Bottom of the pit #7, NYC

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New York City, the city that never sleeps… The big apple! With almost 10 million people living in the city there are thousands of restaurants to pick from, including some of the best and…. the worst. That’s where we step in.  It’s easy to make mediocre food. Being with the top 10 worst restaurants of a particular area is (unless there are only 10 restaurants in that area) not that easy either! Let’s start with the 10 worst restaurants of New York City, US according to the people who visit them!

NYC has about 13500 listed restaurants! These are the absolute worst! All of these restaurants have more then 10 reviews online. Some of these places have closed (for a good reason).

#10 Joe’s Ginger

As first time visitors to NYC we wanted to go to Chinatown to sample the cuisine. Too bad we picked this place! The staff were rude, the food was thrown at us. Drinks came in cans provided with a straw. We where not even finished with the starters when our main course was placed (thrown) in front of us and then shortly after, the bill thrown on the table! A member of the staff was chopping things on the table across from us which she then used her hand to remove the veg peelings. We then put our money on the tray, it was quickly grabbed by an old dragon who counted it and then complained we had not paid service charge! What service? It was appalling and would strongly advise anyone considering a visit to avoid at all cost! Most unpleasant experience of our holiday!

#9 Roxy Diner

Just Don’t go there! As we went in a customer warned us to rethink our choice, I should have listened! Very slow waiter service, the food was very ordinary- as in McDonalds burgers have way more flavour and appeal than my sons steak burger he ordered. My fish and chips looked like three over cooked fish fingers with tasteless chips. We saw other meals being served that were also really poor quality, with customers complaining. I made a mistake of going to the restrooms while our meals were cooking, it meant I got a glimpse of a very dirty, untidy kitchen. The restrooms were a mess, so bad I wasn’t sure if I should wash my hands after or not! Nasty! To top it off they automatically charge gratuity, possibly because no one would tip.

#8 Crudo Vineria Con Cucina

Let’s start with the weird stuff: When we were done eating a waiter came to our table, picked up a spoon, went to the bar, wiped it off with a napkin and gave it to another customer! W*F?! Anyway, our family of 4 where eating out on christmas day. Two of us had pasta Alfredo that tasted almost like nothing with except for a slight hint of gym-sneaker (that’s the most accurate description,actually!!). Someone else had pasta with sheep cheese and crushed pepper that was quite watery (like they didn’t drain the water completely from the pasta). Again, it didn’t have any flavour, very strange… I used salt to no avail because it brought out zero flavour and finally my plate was pretty much covered with pepper from the only mill they had. My daughter had a steak that was decent but not very seasoned. Me and my wife had some very boring Chianti that was served in glasses that, felt and looked like they weren’t even washed.  Off course we should have complained but we were mad hungry after walking from 103d street alm the way down to little italy and we were taken off guard. No waiter came around to ask us if we were satisfied with the food. Only when they took away the food and the guy must have noticed my pissed off look and asked me if everything was all right.
I told him that the pasta was a HUGE disappointment and he said that he appreciated my honesty. Two mins later there was a check for 177$ for 4 people incl a big tip.

#7 Ginger

One would think that with all the competition in Chinatown the food would be descent in all of these restaurants especially ones off the main streets. No, that’s not the case. Let me introduce you to Joe’s Ginger that is not to be confused with Joe’s Shanghai. This filthy nugget of disgust has its front windows lined up with Zagat logos making one think that it actually serves good food. Let me be perfectly clear: I HAVE HAD BETTER CHINESE FOOD IN IOWA. Not a single item that we ordered (2 types of spring rolls, steamed dumplings, sesame chicken and vegetable fried rice) tasted remotely close to food fit for human consumption. Everything was stale, bitter, frozen/thawed and overall disgusting. The sesame chicken was more like sesame bread batter and tasted like it was just defrosted. The broccoli that came with it was 100% just thawed and looking limp and wrinkly. The fried rice tasted so awful that I actually had to spit it back out. There are so many really good restaurants in this area, how can this place even exist? Take my word for it people, this is horrific food that does not belong in Chinatown. It doesn’t taste exotic Chinese. It just tastes like garbage. Avoid at all cost.

