The gentrification of Upper West Side Manhattan resulted in trendy store fronts, a canine obsession with pet stores on almost every corner and million dollar apartments with views you would kill your 2nd born for. Cute trendy restaurants and diners snuggled closely together with its trendy patrons walking back and forth between them trying to make a decision as to which one to grace with their presence. I spent my New Year weekend in this Fort Washington area of NYC, so of course I had to try one of these “to die for store front restaurants”. We chose the trendy Next Door restaurant located at 813 W. 187 Street between Fort Washington and Pinehurst. Next Door was a trendy, Upper West Side Manhattan MESS. I don’t even know where to begin because I’m still in somewhat shock as to why they served the food they served to us. I ordered pancakes and a omelette with spinach, onions, turkey bacon and cheese. My friend ordered a Belgian waffle cooked LIGHTLY. As the food approaches, my plate is in the front, so far so good. Then here comes this dark chocolate-brown Belgian waffle. It’s CLEARLY overcooked because it’s as dark as a dark chocolate snickers bar. As I pour the syrup on my pretty brown pancakes, I move each one around so that the syrup can get to all of them. As I get to the bottom, there’s a pancake that’s as black as the Ace of Spades in a deck of cards. BLACK. Not a little dark brown but literally burned BLACK. Zoom in to my omelette. I cut it open with my fork, the cheese is still rock hard as if it just came out of a refrigerator, spinach is still cold and turkey bacon is barely cooked. As I cut some more, egg is oozing everywhere.
My friend goes to the bathroom and returns to tell me that the cooking staff is preparing chicken on a cutting board that’s sitting on top of a garbage can. Who does that? What cook literally sees food that has been burned black and says “they won’t notice.”? What waiter looks at the blackened food that’s not supposed to be blackened and says “let me bring this to my customer”? WHO DOES THAT?!?
Later that day we walk to a diner next door to Next Door called, Vicky’s Diner. As we’re eating our bland food, I look over and there’s a LONG bone straight strand of hair hanging off the food. The waiter comes over and looks at me and says “where did that come from?” Mind you, I’m rocking a buzz cut so I have NO hair plus the hair CLEARLY came from someone not of African descent and last time I checked, that’s not me.
As you can tell, I will NEVER go to Next Door again nor will I ever recommend it to anyone. It was an epic fail on so many levels. I hope you didn’t get your panties in a bunch because I said “Upper West Side Manhattan”. Remember, all that glitter is not gold.