Sunday, January 25, 2009
My restaurant experiences have been great so far. A few stick out as exceptional places. One is Becco, an Italian spot on 46th street, between 8th and 9th. 46th is Restaurant row. I went there for Sylvi's birthday party during my first week working here. Sylvi characterized it as a place that's very swanky, for a price that's better than the usual swanky eatery. What's so unique about Becco is their pre fix dinner option, where you get either a caesar salad or a antipasti tray (AMAZING) and all you can eat of the three pasta specials of the day. seriously. The antipasti was great- an Italian white bean spread, selection of bread, olives (not a fan), fresh mozzarella, marinated tomatoes, some kind of marinated beans, and a few other things. It was really fresh and good. Then the three pastas. The waiters come by your table, each with a huge steaming pan of one of the pastas. I'm normally not a pasta person. I just think it's usually really heavy and not that exciting, but this was incredible. One was a flour-based gnocchi, with a light tomato sauce, one was spaghetti in a tomato sauce, and one was a farfalle with an amazing sauce...I can't remember what it was, and it was my favorite. There were just really great flavors and textures that made this pasta meal really worth it. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Besides Becco, Sylvi has been my go-to guide for some of my favorite restaurants in NYC.
Silver Spurs was a great brunch spot. It was fast, packed full of people, cheap, and simply delicious food. Nothing fancy, just plain good. I had an egg white wrap with mozzarella, spinach, and tomatoes. I could eat that everyday.
Karen's on Astor, right near NYU, was a really cool cafe. They make a lot of vegetarian and vegan stuff- sandwiches, burritos, wraps, soup, baked stuff, salads. It's simple and fresh and cheap. A great veggie spot for a student budget. I originally got a veggie red bean chili, then realized that it had soy in it (allergic), and switched to a shitake mushroom and barley soup (free of charge for the switch- super nice). That was delicious.
The next meal I had with Sylvi...is my favorite one yet. It's funny, because it was just a sandwich. Calling it just a sandwich is hard, because it was SO GOOD. It was Tiny's Giant Sandwich Shop on the lower east side, between Norfold and Essex on Rivington. They maybe had 7 tables. They serve meat sandwiches and salads, but everything can be made veggie to order-with a meat replacement (like chick'n or fake bacon). I don't particularly enjoy fake meat products, plus they're usually soy filled. I ordered a create-your-own sandwich on 7 grain bread (toasted- this was key), sprouts, spinach, tomatoes, cheddar, green herb mayo, and hummus. It was so delicious. I can't get over it. Usually when I make or eat a sandwich with hummus, it's spread on the bread like a condiment, for a little flavor and moisture on the bread. At Tiny's, they PILE on the hummus. It was about 1/2" thick between all the veggies. It made the hummus the focal point. It literally changed how I think of hummus on sandwiches- it is the protein after all, not just an afterthought. The combo of fresh cold veggies, the herb mayo, and a fantastic homemade hummus, with toasted bread, was unbeatable. I encourage anyone to try this one out- just make the sandwich yourself, seriously. If you can go to Tiny's, do that too. I definitely intend on visiting this place again.
The problem with NYC restaurants is, almost everytime I go, I want to go back. At the very same time, I want to try some new place. There's so much to try, but so much that's worth a second trip. Decisions, decisions.
There have been more delicious places, but this post is far too long already, so I won't drag on any more.
Until next time.