New York! Concrete jungle where dreams are made of…
It is truly the city that never sleeps…and always eats! If you’ve never been to New York, then you’ve never experienced the most gritty but beautiful, fast paced but welcoming, upbeat but down to earth city in the world. I’ve travelled parts of Europe, parts of Asia, the Caribbean and the Middle East, but NYC forever steals my heart.
I travelled to the Big Apple recently for work, but of course I found time to see and taste the city…and that was indeed my favorite part. Sure, I could write a blog about the sights, sounds and feels of the buzzworthy landscape, but on this trip I ate some of the most amazing food I’ve had to date and I have to share!
Turntable Chicken Jazz – The name of this restaurant had me stumped, but the food made me fall in love! We got to this spot by taxi, but when the driver stopped to let us out, I was perturbed, I thought he’d made a mistake. We found ourselves making our way up dark winding staircase highlighted by tiny blue lights that ushered us along. We got to the top and I was immediately happy. The mood was so chill and so laid back, the nicest waitress greeted us at the door and seated us. It was just what I needed after a long night of work and interviews. I’d soon find out that this was a Korean restaurant and looking over the menu, without even ordering, without even tasting the food, I told my boyfriend, “This is going to be the best food we have on this trip.” He was confused as to how I could make that prediction so soon, but he’d soon find out I was right. We ordered fried dumplings; half mild, half spicy; Kimchi rice and Korean fried wings! OMG!!!!!! That was some of the best food I’d tasted in my life. The dumplings were the perfect mix of crunchy and soft and were coated in the tastiest glaze. The rice was awesome and came topped with a fried egg…I LOVE EGGS! It was filled with meats, veggies, shrimp and was just at the perfect level of spicy. And then those chicken wings…indeed the best I’ve ever ever ever ever had! Super crunchy on the outside, hot and tender on the inside! This place has the “must come back” for sure!
Bo’s – This swanky little New Orleans inspired spot is nestled through a tiny alley and was super cozy and chic. I ordered my drink and then decided to go a little risky with the food! We got these spicy tacos, a loaded burger and…fried alligator! OMG! That was the first time I’d ever had alligator, but after walking for miles, shopping and hopping in and out of cabs, I was starving and could definitely eat an alligator…or parts of one! The tacos came out first and were absolutely delicious. The shredded chicken was swimming in the juiciest gravy, enveloped in the warmest tortilla and topped with cheeses, herbs and spices. Next was the alligator, which wasn’t as chewy as I’d imagined. They really reminded me of calamari…with a little more meat on the inside. It was a great bite and if I didn’t know, I would’ve never guessed it was alligator. The meat was tender and appetising. The tangy/spicy sauce that came with it was the perfect topping. And that burger…to die for! I have to visit Bo’s again the next time I’m in NYC…I even heard they have a cabaret show on Thursdays!
Levain Bakery – There are not enough words to describe the beauty, the deliciousness of the cookies at Levain Bakery. I first visited the bakery with my sister in March and when she heard I was headed back to New York she demanded that I bring her back a dozen of her favorite flavours. After getting off the wrong exit on the subway, walking about 4 blocks, and hopping back on another train to get to the right location, I was pissed, tired and hungry but I made it! I got her cookies and a few for myself…for my troubles, of course. When I got back to the hotel room…I indulged! That double chocolate chip cookie was the biggest, most moist treat I’d ever tasted in my life. Sure, I’d had the cookies before, but this time it feels like I had to work for them so the reward of sinking my teeth into the chocolately goodness that melted at the touch, was divine! And then there’s there signature cookie, the chocolate chip walnut! So yummy!!!! The cookies are so big and filling, I started eating them on Monday and literally the next day, the chocolate was still oozing when bit into it. If ever in New York, do your tastebuds a favour and find your way to this popular tourist attraction. Sure the line might stretch along the sidewalk, but these chunks of heaven are worth every minute of the wait! I’m actually eating one and typing right now! LOL!
Friedman’s In Chelsea Market – We found the cutest little spot for Sunday brunch! Chelsea Market is indeed a foodie’s haven. Sushi spots here, deli foods there, there was even a little spot to get some goodies imported from Marrakech. We ended up at Friedman’s a cool little place that’s akin to an indoor farmer’s market. It boasted of using the freshest ingredients and products. I went with my usual, pancakes and eggs! The pancakes came dripping in this sweet white sauce and topped with blueberries…YUM! But…I must say I didn’t really enjoy them :(. The pancakes were a bit grainy and, to me, a little underdone, but I’d soon find out it was their way of making them. i think they use all natural foods and ingredients so…for me, they lacked the umph I needed in my flap jacks! I think they were a more natural version of my favorite fatty, oily pancakes :). I ended up sending them back and ordering a fresh batch of eggs, bacon and toast! Secretly wishing I’d gotten the smoked salmon my boyfriend ordered.
Authentic NYC Street Food – No trip to the Big Apple is complete without making a stop to one of the million roadside food vendors in the city. I mean who could resist the sizzle and crunch of hot dogs, pork and beef being smoked right before your eyes. And after a night of clubbing this is definitely the go to choice! I’d danced my heels into the ground and needed a chaser…preferably something jerked, wrapped in pita and dripping in a thick white sauce! We ended up at a food truck in the Meat Packing District and indulged on a pork filled delight. More so than for the food, the food trucks in New York offer up a good slice of the city life. You get to mingle with like minded revelers, exchange stories about where you’re from, what you do and why you’re in New York, get an in depth explanation of why the person ordering ahead of you loves the jerk chicken and why you should try it.