As I’m sure you already know, the true highlight of my trip was eating. Eating a lot.
For a trip to be successful you need to do a lot of research or have incredibly reliable guides. I chose the later. Before arrival I emailed one of my favorite ladies and my cousin (equally lovely) for some suggestions. Without specifically asking (and I was going to ask) my cousin suggested I try Tal Bagels on the Upper East Side. So Friday morning I headed out with only one true destination in mind. Did this bagel change my life? Did it blow my mind? No. Was it EXACTLY what I wanted? Yes. Warm, toasted, crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, smothered in cream cheese perfection. I walked away from this bagel with a deep, inner satisfaction.
When we met up with my cousin Friday afternoon, we didn’t really have the opportunity to eat. She was a great tour guide though, immediately ushering us into Strand Bookstore. After I bought a book for the husband (that I plan on reading as soon as he’s done), we started walking. We hit Washington Square Park before ending up at Purl. I should have taken a picture at Purl because it was entirely picturesque, but I was too in awe. Such beautiful, soft yarns and prettily crafted scarves and blankets everywhere. My wallet prevented me from purchasing anything which was probably for the best…
Part of wanting to eat a lot when visiting some place is balancing it out. In New York we walked between 10-12 miles every day. Sometimes that meant we had to take a break with a soft serve cone. It’s hard not to when there’s an ice cream truck on every corner. I was pretty impressed that I only ate two of these rainbow bad boys while I was there.
A meal can be great eaten alone, but a great meal is fantastic eaten in the right company. My mom has some wonderful friends in NYC that provided wonderful company every night we were there. Unfortunately I did not get a photo of the best food we ate while we were there. Before we saw The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime we ate at Barbetta. Life changing. Truly, it was one of the best meals I’ve ever had. The gnocchi melted in my mouth. The wine was incredible. The service entertaining and over the top. The oldest restaurant in NYC owned by the same family has survived for a very good reason.
The last night we ate at a place called Hill Country Barbecue. It was…more accurate than I would have expected. You walked up to a counter in front of the meat pit to order your food. Pictures of Texas Hill Country cover every wall. Only Shiner beers are served on tap. Behind the stage is a Texas flag made of bandanas and other cloths. The posters on the wall advertise shows like Bob Schneider and Rosie Flores. It was like being in a parallel universe.
While the company and ambience was fantastic, the brisket was only pretty good. Let’s say for NYC (or NC for that matter) it was fantastic. If I had been in Lockhart, I would have walked right out…and into every other barbecue restaurant (all of them, not just one- Brisket, I miss you!).
I try not to be overwhelmingly touristy but sometimes…it can’t be helped. On Sunday on my way to the Met I needed to stop for food. I dropped in a chain french inspired bakery for a hot tea and croissant…and then I took a really poorly down selfie in front of Tiffany’s. I can only be SO awesome y’all. My apologies.
New York City. Go there. Eat a lot. Walk it off. Repeat.