Friday, June 25, 2010

Eating through the Big Apple Part 1

I'm currently sitting in my room at the W in Times Square stuffed to capacity. I don't get full all that easily, but after a few days out here in Manhattan the food has gotten the best of me. I read in the cab today that fifteen years ago 1 in 10 New Yorkers were obese, today it's 1 in 4 and I can see why!!!

Unfortunately Emi isn't here to enjoy this amazing trip with me since she had meetings and I'm here for work as well so we couldn't match up our schedules. Since I don't really know anyone out here and Emi isn't here to explore the city with me, I decided to fill my off time with enjoying all the great food New York City has to offer!

My first night in town, I Yelp'd New York Pizza and this little spot, right around the corner from the W came up, Patzeria Pizza. I couldn't come all the way out here and not get some good, authentic New York Pizza, and this place didn't disappoint.

Definitely a hole in the wall type of place with no A/C. The only complaint on Yelp was that the staff wasn't very friendly, but the reviewer said "I would be cranky too if I was stuck in that hot, cramped little space too!". Even though it was getting late into the evening, it was definitely hot and muggy out so I decided to take my pizza "to go" to enjoy in my air conditioned room.
I ordered their "White pizza" and "Grandma's pizza" which is basically their Margherita pizza. The white pizza was garlicky and cheesy just the way I like it. Also Grandma's pizza was great too. I was a little surprised that the crust was a little crunchy and a tad tough, considering I thought all NY pizza was thin crust, but still a great way to start off my eating spree.

The next day I ran out of time to eat breakfast and by the time I was done with work, it was late in the afternoon and I hadn't eaten anything yet! Good thing late in the afternoon is right about lunchtime in Seattle which is the timezone my stomach was going on.
I had on my list of places to visit, the World's Famous Carnegie's Deli. Carnegie's is always on the Food Network and is well known for their ginormous pastrami and corned beef sandwiches. I ended up walking down the wrong street, so made it all the way to Central Park and decided to wander around there for a little while since I've never been before. Definitely an fun walk, but this little detour worked up even more of a hunger so I went all out with my meal. Anyhow how many times am I out in the NYC?

My monster pastrami sandwich. The meat lover in me was in heaven (I ate the whole thing) and the dieter in me said "it's OK you're on vacation". This sandwich is best served smothered in their stone ground mustard which is already at your table. I liked the mustard because it didn't have a strong overpowering horseradish aftertaste. This sandwich was an amazing choice, never have I had such tender, delicious pastrami. I thought I would be done with pastrami for years after finishing this, but writing this post right now makes me want to go order a late night sandwich to go!

Of course to complete my meal I had to get some authentic NY matzah ball soup! Fogetbout it! My roommate in college's family was from New York so he introduced me to matzah ball soup and corned beef sandwiches back in the day, so I knew if I ever made it out to NY I had to have some. This was delicious, not too salty, but still a great chicken broth. Unfortunately I could only finish one matzah ball, it was too much!

After going back to the hotel, I passed out and took a short nap, then went to workout. The whole workout I was weighed down by the 5 lbs of pastrami, bread, and matzah ball soup, but they were worth the pain. However by the time I sort of was hungry again it was 9pm. My friend Greyson highly recommended the Halal Food Cart on 53rd and 6th. What's funny is that on the way there, I ran into about 10 other Halal food carts and supposedly this one opens at 7:30pm so if you get there early you might be fooled by the imposter setup in its place. However I knew I had the right spot because of the line 20 deep when I showed up.

The line moved pretty quickly and I think this is primarily a locals spot. They didn't have a menu or any prices listed. So I just ordered what the guy in front of me ordered, lamb and chicken with rice. This whole thing for only $6 and I always heard Manhattan was expensive. This dish is best served drenched with the side of "white sauce" and a touch of the hot sauce. Word of warning the hot sauce is hot, even if you like hot foods, this ish is hot! Click here to check out the food cart's website.
This was a great way to start off my first two days in NYC. Today I was able to enjoy the world's best ramen, which will get its own post for a future date. Before I leave I hope to get some potato latkas, a black and white cookie, an authentic NY bagel with cream cheese and lox, and hopefully some good Chinese food too. I'm sure I'll come back a little huskier on Monday and will only have 12 days to get back into shape for Hawaii!!
- Kyle

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