Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

We tried to eat Manhattan


hillvalley
 Share

Recommended Posts

A few months ago adrober's movie inspired me. I wanted to spend the day in New York eating.

I enlisted squashblossom in this journey because she is the only one who would put up with me and my shooting for an entire day and there is no one else I would rather eat NY with :smile:

We started as soon as we got off the train at

i9415.jpg

a pizzeria around the corner from Penn. Station. squash and I were cranky 'cause I declared breakfast off limits. We needed to preserve our stomachs. Pizza was one of the three food groups (pizza, meat and potato) that we planned to enjoy that day. As we walked two blocks in the wrong direction (for the first but not the last time) we smelled the pizza calling us.

So much so that squash couldn't wait for me to get the camera out of my bag before she took a bite

i9416.jpg

It was all that I had dreamed it would be. Thin crisp crust, just enough tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese that made a string when you bit into it. We split the piece, just enough to get to our first (and major) eating stop of the day.

After getting off the subway and walking two blocks in the wrong direction again (happily for the last time) we found

i9422.jpg

Lucky for us, Pan had agreed to be our tour guide through the world that is Katz's. I was there for the same two reasons as everyone else: pastrami and to see where Meg Ryan faked the orgasm in When Harry Met Sally. It was a small lifetime dream come true.

I knew that ordering would be an adventure from seeing some TV personality bumble their way through on FTV. Thank heavens for our seasoned veteran. He showed us where to line up for the pastrami (hint, it's not the first line) and how to order. Then, showing deft ordering skills he set a perfect example. Down to the banter with the guys behind the counter.

i9417.jpg

i9418.jpg

squash and I had already decided to split a sandwich. This was just the second stop in what was supposed to be a day long journey of eating. We could not waste the stomach space. Our new hero behind the counter put each half on it's own plate without our asking. Finally the sandwiches were in our possession. We stuffed our tip in the cup and were on our way.

Our Katz's virginity was lost to a pastrami on rye with mustard, cold sauerkraut (on the side), sour pickles (half sours are against my religion) and a Dr. Brown's black cherry and a celery.

i9419.jpg

Once again squash could not wait for the camera

i9439.jpg

i9420.jpg

We sat in the back, which was a first for our tour guide. Always the gentleman, Pan got a plate of coleslaw to make sure we had the full Katz experience.

With first bite we were in love. This was damn good pastrami. Succulent and juicy, salted with a balance of bite from black pepper. It was not your average pastrami.

Half a sandwich turned out to be more than enough. I did not get to devour nearly enough sauerkraut. Oh well.

i9421.jpg

Did I mention that we were lightweights when it came to power eating?

i9440.jpg

I am pretty sure my great-grandmother did this for my grandfather.

As we stood in line to pay the clouds opened and suddenly there was a downpour. This was not part of the plan. Sure, the morning was hot and humid and sticky, but that was better than soaking rain. It stopped long enough to start upon a new plan when the clouds burst open again. Plans were changed, and changed again with the weather pattern. Once again it slowed down, this time for good.

Half a block north of Katz's squash and I ran into two guys, musical man and changed-a-lot, who we went to high school with. Who says NY is a big city? This is the third random city I have run into music man in. We did the obligatory chit chat and banter until we ran out of things to say. squash and I were off to Russ and Daughters, they were off to the movies.

On to

i9423.jpg

This is my kind of store. If I ever live in NY I had better have a budget just for this place. I knew that it would take great restraint to come out without a bag full of treats. Fortunately the idea of carrying fish and cream cheese around with us on a hot day was a wonderful deterrent for going all out. I am proud to say that we came out with a splurge, a treat and a necessity: wild Alaskan salmon caviar, a chub and a container of plain cream cheese. The guy behind the counter wrapped up the package for travel in an ice pack and padded envelope. Everything made it home despite spending the day in a sauna.

