It’s official: Pick-A-Bagel the worst restaurant in Battery Park

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Pick a Bagel store front

March 31, 2013

Opinion– Since posting our first story on the decline of the Pick-A-Bagel on South End Avenue, it has become one of the most read stories of the year. It seems official now that Pick-A-Bagel is the worst restaurant in Battery Park, which is saying a lot.

In a region infamous for low quality restaurants that get shut down by the Health Department, only to reopen under new names, Battery Park has been the Mecca for crappy food. So it takes something exceptional to dethrone Liberty View Chinese as the worst restaurant in BPC.

Congratulations Alan Phillips. You now run the worst restaurant in Battery Park City.

Some of the best comments posted have been:

“I’ve tried Pick-A-Bagel 4x. In short awful.” Joanna

“Pick-A-Bagel is a disappointment. Izzy & Nat’s was no great shakes…” Pfepher

“The new Pick-A-Bagel feels like a place that the owners are waiting out their lease. No effort, at all, went into changing the decor or the set up.” Jeffrey

“The staff at Pick a bagel on Southend Ave. needs to be retrained or replaced. They are incompetent and unfriendly.” Helene

” I only order bagel delivery because I can’t stand the smell in that place. South End Avenue needs a major overhaul.” Pao

Click here for full list of comments

January 24, 2013

We have received many complaints about the new Pick-A-Bagel slapped up after Izzy&Nat’s closed down on South End Avenue. Izzy’s was a full service restaurant with quality issues, so owner Alan Phillips decided to convert the space into a self-serve deli. However, even that is generating complaints due to heavy bacon smoke inside and overall poor quality.

Do you agree with these complaints or strongly support Pick-A-Bagel. Please post your comments.


Pick-A-Bagel on South End Ave and Albany Street

(212) 619-5100


Update November 15, 2012

It’s open

Update October 22, 2012

Izzy & Nat’s is now completely closed, and a sign indicates that it will re-open as a Pick-a-Bagel.

Update: October 11, 2012

We have heard from good sources that Alan Philips, the owner if Izzy&Nat’s, will be bringing in new management to the location and possibly changing the food offerings to more of a broader appeal diner.

October 9, 2012

Izzy and Nat’s, the deli on South End Avenue, is now closed for dinner service. If the place seemed to you to be more of a forgotten bastard child, your observations might be accurate. Rumor has it that the restaurant was opened as a safety backup in case Goldman Sachs did not allow the same owner to keep a presence in the Goldman alley. However, their Pick-a-Bagel, Wei West, and Beans&Greens were allowed to open.


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35 Responses to It’s official: Pick-A-Bagel the worst restaurant in Battery Park

  1. archimedes says:

    Sad. I/we need a deli.

  2. Liz says:

    It certainly seems like “a forgotten bastard child”. The food is mediocre and expensive for what it is and service is always slow. We are desperate for a good deli or restaurant in the area. Why can’t someone take over that really wants to run it?

  3. amandagov says:

    If you are thinking of skipping a home cooked meal on a Wednesday evening,you are not thinking to take the family to I and Ns. I wish it were that kind of place.

  4. admin says:

    To Amanda

    We believe you might get what you wish for, Stay tuned.


  5. Karen says:

    Can only be an improvement.

  6. Deme says:

    Good, it was too expensive for a deli and way too expensive for anything they deemed dinner.

  7. Joanna says:

    My husband just went to grab a sandwich before heading to work. He waited almost 10 minutes in line to order, despite there being 5 people behind the counter apparently doing nothing. When he got to the register they told him he had stood in the pick-up line not the order line. He said there wasn’t any signs about the lines or if they are there not prominently displayed. He walked out. Not a great start…

  8. F says:

    too expensive…………………always empty

  9. mcf says:

    The owner, Alan Phillips, is neglecting us down here. Has anyone ever seen him? We deserve better.

  10. Eddie says:

    Prompt delivery. Good bagels. What more could I want?

  11. admin says:

    You can get that from the street vendor. We deserve better restaurants down here. Raise your standards


  12. Jeremy says:

    I really miss Gatehouse. I’m glad that Southwest NY made use of the corner space, but we definitely need more restaurants (or even a diner), not over priced bagels.

  13. They are closing restaurants at a record speed down here and I am happy to have these good bagels……better than another empty storefront.

  14. admin says:

    To Eileen

    Raise your standards. the cost of living in BPC is the highest in NYC and we deserve top notch restaurants run by renowned chefs, not placeholders used to ride out the end of a lease.


  15. Randy Bragg says:

    Three visits, three incorrect orders (how do you mess up coffee with milk, plus it was lukewarm). Long waits for simple orders. Cashier incompetent and indifferent (I am being polite).

  16. Paresh says:

    Izzy & Nats had good bagels and generally decent food with terrible, incompetent service. Pick-a-bagel has terrible food with even worse service. It’s gone from bad to worse. Placing an order by phone is an excruciating process. The people are rude and incompetent and you’re lucky if they get your order remotely correct. Pathetic.

