Recently in New York City category

New York City Dining and Travel Notes

pretzels empire state building

I had a wonderful trip to New York City recently and shared some of the places that I visited (see links at end of post), but there were plenty more places that I ate at, which didn’t get mentioned in previous posts. So here’s a round-up of them…

katz's corned beef sandwich

Katz’s

Most of the good delis are gone in New York City, but Katz’s is an institution and I like to believe it’s never going to let me down. I’ve had great meals there, but on this visit, my corned beef was tough and almost all of the meat inside my sandwich was inedible. A sandwich that costs $14.50, plus tax, should be museum-quality.

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Babycakes NYC

agave-sweetened chocolate cake

The first place I had on my list of places to go in New York City was BabycakesNYC. Ever since I saw the video of the staff having a blast, I was transfixed on going there to participate in the fun and frolic.

babycakes cupcakes vita spelt

Babycakes NYC is owned by Erin McKenna, and features vegan desserts made without gluten or refined sugar. There’s also treats for people who keep kosher, and those on soy, egg, and casein-free regimes. Not all desserts fit into those categories, but for people on various diets, this place is a godsend. When a few people I mentioned it to said to me, “Gluten-free? No sugar? Is the stuff any good?”

agave sweetened cakes

If you’re wrinkling your nose, if Salted Butter Caramel Doughnuts dripping with caramel syrup and Chocolate Cake, moist from sweet agave nectar don’t sound appealing to you (like they do to me), then fine. More for the rest of us.

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Economy Candy

gumballs

I’ll spare you any quips about feeling like kids in a candy store, but from the squeals of delight all around us (and there was no one under eighteen in Economy Candy), there we were, a roomful of adults, surrounded by floor-to-ceiling displays of candy—from the new to the long-forgotten. And I could hear every few moments someone saying, “Oh my God!” or “I LOVE these!” from people reconnecting with their favorite sweets from the past.

orange slices

My favorite candies of all time are Orange Slices, jellied wedges of orange coated with tooth-crackling sugar crystals. Man, I could eat a jumbo bag of them. I also like Dots, but you have to be careful if eating them at the movies because if you don’t hold each one up to the screen and check before you pop it in your mouth, you might accidentally eat one of the green ones.

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Kyochon

kyochon chicken1

Of course, I never heard of Kyochon. But when I was walking by it with my pal Matt, he said, “Oh…Kyochon!”

To me, it looked like another fast-food restaurant. And normally, I’m not a fan of fast-food, but Asian fast-food? Sign me up! So much of their food lends itself to quick service: noodles, fried chicken, sushi, and croquettes.

kyochon menu mattarmendarizatkyochon

Fast-food, or course, has taken on a somewhat different meaning. But ‘fast’ doesn’t have to mean ‘bad’, it just means that it’s food that can be prepared and served quickly. And many ethnic meals, from French crêpes, Mexican tacos, Hawaiian plate lunch, to Japanese bento, are good examples of fast, and healthy, fare.

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Hill Country Barbecue

I woke up this morning, and could not even make it through to the second half of my flagel.

Hill Counrty BBQ Hill Country Barbecue Sauce

My stomach was stuffed from yesterday, which began at Baked in Brooklyn, then extended through to a burger and fries at Shake Shack, across the border to Connecticut for steamed lobster, then back into New York City with a quick detour through the Apple store, then home to polish off the box of cookies I absconded with from the boys at Baked. Because, you know, I had to eat them while they were still fresh. Right?

cornbread

So you can imagine that I didn’t wake up with much of an appetite.

However…

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Doughnut Plant, NYC

chocolate doughnut new york

Could the Doughnut Plant be the best place in the world?

I’m sorry, but I don’t remember the name of each and every doughnut we had at Doughnut Plant in New York City. Frankly, I was so caught up in ordering doughnuts, passing them around, trying to take a few snaps, while going berserk over each and every flavor of doughnut we tried, my sanity took a temporary leave and I just let the overwhelming experience of being surrounded by fluffy, just-made, extraordinarily wonderful doughnuts pass over (and into) me.

chocolate doughnut plant doughnut plant menu

It was standing in the middle of a storm of doughnuts, literally playing referee between the hungry mob I arrived with.

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Momofuku Milk Bar

Momofuku soft serve ice creams

I sometimes think about stepping back into the restaurant world. I miss being around all that energy and cooking alongside others instead of toiling in the kitchen all by my lonesome (…and with you, of course). But it’s nice to bounce ideas off of others and do more involved presentations, plus I’ll admit, I miss having a team of dishwashers on staff just as much—or even more.

I love what the new generation of pastry chefs have been doing. There’s lot of fresh talent out there, and I guess I should just continue to leave things (and the pots and pans) in their hands and be happy to remain a stay-at-home baker.

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Porchetta

crisp porchetta

It felt a little funny heading over to Porchetta for lunch. I mean, I live right next to Italy and had amazing porchetta there just recently. So why am I taking a lengthy subway trip down to the East Village for lunch?

And I was tempted even further when I was on the way to meet my friend Shira (who I met on a boat trip on the Côte d’Azur last year) for lunch, and I passed a ‘San Francisco-style’ burrito place that tugged in the pit of my slightly bulging stomach at my sense of nostalgia for the famed tummy-torpedos I remembered so well.

potatoes and lemon seltzer porchetta

But like the people who told me that that Mexican food and BBQ in New York aren’t going to be as good as where they originated (which I find partially true, but I’ve had great French food in New York and wonderful Italian fare in San Francisco, so perhaps I’m becoming a little too globalized for my own good) I’m going to agree that it’s pretty hard to replicate a San Francisco burrito. So in my twisted logic that says you can’t get a good San Francisco-style burrito in New York City, but good Tuscan roast pork is a possibility, porchetta it was. And boy, am I glad when my convoluted reasoning works out.

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