I've always thought rock n' roll and cuisine go hand in hand. From the very basics - The Dictators shot pics inside White Castle for their debut album - to punk rock chef Anthony Bourdain and his spruced up four-star fare.
Thirsty asked a couple punk icons for their favorite restaurants in New York City, and writer Natalie McKenzie takes care of things across the pond. We round it out with "Fast Food" by New York's The Bullys. Bon appetit!
-Sarah L. Myers
Rock n' Roll Photographer
New York in the '70's let's see...
1) Max's Kansas City (yes I do have a good story of eating there)
Max's was known to have a bowl of dried chic peas on every table, some people lived on them, some just threw them at each other, but it also had a very good and affordable menu and the kitchen was open late, usually till near closing at 4 am. I often would go there after a long night shooting several events to get their 'surf & turf' steak and lobster tail. That is until the night the Cockettes came to town. They were a group of acid heads who wore woman's clothes and lipstick with glitter in their beards (not attractive!) and they were celebrating the opening of their NY show by climbing on the tables in the back room and stripping down to their underwear. I was calmly eating my steak and lobster when the Maitre 'd, a good looking guy named Eric Emerson and known for the huge tool in his pants, jumped up on my table and, pulling off his pants, challenged the Cockettes to really strip and not stop at the underwear. When I saw the sudden appearance of a giant sausage near my dinner I vowed I would never eat there again.
2) There was a great Japanese restaurant called Chin Ya, in the Woodward hotel which was open 24 hours. When we discovered this place we stopped going to Chinatown after a night of drinking (usually Wo Hop on Mott St) because we found the sushi and Japanese style food to be much lighter and easier to handle than the pork based Chinese style. The food wasn't really great, just good, but even Mick Jagger knew "it's not great but it's great 'cause it's open late". They are gone today but my new favorite is a ramen joint on East 5th Street near Ave B called Minka. Very simple, quick, nice people and really good ramen. The other favorite is the new upscale ramen joint Ippudo NY on 4th Avenue bet 9th and 10th Streets which is so good it's always really crowded so we usually go to Minka. Soba Koh, also on East 5th Street is really great Japanese comfort food. But none of these places are open very late.
3) When we needed a hearty meal there was a very good, inexpensive Cuban diner called "La Taza de Oro" on 8th Ave between 14th & 15th Streets where you can still today have a very filling roast chicken dinner with rice and beans and get change for a $10 bill ($5 bill in the old days)
4) For a night out low budget style, or to interview an artist or rock star, we went to the famous and historic Chelsea Hotel restaurant El Quijote for a broiled lobster, or if we wanted to skip the history trip and just get a really good lobster we went to Bleeker and Sullivan Streets in the West Village to Cafe Espanol. Both of these places are still open today.
5) For drinking and eating then and now you can go to Corner Bistro, Jane Street and West 4th Street for the best hamburger in town. They are a comfortable neighborhood bar and they are consistently on the top of the list of best burgers in New York.
Sarah L. Myers
1. Yaffa Cafe - Yaffa is the stuff of my dreams. Zebra print, christmas lights, hot pink upholstered booths and amazing hummus. Open 24 hours and always full of the most interesting people in the city.
2. Cafe Orlin - Best breakfast value in the city and a top spot for people watching. Order the special, sit outside and read the Voice.
3. Balthazar - One of New York's most famous restaurants and well worth the struggle just to get in the door. Order some brunch and lose yourself in the faces and conversation around you.
4. Nathan's at Coney Island - Nothing beats chili cheese fries impaled with a pitchfork. So grossly orange and oily, it borders on food porn. Washed down with a cold 40-ouncer, and preferably during the Siren Fest, it's heaven.
5. Ray's - It's one of my travel traditions. After an afternoon browsing the racks at Kim's video and visiting with Jimmy at Trash, I head to my favorite Ray's on the corner of St. Marks. A cold beer, slice of plain cheese, and a stack of newspapers. It's one of my greatest New York pleasures.
1. Amarit (RIP) - Site of my fondest Chicago memories, sitting with a good friend and laughing over Thai iced teas - the best in town. That perfect mixture of red tea and cream that makes salmon-colored clouds when stirred. Now it's a Starbucks.
2. Tempo Cafe - Omelet skillets. Bottomless coffee. Open 24 hours. Case closed.
3. Luciano's (RIP) - A special place. Luxe sofas, a mohagony bar and piano room greeted you. An even more elegant dining room for the main course - rich, decadent Italian dishes. Now it's condos.
4. Pick-Me-Up. No place like it in the world. Right smack in the middle of jockville near Wrigley Field, this quirky cafe has the best espresso bar in Chicago. I suggest the Zombie and chocolate cake. Tons of vegan options if you're into that (I hope you're not).
5. Bistrot Zinc - I always come back to this French bistrot with the red storefront. It's our favorite retreat with our favorite dish - steak frites. Thirsty base camp.
Top 5 Places to Eat in London
St John Restaurant, 26 St John St, London, EC1M 4AY
0207 251 0848 Farringdon Tube Station
(Best for meat-eaters and feasts!)
St Johns is an exquisite eatery, renowned for its feasts of suckling pigs and roast guinea fowl.
For the real man who really loves his meat and likes to feast banquet style!
Menus start at £30. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly and the pastry chef is an absolute star girls!
The Wolseley, 160 Piccadilly, St James’s, London, W1J 9EB
0207 499 6996 Green Park Tube Station
(Best for a date – impress the lady!)
The Wolseley is a grand and beautiful building, old, romantic and glamorous, this restaurant is here to impress and seduce, and it does!
Steaks start at £20 and oysters, caviar and the finest wines are on the menu.
The Ivy, 1-5 West St, London, WC2H 9NQ
0207 580 6022 Leicester Square Tube Station
(Best for celeb spotting and name dropping!)
The Ivy used to be extremely exclusive and a place for London celebs to meet and eat but has in the past few years became a little bland. Celeb spotters and X Factor (Pop Idol) wannabe’s are attracted to this central restaurant like bees to honey, hoping they’ll bump into Victoria Beckham or Simon Cowell. It’s certainly not the best food in London though not too pricey (steaks from £10) but ultimately that’s not why you go the Ivy!
The Ritz, 150 Piccadilly London, W1J 9BR
0207 300 2370 Green Park Tube Station
(Best for posh afternoon tea or treating your mum!)
The Ritz is an incredible hotel restaurant and bar. So posh and elegant, you’ll want to get your best Sunday dress out for this place. It has a 1920s feel and old glamour and decadence that is simply divine and will bring out manners in you, you never knew you had!
Meals are around £40 though so it will cost you but The Ritz must be done, at least once, if only for the famous and quintessentially English afternoon tea which will set you back £37. If it’s Mothers Day, this will have you totally covered!
Gordon Ramsay, Claridge’s, 53 Brook Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 4HR
0207 499 0099 Bond Street Tube Station
(Best all rounder for food, atmosphere and design)
With its 3 Michelin Stars, this is the place to go for great food.
It has a lovely art deco design and a great ambience and atmosphere. The menu is seasonal, contemporary and stunning. At around £100 pre head, it is still a treat but a damn tasty one!
It also has a smart dress code so don’t turn up in flip flops, whatever you do. And if you’re lucky, you may be able to hear the fog horn that is Gordon Ramsay, screaming expletives from the kitchen!