Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New York: A Food Diary (Part One)

Get your napkins ready, because this post is meant to make your mouths water. For me, one of the best parts about traveling besides the beautiful people, the phenomenal cultural experience, and the cheesy tourist spots that I always seem to fall for, is the get-in-my-belly-because-you-look-so-good FOOD. To prepare for my NYC trip, I Yelped like a madwoman, Googled "New York eats," and re-watched every episode of Sex and The City as I channeled my inner Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte, and took notes on every notable place the foursome dined in. Some will call this extravagant. I, on the other hand, call it being prepared. A serious eater takes serious steps. Below are some of the many places I had the pleasure (or displeasure) of tasting.


Serendipity 3  225 E 60th St.



The gist: I arrived to Serendipity right as the restaurant opened to try their famous frozen hot chocolate. I was practically first in line, but I found that being early was a good choice, as the place filled up rather fast. I knew I was walking into one of the biggest tourist traps NYC had to offer, but how could I visit and not make a stop here? I ended up ordering a peanut butter frozen hot chocolate, because I read it was better than the original. What I hated: Not only are they extremely overpriced (would you expect otherwise?), but they have a minimum amount PER PERSON, which makes having a romantic, John Cusak-Kate Beckinsale dessert sharing moment utterly impossible. What I liked: Well, all in all, the frozen hot chocolate was delicious. The portions were pretty big, which makes finishing one to yourself seem like a recipe for an angry dentist and/or a date with diabetes. Overall, I'm happy I went once and would only go again on a cheesy date. 
Yes, that's really as far as I got. Shameful, I know.
Lombardi's Pizza 32 Spring St.
 
The gist: While on a free walking tour of the SoHo district, our less than enthusiastic tour guide (his happiest moment was when he was talking about how we were his last tour group...ever) pointed out the very first pizzeria in the United States. Not one to pass up something as historic as the first US pizza place, after the tour, I stepped inside for a bite to eat. Since I had already overloaded myself with an abundance of cheese pizzas thus far on my NYC trip, I ordered a cheese pizza..WITH sausage. What I hated: Something about accepting CASH-ONLY in a plastic card driven society really irks me. I mean really, you're a restaurant and you don't believe in credit cards? Situations such as these make me feel like I'm in rural America (no offense), where cable TV is the hip new thing. For that reason, Lombardi's was already at -10 points for me. When I saw their outrageous menu prices, this girl was not happy. And then, when the food entered my mouth, the game was OVER. Not to be rude, but you'd think with all the years they have on every other pizza joint, they would have had enough practice to make a decent pizza. What I liked: Eh, this is a very hard thing to answer. Come back to me on this. 
 
Gray's Papaya 402 6th Ave.
The gist: After a free walking tour (yes, another one) of Greenwich Village, I quickly remembered that Gray's Papaya was just around the corner. Now, if you are a religious SATC viewer, such as myself, you will remember that after Carrie's successful book launch soiree, her limo driver treats her to a good ole New York hot dog. Well folks, this is the spot she was taken to. I ordered their signature papaya dog & a pina colada fruit smoothie to wash it down. What I hated: Nothing. That's right..NOTHING. The folks were friendly, the space was large, the price was more than right...what's there to hate about a quick, cheap, easy meal? I guess the only thing I wish they had to offer was a chair, but that's only because I just finished a two back to back, four hour total, walking tours. What I liked: The price point was amazing for my poor, post-grad student self (oh, what student loans will do to one's bank account). Two hot dogs and a drink for under $5?? I'm sold. The hot dogs were yummy too! 

Photos of me by: Alex L.; All other photos by: Chandamheer


And there you have it: part one of pancakeSTACKER's New York food diary. There's more to come, obviously, as a girl like me eats more than you can imagine. I hope I've provided you with some helpful tips to navigate your way through the concrete jungle of delicious dreams and savory sights. Stop by very soon for a big sponsored giveaway, my first sponsored pancakeREVIEW, and much, much more. As always, don't forget to follow me with google friend connect and bloglovin' if you liked this or any of my other posts!



