For those of you planning a visit to NYC I now have some really great recommendations. Katz's Deli at 205 Houston St. is amazing. My husband had the pastrami on rye. It melts in your mouth!
Then there's Cargnegie Deli at 854 7th Avenue. They are famous for their cheesecake and I can see why. It is baked three times and is creamy with the right kind of density. We had it with cherries on top. The serving is so large you have to split it.
Ess-a-bagel has great, fresh bagels. I had a poppy with plain cream cheese and my husband had a plain bagel with olive tofu cream cheese. There's nothing like a fresh, New York bagel. The bagels in California are made like bread with a hole. The regular coffee was ok. Ess-a-bagel is on 3rd & 51st.
So-so: Yaffa Cafe. They are located in St. Mark's Place. I had the stirfry ginger shrimp over brown rice and veggies. The shrimp was a bit overcooked, but fresh tasting. My husband had steamed tofu and veggies over rice. The coffee and tea were barely drinkable. Cute atmosphere, but small seats/tables.
More to come!