Reviews

NYC: Day 7 and 8

We woke up late in the morning on Day 7 with little plans other than hanging out with my brother and baby niece. When the bro picked us up, he suggested we grab a lobster roll from a nearby neighborhood spot. Lobster, you say? HECK YES! 🙂  We cruised up to Luke’s Lobster in the East Village and walked in the small shop. Adorned with New England decor and charm, I knew we were in for a treat!

Per my brother’s suggestion, we ordered the “Schooner” which entailed a regular Lobster Roll, Miss Vickie’s Chips (I chose Jalapeno), pickle, and a Maine root soda (I got the Ginger).

When our Lobster Rolls came out, my eyes bulged out with surprise at the mass amount of meat that was piled into my roll. O-M-G…..no skimping here!!! Let’s start from the beginning…..The Roll. Thick white bread (The “OG” hot dog bun), sliced down the middle, slathered with butter, and toasted to perfection. Crispy on the outside and perfectly soft on the inside. The Lobster….chunks, and I’m talking CHUNKS of fresh from Maine lobster meat, seasoned with Luke’s “special spices” with just a light amount of mayo. And I’ll be honest, “over-mayo’ed” rolls in the past is what has deterred me from these delicious eats. But not Luke’s, they add just the perfect amount to hold the lobster together. Absolute perfection.

The prices are extremely affordable, too. For a Lobster Roll by itself, the cost is $14—which is crazy insane when you factor in how much (and how fresh) lobster they give you. And for just 2 bucks more, you can upgrade to the Schooner and get all the other goodies. 🙂

Why is it so cheap? Luke gets his lobster direct from Maine—from his Dad’s Lobster business! The lobsters are literally caught, steamed, packaged, and shipped directly to Luke’s in the East Village. You can’t get more direct than that! And with no “middle man”, Luke can keep his prices extremely low while ensuring the best quality. 🙂

My tip? Looking for an “affordable” but DELUXE date restaurant to impress you special someone? Skip the seafood houses and take your Honey to Luke’s. You’ll get the best bang for your buck and your Boo will love it. Guaranteed. 🙂

Luke’s Lobster
93 East 7th Street
(212) 387-8487

With little else on our day’s agenda and a belly full of lobster, we opted to walk around Chelsea Market to peruse all the shops and hope for a run-in with a FoodNetwork Celebrity. 🙂

Cupcakes!!! (From Eleni’s New York)

Wicked Hot Chocolate from Jacques Torres Chocolates

Goodies we picked up from Jacques Torres Chocolates

Chelsea Market
75th Ninth Avenue
(212) 243-6005

After a few hours at the Chelsea Market, we took a stroll on top of The High Line – a New York city park built on the old elevated freight railroad. GREAT views of the city and we were sure that we found the rooftop studio of where Bobby Flay films some of his Grill It! with Bobby Flay. Can you see it on this tiny pic? 🙂

With all the walking and activity we had done, I found myself with quite a rumbly-in-my-tumbly 🙂 I convinced my companions to do a quick pitstop in the Theater District so that I could pick up a plate from a food stand that friends and foodies said we could not miss— The Halal Cart. And not just any halal cart mind you—as there are MANY sprinkled up and down Manhattan. But we needed to go to this very particular cart on the corner of 53rd Street and 6th Avenue.

I walked up to the cart and asked the somewhat grumbling guy what he suggested for me to have.

You like lamb?” he asked.
YES!” I answered.
I make you lamb and chicken combo.” he grumbled.

After a series of a few more questions (sauce–no sauce, spicy—no spicy), he handed me over a surprisingly heavy plate in a bright yellow bag. I forked over my 6 bucks and we were on our way. It smelled divine.

Back in the comforts of my brother’s place, I ripped open the bagged and lifted the cover to discover the most amazing aromas and pile of goodness.

Forget the forks we needed spoons to shovel in this goodness!!! Juicy and flavorful chopped lamb mixed with the wonderful sauces—what is that white sauce anyway?! Who cares, it was amazing! The hot sauce was SPICY but I loved it. The chicken was also VERY tasty but I was all about the lamb. All paired with seasoned rice and the softest pita I’ve ever had.

HOLY MOLY—was this goodness really only $6!!! It was as heavy as a newborn baby! Easily a meal for 2. Delicious, cheap, filling—I’m ALL over it! Long lines at the Cart are supposedly quite the norm but lucky for us…we had none 🙂

Believe the hype folks….it really is THAT good.  P.S. They’re open until 4am…how amazing is that?!

