Being that I live in the Bronx, Harlem is just a hop and skip away from me. As a matter of fact, to get anywhere in the city from my home, I have to go through Harlem. I love it there, it’s a tight knit community, and the restaurants brim with flavor. Today I’ll let you know about a few more of my favorites, I enjoyed all of them in their different ways. See you there!
Deep into Harlem, on Broadway, you will find this rustic restaurant with friendly staff, bar seating and outside seating. It’s very casual and relaxed, perfect to just unwind, or even whoop it up, both seem entirely possible and inviting. The food is basically bar food, but it’s stepped up with twists and turns. I visited with my daughter, and as we scored a table outside on a warm day in the twilight, we stuffed our faces.
We started with the Fried Pickles, which came with the most delicious dip, then we tried the Dorito Quesadillas with Chicken Breast and Dorito Cream Cheese Spread. These alone are worth a trip to Harlem Public, you won’t find these unique and utterly tasty quesadillas anywhere. I ordered the Wake N Bake burger with cheddar, brown sugar bacon, tater tots on a Brioche potato roll, topped of with a fried egg. Oh mama. So, so good. Sasha had a Fried Chicken Thigh sandwich with American Cheese, slaw, hot sauce, pickles and mayo on a Brioche potato roll, which was excellent. If you’re in the mood for some American comfort food that’s a little off the beaten path, run, don’t walk here.
For more info on Harlem Public, click here
La Diagonal Agaveria
This interestingly triangular restaurant on a corner on St. Nicholas Avenue, is chic and small-ish, with a few bar tables lined up outside. As you can tell by the name, it’s Mexican fare with tequila drinks being their specialty. Their cocktail list is long and sounds delicious and refreshing. The food menu offers the usual suspects, yet the dishes are elevated and modern.
We started with the Crab Guacamole, and let me tell you, it was outstanding. I couldn’t get enough! We then shared a plate of Queso Fundido with Chorizo, and it was also very good, salty and gooey, just as you would expect it. We then finished the meal with tacos (of course). Our choices were Camarones (crispy shrimp with avocado salsa, pico de Gallo, crispy scallions, and guajillo adobo), and Carnitas (roasted pork shoulder with onions, cilantro, and tomatillo green salsa). We savored every bite! And the margaritas were also spot on……
For more info on La Diagonal click here
Oh, how I love ramen! I used to think it’s just glorified noodle soup, but boy, was I wrong. There are seemingly endless versions of this Japanese comfort dish, and while it’s kind of like soup, it is so complex and delicious, and I can’t get enough. There are so many places that have their on idea and version of this dish, it’s fun to go and try people’s interpretations. Jin Ramen just recently got a nod from the good Michelin people, citing this place as affordable and of course delicious. It’s located on Broadway, right next to the subway station, by 125th Street.
On my visit, we started with Steamed Pork Buns (steamed buns with Chashu, spicy mayonnaise and scallions), which were so comforting and loaded with flavor, it had me swooning. Next were Kara-Age (boneless fried chicken with togarashi and a spicy mayo dipping sauce). My friend wanted to try something different, so we went with Gyu-Don, which is marinated Beef Brisket, thinly sliced and cooked with onions, topped with pickled ginger, scallions, sesame seeds and shredded nori. All this is served on a bed of rice. This dish is so different, so good, so (again) comforting. Perfect for this season! Last, but most definitely not least, let me tell you about my choice of ramen here. I went with the Green Coconut Thai Curry Ramen with sautéed chicken thigh, bean sprouts, zucchini, yellow squash, scallions, nori, sesame seeds and a pork seasoned soft boiled egg. Lord have mercy. It had a little kick to it, the flavors were rich and balanced and addictive. I can summon up this visit with one word (without wanting to sound like a broken record): comforting. I truly loved this place!
For more info on Jin Ramen click here