Monday, June 28, 2010

"new york, you make it happen"

the food: eating and drinking in New York
the song: "An Open Letter to NYC" Beastie Boys

In case I haven't reiterated this enough in the three weeks since we've been back, I love New York. We loved the city itself, the public transportation, the use of outdoor space, the people, the dogs, the shops. But as I told you, I went to eat. And I can't imagine a better food destination. Our friends and over-the-top fantastic hosts set us up for New York saying "there is literally every type of food in the world here." They weren't kidding. We had so much good food, and I definitely did not get pictures of all of it. Have you heard that some people are funny about taking food pictures? I didn't want to offend anyone in nicer restaurants or keep my hungry companions from their meals.

Let's start with the food that New York is famous for:

Truth be told, in the six days we were in New York, we ate at four different pizza joints. The husband has a real weak spot for pizza. On the last day, he suggested pizza again and I put my foot down. I explained (a little agitated perhaps) that we'd eaten a lot of pizza and I wanted to try something different. If he wanted pizza again, I told him, he'd just have to grab a slice on his own. Walking around a few hours later, he got a slice. I picked off a black olive and popped it in my mouth. Moments later, I proceeded to eat half of the slice. Because the pizza in New York is just that good. Even if you aren't that hungry or think you're sick of pizza, it draws you in. Some say pizza is the perfect food, and New York pizza provides a particularly good argument for the case.

Next up, bagels.

Best. Bagel. Ever.

Oh lordy. Excuse me while I take a minute to remember just how good this was....  

Let me first say that normally, I don't even like lox. (By the way, I eat meat sometimes in case you're confused to see meat on a site about vegetarian cooking.) The lox I've had in the past has always been a little fishy, a little slimy. More than anything, I've just wanted the bagel. But I'd read that Russ and Daughters was an amazing place, and it was important that we give it a try. Good thing we did. We ate this meal on our last cloudy morning in New York, sitting in the park, watching some guys play basketball. It might have been the quintessential meal of the trip. The smoked salmon on this bagel was so fresh and sliced so thin and was so perfectly rich. Our friend compared it to butter.

Other food worth mentioning includes Frankies, where I had an amazing pasta dish with fresh fava beans. I plan on recreating this dish at home and fortuitously, less than one week after our return, the exact recipe showed up on Serious Eats. I had the best popsicle of my life at the Brooklyn Flea. We had really amazing biscuits with local honey and ricotta from Belcourt which is also going on my "to cook" list. Oh, how I love bringing vacation inspired food back home with me. Truly, it is the best souvenir.

Now, onto the beer.

 Sorachi Ace. We brought a bottle of this one home with us.

One of the best things we did on the vacation was tour Brooklyn Brewery. Of all the brewery tours we've been on this one took the cake. It wasn't the most informative--our mustachioed tour guide had definitely been drinking. But what I liked was that even though Brooklyn Brewery is a really huge operation, they managed to maintain a very quaint feeling in their Williamsburg brewery. The bottling goes on at another location, so all you see is one big room for drinking, and one big room for brewing. It makes you feel a lot of ownership of the beer, and made for a really good time.

The other great place I have to mention is McSorely's, which is the oldest Irish pub in New York. This place only serves two types of beers, light and dark. They come in 1/2 pint mugs, so every beer you order means two glasses.  They didn't allow women in the bar until 1970, when they were legally forced to do so. So naturally, I had to stick it to 'em by purchasing and drinking their delicious beer. Mmmm...historical.

Other beer of note that I didn't get pictures of. Barcade was a lot of fun. I want a place like this in Austin...hip, with a huge variety of really good beer. I loved Atwater Block's Dunkel, which was recommended by the nicest bartenders we encountered at Blind Tiger. Sixpoint makes the delicious golden Sweet Action which is the self proclaimed best beer to drink with pizza. Next time we go, I want to spend a day at the Draft Barn, getting in good with the German bartender so he'll recommend his favorite beers from the five page menu.

We did a lot of things other than eating, but I wanted to get this out there first. Next up, I'll show you a few glimpses of the not food part of New York. Stay tuned...


No comments:

Post a Comment