157 Chrystie St, New York, NY | Directions 1000240.720492 -73.993044
Mon. - Thu. 4am - 9pm;Fri. - Sat. 4am - 11pm;Sun. 3:30am - 9pm
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Bowery, Lower East Side
Out of the great heritage of Jewish culture on the Lower East Side, only one restaurant remains: Sammy's, or, as I think of it, Schmaltz's Last Stand. Here are to be found the classical chopped liver, the kishka, the egg creams, the singalongs....and guess what? Some damn fine steaks.
A bit underwhelmed – I came here with a large group (about 15 people). The food was OK, but certainly not extraordinary. The waitstaff was fantastic, however. And the entertainment superb. I am still not convinced that it was worth all the money we paid ($30 plus for a bowl of soup and potato latkes--this included a $4 service charge and automatic 20% gratuity). We could have gone to chinatown and had REALLY good food for a fraction of the cost. In any case, certainly a tourist spot, if you like to hang out in rooms that remind you of Grandma's basement.
Outback's is better than this place! – Was at Sammy's last night for a friends birthday & I don't know what he was thinking when he chose this place. When I arrived & saw the outside I wanted to turn around and go home. The waiter was an annoying, condescending man, only three different brands of beer (WTF!?) and the food was embarassingly average at best. The steak, which is what I was looking forward too, was flank & will not give your average Mexican restaurant owner any sleepness nights. Bland & rubbery, sorry to say. The other food, from the chicken to the stuffed cabbage was forgettable as well. What was not forgettable, however, was the price- we went family style, and it ended up being 130$ per person, and there were ten of us!! CHUTZPAH!!! Take it from me, if you want a REAL steak joint, Peter Luger's, Old Homestead, and Keen's are the way to go here. They are pricey, but you do get what you pay for, unlike Sammy's.
Rude host, sub-par food, entertaining atmosphere – We've been to Sammy's before with large groups because of the highly entertaining atmosphere; it certainly is not the food that has kept us coming back. I made a reservation earlier in the week, and when half of the large party canceled the day of, I tried to call numerous times in the morning and early afternoon and was unsuccessful, as they do not have a voice mail system. Upon finally getting a hold of someone at 5pm, I was berated for canceling last minute and then hung up on. Not exactly incentive to try to reschedule. We will find a place with better food, better value and better trained hosting staff.
Great place for a party – I went here for a Bachelor Party, and not being from New York I wasn't really sure what to expect. I have to say when I walked in the door I was really put off. The place is fairly messy and really cramped, plus they have alka seltzer to give out instead of mints which is a kind of creepy statement to see before you eat. I endep up loving the place because Don Love, Brother and Sister Love were great entertainers. They kept the night fun, the food was very heavily seasoned but overall really good. The steak was tender and smothered in Garlic, the potato pancakes were crispy, the pickled vegetable were excellent. The stuffed cabbage was outstanding, plus the family style meal is all you can eat for $60 which is not bad in NYC.
I think you have to keep a few things in mind with this place, it is more dinner theatre than anything else. You are paying for the whole experience, plus you have to be ok with strongly flavored food and lots of vodka. I would not eat here on a date or with a small group, but they accomodated a large party with ease and provided great entertainment! As there are only two seatings they also let us take our time and did not rush us at all, which is rare. It is one of the best restaurants I have ever seen to host a party.
Great Atmosphere, but HORRIBLE FOOD – Celebrated a friend's birthday there. The music is super fun, the guy on the microphone really keeps the mood upbeat and everyone ends up dancing around the restaurant after a couple of bottles of vodka. However the food was inedible. We had chopped liver (wouldn't give it to my dog). It smelled gross and tasted even worse. The veal dumplings which are fried breaded pieces of minced veal were ok. The salad was just iceberg lettuce a few cucumbers and i found one tiny piece of red pepper. Very low budget and swimming in dressing. Make sure you get the dressing on the side. For the main course I had the small steak which tasted so awful I couldn't even swallow one piece of it. It is difficult to describe how you can make a steak taste so bad. I think they marinate it or put some sauce on it that is just FOUL. I did not get the garlic on top so they must use so much of it so it masks the awful taste of the meat. I offered it to a few other people at our table and they all agreed it was terrible. Let's not forget that the bottles of seltzer on the tables are dirty on the inside and outside.
The only thing on the menu which was good was the salmon. Watch out for all of the bones though. Also it will come out about 10-15 mins after everyone else gets their meals.
Finally the bill arrived and it came out to $120 a person. Great price for a couple of pieces of bread, a vodka with dirty seltzer and a veal dumpling.
This place needs to clean up their act.
Lower East Side as you expect it – Great chopped liver. Pitcher of schmaltz and pitcher of seltzer on every table. All of the steaks are big skirt steaks with plenty of garlic. All cuts can easily be shared between 2 or three people. A side of grilled onions and potato pancakes would be good. Stick with beer, the wine is marginal and overpriced. The vodka was just OK. If you insist on buying a bottle of vodka insist that the bottle is opened at the table.
The entertainment was classic lower east side.
You might want to go once, but expect to pay too much.
Fun Place, Great Steaks, Super Unique, make time for the gym the day after – This place is prob. the most unique restaurant in NYC. The food is delicious. A large steak is roughly the size of lawn chair .. and the whole act is great (depending on you taste/sense of humor). The keyboard singer can be a little loud, and I think they water down their vodka (we drank 2 bottles b/t 5 people and were still able to walk away from the table). But all in all, I HAVE to go here at least once a year no matter what. Really unique dining experience
A year's worth of cholesterol, and worth it – Schmaltz on the table, rib steaks so big the bones poke the folks at the next table, and your Uncle Sol's basement rec room for decor. What's not to love? This Southwesterner is addicted.
For a foodie, nothing beats Sammy's – I visited a good friend in NYC at the start of November and besides enjoying the company of my buddies, I came to NYC to eat. I work in the food industry and for my money there is nothing greater than a great meal at a great spot. Sammys looked nothing like the high end eatery my friends and I spent a small fortune at the night before (WD 50 on Clinton) but I felt its worth before I had a chance to sit down. On first look, the place was warm, it was loud in the best way and the smell was intoxicating. We were greeted with open arms sat at a very simple table, everyone around us looked like they were having th etime of their lives. Our server got right to business by asking if we were Jewish, being 4 Gentiles we told our server to "do his worst" and we put our appetites in his hands. First came the chop liver, then the cabbage rolls, then the veal sausage, then we each order the largest steaks i have ever seen. These steaks were unreal, cut with a spoon, slathered in garlic, the best piece of meat I have ever had, and I have eated a supposed "best steak in the world" for twice its price. The atmosphere was amazing, a cheesey Yiddish piano bar singer kept us well entertained, it only got better after 2 bottles of red. I suggest you try buying the 115 dollar bottle of iced vodka, its just as costly as wine and seems to be twice the fun. Sammys was indeed, the best eating experience I have ever had, and I have had a few that will stay in my mind. It was not the most glamourous, but I left full, with a smile on my face and it was a great way to spend 3.5 hours in the best city in the world.
The last of the great Jewish party restaurants on the Lower East Side. – Every night's a bar mitzvah at this Lower East Side landmark, where the combination of frozen vodka bottles, immense garlicky skirt steaks, the strains of a Casio keyboard playing "New York New York" and "Havah Nagila" are as unmistakable as the Great Neck basemet decor. Sammy's is the last of the great Jewish restaurants on the Lower East Side, and Jews from all over the Eastern seaboard return there to touch their roots. And Sammy's always delivers, right down to the bowls of chicken liver that are mixed at your table, with a pancake syrup dispenser filled with chicken fat.
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