Christmas in a hotel - help!!!!

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Ms. Shuttergirl, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. Imzadi

    Imzadi Saved by an angel in a trenchcoat

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    Oh, that's a good place. I haven't seen the rooms but attended a couple seminars there before.

    If they serve free breakfasts, do NOT eat the bagels from there!!! They get them in bulk and refrigerate or freeze them. Once NY bagels have been refrigerated they become horrible, chewy, doughy hockey pucks that can be thrown as weapons. :crazy2: :duck:

    Get FRESH bagels from a corner deli or from the street vendor carts. They usually do not have room to store them so they get fresh deliveries every morning. There are 3 things I am a real NY snob about: NY bagels, NY pizza & NY cheesecake. I'd rather go without than have bad ones. :snooty:


    There are some places to cross off the list immediately and/or substitute. Some are real touristy traps, overpriced and not good food. I'd rather you save your money on experiences or events, and save on food, unless that's really part of the experience. I also have a friend who is a concierge at a hotel, so I'll ask him for some recommendations and give you our list later.

    Right now, John's Pizza is good. Cross off Angelo's. Everyone raves about John's Pizza.

    Cross off La Bonne Soupe, and substitute Au Bon Pain, which makes great soups :love: like the New England clam chowder, the corn chowder or their pumpkin soup which was so good, I had to try to copycat it at home so I wouldn't go broke buying it all the time. I think I did make a reasonable copy. :teeth: They make good sandwiches & salads, and pastries, too. There is one 52nd between 7th & 6th Aves. Another on 50th St. between 5th & 6 Ave.

    Or Pret A Manger. They make fabulous sandwiches, all natural ingredients. I haven't had a bad sandwich there yet. Both places have several cafes right around the area, depending on which direction you head in. There is one on 6 Ave north of 47th St, east side, or on 42nd between 5th & 6 Ave. Plus a few other places in the area.

    You can cross off Katz's Delicatessen. It's too far downtown, unless you are going to be doing something else down there. The area's kind of gritty. Carnegie Deli is on 7th Ave at 57th St. or Stage Deli on 7th Ave. at 54th St. Very busy, loud, touristy, but are known for their HUGE, overstuffed authentic pastrami or corned beef or brisket sandwiches, which is comparable to Katz. Probably one sandwich can feed two people. You can alternately order these to go and eat them in your hotel room if you get the midnite munchies. They are open late.

    Also The Shake Shack on 8th Ave. The lines are out the door.
    http://www.shakeshack.com/location/theater-district/

    Cross of Bubba Gumps. It's just a name and no one I know has really liked the food there. If you want good seafood, there are better places my concierge friend can recommend.

    Mickey Mantles is very expensive. Unless you are going in to watch a ball game, it is a very expensive experience. You pay per ITEM. If you order a steak, you ONLY get the steak, you still have to order the veg separately and for another $10, and also order the starch/carb separately, too. :eek:


    The cupcakes weren't that flavorful after all. They are new; must be a different baker than the one who makes their sheet cakes with real butter cream frosting. When I get a butter cream frosting craving I usually get a slice of cake there for $4. But the cupcakes looked good yesterday. I'm going back to the cake instead.

    Junior's cheesecakes also makes a small size cheesecake, and single serving, mini cakes & slices, so you won't have a lot of leftovers. Their cupcakes also have real butter cream frosting.

    Supermarkets - closest places to you:
    Food Emporium: 49th St & 8 Ave - they have a fresh deli center upstairs, you can have sandwiches made, or take out containers of hot foods. Downstairs is the supermarket. Closes at midnight.

    Gristedes: 54th St & 8 Ave. Slightly lower prices than Food Emporium. Open 24 hrs.

    The Amish Market is on 9 Ave at 50th St. Great, fresh produce. They have good soups & a salad bar. They have a little cafe area. Closes at 10 pm.

    Morton Williams Supermarket on W 57th between Broadway & 7th Ave is the cheapest supermarket around. Stock up on yogurts & fruits here or at Gristedes. Might be 24 hrs.

    One of the best health food stores in the city is Westerley Market at 55th St & 8 Ave. Closes at midnight. They make pre-packages but made fresh daily, all natural sandwiches on whole grain bread, to take out, at the back wall of the store and have a fresh soup bar. Their produce is organic. They have a huge vitamin & supplement department. I get all my stuff there. The guys who work the supplement aisles really know their stuff & have worked their for years. You can ask them any question. One helped cure my anemia with their OTC iron supplement suggestion.

