Monday, May 23, 2016

NYC: A Food Adventure!

I love New York. It's my absolute favorite place to visit. I recently had the chance to go for a work trip and was giddy about it! 

Once my plane landed, my bags were in my room - I was on a mission. A mission to just walk and eat and take pictures and SHOP! I love all the amazing artwork that is just everywhere! My phone battery was perennially almost dead for 3 days because I wouldn't stop taking pictures!

We were staying right near Little Italy - so that was my first stop - CANNOLI TIME! Turns out my nose knows where to go because I literally went to the same shop I went to maybe ten years ago (pre-Food Hussy). As soon as I walked in - I recognized the counter. The cannoli was just as delicious today as it was oh so many years ago. If you've never had one - it's a must! The shell is light and flaky and crispy and then the filling - it's creamy but not too sweet and not too cheesy. And let me say - a good cannoli should not be overwhelming - you should be able to devour it and not feel like you just ate a pound of butter. And Caffe Palermo has a great cannoli! 

I also stopped by Dean & Deluca and when you are a huge Seinfeld fan and you're in NYC and you see a slice of Cinnamon Babka - you must purchase it. It's not as good as the chocolate babka but it's still a babka - albeit the lesser babka. (It actually was just ok - but the Seinfeldian in me loved it.)

Caffe Palermo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

After my belly was cannolified - I went shopping!!

I went to the Nike Lab and got Larry some new fancy kicks. He's not really into "fancy" kicks - but the clothes there were way to NYC hipster - so shoes it was. Then after getting him some shoes and my mom some salt & pepper shakers - I had to get something for me. And yes - those shiny shoes were it!! Oh how I love shiny. The best part is - they are SUPER comfy!!! Love love love! I have gotten so many compliments on them - and it's always fun to say, "Oh I got them in NYC!"

The first night - I met up with the girls that I was in town with for dinner at David Burke Kitchen. I tend to have a rule about dining in NYC - that I eat one really nice meal out ($100+) and then street food the rest of the time. But - I was with girls that weren't quite so food obsessed so I had to break my rule. booo.

I started out with some fruity drink with a salted rim - I can't remember what it was but it was tasty. I rarely drink but I figured NYC was an occasion to have a little fun.

We started with an assortment of bread and butter served up on a rock. Yeah - cuz that's NYC fancy there. It was fine bread - good varieties - very hard on the outside and soft on the inside - as bread should be.

I decided to share a couple of items with one of my friends (fellow blogger Angie Six) - we started with the house made ricotta ($12) and crostinis. It was fine - I guess I like ricotta but maybe not as much as I'd thought. It's creamy and was good on the bread but not something I would order again - not much flavor to it.

Another member of our group got the vegetarian chili and it looked very healthy with lots of veggies and legumes but I'm not sure she really liked it - she only ate a little bit.

The one definitely delicious part was the brussels sprouts and shallots side ($10) - worth every penny. Brussels sprouts are such a great veggie - kids hate 'em and then they grow up and figure out that if you don't boil them for 20 minutes - they're freakin awesome! Yeah for sprouts!

Another girl got the Goffle Road Farm Chicken Breast ($32) served with local organic rice pilaf (really they grow rice in NYC?), cranberries, charred scallion and rosemary-ginger broth. Looked good - these are new friends so it wasn't the "give me a bite so I can try it" friends.

I really don't know what I was thinking but I got the 28 day aged ribeye ($55) and shared it with a friend. It was fine but I can get steak in Ohio - I guess nothing on the menu was inspiring me too much. 

All in all - I was a bit disappointed in David Burke Kitchen and my rule stands. A meal under $100 in NYC is about like a $25 meal in Cincinnati. If you go - go all out - and go someplace fabulous like Daniel. Splurge - it's worth it. I ate there once and it was like 15 courses and a never ending stream of men coming and scraping crumbs and bringing silverware. The food was the most amazing I have ever had. Trust me. 

David Burke Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

That was all for that night but there were more nights ahead and more food!

We were also very close to Chinatown - which is another place of wonderment to explore and spend my hard-earned money! Now I've done the whole "follow a stranger into a hidden room and buy the "good" purses" - but this was about food - so off we went.
And as you're walking through Chinatown - you see all sorts of things - like shrimp, crabs and some sort of dead bird. I think it would be so much fun to live in NYC and shop at these little places - buying fresh shrimp and random dead birds!

We wanted Dim Sum but the official Dim Sum places were booked so we just walked around until we found someplace good.

We found Shanghai Cafe Deluxe and it was PACKED!!! Good sign! 