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PS: If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, there's a wonderful event being hosted at UC Berkeley this Thursday, 11/11. The Face Hunter and Liz of Late Afternoon will be speaking regarding "the ways the Internet has changed fashion publications, blogging, street style and consuming patterns in the age of Web 2.0." I will be there and would love to meet anyone else who is thinking about going!
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49 comments

  1. that pizza looks soooo good, and i'm not really a pizza person! haha

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  2. yum!!! This looks AMAZING!!
    Love the post! ; )



    http://gramercyboutique.blogspot.com/

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  3. you're so beautiful in the first picture. Nice blog, hope you'll become a follower of my blog too?
    xoxo

    http://theonlyfashionprincess.blogspot.com

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  4. im seriously craving for a hotdog right this very evening!

    wow it seems that u rili had fun in ny!


    Taradiddles of a Style on a Budget

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  5. im seriously craving for a hotdog right this very evening!

    wow it seems that u rili had fun in ny!


    Taradiddles of a Style on a Budget

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  6. ooooh it all looks so yummy xxxxxxxx

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  7. I have the exact same problem with restaurants that don't take credit cards. When I can pay for my $9 taxi ride with my bank card, I should for damn sure be able to pay for an over-priced slice of pizza with one. Gosh, elitist pizza joints, who knew! Haha

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  8. Wow! You definitely hit the spot! I'm literally drooling over the ginormous milk shake!! I so agree - What I love most about traveling is the different foods! Thanks for sharing!

    xoxo,
    MelRod

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  9. i'm still trying to wrap my head around that hot chocolate!

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  10. And mouth watering it was! Food envy here! Chocolate and pizza in one post - delicious!

    http://redumbrellachronicles.wordpress.com

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  11. Wow! I got hungry ^^
    when you want to try a fantastic good pizza, remember to come visit me in Italy! You are welcome ;)

    http://leroicoquette.blogspot.com/

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  12. All NYC classics! I could definitely go for some Gray's right now!

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  13. Yay! Just printed your post and gonna visit those place when I´m in NYC in May next year. I want more tips!! :D

    xxx
    -M-

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  14. I want to go on a food tour of NYC with you!!!!

    When I lived in northern Jersey, visiting Serendipity was on my list of "must-do's".......sadly I never got around to it! I'd heard that it gets SUPER crowded...but that frozen hot chocolate you ordered looks TOTALLY worth it! I can't believe you didn't finish (actually, I can. It looks ridiculous).

    And that Lombardi's pizza looks tasty. I can't believe it wasn't. How sad!

    Can't wait to see further installments of your food diary!!!

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  15. i would love to come, but as you already know i'm busy! i love liz's blog - she is AMAZING!!!! i hope you have fun and let me know how it was :)

    ..xoxo..

    http://chouchouslittleworld.wordpress.com

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  16. Loved this - if you want great pizza, I'd say give Grimaldi's a try the next time you're in NYC. It's in Brooklyn (with a great view of Manhattan, always a bonus if you're visiting) and is GREAT. There's definitely always a line, but it's totally worth it.

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  17. I Love this post, very, very, very, nice blog dear!!!)))

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  18. I miss NY so much, I think I wanted to go back to visit as soon as I left!

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  19. Such a great post! I love Serendipity, overpriced but a NYC institution. I love frozen hot chocolate, I'll have to try the chocolate peanut butter one next time.

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  20. they have a cute menu. :D haha
    gaaah my stomach is angry now.xD

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  21. my mouth is definitely watering. geez i love food.

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  22. o wow!!! just seeing abt the event at berkley. i'm going to be in class, otherwise i would definitely be there.

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  23. will deffs try this plc out wen im in NYC!

    thanks so much for commenting on my blog-really appreciate it!

    keep in touch.xx

    http://www.thefacelessblog.com

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  24. Delicious pictures! I going to kitchen make hot chochlate!

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  25. Love the reviews! I'll keep them in mind if ever in NY. :o)

    -Samantha

    http://thisfashionista.blogspot.com

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  26. God that pizza looks delicious. I'm bookmarking this post for when I'm in NYC next year! xx

    http://pagesixxx.blogspot.com/

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  27. i found your blog right now and i'm loving. such a great post!! loving the photos and the food seems so good, yammiii. xx

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  28. you never cease to make me hungry when looking at your posts. i've actually been to all of these places and serendipity is my favorite - they have the best sundaes!

    i do agree the per person amount is silly though!

    stayfabulous,
    zarna
    www.zarnasrunway.com

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  29. MMMMmmm. This post is making me hungry! I love New York! So many great places to eat!

    xoxo,

    www.colormenana.blogspot.com

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  30. I neeeeed to go to Gray's Papaya. We have a Serendipity on the West Coast (well, in the West -- the one in Vegas) but not quite as authentic as the NYC one.

