Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Week In The Empire State - our culinary indulgences via Manhatten to the Catskills

I've been feeling a 'titch' guilty about neglecting my blog this past month and I would like apologize to those of you who visit my site regularly and have perhaps been getting bored by the lack of  new is always my hope that this could be an opportunity to dig deeper into my previous posts and recipes, that may have been missed when I was able to actively post on a regular basis. BUT there are some very good reasons...not only have I started a new full-time job outside of the house (which has proven to be quite demanding...I think I am nearing the point of hiring a housekeeper, just so that I can free myself up to get back to some of the things I love to do - including my blog!)

That aside, our trip to New York was a huge hit. We spent 2 1/2 days in the Big Apple discovering and re-discovering places that have been so prominent in movies/tv, songs and books: Central Park,  Times Square, Park Avenue, SOHO, just to name a few. I have been to New York 4 times and I must say I never tire of the place. There is just never enough time to see and do everything on my list of adventures in this amazing city and this time was no exception!

I have this obsession with a certain TV show on the Food Network called 'Eat St.', which features food trucks from all over North America. New York City is known for its food trucks and having been witness to the hectic pace at which people move around in Manhatten, it didn't surprise me to see that grab-and-go meals are the absolute norm here. We arrived in the city with my carefully assembled list of food trucks I wanted to find: Waffles and Denges, Fill Your Hole and The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck. Unfortunately I found neither, nada, nope, not one. I know. Disappointed with a semi-capital D! But I did find Mr.Softee, which immediately became my favourite  truck to stalk (32 trucks in total around the city) for a chance at the best soft ice cream cone on this planet. Bar none.

Of course New York Cheese Cake and bagels are tops on the list as are hot dogs, but Middle-Eastern fare has become a huge trend in New York City and there seemed to be a Sam's Falafel, Shwarma and Donair stand on every street corner. Delish!

One of the best cities by far to take in by foot, my two lower appendages are still recovering a week after we spent 11 hours one day walking from our hotel near Grand Central Terminal down 5th Avenue through Little Korea, The Meat Packing District, The Garment District, Greenwich Village, Tribeca, into SOHO then due South through the Financial District and Wall Street to Ground Zero. As you can imagine, moving through so many areas of a monumental city can offer as many options for sustenance as the imagination can conjure up! We stopped into places like The Cook Shop for trendy regional cuisine, Civediamo Beyoglu for the best Turkish, actually the only Turkish fare I have ever sampled, as well as the Magnolia Bakery, my personal favourite cupcake store and one of the oldest established bake shops in Manhatten. Freshly squeezed lemonade was our beverage of choice (aside from cold beer) as the temperatures soared in the upper 30's (90's) with the addition of high humidity.

One of my favourite stops was at the Central Park location of Le Pain Quotidien, a trendy bakery chain that serves delicious sandwiches, soups and pastries. We enjoyed a lovely lunch under the Linden Trees amongst locals (equipped with painting easels) and tourists (sporting maps), sampling menu items such as venison pate, roasted red pepper hummus and Baba Ganoush accompanied by a beautiful selection of home baked breads. And what meal would be complete without the addition of a fresh raspberry and French cream tart for dessert? I know, right?

In the afternoon of our last day in Manhatten, we made our way to the Car Rental Kiosk near Times Square to pick up our mode of transport to Up-state New York, where we would be attending a family function hosted by my best childhood friend and her husband in a tiny town in the Catskills...

To Be Continued...

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