Ed Schoenfeld may live in New Jersey (no judgment here), but he mostly eats on the Upper West Side, near the Uptown location of his modern Chinese bistro, RedFarm, located on Broadway. There, diners dig into a fresh take on dim sum, inventive small plates (like the Katz's pastrami egg roll) and a rice and noodle menu that runs the gamut of deliciousness.
Schoenfeld says, "To me, the Upper West Side's food scene is exciting for one outstanding reason: It has some of the best food shopping in the city."
When we asked the unabashed food lover what he eats while he's stocking up on groceries to fill the trunk of his car, the common thread is based on a bit of indulgence—hot dogs, cream puffs, pancakes.
Again, no judgments here.
Coffee: The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
Ed's order: An iced coffee ($2 to $3) for when cooling down is the goal, or a latte ($3 to $5) for warming up.
Why he loves it: "It's convenient and more than good enough."
Breakfast: Fairway Café
Ed's order: The pancakes ($9.50) at this grocery store are pure nostalgia. Add OJ ($6) for a well-balanced breakfast.
Why he loves it: "The pancakes are made from Mitchel London's secret recipe and they are fabulous," says Schoenfeld. "The OJ is always fresh and sweet—try the juice made from Temple oranges in January and February."
Lunch: Fairway Café
Ed's order: Yes, he returns for seconds at lunchtime and orders whatever his heart desires.
Why he loves it: "The food is what it should be—made from carefully chosen ingredients and without pretension. There are excellent hand-cut french fries ($5) that are twice-cooked and often perfect."
Quick Bite: Gray's Papaya
Ed's order: This 24/7/365 corner joint is famous for delicious hot dogs ($2) that are easily washed down with its signature papaya drink ($1.45 to $5).
Why he loves it: "Reasonably tasty dogs, meticulously fresh, always toasted buns, good papaya drink and no waiting—immediate gratification!"
Ed's order: Why not have dinner at your own restaurant, especially when the options include soup dumplings ($14), shrimp-stuffed crispy chicken ($32), grilled pork chops ($25), grilled salmon ($27), smoked salmon and eggplant bruschetta ($10), and marinated grilled rib steak ($46).
Why he loves it: "Not because I own it, but because I am a fan of great Chinese cooking and, simply put, Joe Ng's cooking is some of the best Chinese food anywhere."
Dessert: Beard Papa's
Ed's order: The chocolate-covered cream puff ($2.45) from this Japanese patisserie satisfies pâte à choux cravings.
Why he loves it: "[The pastries] are so well done that they've been able to make a worldwide chain based on one delicious recipe."
Drinks: The Hotel Beacon
Ed's order: Water and good company.
Why he loves it: "I don't drink very often, but this spot feels very grown-up."
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