#6 Nello’s

I really don’t know where to start. I was in the city with my mother and since it was pouring rain, I was unable to do any restaurant research on my phone, so we just walked into a restaurant when we got hungry enough. It started out decently; they asked us if we had a reservation (and said it was fine that we didn’t), took our coats, and we were seated and given menus. It was downhill from there. In that part of New York high prices are expected. But for prices this high, everything should be exceptional, and that was not the case. Some of the waiters were fine, but one stood out as terrible. He seemed older than the others. He took my wine order, but was very unhelpful. Plus he was rude to my mother as we were leaving. I’m recently 21 and I don’t know much about wine yet. I asked him about chardonnay and he said that it’s good. Well, that really doesn’t tell me anything. I asked if it’s sweet. He said yes. I would expect an Italian restaurant to be a bit more descriptive than that. Little Italy is much better. The waiters in Little Italy are so friendly, the food is delicious, portions are good, prices are reasonable. But unfortunately I wasn’t in the area that day. So I got stuck at this cleverly disguised dump. The food portions were outrageously small. I ordered the ravioli (which I believe was over $40. Maybe $43?) And I got like 5 or 6 ravioli. They were stuffed, but you could barely tell. My mom got the portobello salad which came with one rather thin mushroom and some lettuce. It was also drastically overpriced (I think it was $27). The food was good, but I would never recommend going there. If you’re in the city on a day trip walking around the entire day, you need more food. We really didn’t care that it was so expensive, but the poor service and minuscule portions are just inexcusable. Anyway, we both got something more to eat at a cafe in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. And if I could go back to that day, I would have had one lunch just at the met. New York would be an even greater place if this place would close. Tourists visiting for the first time would probably be left with bad feelings about the city when really there are great restaurants if you do some research. This experience was just unacceptable.

#5 Jekyll and Hyde of Greenwich Village

We went on a Friday night and I was surprised there were only 4 tables occupied. The last time I went we waited 2 hours to be seated. That should have been my first clue that this place is disgusting. We waited to be seated even though there were hardly any people. We were greeted by a guy with a grey suit and he escorted us to our table. He was supposed to be creepy but came across as a man in a dirty suit going through the motions. Our waiter introduced himself and was wearing a Doc Holiday mustache and a failed attempt at a southern accent. When we told him his southern accent was hurting our ears, he tried to convince us it was the way he really talks now because of his visits to several cities in the USA and one visit to England. We ordered drinks and they took over 15 minutes to be delivered even though we were sitting next to the bar. We finally flagged down the waiter to place our appetizer order. When we asked for a recommendation he read us the entire appetizer selection. It took us over a half hour to get our appetizers. After delivering our appetizers we again had to flag down the waiter and ask him to take our dinner order. We made it very clear that we had a ghost tour scheduled and needed to leave in an hour. He took our order and left. We received our food 45 minutes after asking for a manager. The manager never showed up. My sister had order the short ribs and they were so salty it was in edible. We like salty food but this was beyond gross. We asked for a new item to eat and our waiter told us he couldn’t clear off the short rib plate or order a new item until the manager saw the food. It took the manager 15 minutes to approve a new order. I called and cancelled our ghost tour as it has now been over 2 hours since we arrived and my sister hadn’t even eaten. My food was not edible and my Mom and Daughter just picked at theirs. My sister’s new plate arrived a half hour later and she said it was decent but because she was starving she might be feeling generous with the assessment. While we were waiting FOREVER for our food, they had talking animals on the walls. There were a few families with young children, I would guess they were around 7, 9, 4, 2 years old. This is NOT for young children. All of them cried, one ran under the table and 2 of them became hysterical. The talking animals are scripted and try to include the patrons. They weren’t funny and became very annoying with the failed attempt at humor and the awkward pauses. After dinner, we had to find the waiter and beg for the bill. We were there nearly 3 hours. When we left, my daughter asked me if the rest of our trip was going to be a “gross failure” like this place. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

#4 Joe’s Crab Shack

After several months of anticipating the opening of the Joe’s Crab Shack at Frederick Douglass Blvd. and W. 126th St. in NY, NY, my wife and I finally had an opportunity to go there this past Saturday, Feb., 8, 2014. We decided to dine there despite the fact that we had read numerous negative reviews about other people’s dining experiences. We thought, “It can’t be that bad!”. Upon walking off of the elevator and entering the restaurant, which is situated on the second floor, we were abruptly and disturbingly greeted by tremendously loud music playing on the restaurant’s PA system. Our immediate reaction was to turnaround, get back on the elevator and leave. However, the host-person explained, “They are dancing”. We were not sure what that meant, but observed the staff and manager doing an extremely bad imitation of a floor show. We asked whether or not the music would continue at the same volume and were told it would not. After being seated, the music was still being played rather loudly, so we asked that it be turned down. We had to do this twice since it was still abrasive after the first time we asked. The food and service was in a word, “dreadful”. We were given no silverware until after the food arrived at our table; ultimately having to ask for the utensils. The food itself was very salty (especially the sausage), only moderately warm, very much over cooked and over-priced. The appetizer consisted of fried calamari with a pasty coating, semi-wilted nachos and a cheesy crab drip (minus the crab). The corn my wife had her as part of her entree looked almost diseased. While the restaurant was not crowded nor busy, our server was slow as was the delivery of our meal. The server came back to our table only once and that was to ask if we wished drink refills, to which we said yes. However, she never returned with our drinks, so we had to ask another staff person who kindly delivered them. Generally, the restaurant can be likened to a noisy Junior High School cafeteria at lunchtime.

