Foodie Saturday – Part One

To continue the report on my recent trip to New York…I give you Foodie Saturday. Looking back, I always realize I should have taken way more photos. This day was no exception. I really wish I had been more focused – so to speak.

It started mid-morning with a walking tour of Greenwich Village with stops at five food purveyors. Bruce Scher of Walking Tours Manhattan introduced the tasty tidbits during the two-hour tour. We got a range of typical New York experiences with stops at three bakeries, a pizza place and an Indian restaurant. That list may seem a little heavy on the baked goods, but for me it was fine, carb nut that I am. The bakeries included a bagel baker, a cupcake place and an Italian pastry shop.

The first stop was Magnolia Bakery, made famous by Sex and the City. I didn’t realize it at the time, but this cupcake would turn out to be the second best one of the day. I had lots of cupcakes that day. Thinking they would all live up to their reputations (HAH!), I was somewhat disappointed in this first one of the bunch.

The cake was soft and tender. I had no idea that would be a rare trait in New York cupcakes! The icing was on the slimey side -with little body and too much butter…or, honestly…maybe a butter substitute. It was kind of weird. But things got more and more weird on the cupcake front. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, we stopped for bagels and cream cheese at Hudson Bagels…on Hudson Street, natch! (They apparently have no website.)

The bagel was OK, but frankly, I like Einstein Brothers better. It wasn’t very brown, and the outer crust was not very “toothy.” But, maybe that’s the way New Yorkers like it. The cream cheese was different. At first I thought it was amazing, but as I continued, I realized it had a strong undertaste that I didn’t particularly like.

On we went! Next was a vegetable roll at Surya, an Indian restaurant on Bleeker Street. This was the best item on the tour! I’m not much for Indian food, but this was really good. It was similar to a spring roll, but filled with a curried mix of veggies, including potatoes. Yum! Following that was pizza. Hmmmmmm…

Pizza was less than impressive. We stopped at Joe’s Pizza, (Bleeker and Carmine Streets) where quite a crowd had gathered. I had high hopes! It was thin crust, but in place of a crispy texture, it was soft and floppy….almost as if it was underdone. I know New Yorkers like to fold their slices, and these were definitely foldable. So, maybe that was the goal. But, that’s not all. It was largely flavorless. I expect Italian food to be heavy with garlic and herbs like oregano and basil. If there were herbs on this pizza, they were few and far between. On the plus side, the sauce was light and seemed to have been made from fresh tomatoes. But all in all…kinda boring. There are no photos from Joe’s (and several other places) because I couldn’t juggle my camera, food, purse, water and beat off the crowd at the same time. Eating while standing on a street corner doesn’t leave much opportunity to do anything else!

Finally, we made our way back to Bleeker Street, where we stopped for canolli at Rocco’s. Their website is under construction, but they have an active Facebook page. There was a bit of a wait here, but the canolli was lovely. It was a great wrap-up for our little food adventure.

On the way out of Greenwich Village, we stopped to people watch and listen to music at Washington Square park. The temperature was climbing, and I began to envy this guy!

I know I haven’t had a lot of positive things to say about the food we experienced on our tour, but it was great fun! Just having a chance to experience a variety of typical New York fare in the heart of one of its most famous neighborhoods was well worth the modest price!

After our group parted ways, I went on to explore Chelsea on my own and ended up walking all the way back to our borrowed apartment in the East Village! It was my own version of the Cupcake Crawl…and there will be more on that experience in the next installment.

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