Alas there are no pictures of our purchase. The counters at Russ are tall and I am not, so the food was wrapped without a shot for prosperity. The next day I had eaten a third of the fish and roe before I remembered my camera. They were both as delicious as you think they were.

On to

i9424.jpg

i9425.jpg

for knishes. We ordered a potato knish, hot, and a chocolate egg cream.

i9426.jpg

While waiting for our food we saw music man and changed-a-lot sitting in the back having a knish. We had inspired them.

squashblossom's main comment for the next 10 minutes was "this thing weighs 10 pounds."

i9427.jpg

Still stuffed from Katz, we wrapped it up for later. We headed down

i9430.jpg

to wards Little Italy. Along the way I dragged us into

i9428.jpg

a tiny, wonderful coffee shop with an emphasize on Japanese drinks. It was as if fate had drawn me in. We both ordered iced green tea which is supposed to be good for digestion.

i9429.jpg

On to Little Italy. This is the view of

i9430.jpg

from the top of Little Italy. All the restaurants have outdoor seating.

i9437.jpg

Even the parking meters are special

i9431.jpg

The pastas looked amazing. If we weren't already full and dripping with sweat I might have considered it. Tenderly I broached the subject with squash, which she quickly quashed. There was no way that was going to happen. At the end of the first block is

i9432.jpg

I dragged us in, knowing full well I couldn't buy any cheese or meats. I settled on a skinny mini ritoni and a bottle of Bosco's chocolate sauce for my friend's sons. We were done with Little Italy and so far it was pretty much a bust.

We headed up the next block which was Chinatown. The street was full of vendors selling everything a good Chinese kitchen should have. There was no way we could handle a full Chinese meal so we decided on a snack of fresh lychee's.

i9433.jpg

They were wonderful. I am eating one of the leftovers right now. The purveyor of the stand had a good laugh at watching us try to eat the lychee's. You have to break them open and then suck out the sweet, slimy fruit. I will never be able to eat canned lychee's again. It just won't be the same.

i9434.jpg

At this point squash decided she needed an Italian pastry. We headed over to

i9435.jpg

Squash decided we should each have a cannoli, despite the fact that our stomachs were more than full. There was no way I could eat a whole cannoli. While standing in line we spotted mini cannoli's and each ordered one. Despite being tiny, the cannoli's went unfinished.

i9436.jpg

By now it was hot and humid and we were tired. Sushi, which had been on the itinerary, but since it was the Monday after a holiday weekend we decided it was not a good idea. Our stomachs were full and we were tired. Our eating journey was coming to an early end.

Over in the village we saw

i9438.jpg

Had we been stealth eaters we would have downed a hot dog. But we are not, so we did not. Oh well. It was time to end our eating adventure.

On the way back to the train we picked up a couple of slices from Rosa's again. Beginning and ending with the same meal seemed appropriate. We got a few cold slices to go. The guy behind the counter couldn't understand why we weren't devouring our slices. A few hours later, after a quick reheating in the oven, we enjoyed a late night snack of pizza and a wonderful salad.

After returning to New Jersey I decided I needed some ice cream. Actually, what I wanted was gelato. Fortunately, Princeton is now the home of the Bent Spoon. They make artisan, organic gelato. What more could a girl ask for. Squash and I both had blueberry.

i9385.jpg

Creamy, bursting with flavor, it was the perfect end to a day of eating. My waistline is glad I don't live near by, although my taste buds are cursing me.

With that we went home, reheated our pizza and went to bed. Our stomaches were full, our feet were dirty and tired and our taste buds content we fell into bed, dreaming of our next adventure.

Edited by hillvalley (log)

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nicely done!!! You hit several of my favorites and my usual route at Katz's, Russ & Daughters and Yonah Shimmel with your first three stops on the LES.

I'm duly impressed with your ability to bravely keep eating. :biggrin:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nicely done!!! You hit several of my favorites and my usual route at Katz's, Russ & Daughters and Yonah Shimmel with your first three stops on the LES.