Emily was super excited to be eating Chinese food. It was so crazy packed. You walk in and you better have your whole party - then you sit where the slightly abrupt woman points. Then they add more rando people to your table until it's full. Then you order! And make it snappy!

We just started ordering a bunch of appetizers - and figured we would stop eating at some point. Steamed dumplings, fried dumplings, steamed buns and spring rolls. Bring 'em on! 

This is me and Candy Po snarfing our food. She's gonna so love me for sharing those pics! #ornot

I think these were the buns - basically everything all kind of tasted the same - little pouches with monkey meat inside. (Not really monkey - but that's what a friend of mine calls unnamed chunks of meat.) It was all delicious!

Seriously - delicious! these were the fried dumplings. OMG we just kept eating!!! We shared everything and just kept trying things. We didn't really know what we were eating but it was hot and yummy - so we kept going. We ordered everything at once but they brought things out as they were ready - every few minutes - new food!

The best part was the price. We felt like we ordered a ton of food and it was $20! Split between 5 of us! $4 each (plus tip). Seriously?! 

The best part was after we left - we saw another place two doors down that was completely empty. Shanghai was still packed with a line out the door. Apparently - we chose correctly!

Shanghai Café Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

At the beginning of the night we could not decide between Little Italy or Chinatown - so in the end - we decided what every red-blooded American would do - EAT BOTH!

Therefore, after our noshing on Chinese, we decided to seek out meat and tomatoes.

Little Italy is just as fun as Chinatown - with lights and people and stores and food and smells (good and bad) and dogs! I love seeing NYC-dwelling dogs and their people - it just seems so great to live in a city like this AND have a dog!

We settled on Parm - a very quaint, tiny place that was blaring some old school Eminem when we walked in. I'M HOME!

I got a side of meatballs ($14) - I absolutely love meatballs and have to get them anytime I'm somewhere authentic. They were delightfully delicious. Meatballs have to be meaty but not just a ball of hamburger. These were light and perfect. I killed them all. And the sauce - don't even get me started on the sauce!

Someone else got Italian Fries ($8) and spicy sauce ($1). This made no sense to me. They have potatoes in Ohio, Indiana and Georgia (where we were all from) - why would you get french fries in NYC? But they did and I tried them - of course a little olive oil, parmesan cheese and salt never make anything bad!

I did get garlic bread ($7) plus fresh ricotta ($3). The garlic bread - so good - light, crispy, seasoned and it disappeared into my belly so quickly!

The fresh ricotta was fine - more seasoned than David Burke - and delightful when used as a topping.

So there's our teenie tiny table filled with plates and me killing some garlic bread, ricotta and marinara! I was killing it!

The girls split a S'mores Ice Cream cake ($12) - I did sneak a bite of this cuz duh - how could you not?! I will always choose Savory over Sweet so I was more than content killing the meatballs and garlic bread but the ice cream cake was a big hit! 

Again - big score here! So yummy!

Parm Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Then we're walking back to our hotel and Candy said she'd heard about a place that only serves rice pudding. Cuz in NYC - that happens - supposedly we were close and now - we were on a mission.

And we found Rice to Riches - with many flavors of rice pudding and lots of sarcasm to go around. The rice pudding was kind of expensive at $8 for a small container. I really don't like rice pudding but decided to at least try a bite - so I went for the Coconut Cream and it was really good. If it had been $3 - I would have gotten some - but not $8.

But I did make purchases. Their signs and magnets are HILARIOUS!!! Seriously - I was laughing and laughing as I looked through them.

My favorite sign was on the way out. Jesus loves you, but I'm his favorite. Duh. 

Rice To Riches Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

After the crew had their rice pudding - we headed back to the hotel and then... (oh boy - more food) - we saw a window with a girl sticking her head out selling cupcakes!! It was like Two Broke Girls came to life right in front of us!!

Inside the window was Baked by Melissa - she was selling bite size cupcakes for $1. How can you not buy food that costs $1? And then - how can you not buy 6 of them? They were really great and threw in extras for my crew that laughed at me. But you see I didn't have the rice pudding so I could have cupcakes - right?! I mean - I didn't get the ice cream cake - I didn't get the rice pudding - I needed the cupcakes. 

Baked By Melissa Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

So there you have it - my culinary adventures in NYC. There was a little more but these were the highlights. I did stop at a pasta store and took home some dried pasta and bought some fresh sauce without realizing that I had no refrigerator in my room. So yes - I got ice from the machine in my hotel and set the sauce in the ice. And then - the morning I was leaving - I sat in my room and ate marinara sauce with a plastic spoon in my hotel room. And it was delicious.

So when you get to NYC - explore, try new things and EAT!
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