New York’s culinary reputation is suffering

I get to spend a day in New York City on Monday. Where should I go for a nice classy New York dinner?

The Trump Tower Grill, maybe?The reviews aren’t exactly stellar.

I reflexively want to be generous in my assessment of what the post-election Trump Grill says about the Trump presidency. Perhaps it’s a sign that Trump is in over his head, and a shallow, mediocre man who runs a shallow, mediocre business empire (and restaurant) would sink and implode, crushing the expectations of millions of his hopeful supporters. But watching Trump parade his enemies through the nearby lobby, taunting them with prestigious appointments only to cruelly humiliate them, I had to look over at the human cattle herd at the Trump Grill, overwhelming a well-meaning staff with their dreams of a meal fit for a president, and wonder if he cared about any of them, either.

Nah. I can probably find a food truck run by immigrants that will get the job done.

Oh, no, I had a horrible thought flit through my head: does this mean Guy Fieri will be the next president of the US?


  1. raymondmarble says

    If I may offer a suggestion, Seven Turkish Grill on West 72nd Street has the pluses of having delicious Mediterranean food, relatively healthy, and a quick walk to the American Museum of Natural History.

  2. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    Taco Truck. They must be lining up in front of Dump Tower [™ GoogleMaps]
    first to stick it to Trump, second due to the Vanity Fair review of Trump Grill.

  3. Saad says

    This is such a great line from the review:

    The allure of Trump’s restaurant, like the candidate, is that it seems like a cheap version of rich.

    Ouch. That fragile ego is so easy to damage.

  4. robro says

    Ah, yes, the latest in very important things for a president-elect to be spending valuable time spewing about…negative reviews of his restaurant. “Trump attacks Vanity Fair editor, again” the headlines announce. How silly can it get? Who knows, but I’m pretty sure he and his crew appreciate the value of a little comic relief as the tragedy they are creating unfolds.

    And then there’s his Victory Lap…geez. Last night I saw a snippet from the Daily Show where Trevor Noah shows clips of what the Dumpster has said to supporters on his latest reality TeeVee show: Me Won. Assuming those clips of his speeches are real, he’s throwing it in their faces that he was BSing them.

  5. says

    #5 Saad:

    More evidence that one can simply buy one’s way out of bad Yelp reviews. I wonder if Trump paid full price for the bribe or simply offered 70% and the option of suing him for the rest?

  6. rpjohnston says

    No, Guy Fieri will be the Supreme Court; the Insane Clown Posse will be the next Presidents (with an s). Of course I doubt anyone here will get the asinine reference but it was too good to pass up…

    wait till Trump mandates that all school lunches be contracted by Trump Grill. Then we may finally find the culinary pit of American cuisine

  7. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re @8:
    [running my imagination up to 11]:
    Guy Fieri –> Secretary of the FDA!! tastey, yum yum
    //// ?

  8. blf says

    wait till Trump mandates that all school lunches be contracted by Trump Grill.

    A new version of ketchup is a vegetable (or the UK’s similar “turkey twizzlers”)…


    Here in France, the fortunately relatively few Le Penazis (and some other facist nutters) with any sort of control over school meals have been eliminating pork-free alternatives (specifically halāl or kosher meals are apparently rare in the public schools system), forcing the affected students to either not eat at all or eat only part of the meal (read: go hungry), eat the “forbidden food”, or (I presume) other actions. Pork or nothing: how school dinners are dividing France (Oct-2015):

    When Aïcha Tabbakhe, a French nurse, went to fill out the forms for her children’s school dinners in her small town outside Paris, she was puzzled. The box she would usually tick to say that her Muslim children didn’t eat pork wasn’t there. “Confused, I called the town hall and I was bluntly told: ‘From now on, that’s the way it is,’” she said. “Pork or nothing.”


    Tabbakhe’s home town of Chilly-Mazarin […] is the latest of several run by rightwing mayors to announce they will scrap pork-free options in school canteens in the name of secularism. For 30 years, Chilly-Mazarin has provided non-pork alternatives to Muslim and Jewish children. But from November [2015], that will stop. On days when the menu features dishes such as roast pork with mustard and courgette gratin, or Strasbourg sausage and organic lentils, or ham pasta bake, children whose families don’t eat pork for religious reasons will be offered nothing but the side dishes. The new mayor, Jean-Paul Beneytou, from Nicolas Sarkozy’s rightwing Les Républicains party, says this is a commonsense way to preserve public sector neutrality. But many parents, teachers and leftwing opposition politicians call it a deliberate stigmatisation of Islam that is cruel to children by playing politics with school lunches.