I'm duly impressed with your ability to bravely keep eating. :biggrin:

next time you re near mulberry pop by and get an ear of corn at cafe habana,,,,,,,, simply delcious!

"Is there anything here that wasn't brutally slaughtered" Lisa Simpson at a BBQ

"I think that the veal might have died from lonliness"

Homer

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Brings me back 35 years which is when I was last at Katzs or New York for that matter. You missed McSorleys ale house though.

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all of your kind words. We had a blast.

By the way, I forgot to comment on the pizza prices. $3.50 for a freakin slice of plain!!!

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:wacko: I just reread it and found all the typos. Well, grammer and punctuation was never my strong point!

Did you manage to avoid getting drenched?

Yeah, when we ran into music man and changed-a-lot it was still raining but quickly cleared up. If the down pour had continued they would have had to go check the alumni page (although neither squash nor I have anything up there :biggrin: )

I forgot to mention that the celeb photo directly at eye level above our table was Mario Batali.

But -- forgive me -- you had an EGGCREAM with a KNISH??!?!? 

Yeah, not a great combination. When we were standing in line the family of tourists before us ordered one. There was no way I was going to pass it up. It was a little too flat for my taste. I think the last fourth got tossed.

I'm already thinking of our next adventure, if squash ever takes another day off. Monday was a rare treat for her. I thinking Gray's and Papaya's, for a hot dog compare and contrast. Then maybe over to Zabars and down to Dylan's Candy Bar. I am dying to get to Dylans. I can't believe I was in the city again and didn't make it there. But squash would probably have killed me if I dragged her up town just for a candy store.

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all of your kind words. We had a blast.

By the way, I forgot to comment on the pizza prices. $3.50 for a freakin slice of plain!!!

And you went back for a second slice?

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That was a lot of fun to read. I'm with you, I never have been able to just stuff myself and still walk around all day.

I LOVE the knishery. I used to eat there when I was out of work - you can have lunch there for less than five bucks and not be hungry again till the next day. And the girl who works there is so nice.

Great photos, too. Good job.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all of your kind words.  We had a blast. 

By the way, I forgot to comment on the pizza prices.  $3.50 for a freakin slice of plain!!!

And you went back for a second slice?

We just figured that everything in the city is more expensive and we were in a high tourist area. I have been craving another slice ever since. I wonder if squash has eaten the slice I left in her fridge :hmmm:

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was in NYC that same day (up from philly), and stopped at Katz's. But I got too intimidated, so I just smelled the smells. Since I was shopping (and sneaking into the Met--open on a holiday Monday) all I had all day was an orange bundt cake from some Village bakery. It was yummy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was in NYC that same day (up from philly), and stopped at Katz's. But I got too intimidated

It was more crowded than I've ever seen it, yet I didn't have to wait long. Next time, wait on line and tell the counterman to give you a nice tasty pastrami sandwich, then give him at least a $1 tip ($2 or more if it's particularly outstanding pastrami or you rejected the first batch he gave you a sample of). If crowds put you off, see if you can come on a weekday next time.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Squash and I definitely benefited from Pan's experience. We would have managed, but I would have been stressed by the whole experience. It is a slight madhouse, but not unmanageable. Sorry you missed the pastrami, it was worth the trip.

I wish we had hit a bakery other than Ferrara's. Russ and daughters had a babka, which I was going to get for babka, but it was beyond my price range :sad:

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IS RUSS AND DAUGHTERS TAKE OUT ONLY?

Yes. It's a store, not a restaurant.

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IS RUSS AND DAUGHTERS TAKE OUT ONLY?

Yes. It's a store, not a restaurant.

food tv did a story about them and i didnt remember seeing seating.....i guess as long as i bring my own utensils i can sit on the sidewalk....i dont think i would last knwoing i had pocketful of nova or caviar

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...