Things must be doing well for a restaurant when they are already in expansion with fun new projects for the masses to enjoy. The only expansion in my life lately has been my waistline from all the amazing food I’ve been reviewing for my site! Jokes aside, Marc Forgione’s amazing new location American Cut has now debuted a fantastic power lunch scene for locals and visitors to enjoy. [Read more…] about LDV Hospitality & Marc Forgione’s American Cut Debuts Power Lunch Scene
Thrillist & Manhattan Digest agree… Archie & Sons is the shiz…
When it comes to being in a city like New York, you have the wealth of opportunities to go to endless diners that cater to that comforting type of experience that one comes to expect upon arrival. Archie & Sons, located in the heart of the East Village, does that and more. I surprisingly came to know this place not through friends but an article that was sent to me regarding the 8 new and amazing Grilled Cheeses in NYC. Per the website, “What’s best about this East Village throwback luncheonette is you can mix and match breads and cheeses with additional toppings for customizable sandwiches. Even knowing all that though, you should still go with the classic-est of classics: slices of American cheese melted between buttery white bread.” That was more than enough encouragement to try this amazing place out, so I took one of my besties and headed downtown to see what all the fuss was about.
From there we were introduced to the handsome and very kind Benjamine Levine, who is one of the owners of the business. As we sampled some of their great cuisine, including their array of freshly made salads, bomb grilled cheeses and so much more, he gave me more of an insight into Archie & Son’s and what to expect from it in the future. Take a look.
How did the concept of Archie & Son’s start?
Archie & Sons was born out of our last iteration of family run eateries. Originally started by my in-laws in queens in the 70’s as a traditional “luncheonette” common to New York, I then opened Archie’s Cafe in my hometown of Hewlett, Long Island. After losing the lease on the space, I considered opening in another location, in Hewlett, as well as other Long Island areas. However, with both of my sons living in the city, they convinced me that the city was in need of a place like Archie’s with its hometown feel and friendly environment of a local eatery. They simply said we need a place where the owner knows the names of his frequent customer. It’s not often, if ever, that you get that personal experience in Manhattan. And so now we are here, operating on a historic corner of NYC.
How would you describe the type of food that you guys make?
Our food is a spin on classic diner fare, with a much more limited menu focusing on our famous “salads.” Everything is made fresh from scratch, in house, on a daily basis. With recipes going back over 40 years, our salads, including vegetable tuna, chicken salad, egg white and spinach salad were the most desired items at the original Archie’s. We built our menu around this as we felt there was no place in NYC “known” for items like this. There is a “classics” section that includes some of the favorites from Archie’s in Hewlett, a fried food section that includes hand cut French fries and hand battered chicken fingers. Like your typical diner, breakfast is served all day.
It is a very casual, American dining experience. Is this how you want the public to view your location?
We want people to feel at home at Archie’s, and that’s how we feel casual dining strikes the mind. We have pictures on the wall from NYC from the 1950-1980s taken by a local east village artist. We have authentic Coca Cola items that have lined the walls of our restaurants for over 5 decades. We want people to have a feeling of nostalgia, no matter where or when they come from, of their hometown eatery.
What are some of the best items on the menu?
Our salads, which can be served as a sandwich, wrap or platter, are second to none. And I feel this way about them all, it just comes down to personal preference. The melts, whether it be a variation of our tuna or chicken salads, are a favorite with customers. Our homemade macaroni and potato salads are the best around. With the polar vortex of the winter, our homemade soups have been a huge seller, namely our signature spinach and egg soup. After I tell first timers, ‘just try it’, they always order a bowl and come back for more!
I saw that Thrillist named your Grilled Cheese one of the best in NYC. How did that make you feel when it was published?
It really hit home to how we make everything and what we stand for, making things simple, make it fresh, and make it taste like home. There are no bells and whistles with our food, no “in vogue” ingredients. Our food has been made the same way for more than 40 years, which we think is atypical in this foodie driven market. Getting recognized for that made us really proud.
Are you looking to add anything more onto the menu, something new and creative?
We are always up to try new things, and really listen to our customers for that. For example, we originally did not offer chicken fingers and hand cut French fries, but that has since changed. We also recently added our “carving station” to the menu, serving items like homemade meatloaf, turkey and corned beef on a daily basis as we saw a need to expand our dinner options. If you follow us on Instagram @archieandsons , you will get a sneak peak into our kitchen to see the new menu items we are toying with….thinking amazing sandwich combinations, daily specials as well as the expansion of brunch items!
What are your ultimate plans for Archie & Sons?
We want Archie’s to be on many streets of Manhattan. Heck, there should be one in every neighborhood! And we also see a huge opportunity in our catering business, which we are really expanding. Too many businesses settle on food when they cater, so we are really looking to change that. We take the typical sandwich spread but instead of being packaged deli meats, you get the same freshness of food you would from our store. We also cater for breakfast, which has been extremely well received.
Why not take yourself downtown this week and see what Archie & Son’s is all about. It is definitely an experience worth trying. Check out their official website for more information.
Peanut Butter & Bacon on a Burger? Say What?
As someone who considers themselves a pretty serious foodie, I am always on the lookout for what is next and big in the heart of New York City. A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon this article on the website Thrillist which had a link devoted to what they thought are the five best burgers in NYC. After quickly perusing the list, the one that really caught my eye was Whitman’s “Juicy Lucy” (See above photo). It might have been my insane hunger urges, but I quickly made reservations to go to this lovely and quaint joint nestled in the East Village to test drive Ms. Lucy and see what else they had in store for my and my friend.
The place itself has an upstairs and downstairs seating. The upstairs part looks pretty similar to a ton of other burger joints out there, but I loved the downstairs part as it reminded me oddly enough of being on a ship of sorts. We were first treated to a bowl of their local pickles, to which I love as I happen to be a big pickle lover (Go ahead, “That’s What She Said”.) Each of them had a distinct taste that was tart and sour and I happened to like each one. We also split their wedge salad which tasted really fresh and had the most important topping of all toppings on it- Bacon. Anytime you infuse bacon into something it is generally a very good thing, and this wasn’t a disappointment whatsoever. So far, so good.
Then came the entrees. I of course opted to try what Thrillist described so brilliantly about their “Juicy Lucy”. This burger consisted of beef short rib, pimento cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, spicy pickles and special sauce. Overall I thought the burger was quite tasty and the special sauce definitely added a nice zing to it. My friend tried something on a much different course, their PB&B burgers, consisted of two things you would never think would go together- peanut butter and bacon. You got that right folks- Peanut Butter on a burger. He told me that it tasted really well as he was just as shocked as I was about the flavor combination. To compliment the burgers, they served us some really great fried Kale and homemade fries, which really worked well with the meal. No complaints at this point as well.
To finish it off, they made us a ice cream cookie sandwich, and the cookies themselves were made fresh on the spot for us. As odd as this sounds, that was my favorite meal out of all of them. I love when you can taste the freshness in ingredients, especially sweets, and their cookie sandwich did not let either of us down. Overall, a 9 out of 10 in my books, adding in that the service was phenomenal to boot.
If you are ever in the east village, go ahead and try Whitman’s out. From this foodie’s perspective, as well as Thrillist’s, they are definitely one to watch out for when it comes to being one of the best burgers in Manhattan on top of so many other things. Take a look at their website for further information.
406 East 9th Street