiian Luau — Germaine's Luau
For an authentic Hawaiian feast, head to Germaine's Luau, where a whole pig is cooked the traditional way in an underground oven called an imu. The process starts with preheating the oven with lava rocks and charcoal. Then a whole hog is salted, layered with rocks inside the cavity, and placed on a bed of banana stalks, then covered with banana leaves, burlap, a tarp and finally sand. After eight hours of cooking time, it is ceremonially unearthed and served.
Rotisserie Chicken — Mike's Huli Huli Chicken
Guy heads back to Mike's Huli Huli Chicken stand, which inspired him to create his own rotisserie oven at home. Owner Mike Fuse brines birds in salt and lemon juice overnight. They're then coated with a rub that includes paprika, cumin, oregano, pepper and cayenne, before getting strung on a spit and placed on his custom oven. The chicken cooks for about 40 minutes over local Hawaiian wood. When they're done, it is "the crispiest chicken that anybody will every try that's not been fried," says Guy.
Fried Poke — Like Poke.
At Maui's Like Poke. , a food truck run by former pro-surfer Danny Kalahiki, you'll find the freshest poke around. His classic recipe starts with yellowfin tuna and includes red onion and watercress. But he uses that same dish to create two other dishes: The Poke Bake has a layer of everything sauce on top that's baked in the oven. And the Fried Poke is thinly coated in flour, fried and topped with crack sauce.
Filipino Pork Lechon Special — Elena's
At Elena's, owners Richard Butuyan and his sister Melissa Cedillo keep their family heritage alive by cooking their mom Elena's Filipino favorites, including the Pork Lechon Special. It begins with huge chunks of pork belly, first boiled, then deep fried. It's cut up into bits and combined with tomatoes, onions, scallions and sea salt, and served atop pork adobo fried rice. "It's like a chicharron, a rib and bacon at the same time," Guy said of the pork belly.
Glazed Mandrian Duck Confit — Uahi Island Grill
At Uahi Island Grill, it's all about classics with a twist, like the Glazed Mandarin Duck Confit. The recipe begins with cooking the duck in its own fat, but with the addition of star anise. The orange glaze includes rice vinegar, shoyu, ginger and more star anise. Once the duck legs are crisped on the flat top, they're served with rice, Chinese broccoli and the orange glaze.
New York Restaurateur Danny Meyer Pushes Casual-Dining Ventures
A cup of hot chocolate at Joe.
Long regarded as a leader in New York’s fine-dining world, Danny Meyer is making moves into the casual ranks of the city’s culinary scene.
The restaurateur’s Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG), which encompasses a range of high-price dining spots such as the Michelin-starred Gramercy Tavern and the Modern, is investing in Joe Coffee, a New York-based coffee chain with 13 locations in the city and two in Philadelphia.
He is also planning to open Daily Provisions, described on the USHG website as a “neighborhood café,” in early 2017. The restaurant will focus on breakfast fare, sandwiches and salads, according to reports it adjoins Mr. Meyer’s Union Square Cafe, an acclaimed dining spot that launched Mr. Meyer’s career in 1985 and that reopened in a new Union Square location this past December after roughly a year-long shutdown.
Restaurant-industry insiders and observers say Mr. Meyer’s new ventures into casual territory shouldn’t come as a surprise. If anything, he is following an established playbook these days among restaurateurs, who often leverage their status and reputation in high-end cuisine to build brands on the affordable end of the dining spectrum.
The driver, say industry professionals, is that such casual concepts are more easily built and replicated. In other words, this is where a restaurateur can make real money.
Where to Buy Affordable Art in NYC
Where to buy affordable art in NYC Most art hanging on the walls of NYC galleries comes with jaw-dropping price tags. Just because your bank account falls way short of buying one of these artworks doesn’t mean you should give up the dream of owning an original painting or sculpture. Resting just below the moneyed façade of the New… Read More
Fun restaurants in NYC
1. Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain
Brookyn Farmacy is an update of the classic soda fountain. The kitchen turns out delicious short-order fare: imagie a grilled cheese made with good bread and good cheese and griddled to golden perfection. But who are we kidding? The real draw is the ice cream sundaes and ice cream floats and pie with ice cream. You get the point, and if you bring the kiddos you'll be a hero. Plus, after some thoughtful parents dropped a few hints they now serve wine. Carroll Gardens (brooklynfarmacyandsodafountain.com).
