NYC – Part I

I’ve only touched down in the UK this morning. Fuelled by hideous jet lag I’ve decided to use my time to jot down some of my musings from across the pond. More to follow in due course but here’s a start……

Chelsea Market

In the heart of the Meatpacking District, Chelsea Market attracts a whopping six million visitors per year.

In my mind I was imagining a Borough Market style set-up. It’s not like that all. This is an indoor venue open seven days a week with vendors having permanent shops rather than stalls. It’s therefore a great place to go if the weather is a bit dodgy. It’s open from 7am in the week so you can always grab some breakfast before you hit the Highline or Whitney Museum of American Art nearby.

Most establishments here are food related with just a few anomalies. Anthropologie has managed to sneak in there for example.

Like the rest of NYC you can get a huge range of cuisines – oysters, crepes, Italian, doughnuts it’s all here. There’s some bars too if you fancy a quick pit stop – we had a little rest at Bar Truman which had a great selection of beers and wines.

We were in search of dinner and went to Very Fresh Noodles where I had the ‘Tingly Cumin Lamb’. Slow roasted lamb (so delicious and tender) was served with their signature noodles (which we watched being made) cumin, coriander, celery and chilli oil. I can’t profess to not like Chinese food anymore…..It was a generous portion and was mind-blowingly awesome.

Even if you’re not a foodie this is a great place to while a way a few hours.

Gray’s Papaya – Upper West Side

Eating a hotdog in New York is as traditional as fish and chips in England. There are hot dog vendors on every street corner but if I was going to have one I wanted it to be good and salmonella free.

After some leafing through my city guides I came across the same place several times – Gray’s Papaya. How excited I was to discover it’s just two blocks from my hotel. The shop is certainly no frills and not fancy in any way. There is a queue out of the door though which is a good sign.

There isn’t a menu – it’s literally hotdogs and a range of slightly alarming looking tropical drinks. $1.95 for a beef hotdog with free onions or sauerkraut is pretty good if you’re on a budget. They offer a ‘Recession Buster’ – two dogs and a drink for $4.95. I went for one dog but they’re not huge so could have wolfed two if I’m being honest. To drink I had coconut ‘champagne.’ I have no idea what was in it (not champagne) but definitely coconut and strangely nice.

The hotdog was delicious – nothing like the anaemic slightly flaccid specimens I recall in the 1980’s. The bun was soft and the onions lovely and caramelly.

Service is brisk and leaves me slightly flustered but it’s all part of the experience.

Eat standing up feeling whilst smug you’ve got yourself a very cheap and authentic NYC lunch. This place is an institution and has been featured in numerous TV shows and movies. I see there’s a new branch on the way so they’ll be more hot doggery opportunities for all.

B.E.C

At 3.30pm after walking for literally hours without sustenance I was ready to eat practically anything. On a fairly average street in Chelsea I wasn’t expecting to find this place.

BEC – what did that mean? I could only think of Tooting Bec but was sure it didn’t relate to there.

Bacon Egg Cheese. Oh My Lord.

This place is all about gourmet sandwiches – about ten in all plus a few salads. They have some beers and wines on offer for the evening – I had some excellent coffee from the Brooklyn Roasting Co.

Decor is pretty cool – the seats are made from reclaimed boardwalks from Coney Island.

Ingredients are high quality – excellent breads, free range eggs and local cheese. I went for a Roadhouse – eggs, sausage, avo, cheese and slaw – all the most delicious things slapped between two bits of high-class ciabatta.

In my haste to eat and prevent myself from passing out I forgot to take a photo of my delicious lunch.

I photographed my empty tray as an inferior substitute so please see website for saliva inducing examples.

Right time for some sleep – more to follow in due course………….

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