Food…..A Trip to New York

I’ve been very fortunate over the past 8 – 9 months, with lots of hard work achieved a couple of paid ‘reward’ trips through work. The first was Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi Island, the flights were hard work but the effort was worth it, time to visit sites of personal interest in-between organised entertainment, including a Police Bike Escorted Tour across the City on the back of Harley Davidson Motorbikes as well as high end restaurants and a personalised tour of the Petronas Twin Towers!!Photo 31-12-2017, 15 43 14More recently, just a week ago, the destination was a few days in New York, a place our family was due to visit last Christmas but due our son being ill we had to cancel, so the trip was on again, but the family was going to be staying at home this time.IMG_1563It was by sheer chance that the trip coincided with the 9Th Avenue International Food Festival, a two day event that was started many years ago by Lili Fable that attracts THOUSANDS of visitors over the 2 days it is held, she is still active at the 3rd generation family run Greek ‘Poseidon’ pastry shop, they still make Phyllo Pastry by hand, and I had the pleasure of meeting her and her retired husband on this trip, a true honour.IMG_1560We were fortunate to have a ‘free day’ which provided the opportunity to look at other food options and I was lucky enough to discover ‘The Brooklyn Culture and Food Tour’, a 4 1/2 hour excursion across the river to see another borough of New York, and experience the imigrant food culture that had developed over the years, this trip was working out really well and I discovered a fellow foodie in our group who was keen to join in, perfect.+2z3EgKqRVC3TTdF%6MsNAThe morning of the Brooklyn food tour was wet, very wet, in fact it rained almost the whole day. Luckily for me and my new foodie chum our tour was in a very comfortable mini-coach, which took us over the Williamsburg Bridge to Brooklyn where we started things off with BALLs, Meat Balls!26C3A472-D883-4EFA-BC9A-A10EFCBE3832This establishment had pedigree, being owned by chefs with Michelin star experience, and the Balls were GREAT. The restaurant concept was explained by the Manager, we were to bump into the ‘BALL’ brand again during the Food Festival the following day! You pick your preferred ‘BALL” add sauce and away you go, but there are more options including Balls Benedict, all available until after 2:30 a.m. in the morning!soTVAM6cRvOhFx1KHNNmWgJust around the corner was another ‘Ball’ establishment, this time Middle Eastern and Falafel were the order of the day at OASIS in Williamsburg. They were delicious and just cooked, if Falafel are older than 20 minutes then bin them Rick explained, as he pointed out the closeness of both the restaurants to the Metro and constant footfall. Great food and passing traffic enables both these restaurants to do a roaring trade. I have NEVER seen Labneh for sale, another first!creaxbC1T4W6JtgWqaNflAThe next stop took us to Poland, another first and we ploughed through locally made Sausage and mashed Potato, Pierogi and various other delicacies at Krolewskie Jadlo (King’s Feast), which were really tasty. The sausage was nicely spiced and had a firm texture the mash smooth and silky.mzJ1MLkbSkit4R2bxomZtAPierogi is something I have always wanted to try and luckily it was on the menu, stuffed with Potato and Cheese they were absolutely yummy, crispy cases and soft fluffy insides.7Xm%QBV%RxO2Xg4wt8tTCgAmerica seems to like Pizza, it’s probably a staple of the diet and there were lots of small Pizza stores all over the city selling flabby looking cardboard bases, coated with not particularly nice looking toppings!N8Go9i6uQSeNvY1tySxYMATable 87 was a ‘proper’ Pizza Restaurant, we watched the artisans stretch, spin and coax the freshly hand made bases before adding a San Marzano Tomato Sauce, and Fresh Mozzarella before putting into a 500Deg coal fired oven! They skilfully watched the Pizza  cook and turned to ensure an even cook, removing when ready and finishing with fresh Basil and Olive Oil.Koe6DDdTTxejMfykwoSR%AThe result was outstanding, very crisp base, full of flavour, a beautiful Tomato Sauce, chewy Mozzarella Cheese and the waft of Basil which had been wilted by the heat of the Pizza and nothing else, Wowzer!JlTjrQbCSLu4AciMXHO4og What do the Italians excel at? Cakes. The next stop was an artisan bakery which had shelves of amazing looking cakes, pastries and Marzipan crafted fruit, our next taster was Cannoli and my they were really very good indeed, freshly made and filled