Cruising for the full dining experience! Join us as we cruise New York’s asphalt in pursuit of restaurants and bars focused on giving their customers more bang for their buck – coupling tasty, well prepared food and drinks with good quality service! You don’t have to be a member of the royal family to be treated like one!



Just in time for the new season, is a blog created and designed to fill you in on places we think will offer you a “full dining experience”.

ASPHALT CRUISERS isn’t just about new restaurants, great food & cheap prices – it’s about “THE FULL DINING EXPERIENCE”. We get tired of spending our money at places where we get waiters with poor attitudes, watered down or overpriced cocktails, and just an overall bad time. We love New York and all the restaurants available to us, but ASPHALT CRUISERS is dedicated to those that miss service with a smile – the places where they treat you like they actually want you to come back again. We find a lot of good food, but few places exceed your expectations with their service quality.

Join the movement!!!

Before venturing out for your next brunch, lunch, dinner or happy hour, be sure to visit us here at WWW.ASPHALTCRUISERS.WORDPRESS.COM to get the latest recommendations for your full dining experience, and be sure to leave a comment.

Don’t forget to subscribe and look for our exciting updates and surprise giveaways coming soon!


Harv & Kam

Winner of the “Dine On Us, Shop on Us” competition is…

Congratulations to Coretta C, the winner of our “Dine On Us, Shop on Us” competition.  

Be sure to subscribe to the blog, pass the word, and you too can WIN!  ASPHALT CRUISERS has the picks for your next great bar or restaurant experience.


Bill’s Bar and Burger – Burgers, served up New York Style

Bill’s Bar & Burger

22 Ninth Avenue at West 13th Street, New York, NY

(212) 414-3003

A, C, E train to 14th Street station

16 West 51st Street at 5th Avenue, New York, NY

(212) 705-8510

M, B, D, F train to 47-50 Rockefeller Center station

After cruising through the streets of Manhattan all day enjoying street fairs, window shopping, gallery exhibits, and more, we decided to end the day’s journey in one of our favorite parts of town. We hit the Meatpacking District for a late lunch and chose Bill’s Bar & Burger. We’ve often stopped in, but only for drinks. Today, we dined. We’d been “cruising” the whole day, so we worked up quite an appetite. After a few cocktails, it was time for the burgers. Harv ordered the turkey burger and I ordered the shrimp burger. He loves the lean quality of turkey and its versatility as a burger (almost anything tastes good on it), and I am a shellfish lover. I’m almost always attracted to any dish offering a non-traditional method of preparing it. After reading the description on the menu, that shrimp burger had my name written all over it. As we enjoyed good conversation and glimpses of afternoon sports programming, we noticed the place was becoming progressively more crowded. The surrounding conversations were growing in volume, and so was the background music. The heightened sounds brought along a rapid energy. It was obvious that the evening was setting in and festive energy permeated the venue. The feeling was so New York. Before we knew it, we were talking louder and faster and laughing even more. At the end of a giggle, it was time to refocus on the menu. We needed a side. Our server suggested that we order the cheese fries with gravy. Her exact words were “They’re amazing. If you hate them, you can punch me in the face!” Now, we’re not sure how many times she’s used that line, but given that she looked more like Josie Bissett than Rocky Balboa, we felt safe in her judgment and ordered those fries. Before long, there were three plates in front of us. Each contained a smoking hot medley of color, aroma and sumptuousness. It was all we could do to pause and take pictures. While the burgers aren’t enormous, we thought they were enough to satisfy. Everything was on point – not too little or too much. I dove into that shrimp burger, which was topped with strips of crispy fried onions, flavored mayo… was soooooo good! Then a bite of those sinfully yummy gravy fries with cheese. The conversation Harv and I were having, went from verbal to non-verbal communication, enhanced only by the occasional grunt-inspired deliciousness we experienced with each bite. As we swallowed our final mouthfuls, a small crowd started to enter the restaurant. The gust of wind from the opened doorway was like a splash of water in our faces, waking us up from what seemed to be a dream as we looked down at our plates and saw nothing more than dishes. After paying our check, we rose, did that final sigh looking at our empty plates, and thanked our server for such fine service, conversation and recommendations. We then moved slowly to make our exit. After all, why rush to leave that kinda experience? We like this place a lot. We visit often and also enjoy their midtown Manhattan location as well. It’s the same great quality of service and offers a larger venue. It’s great for business lunches and finding a well-to-do hip crowd after work. Always, a good time is had at Bill’s Bar & Burger.

