I haven't been to New York since 2001. Lots can change in 15 years. Back then I was just out of college, and hadn't traveled much. I wasn't yet obsessed with food...we chose restaurants based on their pop culture connections... Hello Deli from the Dave Letterman show, the diner from Seinfeld, A deli with sandwiches named after famous New Yorkers. This time food was the center of our wanderings. I am more star-struck by chefs and amazing dishes now. One thing hasn't changed. I am still completely smitten with this city. Great people, great energy, always something to do, look at, talk about, taste... I *heart* New York!
First things first...RAMEN. I love St. Louis, I really really do... but we are lacking in TRADITIONAL ramen. Our first meal in NY was at Ippudo West. I have to confess, my BF and I had been to several ramen places here in STL, and he was disappointed every time. I thought he was being overly-picky. Now that I've tasted how traditional ramen is supposed to taste, at Ippudo, I understand his pickyness. This ramen was otherworldly. Rich broth, milky and unctuous with glistening pork fat. The noodles had a perfectly al-dente texture. The meat was savory and the eggs were perfectly gooey. I could not get enough. Wow. I have seen the ramen light. I am transformed.
The appetizers we got at Ippudo were fantastic, too. Shishito peppers with yes dipping salt and Fried octopus with matcha dipping salt. Both were addicting. I love the idea of dipping salts instead of sauces. I hope it becomes a trend (I hope my doctor isn't reading this...)
Another thing New York has that is harder to find in St. Louis... great bagels. We went to Russ & Daughters Cafe for some bagels and smoked fish. The classic bagel and lox was dreamy.
The Super Heebster was fun and a flavor win: whitefish and baked salmon salad, wasabi-infused fish roe, horseradish, dill cream cheese on bagel toast. Super, indeed!
I loved the look of Russ & Daughters cafe, too. Such a gorgeously cute place... all white marble and old woods and the servers wearing pharmacists jackets.
Alas, R&D is more about their smoked fish than they are about bagels (though they do make their own). So we sought out the best bagels where we were staying in Astoria, Queens. After some research we went to Astoria Bagel Company. Just look at that chewy, golden beauty. So fresh and scrumptious. Check it out if you're in area. Also in Astoria (but I didn't get any decent photos), look for the King of Tacos taco truck outside the CVS. We pretty much stopped there every night, because they are open late and the tacos are seriously top-notch.
OF COURSE we had to get classic, foldable New York slices. Joe's Pizza was just what the pizza doctor ordered.
Fishs Eddy is my dinnerware Mecca. I could spend all day there, surrounded by plates and kitchen gadgets and dish towels. Some funny, some gorgeous, all of it interesting. Look for new props in my photos soon :)
New York Loves Brunch. I, too, love brunch. So we brunched! Above are the brisket bao buns at Momofuko Saäm Bar. I was so excited to finally eat a David Chang joint, and I was not disappointed. The bao buns were so fluffy with such flavorful fillings.
The shrimp and grits had XO sauce and flash-fried baby kale and were such smart blend of southern comfort food and bold Asian flavors.
We also brunched at Jeepney, a super-cool Filipino restaurant. Pro-tip: Get the bottomless brunch... so many great boozy brunch drinks, as many as you want! I got the Kare Kare Fried Chicken with peanut butter gravy and pickled green beans. PEANUT BUTTER GRAVY. Swoon.
NYC is sweet. Literally. I got some of the legen-dairy cereal milk soft serve at Milk Bar (photo at top of post) and this Salty Pimp at Big Gay Ice Cream. Quirky but appropriate name. Salted caramel, chocolate, creamy soft serve. If this thing drank, it would be out of a chalice.
Also, Waffles & Dingus! Funny name, glorious fresh waffles.
During our trip, we learned that Carnegie Deli will be closing permanently at the end of this year. We had planned on going to a classic deli, so knowing this was our last chance to eat at this time-honored landmark made our decision easy. The pickles were honestly my favorite part of the meal. I love a good half-sour.
The Reuben was silly big. I could only manage to eat 1/3. It was the last day of our trip, so I was kind of burnt out on indulgent foods. Well, I did still have room for the blueberry cheesecake, though. Yum!
Oh, New York. I can't wait to get back to you! Was there anything we missed out on? Leave a comment with your favorite New York eats!