When friends and family inquire about Manhattan, the No. 1 topic is food. What are you eating? Have you had pizza? How’s the food? The exception is Nicole who asks about yoga studios and running in the park.
So, today I present a food rundown.
Everyone in Manhattan knows Stiles Market is the place for cheap, but good produce. My roommate told me about it the day I got here. So did a friend.
My other regular stop is the Amish Market up the street from me. They have a cafeteria-style set-up of prepared foods you purchase by weight. The bakery area is filled with delectable treats. They also have the staples like peanut butter, Craisins, cereal, etc. It’s expensive by Seattle standards, but not bad for New York.
As I mentioned yesterday, I had my first proper New York bagel yesterday from Ess-A-Bagel. I now concede that whatever those things were I got from Safeway or Bruegger’s Bagel Bakery were not in fact bagels.
I love pizza. California, Chicago and New York. All OK in my book. I got a $1 slice down the street. It was good. The $2.60 slice was better. The crust is soft and chewy. The toppings don’t have to be elaborate. I suppose you could do pizza badly (ahem Mad Moose Pizza in Bremerton, Wash.), but I don’t think New Yorkers would tolerate bad pizza.
The other night I had happy hour with co-workers at a Belgian pub in Times Square. Since I had an hour after work before drinks, I decided to find a cheaper place to grab dinner. I ducked into what looked like a convenience store, but had a sign in the window for pizza. What I found was a sizable cafeteria-style spread. Like at Amish, you pay by the weight. After looking over my options, I decided on a Chinese meal. Dumplings, fried rice and a quesadilla-type thing filled with chicken and Chinese spices. It wasn’t fast-food quality ingredients. The food was pretty good, and I spent about $5.
I also mentioned Justin Timberlake’s restaurant, Southern Hospitality, which is right next door to my building. I ordered to-go Southern specialties. JT’s mac & cheese wasn’t so great. I prefer mine baked, not stovetop cheese sauce, but if you’re not the baked type, you might appreciate his simple recipe. I had that with a pulled pork sandwich and fries for about $20. I did get two meals out of the portions though.
The crepe place I mentioned yesterday was also amazing. I could eat there everyday. Except I don’t want to buy $8 crepes everyday.