At Good, the staff members take the restaurant's namesake in several different directions. Chef Steven J. Picker and his crew strive to create a menu of good casual comfort cuisine by sourcing it locally. But the good doesn't stop there. The eatery is also a High Road Restaurant, which means it follows the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York's guidelines for fair treatment of its employees.
Think Globally, Eat Locally
Picker believes it's important to not only honor the food on the plate, but pay attention to how the food gets there. That's why many of the ingredients on Good's menu, such as the ones below, are locally sourced.
From the Press * "It is possible to eat unusually, eclectically and very well at Good." ? New York Times * "Begin with a Sandia Limonada, with watermelon-infused vodka, triple sec, and fresh lemonade, end with hot orange-scented doughnuts served with three sauces . . . and the name will seem something of an understatement." ? New York magazine * "When the food does come, you may mentally rename the place 'great,' or even 'wonderful.' Evoking the latter are two plump chicken sausages and a side of crispy mushroom polenta cake, while a BBQ pulled-pork entr?e . . . approaches the former." ? TimeOut New York * "Yes, it's true: this charming local fave lives up to its preordained reputation, and has done so since opening . . . The pale, earthy, and appealing dining room has a soothing, intimate, and laid-back air, as if to whisper, 'Stop by anytime.' . . . The menu displays a greatest-hits list of comfort food favorites that are given a globally inspired turn." ? Michelin Guide
Recipes give insight into a culture, and chef and restaurateur Barbara Sibley deeply understands this seemingly simple concept. Originally born and raised in Mexico City, Barbara furthered a passion for indigenous cuisines while studying anthropology in college. She then devoted years to researching and collecting Mexican recipes from as far back as the 1600s, and in the process, she steadily became an ambassador for the culinary techniques and ingredients that define authentic Mexican cuisine. In addition to sharing this expertise with CBS New York, the Food Network, and cooking classes, Barbara published a collection of 75 recipes in her cookbook—Antojitos: Festive & Flavorful Mexican Small Plates. If the cookbook is a reference source, then a meal at La Palapa is an immersive learning experience. Barbara drew upon her research as well as her extensive culinary experience when she founded the restaurant, designing a pan-regional menu of familiar staples and little-known gems that the New York Times hailed as "fascinating." Mexico City–style tacos brim with chili-rubbed pork and pineapple or corn sautéed in assertively herbal epazote, and grilled duck breast arrives in a decadently complex Oaxacan mole sauce made with 26 ingredients. Tradition remains of the utmost importance though, and Barbara takes care to hand make everything from cheese to chorizo in-house. La Palapa takes its name from the Spanish word for the palm-thatched shelters that adorn Mexican beaches: an image that complements the restaurant's casual and inviting ambiance. The dining room manages to embrace its roots by prominently displaying images of Mexico City from the 17th century as well as modern sculptures inspired by pre-Columbian ceramic figures. Although the brickwork archways contribute to this sense of antiquity, La Palapa also features a handful of modern touches, including hourglass-shaped pendant lamps, a jukebox, and levitating barstools.
Yes, Hill Country is a restaurant, but no hostess will seat you and no server will come by to take your order. Instead, arriving patrons are given a meal ticket, which they carry into a Texas-style market. At one counter, they order meats by weight, watching as pitmasters pull their selection from smoking pits fueled with Texas post oak and the menus of lesser barbecue restaurants. The menu includes the signature moist brisket—juicy, fatty morsels that New York Times’ reporter Pete Wells is said to order a pound of every time because it shows “Hill Country’s rotisserie barbecue pits at their finest.” Whatever meat guests choose, it’s carved onto sturdy sheets of butcher paper they carry with them as they stop at additional counters to collect sides and desserts.
Though all meat is served with white bread or crackers, a lineup of sides includes corn pudding, Longhorn cheddar mac ‘n’ cheese, and sweet potato bourbon mash. The dessert case displays temptations such as banana pudding, which Wells gushed is “built upon a custard so thick with eggs and cream it brings Paris to mind.” Guests can return to the counters as many times as they like; each item ordered is noted on their ticket, which they turn in to the cashier at the end of the meal. The menu has some devoted culinary fans—renowned food critic Frank Bruni named Hill Country one of his five favorite restaurants, for instance—but the eatery attracts a musically inclined audience as well. Downstairs in the Boot Bar, a state-of-the-art stage hosts nationally touring blues, alt-country, and honky-tonk acts that have included Dale Wilson and Roseanne Cash. The shows take place Tuesday–Saturday nights, and are often free of charge.