  17. Pao says:

    I only order bagel delivery because I can’t stand the smell in that place. South End Avenue needs a major overhaul. I mean, are seven dry cleaners really necessary? We need good restaurants and a boutique. And power washing the dog pee smell in front of Gateway wouldn’t hurt either…

  18. admin says:

    100% agree and we are working on it. We got Gateway to hook up hoses so that SouthWestNY and the Cafe farther north can power wash the sidewalks. Gateway is supposed to replace the ugly store facades too. The DOT might redesign the entire South End Ave. And, of course, we evicted the fruit shanty shack.


  19. Pao says:

    Saw the fruit guy yesterday then saw the homeless man (and his bits-no joke) who hangs out between Albany and Rector urinating on one of the beams 10 feet from the daycare center; there were kids there.
    I called 311, who knows if they did anything.

  20. admin says:

    Yes. The police came and made the fruit shack leave. I am sure 311 relayed the call about the man as well. Calling 311 makes a big difference.


  21. Helene says:

    The staff at Pick a bagel on Southend Ave. needs to be retrained or replaced. They are incompetent and unfriendly. On the other hand, the staff at Pick a bagel near Goldman is friendly, efficient and the store is always clean and the service is quick.
    It would be a shame to lose another restaurant on Southend. There’s no other decent place to get good coffee and fresh rolls, bagels, etc. Residents should call or write to the owner of Pick a bagel so he can hear comments and suggestions first hand.

  22. admin says:

    Yes, you can email Pick-A-Bagel’s owner here


  23. Jeffrey says:

    The new Pick-A-Bagel feels like a place that the owners are waiting out their lease. No effort, at all, went into changing the decor or the set up. I agree with some comments that the serving staff seems indifferent. The quality is not good by NY Bagel standards, nor was Izzy & Nats.

    I have lived in BPC since 1987 and South End Ave. has never gotten it right and really needs an overhaul. Since ’87, I always left BPC to go to eat out. It’s always been restaurants that don’t put enough effort into their overall experience, including the food. I’m talking to you, Steamers/Merchants (Underachiever Champion), Gatehouse, Izzy & Nats, PJ Clarks, SouthWest, Zen Chinese Restaurant, etc.

    BPC North is doing it right by bringing restaurants that bring people to BPC from outside of it a’la Blue Smoke and Shake Shack. That’s what BPC South has always lacked and still does – a restaurant that makes people from outside of the neighborhood want to come in.

  24. admin says:

    Hopefully the new Brookfield Place and El Vez will be nice additions. Blue Smoke is underachieving in my mind. North End Grill does a nice job.


  25. Jeffrey says:

    The Danny Meyer restaurants are great for the neighborhood because they bring people into BPC specifically for the reason of going to those places, something we’ve sorely lacked. Brookfield will be a stellar addition to the neighborhood. They are making very smart food decisions (umami burger! Num pang!). I just wish we could carry it a bit south to my neck of the woods on South End Avenue. Though at the end of the day, I couldn’t be happier with how far BPC has come in food options in the past few years.

  26. Editor says:

    Those crappy places overlooking the South Cove can be converted into premium places with the right owners


  27. Jeffrey says:

    I couldn’t agree more. At night with the blue lights, you can’t get that anywhere else in Manhattan.

  28. Karen says:

    I liked the place before gatehouse where you could get omelettes breakfast any time…for low price
    Southwest is like Applebee’s
    Why not a real Mexican restaurant or a 2nd ave deli
    Or WOLFHOUNDS! Great deli restaurant
    Or how about a fancy pizza place like Naples

  29. Pfepher says:

    Pick-A-Bagel is a disappointment. Izzy & Nat’s was no great shakes – especially at the end when they had no set menu in the evenings and inconsistent hours.

    Most of the previous comments above are accurate. The bagels are fine. Everything else is sub-standard and over priced. The poor service of Izzy & Nat’s has been passed-down to Pick-A-Bagel. I can relate to the comment above about being in the wrong line after my last attempt to get a bagel.

    Yes, we deserve better.

  30. Michelle says:

    I was in there last week. I have been to other Pick-a-bagels in the city and the one on South End Avenue doesn’t serve the same items. There is no Tabouli salad or Isreali salad. The service is slow and the menu is limited compared to the other stores.

  31. Joanna says:

    I’ve tried Pick-A-Bagel 4x. In short awful.

  32. Paul Hanks says:

    I”ve been in Pick A Bagel On Friday & I saw so many changes in the place . New pretty cashers & faster service. The food is no issue because it was good since it was open in November

  33. Joy Song says:

    Wow, just got back from a bagel shop in which the gentleman behind the counter, who happened to be a middle-aged man of Middle-Eastern descent, refused to acknowledge my presence as a paying customer.

    When his coworker called for him, he literally walked past me to the other end of the counter to the register, where he greeted the gentleman there.

    It wasn’t until I had to, literally, get in his face at the cash register before he was willing to take, well, more like execute, my order.

    Ugh, it’s such an awful feeling to be treated with such blatant disrespect, especially on the basis of gender and/or race.

  34. Editor says:

    To Joy

    Please elaborate. What is your race or sex and why do you think that was a factor?


  35. JoyS says:

    For the record, I’m a non-white female.

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