Halal Cart
53rd Street and 6th Avenue

The next couple hours were a blur for the BF and I as we were caught in a Halal Food Coma……happily so, but still comatose. 🙂  As it was the Opening Ceremonies for the Winter Olympics, the bro and sis–in-law invited a few of their friends over to join in on the festivities that evening.

They called in a few pizzas and salads from one of their favorite neighborhood spots, Gruppo.

Shroomtown Pizza (Portabello, Shitake, Button Mushroms..Drizzled with Trufle Oil)

Meatball Classic (Mini Meatballs, Red Onions, Basil)

And although I wasn’t really hungry, late in the evening I managed to get in half a slice of each of the pizzas. At least so I could say I tried it, right?? 🙂    MMMM!! The Meatball Classic was cute with the mini meatballs but I preferred the Shroomtown. LOVED all the mushroom flavor!!

Gruppo
186 Avenue B
(212) 995-2100

DAY 8

We woke up on Day 8 with that mixed feeling of sadness and anticipation since it was our last day in NYC. After packing up all our stuff, we loaded the car to run a few last minute errands and grab lunch before the sibs dropped us off at JFK.

Where did we have our final meal in the city? At Chinese Mirch in the Flatiron District. 🙂  Chinese Mirch offers a menu of Chinese/Szechuan dishes with an Indian flair. The restaurant itself is nestled on the corner of Lexington Avenue in a 2 story building. Decor is modest but clean and accented with artwork that reflects its cuisine. (Hey, I rhymed!)

Seated on the 2nd floor next to large windows that faced the main street, our group ordered the Crispy Okra for appetizers.

These aren’t your typical fried okra that you may find in Southern restaurants—completely different flavor profile. In fact, the okra themselves looked smaller in size than your average variety. Lightly floured and dusted in a spicy seasoning, these okras are flash fried and aren’t the least bit oily. With two dipping sauces to choose from (a sweet tamarind base or chili), they were a GREAT way to open our meal.

For our entrees, we went family style and ordered the Singapore Rice Noodles, Salt & Pepper Prawns, Coriander Vegetables, and Chili Chicken.

LOVED, loved the Chili Chicken! Slightly Crispy and quite spicy. Coriander Vegetables were also quite unique as it came with a spinach/cilatro pesto. 🙂

Chinese Mirch
120 Lexington Avenue
(212) 532-3663

On our way to JFK, we drove by Doughnut Plant to pick up some goodies for the flight. Unfortunately, we encountered our first true line of our whole trip and decided we couldn’t wait and risk missing our flight.   After much hugs and goodbyes to the family we checked in without a hitch (SHOCKING, I KNOW!) and found ourselves with a couple of hours on our hands before our boarding time. After putzing around the terminal shops, I decided to get some food for us to have on the 5.5 hour plane ride back to Cali. No meal service on this flight 😦

And what did I scrounge up??? Drumroll please….

Famiglia Pizza and Dunkin Donuts. Hey, thoughts of Doughnut Plants wonderful creations were haunting me and I needed to fill the void. How was it? Mehhh….the best Airport Food Court can possibly be.

But we have little to complain as we just had a phenomenol 8 Day Food Tour of New York. Amazing food from “Cheap Eats” to “Break the Piggy Bank” and covering a wealth of cuisines. We were blessed—even with the snow storm.

8 Days……20+ Restaurants…..1 Homecooked Meal…..Gallons of “Adult Beverages”…….1 Snow Day……..Priceless Time Spent with Family & Good Friends…….and Memories to Last a Lifetime.

I’d say it was a success. So…..where to next? 🙂

Special Shout Outs and Love to Family and Friends for being such gracious Hosts/Hostesses and wonderful ambassadors of NYC. Thank you for making us feel so much at home! 🙂

AND because I am one of  “those” aunties, please indulge me as I show off a  few pics of my little ones who I already miss SO much. Auntie loves you–come to California to visit soon! 🙂

The beautiful Claire who has already learned the skill of multi-tasking (Talking on her book over brunch)

My wrinkly and loving Pug Niece/Nephew, Princess Leia and Zangief. Leia is the quintessential “little sister” as you can see while she sits on poor Zangief’s head. 🙂

And lastly, my gorgeous neice, Luna — who may be one of the happiest babies on earth and can melt your heart in under 5 seconds.

GOOD BYE NEW YORK….UNTIL NEXT TIME! 🙂

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4 thoughts on “NYC: Day 7 and 8

  1. the lobster rolls — i would eat that for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, esp now that it is lent season!

    do they ship them, i wonder????

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