Food in NYC ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

10 October 2010

Food in NYC

I did not take my camera to NY, and can thus provide no pictures. Tragedy! However, we had a great time.

The first thing we did after checking in to the Hotel Roger Williams at 1:30a in the middle of Murray Hill was to walk two blocks up the street to the Moonstruck Diner. (Incidentally, man, do I ever miss Menupages now that we're back in the full Silicon Valley suburban stretch.) The hotel staff told us exactly where both the diner and deli were when we were checking in; how great is that? SO great. The diner in question was a little expensive, but what do you want for nearly midtown? We were just excited to find a diner. Plus, it was so relaxing to walk around NYC at 1:30a. Being back in a pedestrian-centric, busy, energetic environment = win.

On Saturday we went to Soho and spent the entire day hanging out with our friend Matthew. On the way there, we dinked around NYU. I ate a hot dog with mustard in Washington Square Park, and we got hit up by a dude selling his book of poetry, who was very sorry to interrupt this romantic moment we were having. You know, eating a hot dog on the park bench in Manhattan. NEW YORK! Then we went up the street to Caffe Dante and had a double espresso (John) and a single with cognac (me). The menu had a full page of different espresso permutations. It was pretty epic; I really regret not spending more time here while actually living in NYC, even though it was a fair subway ride away.

We had a vague idea that we should eat at Balthazar, since we had just gotten the cookbook and were very excited about it. However, once we actually fought our way through the ridiculous Soho crowds, they told us they were totally booked for the day. However, not to worry, since Matthew knew another excellent place: Freeman's. I am actually really interested in discovering the history of this area/street, since the name "Freeman" is suggestive, but haven't been able to find much with the traditional (HA) Google thus far. Well. In the meantime, the restaurant is clearly very popular, with a huge wait, but excellent food. I had mac and cheese and ate the entire thing, although it was super rich; Matthew and John were impressed.

Then we went to Astoria and had various delicious beer at the Bohemian Hall i.e. the beer garden. Hooray!

The wedding was on Sunday. It was also my birthday. We caught a train to Montauk from Penn (fortuitous hotel location!) and had an excellent time with a significant chunk of my family. Happy wedding birthday!

On Monday we caught a train back to the city, checked into our new hotel, and immediately went to Brooklyn. We had late lunch at Cafe Lafayette: veggie burger for John, Lafayette burger (lamb and goat cheese and caramelized red onions) for me. We also had their excellent coffee, which was particularly good in view of the constant drizzle and gloom. It was so nice after the weeks and weeks of California weather. After a significant stop at Greenlight (and on reading their site, I realize we JUST missed seeing our friend Darcie read! AUGH) we walked out to Park Slope and drank Gorilla Coffee while waiting for dinner. It was excellent coffee and gloomy, rainy, cool fall weather, and the Gorilla people were playing the soundtrack to Blazing Saddles, and everything was quite excellent.

Then we met Bethany for dinner at the mother of all trendy Brooklyn restaurants: Franny's. Yes, Franny's is pretty great, especially if you get the untopped, essentially flatbread pizza. Man, all the charred bits and the olive oil were great. We had ridiculous cocktails (gin and tonic with homeade tonic; some sort of quince concoction) and a charcuterie plate and lots of olives and the aforementioned flatbread and then a pizza with tomato and even more olives. It was pretty excellent.

In the morning we ate at the Skylight Diner so as to get our diner fix before going back to SV. Oh, man, diners.

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