The Meatpacking location is opened Monday – Sunday

Hours: noon – late (after midnight, up to 1am, 2am, 4am)

Check their website for the Rockefeller Center location hours

Turkey Burger

Cheese Fries & Gravy


Good (This place likely offers a dish you’ll come back for)

Service Quality

Good (You’ll definitely come back again)


Good ($30 – $60pp) This amount will definitely buy you a burger with a drink and more


Good (Comfortable, creative)

SoCo – So Delicious….So Complete….So Brooklyn!

SoCo Southern Fused Cuisine

509 Myrtle Ave (between Ryerson St & Grand Ave), Brooklyn, NY 11205

(718) 783-1936

G train to the Clinton-Washington Ave. station

We decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather one evening and find a new place for dinner. As we cruised through the streets of Brooklyn, we came across a few interesting looking dining options, but the brisk breezes of dusk were so inviting we felt encouraged to explore more. On this particular night, the dining venue had to be just right. We must have walked through about four neighborhoods. The next thing we knew we were in the Clinton Hill section, and SoCo restaurant was IT! On this Thursday night, it was the place that had it all going on. Through the windows, we saw a moving picture of taste, art, culture and pleasure. It was speaking to us and told us to come in. So we did. We walked in and were attracted to the energy of this posh, hip, and tasteful venue. We entered and noticed the large Brooklyn themed collage repping Notorious B.I.G. and others, the raised DJ booth, the long bar, and the charming smile of the hostess guiding us to our desired seats at the bar. Instantly, the bartender, and our host for the evening (who we later learned was Brian) greeted us with a warm, polite smile. He welcomed us, asked if this was our 1st time visiting and took us on a guided menu tour to start off our full dining experience. Naturally, we began with cocktails – the French Q.75 and the Butternut squash for Harv (that’s right, “Butternut Squash” drink – and both drinks were delicious)! The cocktail menu is intriguing, unique and well developed by Mixologist, George Duvall. As we looked through the appetizer and entrée selections, the decision was difficult, but we ultimately decided on ordering the wings appetizer, mac-n-cheese side dish, and the Lobster, Shrimp & Grits entrée. (You should know that I chose the wings and mac because the woman next to me seemed to ripping hers apart. Her friend was trying to hold a mild conversation with her, but the woman next to me could barely stop eating long enough to provide any response. I took this as a sign that the food was pretty outstanding, plus she’d already turned around and told me so. LOL). As we waited for our food, we enjoyed the rest of our drinks, and the live DJ continued to spin tunes that had us vibing and feeling alive! We were chillin’ with the beautiful people. Our food arrived without delay and we devoured every morsel. SoCo’s talented executive chef, Kingsley John, has prepared a menu of, what we call, ‘feastive’ treats for the public, and we were glad to reap the benefits of his culinary expertise. We finally topped off our evening with some dessert cocktails, reluctantly picked up our check and headed home. We want to also mention how delighted we were with the fact that they were really busy all night (all seats at the bar were taken, and all tables were full), yet they still provided us excellent service the entire evening. SoCo Southern Fused Cuisine was intriguing, warm and delightful. We, easily, could have hung out there all night; it’s just that cool-a-place. You can now find them in “Cruisers Favorites”. Since our initial visit, we’ve been back and will be back again and again.


Unfortunately for the rest of us, SoCo is closed Mondays

Tuesday – Thursday 5:00pm – 11:00pm

Friday & Saturday closed by 2am

Brunch is served Sundays only 11am – 3pm

Live band Tuesday nights and Sunday brunch

Live DJ Thursday nights

Be sure to enjoy the Blueberry bourbon sour, SoCo caramel martini and other delectables.

Blue Berry Bourbon Sour

Agave Margarita

Lobster, Shrimp & Grits

F-Que WingsF-Que Wings

Mac & Cheese

The French Q.75 & the Butternut Squash

Soco Caramel Martini w/ MarshmallowSoco Caramel Martini w/ marshmallow


Higher-end (Excellent preparation, creative and delicious).

Service Quality

Higher-end (Makes everyone feel comfortable, always pleasant, attentive and efficient).


Good/Moderate ($30 – $60). For a really good time here, this amount can get you an appetizer an entrée and a drink. You can also have just a drink and appetizer for under $30


Higher-end (Eye-catching, inspires conversation).

