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Notes from my 2 days in NYC

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Joined: 15 Jan 2007
Posts: 8
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 5:11 am    Post subject: Notes from my 2 days in NYC Reply with quote

I started getting a cold the day we arrived, which definitely prevented me from enjoying the full flavors and aromas of everything we ate. Unfortunately, I do not have pictures of meals when I was either feeling ill or starving.

Our first stop upon arrival was Chinatown. We had lunch at Congee Village, and ordered two kinds of congee: 1) sliced fish with lettuce and 2) beef. The beef congee was the better of the two. The fish came in very small bite size pieces that contained bones and scales. The fried dough was cold and disappointing since we arrived only minutes after opening. We expected them to be fried fresh to order. It was a disappointing start after a starving walk.

Next, we stopped at Egg Custard King Cafe. We tried the almond and strawberry flavors. The egg custard was so warm and the crust was buttery and flakey.

After a little shopping, we went to Joe’s Shanghai for their legendary xiao long bao. We ordered both the crab & pork and the pork dumplings. Wow! The skin was just as thin and delicate as I remember in Hong Kong. The dumplings burst with so much soup! Check out gravity working on these delicate little pouches. I only wish there was something in Chicago that came ½ way close to these delicate little packages.

Before departing, we went to the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. I had a taste of the taro but couldn’t decipher much flavor so I went w/the almond cookie. There were chunks of almond cookie mixed in w/the dough. It was pretty good, but made it a chewy type of ice cream – although not as chewy as Turkish ice cream.

For dinner, we went to Hearth. I went in with pretty high expectations. The room felt like a broiler. I was wearing a short sleeved thin shirt, so I couldn’t even strip myself of any layers to cool myself down. This discomfort definitely contributed to a less than ideal experience. I’m sure this was only worsened by being sick. I ordered the winter salad of mixed greens and candied walnuts topped with a sherry vinegrette. For my main, I had the pan seared skate w/ roasted winter vegetables garnished with pomegranate seeds. I just didn’t really feel like anything I ate was special. Service was attentative.

For dessert we decided to go to Magnolia Bakery. I picked a yellow cupcake w/vanilla frosting. The cupcake was a little dense but also light – not moist but not dry. The frosting was a little more sugary than the buttercreams to my memory. It was fine, but nothing to write home about. Service could be improved.

On our second day, we lucked out with being seated immediately at Baltahazar w/o reservations for breakfast. I had the roasted pepper and carmelized onion quiche with mixed greens. My fresh squeezed orange juice was so fresh and sweet. The quiche was delicious w/melted gruyere cheese in every bite. The busboys were great and on top of things, but our server was absolutely clueless. The computer system was down, and she seemed so disoriented without it. Even the busboys were getting frustrated with her. We were dressed in our coats and waiting for change when a new order of food was starting to be placed on our table b/c our server was messing up orders and table numbers. I bought a chocolate croissaint next door, and it was deliciously buttery!

For a late lunch we went to Lombardi’s. We ordered a house salad, calzone, and small margherita. The pizza was the highlight of the meal.

The San Marzano sauce, fresh mozzarella, and crust were a divine combination. I am still dreaming of it now. We had such a big, late lunch that we didn’t have dinner.

On our last morning, we headed over to H&H Bagels to pick up some bagels to bring home w/us. We went to Zabar’s to pick up some more goodies for bringing home w/us. I could’ve spent hours there! I bought a potato knish, chocolate babkas and cinnamon rugalach. The chocolate babka was my favorite. I had no idea what to expect, and it was phenomenal.

We went to Popover Café for lunch. We ordered a basket of 3 popovers served with strawberry butter. They were huge! I liked the inside. I hadn’t eaten in 20 hours, so I ordered a burger that was overcooked. I think their breakfast fare looked better than the lunch options.

All in all, I had a great time. I wish I wasn’t sick and that the weather could’ve been a little milder. Thanks for all the tips!

Last edited by Pucca on Mon Jan 22, 2007 4:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 24 Sep 2004
Posts: 443
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great write-up and pictures, thanks for sharing!
Hope you're feeling better...
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Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! Yeah--wonderful photo essay--thanks a lot!
Vivant Linguae Mortuae!!
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