Sunday, December 11, 2011

culinary tour 11.11.11

Most people who know me, know I'm a planner. I love lists, and I've had one on my computer for over a year called "New York Culinary Tour". I had accumulated a bunch of places that were either recommended by some Food Network chef, a friend, or on a blog or website. I came to find out a spectacular girl I worked with (Lauren!) also loved food and food places, and she offered to go on this mad, whirlwind tour with me. This was not for the faint of heart, and again, if you know me, you know that we don't vacation, we travel. Meaning: we see absolutely as much as we can and do as much as we can in the time we have. (Hello, we've toured 5 countries in one day.) This was a planned 14+ stop visit to the Big Apple, and I'm happy to say we conquered it. We left on the 8am train from Hazlet bound for Penn Station...

The fun started at Doughnut Plant, inside the Hotel Chelsea. I had read about this pastry sensation and had wanted to score a square doughnut for myself. I chose wisely, picking a peanut butter banana offering from their "yeast" menu. I brought one home for Phil, a "blackout" from their "cake" menu, and his was better. Dark chocolate and all, you know. They have about the most amazing assortment. 

We had to stop at the New York Cake and Baking Supply Co. I came out with a few odds and ends of things. You know, important essentials. 
I have always wanted to see the Flatiron Building, so this was stop #3 on our agenda. It was a gorgeous morning and the sun did everything it could to add some grandeur to this timeless building. 

Eataly is conveniently located on the same block as the Flatiron Building, so we were able to combine lots of attractions without walking too far (it's all in the planning! lol).

Gelato Bar

The market at Eataly is amazing. There are lots of interesting sections to browse, and all of it sports a cool warehouse/carrera marble combination. Beautiful.

Wouldn't you like to try something, just to watch it be made?

Lauren approved the fresh, unpasteurized milk.

Apparently, "Bah-ram-ewe" isn't always going to work :(

Butcher counter
Bread! I came home with a loaf of rustic fig, and it was wonderful.
Fresh pasta
Fresh fruits and vegetables! I found black garlic and was super stoked to try it. It's been making appearances in several of our dishes, and most noteworthy was its addition to our family favorite: rigatoni. 

Loved the set up in Eataly, this in particular was a wine/salad pairing where you stood at sampling tables.

How would you ever choose?

Spicy soppressata, please.

The cold caprese sandwich was incredible. It had house-made fresh mozzarella, a yellow heirloom tomato, a basil-infused olive oil and salt flakes. Salt flakes?
They rocked my world. You wouldn't think they'd make that much of a difference, but the salt flakes made the sandwich.

From Eataly, we crossed a few streets in search of the Coolhaus truck. I was following them on Twitter, so we were able to find them in the midst of the NYC Veterans' Parade. 
We tried the Sweet Potato ice cream with a spiced pumpkin cookie, and the Nutella with snickerdoodle. Yes, it was November, and yes it was cold, but it was gooooood. 

Our next stop after the ice cream truck was to Zara. I got Rae a Christmas present, and we walked back over to Union Square GreenMarket. It was amazing. The vendors and the varieties available in the city really is incredible. I had sumac tea, Lauren had Hot Pear Cider. Hers was better. We bought a few items like handmade pretzels, and made our way to the metro. I didn't take any pictures :(

Motorino was slated by the New York Times to be some of the BEST pizza in New York. I had to find out, and wow, yes, that's right. I loved the thin crust, the fresh cheese, the delicious sauce, and the place! It was so super cute, and honestly, the pizza was just amazing. Soft, foldable, dripping...yum! 
We went next door to S'Mac for a takeout since we had eaten more pizza then we had planned. of course. We ate the Four Cheese the next day, and it was good. Not as good as some baked macaroni though. 
We then had an impromptu stop at a thrift store we both of us bought some things (as if we had room!) and then our foot tour took us right past another store we had considered going to: Broadway Panhandler. This was actually much more my speed than the Baking Supply Co. and it had some really cool and unique items. I got quite a few Christmas presents there. and not for me! Next up was a different, more touristy site
Washington Square Park
So I saw August Rush, whatever. :)
It was beautiful and so cute overrun with kids doing anything to be busy and playing outside.
City moms have it tough.

Chelsea Market: Home of the Food Network.
Naturally, on a food tour, we'd stop there, right?
We did some shopping there at Chelsea Market Baskets and Buon Italia, and added a few more Christmas items to our overflowing backpacks, along with some herbs and spices that were cheap at the market.
Happy Veterans' Day! 
And, to top it all off, stop number 14, Mood. I happen to like Project Runway, and I've always wanted to shop at Mood. I needed five different fabrics--something fun and cool--and within the 30 minutes we had to shop, I got them all. Projects to come later :)
We ate at the Pig N'Whistle, and stopped for some much-needed Starbucks before leaving on the 8pm train bound for Hazlet. It was amazing that we accomplished the whole day's agenda, but we did! 


  1. This is a super useful post! I'm forwarding it to friends who will be visiting the city and are looking for delicious places to eat!

  2. I love this! I would love to go with you sometime to NY, or anywhere for that matter, and have a complete itinerary maped out like this! I'm serious! I'd love it. And the extra plus would be hangin with you all day.