Gluttony on the Go with a New York City Cabbie

David Freedenberg

hide captionDavid Freedenberg — otherwise known as "Famous Fat Dave" — takes hungry New York City tourists on a culinary tour of the five boroughs from his yellow cab.

Famous Fat Dave's Picks

A sampling of some of David Freedenberg's favorite spots to eat in the five boroughs:

Brooklyn:

Ferdinando's: 151 Union St. Old school Sicilian foccaciaria that serves arrancini just like they do in the old country.

Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pie: 204 Van Dyke St. Pier 41, Red Hook. Civil War-era warehouse on the Red Hook waterfront with amazing views and delicious key lime pies.

Manhattan:

No 28 Carmine: 28 Carmine St. Within a couple blocks of Joe's Pizza, John's Pizza, Bleecker St. Pizza, DeMarco Pizza and Abitino Pizza is No. 28, which blows them all out of the water for authentic Napoli pizza margherita.

Russ and Daughters: 179 E. Houston St. The greatest place on earth for lox, chopped liver, tuna salad, cream cheese, and a nice whitefish.

Queens:

5 Star Punjabi: 13-15 43rd Ave. Long Island City Long Island City is the main hub for yellow cab garages, and this restaurant keeps their bellies full of samoza late into the night.

Ali's Kebab Cafe: 25-12 Steinway St. at 25th Ave., Astoria Egyptian food like you've never tasted, cooked right in front of you by Ali.

The Bronx:

Sam's: 596 Grand Concourse Get perfect BBQ chicken before the Yankees game, or go afterward for fried shrimp, chicken wings and karaoke.

El Valle: 555 Grand Concourse No. 149 Rice and beans, maduros, roasted chicken. The Boogie Down Bronx. Nothing could be finer.

Staten Island:

Denino's Pizzeria Tavern: 524 Port Richmond Ave. Order anything involving mozzarella. The pizza is the classic Staten Island pie, and the mozzarella sticks are the stuff of legend.

In New York City, David Freedenberg is known as "Famous Fat Dave." But don't confuse him with "Famous Dave" who cooks ribs in the Midwest and certainly not "Fat Dave" — a notorious Long Island gangster.

Freedenberg's moniker comes from his passion for food, which he has managed to turn into a one-man tour company based out of his New York City cab. For tourists who want the inside scoop on the best neighborhood spots to eat, "Famous Fat Dave's Five Borough Eating Tour on the Wheels of Steel" will take them there.

Hungry tourists can choose his general eating tour, or choose a theme such as the "Midnight Munchies Cruise" or "Real Little Italy." For a base rate of $100 per hour, Freedenberg provides transportation in his cab, water and hours of gluttony.

Freedenberg's love for food was cemented early on by bottomless cones of Thrasher's French Fries doused in apple cider vinegar and bushels of blue crabs steamed with Old Bay Seasoning in his native Maryland.

"We ate good food until it hurt," he says.

When he started driving a New York City cab during college, Freedenberg realized he could blend his obsession for food with his day job.

He began asking customers where they ate in their neighborhood, and soon Freedenberg had compiled a list of neighborhood gems; restaurants that only New Yorkers knew about.

A cab driver in Cairo, Egypt, finally convinced him to turn his collection into profit. He started by giving tours to family and friends, but word quickly started to spread across the city with the help of his "Hungry Cabbie Blog."

Freedenberg gives about two tours a week and he always has a sound piece of advice for his customers.

"The one thing you've got to remember: pace yourself. You're going to be like 'Oh, I want that, I want that, I want that,' and the tour will be over."

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