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Archive for July, 2013

I finished my last night as a line cook two Thursdays ago. Naturally, the following morning I hopped on the Bolt Bus with Paul up to New York City for the weekend.

I absolutely love this city – as a food and culture mecca for our country, there is so much to see and experience. New York is sensory overload, but I love every moment of it. I think I might have tired Paul out a little with my intense sightseeing, but I ask, how can you stop in a city that is so full of energy and life? So, with that said, yes, we did a lot in a short amount of time, especially in the realm of eating. Here’s my food log for the trip:

Friday Highlights:

City Bakery (Flatiron): My go-to spot for chocolate chip cookies. They are the best I’ve found in the city to date. It’s also a great lunch spot.

City Bakery's chocolate chip cookie.

City Bakery’s chocolate chip cookie.

Chocolate chip cookie: Mostly butter, absolutely divine and full of rich chocolate.

Wasabi green pea-crusted tofu:Incredible texture and seasoning. Wow.

Hot/cold drinking chocolate: These are individually packaged containers of hot or cold drinking chocolate, a speciality of City Bakery. Warm it up or, chill it or enjoy it room temperature.

Saturday Highlights:

Treehaus  (Midtown East): Quick, fresh food that tastes pretty good, too. I liked this spot because there are so many options, whether you’re there for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This was my choice for breakfast both days in the city (it was right next to our hotel).

Blackberries, strawberries and mango: Fresh and perfectly ripe. These were a great topping for the Greek yogurt that I also bought.

Egg White Omelette with Turkey Sausage, Arugula, White Cheddar Cheese and Tomatoes: Tasty and light, but also satisfying.

Iced Coffee: So much better than the Pret-a-Manger lukewarm iced coffee I had earlier that day.

Katz’s Deli (Lower East Side): A famous New York Jewish deli, known for its gangantuan meaty sandwiches. Everyone, even vegetarians, should go at least once.

The pastrami.

Pastrami – A meat monster, but an absolutely delicious one. The meat was moist, well brined and seasoned perfectly. It’s especially great with spicy brown Gulden’s mustard. Be prepared to feel full.

Pastrami, pickles and reuben.

Pastrami, pickles and reuben.

Reuben – Another meat monster, but covered in sauerkraut and melted Swiss cheese. Messy.

Pickle plate – Forget the fries, pickles are all you need. These deliver a much-needed burst of acidity that cuts the fat in Katz’s sandwiches. They also lend a nice crunch.

Buttercup Bake Shop (Midtown East): A cute bakeshop worth a stop (if you’re in the area) for its attractive layer cakes and cupcakes.

This didn't last long.

This didn’t last long.

Carrot cake: The carrot cake really caught my eye. The slice was a generous size and the cake itself was moist and not too sweet. Just the way I like it.

Peking Duck House (Midtown East)

Peking duck with its traditional accompaniments.

Peking duck with its traditional accompaniments.

Peking duck – The duck arrives to your table whole, golden brown and crispy. Like some kind of theatrical performance, a chef butchers the duck right in front of you, presenting the table with a platter of sliced meat. To accompany are scallions, cucumbers, thin pancakes and hoisin sauce. It’s a simple dish to eat – spread hoisin sauce on one of the pancakes, top with a few slices of duck, one or two pieces of scallion, cucumber, wrap it up and enjoy. All in all, a lot of fun, and quite tasty, too.

Sunday Highlights:

Smorgasburg (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

Apparently, Saturday is the big day for this gigantic, outdoor foodie paradise, also located alongside the Brooklyn Flea. Sunday was more than satisfying, though, as there were dozens of vendors offering everything from porchetta to homemade kim chi. I love this market because it is the perfect embodiment of New York’s innovative and diverse food offerings. Oh, and the postcard city skyline in the background is pretty cool. Here’s a few of the spots we visited:

McClure's Sweet and Spicy Pickles.

McClure’s Sweet and Spicy Pickles.

Big Bao's Pork Bun.

Big Bao’s Pork Bun.

Big BaoPork bun topped with fried pork rinds and hoisin sauce (Just YUM.)

McClure’s Pickles: Sweet and spicy pickle chips (Definitely hot, but tangy and addictive)

S’More BakeryFrozen s’more (A big, frozen marshmallow and two small pieces of chocolate smushed between two gram crackers. An interesting idea ,but a bit of a let down. I kind of just wished it had been an ice cream sandwich instead.)

And last, but not least…The Brooklyn Brewery (Williamsburg, Brooklyn): This craft-brewery is a short walk from Smorgasburg. We hung out in the tasting room for a few hours, sampling the brewery’s beers. The laid-back atmosphere feels like an escape from frantic New York City life across the river in Manhattan. My favorite beer by far was the Brooklyner Weiss Beer, their version of a Hefeweissen. It ‘s everything a Hefeweissen should be, with light tones of banana and clove.

Mmm beer.

Mmm beer.

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