October 16, 2012


From top to bottom: Shake Shack, and cherry tomatoes at the Union Square Farmer's Market. Murray's in Greenwich Village. Souvenirs: all food.

Ah yes, the food. I kept a running list on my phone of all the places we visited and passed and toured, and I know I'm still missing a few. Natalie and Travis advised sharing everything we ate, and that was the best  advice I can give anyone else doing a "food tour" of anywhere. Share everything. It was perfect; we were never completely hungry, but never completely stuffed, either. The walking helped.

We split an everything bagel with schmear from Ess-A-Bagel while quoting 30 Rock infront of Rockefeller Square. We split a burger and fries at Shake Shack (the one near the Flatiron) while resting our already-sore feet. We did not, however, spilt iced chicory coffees at Blue Bottle - a lady must draw the line somewhere. We split cheesecake from Carnegie Deli, grasshopper pie from Milk Bar, and a forty of Newcastle from some bodega in the East Village.

When prompted (our guides kindly tailored the tour to our whims), I told Natalie and Travis I wanted see either Alec Baldwin or Central Park, and Micah wanted to eat pizza. So the one sit-down meal we had was dinner - we went to Motorino in the East Village for said pizza (walking around Central Park looking for Alec builds quite the appetite). It was amazing. Highly recommended, though I will be the first to admit my complete ignorance of the alternatives. We split a bottle of Gragano and two pizzas: one with spicy soppressata and roasted garlic, the other with smoked pancetta and brussels sprouts. No one could decide on a favorite - always a good sign.

I honestly didn't realize all my souvenirs were food until I got to the airport and took stock of my backpack. Mast Brothers chocolate, which I would've bought - and loved - for the design alone, but tastes complex and carries a charming "homemade" texture that I'm still enjoying. Macaroons from Bouchon Bakery, which marked the first time I had ever tried macaroons. I've always wanted to make them (and will!, now), but had wanted to experience "real" ones before I took a shot at it. Ethereal and elegant. A real lady-dessert. And a corn cookie from Milk Bar, because David Chang is a character and his cookbook recipes are so strange and unwieldy that I just wanted to taste as many of the treats as possible (conveniently being made by someone else, as they were). The corn cookie tasted like all the best parts of original Cap'n Crunch without cutting the top of my mouth and coating it with wax. Nostalgic and playful - I think that's the point of his desserts, and it comes off clearly.