I would put good money on there being traces of Red Bull in the “New Yawk” water supply. Everyone seems to be going a million miles an hour; I don’t know how they do it. After a long flight and jet lag this can feel intimidating. But the pace of NYC grabs you quickly and after a couple of days I was pounding down the “sidewalk” yelling, “I’m walking here” and then I found myself ordering “a cawfee to go”.
It’s not all fast food though. Granted this is still not a place to come to if you don’t eat red meat or are on a diet (even the vegetables arrive creamed!). This is a place to indulge – it’s a breakfast bagel, a deli sandwich lunch and a steak dinner kinda place. So don your trousers with the elasticated waistband and pop across the pond.
Eating in New York
As a multicultural melting pot, you’ll find every cuisine represented in NYC along with the latest in foodie trends. First though, you must must must get yourself to “the classics” (as I call them) – a trip wouldn’t be complete without these. Head directly to Katz Deli http://katzsdelicatessen.com/ and whatever you do don’t eat beforehand. Whether it’s their Rueben or Pastrami on Rye it’ll be THE best sandwich of your life not to mention the biggest but not to fear – you’ll find a poster on the wall which tells you how to perform the Heimlich Maneuver and another that tells you there is a CPR kit behind the register.
Number 2 is The Magnolia Bakery http://www.magnoliabakery.com. A must visit for any Sex and the City or just general cupcake fan. If you’re stupid (or greedy) like us, you can go after Katz Deli and demolish a red velvet cupcake washed down with some homemade lemonade.
Number 3 will definitely have to be sought out on your next day when you might just be able to face food again. The Grand Central Oyster Bar http://www.oysterbarny.com/ is a New York institution. Enjoy a chowder, a colossal salad or every type of Oyster there is!
With the classics done, it’s time to enjoy some funky and quirky places. If you like the secret bars in New York, you’ll also like the hidden burger joint at Le Meridian hotel http://www.parkermeridien.com. The real secret to this place is to walk in from 56th street and look like you know where you’re going! Walk through the bar and turn right – there’s just a red curtain but go down the left hand side of it and you’ll find a hidden burger joint. Mind you, the queue might have given it away already! Inside the walls have been graffitied by the likes of Leona Lewis (who doesn’t even eat meat?!) and Britney Spears. There’s only one thing on the menu – a tasty burger – but cooked how you like with a choice of toppings or THE FULL MONTY.
Next is The Meatball Shop http://www.themeatballshop.com for some “naked balls” and sliders. Choose your ball – beef, pork, chicken or veggie then your sauce and then your sides. You can have your balls “naked” with a tomatoey or cheesy sauce or served as a slider. Hands down, the best value meal in NYC.
There are plenty of options for finer dining too. The best we tried was Buddakan http://www.buddakannyc.com/ – an achingly cool Asian fusion restaurant in the Meatpacking District serving delicious dishes cooked to perfection. Try the Hoisin Glazed Pork Belly, the Tuna Tartare Spring Roll and Charred Fillet of Beef.
Finally, another finer stop off is DBGB Kitchen http://www.danielnyc.com/dbgb.html in the East Village where we went for our Thanksgiving Dinner – and I was thankful!! Well-flavoured and wholesome food in funky surroundings with great service. Yum!
While you’re walking off all this food, Chelsea Market in the Meatpacking District is a must-visit for any food lover. A large indoor food hall that gives Borough Market a run for its money. Some really rare food finds can be found – sea urchins, truffles imported from Italy and Wagu beef, though should you need some, you’ll find Red Bull widely available too!
To fix your Katz Deli withdrawal symptoms back home you can try this Rachel Sandwich – a Rueben with pastrami instead of beef brisket and coleslaw instead of the sauerkraut. Miniscule in comparison but tasty nonetheless.
– 4 slices of light rye bread, buttered
– A pack of pastrami (or 8 slices)
– A couple of dollops of good coleslaw
– 6 slices of Emmental cheese
1. Stack your pastrami onto the bread and top with a dollop of coleslaw
2. Layer the cheese onto the slice of bread for the top of your sandwich and melt it under the grill until just soft
3. Put your sandwich together and serve with a gherkin.