The New York Meal Deal #2
Updated: Nov 17
Continuation of our New York culinary tour...
Fast food, casual spots, fine dining, street eats... our exploration of gluttony!
Table of Contents
Voted one of New York's best pizzas because of its unique characteristics? Now that’s a pizza I have to try! John’s boasts made-to-order pizzas, coal-fired brick ovens, cast iron pans and no two pizzas the same.
How can one resist?
Priding themselves on their fresh ingredients and incomparable recipes, it was a no brainer. We had to go there immediately and experience this pizza, self-proclaimed as ‘second to none.’
Everyone raved, so it was only natural that we join the rave club.
Even Richard had researched legendary New York pizza joints, and had put John’s at the top of his list. If memory serves, we ordered the large Margherita pizza and thoroughly enjoyed every single bite. It paired well with the copious amounts of wine we consumed, the incessant catch-up conversation and the abundance of selfies. Too bad the pizza ended up playing second fiddle to the intoxication of the nectar of the Gods.
Conclusion? Top notch!
Prices: Absolutely reasonable. Large pizza with 8 slices starting at $25.
Food: Positively delectable!
Street Vendor Hot Dog
I almost changed my mind on my brilliant idea of eating a street vendor hot dog, but I powered through my apprehension. Stella had halfheartedly brought up a sprinkling of health and safety concerns, and although I initially laughed her off... she did have a point. The last thing I wanted to endure during my special half century celebration, was diarrhea or projectile vomitting.
How long had the hot dogs been sitting there for?
Where were they stored?
All valid questions that might make ones stomach churn... but I chose bravery. Or stupidity... whichever way you want to look at the situation. Regardless... I ate it. For some unknown reason, I chose to allow my cart vendor to blanket my hot dog in a creamy, red onion sauce. It was rather alien, ad had anything made me sick... I would've put my money on that.
That evening, I did my own research into the safety of opting for a New York street weiner...
“Dirty water dogs, or street cart hot dogs, are dogs boiled in hot water, which is rarely changed or not at all throughout the day. As ubiquitous as they are unhygienic, these sidewalk snacks should be dodged at all costs.
Well... I lived to tell the tale... And to tell you the truth, the hype wasn't worth it.
$4 for a cheap, kids-party dirty dog, smothered in onion sauce.
Was it worth it? Nah...
The Chelsea Market, located in the heart of New York City's hip Meatpacking District (once home to the NYC slaughterhouses), is a boutique & international food hall, chic shopping centre, office building and television production facility. You name it, it's here.
Food Network. Oz. Even Oprah.
Had I the money to have gone absolutely crazy with my spending, this would be the place to get 'er done. I wanted everything, but I knew I had to be content with photographs.
We were instructed to meet at one of the market's flower store, and that was where our tour was to begin. Our tour guide was Joe, and he was a born & raised, New York City actor, with a food tour guide gig on the side.
Not bad for a profession. Eat, act... meet people!
He loved food, so it seemed like the perfect fit for him. Joe was friendly, fun, charismatic and knowledgable about his surrounding & each flavour New York had to offer. He walked us around, explaining the history of the buildings throughout the years, as well as stopping along the way for us to savour artisanal specialties, such as biscuits with apricot marmalade, cumin & cheddar cookies, chocolate mushroom buttons, ham-flavoured chips, handmade hot dogs, gourmet mozzarella pizza, Japanese-style tacos and creamy pistachio ice cream!
The Chelsea market was the dream of a man, named Irwin Cohen. The area had originally been the National Biscuit buildings, but after than had shut down, had fallen vacant and crime ridden. He managed to convince investors it was a good idea and even offered leases of 20 years to entice vendors into the area. It was cool to hear all the history and discover the architecture like being part of a live documentary. There was an interesting story behind everything in the Chelsea Market. The elevators, the doors, the floors, the art... Every piece of it represented New York and it's history.
Highly recommended? Yes! Absolutely.
Is it enough food to tie you over? OMG... your pants will burst open!
Thumbs WAY up!
This pizza wasn't just a pizza... it was a destination. It was a tasting event.
This incredible little pizza joint was introduced to us during our Chelsea Market food tour... and when we found ourselves back there, it was my obvious choice for an inspirational New York lunch.