The smells don't match the scenery at Market Café. With a modest exterior and a formica-tinged, art-deco theme on the inside, the venue seems like a traditional diner. Yet the aromas sneaking from the kitchen bely a more complex story—one of daily-made flatbread dough, pork burgers stuffed with cilantro, and sautéed tiger shrimp. These are but a few of the protagonists on a continental menu of made-from-scratch plates. The café's stress on in-house prep and signature touches—such as the loin-of-pork sandwich's housemade butter pickles—defies its unassuming design, offering what New York magazine calls "culinary salvation" from the area's standard eateries.
In addition to prioritizing housemade fare, Market Café caters to dietary restrictions. Its gluten-free menus draw from many mainstay listings for brunch, lunch, and dinner, and diners can also sub gluten-free noodles and buns into regular pasta or burger dishes. Much of the café's press homes in on its generous desserts—specifically the chocolate cake, a three-layered slice big enough to split between several people or act as a doorstop until someone gets hungry. The decadent confection pairs well with offerings from the fully stocked bar. Fresh blueberry purée and lime juice mix with gin in the blueberry gimlet, and the Dirty Goose—Grey Goose vodka, vermouth, and prosciutto-stuffed olives—preserves an avian motif that began with dinner's grilled quail served in a red-wine reduction.
Thanks in part to Miracle on 34th Street, the classic Christmas film, and its annual Thanksgiving Day Parade, Macy's has been immortalized in the minds of generations of Americans. It's hard to imagine that Macy's was once a small storefront operation founded by a businessman whose previous stores had failed. But success was just around the corner.
Eleven dollars and six cents. That was the total of first-day sales when Macy's opened its doors in 1858. Of course, at that time, it wasn't a retail superpower—it was a small dry-goods store on the corner of 14th Street and 6th Avenue in New York City. Before founding that little shop, Rowland Hussey Macy had suffered several failed retail ventures. This time, things would turn out differently.
By 1877, R.H. Macy & Co. had become a full-fledged department store, spreading its way into the ground spaces of 11 adjacent buildings. Just about 25 years later, the store had outgrown even those expanded confines, so the company moved to its iconic Herald Square location on Broadway and 34th Street. There, Macy's began to attract shoppers from the rest of the country and the world. This location also saw the store become a major part of American holidays, especially in 1924, when immigrant employees wrangled the city's packs of stray floats and organized the first annual Macy's Parade.
Today, Macy's boasts 850 locations across 45 states and US territories. A far cry from that initial dry-goods shop, the modern-day stores carry everything from clothing and shoes to furniture and electronics. Though it is now headquartered in Cincinnati, the company's flagship store in Herald Square still attracts throngs of customers from all corners of the globe. The same can be said for the Macy's website, which is one of the most visited retail destinations on the Internet.
Bareburger began as a small idea in an even smaller kitchen. At Brooklyn music venue Sputnik, Euripides Pelekanos and his staff began concocting organic, all-natural burgers for their own enjoyment. It turned out the burgers were too popular to stay tucked away in a closet-size kitchen, so in 2009 Pelekanos and his crew established the first bona fide Bareburger location in Astoria. The restaurant is still beholden to its early principles. Its organic and all-natural ingredients are sourced from a network of dozens of farmers and local food vendors including Blackwing Quality Meats, Vermont’s Foote Brook Farm, and Blue Marble ice cream, which fills the classic milk shakes. Its roster of exotic burgers—bison, turkey, elk, ostrich, lamb, wild boar—come from grass-fed or cage-free critters, as do its organic eggs. Aside from animal proteins, there are black-bean burgers on multigrain rolls and even slices of vegan carrot cake. Patrons can customize signature burgers to taste, placing any patties into such templates as the Habanero Express burger with pepper jack, poblano peppers, and habanero-chipotle mayo, or the Supreme burger topped with onion rings and country bacon. The wealth of options hasn’t diluted the kitchen’s ability to nail the classics: Zagat ranked Bareburger fourth on its list of the eight best burgers in New York. As the homegrown chain has become a short-order empire, with more than a dozen locations on the ground or in the works, it’s acquired a devoted following. ViaMichelin called the Astoria location a “sustainable-minded gem,” noting that “you'd be hard-pressed to find a more appealing place for the young foodies moving into the hood,” unless it’s the giant public refrigerator at 31st and Broadway.