The line to my wife, Berkley, when she said she wanted to get bagels this morning was, "a bagel is just a bagel lets get something interesting instead". Needless to say I'm officially a convert. We went to Tal Bagel on 1st ave near 55th St in Manhattan. I ordered the Salt Bagel with scallion cream cheese and lox, with an iced coffee to help with the 100 degree heat. The outside of the bagel was crisp and the inside was pillowy but had a really toothsome bite. The salt on the top in retrospect was a little to salty, but at the time I was loving every bite. I'd go back to New York just to get another one of these.
On our last day in New York we decided to revisit a hot dog joint we had gone to months earlier, in Vancouver, called Japadog. They have different house made sausages and hotdogs that they top with traditional japanese ingredients, for example KEWPIE mayo, tamari, shoyu bbq sauce, nori, shredded daikon, etc. I love these combinations, and it sure livens up a traditional hot dog. I ordered the Terimayo, a traditional dog topped with KEWPIE mayo, nori, and a sweet teriyaki sauce. My wife ordered the Oroshi, a german bratwurst topped with wasabi mayo, grated daikon, and scallions. We loved every bite, we plan to go back and further explore the vast menu.
Mario Batali has done a wonderful job at creating a European style open air market. It was well into the 90's in Manhattan and to escape into an air conditioned food theme park was about as wonderful of a thing as I could ask for. Meats, cheeses, fish, pasta the list of goodies seemed endless. We had to start somewhere, so we ordered a dozen oysters. Sweet, briny, and topped with freshly grated horseradish, lemon and home made hot sauce. They were a perfect cool treat after the 90+ heat outside.
I forgot to mention the wonderful fragrant bread they brought before the oysters, but what shined through even more then the bread was the olive oil. Barbera Lorenzo #3, this oil had a delicate floral note with a spicy pepper finish, it complimented the house made bread perfectly.
I want to be a part of it! Well, not really, but I like to visit from time to time.
We left Meeker yesterday morning to get to Denver to make our flight, in the late afternoon. It was a bit of a drive, but it was beautiful. The Glenwood Pass was spectacular. When we finally made it to Denver our first stop was REI. I could live there. This was their flagship store, so it was huge and like 3 stories. We got a safari shirt for Seth and picked up my sleeping bag. It was a wonderful store.
Then, thanks to Yelp, we found a restaurant called The Euclid Kitchen. I'm so happy Seth found and chose this place, because it was the most interesting, creative menu I've seen in a while. Everything is house made, which is a huge deal. We started off with their mushroom poutine which was complex and earthy and oh so good. How can you go wrong when there's thick, brown mushroom gravy, Wisconsin cheddar cheese curds, mushrooms and fries in one place? Well, you can't.
We, also ordered their house pickles. If you know me, you know I adore anything pickled, and this was no exception.
So, for my entree, I ordered the sausage sampler. Man, oh man, it was one delectable tube of meat after another! They came on a bed of cidered cabbage, which was good, but I was busy with the sausage. The plate came with four of their house made mustards, which were pretty good, but once again, were overshadowed by the sausage. And, though they were all very good, my favorite was the beef kielbasa.
It was so good that I ended up eating just enough sausage and drinking just enough amazing beer, that my stomach was angry with me for a few hours. Let's hope I don't make this a habit!
Denver International Airport was way less of a hassle than LAX ever is. Driving into the airport was simple and there weren't police sent there just to tell you that you have to move after standing still for 3.5 seconds, and security lines were quick and efficient. The flight was ok from Denver to New York. It's going to be interesting to compare all of the airlines that we sample throughout our trip.
So, New York City! After sitting on the tarmac for about 45 minutes, we made it into the city at about midnight. We are staying with Amy, one of Seth's good friends from College. Right off the bat, we were able to experience something that I've noticed that many New Yorkers take a lot of pride in; the heat. There happens to be a heat wave in the city right now, but many refuse to use their AC units if they have them, or to go buy one if they don't. It's almost like a rite of passage. Amy's place was hot, but Seth wasted no time in noticing her AC unit on the wall, and turning it on for the first time. It kinda worked. Needless to say, we're going to have to get used to sleeping in warm places.
The next morning, we woke up and Amy made us cold mimosas. Yum! Then, we braved the city heat in search of some camera supplies and delicious food. We ended up visiting Eataly, Mario Batali's indoor European style market. It was heaven. Meats, cheeses, and seafood everywhere! We shared a dozen amazing oysters, a charcuterie plate, and poked around the aisles, enjoying the air conditioning. This place is a must for anyone in the NY area. We finished off our visit to Eataly with some gelato that turned into soup immediately after leaving the Eataly doors. Yep, it was still hot outside.
We did a lot of walking around the city. We walked along the Sky Walk (I think that's what it was called), an old railroad line that extends across the city above the streets. It was really nice. It was quieter and green and we were able to view the city from a different vantage point that was refreshing.
We ended up meeting Louie and Flute at their place for drinks before we scrambled for a dinner spot. We ended up at Marlow and Sons, and my cousin Jesse and his girlfriend Molly, joined us, along with Amy and Aaron. It was really nice to have a group of our friends, whom we don't see very often, around a table sharing a meal. I, always, think it's amazing when people are brought together like that. It feels so good. Though I was so excited to see everyone, it was a special treat to see my cousin Jesse. Though I could probably count on my hands how many times we've spent time together, it's always so easy to talk to Jesse. He's a good guy and I wish we could spend more time together. And it was really nice to finally meet Molly.
Dinner at Marlow and Sons was amazing and dessert was spectacular. Truffle toast, oysters, rabbit and mussels, and sweet cream ice cream drenched in candied pine nuts and olive oil. A feast! New York never disappoints my taste buds. And though there are many things about the city that I really like (public transportation and the forced visibility of all its residents, food, central park), I don't think I could live here. I could probably swing a year living in NYC, but after that I may go crazy. It's too much of a city. And, I don't feel clean at the end of the day. I feel I need to shower if I'm going to be at 'home'. Maybe that's the LA girl inside of me talking, but I can't hang with the city grime!