Category Archives: review

Want a Harlem t-shirt? Keep Harlem, Harlem tees now available

On this Harlem blog, I use tees to feature the subject matter, ie Harlem. Sometimes readers ask, where can I buy a unique tee with the name Harlem on it? Here’s an option. One of my favorite Harlem sites, Harlem NYC, is now offering Harlem tees to purchase. The t-shirt says “Keep Harlem, Harlem.” Pretty cool…huh? If you’re interested in purchasing this Harlem tee, go here! And to check out Harlem NYC like I do, click here.


Harvist Restaurant in Harlem featured in NY Mag, set to open this week

Who is going to go check out Harlem’s latest restaurant called Harvist? We are! According to New York Magazine, its opening this week inside My Image Studios Harlem at 46 West 116th Street. MIST tells us via Twitter that they’re opening this Thursday for dinner. Cassandra Quinlan-Ashford will be the chef. She plans on serving dishes, such as shrimp and grits, red-velvet soufflé, berbere filet mignon, osso buco and a raw-kale salad. Yummy!

Harvist is located at 46 West 116th Street between Fifth and Lenox Avenue. Call 646-738-3050 for reservations.

And to learn more about Harvist Restaurant, go here.

The Village of Harlem stars in NYC 22, watch Sunday evening April 15 on CBS

Do you recognize the scenery in the photos above? If you live in Central Harlem, you should recognize the location. That is our Harlem in the background and its starring in a new television series called NYC 22. It was previously called The Rookie. I guess that name did not test well in focus groups.

NYC 22, which is a drama about a fictional police precinct in Harlem, is receiving a lot of press right now. Mainly because the TV show premieres this Sunday , April 15 on CBS, and it has huge names behind it, such as executive producers Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal. However, what is really interesting about NYC 22, and one of the many reasons why I plan to watch the show and hopefully you will too, is that it was created by a Harlemite. The creator is Richard Price, who lives in Harlem according to The New York Times. Price has resided in Harlem since 2008.

Price told the Times he “made the rapidly changing neighborhood of Harlem an important element of the show, drawing creative fuel from its churning mix of longtime residents and gentrifiers, families and hoodlums, cultural landmarks and upstart bistros.”

If you want to learn more about NYC 22, read the reviews in The Los Angeles Times and NY Times.

NYC 22 is on CBS, Sunday nights at 10 pm.

Harlem In the News: Dining Establishments and Real Estate receive high praise

Recently, the Village of Harlem received high praise mainly on two fronts, real estate and dining establishments.

In the eating out area, both DNA Info and The New York Daily News raved about how there are several great places to dine uptown and some of those dining establishments have received positive reviews in Zagats.

In the NY Daily News, they mentioned Red Rooster and Lido Italian Restaurant and Bar in one sentence, specifically stating that Zagats says these dining establishments are “the new stars to watch.” The article also mentions “Covo Trattoria & Pizzeria, where happy hours go until midnight, most dishes are less than $15, and the outdoor dining is a Zagat top pick.”

In a separate article, The New York Daily News raved about how Levain Bakery has the best chocolate chip cookies in the City. No surprise there. Their hot and cold coffee is not bad either. Try it.

DNA Info spoke to our favorite Harlem Gal and the women behind Eat In Harlem, Sakita Holley, about how Harlem now has several restaurants “to suit any mood.” Holley endorsed several eating out places starting from East Harlem all the way West. Milk Burger, 67 Orange, Hudson River Cafe and more received a thumbs up from Holley.

Of course, what’s driving all these great new and interesting restaurants in Harlem is real estate or is it the other way around? The Wall Street Journal reported recently that “the number of Harlem apartment sales rose to the highest level since September 2008, according to analysis of city records. But they were only slightly above sales reported in the same quarter in 2010.” The article goes on to say that Harlem is not only performing well in the real estate area, it’s even attracting buyers who are from the second largest economy in the world-China!