    4 blocks up at 59th St & Broadway, (Columbus Circle) is Whole Foods. (Also a health food store.) They have a huge hot/cold food bar, sushi counter & places to sit downstairs. But get any supplements at Westerley as they will be cheaper. Closes at 10 pm.


    I know exactly what you mean! I stock up there too. :lmao: Walgreens & Rite Aid on W 50th St are both 24 hours.

    There is a post office on W. 50th St between 8th & 9th Ave. You can ship stuff home from there. There are also Fed Ex and UPS centers to ship stuff too in the neighborhood, if you prefer them instead. Closes at 6pm.


    Yes, the dollar store on W 46th St between 6th & 5th Ave is just a walk from the hotel. Closes at 7:30pm.

    Right down one block, on 45th St, almost back to back with the dollar store, is another Jack's discount store. But, they aren't the 99 cent store. Higher priced items. Some great discounts on household items & beauty supplies. Like, if you suddenly decide to buy a cheap toaster during your stay, this would be the place to get one.


    Are you pretty much only going to stay around the Times square area? Little Italy and Chinatown a few blocks down both have authentic, ethnic foods. :thumbsup2 Just get on the F train or the R train down there. But, you probably already get really great Chinese food being so close to China.


    One thing for the kids to do: ice skating in central park or at Bryant Park.

    We have the largest dinosaur exhibit in North America at the Museum of Natural History. The laser light show on Friday nites at the museum is supposed to be really fun.


    I'll get back to you with a better restaurant list of the area later. :)
     
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  3. Imzadi

    Imzadi Saved by an angel in a trenchcoat

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    Every Christmas eve, there is an online program where Norad Tracks Santa LIVE as he crosses the globe. Norad stands for: North American Aerospace Defense Command, (this is a real place.) So they have the tracking satellites around the globe in outer space.

    Since the kids will be in NY, they can track him as he comes across AU, Asia and through Europe. That would be fun for them this year. If they are still up, it's fun to see him when he flies through NYC.

    The site doesn't come online until Christmas eve, when Santa leaves the North Pole. I don't know if they have a phone app.
    http://www.noradsanta.org/
     
  4. Ms. Shuttergirl

    Ms. Shuttergirl DIS Veteran

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    Imzadi - I am mortally wounded at the suggestion that Bubba Gumps isn't any good :rotfl2:. All of the aussies who read this will be cracking up because I absolutely adore Bubba Gumps. It will be the first place we eat when we arrive into NYC, I'm not even kidding. The bourbon st mahi mahi is a dish I dream about :rotfl:. Here is my gorgeous little mahi mahi :rotfl:

    [​IMG]

    So I'll have to still go there I'm afraid :upsidedow.

    I will add Au Bon Pain to the list and will definitely note down all of those amazing supermarket recommendations. That is priceless information so thank you thank you thank you. Knowing that they are open for such long hours and where to go for great fruit etc is truly going to be so helpful, not just to me but to many of the other aussie disers who will be visiting NYC.

    Have been to Carnegie Deli for a few breakkies but hadn't done the pastrami there. Perhaps we'll skip Katz deli but I have to say my DH and I have been drooling over the pictures of the Reuben and the Pastrami on rye for a while. We do like our food very very much I'm afraid and whilst I know Katz is a complete tourist trap, what can I say, I love me some When Harry Met Sally :rotfl2:.

    Mickey Mantles is more for my DH and DS. They are wild for baseball and are very sad that we will miss seeing any games while we are in the US this time.

    And I'm crazy excited about checking out the cheap shops you've mentioned. I love wandering through those type of shops here so can only imagine how much more fantastic they are in the US. Yay :cool1:.

    Post office v UPS - Is UPS a courier company? So I'd probably be better off going to the post office. I've heard the post office do a flat rate box internationally to the US that costs something like $50 regardless of the weight. So long as it fits in the box. I may need to use one or 2 or those once my DH starts shopping, he's a shopaholic :rotfl:.

    That idea about tracking Santa is soooo cool. I have never seen anything like it, thanks for sharing.

