2nd Edition NOW AVAILABLE!!!

9780984710829.main I’m very excited to announce that the Second Edition of Pines Picks: A Kid’s Guide to the Best Things To Eat and Drink in New York City is now available on Amazon.

I’ve been working hard to update the book with several new categories and have also named some new Pines Picks for categories that the previous winner has closed.  So visit Amazon and pick up a copy for the latest in the New York City restaurant scene from my perspective.

French Onion Soup — New Pines Pick

Pines PickBrasserie

100 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10020
(212) 751-4840


I have always liked Brasserie’s French onion soup, but recently I tried it again, and I have to say that it is better than ever.  Brasserie’s version of French onion soup comes in a huge bowl, covered with beautifully-browned and bubbly melted cheese, just the right texture—not too thick and not too thin to hold up to your happily digging spoon.  Underneath the baked cheese cover, is a tasty, hot onion broth, that contains a piece or two of soft French bread, lots of sweet onions, and some more gooey melted cheese.  The onion soup seems to be on Brasserie’s brunch, lunch and dinner menus at so you can get it almost any time of day.

Caesar Salad — NEW Pines Pick

Pines PickPietro’s

232 East 43rd Street
New York, NY  10017
(212) 682-9760

Primehouse, my old Caesar salad winner, with its fun, table-side service, unfortunately closed down. So I tried many more Caesar salad places. For the first time, I got to try the Caesar salad at Pietro’s. It was delicious. The salad has a little bit of tang from the anchovies that were cut up in the salad. There are also tiny croutons on the salad. I normally don’t love croutons, but the ones on the Caesar salad at Pietro’s are especially tasty and not too bready. There is also a lot of Parmesan cheese in the salad that adds a nice texture to the crunchy, fresh romaine lettuce. Unlike some of the other Caesar salads that I tried, the Pietro’s Caesar did not have a watery dressing. Overall, Pietro’s mixes a ton of ingredients to make an excellent Caesar salad.

New Bagel Pines Pick

Pines PickBagel Hole

400 7th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY  11215
(718) 788-4014

My friend told me to try the bagels at Bagel Hole in Brooklyn. I went there and the bagels were great. Even if you wait a few hours to eat their bagels, they are still super chewy, soft and delicious. The outside layer of the bagel gives itl a little crunch; then you get to the doughy inside. The bagels have a nice flavor. Overall, Bagel Hole makes an impeccable bagel.

Chocolate Souffle – NEW Pines Pick

Pines PickBouchon Bakery

10 Columbus Circle
New York, NY 10019
(212) 823-9366

1 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY  10111
(212) 782-3890


Normally, even a great soufflé needs a liquid topping to make it super moist. But, the chocolate soufflé at Bouchon Bakery is so rich, chocolaty,  and flavorful that I was easily able to finish the whole thing without even adding the crème anglaise. Topped off with powder sugar, this dessert is unbelievable. It is crisp on the outside, but once you break through the delicate shell, the inside is gooey and soft.—an amazing dessert any soufflé lover will enjoy.


Pines PickRockaway Taco

95-19 Rockaway Beach Boulevard
Rockaway Beach, NY 11693
(347) 213-7466

I tried a lot of fish tacos all over NYC. My choice: Rockaway Taco. Rockaway Taco makes one awesome fish taco. The fish they use appears to be tilapia: it is nice and white and flaky. The outside of the fish is crispy, almost tempura like. The tortilla is not soggy at all, and is hot, grilled and delicious. There is red cabbage on the taco, which give it a nice freshness and a good crunch. I recommend the delicious, flavorful guacamole as an added topping: it really adds zest and texture. All I can say is that is all the flavors combined make up an outstanding, not-to-be missed fish taco.

Runners Up

Pinche Taqueria

227 Mott Street
(Between Prince & Spring Street)
New York, NY 10012
(212) 625-0090

333 Lafayette Street
(Between Bleecker & Houston Streets)
New York, NY 10012
(212) 343-9977

Mole Mexican Bar & Grill

205 Allen St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 777-3200

57 Jane St
(Corner of Jane St & Hudson St)
New York, NY 10014
(212) 206-7559

1735 2nd Ave
(between 89th St & 90th St)
New York, NY 10128
(212) 289-8226

178 Kent Ave
(Corner of North 4th St)
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(347) 384-2300

This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef — Roast Beef Sandwich

This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef is a very small hole-in-a-wall type establishment that specializes in roast beef sandwiches. You can eat there or take out, but it is probably better for take out.

You can choose from several types of roast beef as well as other sandwiches, and then you pick if you want a roll or a hero. I tried the “This Way” sandwich and the “That Way” version – among other things, one had Cheese Whiz on it and the other had fresh, melted Mozzarella. I ordered them both on a roll and loved them. The sandwiches are hot and fresh. If you are hungry for roast beef, you should definitely try this place.

 This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef


149 1st Avenue
New York, NY  10003

NEW PINES PICK – Strawberry Shortcake

Viniero’s Pasticceria and Caffé


342 E. 11th Street
New York, NY  10003
(212) 674-7070

The strawberry shortcake at Veniero’s makes for one extremely tasty midday snack, or late night dessert. The cake is spongy (in a good way) and perfectly moist, but not soggy. This shortcake contains an awesome homemade fresh whipped cream that tastes amazing. Inside each cake are layers of a ripe, juicy strawberry filling. The strawberries add a sweet yet clean flavor to the cake.  The milky cream and the sweet strawberry filling balance each other out which makes the cake just right. Overall, I wouldn’t hesitate to make a special trip just to have a slice of this cake; I highly recommend that you give it a try.

NEW PINES PICK — Whoopie Pies

Pines PickBaked


359 Van Brunt Street
(between Wolcott and Dikeman Streets)
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 222-0345

I set out to  find the best whoopie pie in NYC, and Baked turned out to be my favorite. Baked has a few flavors, but my favorite is the strawberry whoopie pie. It is sweet, moist strawberry cake that is very soft, with luscious creamy, fresh whipped cream. The whipped cream is extremely light and has the right amount of sweetness so as not to overpower this awesome dessert. (Normally, I really like chocolate whoopee pies as well, but Baked’s chocolate pie had an espresso taste that might not appeal to kids or adults who don’t really like the taste of coffee.)  But, overall Baked has great, fresh whoopie pies that will more than satisfy your cravings for a top-notch and super fun dessert.

Runner Up

Joyce Bakeshop


646 Vanderbilt Ave
(between Park Pl and Prospect Pl)
Brooklyn, NY  11238
(718) 623-7470




5 Carmine Street
(At 6th Avenue)
New York, NY 10014
(212) 255-4874

I have been searching for the best popsicle in NYC.  My overall favorite place is Popbar on Carmine Street.  The popsicles come in many cool (but straightforward) flavors, and are made of either gelato, sorbetto or yogurt.  My favorite popsicle at Popbar is the peanut butter popGelato.  It is smooth and creamy and had the perfect sweet peanut butter taste that I love.  I also really liked their strawberry popSorbetto — which I thought was sweet and refreshing.   At Popbar, you can also have any of the pops dipped in a fresh topping like milk or dark chocolate, which makes them even tastier.  Popbar is a truly delicious and unique shop.  If you are craving a great dessert, check it out.

I found some other great places for popsicles:

Runner Up

People’s Pops

Check their website for hours and locations

Runner Up

La NewYorkina Mexican Ice & Sweets

Check their website for cart schedule