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Old 07-27-2017, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Lower East Side, NYC
1,844 posts, read 1,094,030 times
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I grew up in Chicago and have lived in NYC for the last 7 years and I agree fullheartedly. I dislike (and have never liked) Chicago deep dish, italian whatever (italian sandwich dipped in grease?! arteries), or whatever else has come from my hometown except for the polish sausage but I haven't been to Maxwell St in a long time. The 'modern' places in Chicago generally taste even worse unless it's artisinal, which, and this holds true here too, are even more expensive. Also your 13.5% total sales tax sucks (regular sales tax + food and drink tax).

Right off the bat I learned it's not the look of a place that makes it. I doubt when an immigrant opens a shop, they're interested in making the place look 'modern'. They want to serve the food that they make, and pretty often the food is quite amazing.

My favorite restaurants all exist in these 'run-down' places. My favorite pizza Di Fara feels like he's inviting you into his house to serve you pizza, Rafiqis is glorious halal food for only $5.75, my favorite Pakistani place is down in Soho in a little sliver of what could probably be constrewd as the hallway of a pre-law tenement, etc.
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Old 07-27-2017, 11:47 AM
 
1,936 posts, read 2,131,674 times
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Javawood, you are a midwest transplant that gets it.

There are many modern trendy resturants in nyc that are mediocre, with bland overpriced food. I think they are specifically targeting the midwest Transplants that don't get it.
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Old 07-27-2017, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn,NY
10,328 posts, read 12,427,686 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Werdywerd View Post
Good for for cheap prices.

Most people could care less how the places looks as long as the food is good, prices are cheap and they have no health violations.
I agree. Also food halls have become the popular thing now, and they are giving standard restaurants competition.
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Old 07-27-2017, 01:03 PM
 
Location: New York
2,581 posts, read 2,675,796 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koctail View Post
I have moved from Chicago and am surprised by the huge number of run-down restaurants and food trucks. How do they compete with the modern / trendy fast-food kind of places? Why would anyone choose to eat there when there are so many "newer" options available. I can understand eating there if every food place is run down. But there are plenty of better choices amid this sea of run-down eats... I know some people are going to say because the food is good. I'd have to wonder what they are putting in the food if their appearance is so bad.
Have you heard of Bun-ker? It was outside a dead zone of scrap metal places. It wasn't near a subway, and the walkability score... meh.
There was literally nothing around it. Here is what it looked like.

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2013...master1050.jpg

You ate out of cheap plastic cups and $0.99 dishes.

However... the food was amazing. Within the first six months it was written up in the Wall Street Journal for its excellent food. The NY Times also raved about it.

It finally moved to new digs with a much better decor. Alas, the prices went up too.


It just goes to show, it doesn't matter where you put a location, or how it even looks. If the food is good, people will show up.
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Old 07-27-2017, 02:38 PM
 
223 posts, read 383,338 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85dumbo View Post
Javawood, you are a midwest transplant that gets it.

There are many modern trendy resturants in nyc that are mediocre, with bland overpriced food. I think they are specifically targeting the midwest Transplants that don't get it.
Sure, there are exceptions to every rule. But if one has a choice of eating at run-down or trendy, why would anyone pick run-down? Sure you might save a few bucks, but more than likely you'll get very generic food. Plus many of these places are cash only and can be run by surly owners. Why deal with all that nonsense just to save a few bucks?

I would not eat food if it was free at any run-down place. Like I said, there are exceptions, but those are for rare ethnic food.
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Old 07-27-2017, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Lower East Side, NYC
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To put it in some perspective, I've been eating in Chinatown since 2010 aka dumplings that are 20-25 cents, $1.25 kabobs off of food carts, $5 or less meals, $4 haircuts in places where they play mahjong in the back and smoke. The only time I've ever gotten food poisoning was Chipotle over in Boston.

Ethnic food here is very good and not to be underestimated. Granted, food in home countries generally is better as I've experienced with Tokyo. Somewhat interesting though, Chinese food is better in NYC than anywhere I've been to in Japan haha.
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Old 07-27-2017, 03:53 PM
 
753 posts, read 270,593 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koctail View Post
Sure, there are exceptions to every rule. But if one has a choice of eating at run-down or trendy, why would anyone pick run-down? Sure you might save a few bucks, but more than likely you'll get very generic food. Plus many of these places are cash only and can be run by surly owners. Why deal with all that nonsense just to save a few bucks?

I would not eat food if it was free at any run-down place. Like I said, there are exceptions, but those are for rare ethnic food.
If you wouldn't go to these "run-down" places even if they were free, then how would you know they are likely to have very generic food and surly owners?

Many places that look "run-down" are actually just old and have been around for awhile. However, they must be doing well enough for the owners to still be operating and feel like they don't need to renovate. Something must be drawing customers in...could be the food, price, convenience, etc. Maybe some of these places do mostly delivery where the customers don't ever see the inside of the restaurants.

By the way, "trendy" doesn't equate to better. It often just means newer and more expensive. There are some customers who care more about saving a few bucks than paying for nice decor.
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Old 07-27-2017, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Staten Island
318 posts, read 222,665 times
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I've always liked the smaller nondescript eateries I've frequented over the years. The food is usually pretty good and enjoyable. You just have to search and find the ones you like. Just because a place looks good doesn't mean the food is.
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Old 07-27-2017, 04:10 PM
 
223 posts, read 383,338 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MC305 View Post
Many places that look "run-down" are actually just old and have been around for awhile. However, they must be doing well enough for the owners to still be operating and feel like they don't need to renovate. Something must be drawing customers in...could be the food, price, convenience, etc. Maybe some of these places do mostly delivery where the customers don't ever see the inside of the restaurants.
In Chicago a lot of these places are just fronts. The restaurant owners own the whole building and don't want to sell. Perhaps something similar going on here?
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Old 07-27-2017, 04:13 PM
 
8,230 posts, read 8,509,792 times
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Possibly because NYC is full of foodies. Foodies don't care if a place is run-down. There are a bunch of run-down restaurants I go to in Chinatown and, not only do I not care about the decor - there's a good chance the prices are lower if they're not spending money on looking "trendy."

Most people who are interested in food gravitate to "good," not "new." Yes, we are always curious about new places and new trends, but people also love the old standbys, and we have a lot of respect for businesses that are part of an older New York.
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