NYC's culinary landscape is a shifty one. Following food trends and restaurant openings is exhaustive work, sometimes shifting from a passion to near mania. You need to try the dish your favorite food critic lauded, score a table at that chef's latest venture, or just impress the hell out of the gastronomically-inclined woman you're dating. 

The conundrum? The more difficult the table is to get, and the more a certain foodstuff is spoke about or scrutinized on social media, the more pressing your need to nab a table becomes. Is it the hype that has you hungry, or legitimate merit? 

Hype Eats sets out to investigate just that: is it all smoke, mirrors and heavily-filtered Instagram shots, or is the restaurant legitimately worth your time and hard-earned pesos? 

In the spirit of replicating a typical diner's experience (and because we are not food critics; we're just hungry) we've visited each restaurant just once. This month we take on Carbone, All'Onda, Chez Jef, Black Seed Bagels and Café El Presidente. Each spot got just one shot to impress us. Read on to see which were hot spots and which were just hype and mirrors.

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