I just returned from another extended trip around New England. 3 days in NYC, 2 DAYS in Massachusetts, and 3 days in New Hampshire. Such a good trip filled with lots of great memories and visits with old friends. I am going to give you my food tour again, but before I do I wanted to share 10 things I learned from my trip:
1) Sleeping in 6 different houses in six different beds in 8 days makes one's back very adaptable.
2) Massachusetts is colder then NYC and NH.
3) Strangers in NYC are friendlier then strangers in Boston, plus they all wear Ugg boots and black coats.
4) Seeing old friends makes me smile, saying goodbye to old friends makes me want to live in a commune.
5) Girl who flies with lots of cookies lands with crumbs.
6) A bazooka is not a kazoo...do not make lame jokes about either at a table full of strangers. 7) Yes, cookies can serve as a meal replacement-as long as they are from Levain.
8) Busting out a fancy dance move on the dance floor to impress a tall, dark, and handsome stranger will end badly...just ask the 6 year old girl my hip knocked over. true story.
9) When you travel to New England in February bring snow boots, leave the heels.
10) DO NOT OVER PACK! After traveling on 4 airplanes, 4 buses, many subways, a taxi, a commuter train, and in 4 cars - up and down stairs, hills, ice, snow, rain, and mud - I can honestly tell you it is far better to wear dirty clothes then to travel with extra bags.
New York City:
A big thanks to my little sister who puts up with my crazy quest for good food, and my insane travel plans...she is such a good sport and I wouldn't of done it without her : ) Here's to hoping we can tour, dine, and explore many more cities together! Love ya shorty!
Spice: PASS, PRICE-CHEAP, TASTE-NICE
I arrived fairly late on a Monday night and met up with my sister and her husband for dinner. We first went to Max Brenner's, but the wait at 10:00pm was 45 minutes...not a chance. So we ducked in from the cold into a Thai restaurant we had spotted throughout the city. The portions were perfect, and the price was nice. We left happy and satisfied, and not too broke. A nice place to go for quick, fresh tasting food.
The Pig and Egg - Brooklyn: PASS, PRICE-$15/PERSON for breakfast, TASTE-AWESOME
I found this place online, it had tons of great reviews and looked promising so we headed out to Brooklyn in search of it. We were not disappointed. It was a small cozy place, with hearty breakfast dishes. We split brioche French toast with REAL maple syrup, scrambled farm fresh eggs, fresh toast and jam, house made sausage, and a hash brown bundle...best thing ever! I will definitely go back next time I visit the city.
Next we headed to Blue Bottle for some coffee. PASS-PRICE-HIGH-TASTE-STRONG This place was recommended to us from a local as a good coffee shop in the area. The place was huge, clean, and scientific looking. They roast their own coffee beans on site and have a long slow drip coffee bar...something I have never seen before. It took about 5 minutes for them to make a cup of coffee which somehow justified spending $4 on a it. You could taste the high quality and pureness of the coffee, but it was a lot stronger then I am used to. After many additions of cream and milk I had the perfect cup of coffee. If you are in a hurry for your morning coffee don't go here, you will just grow impatient, give up, and then seek out the nearest Starbucks. If you want a nice place to relax or visit with someone this is the place for you.
Not a food place, but also recommended by the locals was Beacon's Closet. A great vintage clothing store in Brooklyn. My sister found 3 dresses that were under $20 and really awesome. Fun place to go, next time we will spend more time and money there. : )
"Baked" bakery. PASS-PRICE-HIGH-TASTE-GOOD. I have mixed feelings about this place. First of all, it was in the middle of nowhere, and it took forever to get to. Once we finally got there we were so cold and tired it would have taken a lot to convince us it was worth the trek. We got a chocolate chip cookie-nothing to write home about, a slice of pumpkin chocolate chip bread -good, and a slice of quiche-Very, very, very good quiche. I liked the design and set up of the bakery, but wished they had more appealing cookie options. I can't say it lives up to all the hype that people in the pastry world keep talking about. Unless they relocate I don't think I would go back again. They do have 2 cookbooks out which have gotten fairly high praise, I think I will buy one someday and decide for myself.
Lugos. WAY PASS-PRICE-MID-TASTE-EXCELLENT! I am usually not a pizza person, but my sister kept talking about this place so I gave in and we ordered our pizza to go. The ricotta meatball pizza was excellent, and the perfect portion for 2 people. The garlicky green beans were fresh and light, and made eating vegetables fun...is that even possible? : ). Going back next time for sure.
Maialinos near Gramercy Park. SUPER PASS-PRICE-MED/HIGH-TASTE-OUT OF THIS WORLD GOOD. This is the newest of Danny Meyer's restaurants in the city, and he sure did do a good job. These people really do know high quality ingredients, and high quality service. We feasted on a caramel brioche...be still my beating heart, an olive oil citrus muffin...if it had been citrusless I would have liked it, ricotta pancakes with a raisin apple jam and REAL maple syrup, a Porchetta breakfast sandwich...I don't know why but my sister and I always eat a lot of pork when we hang out, and insanely awesome super thick cut bacon. Wow, we ordered way too much and had a nice take out box at the end of our banquet. So going there again.
LEVAIN!!!! PASS PASS PASS-PRICE-WORTH IT-TASTE-NO WORDS CAN SAY!!!! I didn't think it was possible to get any better then my last visit, but this time I ordered 3 of their $4 giant cookies. Oatmeal Raisin, good but not the best, Chocolate Chip walnut- insane, and the best thing yet their chocolate peanut butter chip cookie- out of this world good!!!
Our last stop on the eating tour was a random place on a back road. Cafe Ole in Hell's Kitchen. PASS-PRICE-MID-TASTE-EXCELLENT. We shared a cup of lentil chili, and then a spicy chicken sandwich. Both were excellent, and hit the spot for my last NYC meal. I hopped on a bus and headed out to Boston. Next up my long awaited Newburyport, MA eating out guide...put on your fat pants and stay tuned : )