Check out all the articles in their entirety below! And that’s Harlem In the News!
Harlem Restaurants to Suit Any Mood
Harlem’s Culinary Treasures
Best of New York
Harlem Attracts Post-Slump Buyers

Atomic Wings in Harlem turns a page…for the better

By HarlemGal and Austin2Harlem
There’s that saying “give me a second chance.” Sound familiar? We
decided to act on that attage by giving Atomic Wings in Harlem another try recently. Why? Because we know for a fact that Atomic Wings, located at the northeast corner of Frederick Douglass Blvd and 113th Street, is entirely under new management (they have nothing to do with prior management) and their menu has changed. And we can confirm, Atomic Wings, which reopened May 13, is not anything like it was before. We know. We use to go there. Atomic Wings in Harlem has started a new chapter and it is definitely for the better.

The new owners are David Singh and Bobby Singh. They are from Queens and the Atomic Wings franchise is their first endeavor into the food business. Don’t be alarmed that they are not seasoned food chain owners. From what we witnessed, they want to succeed in Harlem. They care about the customer and appear to be very focused on making the Harlem customer happy. What steps have they taken to try to please the Harlem customer? Plenty.

First, there is a decrease in prices on the menu. “The items on the menu are .50 to .75 cents less than the prior menu,” says David Singh. They want to offer some saving to their already affordable prices. A plate of chicken wings at Atomic Wings costs $8.99 for 10. At Rack and Soul, a plate of 6 wings will cost you $10.95 according to a takeout menu we have.

There are signature salads on the menu. Instead of having a long list of salad options, Atomic Wings has narrowed the choices down to four options. The reason is they want to focus on quality not quantity.

Atomic Wings in Harlem now offers pulled pork sliders and chipotle fried shrimp sliders. No more hamburgers, folks! Their strategy is to focus on the quality. We tasted these two items and they are a home run! We highly recommend these items. The country buns are very fresh. The pork was tender topped with cheddar cheese. And the fried shrimp was very meaty. We recommend ordering these items with sweet potato fries. Each plate is $7.99 and plentiful.

If there are signature salads, there have to be signature sauces to go along with 20110722-122231.jpg
the chicken wings. Atomic Wings has new sauces. They have added honey mustard, jerk BBQ, sweet and tangy and chipotle BBQ sauces. Out of the new sauces offered, we tried honey mustard, sweet and tangy, and garlic parmesan. We both loved garlic parmesan the best. Not that the other sauces were not good. We just like the garlic taste! And we liked eating our chicken wings boneless. However, customers can order them either way-with bone or without.

I can’t recall if waffle fries were on the prior menu. However, the ones we tried at the new management Atomic Wings were excellent. They were big and crispy. Even after setting on the table for a while, the waffle fries remained crispy. They did not get lumpy and sloppy after while. We also recommend trying the waffle fries.

Home delivery is available by Atomic Wings. Go on GrubHub or their website or call, and they will deliver. Their commitment is to deliver within 35 minutes with a 14 block radius.

If delivery is not your preference, dine in at Atomic Wings. They offer free unlimited wi-fi and they will soon offer beer. They have applied for a beer license and hope to get approval in the immediate future.

While we have outlined all the improvements at Atomic Wings in Harlem and encouraging Harlemites to give them a second chance, readers are probably wondering, what happened to the previous place and why did Atomic Wings close? From what we have learned from various sources is that the place was poorly managed. The old management had five owners, there are only two now, and rent and taxes got backed up so much they could never catch up. Once rent and taxes become a challenge, the state and Feds come into the picture. And most of us who walked by the Atomic Wings saw the obvious signs on the wall.

We hope this restaurant review will give you a better understanding of Atomic Wings and that Harlemites do what we did, which was to put the past behind on the old and give the new Atomic Wings a second chance. We just did and are very pleased to report a second chance resulted in two happy bellies. The food was dee-li-cious!


A crowd descends on Harlem Tavern opening night

Jul 2, 2011 @ 11:56

By HarlemGal
Harlem has a new beer garden and locals definitely turned out in large numbers to be the first to see it first hand. Harlem Tavern, located on the northwest corner of 116th Street and Frederick Douglass Blvd., opened its doors at 5 PM sharp July 1 and folks were lined up along the outer wall to get in. By 6 or 6:30 PM the entire place was packed with uptowners. And when I say packed, every table inside and out had patrons sitting anxiously awaiting to try out the food and beverage menu. By 7 PM, I checked my online accounts and several people20110702-113357
checked into Foursquare from Harlem Tavern and photos of the place from inside were posted immediately to Facebook. The place was completely full in two hours and the kitchen and bar were blasted with orders. The design and layout of the place had no problem seating the crowd. We had seats outside and it was nice and comfortable. Harlem Tavern is going to be a great place to drink, eat and people watch. Stop by this weekend. They are starting brunch from 10-4 PM.

