Park Terrace Deli has been one of my go to places to eat uptown for a few years. I came across the deli when I was walking “The Great Saunter”, the 32 mile walk around Manhattan and needed an additional breakfast for extra protein and carbs. They did not disappoint me.
Park Terrace Deli at 510 West 218th Street
I always order the same thing here, the Bacon, Egg and Cheese on a hero roll ($6.50) and it is one of the best in Manhattan. They scramble two fresh eggs and then tuck it into a soft chewy hero roll lined with American cheese. Then they top it with several pieces of crisp bacon. The combination of flavors is amazing, and the portion size is enough for breakfast…
What I love about New York is that one every corner there seems to be a favorite bodega or deli that sells what you need when you need it. Some also just stand out for the quality of the food and the service and selection. S & A Gourmet Deli is one of those places.
A friend and I had just stopped in to buy sandwiches for lunch that we were going to enjoy a few blocks away in Madison Square Park. They had a large selection of sandwiches and wraps, and I decided on Chicken Cordon Bleu hero sandwich ($8.99) with a Coke ($1.99).
The sandwich contained a fresh fried chicken breast topped with Swiss cheese and ham and then broiled for a few minutes…
Sometime you just pass by a restaurant many many times and never stop in. This was the case with Stage Star Deli. It was one of those restaurants that I just ‘passed by’ on my way to another one until someone put out a sandwich board with specials on it and that peaked my interest. There were all sorts of wonderful specials all priced around $8.50. That made me walk in to see what was on the full menu.
Stage Star Deli at 105 West 55th Street
The restaurant is a small deli with about four tables now due to COVID. Pre-COVID there were about seven small tables around the deli. One one side there are all the cold foods, salads and sodas and then on the other…
I took some time before I start the next section of the walk to travel to Brooklyn to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden (See reviews on TripAdvisor and my blog ‘VisitingaMuseum’). I have been a member for over a decade and I am glad that my donation helps support the gardens. It is so much fun to walk around these beautiful individual gardens.
I got to Brooklyn too late to visit the zoo or the Brooklyn Museum, so I took a walk to my favorite pizzeria in the area, Family Pizza at 720 Flatbush Avenue in Flatbush (See review on TripAdvisor). Their pizza is amazing and if you are in the area, walk down Flatbush Avenue for a slice. Even at the $2.75 price per slice, it is still great pizza. The sauce is so delicious and really makes their pizza.
Family Pizza on Flatbush Avenue at 720 Flatbush Avenue
I have never seen a neighborhood change so fast. It is going from a West Indian and Caribbean Black neighborhood to hipster central. I have never seen a place change so much in an eight month period. Every time I walk down this street, it looks like another ten businesses have left and the ‘for rent’ signs keep going up. All the local businesses are being replaced by all the frou-frou restaurants and shops that cater to the hipsters.
As all the new buildings keep going up all over the Flatbush Avenue and the surrounding streets, all the businesses that surround them change as well. Even some of the small local businesses have been smart and upgraded their stores. I passed a Jamaican bakery that had been opened for years is completely renovated. It still looks the same outside but they have upgraded as the neighborhood has changed. On the five blocks to the pizzeria, I counted at the least ten businesses that have left and some have been replaced with new restaurants and shops.
I decided to look it up and the head of the Merchant’s Association said that there were 22 businesses that were closed now and they were not being filled so fast. The ones that are being filled are opening expensive restaurants with things like $12.00 hamburgers and $20.00 pizza when the restaurants in the are that are left are serving food that is just as good for half the price. This was the difference between Family Pizza, where I ate tonight and the fancy pizzeria that opened directly across the street with the same pizza for double the price. Pretty place in comparison but still at the end of the day it is pizza.
After my walk down Flatbush Avenue and dinner, I walked back up to the Gardens. The movie tonight was the ‘Fabulous Mr. Fox’, voiced by George Clooney and Merle Streep. It was not too fabulous. In fact, I found the movie boring and sending the wrong message to kids. That’s the reason why it was a big flop at the box office.
With a former line up of the ‘Wizard of Oz’, ‘The Goonies’, ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and ‘E.T’., they could have picked another classic live-action film like ‘The Parent Trap’ or ‘Freaky Friday’. They even cut out the free popcorn that they have every year. I could tell someone new was running it.
Still the gardens were in bloom, and it was a beautiful warm, non-muggy night (79 degrees) to sit on the lawn and enjoy the film. The place is testament to families as it is like a step back into the 70’s with kids running around in their bare feet, parents talking to their neighbors and people from the same buildings socializing with one another.
It was nice to walk around the Crawford Rose Garden and some of the roses were coming back in bloom and the Japanese Garden was in full form. I had not been there since the Cherry Blossom Festival in April. I had missed a few of the events because of work but still the Gardens are going through a renovation and the new Water Garden is being expanded. If you live anywhere in the surrounding area, this is one membership you want to have in your collection of museums and parks.
Brooklyn Botanical Garden
It is one of those membership perks that I really enjoy and to come in all the way from New Jersey after work says something. It’s a great neighborhood to explore that is now constantly changing. It’s just nice to be outside under the stars watching a film on a warm summer night.
The Members Movie Night in 2022:
This was the first time we had a ‘Members Movie Night” since the pandemic started. They had to cancel the one in 2019 because of rain twice and not running it and in the summers of 2020 and 2021 due to COVID. It had been a real bummer but then I got the email that they were running it again in 2022.
I got to the gardens in the latter afternoon after work and I wanted to order dinner to take in the gardens since we could picnic on the lawns before the film. I was starved so I went to Banh Mi Place at 824b Washington Avenue.
Banh Mi Place at 824b Washington Avenue in Brooklyn
I love the Banh Mi sandwiches here and I ordered the Pork Chop Banh Mi ($8.95). The sandwich was excellent. The marinated pork had so much flavor to it and the vegetables were so crisp and fresh that I love the quality of their sandwiches. I took my sandwich and my blanket and made my way to one of the back lawns of the gardens where other members were eating with their family and friends. It was a low 80-degree night and people were enjoying the sunshine and the cool breezes.
After dinner, I walked more around the fountains and pools by the restaurant and the indoor exhibitions of the gardens and looked at the lotuses that were in bloom in the pools. There was a lot of plants that were in bloom this late in the summer and the whole garden had such a colorful appearance. In these post COVID times, it was nice to just walk around the park and enjoy the environment. After dinner and my walk around the gardens, I made my way to the Cherry Blossom lawn where the movie was being shown.
The movie this year was “Encanto”, which was an interesting live action movie, but it was hard to hear the film and it was more of a children’s film than one for adults. I ended up leaving early and as I left, I saw about fifty other people leaving the garden early as well. I guess like myself people did not want to be caught up in the crowd.
It was just nice to be in the gardens again and to tour the different sections in bloom. This is what it was all about. Just relaxing!