Verdict: This book is indispensable for New York vacations and outings--even if you don't have kids!
David Pines is a top expert on dining opportunities in New York for children. His book is a well-written, authoritative guide for parents visiting New York with their kids, offering solid recommendations of the best family-friendly restaurants and fast-food joints in the Big Apple.
David has a great deal of experience as a food critic, having sampled many of the city’s eateries in the city he was born and raised in. As an expert on the city’s dining choices, there’s nothing he can’t do . . . except ride the subway on his own to get to these places. David Pines is eleven years old.
But of course – who better to write a guide to kid-friendly eateries than a kid? That’s what makes David’s book as user-friendly as it is kid-friendly. Not only does he know what kids like himself will enjoy, he writes about it in a simple, declarative style, unencumbered by adult pompousness. Pick a review at random, like this review for a burrito joint in East Midtown (“The burritos here are big and super stuffed. The outside of the burrito is fresh and light. I recommend the super vegetarian. It is overflowing with guacamole, sour cream, rice and beans, and comes with lettuce and tomato chunks.”), and you get his direct writing style in a nutshell. Or, in this case, a burrito shell.
David breaks down New York’s eateries into different categories: lunch and dinner foods, breakfast foods, international and specialty dishes, seafood dishes, beverages, and desserts and baked goods with more specific subcategories (hamburgers or chicken in lunch and dinner foods, pancakes, eggs French toast in breakfast foods, et. al.) within.
A single eatery or chain gets recommended as the best choice for each subcategory, with some places mentioned more than once for having the best of more than one type of food within the same category or having the best foods in more than one category. Runners-up for each choice are also selected, in some cases as many as two or three runners-up to a single recommendation, but others don’t. A blurb for every runner-up eatery would have made this a more comprehensive guide.
Nevertheless, this is bound to be a more reliable dining guide than any of the generic Fodor or Frommer travel guides written by (mostly) anonymous copywriters. And once you’ve gone through “Pines Picks” thoroughly, you’ll be amazed at all the culinary options you and your family have in New York City, even if you’re a Greater New York area resident who visits the city constantly. Oh, and one other thing – this book is indispensable for New York vacations and outings even if you don’t have kids!
Reviewed by Steven Maginnis for IndieReader