New York Eats

As promised a post all about the food we devoured in New York. If I was to be fair, I’d start the food post in Amsterdam, our first pit stop before the NY-leg of our flight. As you all know we have been living in bella Italia for the past 9 months and we have had some incredible food, this I do not deny. However, being an Australian family we have a strain in our DNA that enjoys engaging in foods of the Asian variety. I would almost consider saying that some types of Asian cuisine could be called ‘typical’ Aussie dishes because we all eat them so often.

Once we had passed through passport control in Amsterdam, we had a couple of hours to kill in the airport before our NY flight. We turned a corner in the airport and all saw the ramen noodle sign and instinctively all yelled out ‘NOODLES!!!’ It is true, we have missed eating noodles, noodle soup and any other form of the noodle variety so we decided it was the lunch hour and proceeded to order 4 bowls of ramen noodles, two beers and two bottles of water. What seemed like a pretty normal lunch soon jumped into the category of the most expensive bowls of ramen noodles we have ever eaten. Our lunch came to be AU$100.00!!! Welcome to your vacation Baker family

Roisin and I out front of the Fatty Crab

R and I out front of the Fatty Crab

Day one in New York began with a fabulous lunch for me with a very wonderful friend of mine from Chicago. It just so happened R had a couple of business meetings in NY the week we were there and so we got to hook up and eat…another one of our favourite things to do together. I was treated to a lunch at the Fatty Crab down in the Meatpacking District while the boys, Daunia and Nic headed on over to a burger joint on the Upper West Side.

The Fatty Crab is Asian influenced and the flavours were punchy and fresh which made for great sharing dishes. I would have to say my favourite dish was the pork belly on pickled watermelon, a brilliant flavour combo that melted in your mouth. Other dishes we ate were green mango salad, an Indonesian chicken dish, pork belly and cucumber pickled finger sandwiches and delicious stir-fried chinese broccoli. I am sorry I didn’t snap any pictures of the food here, it was more of a feast than a photo op. Oh and the fact I was a little jet-lagged didn’t help. A fantastic lunch that I highly recommend for anyone visiting New York.

Ruben Sandwich

Reuben Sandwich

Something I have always wanted to do in New York is eat a Reuben sandwich from a deli. I have seen it on countless TV shows, made hundreds (working in Chicago) but never eaten one. I fulfilled my request after the boys climbed up the Empire State Building and I wasn’t disappointed! It was especially delicious on that very cold, blustery day, the cheese just oozed down my fingers – heaven.

Eating in New York wasn’t all about trying the best new restaurants this trip. Of course I would have liked to, however, I was travelling with my family and the food I wanted to eat wasn’t necessarily the food my kids wanted to eat so there had to be a compromise and that was fine. It means Nic and I get to go back, just the two of us and make it a food-eating destination. To engage the boys on our museum filled-day (yes we got 4 hours of museum time if we planned the snacks right) we promised them a giant pretzel. It was a no brainer really, seeing as museum walking always makes me hungry and so Nic and I shared a pretzel while the boys polished off their own on the walk up to the Guggenheim (it was a perfect ploy, they cruised up the beehive staircase with a full tummy and no whingeing).

Giant Pretzels

Giant Pretzels

Of course, the typical hot dog was also consumed by the kids, however, I think I got stung when the guy told me they were $4 each! I then got into a heated argument with him saying that was outrageous, hence  no photo…and check out the price on the vendor where we got the pretzels from outside the Met $2 for a hot dog!!

Tiny fried pork buns

Tiny fried pork buns

Ok I think I need to move this along a bit otherwise I’ll be turning this into a book. Chinatown is a wonderful neighbourhood to visit in New York, the streets are filled with characters who whisper things to you like “Hey lady, bag,bag, Louis Vuitton,” or “You want nice glasses, good price.” But I wasn’t there to buy cheap, real/fake designer bags, I was after the food. The Lonely Planet pocket guide recommended a place called  Nice Green Bo Restaurant (66 Bayard Street, New York). It stated the restaurant is run down and basic but the food is awesome. How true it was. The above dumpling was my favourite, jam-packed with flavour and a good amount of pork and ginger filling too. Another favourite of mine was pork fried rice with fermented cabbage. It doesn’t photograph well but the flavour was fantastic, along with the spring onion pancake and plenty more dumplings definitely a must on your NY trip.

Our Chinese feast

Our Chinese feast

A trip to America wouldn’t be complete without a classic diner meal. Daunia took us to her local hang-out on Long Island called Mundays and we were not disappointed. I would have to say the boys’ chocolate and vanilla shakes were the best I have ever had. A big call I know, but they were delicious, super thick, flavoursome and, well perfect! Max ate a massive serve of a tuna club sandwich which in fact stumped him, while Daunia and Alex stuck with the classic grilled cheese and I had a burger that was fresh, juicy and perfectly cooked. We all loved this place and will make a bee line for it when we are next on Long Island.