20110702-113541As for product, I am not going to get into reviewing the food, drinks or service yet since last night was their first night of business. I want to give them some space and time to get their service dance down. All I am going to say is the wait staff and owners did their absolute best given what was presented before them-a tsunami like large crowd. The bar and kitchen got so backed up, it was going to take them all night to get caught up. I left before 9 PM so not sure what happened after then.

I know the owners of Harlem Tavern are seasoned restauranteurs. They own several joints in the City so they know what they are doing. I plan on 20110702-113550
returning real soon. However, when I left the place last night all I kept thinking was “they better hire more staff pronto!” They need more workers ASAP! Last nights turnout proved, along with bier international’s success, there is a demand in Harlem for outdoor dining/beer gardens. Last nights attendance proved that-in my view. There had to be at least 300 or more people in attendance.

There was one more thought that crossed my mind when I left Harlem Tavern last night “gold mine.” Harlem Tavern and bier international are complete gold mines. It is obvious or it will be. Walk by these places and see for yourself! Beer gardens in Harlem…are gold mines!

Sign says Harlem Tavern officially opening July 1

Jun 30, 2011 @ 12:05
By HarlemGal
A reader provided us with a nice photo this morning about Harlem Tavern! I believe the photo says it all-opening day at Harlem Tavern starts at 5 pm, July 1! See you there! And a big thanks to our reader!!! You know who you are! You are the BEST!




Harlem Tavern delays opening to Fourth of July weekend

Jun 28, 2011 @ 10:45
By HarlemGal
If you were planning on stopping by Harlem Tavern tomorrow night, June 29, don’t. They’re not quite ready yet. They just passed their last inspection last night (June 27) and over the weekend they put out a call for more food runners. They were needing a lot more help. Given all this, they are now aiming to open this Friday if all goes as planned.

So if you are around over the holiday weekend, there might be another place in Harlem to sit outside to eat and drink! In the mean time, check out their menu and drink list, here. When they open, you’ll be ready to order when you arrive! Stay tuned…


Harlem Tavern fun facts, inside Harlem’s up and coming beer garden

Jun 19, 2011 @ 9:44

By HarlemGal
We continue our series called Inside Harlem Tavern. We recently told you about how Harlem Tavern is going unisex all the way with their toilets. Let’s now turn our attention to the fun facts about the bar and restaurant opening up on the corner of 116th and Frederick Douglass Blvd.

  • Total square footage: more than 6,000 square-foot
  • Seating: 150 inside, 150 outside
  • Outdoor light fixtures: designed similar to look like the ones in Central Park
  • Music: weekend brunches with live jazz
  • Culture: art from nearby galleries
  • And exact address and phone number: 2153 FDB and 212-866-4500

We have a pretty good idea on when Harlem Tavern is opening so stay tuned.

First look at Harlem Tavern’s cocktail list

Jun 14, 2011 @ 9:00
By HarlemGal
As promised through our Inside Harlem Tavern series, we have some additional information on their menu. We now turn to their cocktail list.

First up is the Banana Sidecar: Hennessy, 99 bananas, and fresh lemon juice. This drink will be shaken and served in a martini glass for $12.

While you’re sitting outside at the corner of Frederick Douglass Blvd and 116th Street, how about drinking a Harlem Sunset? This drink will include tequila, cherry liquor, and pineapple. Yummy. We like this drink already and plan on ordering it ASAP…cause it has Te-qui-la! And its $10.

Next, can you say these words really fast? Tavern Rum Runner. It is catchy…huh? This will be served on the rocks in a mason jar for $12.

And last but not least is the Scottish Mule, which will have gin, cucumber, and ginger beer all for $10.

All these cocktails sound de-li-cious! And if you don’t want a cocktail, no worries. Harlem Tavern plans on offering 20 beers on tap and 60 craft beers in the bottle; as well as a selection of frozen drinks!

So the area that was a gas station, will soon be an eating and drinking station for Harlem humanity! The transformation of this space and menu will be well received! We will all find out soon when we physically will be going Inside Harlem Tavern!