Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Things we ate last week in NYC

The rich tapestry of New York City is woven deeply into the fabric of our nation’s culinary history, some of which is still rotting in the dank, shallow puddles of the subway tunnels. This week Alex and I sighted some NYC landmarks, partook in momentous occasions, and ate a ton of food.  Here are some highlights:
I give you the thickest, purest, milkiest, chocolatiest chocolate milk in the world. Our kind, generous, and knowledgeable hosts made sure that Alex and I ate and snacked well, kicking off our NY-food-cation with this local delicacy.  Would it hurt my carbon footprint to have this shipped to Chicago? Probably.
Another locally oriented, hormone-free milk product producer that I wish would roll up to the Midwest is the Van Leeuwen ice cream truck. Locally sourced and chemical-free treats? Van Leeuwen is speaking my language. I’m almost scared to admit this, lest I damage the “foodie” status my family has bestowed upon me, but with so many exciting and unique flavors, all I wanted on a spring day in SoHo was creamy, sweet, pink, strawberry ice cream. Classics are classics for a reason. Food trucks are awesome for a reason.
At Brooklyn’s Dutch Boy Burger, we consumed cheeseburgers and betook of the Brooklyn Summer Ale. There is a very special place in my heart for a meal of beer and burgers. No doubt it is the same part of my heart that will one day explode.
Let’s talk about Middle Eastern food. From pita-wrapped sandwiches in Brooklyn-based Zaytoon’s to the Kabab Café in Astoria, we ate falafel like it was going out of style. At the Café, we devoured an assorted fried lettuce/baba ganoush appetizer platter from Ali the Egyptian chef and waiter who works without a written menu in the 15-seat eatery, delivering dishes “you have never seen before.” He was right, serving up the most exotic plate of the trip, a date-filled dumpling topped with duck ragout. Be jealous, it was incredible. And who knew apple paired so well with hummus? The trip was both delicious and informative.
We learned a lot of historically accurate facts on a water taxi to see the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn/Manhattan bridges—do you know how Jay-Z got his name? Or why an elephant had to cross the Brooklyn Bridge? Another view of the bridges was to be had dining at Bubby’s in Dumbo for Saturday brunch. Two words: blueberry pancakes.
Other edible events included: ordering pizza to a bar/beer garden, the biggest sandoozle I’ve ever seen, a delightful ham/cheese/pear panini at Colicchio’s wichcraft, and the NYTimes-acclaimed Jacques Torres aged chocolate chip cookie that tastes like a street gymnast jumping over five tourists (aka amazing).
If I’ve been quixotic in this report, I apologize. But these things really were that good.  Fine, you want a brazen complaint? Why won’t taxis take you anywhere you want to go? Where I’m going isn’t good enough for them? Why are they so picky? Also: Blues and jazz played by teenaged musicians jamming during a six-hour delay at LaGuardia’s scenic gate B4.  Does it make me a bad Chicagoan to wish they hadn’t gotten the band back together? 


  1. Why DID an elephant cross the Brooklyn Bridge? And why didn't you bring food home to someone near and dear to you? And, why did I read this 40 minutes before lunch?

  2. FALAFEL ANYTHING. Apples and hummus: I'd believe it.

    I'm glad you got classic strawberry. Enjoyed all of these photos on flickr, but super enjoyed all of them with your words compiled here. Makes me want to write up something similar for Paris, even though I could never do it as amusingly as you.

    SO GLAD YOU'RE BACK! Keep posting. Garden update. More demands go here!

  3. Chocolate covered bacon turtles -- I feel this is a thing you would probably be into.