New York City / NYC threads

Started by Macabre, February 05, 2015, 01:02:20 AM

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DS: 🥜, 🍤


Hi, everybody. 

My dd and I just got back from NYC recently.  We have been a couple of times now, and since I have learned so much from you guys through your travels over the years, I just wanted to share our experiences in NYC and what has worked for us there.

My dd is a musical theater kid, so we need to be in the theater district.  We like to stay at the Hilton Garden Inn Time Square on 8th Ave.   All the rooms have a fridge and a microwave.  It is a newer hotel, and it is really clean.  The staff has always been helpful and the price is about average for NYC (but much less that the Marriott Marquis Times Square where we used to stay.)

What I like best about this Hilton Garden Inn is the location.  You are very close to a lot of attractions, but are not bombarded by Times Square congestion like you would be if you stayed right on Time Square.  It is a block from Broadway and a few blocks from Times Square.  It's really convenient to theaters, 5th Ave shopping, Central Park, CP Zoo, Radio City Music Hall, Empire State Building, Grand Central Station, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, etc. 

It's next door to a Food Emporium, which is a full grocery store.  There is also a Duane Reed (Walgreen's) about a block down.   There's a Chipotle about 2-3 blocks from there and a Wendy's (Frostys) about 4 blocks up.  It is also 12-13 blocks (we like to walk a lot) to the A la Mode Shoppe!  It's really good nut-free, egg-free ice cream and was one of the highlights of my dd's trip. 

When we go, we eat a lot of Chipotle.  We also eat in the room quite a bit partly because of allergies and partly to save money.  However, we always make time to eat at Blue Smoke.  They are really good with food allergies and have a separate allergen menu.  It's a little pricey for barbeque, but it's good and worth it for the peace of mind.  My dd, PA/TA/EA, usually has baby back ribs, macaroni & cheese, and green beans.  We've eaten at both locations and they are equally allergy aware.  Both locations are too far to walk to, so we either take a cab or the subway.

My dd had wanted to try new restaurants on this trip and we researched a lot before we went.  However, with her rehearsal and performance schedule, we didn't have a lot of time for too many sit-down dinners.  We were going to try Bill's Bar and Burger, based on Allergy Eats recommendations and Carmine's.  (I love Carmine's.)  Carmine's has a better online allergen menu than the last time we went.  I also e-mailed them to ensure they could accommodate my dd's egg allergy by cooking her pasta separately and they advised me they could, but sadly we never made it.  The employees at The A la Mode Shoppe also recommended Big Daddy's as being very food allergy accommodating.  Maybe next time we go we'll get to try one of these places. 

I hope if you're planning a trip to NYC this information helps you.  It's a really fun, crazy place!

PS:   If you can't get a room at the HGI, there is also a Hampton Inn up about two blocks.  The last time I checked their prices were comparable.  I believe the rooms at the HI have a fridge, but not a microwave; however, the Chipotle is right across the street. 

Safe Travels!!


DS: 🥜, 🍤


DH and I spent the weekend in NYC.  We tried Blue Smoke which is a BBQ restaurant on 27th between Park & Lex. They have an allergy menu and take food allergies seriously.  I am going to take my dairy/egg allergic bbq loving DS there at some point this summer.  I do not think DD would enjoy it as she is not a fan of BBQ.  We never made it to the Donut Pub....we were too busy seeing shows  ;D


We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn near Times Square on 8th.  It was a great location.  There restaurant is currently under construction...I doubt that we would have eaten at it anyway. 

There is a Food Emporium (grocery store) on the next corner where we were able to pick up yogurts, fruit and Udi's muffins for breakfast as well as bread (had kings hawaiian, pepperidge farms and vermont bread company), jelly and apples for lunch (thankfully I packed sunbutter because they didn't have any).  DH and I can get through the day with just a snack at lunch so I packed sandwiches, apples and granola bars for the kids.  They had Made Good granola bars there as well.

We loved the TKTS booth.  We actually stopped by there before walking to our hotel and picked up tickets for School of Rock (50% off), which everyone loved.  DS wanted to see Stomp so we went back the next day to get tickets, again they were 50% off.

