Because he has my dream job, I get these little alerts about what’s showing every week on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. Tonight he’s going to be in New York, revisiting all his old haunts and eating nostalgically. (I think it’s like, Anthony Bourdain night on the Travel Channel or something, but this episode looks like it’s coming on at 10pm.) Now, I know he grew up in a different era than me, and I know every New Yorker has a list of their own secret/guilty pleasure eateries, but I must confess I was heartbroken when I searched through the rundown of the show and did not find these New York, and Miss Expatria, institutions: Ess-a-Bagel. It’s been around since 1976, and it’s the best bagel shop in the world. Period.
Junior’s Most Fabulous in Brooklyn. I know, I know; his show is about Manhattan. But it is about Disappearing Manhattan, and Junior’s is one of those old-school joints that makes you think you walked in on opening day in 1952. I used to come from Westchester on the weekends for brunch when I moved out of the city. (And, yes, the name is Junior’s Most Fabulous. Call and see how they answer if you don’t believe me.) Their food is just plain awesome, their twin sandwiches are adorable and practical, but their cheesecakes…oh. My. God. You haven’t lived.
Papaya King. Since 1932, it’s been the best deal in town. And the fresh fruit smoothies cancel out the two jumbo hot dogs you’re choking down, so it’s all good.
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