Eating Your Way Around New York

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Every food program that shows people traveling and eating ‘the worlds best’ of anything will 9/10 times be in New York for at least five different types of cuisine. But, if you’re heading to The Big Apple, then what is it you should be aiming to try out? After you’ve checked out the Broadway shows in New York, next comes time to fill the tummy. 

If you are a bit of a Netflix buff, you will have no doubt see Dave Chang on a couple of food-related programmes, maybe even the latest one where he eats and covers the differences in culture and cooking style? So, it only makes sense that you would add Momofuku to the list. When someone cares that deeply about the backgrounds of different food, then you know the food is going to be sensational. What to order? The pork bun, it won’t be the same as anything you’ve had before.

There once was a street vendor named Maria, who’s Colombian food was out of this world. So, she moved from a cart to a brick-and-mortar spot and her griddles corn cakes, oozing with salted queso went with her. In all seriousness, Jackson Heights, Roosevelt Ave, Arepa Lady – serving you the most flavor-packed Colombian cuisine. Must try? Chocolo, Arepa de Queso, and a Carna Asada Patacon. 

Arepa Lady
Need to plug the needs of a sweet tooth? Cronut. It shouldn’t make sense, and you can get the ‘almost-but-not-a-real-ones’ in a few places, under different names. But, you want the real deal – or else what is the point? Dominique Ansel Bakery, get in the (ridiculously) long line and be ready to wait it out. And when you get bored and think about leaving, remember the line is only that long because the products are that good. 

Chicken & waffles, something that is slowly making its way to other parts of the world via ‘smokehouse’ or BBQ joints. So yeah you maybe have tried some tasty chicken & waffles, but you probably haven’t had the pinnacle of chicken & waffles. The waffles are cornbread, the chicken is fried, and usually, there is an out-of-this-world sauce slathered over the top. Where is this place you speak of? Red Rooster Harlem.

Red Rooster Harlem
What can history teach us? Well, that sometimes there is no room for improvement – in this case, we are talking about Bagel & Lox (the classic) from a 100-year-old shop. Russ & Daughter the café is at 127 Orchard Street. The salmon is wafer thin, and the bagels are fresh, the schmear is top notch. It is a combo that will never go out of fashion and is as delicious now, as the first one they ever sold. 

Getting a little something different. Tender, perfectly seasoned, moist and amazing mouth feel. Octopus. To be more precise, grilled octopus. You might be put off by the idea of eating octopus, or maybe when faced with the tentacles aren’t in love with the idea. But, life is for the living, and this little delicacy from Taverna will remind you that sometimes trying new things is exactly what you needed. 

Where the Gossip Girl fans at? Maybe that is a little too retro of a reference. Anyway, the ‘rich kids’ were hooked on these pastries from a sweet little bakery, and the Brooklyn dwellers were all about the pierogis. Firstly, a pierogi is an eastern European dumpling of goodness. They come with sweet fruit fillings or savory fillings - usually potato, ground meat, cheese, or sauerkraut. Veselka is where it is at for these little pockets of happiness, serving up the goods since 1954 it is a mainstay of the East Village and for a good reason.

A trip to New York wouldn’t be complete with at least taking a trip to one Italian place. The problem is there are so many it is going to come down to what your idea of great food is. Let’s say that cooking in your apartment or when you get home (depending on import laws) is your idea of heaven; then you want to head to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx – the red sauce is divine and authentic. If you don’t care for the sauce, but you care deeply for dairy, then Casa Della Mozzarella (much like the name suggests) has the best fresh cheese. Tomato sauce and cheese not hitting the spot for you? If you are all about the pasta, then you’re going to have to check out Calabria Pork Store. If you don’t want to take anything home, then book a table at Tra Di Noi – it’s the trifecta – cheese, tomatoes, meat and traditional pasta.

Tra Di Noi
Check out some other recommendations here:

#Elmhurst, just to the south of #JacksonHeights, is home to New York's densest #Thai community, and there are plenty of quality restaurants where you'll hear more Thai than English and the food is legit spicy by default. They all have something to offer, but if you can only hit one and want to sample a lot all at once, there's no better place than @khaokangnyc . Though styled as a steam table restaurant, Khao Kang's food feels more like home cooking than anywhere else. High turnover keeps the rotation of ten or so dishes fresh—green curry crackles with heat and are loaded with aromatic spices. Pickled bamboo soup is eyepoppingly sour, mellowed by a hint of funk. And you can sample all these things by ordering a combo plate of rice and three different main dishes for under $10. Order from the friendly counter people, take a seat by one of the floor to ceiling windows, and stock up on water, because this stuff can get seriously hot in an addictive hallucinatory way. #mystorywithmichelin 🍽 5/5
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