Surprise! The Best Cheap Eats Aren’t in Obscure Parts of the Outer Boroughs

Photo: Liz Barclay

Photo: Liz Barclay

Old guard Manhattanites still bristle at the suggestion of traveling to the city’s farthest reaches. Commenter JAKGUY voices his disapproval of New York Magazine‘s “The 2013 Cheap Eats Superlatives” with these words: “Inclusiveness is lovely, but most of your readers will never, ever, ever see Sheepshead Bay, Ridgewood or something you call ‘Gravesend’ (which can’t possibly exist outside of Dickensian London).”

The writer is referring to a celebration of the white hot Bunker and the suggestion that Georgian (the country, not the state) cuisine is on the rise. With a chef whose background “sounds like a business plan straight out of the Asian Hipster Cuisine playbook” and an aesthetic that pushes DIY skate chic into the food scene, Bunker is an obvious selection for best of the best. The spot, one of our favorite recent openings, is in an obscure neighborhood in Queens that you’ve probably never heard of—Ridgewood/Maspeth, just 30 minutes travel by train and foot from Union Square—which apparently, for JAKGUY, devalues its obvious charms. God forbid should one venture through two boroughs for an outstanding meal!

Close reading of the piece—which, hits all high notes of the current NYC food scene with great accuracy—will unveil that, low-and-behold, some of the tasty cost-effective treats are located in the East Village too. Sure, two of the Georgian places mention are in outer Brooklyn, but Oda House, at 76 ave. B, certainly shouldn’t inspire fear of travel. The best new taco in the city is sold at a E. 7th street Italian joint, Porcetta…hardly off-the-island. And great bagels, back in the Big Apple thanks to Melissa Weller’s East River Bread, require only a painless (assuming you can stomach hipsters) trip to Smorgsburg in Williamsburg.

So where’s the surprise? That New York readers haven’t moved beyond ’80s-era provincial attitudes. Join the revolution and get a metro card, buddy.

[via Grubstreet]

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