Wednesday, 29 June 2011

New York, New York

I went to New York for the first time last weekend. I want to live there forever and ever. Or at least a few years; the 4 days I spent there weren't nearly enough to sample all their eateries. I didn't go to Katz' Deli. I didn't eat any pizza. I didn't have a milkshake, nor a pretzel. I did eat a bugger-load of sandwiches though.

Momofuku's pork buns had to be sampled, and they were miles away from London's Leong's Legends efforts. Juicy, fatty pork squished in an airy bun with pickled cucumbers was everything I had hoped for. Upon my return, I bought Chang's cookbook immediately.

Chicken parm from Torrisi and the Italian combo make me wonder why on earth London doesn't seem to have any decent sandwich shops. Melty cheese flecked with basil and tomato sauce was perfect with the chicken, while quality sliced meats was made fiery with some pickled peppers. Not a cheap sandwich at $10 each, but then nothing seems to be in New York.

After a night on the cocktails a coleslaw-topped, jalapeno-flooded 'Spicy Redneck' from Crif Dogs hit the spot. Waffle-shaped fries topped with terrifyingly lurid and plastic cheese were delicious dunked in ketchup, and washed down with a root beer I felt quite the all-American. Especially when I followed it later that afternoon with a Shake Shack burger.

Right on the other end of the spectrum, a Red Hook stand at a Saturday food market in Williamsburg sold us a hearty lobster roll for $16. Offered in a brioche roll with a pickle, the Connecticut style, dressed in butter was my favourite, though the Maine style in cold mayonnaise was nothing to be sniffed at.

It wasn't all sandwiches though. Fette Sau, mere minutes away from where I was staying offered barbecued meat by the pound. Queues snaked around the till so we settled ourselves at the bar, drinking bourbon-tinged cocktails. Pulled pork, smoked brisket and pink juicy beef tri-tip were served on trays. The smokey beans almost eclipsed the meat. Almost.

On another barbecue trip we hit up Fatty 'Cue for brunch. A bloody mary was made with smoked tomato juice and had a huge spicy hit. Asian-inspired, the pork ribs I ordered were meaty and fatty, served with a palm sugar fish sauce glaze. I hoped for some vegetables but none seemed to be on the menu. The companion's smoked brisket sandwich packed with coriander, chilli jam and aioli made me jealous.

It may not look like much, but Momofuku's pork ramen was the best noodle soup EVER. Intensely meaty broth, springy noodles and a perfectly poached egg nestled inside. Alas, the cold smoked brisket noodles paled in comparison beside them; we should have eaten them first.

A seafood dinner at the John Dory Oyster Bar in the Ace Hotel had me captive; moody low lighting and absorbing as much of the atmosphere and concentrating on the food made me forget completely to take photos but I highly recommend you go. With plenty of dollar.

So that was it. A weekend is not nearly long enough.

15 comments:

Su-Lin said...

Only a weekend?! Damn. I need to return. And yeah, why did London get stuck with those cold, blah triangle sandwiches? Where are the hot, gooey, cheesy masterpieces like that chicken parm!?

Pavel said...

I'll have to get out the Breville toasty maker and try making a chicken parm. Sounds great, still haven't been to NY yet so really must make the effort to get over.

Ryan said...

Oh my god that looks so good - especially the BBQ. I'm on a bit of a mission to recreate U.S comfort food at home at the moment (http://enthuasticaboutstuff.blogspot.com/2011/06/buffalo-wings.html) and this is just torture! Last time I went to NYC I went on a bit of a gastro tour myself (the basics, hotdogs, burgers, pizza and Katz Deli, LES Foodie tour) but it sounds like I missed out on so much.

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

oh man I can't believe you've never been to New York before... although after seeing what you've been eating they should rename it New Pork... very jealous!

Kate@katescakesandbakes said...

I LOVE NYC too- and hearing all about your great foodie adventures state-side is making me want to raid my savings and book me a one-way ticket to sandwich heaven, New York style!

Mr Noodles said...

Good to see noodles making an appearance! Momofuku in its various incarnations is so on my list if I ever return to the Big Apple.

Anonymous said...

Katz's is really hit or miss these days. And when it misses the Pastrami is either way fatty or dry and tasteless.

Sharmila said...

Yes! Amazing - glad you had such a good time. I so didn't want to leave. The Kevster and I started plotting immediately about how we could negotiate job moves out there and getting pet passports for the cats.

Yeah, no real veggies on the Fatty Cue menu (we did have some lovely asparagus but it came with fried bread), but those ribs!

Going With My Gut said...

That's pretty fine work for 1 weekend!

I'm really enjoying the Momofuko cookbook - trust you will too!

Now that looks like a REAL lobster roll. Bloody hell I miss them. And the city. Sigh.

Wen

Donna said...

Hallelujah! I am so happy that you can attest to the fact that London sandwiches need to have some NYC inspired improvement!

For a good "Maine" style lobster roll you can't beat Pump Street Bakery in Orford, Suffolk. The best I've had in the UK. Apart from the butter style at Hawksmoor.

rumblyinmytumbly said...

Was it difficult getting into momofuku? I've read scary things about how hard it is to get a reservation and you have to long on at exactly 9am 2 weeks before etc. True or not?

Lizzie said...

Rumbly - Ko is, but we went to the Noodle Bar which was a mere 20min wait for a table.

thelittleloaf said...

That looks like a pretty serious weekend's worth of eating! Still, if you've never been to NY before you had a lot to fit in :-) Definitely go back for pizza, and bagels, and some of the finer dining is incredible too. Just writing this is making me jealous...

Greedy Diva said...

Glad you had such a great time! Every single time we go, TPG and I start dreaming about living in New York. Glad you managed to squeeze in the Torrisi Parma sandwich and a Shake Shack burger.

Dan said...

Great post Lizzie. I'm glad Momofuku is everything it's hyped up to be. I absolutely love the cookbook. As for New York, I've been once but it must have been nearly 10 years ago now. I loved it. Best city ever, I long to go back and try all of these places.