2. Nom Wah Tea Parlor
New York's first dim sum house opened in 1920 on a rough crook of gang-riddled Doyers Street. After a near-century in business, the family-owned parlor is one of the most atmospheric rooms in Chinatown, with checkered tablecloths over Art Deco tables and vintage lamps&mdashNom Wah is completely unlike the chaotic banquet halls that dominate the dim sum scene. (The NoLIta location is also nice, if not as fun.) The food, too, stands apart: Try the ultra-fluffy oversize roasted-pork bun, the flaky fried crepe egg roll and the tender stuffed eggplant filled with a spiced shrimp-and-squid mixture. Chinatown (nomwah.com).
Take a tasty walk down memory lane. S&rsquoMac elevates a childhood staple to the gourmet level with a dozen varieties of mac 'n cheese to choose from. The &ldquonosh&rdquo size is perfect for kiddie appetites. Or go in the other direction, and order the &ldquomongo&rdquo and plan leftovers tomorrow. And the next day. Any variety, from the textbook all-American to the Spanish-accented La Mancha (Manchego cheese yum!), can be made gluten-free or reduced-lactose. East Village (www.eatsmac.com).
Share a pie with the family at this Bushwick pizzeria that offers the classic Margherita all the way to more adventurous selections like the Nightmare on Moore Street, which has taleggio, marinated radicchio, pickled shallots and habanada peppers. Picky eaters can create their own pizza masterpiece with more than 20 different toppings to add to their pie. The original in Bushwick is a family-friendly restaurant with plenty of non-pizza fare, while the busy Manhattan locations in market halls are better suited for a quick pizza. Bushwick, Brooklyn (robertaspizza.com).
5. Harlem Shake
Get your kid a Pat LaFrieda burger and a Blue Marble milkshake at this popular Harlem destination that celebrates the neighborhood&rsquos culture. The devoted local following and classic retro vibe makes it feel like the kind of local joint that has been around forever. Pretty soon, this spot will be what comes to mind when you hear "Harlem Shake," and not the 2013 dance meme. Harlem (harlemshakenyc.com).
6. Pig Beach
This Brooklyn venue is the perfect place to munch on some meaty dishes in a fun picnic-style setting. Your mouth will water at the possibilities&mdashbaby back ribs, the Pig Beach Burger and its delicious secret sauce, brisket and so much more. Sides including mac n&rsquo cheese with Goldfish, house pickles and smoke jalapeno coleslaw. Added bonus? Pups are welcome in the outdoor space! Grab a table and squint and you can almost imagine the tranquil Gowanus Canal is a tributary of the San Antonio River. Gowanus, Brooklyn (pigbeachnyc.com).
7. Kith Treats
When street gear and sneaker store Kith opened up shop Prospect Heights, it added a cereal bar to the mix. Kith Treats Cereal Bar offers more than 20 different cereals, including classics like Fruity Pebbles and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, more than 20 toppings and multiple milk options. Not only can you make custom cereal combos, but other cereal-based goodies like cereal ice cream swirls and cereal milkshakes are also on the menu. It's so much fun to eat like a kid. Noho and Flatbush, Brooklyn (kith.com).
This Asian chain turns teppanyaki, a Japanese griddling technique, into dinner theater: The flying shrimp is an act that never gets old. Is it corny? Yes! And it's fantastic fun that your kid will love. You might even enjoy it, too. Midtown West (benihana.com).
9. Shake Shack
We'll make it easy for you: Take the kids to Shake Shack. This homegrown favorite successfully reinvented the wheel, and introducing juicy burgers and thick milkshakes for a new generation. A bonus for contemporary eaters is the good-sized veggie menu: There's something for everyone. Best of all, a kid can be a kid, and be a little bouncy and a little loud and not throw off the scene. Various locations (shakeshack.com).
10. Serendipity 3
The menu at this whimsical restaurant is sure to delight all ages! From the signature "Frrrozen" drinks like hot chocolate, strawberry supreme and pink ice to the pies, banana splits and pie, every sweet tooth will be plenty satisfied. Kids can choose from several different burgers and a variety of sandwiches like the Ultimate BLT on challah bread. Lenox Hill (serendipity3.com).
11. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
What began in the &lsquo80s as a mobile concession stand has evolved into a go-to BBQ spot for families. There are plenty of pork, burgers and brisket options, but the typical staples are accompanied by selections with flair&mdashcreole deviled eggs, bronzed catfish and the smoked portobello sandwich. Littles will feast on sides such as mac & cheese and creamed corn, though parents will want their kiddos to opt for the simmered greens or broccoli chickpea salad (wishful thinking). Harlem and Gowanus, Brooklyn (dinosaurbarbque.com).
12. American Girl Cafe
The next time you're venturing on a family outing, make sure your kids' American Girl Dolls are in tow. Rockefeller Center's American Girl Place Cafe offers patrons a chance for little ones to dine with their dollies, whether that includes afternoon tea with scones and buns, or a satisfying chicken tender lunch (perhaps Bow Tie pasta for those with a more mature palette). Once you've finished up your meal, let your crew explore the store and find cute outfits and accessories for their BFFs. Midtown West (americangirl.com).
This neighborhood "finer diner" is perpetually lively and family-packed: Little ones love the kid's menu, and parents are able to peruse the extensive menu that offers burgers, salads, breakfast sandwiches and soul-warmers like bacon-wrapped meatloaf. Park Slope, Brooklyn (dizzys.com).
14. Black Tap
Burgers, shakes (and craft beer for the 21+ crowd). Is there anything else a tried-and-true New York foodie needs? Black Tap channels a classic American luncheonette and gives it a New York twist, meaning it has an edge. The décor is old-school hip-hop and rock & roll, and the food is anything but boring: burgers made of beef, bison, lamb, turkey, chorizo, and falafel, and sides that include Teriyaki Broccoli, Crispy Brussels Sprouts and Mexican Avocado. The signature &ldquoCrazy Shakes&rdquo have been well-sought after with names like The Cotton Candy Shake, Sour Power, Sweet n Salty and The Cookie Shake. Soho, Herald Square, Midtown West (blacktap.com).
15. Ellen's Stardust Diner
Come for the food, stay for the tunes. This kitschy Times Square diner has singing waitstaff&mdashmany of them Broadway actors&mdashwill keep the kids entertained while they wait for their pancakes or burgers. The performing servers even take requests. Just think how much your little ones will adore hearing a live rendition of &ldquoLet It Go&rdquo during their meal. There are also nightly scheduled performances. Times Square (ellensstardustdiner.com).
16. Alice's Tea Cup
Consider this your ticket to the Mad Hatter&rsquos Tea Party. At this cute café, little ones can enjoy service tailored especially for them. Breakfast and brunch are prime time for visits&mdashyou can order delicious omelets, eggs, scones, smoked salmon benedict and a variety of pancakes and waffles. On the menu, you&rsquoll find delicious sandwiches (think curried chicken salad, black forest ham and gruyere, tuna melts, BLT) and tasty tea service options. Upper West Side, Upper East Side (alicesteacup.com).
17. Big Daddy’s Diner
Everything is larger than life at this amped-up diner, from the intense decor to the bulked-up portions. Kids will enjoy hot dogs and chocolate chunk mini pancakes, then check out the pop culture memorabilia that lines the walls while they wait for their food. Bring your whole clan for one of the monthly family trivia nights, or throw your child&rsquos next birthday bash in the restaurant&rsquos party room. Gramercy (bigdaddysnyc.com).
The kid's menu at this Southwestern spot features lots of reasonably-priced dishes, including the famed Frito Pie, which little ones will enjoy eating straight out of the bag. Other old frontier-themed favorites include &ldquocorndoggies&rdquo and pulled pork sammys, served with French fries and corn on the cob. Finish off a gut-busting meal with the &ldquo#1 best dessert ever,&rdquo a sharing-sized ice cream sundae that looks like a baked potato. West Village (cowgirlnyc.com).
19. The Burger Garage
This stylish joint harkens back to the good ol' days of family road trips&mdashand significantly lower fuel prices. At first, the auto-body shop and gas station theme may strike you as less than appetizing, but the onetime garage serves up an inviting atmosphere along with some pretty choice patties, not to mention a lengthy gluten-free menu. Long Island City, Queens (theburgergarage.com).
20. Barking Dog Luncheonette
There&rsquos really something for everyone at this canine-themed mini-chain of luncheonettes: a Philly cheese steak wrap, po boy sandwiches, burgers, hearty salads, fried chicken and special desserts like the Barking Dog Banana Split, Barking Dog Sundae and Chocolate Brownie Sundae. With such a hearty array of pancakes, waffles, omelets, frittatas and wraps, there might even be enough leftovers for a doggie bag. See what we did there? Upper East Side (barkingdog94.com).