We loved the Circle Line Tour and would highly recommend it!  We also did a guided tour (it turned out to be only the 4 of us) at the Intrepid Air and Space Museum (married a pilot, cannot get around this one).  Did the guided tour at 9/11 Museum...our kids were the only kids on the tour...we all did fine, until we went in the Historical Artifacts portion and then I lost it.  We did go in the Memorial for all the victims, but I could not listen to any of the stories of the was just too much.  We did the Empire State Building which was of those things that you just have to do once.  We also went to the Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Mathmatics (not worth going to, we just happened to be in the area, however, DS loved it because it was hands on).  We hung out in Times Square for some street performers which was fun to watch.  Since DS is only TNA, we went to the M&M store and he was able to get different colored plain M&M's from the giant dispensers.  We were super tired yesterday afternoon, but I dragged them all to Central Park...we explored one very small part, but once there it seemed like DS needed the space to explore and decompress...we really all did.  We found this one little nature preserve in there called Hallett Nature Sanctuary (near the Plaza Hotel) which we loved wondering through.

Now onto restaurants...
Chipotle which was fine (it just doesn't compare to our local fresh mex place, which we are having for dinner tonight)

Blue handling of allergies at any of the places we ate.  They print out an allergy menu and everything is labeled as to what is in it.  DS had the burger and fries (fries were excellent)...he would have liked to gone back if we had time.  DH who is a BBQ guru said they had the best brisket he's ever eaten and was asking the waiter all kinds of questions so one of the chefs came out to chat about their smoking process with him.

Bill's Bar and Burger...not the same level of allergy knowledge or attention as Blue Smoke, took our order and then ran it by the chef to make sure was all good for DS.  Kids said the burger was great, fries were ok, better at Blue Smoke.  Salad was just ok.

John's Pizzaria of Time's Square...super crowded due to a couple school groups as soon as they cleared out there were empty tables everywhere.  Waiter was not knowledgeable at all, so based on the menu, DH and I split a house salad (spinach salad had walnuts).  We asked about fried calamari because DS said he's been craving it, but again waiter could not give us a good answer so we skipped that.  Kids basically ate pizza and nothing else which is fine, but it was definitely a disappointing experience, however, the pizza was tasty.

Nut Free Snacks...
Donut Pub...OMG, this was sooooo good.  I would have gone back for another donut so would the kids.  DS had a chocolate dipped donut that he loved.  DH, DD, and I all had different versions of their croissant good!  Worth the trek to get there.  I don't think there was anything else over there that we were doing.

A la Mode...loved it, great ice cream.  DS had a waffle cone with two huge scoops of ice cream, got a great picture of it.  We all really enjoyed the ice cream even though we had already tried it at home since it's available in our local Shaw's.

Using the metro...
We ended up buying 7 day unlimited passes because by the time you use the subway a few times a day, you have made up the cost. 


I have just had the most positive email exchange with Blue Smoke regarding all of our allergies.  The manager even emailed me picture of the pasta label for the mac & cheese.  We decided to bring DD's food which they said was fine - she's not a huge BBQ fan and the chicken isn't safe.  They did offer to customize a meal for her but since we are going to see Hamilton after almost a year of waiting, I think its best to bring her food.  She tends to be anxious and when she heard her options she said she'd rather bring food.  I will make her a favorite meal to bring!   Fantastic customer service.  Cannot wait to eat there again.  And thrilled for my BBQ loving DS to try it!!


Blue Smoke is the best.  No doubt.  When are you going?
"Speak out against the madness" - David Crosby


DS: 🥜, 🍤


I am beyond green with envy.  Not only am I dying to see Ham, but I'd love to see Mandy Gonzalez in that role. She was spectacular in In the Heights. 
"Speak out against the madness" - David Crosby


I am trying not to get my hopes up about the cast but it would be awesome to see Mandy Gonzalez and Javier Munoz.  Either was it will be awesome and we get to have good meal first! 


Blue Smoke was amazing!  DS enjoyed his meal - no eggs ingredients in the fryer so he could have fries.  It was wonderful.  Manager stayed in kitchen to oversee for prep - informed the chefs and the whole line.  Was just great as was Hamilton!


That is so cool, MaryM!

Yeah, it can be totally stressful when you need to eat before seeing a show that you've waited for and spent so much money on. (Before our last Bway show in NUC we just ate at Chipotle for that very reason).  I'm so glad you had a safe place and that it was such a good experience.
DS: 🥜, 🍤

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