The poppy-seed bagel that frames "The Sinatra" ($7.35) adds a chewy counterpoint to Genoa salami, ham, pepperoni, provolone, lettuce, and roasted peppers, dressed with oil and vinegar. Toasting the bagel first might be pushing your luck; this Italian-American-Jewish mashup strikes the right balance exactly as served.
Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company 35-09 Ditmars Blvd. (35th-36th Sts.), Astoria, Queens 718-932-8280 (One of several locations, none of them in Brooklyn) www.BKBagel.com
Snow on the roof: The top of the "baker's muffin" ($4) is broad and crusty. The bottom is crammed with springy chunks of dough laced with apple and cinnamon; here and there you'll encounter raisins and bits of crushed walnut, too. It's just aching to be pulled apart, by two hands or more.
Also shown below: the bakery's summertime cart on the High Line (to the right of the walkway), which sold squares of crisp "green pizza" ($4) with leeks, scallions, and a little mint; and an even more ephemeral warm-weather birdbath.
Great Western Distributors? Jiffy Foods? New York Loin? Many food-service tenants have occupied this building since its doors first opened for business, in 1904; it's difficult to know which of them might have posted the sign, now embellished by graffiti. Today, of course, there's much less meat in the Meatpacking District. As of 2013 the tenants include a pair of nationally known apparel companies, both of which offer a greater variety of goods to customers with trimmer figures.
"We got beef!" 420-424 West 14th St. (Ninth Ave.-Washington St.), Manhattan
The three characters in the name of this Chinese establishment (no relation to the Malaysian Taste Good of Elmhurst, Queens) can be loosely rendered as "fine food house." I haven't sampled the fare myself, but I'm charmed by the transformation of the center character, which also appears in the house-shaped logo. One of the character's diagonal strokes has been replaced by a pair of chopsticks, the other, by a spoon, reinforcing the message of homey goodness.
Though Ronnybrook offers a menu of soups, salads, and sandwiches, plus a few hot entrees, many folks just get a drink at the bar. Any of the current day's housemade ice creams can be blended into a milkshake ($6), to be carried off to the High Line or enjoyed at the counter. Shown: chocolate-hazelnut, whose nubbly bits sometimes clogged the skinny straw; blackberry.
B&B sounds much like B&D. Only after shooting the breeze with several friends, and being unable to agree on the layout of the buffet and the seats, did I realize that we were talking about two different halal West African restaurants three blocks apart.
This restaurant's chef comes from Jamaica, according to a West Indian customer, hence the jerk chicken and a couple of other Caribbean-style dishes on the steam table ($5.95 per pound). For my part, I stuck strictly to African sauces over rice. Clockwise from top left, they included something like a beef-laden mafe, peanut buttery but lacking any pungency from stockfish; and sauces based on okra, spinach, and (perhaps) cassava. The dark bits at the near left corner of the plate were burned rice, possibly made available to add a little crunch to predominantly soft-textured dishes. Or, possibly, just burned.
B&B African American Restaurant 165 West 26th St. (Sixth-Seventh Aves.), Manhattan 212-627-2914
The namesake artichoke slice ($4.50) is heavy for its size. Though the topping is often compared to a spinach-and-artichoke dip, anything you'd dip into it might very well snap in two, since the creamy base is bolstered by mozzarella and pecorino romano so it won't ooze off the edges.
To manage all that weight, the pizza is framed by a crisp lip — not common, but not unknown, among well-regarded pies — and undergirded by a thick, stiff crust that lacks the chewiness of a classic New York pizza. Even if you enjoy the flavor, one slice is plenty.
Artichoke Basille's 111 MacDougal St. (Minetta Ln.-Bleecker St.), Manhattan 646-278-6100 (one of several locations) www.ArtichokePizza.com