Southern Hospitality – Service That Fits it’s Name

Southern Hospitality

645 9th Avenue (Corner of 45th Street), New York, New York 10036


42 St – Port Authority Bus Terminal (A, C, E)

50 St (A, C, E)

49 St (N, Q, R)


1460 Second Ave. (btwn 76th & 77th Streets), New York, NY 10075


77 St (4, 6, 6X)

68 St – Hunter College (4, 6, 6X)

While walking around Hell’s Kitchen one weekend afternoon, we looked in the window to explore the menu at Southern Hospitality.  The selections looked sure to please, so we walked in and grabbed two seats at the bar. We got a couple of drinks, asked the bartender for some recommendations, and waited for our orders.  As we chatted amongst ourselves, the bartender came over and started a conversation on some of our menu selections and drink choices.  Before we knew it, another patron walked in, sat at the bar and we were all involved in friendly conversation.  About 5 minutes into that, the free show started – a gentleman with a guitar singing classics. Almost everyone started singing along to the familiar tunes.  Our food arrived shortly after that and WOW! We’d been eating all day, so decided to sample a few items from their ‘sides’ selections. For $5.95 each, we had the dry rub ribs, buffalo shrimp, and the buffalo wings.  Those ribs were soooooooooo good! They were falling off the bone and were juicy and flavorful.  We devoured them.  The buffalo wings and shrimp were also very good, but the ribs were an instant favorite.  The  other patron suggested we come back and try a few of the other items, which we’re sure to do! As we completed our meal, we noticed the place was packed. Everyone looked happy, engaged and energetic.  The singer told Harv that he liked our energy and dedicated a song to us.  We laughed and talked with our awesome bartender a bit more before paying the check and heading out.  We could have stayed there for hours.  Looks like we’ve found ourselves another favorite! 


645 9th Avenue

Mon-Thu 12 pm – 11 pm,  Fri 12 pm – 2 am,  Sat 11:30 am – 2 am 

1460 Second Ave

Mon-Thu 12 pm – 11 pm,  Fri 12 pm – 12 am,  Sat-Sun 11 am – 12 am

Smokin’ Hot Wings

Fried Buffalo Shrimp

Dry Rubbed Ribs

Dry Rub Ribs, Blackeye Pea Salad & Mango Margarita

Mashed Potatoes & Fried Chicken

Banana Pudding



Higher-end (Excellent preparation, creative and delicious).   


Service Quality

Higher-end (Makes everyone feel comfortable, always pleasant, attentive and efficient) 


Cheap/Good ($20 – $60 pp). For a really good time here, this amount can get you appetizers, entrée and a drink or two.  You can also have just a drink and appetizer for under $30 


Higher-end (Eye-catching, inspires conversation). We like the large words around the venue, the TVs, the wood finish.

Nelson Blue – New Zealand in New York tastes soooo good

Nelson Blue

233 Front St. New York, NY 10018


#2, 3, A, C to Fulton Street station


Ooooooh! Nelson Blue is great! We’ve come into this New Zealand bar and grill a couple of times for weekend brunch and for Friday evening after work when we’ve wanted to head near South Street Seaport.  We have loved every visit. The staff here is so great. This establishment has become a fast favorite for us.  Everything on the menu looks like something that will taste delicious. For appetizers, we tried their grilled wings.  I think these are now our absolute favorite wings.  They’re perfectly sized and grilled and seasoned to perfection and have a bit of a tangy and citrusy flavor.  They come with a unique sauce too.  Even the staff really loves these.  We also tried their lollipop grill chop, which is priced by the piece and cooked to perfection.  The final appetizer we tried was the salmon skewer which tasted even more amazing served with their fresh tasting dill mayo.  During the weekdays, you must be sure to try the Fried Egg Club served with a salad. I ordered mine without runny eggs, and I loved every bite of that sandwich.  Harv had the Grilled NZ Lamb Lollipop Chops.  His meal included 5 delicious chops served with a potato and pea cake, and rosemary sauce.  He hasn’t stopped talking about it.  For the brunch (served weekends only), you must try the Salmon BLT which is served with some amazing bacon!  Additionally the Grilled Mahi Mahi sandwich served with arugula, tomato and pickled onions, also comes with a mango chutney that takes this sandwich over the edge! Both of these entrees were served with a salad.

