Considering the economy, this might not be the season for lots of
leisure, but summer in the city’s not such a bad thing. You can still
delight in lobster rolls and hot dogs and ice cream on sweltering days.
Here are my five favorites for each of these three classic summertime
Nathan’s, 1310 Surf Ave., at Stillwell Ave., Coney Island, or Citi Field
No other hot dog defines New York like 90-year-old Nathan’s does.
Katz’s Delicatessen, 205 E. Houston St., at Ludlow St.
The secret to Katz’s killer hot dogs is that they’re thrown on the grill, thus the crusty casing.
Gray’s Papaya, 2090 Broadway, at 72nd St.
Perfect package – a snappy hot dog with spicy mustard and Gray’s signature papaya drink.
Shake Shack, Madison Ave. at 23rd St.
If you’re craving a Chicago-style dog, Shake Shack’s got the best. It comes topped with peppers, relish and pickles in a poppy-seed bun.
Dogmatic, 26 E. 17th St., near Broadway
This avant-garde hot-dog stand serves everything from lamb to pork to chicken sausages in hollowed-out baguettes.
Pearl Oyster Bar, 18 Cornelia St., near Bleecker St.
The best lobster roll in the city – a ton of lobster meat tucked into a warm, buttery bun.
Mermaid Inn, 568 Amsterdam Ave., between 87th and 88th Sts.
not a lobster roll, but who’s complaining? Mermaid uses a brioche
burger bun to hold a mix of lobster, mayonnaise, celery and a kick of
Ditch Plains, 29 Bedford St., at Downing St.
What distinguishes Ditch Plains’ roll from the rest is the vibrant seasoning – roasted garlic, scallions, tarragon and
Grand Central Oyster Bar, Grand Central Terminal
Their lobster roll is all lobster, flavored with nothing more than a little mayo.
Ed’s Lobster Bar, 222 Lafayette St., near Spring St.
The keys here are the subtle salt crunch, splash of lemon, homemade pickles and side of fabulous fries.
Mister Softee, corner of 57th St. and Eighth Ave. or other trucks all around town.
My heart still races when I see a Mister Softee truck or I hear the theme music.
Blue Marble Ice Cream, 420 Atlantic Ave., between Bond and Nevins Sts., Boerum Hill, Brooklyn
ice-cream parlor makes wonderful, organic ice creams, serving them in
biodegradable cups. My favorite flavor is the sweet-scented pistachio
almond with roasted nuts.
Cones, 227 Bleecker St., near Morton St.
The sweet corn ice cream, studded with corn kernels, is perfect for summer.
Grom, 2165 Broadway, near 76th St.
This gelateria imports all of its ingredients straight from Italy.
Nearly every flavor is phenomenal, but the torroncino, a snow-white
gelato with chewy bits of hazelnut nougat, makes you feel like you’re
on vacation in Rome.
Ronnybrook, 75 Ninth Ave., at 16th St. (Chelsea Market)
The chocolate raspberry flavor here is so rich, it tastes like an expensive, frozen truffle.
Absent from your list of lobster rolls is the one made by Fairway Market. It is delicious and only $ 9.95. It is truly one of NYC’s best buys.
Does “it’s grilled” count as a secret in making a hot dog, considering that’s what just about everybody with a barbecue does?