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Catherine Nash

Food Tour of Chelsea/Meat packing district

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I'm going to be in NYC next week and signed up for a food walking tour of Chelsea and the meatpacking district. Here are the places we'll hit:

* Amy's Breads - an artisinal French-American bakery

* Ronny Brook Dairy - a dairy farm from the Hudson Valley

* Sarabeth's Bakery - a gourmet American bakery

* Lobster Place - high end wholesale/retail fish market

* Buon Italia - a wholesale/retail Italian specialty food shop

* Manhattan Fruit Exchange - largest produce shop in NYC!

* Goupil and DeCarlo - a classic French Patisserie

Has anybody been on this? It's by Foods of NY. If you've been, or if you've been to any of the spots we'll hit, I'd appreciate any tips (like what to buy to take home after the tour). Thanks.

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I'm going to be in NYC next week and signed up for a food walking tour of Chelsea and the meatpacking district. Here are the places we'll hit:

    *  Amy's Breads - an artisinal French-American bakery

    * Ronny Brook Dairy - a dairy farm from the Hudson Valley

    * Sarabeth's Bakery - a gourmet American bakery

    * Lobster Place - high end wholesale/retail fish market

    * Buon Italia - a wholesale/retail Italian specialty food shop

    * Manhattan Fruit Exchange - largest produce shop in NYC!

    * Goupil and DeCarlo - a classic French Patisserie

Has anybody been on this? It's by Foods of NY. If you've been, or if you've been to any of the spots we'll hit, I'd appreciate any tips (like what to buy to take home after the tour). Thanks.

This should be called A Tour of Chelsea Market -- it's where all these places are. While I wouldn't call it a scam, I think you could do just as well walking around inside Chelsea Market on your own. It's certainly not worth $38, if you ask me.


Edited by bpearis (log)

"If it's me and your granny on bongos, then it's a Fall gig'' -- Mark E. Smith

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I agree with the last post - walking through the Chelsea Market to the stores mentioned is great fun - and doesn't require a tour guide by any stretch of the imagination! If the weather is as beautiful as this past weekend make sure you head down 14th street to the Union Square Greenmarket. It's just now bursting into bloom.

Corinne

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Yep, sounds like you'll be going through Chelsea Market. Which is nice. Not worth $38 for a New Yorker who knows where he's going, of course, but since you're coming from elsewhere and you don't know NY, well, this is one way to do it. Just curious, do they offer you anything other than the tour for that money? Like, are they taking you there from your hotel by bus? Do you get any sort of free samples of foodstuff?

I agree with the poster who suggested you go over the Union Square greenmarket. Not yet much by way of produce, but the flowers and herbs are out, and it is truly glorious on a nice day. They're open Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

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Just curious, do they offer you anything other than the tour for that money? Like, are they taking you there from your hotel by bus? Do you get any sort of free samples of foodstuff?

Yes, you get fed at each of the stops along the way, enough so that they say you won't need lunch. That might be worth some of the cost. Maybe the commentary/history will be really interesting - I'm not one for reading guidebooks.

I had a feeling I was going to get a lot of responses saying it was a waste of money. But ah well, we'll see. I'm toying with the idea of doing a food tour in SF and so this is part fun, part research.

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Too bad they don't take you up a few blocks on Ninth Ave to Billy's Bakery. I don't know if it's hormones or what, but I can't stay out of that place lately.

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Too bad they don't take you up a few blocks on Ninth Ave to Billy's Bakery.  I don't know if it's hormones or what,  but I can't stay out of that place lately.

What's good at Billy's? I stopped in with a friend the other day for a cupcake and was unimpressed. The cake part was ok texture-wise but had no discernable chocolate taste, and the buttercream was so overly sweet that I couldn't finish half of it. I'm still a Sugar Sweet Sunshine loyalist for cupcakes in general.

The cakes looked good. What should I try if I make it back there?


Sometimes When You Are Right, You Can Still Be Wrong. ~De La Vega

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Amy's Bread has yummy olive and rosemary bread twists. Chewy and very tasty.

There are a couple of bakeries in Chelsea Market that are not on your tour:

Fat Witch ~ good assortment of brownies and blondies

Ruthy's ~ good rugelach

:smile:

Erica

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What is at the Union Square market? Isn't there good clothes shopping in Union Sq too?