    One SATC stop I need to make is that cupcake shop that practically put cupcakes on the map...but now I don't remember what it's called...

    Love the post!

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  31. I agree with you re: Serendipity's and Papaya, but I actually like Lombardi's. Do you like New York style pizza in general? I have to admit that I wasn't too thrilled with it when I first moved here, but now it's grown on me.

    Also, pretty much everything in NYC is overpriced... but at least you don't need a car! Ethnic foods like Thai, Indian, Ethiopian and Latin American are usually your best bets.

    Can't wait to see more of your reviews on what our fair city has to offer.

    kendra

    http://closetconfections.com

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  32. YOur photos are awesome!! I would love to try the frozen hot chocolate. It seems pretty unreasonable of the restaurant to prohibit you from sharing, esp when the portion is enormous. What a waste. xo

    http://felicitylingle.blogspot.com

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  33. AHH, that pizza looks sooo delicious! You are bad for me and my "diet" ahaha.

    It was really nice to meet you at the Fashion Blogger Forum today! I'm Anisa, I was with Samantha (fazed-girl).

    -Anisa
    P.S. totally not going to leave my blog link because thats bad and annoying, as Liz said ;) ahaha

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  34. I get you what you mean about the credit card thing - it's hard to imagine places that don't accept it, especially in these times. Sometimes I hate cash only signs! You're lucky you live in SF, btw, it is a food MECCA! Living in Berkeley only gives me access to varieties of East Asian Food or South Asian Food, or fusions of those kinds of foods. So I'm happy whenever I get the opportunity to go to SF to pig out.

    I was actually at the Changing Fashion Forum in Berkeley tonight as well! I loved it, and I especially loved how articulate and sweet and down to earth Liz of Late Afternoon was. It was a great forum!

    xo Sherrie

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  35. Hi dear!!
    i've just tagged you on my last post "10 things i love",because i love all your posts!!
    I hope you'll take part!
    kisses

    http://chicneverland.blogspot.com/

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  36. Totally agree with you about Lombardi's. While the pizza is pretty good, the place overall is overrated. LOVE this post btw!


    <3 kris&kel
    www.krisandkel.com

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  37. This post and guide is so great, I love how you've given your honest opinions and the photography is fab. That iced hot choc looks lovely, is slightly overwhelming!
    Would love to go to that forum, you're lucky you had the chance to attend, would love to hear how it was.
    xxx

    http://www.theothersideofthepondmydear.blogspot.com

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  38. The frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity is to die for :) I agree. Next time you go to NY, you should try John's Pizzeria on Bleeker St. (btw 6th and 7th ave), their pizza is DELISH! :)
    xx Melody

    http://onedayinapril.wordpress.com

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  39. Sounds like new york was fun! I went to lombardi's and it was amazing but I have yet to go to serendipity!

    Emma
    TheSidewalkIsMyRunway

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  40. That frozen hot chocolate looks divine!! YUMMMMM!! Thankfully we've been munching on Darrel Lea Rocky Road all afternoon so our chocolate craving has been satisfied hehe

    xx .sabo skirt.

    www.saboskirt.blogspot.com
    www.saboskirt.blogspot.com
    www.saboskirt.blogspot.com

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  41. yummy yummy!

    http://evasblog.illustrateur.org/

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  42. I need to check out all these places pronto! I've seen them all either in a movie or documentary. I can't wait to try some hot dogs with papaya juice. Sounds delish to me!

    invasionista

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  43. I am so jealous!! I love all these photos [and NY] so much. Great blog!!

    xx - L

    please visit my blog at:

    http://perversebeauty.blogspot.com

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  44. That all looks freaking amazing and is making me hungry!

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  45. good grief that food looks so yummy! im all full from my own dinner but youve got me lusting after some chocolate dessert with looooooads of cream! & can i just say that the layout of that menu is really cool.x

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