Diary of a foodie: 6 days worth of reviews (really long)
I just wanted to thank everyone for sharing their recs for food in manhattan. I had a really great time trying everything, however, there were definitely some places that I failed to try and will consider for next time. A couple of things that I didn't realise:
a) how busy restaurants can get
b) waiting in line is a given
c) that restaurants have a hard time catering to 5 people
d) a lot of places are closed on mondays
So here's the recap, enjoy. Hopefully, this will help someone else. Just a warning: we mainly ate on the go, therefore, we mainly grabbed snack-type food.
The 6 of arrived in nyc at 6pm, tried to catch the montreal-rangers hockey game at a sports bar. Had a hard time finding one since baseball was playing in a majority of them. Ended up at Stills and the canadians lost (boo!). For dinner, a friend wanted korean barbeque so ended up on W. 32nd st at Wonjo. It was good: they offer a huge variety of condiments that we never had before in Montreal and the portions were abundant, my friends liked it a lot.
We were in Nolita that day so we grabbed lunch at Cafe Habana, there were no seats so we ended up eating outside in the cold. That was a main theme of the trip, eating outside in the cold. My friends' cubain sandwiches were decent, huge proportions and moist but a little bland. I preferred my grilled steak sandwich, really juicy and tasty. I tried the mexican corn and that I enjoyed it a lot, I can see that being a good snack. The espresso with milk was weak though.
MARY'S FISH CAMP
At night, my boyfriend and I defected from the group and went to Mary's fish camp. It required a wait of 45 minutes so that wasn't bad at all. I finally got to try the lobster roll and I loved it! It looked small at first but my first bite bew me away with the chunks of lobster oozing out of it. The sauce was creamy but not overpowering, I could still taste the meat. The curly string fries complemented it well. And of course, I went for the brooklyn brewery lager. My boyfriend had the lobster pot pie, it was good but paled in comparaison to my roll. I really enjoyed the fact that they were not skimping out on the lobster. A good neighbourhood restaurant, very cozy & great service.
BROOKLYN BREWERY, JOE SUPERRETTE, ICE CREAM FACTORY & GRIMALDI'S
We went to brooklyn for the day. Since this is the manhattan board, I will keep details to a minimum. Went to brooklyn brewery, tried the IPA and antwerpen ale, really good local beer. Made it all the way to Joe Superette, I was curious about the infamous prosciutto balls and it was really good. Didn't know what to expect so it was a nice surprise. Had the stromboli also and that was really good, the sausage, prosciutto and cheese were really flavourful. Grabbed ice cream at the ice cream factory, very creamy, flavours were limited but overall high quality. Went to grimaldi's, the line was outrageously long so ordered to go instead. We tried the cheese pizza, and we had to eat it outside. It was really good when it was hot. It was mainly the crust that blew me away, very thin and chewy. The sauce was just plain tomato sauce, needed a little more flavour.
MOMOFUKU NOODLE BAR
We came back to manhattan and grabbed more snacks. We took out the Momofuku pork buns, at nine dollars for 2, they failed to impress. I admit that they were of really good quality: the pao bun was really milky and fluffy, the berkshire pork was really good meat (good fat:meat ratio) and the cucumber made it refreshing however, it wasn't instant wow for me. It left a good aftertaste but it was just simply okay.
Stopped by otafuku to try the takoyaki and okonomiyaki, I was really looking forward to trying japanese street food since it's not available in Montreal. However, the balls were really soft and wet, I am not sure if they were supposed to be chewier but I expected them to be. Maybe it was really busy and the balls were undercooked. The pancake was tasty but they put a bit too much sauce and bonito flakes and therefore, it was a little too overpowering for me.
Had some light and fragrant dessert at Cha-An, a japanese tea house. It was a nice ending to the day, since we have been trying lots of food the whole day. The green & earl grey tea chocolate-filling mochi balls were delicious. The chocolate was so smooth, creamy and not overwhelmingly sweet. The flavour was enhanced by the subtle tea-flavoured rice flour shell. Very subtle and very good. We also tried a different type of dessert, an apple pie inspired dessert with sweet potato purée and caramel ice cream. I never had anything like it, the sweet potato and apple with flaky pastry went well together. Again not so sweet and not too heavy. My other friends had the chef's choice and that was really good too. LIttle unexpected delights were served: persimmon tiramisu, peanut butter japanese dessert, chocolate mousse, green tea macarons. There were a variety of tea served so it was a relaxing experience. Good service as well. Everyone really enjoyed it.
Since we were in the neighbourhood, we grabbed some more japanese pastries at Konmyuna Kitchen. Always very light, delicious and leaves a good aftertaste.
AMY'S BREAD (CHELSEA MARKET)
I grabbed a sandwich here, a NY State cheddar sandwich with tomatoes, a pepper & chipotle jelly & coriander. It was a grilled cheese sandwich in the end but it good enough for me. The coriander was a nice touch. The sourdough bread was chewy and not over-pressed. Again, cafe latté was weak, too much milk.
A SALT & BATTERY
Yummy, I wish we had a place like this back home, fresh moist, flaky fish with a nice golden, not too heavy batter. I added some salt and it was delicious. Perfect snack on a cold day. And it reminded me of the fish'n chips in London, except not in whole fish form but close enough in flavour. My friends tried the fried mars bar and they liked it a lot.
Yes, I am embarassed to say we fell in the tourist trap. But my friend really wanted it, 30 minutes later, we came out with 6 easter coloured cupcakes. Too much icing: really heavy and sweet. The cake bottoms were average. I don't think any of us will ever come back.
Stopped by the coffee shop to get my kick, I tried a yamamaté latté, strong and good flavour. Not watered-down and enough tea & coffee taste. I just wanted to try something different.
My friend's guide reccommended this place for soba. We were all satisfied with our appetizers, I had the Uni tororo (urchin with japanese yam), it looked disgusting once mixed with soya & wasabi but it was really good and refreshing. I never had anything like this back home. The soba was underpar, the broth was too sour and lacked flavour. The fishcake and mushroom toppings were average.
I had a chai zing and it was definitely a rush. Really strong coffee but really good proportions, the expresso didn't overpower the chai and vice-versa. I really enjoyed it. I admit, I should have tried the cafe latté but I have never seen a drink like it back home so I had to try it.
Dim sum was average, nothing spectacular. The options were a bit limiting.
I have been meaning to try this place and I finally got the chance. I had a shroom burger and my boyfriend had the double shack. We were so won over by it that we had to have another one, so we shared a shake stack. It was really simple food but it really hit the spot. The bread was actually pretty good too. The shroom patty caught me by surprise, I didn't expect it to be like that but really good. And another delightful surprise was the concreat jungle, it was freezing cold but we really enjoyed every bite. The banana bits were fantastic. Good summer treat.
Since we were staying in financial district, we grabbed a quick lunch before heading back home. The rice bowls were cheap and abundant, a good quick lunch if you are looking for one in this neighbourhood.
So that's it!!! Thanks again for the suggestions, I know many have suggested places that I didn't end up trying but I will keep it in mind for next time ie. sushi yasuda, degustation, uminoie, spotted pig, chikalicious, pampano taqueria, etc. So if anyone is visiting Montreal, I will be glad to reccommend some of my favourites.