Vampire Weekend pick NYC’s top food spots

A hungry crowd gets its wing on during the Third Annual Wing Eating Contest at The Habitat, where  Vampire Weekend bassist Chris Baio considers the wings “a Top 5 caliber dish.”
A hungry crowd gets its wing on during the Third Annual Wing Eating Contest at The Habitat, where
Vampire Weekend bassist Chris Baio considers the wings “a Top 5 caliber dish.”

There’s a spoken word portion of the song “Finger Back,” from Vampire Weekend’s most recent release, “Modern Vampires of the City.” It mentions Jerusalem, and about a half-second after the listener envisions the holy land, the narrator says, “You know, the one at West 103rd and Broadway.” He goes onto describe an Orthodox girl who falls in love with the guy at the falafel shop because she decides not to just stare at the laminated poster of the dome of the rock.

It’s all very cute. So we thought it would be very cute to get the Vampire Weekend guys to talk about their favorite New York eateries. Surprisingly, Jerusalem does not make their list.

Ezra Koenig: I like Fairway Cafe on the Upper West Side. It’s a restaurant on the second floor of a supermarket. You’re not supposed to shop for food while you’re hungry — so if you get there and you realize you’re hungry, you can go eat some food at the restaurant and then continue shopping without compromising your integrity. They have a good burger. Some might even say it is one of the Upper West Side’s top burgers.

Chris Baio: I recently moved from New York to London and have been loving it so far. That said, London is not a city renowned for its buffalo wings, which is a slight problem for a buffalo wing fiend like myself. I found a blog devoted to British wings and have been trying a bunch. There are plenty of decent places, but they don’t match the glory of my favorite New York haunts. It’s left a hole in my heart.

Leaving a place can really help you put things into perspective and prioritize. This past Sunday when I flew back into New York, the first thing I did was head to The Habitat in Greenpoint for a plate of extra hot wings. They were glorious, just as I remembered them. Definitely a Top 5 caliber dish.

Chris Tomson: I live in the Greenpoint area of Brooklyn, which in the recent past has had a strong Polish community. When I first moved here in 2006, I discovered the mainly cheap joys of the Obiady. These restaurants, or so I’ve been told, first functioned as makeshift kitchens for the many Polish immigrant workers who came to NYC without their families. Generally, the meals consist of a big hunk of meat, mashed potatoes and some kind of cabbage-y side, which was perfect for the unemployed 22-year-old I was then.

Lomzynianka has the homiest vibe, and I believe is still BYOB. Karczma feels like Disneyland, as the servers are dressed in Old World outfits. My favorite, though, is probably Krolewskie Jadlo. Its front door is guarded by two oversized suits of armor, and the food is good, too!

Rostam Batmanglij: When Cafe Iris opened in Brooklyn Heights a handful of years ago, it had a distinct, off-the-cuff charm. Nothing came out hot, except for toast. (Music played from a worn out iPod dock; the New York Times stretched from table to table, a couple of days out of date, and shared communally).

The huevos rancheros were some kind of delicacy of suburban after-school gatherings: a handful of tortilla chips, covered in watery red salsa, topped with broken-apart slices of cold cheddar, a few slices of avocado and broken-open soft boiled eggs, the yellow yolks running down to the bottom of the bowl. The dish seemed to connect with a bunch of us in our 20s, living in the neighborhood, who longed for a kind of simple comfort food that we had growing up. If you arrived too late in the afternoon, they could no longer make it for you as they would run out of some of the necessary ingredients.

Cafe Iris was a huge hit with everyone who lived in the area, so much so that the place evolved into something approximating a real restaurant. They still serve huevos rancheros, but I think it’s become a bit more “authentic,” and they make sure not to ever run out of ingredients anymore.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Flying can of soybeans hits woman in the…

Police are looking for a man suspected of throwing a can of soybeans that hit a woman in the face inside a Bronx supermarket last week.

Local

Body of 9-year-old boy found atop scaffolding around…

Police found the body of a 9-year-old boy atop scaffolding at his high-rise apartment building in the Bronx late Wednesday.

Local

Winners of the 2014 #NYCPoetweet contest

Every year, Metro partners with the mayor's office to promote Poem in your Pocket Day with a Twitter contest. Here are the winning entries.

Local

Where to celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day…

Here are some ways you can get poetic today and for the rest of April, National Poetry Month.

Movies

What to see at the Tribeca Film Festival…

There's only a few more days left in this year's sprawling Tribeca Film Festival. Consider these for your weekend moviegoing (and get tickets and more…

Movies

Review: The parkour film 'Brick Mansions' needs more…

"Brick Mansions," the American remake of the French parkour film "District B13," is a rough, cheap retread that ruins its best stunts with hectic editing.

The Word

Is Avril Lavigne's new music video racist?

Some fans say Avril Lavigne's new music video is offensive to Japanese people.

Television

Jodie Foster married girlfriend Alexandra Hedison this weekend

No need to rely on cryptic Golden Globe speeches for your movie star sexual orientation questions anymore: Jodie Foster is married to a lady. Foster…

MLB

Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda ejected for using pine…

Pineda was thrown out of the game against the Red Sox Wednesday for having pine tar on his neck -- for all the world to see.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

NFL

Giants 2014 regular season schedule

The Giants will play five prime-time games — against the Lions, Redskins, Eagles, Colts and Cowboys.

MLB

Jets 2014 regular season schedule

The Jets will play three prime-time games — against the Bears, Patriots and Dolphins — as well as a CBS national game in Week 2 at Green Bay.

Tech

Spider-Man's web shooters get real

A German lab technician has created a working Spider-Man web shooter, which fires pellets and a harpoon-tipped, retractable fishing line instead of a liquid web.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.