#3 Benash Delicatessen

It was freezing and raining, so we were easily sucked in by the warm, empty tables at Benash. We should have realized that there was good reason people were huddling outside Carnegie Deli and not rushing over to Benash, like we so foolishly did.  We were quickly seated, right by the door, despite 75% of the tables being empty. We asked to be moved, because the gusts of icy air coming in from the door we’re pretty miserable. The server flat out told us “No!”. If my 8 year old hadn’t been hungry, we would have left.  We ordered drinks, I specifically asked for unsweet iced tea, our server returned with our drinks pretty quickly. I took a sip of my tea and it was the sweetened Nestea that comes from a fountain. I asked the server for unsweet tea and he told me they didn’t have any. When I told him to take the tea back and I’d just have water instead, he was magically able to get me unsweet tea. I guess he didn’t want to miss out on that $3 charge for the tea. We proceeded to order, my daughter ordered a tuna melt and the server barked at her, “No! You’re not having that. No tuna, pick something else.” He was very difficult to understand and she stared at me wide eyed, not sure what to do. I told her she needed to pick something else. The server was not happy that she needed to take a minute to look at the menu and told her “hurry, pick something else.”  Our food came out quickly. It was all mediocre at best. I’ve had better hospital cafeteria food. There prices are in line with other NYC delis and would have been acceptable had they provided food and service that was comparable to other NYC delis. Unfortunately, both their service and food fall far below this bar.  I finally had enough when the server hovered like a vulture when we were calculating the tip and signing the credit card receipt.

#2 Ben Ash Deli

This “deli” should be shut down. I’d seen the place the day before and it looked interesting. I my entire life and throughout my trips around the globe, I have NEVER encountered a more belligerent or worthless waitress as the one we had that morning. The place was nearly empty because it was 11:00 AM. We were put at a table at the end of 4 or 5 tables. I ordered coffee DECAF and my partner ordered a latte while longingly staring out the window at Starbucks. My coffee tasted like the grounds had been used for a week and it wasn’t decaf. The same for my friend’s latte. I ordered a bagel with cream cheese, smoked salmon, red onion, lettuce and tomato with capers. My partnered ordered Eggs Benedict. The waitress brought the orders and left. The Eggs Benedict were so runny, I didn’t even know how they could stay round. My “sandwich” was a plain bagel with tons of salmon and cream cheese, cut in half. The rest of the plate consisted of shredded lettuce of some kind, with capers thrown on top. The tomato was cut into wedges. The red onion was diced in big squares, and unpeeled cucumber slices aligned the side of the plate. Ridiculous! When we flagged the waitress over and asked her to have the cook redo the Eggs Benedict so that the eggs were more done. She argued with us and told us “that is hows Eggs Benedict come.” She refused to take the eggs back until the owner came to the table and said he would take them back. To which we said, just scramble them. The waitress brought back the eggs scrambled with the same potatoes and bacon, stone cold. When we asked for our check after begging someone to find her, the check was wrong. It still had the Eggs Benedict listed. We flagged her over again, and she said, “This not my fault. Kitchen did it.” We said we didn’t care. We just wanted our bill. She finally came with the bill which was $58!!!! We gave her $60 and asked for the change back. She was in disbelief. We walked out of the restaurant and felt sorry for anyone else that was in the place. The owner must not read these reviews because it appears that this waitress is the one that everyone is referring to OR the owner has hired all family members and he can’t do anything about firing them.

#1 Chez Le Chef

We stumbled into this place on a Sunday morning after trying to get into Penelope’s which had a huge wait. The whole place is bizarre and if you eat here you will not forget it – unfortunately. It is like walking into someone’s mental illness, or walking into a nightmare. Frederic, the chef, wears a very tall white chef’s hat and has probably not shaven since 1980 with a huge, now grey, handlebar mustache, white beard and pony tail. The restaurant has every gaudy decoration possible, including fake christmas trees, plastic flowers, valentine hearts, etc covering every table, railing, etc. These are all dusty, like they have been sitting there since 1980. But in a way it is almost comically charming. The food was pretty bad. Bread nothing to write home about. Jelly had a hard covering on it, like it had been sitting in the fridge for years. Omelets were inedible – a very weird consistency. Sausage was truly a hot dog cut up in pieces and fried. Coffee was cold. We asked for a warm up and it came up cold again. People at my table were so grossed out they could not eat. Dirty silverware and dishes were dusty. I had the smoked salmon platter. I could eat the salmon in the middle, but the outside of it was dried out – probably past expiration date now that I think about it. Ewwwh! Hope I don’t end up with killer diarrhea! It was actually so incredibly bad that it was funny. We were all laughing hysterically about how we ended up in such a bizarre and terrible place until we got the $107 bill! That was breakfast for four! If it wasn’t for that I would still be laughing. He is still living as if it is the 1980s and his food has probably been there that long, too.

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About the Author

Mr Eggplant

Born on a hot sunday morning near Pripyat in 1986.