If you can&rsquot book a flight to the Amalfi Coast, enjoy a taste of Italy right here in NYC thanks to Eataly&mdashthe mecca for all-things pasta, seafood, meats and, of course, gelato. Part grocery store, part restaurant and completely fabulous, Eataly serves as more than just a location to dine if you&rsquore craving pasta&mdashit&rsquos a gateway to the Italian culture and offers tours, classes and other events that make the experience worthwhile. Flatiron and Financial District (eataly.com).
22. Kellogg’s NYC
Cereal is a Saturday-morning staple for all kids that oftentimes includes a Kellogg's product. But make no mistake, this Union Square hotspot is no ordinary breakfast outpost. Expect a unique twist on classic flavors you know and love, such as Life in Color (which is a combination of Fruit Loops, lime zest, marshmallows and passion fruit jam). Did you know that Milk Bar&rsquos Christina Tosi created the menu selection, so you know you're in for something special. But for those with a creative mind (and appetite), use your visit to the restaurant as an opportunity to create your own wonky morning meal. Sure it's a cereal restaurant, but by the time you're through, expect a sugar rush. But no complaints here! Union Square (kelloggsnyc.com).
23. Junior’s Restaurant
This New York institution's claim to fame is the rich, fluffy cheesecake, which comes in several varieties like red velvet and devil&rsquos food&mdashbut we like to work our way up to the sweet slab of loveliness. Beginning with the perfectly salty-sour pickles and other crunchy bites that are served before every meal, little ones can peruse the appropriately-titled Junior Menu and choose from a selection of kiddie diner favorites like grilled cheese and chicken fingers. Various locations (juniorscheesecake.com).
24. Hard Rock Cafe
We know, most New Yorkers avoid Times Square, but this Hard Rock Café is nirvana for little music fans raised on the Beatles and the Stones. While you wait for your table, ooh and ahh over the memorabilia filling the walls: James Brown&rsquos golden suit, Billy Joel&rsquos motorcycle, the doors from the Abbey Road studios and signed guitars everywhere. The music is loud and the beats are rockin&rsquo&mdasheven the most cynical New Yorkers will be air drumming and chair dancing. Times Square (hardrockcafe.com).
25. Max Brenner
At the Union Square emporium, chocolate-filled pipes weave around the ceiling and decadent confections sit atop tightly packed tables. With a menu that instructs guests to "Get addicted, be happy," this isn't a place for self-control. Expect chocolate to show up in some unexpected places, like waffle fries dusted with chili and cocoa powder and a dessert pizza made to share. The whimsical kids' menu includes such delicacies as the Chocolate Oatmeal Trophy and the Melting Marshmallow Crepe (with gummy bears, vanilla ice cream and, of course, more chocolate). Sweet tooths, rejoice! Greenwich Village (maxbrenner.com).
48,000 Students With Disabilities Not Getting Help They Need, DOE Admits
MANHATTAN &mdash The Department of Education admitted Wednesday that more than 48,000 of its special needs students did not get the legally required help they were entitled during the past school year.
But at least it was not as bad as it was the year before.
A new DOE report detailing demographic data of students with disabilities showed that approximately 27 percent of the roughly 193,000 students with disabilities were in schools that were not fully meeting their needs &mdash like counseling for behavior disorders, speech therapy for language delays, occupational therapy for motor delays or visual services for vision impairments &mdash mandated by their Individualized Education Program (IEPs.)
That was down from a year ago when 41 percent of students who were only getting partial or none of their services, according to the report.
&ldquoThe fact remains that over 25 percent of students with disabilities &mdash nearly 50,000 students &mdash are still going without all of the special education services they are entitled to receive under law,&rdquo Kim Sweet, executive director of Advocates for Children of New York, said in a statement. &ldquoNYC has a lot of work to do.&rdquo
Watchdogs are concerned that without getting their mandated support services, many children with disabilities are unable to meet their academic and developmental goals. Only 10 percent of students with disabilities passed the state English exam given to the city&rsquos third through eighth graders least year, Sweet pointed out.
Under federal law, the city must ensure that students with disabilities are in the "least restrictive" environment possible, which means that neighborhood schools must accommodate these children rather than shunting them off elsewhere. But these schools don't always have the staff and other resources to provide kids what they need.
