Tick Tock Diner: been there, eaten that. Lindy’s: paused there, chowed down that. Madison Square Garden vendors: stood there, inhaled that.
Enough already, right?
If you’ve been to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show multiple times, you’ve likely been to all of these places more than often enough.
There’s a better way. An easy way. A way that you can follow right now, before you pack, or get on a plane, or settle into your New York City hotel room.
Just check out New York Magazine’s restaurant guide at nymag.com.
One fall, my husband and I crossed the country to a just-for-fun NYC trip. No work. No dog. No schedule. As our departure time drew nearer, we started to decide what plays we wanted to see and what museums we just had to visit.
Instead of randomly looking for something nearby our targeted trip highlights after arriving in the city, I used the guide to locate restaurants of particular cuisines and price ranges – before we ever left sunny California.
The guide is so, so easy to use.
First, pick a neighborhood. If you’re staying near The Garden and don’t want to wander too far, hoping against hope that you can order, eat, get a cab and make it back before the Group judging, choose Manhattan, then All Midtown, or narrow it further to just the East 30s. All Midtown yields a listing by sub-neighborhood of about 1,800 restaurants.
A bit daunting, right? Don’t give up!
Next, choose your cuisine. Try African/Moroccan just for fun. That’s where we found one of the tastiest dinners of the trip. That cuts 1,800 options down to eight.
That’s certainly a manageable number, but you can reduce it even further by selecting a price range –$, $$, or $$$.
Following this example, you won’t find Meskerem Ethiopian Restaurant where we reveled in scooping up with injera a spicy stew and various vegetable-based dishes from the traditional shared platter. It’s at 47th and Tenth, so doesn’t show up in a search of the 30s.
Once you find a restaurant, you’ll see a brief profile, often with some recommended dishes listed underneath, and a photographic slide show. Stacked to the right are operating hours, subway stops, a price range and reservations info. Click once more and you can read user reviews. Once more, and you’ve got the menu. The reader reviews definitely helped me whittle down our choices. The recommendations give you a good chance of ordering something delectable from a menu full of temptation. The user ratings separate food, service and décor, so you can also eliminate places that don’t score well in the category most important to you.
Because I’m always on the job when I’m at the Westminster show, it’s always quick, grab something, get back to work. This year I’m making a resolution: find at least one interesting restaurant nearby and eat there on Monday evening before Groups. Fortunately, I can search the New York Magazine guide in advance to find just the right place, at the right price, and check to see that the place is actually open on Mondays at the time I’ll need to dine.
I challenge you to do the same, but please stay away from Tagine Dining Gallery at Ninth and 40th. If a bunch of dog people all try to get in there at once, I’ll never get my harira soup and kefta tagine.