Friday, February 28, 2014

Barney Greengrass, NYC

December 2013


Barney Greengrass is the same age as Grand Central Station - 100 years, and located on the Upper West Side.

From the reviews online we were expecting poor service and to have to fight at the counter to get served. But the service at Barney Greengrass was probably one of the best we had in NYC, our server was witty and gave great advice with my order and they have a restaurant with sit down service.

Referred to as the Sturgeon Kings, the menu is full of smoked fish and bagel options.

                                Nova Scotia Salmon and cream cheese on a bagel $14

                                              Nova Scotia Salmon Scrambled with Eggs                                               and Onions, with bagel and cream cheese $15

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Amy Ruth's, Harlem, NYC

December 2013

We made the trip from the Upper West Side to Harlem for two reasons. The Apollo Theater and dinner at Amy Ruth's.

I expected to wait in a line, but arriving at 6:30 pm on a Saturday night, this wasn't an issue. Each entree is named after a famous African American and served with your choice of two sides. Soul food not being available on mass in Australia we decided to try sides that we had never had before (the Mac & Cheese being the exception, but i would debate we had ever had good Mac &Cheese before!).

The corn bread they serve on arrival was warm and soft

The President Barack Obama $13.95
Smothered Chicken with Fried Okra and Cheesy Grits

The Nate Robinson $15.95
BBQ Spare Ribs with Mac &Cheese and Collard Greens

Our favourite was definitely the ribs and our least favourite the cheesy grits (we had never had grits before), the collard greens were a pleasant surprise. My biggest regret was not trying the Kool-Aid of the day.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Luke's Lobster, The Plaza Food Hall, NYC

December 2013

NYC was definitely a town with a lot of lobster on the menu's and at Luke's Lobster, like the name suggests, this was the staple.

Located in The Plaza Food Hall this was the sixth Luke's Lobster location to open. We had originally planned on going with one shrimp and one lobster roll each and then sharing, but we weren't that hungry with jet lag setting in (this was day one in NYC) so we decided to split a Taste of Maine instead.

Taste of Maine $20
Half a lobster roll, half a crab roll and half a shrimp roll served with a pickle and chips

This was a great way to try a bit of everything, but the surprising part was the lobster roll wasn't the best of the group (although still good), it was the crab roll, the meat was so sweet I was glad we went with the three taster option as we would have never tried it before.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Chelsea Markets, NYC

January 2014

We literately stumbled across the Chelsea Markets after The Highline and decided to drop in for a look and hopefully a hot drink.

The stores are predominately food based, so make sure you arrive hungry (unlike us).

The markets were also still decorated for the holiday season, with some rather neat decorations made from old books.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Central Park, NYC

December 2013

Central Park is 3.41 square km on the Upper West Side of NYC. It originally opened in 1857 and is popular with walkers, runner, and cyclists.

You can easily spend a few hours walking (or running or cycling) through the park.

The maps in the area aren't very good, we spent a significant amount of time finding Cat Hill - or Still Hill (we were only successful because I knew you ran past it and therefore if you find the runners you will find the cat).

I'd love to see it in the spring when everything is green and flowering, but it was still worth the trip in the winter.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Highline, NYC

January 2014

The Highline is a elevated rail line that has been converted into a park.

Based in Manhattan's West Side, it was opened to the public in 2009, with another section opened in 2011.

Even though it was the middle of winter and most plants were in hibernation, it was still worth the short walk from one end to the other. If only for the street and billboard art.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Meatball Shop, SoHo, NYC

January 2014

We had originally planned on going to Katz's Deli, but when we arrived for an already late lunch and the queue was around the corner we decided on our back-up plan The Meatball Shop, and what a fabulous back-up plan that was.

There are five of The Meatball Shop's in NYC. You order from a menu list, ticking what you want from the days selection.

So we ordered a little bit of everything, and were delighted with everything.

Naked Balls - Classic Beef with Spicy Meat Sauce $8

Daily Roast Veggies $5
Sweet Potato, Walnuts and Goats Cheese

Heroes with Spicy Pork Balls, Classic Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella $11

We really enjoyed our meal here and were happy that we had to revert to our back-up plan.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Shake Shack, Upper West Side, NYC

December 2013

This was our last meal for 2013. Let's start by saying I had high expectations of the Shake Shack, particularly of the hand spun shakes. And while the food was good, it wasn't great and it wasn't special. It was just burgers and shakes.

Two single shack burgers $4.75 ea with one Black and White hand-spun shake and one caramel hand-spun shake at $5 ea

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Zabar's, NYC

December 2013

Zabar's was one of the first places we ate at on our trip. Zabar's consist of a Cafe on the corner where we had breakfast and then the food/grocery store, with a fabulous looking selection of cheese!

Nova Scotia 
on a Bagel with Plain or Scallion Cream Cheese or $4.95 

My biggest disappointment was they didn't make the bagel and filling up fresh, it was pre-wrapped, but I'm guessing that its the most popular item and they need to keep the line moving. Either way it was still delicious.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

SoHo and Greenwich Village

January 2014

Out of everything we did, this is probably the one thing we could have skipped. SoHo and Greenwich Village seem to be popular for their architecture, food spots and bars.

Our problem I think was we built a walking tour on google maps using a guidebook example, but never documented why we went a certain way, nor was our map very good.

What was helpful was the occasions when you saw the blue historic sign and had a "ahh" movement.

The architecture ranges from art deco, cast-iron and row houses.

So is it worth it on your own? Probably not, we could have seen the cast-iron architecture on our way to REI in SoHo, we didn't need to walk around in circles for it. Would we have got more value from a walking tour? Most probably yes.

And I guess that's the back up for SoHo and Greenwich Village, if you get lost there's plenty of places to shop, eat and drink!