Roughly 19 percent of the city's 1.1 million students have IEPs.
A middle schooler with an IEP mandating a seat in a mixed math class of disabled and non-disabled students co-taught by a special education teacher and general education teacher, for instance, might instead be placed in a general ed class for the subject.
Staten Island&rsquos District 31 had the most students with IEPs, at more than 15,400, followed Manhattan&rsquos District 2 (which includes TriBeCa, Greenwich Village, Gramercy and the Upper East Side) and the Bronx&rsquos District 10 (which includes Riverdale, Fordham, Belmont and Kingsbridge).
Lori Podvesker, of the advocacy group INCLUDEnyc, was not surprised to see Staten Island&rsquos high number of students with special needs.
&ldquoIt&rsquos incredibly insular. It&rsquos not necessarily what you know, but who you know,&rdquo she said, adding that families in the borough have strong political clout. &ldquoThey have some fantastic parent advocates out there,&rdquo she said.
Certain districts have a tougher time meeting the needs of students, she added, because of such problems as a shortage of bilingual therapists.
&ldquoThe poorer the district is, the more likely the need for bilingual therapists. And that&rsquos not happening.&rdquo
The DOE&rsquos report conceded the dearth of special needs educators.
&ldquoOne core challenge is a shortage of qualified teachers for certain license areas, notably bilingual special education teachers and secondary special education teachers,&rdquo the report said. &ldquoThe DOE is actively seeking to address this challenge through large scale and targeted efforts to expand our special education pipeline, engagement with union partners, and work with the New York State Education Department to revisit policies and identify new strategies to increase the availability of appropriately trained and certified teachers.&rdquo
The DOE also has long had problems tracking IEPs through its custom-made program Special Education Student Education System (SESIS), which led to a lawsuit from the Public Advocate&rsquos office.
The city is now investing $16.2 million to improve the system over the next several years.
9 Favorite Foodie Destinations on Route 66
Route 66, the mythic gateway road that led from Lake Michigan to the Pacific Coast, was in danger of being completely forgotten in the late 20th century as super highways replaced the main artery in each state. But in recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in the “Mother Road” as business owners, preservationists and travelers have banded together to save and support some of the route’s most famous landmarks.
Route 66: America's Longest Small Town
This is the book cover to a history of Route 66 by Jim Hinckley with photos by Jim and Judy Hinckley.
A new book, Route 66: America’s Longest Small Town by Jim Hinckley, is a photographic journey that travels from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California and serves as both a history of the iconic highway as well as a welcome update on the attractions and businesses that are still in operation and thriving such as local diners, fast food drive-ins and rustic steakhouses.
Thanks to this book you can map out a Route 66 road trip and experience some of the delicious cuisine and comfort foods that travelers have enjoyed along the highway for decades. Here is just a small sampling of the book's foodie mainstays that you can visit as you wander from Illinois to California.
Lou Mitchell’s Bakery and Restaurant
Lou Mitchell's Restaurant & Bakery
This iconic Chicago eatery, located on the fabled Route 66, has been in operation since 1923 and is a particularly popular breakfast destination.
Located at the beginning of Route 66 on 565 W. Jackson Boulevard in Chicago, this local landmark has been in operation since 1923 and, as their exterior sign proudly proclaims, “Serving the world’s finest coffee.” Breakfast is their specialty and the locals rave about the jumbo omelets, fluffy pancakes, malted Belgian waffles and fresh squeezed juices (orange and grapefruit). Continuing a long-standing tradition of hospitality, Lou Mitchell's offers arriving patrons complimentary doughnut holes and milk duds. Could this inspire a new trend?
The Berghoff Restaurant in Chicago
A city favorite since 1989, this landmark establishment on Route 66 is still in operation, serving up German-American specialities like wiener schnitzel and creamed spinach.
Another Chicago institution, this family run restaurant can lay claim to being the oldest eatery on Route 66 that has been in almost continuous operation since 1898. Located in the city’s theater district, the Berghoff is famous for its German-American cuisine and an atmospheric interior of dark wood, stained glass and gold lamps. Among the popular dishes are the Kartoffelsuppe Mit Thuringer (Munich style potato soup with smoked Thuringer), wiener schnitzel, duck strudel, creamed spinach and Black Forest cake. Despite the old school ambiance, the Berghoff’s menu includes plenty of contemporary touches such as gluten-free dishes and a range of craft beers.