My new favorite drink is their Full Nelson.  It’s a combination of Firefly vodka and lemonade. We had ours with a little extra kick.  Yeah….it’s a really good drink!


Mon-Thurs  1130am – 230am,  Fri-Sat  1130am – 4am,  Sun  1130am – 200am

Grilled Wings appetizer

Salmon Skewer appetizer served w/ curry mayo (we also had the dill mayo)

Grilled Lollipop Chop appetizer (sold by the piece)

Fried Eggs Club (served with bacon, avocado)

Salmon BLT w/delicious bacon & dill mayo

Grilled Mahi Mahi sandwich served with arugula, tomato, pickled onions & mango chutney

Grilled NZ Lamb Lollipop Chops served w/a delicious potato & pea cake



Higher-end (Excellent preparation, creative and delicious).   

Service Quality

Higher-end (Makes everyone feel comfortable, always pleasant, attentive and efficient) 


Good/Moderate ($30 – $60). For a really good time here, this amount can get you an appetizer an entrée and a drink.  You can also have just a drink and appetizer for under $30 


Higher-end (Eye-catching, inspires conversation). We love their big screen TVs, showcasing news and sports. 

Plan B – It may just be your Plan A

Plan B

626 Vanderbilt Avenue (Between Park Place & Prospect Place), Brooklyn, NY 11238

(347) 240-2171

#2 or #3 train to Grand Army Plaza station, or B or Q train to Seventh Avenue station

One of the most relaxed places to visit along the Vanderbilt Avenue strip.  The manager, Rob, makes sure that everyone is happy and smiling and that they return.  Plan B, located in the Prospect Heights section of Brooklyn, offers a variety of tasty treats including some of the best sandwiches and salads.  Enjoy dining at Plan B for lunch, dinner.  Also, stop by for happy hour 4:00 – 7:00pm.  Plan B is a small venue, offers outdoor seating, ok for any occasion, ok for children (during the days, of course). The atmosphere’s always friendly.

Plan B is also great place for sports viewing. They show all the games (football, soccer, hockey, tennis, etc), and you can count on always having someone to cheer along with.


Mon-Tues  4pm – 1am,  Wed  4pm – 2am,  Thurs  4pm – 3am,    Fri  4pm – 4am,

Sat  12pm – 4am,  Sun 12pm – 12am


The ” Shrimp Po’ Boy” sandwich served with mixed greens and raspberry vinaigrette

Fried Calamari appetizer

Jamaican jerk wings appetizer

Grilled corn appetizer

Turkey Burger with shoestring fries

Turkey Burger with shoestring fries

Garlic Parmesean Chicken Wings with shoestring fries

Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings with shoestring fries



Good (This place is sure to offer a dish you’ll find special enough to come back for) Menu is specific to appetizers, salads and sandwiches.  Our favorites include the Buffalo wings, jerk chicken salad, fried fish sandwich (tilapia), pulled pork sandwich, and calamari.  Rob also enhances the dining experience by altering the menu every so often.  Plan B offers good beer selections (includes beers on tap). They also offer a nice weekend brunch menu.  All-in-all, Plan B offers more than just your standard bar fare.

Service Quality

Good (You’ll come back again) Personal attention from the management is just super.  Be sure to ask for Rob when you visit Fridays during happy hour, Saturdays and Sundays for lunch.


Cheap ($10 – $30 pp). $20 – $30 will take care of you here.


Good (Comfortable, creative).  Still evolving as management continues to add sports memorabilia

The Livingroom at The Standard – OH YEA!!!

The Livingroom at The Standard Hotel

848 Washington Street (near West 13th Street), New York, NY

(212) 645-4646

C, E or A train to 14th Street Union Square

We ABSOLUTELY love this place!  Located in the Meatpacking district, The Standard rates huge in every way.  It’s a regular spot for fun and fabulousness! Even the restrooms are great. Dress casual but be sure to look good.  The entire neighborhood is chic and there’s achance to meet celebs.  This place is a must visit whether you live in NY or are just visiting.  You’ll feel relaxed and part of New York’s elite crowd.  The cocktails here are delicious.  Our favorites are the cosmonaut and Rick Shaw! Favorite menu items are the shrimp cocktail and the turkey club!  Even if you’re not an official part of New York’s elite, the staff here ensures your personal enjoyment.  It’s classic service with a smile.  We enjoy Livingroom at The Standard mostly during a nice afternoon lunch, evening and late night cocktails.