America's finest shakes

America’s finest shakes

IMG_1291

I really do need to end it here, however I do need to mention our wonderful dinner at Momofuku which was every bit as good as I was told. I also have a special mention to a friend who graciously went out to his favourite Greek supermarket and then proceeded to cook us an amazing Greek feast complete with pork and chicken kebabs, pita bread, hot cheese, rosemary bread, delicious pork and mint parcels wrapped in pigs caul (absolutely delicious but can’t remember the name) and a few other items that made up our massive lunch feast.

llias our Greek chef

llias our Greek chef

Chicken kebabs with a delicious lemon, oregano and garlic dressing

Chicken kebabs with a delicious lemon, oregano and garlic dressing

Feasting table

Feasting table

Crumbs cupcake store also gets a big mention as it was Sara’s number one stop on her visit to New York and I am glad she pursued it as the cupcakes were very morish, fresh and flavoursome.

Right that’s it! I will stop teasing you with delicious photos and tantalizing dishes. We really had a wonderful time eating in and eating out in New York. What are your favourite New York hot spots?

 

 

 

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New York, New York

A view from the Empire State building

A view from the Empire State building

I was so excited to finally be visiting New York. I lived in Chicago for 6 years and then a year in Virginia and never managed to make it to New York. So, when my hubby announced there was a History conference (RSA) in NY this year I was hell-bent on going over with him and bringing the kids with us.

I feel very lucky to have a wonderful friend living on Long Island, and even luckier that she was willing to have us stay for the week! We went into the city everyday for four days and walked our legs off. I remember the first time I came out of Penn Station and my eyes boggled at all the bright lights of the massive t/v screens that are pretty much in your face attacking every sense. Seeing a couple large screens on the sides of buildings near Penn Station was just preparation, however, for Time Square…OMG! I thought it was going to be a small corner of Manhattan when in fact Time Square takes up about 4 corner blocks. I want to give you an idea of the great time we had visiting NYC and pictures tell the best story. However, I have reserved all the food pictures for another blog seeing as there is too much to say about the food we ate, drank and drooled over.

For now please take a look at New York City from our perspective and if you have never been or are planning on going then take note: Manhattan is very big so work out the subway (not scary at all), buy a good pair of good walking shoes and soak up all the atmosphere around you. On every street there is something new to discover, I swear the city never sleeps.

Time Square

Time Square

Proberly the BEST toy store I have ever been in (of course it was in Time Square), this Transformer was just one of the many giants around the store, excitement all round.

Alex and Transformer

Alex and Optimus Prime

It was freezing while we were there but nothing was going to stop us, especially when the sun came out. I am jumping for joy AND trying to keep the circulation pumping around my body seeing as it was like walking into an ice storm on the way back over the bridge. Totally worth a visit though, not everyday is going to be -10 in the wind!

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

A stroll through Central Park is wonderful, especially with such a beautiful city backdrop, I’d love to see it when all the leaves are on the trees (another reason to go back).

Central Park

Central Park

Walking across the park brought us to the Met where we spent a couple of hours, we could have spent a couple more. However, I really, really wanted to go to the Guggenheim which was just up the road and there are only a certain amount of hours you can coax kids to look, learn and appreciate art. The Guggenheim was as good as I imagined it to be, I love the building as much as the art inside, although, I think the collection in Venice was  much more breathtaking.

Guggenhiem #3 and check out my very cool new flares!

Guggenheim #3 and check out my very cool new flares!

Daunia walked around with us for the first couple of days and didn’t seem to mind us oohhing and ahhing at the sights. She was even patient enough to take us for a stroll around the waterfront where we got to take a look at Lady Liberty. I had to laugh at my naivety, when she pointed out the dot in the distance as being the Statue of Liberty. After a good giggle and the wind ripping into us, I took a snap of the family and Daunia with the statue way off in the background. Note to self, next time we will ride on the Staten Island ferry for a better look!

Baker boys and Daunia with State of Liberty off in the distance

Baker boys and Daunia with Statue of Liberty off in the distance

I also highly recommend a stroll on the High-Line; the boys loved the Natural History Museum and a must is the 9/11 Memorial site. It makes you stop, think and reassess the things you think are important in life.

New York is full of life, bustling streets with 101 things to do and see. Daunia very kindly sorted us out with a night at the theatre, we went and saw STOMP which was better than I was expecting and a lot funnier too. The days were long and jam-packed with sights so it should not surprise you that on the train ride home to Long Island  the boys chilled out.

Long Island train ride

Long Island train ride

Next time it’s going to be all about the food, so stay tuned.