pressing asa question

Dearest Scatterbrains – I’ve been asked to help construct the ASA restaurant guide this year. I’m rather excited about the chance to write a snarky guide (“Are you sitting at the bar? No? Get up and move to the bar…”*). But in all seriousness, are there any elements you’d like to see in the dining guide? To a degree I think this is less than useful in these days of the interwebs. But I’m still happy to write in a dying medium (hell, I write books too!). I’m thinking of adding a “so you want…” section. As in “so you want a hamburger…” Shake Shack is nearby. It’s like fast food only a little better and much more expensive! “so you want to feel hip…” Go to Brooklyn. Say hi to your grad students at the next table. “so you want to go somewhere without sociologists…” I have four words for you (three places): Queens, Staten Island, Bronx. I will, of course, have vegetarian/vegan options. High end to budget (more of the latter). But any other requests ideas? And I may keep a secret place or two off the guide, for my own enjoyment. I love you all… but… well… sometimes you can overwhelm me.

* paraphrased/stolen from Frank Bruni’s review of Keen’s. Which will be on the guide. Especially if you want scotch. Or have a lot of money to pay for a steak. Don’t get the fish. Or the desserts.


  1. kenkolb
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    So you like to eat standing up?

    (Food trucks, stands, carts…etc)


  2. Posted February 15, 2013 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    To get the hell out of this food desert of a “neighborhood” that all the conference hotels are in, which direction should I walk, and how far?


  3. soctraveller
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Definitely suggestions for places within a half mile of conference site would be great — as I am always finding myself in need of lunch destinations. Also recommendations for good, relatively inexpensive Asian food of various kinds (Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Malay, etc.) would be much appreciated. It’s been a long time since I lived in NYC and I haven’t kept up with the food scene.


  4. Posted February 15, 2013 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    So you want to eat dinner in place where you can have a conversation and actually hear the other people at the table even if they don’t shout. (I do.)


  5. Jenn Lena
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    I hope you do an “instead of a bar” section—send folks down to Koreatown to karaoke, or to a piano bar in the W. Village, or to jazz at the Carlyle. People need “meet up and talk, maybe have a drink or nibble” options in that there food guide.


  6. mmlarthur
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    I second the suggestion of including cheap places close to the conference site. I am extremely well-versed in NYC restaurants and still would have trouble finding a good place to have a quick lunch in between sessions in that neighborhood, which I think is one of the least food-friendly in New York.

    I’d also encourage including cuisines that people don’t typically get a chance to try. Meals at ASA are the only time many of us have to be “tourists,” so only-in-NYC experiences would be great.


  7. eischwartz
    Posted February 18, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    So you want to spend less than $5 and overlook a classic fieldwork site – Gray’s Papaya (6th and 8th; recession special)


  8. Melissa
    Posted February 19, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Maybe a few recommendations for places that are vegetarian/vegan/food allergy friendly?


  9. Posted February 19, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    As kenkolb says, it’s going to be summer. You don’t have to eat inside a restaurant. Check out the Vendy finalists here. (And (@eischwartz) there’s a Gray’s Papaya at 72nd and Amsterdam.)



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