Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Highlights of NYC.

On my way home from Italy I spent four wonderful days in New York. Here's a smattering of sights/eats, but get in touch if you'd like the full list!

1. The best and brightest lights of all were Carey Polis and Lauren Sudekum, New York hostess extraordinaires and participants in our very own New York City Marathon. OF FOOD.

2. A quick list of (just some) of the tastiest bits:

-Shake Shack burgers, as delicious as promised
-Momofuku Noodle Bar's fried chicken lunch, impossible to get a reservation but Jon did, oh yes he DID
-Hill Country BBQ. While the moist brisket was excellent, I loved the sides the most: cornbread, collard greens with bacon, mac and cheese, baked beans, etc etceteraaaa.
-The fish torta, nachos, and reggaeton at Pinche Taqueria
-A potato knish at the famous Yonah Schimmel Knishery, where the staff hate each other and make no attempt to hide it
-Tasting pumpkin, olive oil, roasted cashew, and honey-lavender flavoured gelati at Il Laboratorio del Gelato
-Murray's cheese shop, a.k.a Mecca
-The Chelsea Market (indoor) and the Union Square Greenmarket (outdoor)
-Cookies (see last blog post, which talks about nothing but)

3. I would also like to talk about Mast Brothers' chocolate. Anyone who has spoken to me since New York may want to skip this part, because anyone who has spoken to me since New York has heard about the Mast Brothers. Young, tattooed and heroically bearded, they are New York's only bean to bar chocolate makers and source their cacao (single origin) from places like Madagascar and Venezuela. We never made it to their shop, but did find their bars for sale at Murray's Cheese. It was all I could do not to buy them out completely, though the $10/bar price curbed that desire slightly. All bars are hand-wrapped in paper of varying designs, each so pretty I was reluctant to open them (though I managed to get over that, too). I bought two bars, the Madagascar and Cocoa Nib, loved them both, and now wish to try every last one. This will be difficult since they neither sell nor ship to Canada. Sigh. You can read an interesting article about their branding here, which has clearly worked wonders on me.

4. Lauren and I started out New York: Day 3 at the outstanding Brooklyn Flea. This ain't your local community center craft fair. Each Sunday, under the sweeping, mosaic-laiden ceilings of an old church, hip vendors sell vintage finds, hand-crafted jewellery, and food (homemade pickles and raw chocolate anyone?) to the kind of people I'd like to brunch with. We perused the stalls, wished for cool apartments in which to put all the cool things, and ate grilled cheese sandwiches from the Milk Truck stall downstairs. Good sammies, though the plaid-adorned Milk Truck Men were s.l.o.w. on those grills.

5. One evening Carey took us for a stroll on The Highline, a raised walking path that threads its way through Manhattan's West Side. Built in the 1930's, it originally functioned to raise dangerous freight traffic above the busy streets, however the trains stopped running in 1980 and the line was abandoned for several decades. Ten years ago a group of citizens advocated for its restoration, and several years later a new city park was born. From it we watched the sunset over the Hudson and I felt tranquility in New York. Who'd have thought.

Thanks to Carey and Lauren, my first trip to the New York was magic. I can't wait to take another bite out of the Big Apple soon.

Mast Brothers photo courtesy of

1 comment:

  1. AWESOME. Love the pics, the commentary, and now I want to go! Also, whenever you think it's time to add the west coast version, feel free to get your butt down here to San Francisco! Cheers! Jaime

    PS How's your eye???