Monday, October 10, 2011

NYC Food Tour 2011: Part I

You know, Mario Batali says that there's two types of people in the world...

Real Italians and those that wish they were.


Since there's precious little blood running through my veins besides Scottish and Irish, I'm pretending to be Italian today.

With my Italian coffee and my imported vanilla cream wafers.  For breakfast.

Do you want to hear about my trip to New York with my mom and my Katie?

You do?!?

That is so sweet of you to say.  Because I can't wait to tell you about it.

It was all about food (Broadway Schmoadway).

If you've never made food the central focus of a vacation, then please close this and return when I post a recipe involving cardboard and sawdust.

Oh, and we walked pretty much everywhere because (1) there's no greater way to see, feel, and smell (and I do mean smell) the city; and (2) once you see the pictures of the things we ate, you'll understand why we needed to walk.  A lot.  And (3): it's just part of the experience.

And I don't ever again want to hear about how many people in Kentucky smoke.  Ever.  Because anyone who says that has never walked down a New York street.

Our concierge told us that we would definitely need a taxi to get to our lunch spot.  We smiled sweetly and I thought just because we are Southern doesn't mean we're soft.  So we walked to E.A.T.

Oh, hi Eli!  Weird, because I have to remind myself that we're not friends in real life.

Eli Zabar is an institution in Manhattan.  He is famous for his Kosher delis, grocery stores and out-of-this-world breads.  He caters to locals, not tourists.  What a true New York experience.

Barefoot said this is the best grilled cheese she's ever had.  Agreed.  Gruyere cheese.  Will be making this soon.  'Nuff said.

Peasant Soup, which is day-old bread soaked in tomato soup.  It sounded like something I would not normally order, but I do trust the Barefoot's recommendations.  And it was beyond good.

Chopped salad.  Peppers, cucumbers, avocado, onion in a cilantro-lime dressing.  Fresh and oh so light.  Will be making that too.

We ate an early lunch and walked a few more miles to be sure we were hungry for dinner at Mesa Grill.

I kept peeking through the kitchen window to get a glimpse of Bobby.  And then I took pictures of my food.

I behave strangely in restaurants.

Especially restaurants that serve the best corn soup eveh.  Unfortunately, my camera ate the picture of my corn soup.  I'm telling you, it was that good.

I'm not sure what was better: the soup or the tamale with shrimp, fresh corn and garlicky sauce.

Seriously, Bobby?

I have to remind myself that I'm not actually friends with Bobby Flay, either.

The only problem with the tamale is that there was only one.  I could eat this every day for the rest of my life.

We also went to Eataly, where Mario has created an entire Italian village in Manhattan.  There are no words to describe it.  Think 50,000 square feet of Italy.  Right in New York.  Genius.

The TSA agents at LaGuardia TSA confiscated my jar of real chocolate-hazelnut spread (think Nutella on steroids).  I'm pretty sure they ate it after I left, too.  I wanted to ask them about the last time a blonde woman tried to take down a plane with a jar of Italian chocolate sauce.

And then I remembered that common sense has no place in airline security.  And if I had questioned their decision to steal my chocolate sauce, they probably would've stolen my Parmigiano-Reggiano, too.

Oh!  We also ate at Bar Americain.  I looked for Bobby in the kitchen there, too.  No such luck.  But the food was phenomenal.

I had French onion soup.  Best I've ever had.  Hands down.  Will be making that soon.

To cut the richness of the food, we shared a lemon meringue tart with raspberry salad.  Only Bobby Flay can call this raspberry salad and sound like a culinary genius.

And only a twisted person can use a dessert to cut the richness of dinner.

Later I'll tell you about the day we spent at the Food Network Wine & Food Festival, where I actually did meet Bobby Flay.  And his mom.  Oh my goodness.


Katie Pinkston said...

oh my! how i could go on and on...what a wonderful time!

Katie Pinkston said...

p.s. Dixie dog and Belle Belle also enjoyed the chocolate wafers that they so kindly finished off for me while I was away....ugh.

Leila "lei" said...

I would also love to become a real Italian with that vanilla cream wafers! Haha. Hmm. You seems had a nice food tour at new york and me too through your blog. You brought real new york foods with your blog. Thanks for sharing such great info!

Flavors of New York

Elizabeth said...

Dixie and Belle said thanks for their souvenir.

Anna Norvez said...

I so wish I could have come along- alas I was in "real" Italy :) but hey! let me know if you want me to pick up that hazelnut spread- I'd be happy to mail it to you!!

Elizabeth said...


We missed seeing you! Eataly was fabulous, though of course it can't hold a candle to the REAL Italy!!! Hope you and Andre had a wonderful time!