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Eating My Way Through The Big Apple

June 28, 2011

New York, New York, the city so nice they named it twice.

Yes, I’m back in the Big Apple for a few days of work in the city. It’s always fun to visit and discover the latest trends and fads in NYC. It doesn’t take much to impress me, though. A complimentary glass of white wine while checking into the Cooper Square Hotel was way more thrilling than it ought to be.

One year ago, I was backpacking through Australia and New Zealand with a beat-up duffel bag, eating makeshift meals made in hostel kitchens and sharing dorm-style bunkbeds with 12 other people. Today, my hotel has a view of the Empire State Building.

By day:

By night:

How things change in a year, eh?

And no Easy Mac and rice-and-beans while traveling this week! I’ve eaten ridiculously well today. For lunch, my coworkers introduced me to arrepas at Caracas in the East Village. It was my first time eating this Venezuelan delight — similar to a pupusa or empanada — and I loved this hole-in-the-wall, cozy restaurant with incredible menu items.

I copied my coworkers and ordered La del Gato: guayanés cheese, fried sweet plantains and avocado slices.

Empanadas are the hot thing in DC right now — Panas and Julia’s Empanadas are both just minutes from my house — but I haven’t seen arrepas yet in the city. Anyone have a tip?

After work, I met my friend Lauren for dinner at Yama in the West Village. She fled DC for NYC last summer and has an awesome job that keeps her in the city, but I keep giving ‘friendly’ nudges for her to move back to Washington.

Massive amounts of sushi were consumed in Yapas’ adorable outdoor garden.

… and this was just my portion! I didn’t quite finish it all because Lauren insisted was go out for fro yo. The girl is persistent! 😉 Thankfully a Phileo Yogurt was just down the street and we enjoyed our yogurt — thin mint and cappuccino fro yo topped with Reese’s and M&Ms, natch — while walking around the Village.

Every time I come to New York, I start thinking that maybe I should move up here for a year. My job would transfer and I have plenty of friends in the city.

But then I remember how much I love Washington and that New York is an easy 2.5-hour train or 4-hour bus ride away. The best of both worlds!

Former roomie Brittany spent the night with me at the hotel last night so she would be closer to an early-morning audition today, so we’re off to grab breakfast before parting ways. More great food is planned for today so stay tuned!

Have you tried arrepas? Would you want to live in New York?

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Andrew permalink
    June 28, 2011 7:35 am

    My dad and I had arepas at Shachi’s (in Williamsburg right under the bridge) last year. We loved them so much my dad bought the special cornmeal they use and made some homemade ones, which were delicious as well. If you’re looking for some good vegetarian street food, go see the dosa man in Washington Square Park. Order the Jaffna Lunch (lentil pancakes stuffed with a spicy dry chutney), pick a bench, and enjoy.

    • June 28, 2011 8:19 am

      Thanks for the lunch tip! I think falafel is on the schedule for today but maybe I’ll walk over to Washington Square Park tomorrow for lunch. Yum!

  2. June 28, 2011 7:59 am

    Looks like you’re having a great time! What a beautiful view from your hotel room. Can’t beat that, hmm?!

    As much as I love NYC, I don’t think I’d want to live there – at least not in the hustle-and-bustle part. The energy is amazing, but I think I’d crave the quiet sometimes, too. Maybe somewhere a bit more removed? In any case, it’s only an hour and a half away by train, so I’m happy to just visit a few times each year 🙂

    • June 28, 2011 8:20 am

      I know – I saw that you were just here! We’re always missing each other! 🙂

      • June 28, 2011 12:42 pm

        It’s so strange that it ALWAYS seems to work out that way for us. Not in August, though — so looking forward to finally getting together 🙂

  3. June 28, 2011 8:37 am

    I love arepas! There was an excellent Cuban restaurant called Flaco’s in Gainesville, FL where my roommates and I used to go all the time. My favorite had Queso Blanco and a fried egg- delicious! They didn’t have the option of one with any vegetables on it – I would have loved that even more!

    • June 28, 2011 9:48 am

      Oooh the fried egg sounds REALLY good! There were so many to choose from that I copied what everyone else got and it was delicious — need to go back in the future and try more varieties! They also let you sub tofu for meat in any of them, which was a nice option.

  4. June 28, 2011 11:52 am

    I want to visit NYC before I decide if I could live there but the amount of amazing food there is big enough o a draw for me! I’m not sure if i could live in such a tiny apartment though? I’ve had an arepa and they are some seriously cheesy goodness when I had one!

  5. Kristin permalink
    June 28, 2011 9:18 pm

    I was JUST in NYC! I got back to Des Moines late last night. Dang!!!

    My brother lives in Brooklyn in Sunset Park. We ate at some AWESOME Mexican places (Tacos Matamoros for the small tacos was the bombbbb), but my favorite neighborhood in Brooklyn is always Cobble Hill. The best places (in my humble opinion) are Stinky BKLYN cheese shop, Cubana Cafe, Cafe Luluc, and The Jake Walk! The patios there are great right now.

    We also ate at this awesome restaurant in Manhattan’s Chinatown called Hop Kee. And a great pizza place with amazing atmosphere is John’s on Bleecker Street, and my all-time favorite bagels are Murray’s in Greenwich Village (I think)!

    Just my most recent recommendations! I have now been five times and still can’t tell if I’d want to live there, though I love to visit! It doesn’t compare with London though, in my mind. 🙂

    • June 28, 2011 11:53 pm

      Yum, I need to write down these places to visit on future NYC trips. So many places to eat, so little time!

      I’m in the Village so I’ll see if Murray’s is anywhere near me. My coworkers have been great about recommending restaurants because I’d much rather eat somewhere recommended by a local than just wandering into the nearest cafe.

      We just missed each other! Are you going to HLS?

      • Kristin permalink
        June 29, 2011 11:29 am

        Nope, I don’t really know anything about HLS except what I read on some bloggers’ blogs. I thought only bloggers could go?!


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