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The union square market, better known as the greenmarket, has a variety of fresh local produce, baked goods, and flowers. It is only open Mon, Wed, Fri and Sat, and the exact vendors and products available can vary quite a bit.

There isn't much in the way of clothes shopping in Union Square, only a couple of stores and nothing really remarkable. There are a lot of restaurants in the area, though.


I want pancakes! God, do you people understand every language except English? Yo quiero pancakes! Donnez moi pancakes! Click click bloody click pancakes!

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Things I always buy at Chelsea Market:

-Picholine olive bread from Amy's...delicious (the potato bread and the prosciutto bread are also delectable)

-Amy's cashew bars

(Can you tell I love Amy's bread with a passion?)

-Portolet cheese...sort of a pasturized cheddar type thing, quite addictive...from the little Ronnybrook Farms outpost across from Amy's

-Smoked mozarrella at Buon Italia

-Italsol brand olive pate at Buon Italia

Smoked mozzarella and olive pate on an Amy's baguette=heaven.

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What's good at Billy's? I stopped in with a friend the other day for a cupcake and was unimpressed. The cake part was ok texture-wise but had no discernable chocolate taste, and the buttercream was so overly sweet that I couldn't finish half of it. I'm still a Sugar Sweet Sunshine loyalist for cupcakes in general.

The desserts are VERY VERY SWEET so if that's not your cup of tea don't bother. My husband will only eat their muffins (i've had blueberry and banana) and I brought home some yummy orange scones the other day and he liked them too.

I don't like the chocolate cupcakes, prefer the yellows, but I get slices of the yellow cake with buttercream frosting because the cake to frosting ratio is greater. They have an amazing red velvet cake (but not always) although I've read elsewhere on this site that a lot of people don't prefer cream cheese icing.

The peanut butter pie is to die for, as is the banana cream. The coconut cream pie didn't do much for me....I tasted the icebox cake (simply, chocolate wafers layered with cream) which tasted like the Oreo from heaven....I've noticed a rather tall coconut layer cake that I'm gonna have to try on my next visit which will probably be...oh...tomorrow. (and I'm also rejoining the gym :P)

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Well, we went on the tour and I'm going to write up a full report later this week on my blog, which I'll post here too. The short version: it was awesome. Well worth the $38 and the 3 hours. Todd, the tour guide, did an excellent job highlighting the history of the Chelsea Market and the meatpacking district in general. We ate so much I had to cry "Mercy!" and we thoroughly enjoyed everything, from the sourdough twists with bittersweet chocolate (Amy's) to the coffee milk (Ronnybrook Dairy) to the best damn tuna fish salad I've ever had (yellowfin tuna with jalapenos and tomatoes). More later...

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Cool story, you're a very talented writer.

You know that "what I love about NYC" thread? Chelsea Market probably takes the cake over my vote for delivery. I live so close to it that I probably take it for granted, but you know i'll be visiting tomorrow.

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Cool story,  you're a very talented writer.

You know that "what I love about NYC" thread?  Chelsea Market probably takes the cake over my vote for delivery.  I live so close to it that I probably take it for granted,  but you know i'll be visiting tomorrow.

(blushing) That's awfully nice of you to say. But more importantly, do go - I know what you mean about taking it for granted. I swore I'd go to San Fran's Ferry Marketplace every weekend but I get there now maybe once a month and usually in good weather. (Though that has to do with the mad crowds, which were noticeably absent from Chelsea Market.)

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Buon Italia at Chelsea Market is fabulous. They carry, among many wonderful things, a life-altering guanciale. I don't know where they get it. I find it hard to imagine a better example of guanciale--or, indeed, food.

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I swore I'd go to San Fran's Ferry Marketplace every weekend but I get there now maybe once a month and usually in good weather. (Though that has to do with the mad crowds, which were noticeably absent from Chelsea Market.)

Oh, now I envy you for your place of residence more than your writing ability! Last time I was in SF was 11/2003 for a weekend and I spent hours on Sat at the Ferry Market and also swore that I would be there every weekend if I lived there.

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