"A highly digestible, lower in calories, classic pizza, easy to eat on-the-go."
I like that.
Especially the lower in calories part.
If you find yourself there... eat!
Eat it all.
We made the trek to get here, absolutely clueless as to where we were going.
We were hungry... and just waking...
I wanted something off the main track. I didn’t want expensive pub grub for my 50th birthday. I wanted quaint, close and CHEAP!
Unfortunately, not really, in New York.
For some reason, probably in the category of absolutely everyone else on the planet, I am like a bug attracted to light and floral decoration. If I see hanging lights and pretty flowers, I immediately want to go there. That’s how we found B-Side. The hanging lights beckoned us...
Good thing they did.
Good thing we did.
Well, we managed to find the, an Italian pizza joint tucked away on West 51st, in Hell's Kitchen. We sat in the outside covered structure, made specifically for Covid dining times. I'm often easy to please, but pizza usually seals the deal. ZeeCee, Sheena, Kilby and I took refuge in this wee treasure and ordered a selection of artisan brick-oven pizzas. Stella & Stuart joined us shortly afterwards and I think we all agreed, the pizza was beyond delicious.
So was the wine!!!! 🍷Artisan hand-crafted pizza drizzled with chili oil and honey... mannnn... the perfect ending to a fabulous 50th birthday.
I had no idea this place was so popular. I just came across it, while wandering the streets of Lower Manhattan.
Actually, to tell the truth, I was getting rather peckish, so I typed bagel into my map search bar… and this location one of the closest to come up.
I knew it was absolutely imperative I eat a bagel in New York City. I really couldn’t bring myself to tackle the notion of leaving the Big Apple, without having indulged.
Had to be done.
My Tribeca Bagel did not disappoint.
I had an everything bagel, toasted, slathered in jalapeño cream cheese, and then stuffed with smoked lox, sliced red onions and capers.
I sat alone, on a bench in Tribeca park and completely devoured my indulgence.
It was magical.
We really tried to go to Katz's Delicatessen... but we failed miserably. We walked straight there, with visions of pastrami sandwiches dancing in our heads... only to discover the world's longest lineup.
Kilby actually walked right in.
And got kicked right back out.
I guess the location of the infamous Meg Ryan orgasm garners more attention than we'd given proper credit for. We ended up at an East Village Irish pub across the street called 'One and One.' If I had a pub or deli nearby, I would put out a sign for the tourists saying, "People have had orgasms here too, you know."
We dined on not-so-delectable pub grub, had a drink in the sunshine... and moved on. Microwaved nachos inundated with bean water. Stella actually complained. I had indulged in a wee bit too much wine the night prior, so it was 'literally' One and One for me...
I was determined to have cheesecake, but as everyone knows, as soon as you’re looking for cheesecake, there is no cheesecake in sight.
I had no idea where I was... I was wandering.
I'd walked out of the hotel that day, determined to see all of New York... and by the time I got to Cafe Belle, I'd already done approximately 3.5 miles. Pretty good for someone with a bum knee!
This quaint and charming little Italian cafe was right in the heart of downtown NYC, in Nolita.
Right there, in the deli counter, was a delicious little dessert, just screaming at me, "Eat me!" It looked like chocolate cheesecake... and the girl behind the counter was so sweet, I almost felt an obligation to try it!
It was a very rich and very decadent, colourful marzipan cake... but definitely NOT cheesecake.
Eternally though, I will think of it as my very own 'modern twist' cheesecake!
I just sat there, devoured my delicious (and highly fattening) treat, accompanied by a box of kids apple juice... and watched the Big Apple go by.
Thumbs up... and the decor was fabulous!💙
Come in as a stranger, leave as a friend … that was Flannery’s.
This little locals gem was recommended to us by our food tour guide, Joe. We asked for a place to go for a cheap beer and we got it! This was the ultimate in local’s hang out.
One might call it a dive bar, but… it wasn’t really.
It was simple. Traditional… routine.
There was nothing touristy about Flannery’s, yet no one that went in expected that.
Dartboards. Sports 24/6 on the big screen TVs. Pac Man.
And the prices were reasonable!
If everything was priced according to Flannery’s, New York City would be so much more affordable!