Eating New York

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It’s not hard to love New York.

Our family just returned from a week-long family reunion trip, which took us to New York City, then to the Catskills. Did I love the 100 degree humid weather, clothing sticking to my skin? Navigating the disgustingly hot subway system with two little ones asking “when are we going to get there?” Getting eaten alive by every flying insect within the city limits? Not so much. What I loved about my time in New York was the food, the energy, the people watching, and the New Yorkers!

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When I was six, my dad took me on a trip to New York, to retrace the footsteps of his youth, to meet my grandfather who was still living out in Brooklyn, and eat our way around town. There is a classic photo of me, still hanging in my dad’s house, where I’m holding a slice of New York pizza in one hand and a Nathan’s hot dog in the other, while simultaneously sipping on a soda. This was the beginning of a life-long love affair (obsession) with food, kicked off in one of the best cities for the food-obsessed.

On this latest trip, we were only in town for two full days, but we tasted a good sampling of what this world-class eating city has to offer. Dinner at Carmine’s on the Upper West Side, where we dined on outrageous chicken parmesan and handmade ricotta ravioli for the kiddos, Tal Bagels for just baked biales and bagels, breakfast in Greenwich Village (where, to quote our double decker bus tour-guide with a thick New York accent “there is a large homosexual population, where boy meets boy and girl meets girl!”), to Shake Shack for a top-notch hot dog smothered in cheese sauce and crispy fried onions, Katz’ Deli for a warm potato knish, matzo ball soup, dill pickles, and a kick-ass hot pastrami (not to mention the cream soda and cheesecake chasers), and finally to Excellent Dumpling House for handmade dim sum fresh from the steamer. As you can imagine, I truly could go on.

I have plenty more to say about our time in N.Y.  and haven’t yet touched on the family reunion, but wanted to share a few images and memories with you. More to come…

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8 thoughts on “Eating New York

  1. Anya,

    I always exitedly read your feed/blog and, as a native New Yawkah transplanted recently to the Bay Area, was especially interested in this post. But I was profoundly disappointed that you chose a hot dog at Shake Shack! Did you deny Caleb and Sadie a juicy, salted bit of burger heaven that is offered at the Shack?! :/ In and Out can not compare. But many props for an ideal meal at Katz’s! 🙂. And thanks for all your indispensable Bay Area food tips!!

    • Hah! I love your comment. What’s funny, Lisa is that I had never heard of Shake Shack and really wanted to plop down at a Nathan’s Hot Dog stand to relive the childhood memory. I asked a cop standing in front of Rockefeller Ctr and he suggested Shake Shack – siting much better quality. I didn’t know about the burgers…mia culpa! Where should I go next time for the quintessential NY hot dog, so I don’t cause further disappointment?

      • My fav hot dog or “frank” as some of us say is Papaya King on 86th and 3rd. Perfect light, snappy skin and garlicky and juicy inside. They’ve been around for about 50 years. Nathan’s just isn’t the same as it was when I was growing up in the 70s. Second fav is Katz’s, but at $6 and with that gorgeous pastrami right behind the counter, I have rarely ordered one there! Where do you get your deli on in the Bay Area? I’m not in love with Sauls…

      • We passed a Papaya King, which I remembered from an Anthony Bourdain episode (he seemed like a huge fan). Bummed now that I didn’t try it. As for deli’s in the Bay Area, I’m with you on Sauls – way mediocre, but sometimes the only fix I can get. I’ve heard great things about Millers in S.F. and San Rafael, but haven’t been. Max’s in S.F. is also ‘meh’. Maybe we should coax Katz into building an empire on the W. Coast?

  2. OMG! You did it again! Wrote your way into food heaven. I wish I could have been on the tour with you. I also like Papaya King for hot dogs. Haven’t been to Nathan’s for a long time. There is so much in NY and its outer boroughs to eat. One must live here or come for a lengthy stay. Miss you guys already. thanks for everything you do and did to make the reunion so special and successful! Love ya,
    Charna

    • I wish we could have trekked around town with you Charna. You would have turned us on to some good eats, I have no doubt. It was lovely to visit with you too. May less time go by until our next visit. xxoo

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