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21 Nov 2010

A Taste of New York

My travel timeline has gone out of the window.  I had some other trips to write about but I just haven't gotten round to writing them up. Oops. Anyway, as this post is about food, it shot up my priority list.

Anyway, so back at the beginning of October my brother and I took my mum off to NYC for her 60th birthday. She'd never been before and we thought it would be fun to take her. Aren't we lovely children?

As well as taking in all the usual sights and tourist attractions - Empire State, Central Park, Rockerfeller Center, Brooklyn Bridge etc. We also took in the tastes that NYC had to offer. Here's a quick rundown of what we ate:

This was in fact our first meal in NYC and our first time at Shake Shack. Touted as one of the best burgers in NYC, if not the best. There are a few locations around the city, but we went to the one in Madison Square Park - the first Shake Shack - where the queue often wraps around the park.

What's so good about Shake Shack? Well let me tell you - it was one tasty burger! Ok, it wasn't mind-blowing but the gruyere stuffed portobello mushroom that sat atop the burger patty (Shake Stack burger) definitely made it something that I would want to eat again. If you like cheese - as there is a lot of cheese on this thing - you'll like this burger. The crinkle cut fries were also yum - golden brown, crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

If burgers are not your thing, they also did hotdogs and some sort of frozen custard dessert. Also, if you're in a hurry you could head to the 'B' queue to pick up drinks and desserts without having to wait in line behind all the carnivores.

Probably pricier than you're average fast food burger joint, but it's better than you're average fast food burger joint.

Read more about other NYC Eateries...

Image from Tasty and Yummy
I've been to NYC a few times now but I have never eaten in China Town. I love dim sum and Chinese food, but the amount of people and choice in China Town is too much for me. However, whilst we were in New York we met up with family who took us to Joe's Shanghai for Sunday lunch and their famous soup dumplings.

From the outside the restaurant is nothing to look at. It looks like a regular restaurant with yellowing newspaper articles in the window describing their famous dumplings. You'll also find a queue of people waiting to get a taste of these fine soup dumplings.

Are these dumplings as good as people say? Short answer - YES! Put it this way, if you were in my way I would beat you with a stick to just get at these dumplings.  Imagine Won Ton soup except the soup is contained inside the Won Ton. Available in pork or crab but both equally as delicious.

There is a specific way to eat these little parcels of yum-ness, otherwise you run the risk of burning your mouth and ruining the rest of the meal. You wouldn't want that now would you? Luckily, the folk at Joe's made a handy video on the correct way to eat the dumplings.

My cousin had recommended Serendipity to us after her earlier visit to NYC earlier in the year and we thought why not - especially after we saw the pictures of the giant desserts she had eaten. Some people may recognise this place from the movie with the same name.

We decided to have lunch here one day - the food was ok, I've had tastier elsewhere.  Obviously this is based on the food we chose, but the menu is vast so maybe we just chose the wrong dishes. I would say If you do visit here skip the savoury and go straight for the desserts! The desserts are more than ok, they are AMAZING! They may give you a heart attack, but at least you'll die happy.  We went for the Humble Pie Sundae which involved creamy peanut butter with a graham cracker crust pie, ice-cream and lashings of whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Mmmmmmm, sweet memories.
What we ate (L-R): Rock 'n' Roll Chicken, Hotdog, Humble Pie Sundae
If you're feeling flushed for cash you could always have the Serendipity Foot Long Haute Dog at $69 with duck foie-gras and black truffles, and then finish it off with the world's most expensive dessert - The Golden Opulence Sundae -  a bargain at $1000 and requires 48 hours notice if you want it.
Inside Serendipity
This was probably our fanciest meal whilst in town. This is where we went for Mum's 60th birthday dinner. I'm a foodie and Italian cuisine is one of my favourites - pizza, pasta, panacotta, what's not to like?

Cipriani's Downtown had a nice relaxed atmosphere and of course the food was delicious. Sorry there are no pics of the food as we were too busy eating it.  My mum who doesn't usually drink even pushed the boat out to try their signature Bellini cocktail.

Now from the fancy to the not so fancy - but just as tasty...

Image from Bionic Bites
Mad for Chicken was our last NYC meal and because of these succulent little chicken wings - I would like to go back to the U.S now please.  It would seem the Colonel has got some serious chicken competition from this new craze of Korean fried chicken.

Previously known as Bon Chon - some restaurants went rogue and turned into these new Mad for Chicken joints. The tasty chicken however stayed the same - or so I have been told.

We went to the Mad for Chicken restaurant in Flushing on our way to JFK. I can't explain to you how delicious this chicken was. We went for the soy and garlic sauce and I can almost taste it now... mmm. How do they get the chicken so covered in sauce and infused with flavour but have it still be so crunchy? This chicken was so good, I am currently on a hunt for a Korean restaurant here in London that sells this chicken. Answers on a post code (or email) please.

So that was my taste of New York. Hope it gives you ideas on some places that might be good for a quick bite. Now, I have to stop writing as I have made myself ridiculously hungry and need to go in search of food. 

Let me know your favourite eats in NYC - gives me something to look forward to the next time I'm in town.

Shake Shack - Madison Square Park near Madison Ave & East 23rd Street
Joe's Shanghai - Chinatown, 9 Pell Street 
Serendipity 3 - 225 East 60th Street
Cipriani Downtown - 376 West Broadway (Btw Spring & Broome Streets)
Mad For Chicken - 157-18 Northern Blvd. Flushing or 314 5th Ave. 2nd Fl. (Btw 31st & 32nd St)

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