    As summarised in the above excerpt, a common excuse being used is “French culture” or “French eat pork” which somehow therefore means it is required to eat pork. A codeword stolen by the facists for this nonsense is “secularism”:

    One local headteacher […] says: “Secularism is not about pork. It is about respecting others’ religion; it is not about saying ‘no more religion’. The ban on pork-free meals is extremely difficult for me and my teachers. School is about teaching children to respect each other, regardless of difference. This has demolished our teaching of that in class.”

  9. taraskan says

    I can give you some nice student locations.

    I think you’d like Cafe Gitane 242 Mott St, it’s French Moroccan light lunch fare and cocktails.

    The best cheapest sushi I’ve ever had is at Ogawa Cafe 36 E 4th St between Lafayette and Bowery. It’s staffed by an old couple who only sell sushi and 16-24oz beer, which is a combination you can’t beat. It’s a small place off the beaten path with only four tables or so. I think they close early, around 2 AM. Get the spicy girl.

    If you would really prefer the immigrant cart, the Dosa cart along 4th in Wash Sq. won a city-wide radio contest where callers voted. He’s usually got a line and leaves at 4 pm.

    I like Xi’an Famous Foods, they have a few locations. Cold noodles, dumplings, and lots of lamb.

    For a tongue in cheek dessert, Rice to Riches in the bowery. Baskin Robbins style rice pudding selections with punny names like Sex, Drugs, and Rocky Road, Oreo-gasm, or the Secret Life of Pumpkin. Its former owners were indicted for running a multi-million dollar gambling ring. You can’t really get a more NY place that that.

    Or you could just do what I do and go through Peculier Pub’s 350 beer selections one at a time while inhaling fries. They make a pretty good burger too, but go early before the jukebox gets turned on. I swear someday I’m just going to pour a chili down the back of it.

  10. blf says

    I swear someday I’m just going to pour a chili down the back of [the jukebox].

    I doubt that will result in salsa, mariachi, c&w, or whatever music genre you’re trying for (excepting perhaps gurgle and spark), but I suppose it’s worth a try…

  11. says

    blf, how are peanut and other food allergies dealt with in French schools? In North America peanut allergies in children have been an issue for years in places like schools. These right wing mayors interfering with any accommodations for children with food allergies wouldn’t surprise me.

  12. blf says

    timgueguen@13, Interesting question! Sorry, I haven’t a clew. A speculative guess is a child with a food allergy has something akin to a prescription for safe food (France’s health care system is quite good) and the matter is not one the facists can interfere with.

    Also, some admittedly quick searching suggests peanut allergies (I don’t look for any others) is much less common in Europe / France than N.America; possibly by as much as an order-of-magnitude. If correct, that would suggest the problem is not widely known, suggesting the facists are unlikely to know there is something else they can feck up.

  13. anbheal says

    Johnny Nicholson died this summer, at age 99. If you never had a chance to visit Café Nicholson, it was home to The New Bohemians, and one of Manhattan’s best-kept secrets. There was only one option on the menu every night, whatever Edna Lewis was preparing. Johnny and his partner, the photographer Karl Bissinger, would charm the guests like Tennessee Williams and Kurt Vonnegut and Gore Vidal. It was decorated Cuban fin de siècle, with an emphasis on homoerotic sculptures. As I read the review, I thought of Café Nicholson repeatedly, and how little Trump understands about good taste and culture.

  14. drken says

    Well, if you want to stick it to the blustery orange one, next time you go to NYC, try hopping on the PATH to Jersey City, home of a sizable Pakistani population that he accused of celebrating 9/11 and a monument to the Katyn massacre his bestest buddy tried to have taken down. I recommend Sapthagiri, a great South Indian place in the India Square neighborhood.

  15. taraskan says


    I don’t know about Jersey City, but there were street demonstrations in support of Al Qaeda in a part of Patterson, NJ following the attack. I had family there at the time; it is not a fiction made up by conservatives.

  16. cartomancer says

    I’m sure you can count on Fieri “to become” the next president… haha, Latin joke… haha ha ha…

    …I really am a very sad individual indeed.

  17. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I had family there at the time; it is not a fiction made up by conservatives.

    Citation that hasn’t been refuted multiple times is required. Why did you think a vague hearsay allegation is anything to be seriously considered?