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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