New York City is one of the world’s great food cities, home to some of the best restaurants fronted by celebrity chefs. Unfortunately, my small wallet kept me out of them. No worries though, until I get rich there’s plenty of places to get great food in NYC without breaking the bank. As we were only in NYC for a few short days, I could barely scrape the surface of what the city offers. Thankfully, my two companions love food as much, if not more, than me so we quickly set to eating as much as our stomachs would allow.
If you know Anthony Bourdain then you likely know his good friend David Chang. He’s particularly known in San Francisco for blasting the SF food scene as too simple (“F*****’ every restaurant in San Francisco is just serving figs on a plate,”). But what good figs they are we say! 🙂
Anyways when I was working as a concierge, getting a reservation to one of his fancier Momofuku restaurants that require reservations, like Momofuku Ko was a total b****, requiring creating an account and logging in at a particular date and time to immediately snag seats when they became available. I didn’t have the money to go to his pricier eateries but still wanted to see what all the fuss over David Chang is about so the night we arrived we walked over to Momofuku Milk Bar, a take-out only dessert bar. Was everything awesomely delicious? Yes! The crack pie was especially good, as addicting as I presume crack to be!
We also caught a cab to the East Village for Momofuku Noodle Bar. At around 9pm it was still packed but around 30 or 40 mins later, during which time we got fries at Pommes Frites, we were squished into a cramped table. The pork belly buns was melt in your mouth delicious. The ramen, which is supposed to be the best thing there, was just eh. I’ve had better in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles. It was a bit too salty for my liking.
After visting the MET, we went to Via Quadronno, a superb place for real Italian sandwiches, coffee and desserts. You could really tell that it’s a place beloved by neighborhood residents. The wait for a late lunch was quite long, ridiculously long, for us so I had a good while to watch how the host and servers knew many of the diners by name. Lots of elders and little kids so it obviously is the weekend brunch for many Upper East Side families. I did not like the fact that the host kept telling us that we would be getting a table soon when we obviously weren’t but at least their sandwiches, soups, and coffee were really that good and they gave us a plate of cookies to make up for the wait. Yup, I’m easily appeased with cookies.
If you ever go to MoMA and want something fast, filling and super cheap, check out the 53rd & 6th Halal Cart. For $6 you get a steaming plate of meat, rice, lettuce, flatbread, and sauce. My friend is the one that got us here and at first I wasn’t too happy about standing in the drizzle (line goes by quick though) and eating out on the sidewalk but that all changed when I took my first bite. If I lived near there I would probably have that every single day.
Here’s the famed Laduree, known for their macarons flown in from Paris. While I actually didn’t get anything from here, I just couldn’t bring myself to fork over the money plus I had already satisfied my fancy dessert desires at Magnolia cupcakes, I’m sure they satisfy every sweet tooth’s fantasy. My friend is the one who also got us here. Can you tell that she’s a foodie??? I’ve never seen a line like that for some macarons. I’m sure they were worth every penny.
Before an epic shopping day, we went to Le Pain Quotidien in Chelsea. It dully satisfied my need for something relatively healthy after gorging on so many desserts and fattening foods.
Here’s Rice to Riches. If you love rice pudding then by all means come here. For me, it’s a skip. Never been much of a sweet rice person.
I sincerely hope that one day very soon in the future, I can go back to NYC and just plan the entire trip around it’s fancy restaurants.