Jumbo Shrimp cocktail


The Rickshaw

Turkey club w/crispy fries


The Cosmonaut



Higher-end (Excellent preparation, creative and delicious) 


Higher-end/Splurging (Makes everyone feel comfortable; always pleasant, attentive and efficient. You’re sure to leave 18% or more for gratuity)


Good ($30 – $60). This is a great spending range for this place. You’ll enjoy yourself


Higher-end (Eye-catching, inspires conversation)

Cafe Espanol – Delicioso courtesy of Spain

 Café Espanol 

172 Bleecker Street, NY, NY

#1 or #2 to Houston St., A, C or E to Spring St

In one word…WOW! That describes the entire experience in a nutshell. From the first time we ever walked in and tasted their food, we have been hooked. We’ve been coming here for years and haven’t been dissatisfied yet. The flavors are unbelievable! This is Spanish food at its finest. Reservations are recommended, though walk-ins are usually accommodated. Café Espanol is a great spot for lunch, dinner, and special occasions or for impressing a date. The wine list is good, and their red sangria is delicious. We have a lot of food favorites here including their paella (1 order is enough for two), sizzling shrimp appetizer and our ABSOLUTE FAVORITE IS THE SURF AND TURF – the fillet mignon and lobster just can’t be beat! YUMMMMY! Considering the portions and care in food preparation, the prices are more than reasonable.


Mon-Thurs  12pm – 12am,  Fri-Sat 12pm – 1am,  Sun  12pm – 1130pm

Lobster tail & Shrimps

Lobster Tail & Shrimps

Seafood paella

Seafood Paella


Tres Leches


Higher-end (Makes everyone feel comfortable, always pleasant, attentive and efficient)


Good/Higher-end (You’ll probably spend $40 – $70 pp for a really great time)  


Higher-end (Eye-catching, inspires conversation)

Dean Street – Should be on every street

Dean Street

755 Dean Street (@Underhill Ave), Brooklyn, NY 11238

A or C train to Clinton-Washington Ave station


This newest establishment on Dean St and Underhill Ave, had big bright windows which attracted us from outside. As we entered and took in the decor, we were immediately intrigued. We grabbed a seat at the bar and got busy sampling the menu. The host and waiters were all upbeat and help to bring a nice energy to the overall experience.  Stopping in for a quick drink can easily turn into a pleasant evening. You may even find yourself engrossed in interesting conversation with a stranger. The menu is unique and seems to have a touch of southern flare. We tried a variety of appetizers including the calamari, cheese grits and the collards and beans. All were very good!  Stop in Dean St for happy hour (Monday – Friday 4pm – 8pm), lunch, and weekend brunch 11 – 5pm.  Dean St also offers live music Wednesday nights. 

We stopped into the Café (enter it on the Underhill Avenue side Monday – Friday 7am – 3pm) one weekday afternoon this summer.  We had one of the specials – the omelet with gruyere, tomatillo salsa verde, which comes with potato or salad.  This omelet was sensational!!! I ordered a side of bacon. It was a good portion too.  We also had their crabcake appetizer, which was better than we thought it would be, and a Caesar salad, which comes with anchovies and anchovies in the dressing. We opted out on that.  The service was wonderful, and the food was obviously prepared with care.  

Lunch served Mon – Fri 12pm -2pm 

Dinner served daily 5pm –midnite

Midnight happy hour available Sun – Thurs until 2am

Crab cake appetizer served with a special mayo and a little mixed greens

Omelet with gruyere, tomatillo salsa verde served with mixed greens


Ceasar salad

Open buttermilk biscuit sandwich w a fried chicken patty, andouille, sausage gravy, 2 sunnyside eggs & cheese grits.

Open buttermilk biscuit sandwich w a fried chicken patty, andouille, sausage gravy, 2 sunnyside eggs & cheese grits.

A Jameson & a Cosmopolitan

Calamari appetizer

Collard greens & beans appetizer

Crawfish, andouille & cream cheese omelet with home fries

Crawfish, andouille & cream cheese omelet with home fries


Higher-end (Excellent preparation, creative and delicious).  


Higher-end (Makes everyone comfortable, always pleasant, attentive and efficient) 


Higher-end ($61 – $100pp) We found it to be worth every penny. This is what we paid for their fried calamari appetizer, about 2 drinks each, and two seafood main courses.


Higher-end (Eye-catching, inspires conversation, cool)