Labor Day Weekend in NYC

November 22, 2009

Over Labor Day, I went to visit my friend, Linda (visit her food blog, here!), who lives in Manhattan.  We spent the weekend walking around…and eating.  A typical NYC trip for me.  My friend, Janice was in town for the weekend too, so the three of us spent Saturday afternoon together.  When I arrived, we took a short walk over to Chelsea Market and grabbed some sushi to go from The Lobster Place.  We took our food over to the High Line, a cute elevated walkway that runs north-south on the west side of the city.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures because I didn’t bring my camera with me.  We were renting bikes afterward so I didn’t bring a purse.  After lunch we walked north along the high line before renting bikes at Chelsea Bicycles.  We rode along Riverside park for a couple hours.  It was a gorgeous day to spend outside.

That evening, we didn’t have dinner anywhere, but ended up having wine and cheese with some of Linda’s friends.  Before everyone got to the apartment, Linda and I walked to Billy’s Bakery and picked up some cupcakes.  Billy’s is a cute little bakery less than 10 min. away from Linda’s apartment.  And it’s open till 10pm or later everyday.  How amazing is that.  You don’t find that kind of place in Baltimore.

I had half a red velvet, and half a carrot, both of which were pretty amazing.  Who doesn’t love cupcakes for dinner?

The next day, Linda and I met up with her friend Jon, who supposedly also writes for Very Foodie of You (though he has yet to post).  We had brunch at Poco on Avenue B.  For $20, you get your choice off the brunch menu, and unlimited sangria or mimosas.  Despite never getting any refills on our sangria, the food was still really good.  Linda got the lobster mac ‘n cheese, which was really good, but very rich.  I had the Poco Benedict, described on the website as, “crispy arepa, chorizo, manchego cheese and poached eggs, topped with pimentón hollandaise.”  I always gravitate towards eggs benedict when I go out for brunch, and this dish was a nice twist on traditional eggs Benedict.

Lobster Mac 'n Cheese

Poco Benedict

Afterwards we walked around a bit, and ended up at Momofuku Milk Bar.  We got pork buns, and tried the cereal milk.  I thought the cereal milk was way overrated.  Who wants to drink milk that tastes like he just ate a bowl of cereal….only he didn’t.  The pork buns were nice and fatty, but overpriced.

After more walking around, we found ourselves at Yogurt Land, a softserve frozen yogurt place similar to the phileoyogurt that I described in a previous post.  I got a little bit of each of a few of my favorite flavors: mango, lychee, green tea, and raspberry (which is not really a favorite…more like a random).

I think that just about concluded the afternoon.  We walked back to my friend’s apartment and sat around and kinda passed out a little before dinner at Socarrat Paella Bar, right across the street.  We got there not too long after it opened and it was already full.  Luckily we only had to wait a few minutes to sit down.  The restaurant is tiny, with one really long table that seats maybe 25.  I suppose one could call it “intimate,” especially with the mood lighting.  The three of us shared cannelones, and croquetas del dia for appetizers, and ordered the Paella de Pescado y Mariscos.  Honestly the best paella I’ve ever had, though I suppose I’ve only had it one or two times prior.  The crispiness of the rice at the bottom reminded me of dolsot bibimbap.  Though it was slightly oversalted, I still quite enjoyed it.  We left with really full stomachs, thankful that we only had to walk back across the street to get home.

On Labor Day, Linda and I ventured out into Brooklyn and had lunch at Motorino, a pizza place.  They have a cute little courtyard in the back, and since it was a nice day out we sat outside.  They have a $10 prix fixe lunch menu where you get a pizza and the soup of the day or a side salad, which was a really good deal.  I had salad with a soppressata piccante pizza.  Nice, thin and crispy crust.  Excellent.

After lunch, we walked towards Williamsburg to explore the area a bit.  We stopped in a couple of Jewish bakeries and picked up many chocolate-filled pastries, including babka…actually now that I’m wiki-ing it, it looks more like kokosh, since it wasn’t twisted and topped with streusel.  Regardless of the name, it was delicious.  I can’t really deny any pastry that incorporates chocolate.  Oneg Heimishe, one of the bakeries we stopped in, is known for their ‘babka.’  It was featured in the New York Times.

That just about wrapped up my latest visit to NYC.  I ended up confusing  my bus departure time and missing it, so I had to wait two hours for the next bus to Baltimore, but that wasn’t so bad.

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