Blogging Black Hole & Eating Tour of NYC
|May 31, 2010||Posted by Lauren under Misc|
As I’ve said many times on this blog, I believe that life is all about balance. Balancing work with play, exercise with rest, healthy food with huge 90-gallon ice cream sundaes…and life with blogging.
This weekend, I fell into a bit of a black hole in the blog world. I was actually in NYC with the HOTR-family for a weekend of celebrations – HOTR Sister #2’s graduation from her Master’s program (Congratulations Christina!!), my birthday, and HOTR Sister #3’s birthday! I thought I’d have time to blog, but that obviously did not happen. So while I loved hearing your thoughts about treadmill running, I’m sorry for the lack of replies. I promise that I read every one (with the help of my phone!) and really appreciate you taking the time share your experiences and feedback.
So what did I do instead of blog (hard to imagine there’s anything else, right? )? The weekend was spent walking around Manhattan until my feet were ready to fall off, eating lots and lots of amazing food, and spending time with some new friends:
All of these were taken at the Central Park Zoo. It’s crazy to think all of this exists right in the center of a busy city.
We also went to some amazing restaurants and ate delicious food that unfortunately went unpictured.
A quick confession. Up until a few days ago, I actually haven’t had a working camera. So with the exception of the few times I was able to steal borrow a camera from my mom or EC, I have actually been taking most of the pictures for this blog with my iPhone. I finally got a working camera for my birthday, and am excited to be able to take pictures with the ability to zoom!
So if you are planning a visit to NYC and need some restaurant recommendations, I leave you with the following HOTR-family approved suggestions:
Patsy’s Italian Restaurant, located in the theater district. This family owned restaurant was apparently Frank Sinatra’s favorite. They have a large menu with lots of authentic Neapolitan dishes…and mouth watering desserts. HOTR-sister #3 (also known as Caitlin) and I split the Eggplant Parmigiana and the Linguine al Pesto. While we liked both, the pesto was definitely my favorite of the two. I’m pretty picky about my eggplant parm (it’s actually my favorite meal), and I found this one to be a bit too chewy for my taste. But the pesto was very flavorful. I loved that it wasn’t drowning in oil, which seems to happen at a lot of restaurants.
And even though we were all full from our large plates of pasta, it was impossible to say no to dessert when the waiter rolled an entire cart full of delicacies to the table.
Josie’s Restaurant (west-side location). For a lighter meal at a restaurant that offers many vegetarian and vegan options made with organic ingredients (as well as free range meat/poultry/eggs), I highly recommend Josie’s. I love going to restaurants where there are more than 2 menu items for me to choose between (a rare treat for a vegetarian!). I ordered their All Veggie Meatloaf, made with organic lentils, seitan, shitake mushrooms, and sweet potatoes and topped with a miso gravy…all over a bed of sautéed baby bok choy. It was delicious and packed with flavor. They also offer a variety of salads as well as their own homemade veggie burgers (also delicious).
Maoz Vegetarian. This “quick service vegetarian” restaurant is actually an international chain. The concept is wonderfully simple. Their basic sandwich is simply a pita filled with handmade (gluten-free!) falafel. A standard pita comes with hummus, falafel, eggplant and greens. You can spice it up by adding a variety of toppings and sauces from their salad bar. Or you can skip the pita and get a salad instead. This was actually my family’s first time trying falafel and I was so happy that they all loved it!
And finally – dessert. If you’re ever in NYC, you really must visit Serendipity at least once. They have three locations in Manhattan. We went to Serendipity 3 on the Upper East Side, which is actually the restaurant that was featured in the movie Serendipity.
Because it’s so well known, the wait is long, but it’s totally worth it! I would suggest going early and putting your name in, and then going out for dinner someplace else while you wait. We put our name in early on Saturday night (around 5:30) and still waited for an hour and a half before getting a table!
Serendipity is most famous for their frozen hot chocolate, but they’re also the home of giant ice cream sundaes, including a world record-holding $1,000 sundae. Apparently this baby contains flecks of real gold (it better for 1,000 bucks!) and is served in a crystal bowl with a bejeweled spoon. Unfortunately you have to order it 48 hours in advance, and since my family did not plan that far ahead (and aren’t actually royal dignitaries or any sort of celebrity), we had to pass. The sundaes we did order, however, did not disappoint! We tried the “Can’t Say No” Sundae (humble pie [which is creamy pb with a graham cracker crust] + ice cream + banana + hot fudge + whipped cream) and the Forbidden Broadway Sundae (chocolate Blackout cake + ice cream + hot fudge + whipped cream). I loved them both equally. My only complaint is that I don’t get one of these every day of the week!
After a wonderful weekend of food and family, it’s now back to reality. I haven’t forgotten about the Shape Up Summer Challenge. Stay tuned for the kick-off tomorrow!
Happy Memorial Day!