Thursday, October 6, 2011

NYC: The Grub

Still trying to get caught up from my little blogging hiatus, here another NYC post (here is the first one).


Let's get to the good stuff about the New York trip: THE FOOD

We hit up some street vendors and there was a (late night) trip to McDonalds, but other than that, we stuck with non chain kind places.

I have always read about, but never used their site. For whatever reason, I downloaded the app while waiting in Charlotte at the airport and that was a major help for us to find good food.

Hit it!

(Caribbean) Soule - Brooklyn

I started to scan Groupon for NYC restaurant deals a couple of weeks before our trip. While it seemed a good idea at a time, the lack for really knowing the area and the lack of knowing what we'll be doing when, kind of made the whole thing a little unpractical. But we ended up going the first night, just to basically get it out of the way. The food was good. If I had paid full price for it, I would have been upset. They had a separate menu for Groupon customers and that's something I don't really care for and know, that a lot of restaurants don't handle their Groupon deals that way. But time to move on.

Shanghai Cafe - Chinatown

The next day, we were walking around Chinatown around lunch time. I pulled up yelp on my phone and we were soon on a wild goose chase (as fast as you can walk with thousands of people on the sidewalks in Chinatown) in search for a restaurant that had at least 4 stars and was marked with one $ sign (read: cheap). The first place we walked into was PACKED. No way we would get anything to eat anytime soon, so we walked a block down he road and ended up at the Shanghai Cafe.

The decor is not your traditional Chinese, but more a stainless steel and neon light variety... but not in bad way, it was actually pretty nice looking.

When we walked in, I saw wood baskets with steamed dumplings sitting on every other table, so that seemed to be a popular dish in there and that's what I was going for.... It took a little while for us to get our order in, since our Chinese is really rusty and so was the waiters English, but we both ended up with very very tasty dished. Score!

Bianca - NoHo

That evening before seeing STOMP, we had dinner at Bianca. If it wasn't for yelp, we would have never gotten on this street and even with, we almost walked past it.

This is a teeny tiny place with rustic decor and tables tightly cramped in. The menu is short and full of Italian pasta classics and a couple of meat and seafood dishes.

I kept it simple with Spaghetti Marinara and from looks and taste, those spaghetti were homemade and Terry claimed he had the best Lasagne of his life. Can't beat that! ;-)

Salvadoreno Usuluteco

After a long weekend and day of sightseeing, we decided to keep dinner close to the hotel on our last night. The restaurant was labeled as "Southamerican Food" and the place looked kind of funny and I probably would have just walked past it, if the reviews on yelp were not as good as they were... At that was the only place around that had reviews like this.

So we walked in and the decor is very sober. Think industrial lighting, plastic table covers and artificial flowers. Once again, getting the order in was the most challenging part since the waitress almost didn't speak any English and my Spanish is good enough to order beer, but that's about it.

It took the forever to get the food out, but there was the Southamerican version of Dancing with the Stars on TV and when they started to Karaoke night, they also dimmed the industrial lighting, which made the whole place a little easier on the eyes. So the food took forever to get to our table, but boy it was well worth the wait.

I had stuffed peppers, rice and baked plantains and I was glad that I eventually ran out of food on my plate otherwise I would have kept on eating and eating and eating... Seriously, it was that good.

So here's to being adventurous (a little) with our food choices on our trip. Or like that one guide on the bus said: "I forgive you, if you had lunch at Ruby Tuesdays on Times Square, but for dinner, please try out any place in Chinatown, where you can feed a family of four with the same money you spend on one for lunch!"

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