Saturday, November 29, 2008

I Heart New York Food: Day One

Last weekend I went on a whirlwind trip to Manhattan and was overhwhelmed by the variety and quality of food there. I'd hadn't been since I was a teenager so I don't remember what I ate before. I only have vague memories of ridiculously huge portions at a deli and a salty pretzel. We were lucky because Darryl has been to NYC many, many times and he is unfailingly reliable when it comes to food. I'd advise anyone going to plan ahead and try to find out where the locals like because when you only have a few days, a disappointing meal can be a real letdown. New York is such an amazing place to eat.

Porter Airlines

We took Porter Airlines from the island airport and it was the best. A free Porter shuttle picks you up at the Royal York Hotel and takes you to the ferry terminal where you can check in if you don't have any bags and want to get it over with before getting on the ferry. There are automatic kiosks for domestic flights and a real live agent for New York flights. The ferry takes you to the terminal where there is an enormous lounge with lots of comfortable seating, individual desks for laptop users, and a kitchenette with free tea, coffee, pop, juice, and water. It's self serve and you can take as much as you like. I had two bottles of water and a Diet Coke.

On the plane itself, they give you a snack box with half a good quality sandwich, a Babybel, Melba toast, and a cookie. Beer, wine, and softs drinks are complimentary.

Snack: Pretzel in Central Park

We arrived in the city in the afternoon, too early for dinner, so we stopped at a snack cart at the entrance to Central Park. I had a pretzel with mustard. It was kind of stale, but the mustard application was impressive. Darryl had a tiny steamed hotdog.

Another Snack: Chesnuts

Before we went in the MOMA, we stopped at a cart so that Diane could get some roasted chestnuts. Almost all the carts in Manhattan looked exactly the same and sold the same things: chestnuts, pretzels, hotdogs, knishes.

Food Displays at MOMA

There were a lot of pieces by a Swedish artist named Claes Oldenburg who specializes in modelling everyday objects, including food such as burgers, ice cream, and cakes. He's my guy!

There was also this fun still life by Tom Wesselmann that was sort of a kitchen collage.

And of course, Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans. This girl got scolded for leaning on the pieces.

Dinner: Rosa Mexicano

We got to Rosa Mexicano at about 7:15PM and we were told there was quite a wait unless we could have a quick dinner. One table was available, but had to be vacated by 8. We are fast eaters all, so we went for it. We consumed pomegranate margaritas, handmade tableside guacamole, and our entrees in 40 minutes.

Everyone in the restaurant was having the guacamole - it was so good. The waiter mushes up avocados in a big stone bowl and adds jalapenos, tomatoes, and other things that went in too quickly for me to see. You must have it. It comes with small, warm tortillas and chips. The salsa were amazing too. One was super smoky and I don't remember how the green one tasted, but I know I loved it.

Dessert: Cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery

I finally had my first cupcake from Magnolia Bakery and it lived up to the hype. Nice and small with delicious icing that wasn't too sweet. I had a plain cupcake with chocolate icing. Yum.

Most Beautiful Bergdorf's Windows

I loved these windows. Not only were they beautiful, but the window dressers were dressed so stylishly while they worked. They were even more interesting than the windows.

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