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Lansky’s: The Best Deal in Manhattan?

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Finding Lansky’s was like finding a Kenny G album in Henry Rollins’ iPod. It was puzzling and unexpected. I only venture out into the expensive foreign land of the Upper West Side when it is necessary, and hearing about cheap beer and sliders made this a necessary trip. Lansky’s is an old-style Jewish deli (think Katz’s or Carnegie Deli) that opened about a year ago, and has established one of the best deals in the five boroughs in one of the most prohibitively expensive neighborhoods in Manhattan.

I can only assume that if you go to Lanskys on psychedelics, the walls and the floor would conspire to trap you within their old-timey patterns of cheap deliciousness.

I can only assume that if you go to Lansky's on psychedelics, the walls and the floor would conspire to trap you within their old-timey patterns of cheap deliciousness.

Lanksy’s, in its first year, has netted a spot in Time Out New York’s Cheap Eats 2009 guide for its tasty sandwiches and burgers under $10. But I’m talking about a special that makes their already relatively inexpensive menu look like this. Everyday from 4:30pm to close (midnight), Lansky’s features 50-cent sliders and hot dogs, 25-cent wings, and $3 bottled beers! This is a deal ideal for between-jobs time, that right-before-paycheck broke, a place to go when you’re penny-rolling poor. As a bonus, the sliders are delicious! Juicy little burgers that make White Castle burgers seem like a sin against nature (in all fairness, that is probably true). The wings (minimum six per order) are adequate, but the hot dogs are, well…meh. The beers? Surprisingly quality options are available: Blue Moon, Guinness, Red Stripe, Carlsberg, Sierra Nevada, as well as the expected Budweiser-type options.

The restaurant itself is a bit schmaltzy. It’s one thing to be a stalwart hundred year-old Jewish deli in NYC, it’s quite another to try to affect that look with retro wallpaper and vintage-looking diner booths. This is not the kind of place to make your new hangout, but it is absolutely a place worth bringing your spare change to so you can relish (pun intended–dress up those dogs!) the cheap tastiness that can be yours for 50 damn cents.

235 Columbus Ave. between 70th St. and 71st St. [Upper West Side]
everyday from 4:30 to midnight
1, 2, 3 or B, C to 72nd St.

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Joe Petersen - Classist Columnist

Joe Petersen - Classist Columnist

Joe grew up in South San Francisco, spent a decade in Santa Cruz, and
relocated to Brooklyn in late 2008. He has been a waiter, a maintenance
man, a record store clerk, a professional radio DJ, an amateur
newcaster and a movie theater popcorn-slinger. Being broke is his
birthright, as he is from broke stock and has limited prospects. He
likes comic books and is obsessed with soul music.