@Lapacazo, What Do You Know? I know about good food. Where to find it at a price that can and will leave a great, big smile.
This week, I suggest that you explore Amsterdam Avenue, in Harlem, and get a foot-forward and test the joints out before
the city becomes “Tourist New York!”
It is official — well almost — the summer is fast approaching and the city will be stuffed with smiling tourists who will be flocking up town, in part, to visit Alexander Hamilton’s home which is Hamilton Grange (414 West 141) and made widely popular because of the sold out, Tony nominated musical, HAMILTON written by uptown “son” Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Alexander Hamilton was interesting long before he hit the “great white way” mostly in part because he is an immigrant. His humble beginnings as an orphan on the Caribbean island of Nevis to become George Washington's right-hand man and his “fall from grace” and his move uptown, to Harlem, has made a visit to his aforementioned estate a must-see.
So that brings me to the jewels of Amsterdam Avenue and all located between 145th and 137th. In those short nine blocks the palate can travel the world and the prices are “neighborhood” friendly. My hats off to the owners for keeping the prices low and the quality high.
What I love best about these six edible choices is the “friendly-stay-awhile” feeling that makes everyone feel like Harlem, Amsterdam in particular is your second home.
Top Choices on Amsterdam Avenue
Cafe One has one of the largest selections of Vegan and Vegetarian treats mixed with the usual delicious, homemade sugary treats. This place is a jewel because of the affordable lunch specials, casual atmosphere, super fast wifi and original art work by local artists (changed monthly). The owners, Susan and Sam Yang, wear a smile that comes from the inside and out.
Address: 1619 Amsterdam Ave
FUMO is under new management and it’s absolutely authentic Italian cuisine. The historic coal-oven pizzeria makes their piazza crust one of the best in the city.
Address: 1600 Amsterdam Ave
Clove Indian Restaurant & Bar the Yelp reviews are specular but it’s the owner, Sammy and his lovely wife, that help make this one of the best dinner choices on Amsterdam Avenue. Monday through Friday the $10 all-you-can-eat buffet is worth every penny. There are vegan, vegetation and meat choices. Everything is authentic Halal because Sammy, is Muslim, and his wife is Hindu. That diversity makes for a delicious meal. Delivery just added.
Address: 1592 Amsterdam Ave
GRILL ON THE HILL has the “Cheers vibe.” Labeled a sports bar it’s open to everyone and is no frill LGBTQ friendly. The great selection of craft beer, pub grub (the spiced chicken wings ate addictive and the mac&cheese intoxicating) & weekend brunch with karaoke and comedy nights, makes this a new favorite on the block.
Address: 1624 Amsterdam Ave
Open until 11:30AM–4AM
THE GRANGE offers microbrews, craft cocktails all served in a comfortable, roomy and rustic-chic space. Outside seat is optional. Private dining room available. All You Can Eat Weekend Brunch and Jazz Sundays.
Address: 1635 Amsterdam Ave
Alert: You don’t have to travel to Queens to taste delicious Ecuadorian cuisine. The ceviche is fresh and the chaulafan (Ecuadorian fried rice) cooked perfectly with generous meat choices (shrimp, sausage, chicken). The wait staff might appear “too laid back” for most diners but it’ a small price to pay for an authentic Ecuadorian meal.
Address: 1685 Amsterdam Ave, New York (cash only)