Well, I’m home from a wonderful holiday to New York City, one of my favourite places in the world. I hung out with friends, shopped, and most importantly, ate well. While I won’t be writing a whole NYC foodie round-up (I’m not the type to whip out my camera in a restaurant and delay the actual eating, and besides, others I know do it better), I can let you in on a few highlights.
Café Habana This famous Cuban dive in SoHo serves up delicious Latin-inspired food in a crowded, hot, typical NYC atmosphere. Our friend Steph took Andrew and me there for lunch on our first day in the city, and it kicked off our holiday in a great way. Though we had to wait for a table (par for the course), the food was totally worth it and the mojitos were delicious.
Eli’s I’ve had brunch at Eli Zabar‘s Third Ave. restaurant, Taste, before and loved it, but on this trip, my friend MH had another trick up her sleeve. She took us downstairs to the Eli’s Manhattan market, an eye-opening experience to say the least. This place is huge, and has everything from fresh produce to prepared foods, an in-house bakery, a butcher, and even a man who will make sushi to order. Seriously, this place is better than a Whole Foods. We bought some breads, cheeses and fresh fruit for a Memorial Day picnic in the park, but if I lived in NYC, lived in NYC and had loads of money, I’d shop here all the time.
Blackbird Parlour We found this place entirely by chance. Walking around Williamsburg with my old friend Maya, we started getting hungry and decided a snack was in order. Andrew tends to value atmosphere very highly when eating out, so we let him choose the place, and he came up with a winner. This cafe is charming on the inside, and our waitress was just about the friendliest person I’ve ever encountered in NYC. The food was great, too- I had the most wonderful macaroni and cheese (you remember my obsession, right?) with fontina, caramelized onions and sundried tomatoes. Delicious, and best of all, only $6!
Shake Shack I don’t understand the Shake Shack detractors. To those who say this fast food place is overrated, I say rubbish. One bite of their famous ‘Shroom Burger (that’s two portobello mushrooms stuffed with Jack and Münster cheeses, breaded and deep-fried, thankyouverymuch) and I’m in heaven. This time we tried the newer Upper West Side location, and the larger kitchen really cut down on the queuing time. Though, to be honest, I never minded waiting in line- it’s part of the Shake Shack charm.
Serafina This NYC chain of Italian restaurants has a branch a few blocks from MH’s apartment, and we’ve eaten here twice now. It’s a great place for Upper East Side people-watching at close proximity, and they make delicious pastas.
Hampton Chutney Co. We went to this SoHo lunch spot on our last day, and I’m sure we’ll be going back again. The menu mainstay is a dosa, an insanely large (though really quite managable), crispy, sourdough crepe that hails from southern India. I had a cheese one with a small cup of spicy soup, and thought it was one of the best meals of the whole trip. Every meal comes with a free chutney- I recommend the tomato and cilantro versions.