July 02, 2015

  • Dine Around the World without Leaving Manhattan Valley, NYC

By Stephanie Feuer

If you have a case of wanderlust, but your budget won’t support a global jaunt, consider heading uptown to dine round the world in Manhattan Valley.


On the south end of this swath of Manhattan, Warique Peruvian Kitchen, on Amsterdam Avenue between 101& 102nd, serves traditionally spiced roast chicken which pairs nicely with their salad of quinoa, corn, dried cranberries, cucumber, tomatoes and avocado cubes, or one of the signature cerviches.


On 104th between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenues, Malaysian Grill rivals the best in Chinatown. Start with the flaky Roti Canai or generous Gado Gado salad, followed by Chicken Nenas, a perfect marriage of fresh pineapple and spicy pepper, or the Nasi Lemak, coconut rice with spicy anchovies and eggs.


There are several choices of Thai restaurants in the area. If you like your food really hot, try Tum and Yum, Columbus Avenue between 104th St & 105th St. for Tom Kha Talay soup made of seafood, galangal and lemongrass with coconut milk, or Tum soft shell crab served with papaya, string beans, tomatoes and peanuts in a spicy lime dressing when it’s in season. Thai Market, Amsterdam Avenue between 107th St & 108th St, has arguably the best curry puffs best in city, as well as delectable Pla Dook Pad Ped (spicy catfish), and Pa-Nang Curry.


Ditch that tuna sandwich for Vietnamese bahn mi at Saiguette, 106th & Columbus Avenue or order a duck rillettes sandwich or a baguette with brie and fig from La Toulousaine Bakery, Amsterdam Avenue between 106th & 107th St. A little further up on Amsterdam Avenue at 109th St you can spice up your lunch break with an assortment of roti at Roti Roll Bombay Frankie.


Can't decide between sushi or barbeque? Makana, 106th between Amsterdam and Columbus is a Hawaiian and Japanese BBQ, where your sushi choices include the Makana roll (tempura shrimp, avocado, and spicy crab meat) or the Waikiki Roll (crab and shrimp with kiwi and tropical fruit sauce) and the chicken, beef or pork BBQ comes with homemade sauce.


Vegetarians will especially appreciate Ethiopian Awash, Amsterdam Avenue between 106th & 107th St, where items on the vegetable combination plate are scooped up with injera bread. A Café, a BYOB, French Caribbean on Columbus Ave at 108th St, offers several vegetarian-friendly items on the prix fixe menu, along with their world-class escargot and other traditional French favorites.


If the blackboard outside Taqueria y Fonda la Mexicana, Amsterdam Avenue between 107th & 108th says they have the goat cactus burrito, do stop in for their big flavors and big portions. Tropical Sensation, Amsterdam Avenue between 106th St & 107th St. serves goat guisado (stew), spare ribs with a guava sauce, a delicate bacalao, and for takeout, a fabulous family special whole chicken, rice and beans.


And if you’d prefer domestic culinary travel, Miss Mamie's Spoonbread Too, 110th St between Columbus & Manhattan Avenues, serves Southern and soulfood favorites like fried chicken, sweet potato pie, pan-seared trout and meatloaf like you wish your mother could make.


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