My mission was simple. Eat my way through New York. My methodology was flawed. It was too much food, not enough time.
Regardless of the hype surrounding NYC (especially coming from Melbourne), you don't really understand how big the city is until you go there. And trust, "big" is an understatement.
I had been in Manhattan for one week, but the effects of the stay would not be seen until I arrived in Chicago, when I looked down at my legs and no longer saw any definition of leg muscle, but instead ripples of hard earned American fat. So how did it get this way? It started with a burger.
Whilst in New York, I refrained from as many "touristy" spots as possible. One thing I did do was visit the Museum of Natural History. Growing up I loved Dinosaurs, and the MoNH was the setting for a childhood cartoon I loved called "We're Back: A Dinosaur Story", so I went there. Their collection was immense, you could spend all day reading the informative placards glued to the displays and grow your knowledge. Although, all that learning sure does make you hungry! Luckily for me I was near Shake Shack, a chain of burger restaurants that make the most heavenly fast foods. The line went out the door and around the corner. It took 40 minutes, but *boom* tastebuds blown out of the water! I had the double cheeseburger with extra pickles. Burger was two inhouse ground patties with lettuce, tomato, pickles and "shack sauce" on a brioche bun. Meatly, crunchy, tangy, buttery goodness. Fries were crispy and salty, perfectly balanced by the refreshingly creamy strawberry milkshake that didn't taste like crappy artificial "strawberries".
After that meal, I was fired up and hungry for more. Staying in the Lower East Side (LES), I was fortunate enough to be close to all the "cool" parts of NYC (SOHO, NOHO, NOLITA, East Village) which means all the better places to eat were there too.Throughout the week, I walked, drank, and ate my way to understanding New York life. I tasted some of the greatest Jewish fare in the LES from Katz's Deli (Pastrami Sandwiches, Tongue Sandwiches, Chicken soups and Matzo Ball soups) and Russ and Daughter's who stock the most delicous lox (cured salmon), so much so that I don't think I could eat another bagel in Melbourne. Aside from these institutions, the LES is also home to some of the tastiest hand/street food, with places like Bao Haus that sell Taiwanese steam buns sandwhichs filled with modern Asian flavours. Crif dogs is another store with amazing food and as the name suggests they specialise in hot dogs. They're so good infact that I went there twice. Eating the Jon Jon Deragon (deep fired hotdog wrapped in bacon in a cream cheesed bun, hot sauce and everything bagel toppings) and the spicy redneck (deep fried dog, jalapenos, slaw and hot sauce) artery clogging goodness.
So I ate, and took some photos. Below are the places I ate at, not one bad meal was had, for me that is the perfect week.
- Shake Shack (77th & Columbus)
Recommend: Double Shack burger
- Bao Haus (E14th & 2nd)
Recommend: Chairman Bao
- Katz's Deli (E Houston)
Recommend: pastrami on Rye and Chicken Noodle soup.
- Big Gay Ice Cream Shop (7th & 2nd)
Recommend: Salty Pimp
- Crif Dogs (St. Marks Place & 2nd)
Recommend: Jon Jon Deragon
- Farmacy (Brooklyn)
recommend: Chocolate egg cream
- One Girl Cookies (Brooklyn)
Recommend: Whoopie Pies (any flavour)
- Momofuku Noodle Bar (1st)
Recommend: Scallop entree and Momofuku Ramen.
Photos (I had more but they're on my iphone):