New York City; one of the greatest cities in the world. And one that I had the pleasure of visiting this year. I have only been to New York once, and it was for less than 24 hours. I used to work at Macy’s and had the chance to be a balloon handler in the Thanksgiving Day Parade. It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience. However, that was quite a long time ago, and I remembered almost nothing.
My list of things I wished to do became longer and longer. And, that list became more and more centered on New York points of interest. Specifically, I wanted to experience many of the restaurants that can only be found there. My trip was a full week, and a lot was accomplished. Here is a recap of some of the great food that I had the pleasure to eat.
*Nothing says NYC like a hot dog. I will say, I’m not a fan of eating off carts. There is something about it that has always made me a little sketched out. So, after a little research, I found a place I could get a good NYC hot dog. And I certainly found it. Let’s just say that it was one of the most delicious hot dogs I’ve ever had.
2 Hot Dogs and fries @ Papaya King
*Prior to this trip, I started to be interested again in musical theater. After going down an internet rabbit hole (we’ve all been down one), I stumbled on this cookie place. Every year, they hold a fundraiser called Broadway Bakes. I also started seeing it on some must-eat lists. After looking at pictures of their cookies, I HAD to go. They looked ridiculously delicious. I was not disappointed. I got the Cookies & Cream and the Funfetti cookies. They were the perfect pre-theater snack. Schmakery’s is something to behold. They have something for everyone, and especially if you love cookies.
Funfetti & Cookies and Cream
Momofuku Noodle Bar & Milk Bar
Anyone who has seen The Mind of a Chef is familiar with Chef David Chang. And this is exactly how I was made aware of him. I am fascinated by his culinary point of view, and he is proof that even the simplest things can be memorable. Momofuku Noodle Bar was on my list of non-negotiable things to do in NYC. Shockingly, I have never had ramen. Like real ramen. I’ve had variations of it, but never in an actual ramen place. There is no better way to try ramen than at Momofuku. And it was so good, and I don’t think I could ever judge ramen fairly again.
Now, under the same umbrella, but altogether different, is Milk Bar. No, its not some pop-up Clockwork Orange place. Its one of the most creative and well executed dessert establishments…ever. It is the brainchild of Chef Christina Tosi. Coincidentally, as I was becoming aware of Milk Bar, Chef Tosi started as a judge on MasterChef. One of their specialities is the Cerealmilk products. Specifically, the soft serve is what I tried. I’ve never had anything like it, and I double I will ever find anything else like that. In addition to the Birthday Cake truffles, their famous Crack Pie and the Cornflake Marshmallow Chocolate Chip cookies, I will never look at dessert the same way. I’m forced to patiently wait for their Los Angeles location to open…soon hopefully.
Shitake Mushroom Buns
Cinnamon CerealMilk Soft Serve
I don’t think any words could possibly convey what it is like to eat at Le Bernardin. But, I will try. But first, a slight detour into the background behind why I picked it. When I was going through chemotherapy, I couldn’t eat seafood that wasn’t thoroughly cooked. One of the chefs I love is Eric Ripert. He has a gentle soul, and an appreciation for life that is unmatched. I admire him, as a chef and as a person. Since a fair amount of seafood in a fine dining restaurant is usually lightly cooked, it is something that cannot be risked when you have zero immune system. I made a promise to myself that when I beat the cancer, I would go to eat at Le Bernardin. And eat at Le Bernardin is what I did. It was the best meal of my life. I had the Le Bernardin Tasting Menu and it was incredible. Each course was delicious. I will let the picture speak for itself.
All in all, it was an incredible trip filled with tasty food and fantastic sights. And one of the best things about my trip was that everything was on my terms. I went solo, and I can’t imagine seeing New York City for the first time not solo. I packed so much in in a week, and I don’t regret going by myself. I’ve done a lot of things by myself, but never a trip like this one. Most definitely something I will remember for the rest of my life.