Let's begin with food. I mean really. Is there any other topic that we spend more time on? Maybe with certain people, but in general, I think it's the weather and food.
Without further ado... The food of NYC, through a very small window of time and personal preference.
When we arrived it was diner food - and so fun! There were about a bazillion things on the menu, the men working there were really nice, and the hot chocolate had lots of whipped cream.
The Best Ambiance award goes to our Friday night dinner - an Italian place near Times Square with giant portions (Most. Delicious. Alfredo. Ever.) and waiters who carried the trays way above their heads.
On my list of places to go was a chain called Le Pain Quotidien (never did figure out the pronunciation) where they had this delicious little number that they called a tartine or something, but it was basically an open-faced sandwich. More specifically, it was insane.
My traveling companion was a serious fan of the street food, especially the Halal carts - which he paired with Coke. I never tried it, but the smell was delicious. (I'm actually making myself hungry right now.) There were also hot nuts at these Nuts4Nuts carts that were quite good.
As long as I was in New York, I had to try a cupcake from Magnolia Bakery. I really wanted a hummingbird cake, but they were out, so I went for chocolate with chocolate frosting, and it was delicious. It practically fell apart in my hand. (I actually like cake with a little more substance, but when in Rome...)
Back at Le Pain Quotidien, Phillip decided to try their waffle. Research after returning home reveals that this is called a liege waffle and it's traditionally made with a yeast dough, pearl sugar, and large amounts of butter. I can tell you personally that the result is delicious.
The award for Biggest Surprise of the Trip goes to Sbarro of Times Square, for truly delicious pizza with crispy/chewy crust, just like it should be. I'm sorry I assumed you'd be just like the mall, Sbarro of Times Square, and thank you for allowing me to snap the maximum occupancy sign at your establishment. They're the same everywhere in NYC, and I found them pretty entertaining.
And now, *drum roll, please* THE TOP THREE BEST, MOST DELICIOUS THINGS I ATE! in chronological order because I can't decide which was best of the best.
First, at the MoMA Cafe - Pumpkin Cheesecake with Chantilly Cream and Spiced Pumpkin Seeds. Moist, flavorful without being overly spiced, perfectly balanced. Man, I'm hungry!
Next, my birthday main course at Aureole, a Charlie Palmer restaurant: Miso Alaskan Black Cod. The black things are deep fried (?) balls of black rice, it's on a bed of baby bok choy, the whole thing is in a "citrus butter sauce". Tender, flavorful, seriously one of the best meals I've ever eaten. I wanted to lick the plate. As a side note: the service was terrible, so I'm not sure if I'd recommend the place, even with its wonderful food.
And finally, Lemon Chess Pie from a picturesque little place in SoHo. Lemony, sweet, creamy texture... I didn't even know there was a such thing as Lemon Chess Pie, but I'm looking up recipes posthaste. This, I may be able to recreate.
There you have it and I haven't even mentioned the Indian food, the bagels, salmon cakes, salads, Mexican food WAIT! I can't sign off without letting you know this last little tidbit.
There is a chain called Shake Shack. They make ice cream that is legit. All other ice cream is dead to me. The sad part is that there are only 5 locations. The good part is - I went to three of them! Yes I did. Ain't no shame.
Now I'm going to snack and go to bed. I will return soon to tell you about another aspect of New York - next time something that won't leave me salivating.