As some of you may or may not know, not only is this The Year of The Dragon and almost everyone is pregnant in Asia, but we are about to have our 1st Dragon baby. For now, we call her Baby Z! We are elated and cannot wait to meet our little miracle.
My wife, aka, Mrs. Z is 39 weeks pregnant and we are now submerged in the classic Upper West Side baby world. How do those stores already know that we are having a baby? There is even a Baby Z store in California. Of course, we think they named it after our Baby Z....
In anticipation of bringing our little peanut to some Upper West Side restaurants, where we know she can make a complete mess of herself, scream out loud with joy, flirt with the waiters, we decided to hit 3 places and give you our quick, straight forward thoughts:
Carmines- It has been a staple for 20 years on Broadway. The portions are enormous, yet the food is mediocre. If you go with 5 or more people, it is tough to spend more that $30 per person.
The place feels tired and almost every employee seems to be on auto pilot. All of these negatives just don’t seem to matter as the B&T continue to make the original investors rich.
Big Daddy’s- The exhaust from the kitchen blows onto Broadway and honestly, I cannot believe the neighbors do not make a stink out of it, cause it stinks.
The service is solid, the food is straight forward and it seems to be a great place to bring a toddler. It is not cheap.
Blockheads- as someone who has invested in many restaurants in my life, I know what start ups cost. Usually a restaurant can spend up to $500 or more per square foot just to get open. My guess on Blockheads? $100 or less per square foot. That can add up to a quick pay back to the investors, Bravo! The service is actually very attentive, the beers are cold and the food is fine. Cheesy bubble gum music is blaring in the background and the chairs are super uncomfortable.
And yet, I would return. The prices are super inexpensive and Baby Z will love this joint. I mean, she is 50% Latina~
This post may seem a touch negative, but I was trained to never be happy with mediocrity in the restaurant business or the real estate business! So, Carmines, tighten it up, Big Daddy's and Blockheads, keep doing what you are doing!