WIAW(hile in the Big Apple)

Strangely enough, not a single apple.


new york 015The travel days both looked a heckuva lot like this!  I packed some “trail mix” (aka raisins and almonds, because I’m so creative!) to tide me over while in the airport, as well as a sack lunch that included a hummus/veggie wrap and an apple (but this apple didn’t count, you see, we still weren’t even on the plane yet).  Little did I know how mysteriously voracious I would become while waiting for two hours in the airport, with nothing but my laptop to entertain me (though that was very entertaining–a lot of writing got done!).

I don’t have pictures, per se, of the other foods I packed in my carry-on, but luckily I had with me a bag of Somersaults and some cranberry-orange flax granola.  Not ashamed to admit that, during the course of our 6-hour flight, I all but demolished the entire package of Somersaults.  Why oh why are salty, crunchy foods so addictive?

You can see the somersaults in my old suitcase picture, I supppose

You can see the somersaults in my old suitcase picture, I suppose–the granola is hidden, though

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new york 048Our first “real meal” (read: non-continental breakfast) was quick; we ducked into the place nearest to Carnegie Hall advertising vegetarian fare, Topaz Thai Restaurant.  Like a lot of NY restaurants, it was kind of half-way underground, and pretty dark, but it had a nice vibe–and quite excellent spicy peanut sauce!  The above crispy things were supplied to us as appetizers (there were bright pink and yellow ones, too–I wish I had thought to snap a photo before we all got nibbly), and they didn’t really taste like anything, but…you guys know I’m a sucker for peanut sauce. 🙂  (Anyone know what the above crispies are called?)  So much so that my meal was really just a pile of steamed veggies coated in the stuff, along with some brown rice and greenery for good measure.  Pretty spicy for my oh-so-delicate tastebuds, but the textures were great!

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Post-Carnegie celebration, we went out to Serendipity 3

There are really no words to describe this place.  Part stained-glass exhibition, part bohemian shabby-chic den, part novelty knick-knack shop, and part frozen-beverage peddling restaurant, the place was…unique.  Really, I came here only on recommendation of my school principal, who had been insisting MONTHS before hand that I HAD to order a milkshake at Serendipity.

I did, but not until after the main meal, thank goodness.  I ordered the “Alamo”, which was a black bean burger accompanied by chips and salsa^.  The salsa was great, and so were the chips–the burger was pretty tasteless on its own, but the melty cheese certainly helped.

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And then it was dessert time, so cordially awaited by all members of our table.  I ordered a “Frozen Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate”, which I had VERY high expectations for (as in, highlight-of-trip expectations), but alas…I mean, it was okay, but they “freeze” it by simply blending in fine crushed ice, which was grainy and made the texture of the whole thing just go meh.  Also, it watered down everything.  The whipped cream and chocolate curls on top were good, though.

BUT OH MY LORD ABOVE my grandfather ordered a HOT FUDGE SUNDAE (WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THIS I REGULARLY TOUT IT AS MY FAVORITE DESSERT).  It was, in all seriousness, the DEFINITION of #foodgasm.  I only had a few bites, but I wanted to steal it from him.  Badly.  I settled on sipping my cocoa in silence and glowering.

Oh, well…there’s always next year…

I regret to say that after this point, my food photography tapered off sharply–I learned rather quickly that New York is the city of walking, and after a few hours out in the heat the last thing I had on my mind when food was set before me was to take a picture–but I do have one more restaurant review for you, and then miscellaneous food pictures!

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Welcome to Hu Kitchen, New York.

This really looked like my kind of place.  From the signs outside to its regular inside reminders about using fresh, whole, unprocessed foods, its green smoothie bar, its plentiful salads–I was smitten.  And hungry.  I ordered a paleo vegetarian (how’s that for two words you hardly ever see in conjunction?) meatloaf, a butternut-stuffed portobello, and some spring pea salad.  I snapped a picture of the ingredient labels, too, cuz I know you guys dig that sort of thing. 🙂

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I'm not sure what "organic exempli gratia" is ;)

I’m not sure what “organic exempli gratia” is 😉  Oh yeah, Latin puns for the win..!

 

You guys…

I wanted to like this place.  I really, really did.  So badly I wanted to declare it my favorite restaurant and sing to the heavens.

But…

My “meat”loaf was dry and flavorless.  (They’re so stingy with the sauce!)  And it tastes strongly of flax.  My mushroom was okay–the nuts in the butternut stuffing added a nice crunch–but it was really expensive and not nearly enough to fill me.  And the spring pea salad was just…peas.  Nothing special, but very expensive.  The relatives that I dined with all had the same consensus.

One thing I did notice about the more “posh” NY buildings…they employ the clever use of mirrors to make their spaces look twice as big.  I was fooled more than once–then, upon realizing my mistake, I had fun snapping pictures.

From here you can see the sidewalk--who is walking where and what why gaaah??

From here you can see the sidewalk–who is walking where and what why gaaah??

Sadly enough, the *best* place we ate didn’t have competent lighting for my picturing–we stopped in for dinner on Saturday at Brick NYC (a happy accident–we were trying to go somewhere else that ended up being closed)–I ordered a mushroom risotto special that BLEW MY MIND (I had it for breakfast the next morning!)  and I snatched some bites of my grandmother’s eggplant parmesan and spaghetti (both perfect).  I would HIGHLY recommend Brick–it’s kinda high-level, but not terribly expensive! 😉

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And now, cue the random miscellaneous food pics.

new york 2 062Whole Foods (first time ever!)  on the last day–we were aiming for NYC pizza but were too pressed for time to track down a proper pizzeria.  So, golden tofu it was.  I really cannot explain my love for this tofu.  Everything else on the plate was okay, but my hearty recommendation if visiting Whole Foods is to EAT THE GOLDEN SESAME FRIED TOFU.

new york 2 045Aaaand gelato.  Always a good note to end on, verità?  (I am sorry Italians for butchering your language.)  (Yes, I saved the spoon.)  Perhaps it was solely because we had just been on the metal top deck of a tour bus for two hours in 95-degree heat, but this was perhaps one of the best frozen confections to ever pass my lips.  It was tiramisu flavored, but it tasted more like a caramel/toffee…either way, it was a very good plan. 🙂

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