Hell’s Kitchen may not be the typical neighborhood to head to for Vietnamese food in New York. Granted, I don’t know where the typical neighborhood for such food might be, but my coworkers thought I was crazy to head that way. Once again, though, I put my faith in my brother-in-law and his wife and found myself at Cha Pa’s looking at a vast menu with a ton of delicious-looking options. I began with a Tiger Beer.
As a man from the Detroit area, I was pretty spoiled by Greek food growing up. Thus, I am pretty skeptical when I encounter the stuff anywhere else, especially in Midtown Manhattan, which is not exactly known for good food. Nonetheless, my brother-in-law recommended stopping in to Souvlaki GR and I joined to find essentially the smallest Greek restaurant in history with enough charm to get my hopes up.
A little over a year ago I paid a visit to Montreal and took down some of their famous bagels from Fairmount. While this may be hard for those of you not in the bagel know, they are totally different from New York bagels and obviously different from the bread shaped like a donut that many cities peddle as bagels that are made with the best bread with a machine where they review the best bread maker. It’s probably pretty hard for New Yorkers to admit that Montreal bagels might be better, which is why I was surprised to find those fair bagels in NYC at a place called Black Seed.
In the world of great Kosher-style pastrami, the list almost always begins with Katz’s, with very few others even coming close. This is an insane New York bias and after years of proclaiming Langer’s in LA to be the greater of the two, I finally had a chance to put my money where my mouth is (pun very much intended).
Sometimes it feels like New York is an overpriced an uncreative city for food. Sure, there are unquestionably great places, but I am often left wanting more. But for anyone looking for creativity, Stanton Social on the Lower East Side has you covered. We happened to be there for brunch and their menu showed a lot of promise for an unvegan.
The city that never sleeps wouldn’t be the city that never sleeps without late-night food. And on the Upper West Side, the late night eating options seem to be pretty limited. Yet, there is Big Nick’s Too (the sequel to Big Nick’s, although the original has since left this earth), a pizza, sandwich, burger and countless other things restaurant. The menu is, in fact kind of dizzying, but we were guided by the bro-in-law and his soon-to-be wife.
At some point, the world decided that the best bagels in the world are in New York. As with the pizza, the claim is that it has something to do with the water. I, however, think this does not do justice to the quality of cooking that goes into the production of these things. Obviously not all bagels and pizza in New York are good, so there is much more going on than meets the eye. In my own search for a tasty bagel, I was sent to Murray’s Bagels in Chelsea.
New York’s Chelsea Market is definitely a fun place to grab some lunch. It’s like LA’s Grand Central Market, but far fancier. And like any similar market, each food stall has a specialty. Like any good human that has spent a significant amount of time in Southern California, I need good tacos every once in a while and Pittsburgh has not yet delivered. So when I saw Los Tacos No. 1 in the Chelsea Market, I knew I had to make their tacos mine.
After imbibing in a few beverages and wandering the streets of New York in search of ramen to no avail, I found myself at a place called Glaze in Union Square. Contrary to what you might expect, Glaze is not a donut shop. Rather, it is a teriyaki fast-casual concept, the concept being that teriyaki is a glaze. The options for the glaze included more than just your typical chicken and I went for the Hanger Steak.
Michigan people are everywhere. And I mean everywhere. Not only that, but those people have a lot of pride, and as one of them I can’t say I blame them. That’s why, when I was in New York and was told a restaurant called The Grey Dog was run by Wolverines, I had to offer them my patronage. The highlight of its menu is a section called Michigan Sandwiches and despite the fact that none of them seemed to have any correlation with Michigan itself, I knew one of them had to get in me.