with slightly sweetened Ricotta Cheese.18E0566F-6B9F-484D-9C9B-674C46E62A9CThis establishment had been the in the neighbourhood for years, in fact as we had driven round Brooklyn Rick was explaining the importance of each area and how they had developed over time, it was really fascinating.pxP2Jl1iSjSGRFd46BvosAThe last stop was DUMBO! Down Under The Manhattan Bridge Overpass, and we were all well fed and educated on all things Brooklyn, a borough I personally think has a lot to offer and would be missed by many visitors to New York as most will go for the more ‘famous’ sites.P1040002Jacques Torres is also known as Mr Chocolate and we were to try a couple of his ‘specials’, very tasty they were too. We had the option of walking back over Brooklyn Bridge but the weather was still pretty poor so any photographic opportunities would not have produced any where near decent results as you can see from the couple of touristy pictures I took whilst the opportunity arose.P1040003The food tour can be found HERE and it was worth every $, Rick our guide was very knowledgeable and made the 4 1/2 hours really interesting both from a food and culture perspective so if you ever find yourself looking for something different to do whilst in the Big Apple, give it it a go, its great fun.W42_419th_ave_food_fest_FP.13642321_stdOMG! Argentinian, Brazilian, Cajun, Cuban, Spanish, Dominican, Ethiopian, Greek, Haitian, Irish, Moroccan, Ukrainian, and many other kinds of cuisine are being cooked during the annual two-day festival on 9th Avenue in New York during May! Apart from the nights out on rooftops bars and fantastic restaurants I had managed to squeeze in Dr Laser (holographic studios) and the Brooklyn Food Tour already and it was the last full day in New York.DSCF3453The morning had taken us to Grand Central Station for a tour, followed by a tasty brunch at Cipriani Dolci and I did have breakfast that morning, something I was to later regret! Our tour guide helped me find some Graham Crackers, a present for our son to make some ‘proper s’mores’ and during the conversation I remembered the Food Festival, which happened to start just around the corner from he lived so he walked me to the start and introduced me to the founders of the event, owners of the Greek Restaurant Poseidon, it was great hearing of their enthusiasm to get visitors to come to Hells Kitchen and taste the world!DSCF3483It was VERY busy, I remembered my foodie friend and dropped him a text message, he was on his way within minutes and on arrival made similar comments to me, OMG, what a MASSIVE festival, there were thousands of people walking up and down 9th Avenue smelling and tasting food from all over the world.DSCF3475Unlike the previous day it was hot and sunny, with a threat of a thunder storm we hoped the rain would stay away and it did, we wandered up and up and up looking at all the different cuisines on the way. Unfortunately I was stuffed from breakfast and brunch so it was smelling and drinking water for me as we were out again that evening!DSCF3457We had never seen so much food from so many different countries, it was overwhelming but in a positive way, it was sheer chance that the even coincided with the trip and we were both so glad it did.DSCF3468As we were walking back my friend was tempted at one particular stand selling ‘Fried” Ice-Cream, yep you read that correctly, tennis ball sized and covered in breadcrumbs before before frying and crispy brown and icing sugar added!DSCF3488I declined the opportunity but it was apparently absolutely delicious, they certainly smelled very good indeed. we had walked what seemed miles in the heat but had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon, on neither of us will every forget so it ever you find yourself in New York around the week after Mothers Days, check your dates and try and get to this awesome event, and maybe do the Brooklyn Tour as well.

 

…………………………Until next time……………..L8ers………………

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Food…..A Trip to New York

  1. Another great blog Julian. I do enjoy hearing of your food exploits.. Found a local Easter eggss and hot cross bun class at Chefaholic at Cambridge (Tassie) . Best wishes Julia

    • Hey Julia, 🙏 much appreciated. I am just about to write up some more the of US trip highlighting some of the ‘organised’ places we ate at, with the best dishes of the week. I bought some Easter Egg Chocolate Moulds last year but never got round to using them😂 Hope all is well with you🙏 Cheers, Jules

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