NYC 2014: part 2 (the food edition)

So let’s pretend the previous (now MIA) post never happened and get back to our NYC adventure. I’ve decided against a blow by blow, chronological account and do more of a highlights reel. What was awesome about NYC? Well let’s see…

I just love walking in New York. A good day for me is just going out the front door and moving in a forward direction. It doesn’t matter the destination because I’m in fucking New York and there’s always something interesting to see, smell and experience. The people, the buildings, the shops, cafes, bars, restaurants, dogs, trees, graffiti, the way the pedestrian crossing lights have a countdown clock to tell you how many seconds you have left to cross the road.. every one of these things and so many more give me pleasure. I don’t need a purpose or destination there; I’m very happy just to be.

But back to specifics. Food was mainly on the great to amazing spectrum. OK we had some crappy breakfasts with shithouse coffee (how? how? is bad coffee acceptable any more… really? how?) a few times but we also had some very good breakfasts. Of course a Douhgnut Plant donut is the breakfast of champions and my favourite – the Coconut Cream – was just as good as I remembered. We had a delicious breakfast at Dudleys (one of a few Aussie cafes on the Lower East Side) but on our second visit they forgot our order (and we were the only customers – DOH!) so they officially got deleted from our Christmas card list. Our favourite breakfast spot was Spiegel, a sparse Kosher Moroccan cafe a few blocks from home, which did an awesome granola, excellent shakshouka eggs and a very good latte. I miss Spiegel.

A last note on breakfast: we had an excellent bacon and egg roll at The Australian Bar when we ventured there at a ridiculously early hour to watch the Swans wallop North Melbourne in the preliminary final (that was also my last mention of the Swans because: disgraceful). Also… get a good coffee machine The Australian Bar, what’s the point of excellent bacon and egg rolls when you serve them with that tasteless coffee-like swill.

Maharlika. I love you. The end. But no, there’s much more. What started as a disappointing evening when we just missed out on a table at Root & Bone (this no reservation system sucks balls – and not in a good way – NYC) ended on an unexpected high. My dear sister remembered this tiny Filipino joint and suddenly we were ensconced at the bar, being served cocktails by the super friendly owner and over ordering some super delicious food. Shall we start we Spam Fries? Oooh! Really? Sounds awful… tastes DEVINE! Then onto lots of other yumminess including one of the best bits of roast pork I’ve ever devoured. Not a Weight Watchers endorsed meal by any standards but so so good.

Another highlight of NYC eating is lobster and its derivative, lobster rolls. Now I should start by saying M and I both got a pretty bad bout of food poisining on our last night and I’m 99% sure the culprit was lobster (and not the pickle backs – whiskey shot with a pickle juice chaser – that followed). BUT before that night we enjoyed lobster on a few different occasions and it was delish (and non vomit inducing). Our neighbourhood Lobster Joint was a great casual eatery a few doors down from Katz’s on East Houston. A great vibe, really good lobster rolls and an excellent Bloody Mary with a lobster claw in it… doesn’t get much better than that.

Can you walk the High Line, stop at Chelsea Market and not stop for a lobster roll at The Lobster Place? No, you can not. I actually think it’s some kind of legal requirement. So good. And of course don’t leave without a little bag of weirdly flavoured mini donuts from the Dougnuttery (Purple Pig: maple, purple potato and bacon flavour… yes please).

So where else? Momofuku Noodle Bar… a fabulous lunch of supremo smoked chicken wings and excellent (best ever?) ramen. Fried chicken… excellent at Root & Bone (finally nabbed a table at this cute place, didn’t rock our world overall though) and far less than excellent at Tom’s Restaurant (the fabled exterior of the diner from Seinfeld). Hot dogs… finally had a Nathan’s hot dog at Coney Island and sure it was an iconic experience but not one I need to do again anytime soon. As always NYC does a decent cheap slice of pizza and we enjoyed one each for the ridiculously overpriced $2.75 each near home. My heart belongs to the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop and I scoffed a Bea Arthur all by myself. The obligatory Rueben (so so) and brisket (delicious) sandwiches at Katz’s Deli. The always drool worthy burgers at Shake Shack.

Almost forgot Peter Luger in Brooklyn… maybe because I got a little tipsy and had to be carted off home in a taxi. Very old school steakhouse. Simple, delicious food, huge servings and prices, awesome steak. If you want  any more details ask someone who remembers (i.e. not me).

Pretty sure those were all the meals worth discussing. If anything else surfaces from the dark recesses of my foggy brain I’ll catch up in the next installment. Y’all come back now.

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Coconut Cream Donut (far right)… my love.

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Lobster (and shrimp) rolls at Chelsea Market.

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The best granola and shakshouka eggs at Spiegel.

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Smoked chicken wings at Momofuku Noodle Bar.

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Pancakes at Dudleys (the time they remembered us).

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The Brisket sandwich and the pickles at Katz’s Deli. Yum.

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Micko… because I love this pic.

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