The Cozy Dog Cafe
Famous for its "cozy dogs" (weiners baked in cornbread on a stick), this road food icon is still in operation in Springfield, Illinois.
Ed Waldmire and his wife Virginia expanded a hot dog stand business into three locations in Springfield, Illinois in the late Forties which featured their famous hot dog on a stick - the Cozy Dog (a weiner baked in cornmeal). Eventually the Cozy Dog Drive-In, which was established in 1949 and located on Route 66’s South Sixth Street, became their main focus. Although it moved into a new location next door in 1996, the fast food legend continues to serve up its signature dog along with burgers, fries, sandwiches (ham and egg, grilled cheese, etc.) and breakfast items.
Waylan's Ku Ku Burger
The famous green and yellow neon sign still adorns this popular Route 66 mainstay in Miami, Oklahoma which still boasts the best burgers around.
When driving through Miami, Oklahoma keep a lookout for a towering green and yellow neon sign bordered by a cuckoo bird in a chef hat and a soft serve vanilla cone. Welcome to Waylan’s Ku Ku Burger, a must-visit destination for hamburger aficionados since 1965. Their juicy quarter pound Ku Ku burger that comes on a toasted bun with all the trimmings is still the main lure but be sure to try one of their classic malts, milk shakes or soft serve ice creams.
Big Vern's Steakhouse and Saloon
The best place to get a classic grilled steak with all the fixings in Shamrock, Texas is this popular Route 66 institution.
If you happen to find yourself in Shamrock, Texas and smell the enticing aroma of grilled meat, then you are probably in the vicinity of Big Vern’s Steakhouse on 12th Street. A longtime favorite among Route 66 sojourners, Big Vern’s is famous for their ribeye, New York strip and filet mignon dinners. Diners also rave about their homemade beer bread, crisp green salads and fruit cobblers.
El Comedor De Anayas Restaurant
El Comedor Restaurant
This popular Tex-Mex restaurant in Moriaty, New Mexico is easy to find on Route 66. Just look for the towering neon rotosphere outside the restaurant.
For years this family-owned Mexican restaurant was the place to stop for lunch or dinner on Old Hwy 66 in the tiny town of Moriarty, Texas. Distinguished by the iconic neon rotosphere outside the restaurant, the no-frills interior is frequented by folks with an appetite for authentic chile rellenos, enchiladas, tamales and taco salads. Although El Comedor has recently changed management and their name (it is now called El Rey Comedor), it continues to serve the traditional cuisine that made it an essential stop on the drive out West.
Western View Diner & Steakhouse
Western View Steak House & Coffee Shop
In operation since 1937, this popular community restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico serves up classic roadhouse food like triple decker sandwiches.
When you enter this landmark roadhouse on Central Avenue NW in Albuquerque, New Mexico, say goodbye to the outside world and hello to 1937, the year Western View Diner & Steakhouse first opened. The ambiance and the daily fare hasn’t changed much since then which is probably why it remaina a community favorite. Enjoy triple-decker sandwiches, green chile chicken soup, beef tips over noodles or the special house dessert - Bavarian cream berry pound cake. And breakfast is served all day.
Miz Zip's Cafe
Hamburgers and homemade pies are the main attraction at this Route 66 landmark in Flagstaff, Arizona.
First-rate comfort food served in a cozy, informal setting has always been the allure of this Flagstaff, Arizona institution that is well known for its burgers and homemade pies. Miz Zip's was opened in 1952 by Norma and Bob Leonard and continues to serve classic American diner food but some folks drop in just to order pie a la mode from a tempting selection of daily offerings.
The Sycamore Inn Steak House
The Sycamore Inn Steak House
Located in Rancho Cucamonga, California, this rustic restaurant has been a fine dining establishment since 1848 and specializes in steaks and seafood.
Dating back to 1848 the Sycamore Inn in Rancho Cucamonga, California was first a tavern and post office, then a stop for the Butterfield stagecoach and finally a steak house that enjoyed a steady stream of customers from Route 66 during its heyday. Today the landmark location is a fine-dining establishment with such classy fare as oysters Rockefeller, rack of lamb, porterhouse steak, Australian lobster tail and Grand Marnier souffle. There is also an excellent wine bar and a full range of craft cocktails from Pear Flower Martinis to Rye Manhattans.