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New Food: It Exists!

It’s safe to say that Morningside Heights is the culinary center of America.

Hey, JK! Since the Pinnacle Incident made everyone debate the merits of Cracker Barrel, Bwog is here to quell your foodie nerves: there are new options! The Morningside food openings, renovations, and gossip:

  • The vacant storefront formerly known as Empanada Joe’s has been deserted for nearly a year. The spot is one of Morningside urban legend– perhaps some will remember the rise and fall of the Wrapp Factory– nothing that occupies the spot next to Famiglia’s can never stay open. Now Israeli vegeterian falafel chain Maoz is trying its hand: a huge poster with two tanned falafel enthusiasts went up about a week ago, announcing that the internationally successful chain is coming soon to Morningside.
  • A new Caribbean and Soul restaurant, Freda’s, recently opened in La Negrita-ville, 993 Columbus and 109th Street. Freda’s offers standard Soul fare, with a menu similar to Miss Mamie’s but cheaper prices. A fried chicken entree, for example, is $7.99 and includes peas, rice and two sides. Freda’s menu also includes a selection of fish, curries, and desserts.
  • A new gourmet-ish deli, Crystal Gourmet, has also recently opened on Broadway and 108th Street, serving the genre of slightly high-end deli food that you often find in Midtown. There’s lots of selection, and the prices are reasonable. It’s certainly shinier than its across-the-street neighbor, Famous Deli.

  • The brand-new Cafe East next to Liberty House on Broadway has gotten a makeover. It has a new name, TeaMagic, and nothing seems to be different besides the fact that store is swathed in an eery blue light. Same FroYo, pastries, still right across the street from monster FroYo machine Pinkberry. Still, the Cafe East fare you can get in Lerner is no more.
  • The Kosher Deli in John Jay, closed since November, has just re-opened with a new mashgiach, who oversees the food to make sure it remains kosher. Director of Dining Vicky Dunn told Bwog that the new mashgiach is creating a new kosher menu and comes from a kosher catering/retail background.
  • Some unsubstantiated gossip…on Bwog! A few weeks ago our friends at Samad’s told us that the storefront currently under construction next to Samad’s, formerly Academy Hardware, is being turned into a restaurant/bar owned by Westside. Westside management hasn’t gotten back to Bwog yet, but we poked around a bit and saw Westside owner Ian Joskowitz talking with a construction worker. The building has three floors like its next-door neighbor, the Heights. Oh, the possibilities!
  • Plus: salvation! Pinnacle is open again. It was only shuttered for two weeks after amassing what Bwog can only imagine was a long list of health violations. A sign that went up late last week declared that the store was closed for renovations (uhhh…) and indeed Pinnacle opened again over the weekend. We bet the pizza’s still there from the day it was shut down!

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  • yo bro says:


  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous I still can’t help wishing that one day Taim would open a second branch up here … but Maoz will do.

    1. Amen says:

      @Amen I love Taim, but Maoz is my second choice every time.

  • veg out says:

    @veg out veg out. the diana should use that for their salad bar.

    1. i think says:

      @i think you mean the vag.

  • wait what says:

    @wait what cafe east in lerner is gone?

    1. some people says:

      @some people “cafe east in lerner is gone?”
      Wow you’re an idiot…learn how to read and comprehend what you read….there was even a picture to show you that they were not referring to the spot in lerner

      1. wow says:

        @wow Did someone shit in your bowl of cereal this morning? Calm down.

        “Still, the Cafe East fare you can get in Lerner is no more” can be interpreted to mean that the Cafe East in Lerner is gone.

  • Really? says:

    @Really? No comment on the opening of the vag today, anywhere? For shame!

  • ahhhh says:


  • What about says:

    @What about Five Guys?

    1. ok you said: says:

      @ok you said: “Still, the Cafe East fare you can get in Lerner is no more” can be interpreted to mean that the Cafe East in Lerner is gone.

      Yeah this can be interpreted this way if english is your second language. Also if you were that worried about it being gone in lerner should have gone to check and get off your bum…not rely on others like you do for everything else

      1. Good job says:

        @Good job Good job replying to the correct post. Are you new with computers?

      2. hmmm says:

        @hmmm everytime i’ve gone by it’s been closed-confusion!!
        but really dude chill out, it’s a confusing sentence.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Pinnacle has the best cheese danishes in New York City. Well, Pinnacle and anywhere else that happens to carry those danishes. As long as this is true, I am a loyal customer. I will even sit in the low-ceiling’d sauna upstairs.

    Incidentally, my captcha reads luncheon anger.

  • YAY! says:

    @YAY! MAAAAOOOOOOZZZZZZ. amir’s is gonna hit SERIOUS competition soon.

  • more says:

    @more any clue as to what’s going up where TOMO used to be? looks like some serious remodeling.

  • maoz says:

    @maoz is not israeli. founded by israeli-expats perhaps, but incorporated in the netherlands (first branch in amsterdam).

    bwog, fact-check!

    1. your an idiot says:

      @your an idiot they meant the type of food offered not the mini flags that they stick in the falafel balls. Christ, let’s get into an internet brawl over which side of the line the owners originally were born on.

      1. haha says:

        @haha I’m sure you meant to write “you’re” while commenting on someone else’s idiocracy, eh strumpet?

      2. hm says:

        @hm well, those are maoz birthers for ya

  • Uptowner says:

    @Uptowner I also noticed that ::gasp:: a Checker’s opened up on 125th and Broadway. Now all we need is a Chick Fil A like NYU has and all my fast food desires will be sated.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous I can confirm that I saw it the other day and it is there.

  • english native speaker says:

    @english native speaker i interpreted that comment to mean that the café east in lerner n’existe plus, and i don’t know how you could parse that sentence elsewise….

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous I went to Freda’s today. It was delicious! Yay for cheap food that still tastes awesome!

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