Ask the Critics: Where Can I Eat Plain Foods?
Ann C. Asks: Where should I go if I only like plain foods and chicken?
almostbourdain.blogspot.com The plain Jane of poultry.
Dear Ann: Only plain foods and chicken? That is a bit of a challenge, given the often ambitious culinary landscape in New York City. But here are a few places that might appeal and fall into your comfort zone.
I think a steakhouse might be your best bet if you're a meat eater, since you can get unadorned grilled streaks and sides like baked potatoes, creamed spinach, or broccoli. I think Sparks Steak House is great, and you can never go wrong with Peter Luger. Quality Meats also has a grilled chicken breast, which you can have with grilled asparagus, or Parmesan fries if you're in the mood for a slight gourmet challenge.
Two of my favorite spots for fried chicken are Buttermilk Channel and the Redhead. Fried bird is better than broiled bird, but, then again, frying anything makes it delicious. For something a bit more inexpensive, Dirty Bird also has a pretty good rotisserie chicken, with sides like smashed potatoes and cornbread.
Finally, Ditch Plains also has a pretty easy-to-like menu, a take on upscale bar food. Expect dishes like macaroni and cheese, chicken pot pie, and fish 'n' chips. Westville is equally accessible, with grilled meats and a bounty of veggie sides.
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