Living in New York, Andy and I have a lot of visitors. Each visitor is here for a different experience – some for shopping (my girlfriends), some for sight-seeing (Andy’s guy friends), and some for one-on-one time with us (Andy’s parents). So I was excited when my food blogging friend, Amanda Simpson, said she was coming to town because I knew she was here for the eating. Amanda is the cook and photographer behind What We’re Eating and the popular site (and now book), Food Porn Daily, which is basically just one drool-inducing, porny food photo after another. Check it out.
We started our Saturday with brunch at Café D’Alsace, our regular weekend brunch spot just around the corner. Andy and I split French Onion Soup (I can hardly go there without ordering it) and German Berry Pancakes. Amanda has a frisée salad with a (perfectly) poached egg and lardons. One thing about Amanda: the girl loves bacon or anything that comes from a pig (so much so that she has an old butcher’s diagram of a pig tattooed on her side).
Next stop, Greenwich Village where we hit up Murray’s Cheese Shop. The selection is extensive and the knowledgeable and friendly cheesemongers will give you a taste of anything and all the information you ever wanted to know about it too. We sample all manner of cured meats and cheeses and leave with a bag full of booty (my favorite, the speck). Andy is sad that they do not have jerky. So is Amanda.
We head for Chinatown which is right next to Little Italy (we now refer to this area as Chitaly). We have every intention of only wandering around Chinatown, but as we turn the corner I see a beautiful sign, “Ferrara’s.” Suddenly I remember a man at Blogher Food telling me that the best Cannolis in all of New York are from Ferrara’s. Andy nor Amanda are big on sweets, but how could we resist the best of anything? We wait in a long queue and order one Cannoli. We each have a bite. The best indeed. Pastry with a good crunch, filled with sweet, creamy filling.
Not about to give up on the jerky, Andy manages to locate an Asian jerky shop around the corner. This isn’t jerky as you know it – it’s better. Andy and Amanda each order a bag, a 1/2 pound each. They can hardly wait until we leave the shop before ripping open the bag and tearing into the sheets of warm, spicy meat.
Last stop. (I’m sure you’re wondering how we have room for more at this point. Our secret? Little and often.) We pass The Paris Sandwich Bakery Café, known for its Bánh mì, Vietnamese sandwiches, combining the French baguette with the flavors of the East. Crusty, crunchy white baguette filled with pork meatballs, cilantro, shredded carrots and cucumber and some seriously delicious sauce. We order one and split it.
I text Sharon and let her know about our food antics and she asks if we’re having a “food international identity crisis.” I Reply, “Yes, and loving it.”
Lucky for me and Andy, we don’t have to eat dinner, but Amanda’s off for a tasting menu dinner with her sister and friends. She sleeps sitting up that night. We eat light the next day.