    :flower3: Thank you so much for all of this help. I'm so very grateful. :)
     
  5. Imzadi

    Imzadi Saved by an angel in a trenchcoat

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    :lmao: Maybe we're just afraid of a fish that has to name itself the same thing twice. :rotfl:
    That does look good though.

    Tell them to go for lunch. It will be cheaper.

    Maybe you & DD can go to American Girl Place at the same time? I don't know if that will be too young for her.


    Yes, UPS is a courier service like Fed Ex. The post office does have the flat rate boxes. It's all you can stuff up to 70 lbs, I think.
     
  6. WAMUMOF4

    WAMUMOF4 DIS Veteran

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    :thumbsup2 I was sitting here giggling when i read that post and then i read this :rofl2 :rofl2 but you are not alone it is one of our favourite places to eat in NY as well and i don't think we could do a trip without eating there :)
     
  7. Ms. Shuttergirl

    Ms. Shuttergirl DIS Veteran

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    Imzadi, well you will just have to trust me about how good the mahi mahi is and try it ::yes::. When my husband told me afterwards that I had eaten dolphin I nearly brought my dinner back up. But I jumped on google and clarified that it's nickname is dolphin fish, not that it is dolphin. He is so mean, he nearly ruined my favourite meal for me :lmao:.

    I will definitely pass on to DH that lunch at Mickey Mantle's would be the cheaper option. That will suit fine I think. As for American Girl, my daughter and I love going in there. She is 14 and too cool for school these days but she still loves that store.

    I'm going to do a new google map with all the department stores, dollar stores and supermarkets you've mentioned, along with the post office. Thanks so much for all of the info.
     
  8. Ms. Shuttergirl

    Ms. Shuttergirl DIS Veteran

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    Bwahahahahaha, I knew someone would be laughing. :rotfl2:
     
  9. Andona

    Andona Destroyer of the Aussie Dollar

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    Count us in to the Bubba Gump fan club. Like you WaMum it's become a tradition for us to do a Bubba night! :)
    We tried the one in New Orleans this time and the local gulf shrimp was wonderful!

    We get a lot of fun out of the trivia questions too, DS always loves that part :rotfl: he keeps saying, "when will se get a Bubba Gump in Australia!?"

    Andona

    Sent from my iPad using DISBoards
     
  10. Imzadi

    Imzadi Saved by an angel in a trenchcoat

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    It sounds like you & your family are really into going to restaurants for the experiences/entertainment too, than just to get great food. I noticed in addition to the two restaurants above you have on your list: Planet Hollywood, Hard Rock Cafe & going to Ellen's Stardust and are willing to pay an arm & a leg for a burger to get the entertainment.

    I'll have to re-think things and wait for recommendations from my concierge friend to see what he recommends for you. :) Like I'd recommend more restaurants along 9th Ave, and he will probably suggest stuff on 7th Ave & Broadway, which is geared to touristy attractions. :)


    There is a "new-ish" fish called tilapia that I am very leery of. I was brought up knowing about certain fish: cod, sea bass, trout, salmon, tuna, swordfish, etc. These fish have been around for ever.

    Then several years ago, suddenly tilapia is EVERYWHERE. And I mean EVERYWHERE. It's all over the supermarkets, all the restaurants have it, there are recipes for it everywhere. I never heard of it before, and suddenly it's everywhere? :confused3 That sounds suspicious and strange to me. :scratchin maybe if I had heard about it a few times while growing up, I'd think differently.

    Someone on the DIS even tried to explain where it came from, how it is a fish easily grown in farms, breeds easily and grows quicky, so they are plentiful. I don't know, sounds suspiciously close to the genetic engineering in laboratories I've been suspecting. You know, like Invasion of the Body Snatchers with aliens grown in pods. :eek: Nope, won't be eating tilapia any time soon. :lmao:
     
  11. Ms. Shuttergirl

    Ms. Shuttergirl DIS Veteran

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    When you put some of those restaurants together like that I guess it does make us sound like burger munching fiends :rotfl:. You are partly right I guess. When we are travelling on these big trips, the days are long and busy and I like to have some options up my sleeve for dining that have something for everyone. I read all menus of all of the dining options I add to the map and make sure there is a variety eg. salads, burgers, pastas, ribs, chicken, etc. When the family has been on the go all day, I want to know that there is somewhere nearby that has food to appeal to everyone but yes I am a bit guilty of being completely touristy and liking some "entertainment".

