This morning, as my bout of insomnia left me trolling the internet, I came across a column called Grownup Food Adventures, which was about a food writer's experiences tasting real food - not the mass produced comestibles that masquerade as food, but genuine, authentic, ethnic treats that have not suffered homogenization.
One of his references was proper cheesecake. Now, my grandfather makes a kick-butt cheesecake, but I don't have pictures of it, nor am I going to suggest that you go over to his house and ask for a slice.
I can, however, suggest you have a chunk of Strawberry Blonde at the Brooklyn Diner on 57th. I used to go to Manhattan fairly regularly for work, and more often for pleasure. Every time it was a workplace event, I was under strict orders from my regional director (should he happen to be confined to Philadelphia at the time) to pick him up a hunk of said cheesecake, get off the train in Philly, and bring it to him. It was always worth the effort since it involved an expense dinner at this ridiculously wonderful german restaurant off Rittenhouse Square where the fried potatoes and onions were so good you'd commit sins for them.
Now, my favourite place was either the 24-hour deli/market where you could get fresh fruit to fight your hangover as the need arose or Oldcastle Pub, open at eight on weekdays, which serves the perfect pink pork sausage and the best real blood pudding (made with real blood!) your drunk self has ever had in this country.
Pub, definitely the pub.