    I promise you back here at home we do take fine dining more seriously when we have the time to enjoy and relax over a lovely meal. And we definitely try to expose our children to different cuisines, in fact that is one of our priorities as our son is a fussy eater but we find he is willing try new things if we go somewhere nice and share the dishes. I admit I'm guilty of wanting the kids to be happy and eat up on these trips though. It's about smiles on faces :lmao:.

    Not all of the places on the list were fast food though. We are eating at Les Halles (which is a favourite) on Christmas eve and there are some other options on there that are not in the heart of Times Square but more close to our hotel.

    Re the pricing, compare to what you pay for any food here in Australia, American pricing is a bargain so I think it's all fairly cheap, especially with the big serves which are very easy for 2 to share.

    Guilty of loving Ellen's, what's not to love :rotfl:. Terrible food, amazing entertainment, far too expensive. That is why we will likely visit for a breakfast this time because the menu is alot more reasonably priced or else we'll call in for afternoon tea and get milkshakes.

    Tilapia - I wish you hadn't placed doubts in my head about this :rotfl2::rotfl2::rotfl2:. It's on alot of the menus at WDW and I adore eating fish when out so I was eyeing off some of the tilapia dishes. I might not be able to do it now :rotfl:.
     
  12. battymum

    battymum DIS Veteran

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    I am kicking myself because we didn't eat at Ellen's in NYC, there is nothing else in the world like it! (Apparently) while there are 1000's of restaurants where you can get good food!

    And we loved bubba gumps too! Bring it to aus I say!

    It's about more than the food!
     
  13. Imzadi

    Imzadi Saved by an angel in a trenchcoat

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    I hope you didn't take what I said the wrong way. If I traveled 24 hours on a plane and only had 9 days in AU, I'd be trying to stuff every moment I could with everything Aussie I want to see. I just meant, I have to re-think what places to recommend to you & your family that will fit better with what you really like.


    See what I mean?
    Stay. away. from. the. tilapia. :scared:

    :rotfl2:
     
  14. Toy Story

    Toy Story DIS Veteran

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    Cheesecake from Juniors - Drool.

    We did eat here - shared a burger and an appetiser of buffalo wings between three of us - just so we could all have cheesecake. DD discovered Brooklyn Brewery Creaming Soda at Juniors - another wish we could get here item. The waiter was shocked when we said creaming soda in Australia was pink.

    MRs Shuttergirl - are you going to try and ice skate on Christmas Day? That would be cool (pardon the pun).
     
  15. coco392

    coco392 Mouseketeer

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    ice skating at Central Park on Christmas Day is great fun. easy to pick the Aussies too- we are the ones holding on to the edges.

    all the while the local 2 year olds are dancing, spinning and racing around (oh and my wife too but she is a smarty bum)
     
  16. dbrn

    dbrn Mouseketeer

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    When I was a kid, the one year we went out of town at Christmas I worried about Santa finding us. Turns out, I didn't need to worry. The day before our trip, we came home from school to find that Santa had been to our house early because he knew we wouldn't be home on Christmas. It was a complete surprise. We got to choose a gift to take with us on the trip. Because Santa had already visited, we weren't expecting to get anything on Christmas Day, but lo and behold, there was a little something small for each of us under the tree that morning.

    I hope you and your family have a great vacation and a Merry Christmas!
     
  17. Ms. Shuttergirl

    Ms. Shuttergirl DIS Veteran

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    Oh gosh no, I didn't take offense at all. I just thought when all those "chain" eating places listed together we did sound a big embarrassing so just had to explain further to make myself feel like a more well rounded diner :rotfl2:.

    We do plan, kind of to ice skate, probably not on Christmas Day, perhaps on Christmas eve.

    Coco - this is exactly the problem. I have only ice skated once, a few months ago and wasn't very confident, didn't leave the barrier. I'm going again this week for another try. My DH has only tried it once when he was 16 and hated it. My DD has done it a few times but hates it and when she did go a few months ago she dislocated her finger :upsidedow and DS h as never tried it. I said I would take him soon for a go. I'm very concerned that if we do ice skate over there that we might get injured due to our extreme inexperience.

    That is such a cute story. If we were leaving closer to Christmas I think this is what I would do for sure. Love it.
     
  18. becpee

    becpee I see sock puppets

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