A few weeks ago we were lucky enough to be invited to a wedding upstate New York. We thought that if we were going to travel all that way then we may as well make a holiday out of it.
The day after the ceremony we took a train from Beacon, NY to Manhattan. Seeing as this trip was only 10 weeks until our big trip we decided to start our blogging and YouTube channel from here.
We began our first day at the Vessel one of New York’s newest structures located in Hudson Yards. It is an amazing design, honeycombed walkways rising into the air with clear copper reflective surfaces all around. We were too early to climb up but we enjoyed having our morning coffee, while looking at ourselves in its reflection.
The city has transformed one of its old overhead railway lines into a walk/urban garden called “The High Line”. This is a walk we have done on a previous trip but we liked it so much, we decided to do it again. It starts at the Vessel in Hudson Yards and takes you south towards Chelsea, the location of stop two.
Our second stop is the famous Chelsea Market on 75th and 9th. There are a large number of vendors to choose from. Fresh fruit to deep fried mozzarella. It still being early we went with the standard NYC staple, the cream cheese bagel.
The bagel was absolutely amazing, perfectly soft with a beautiful layer of cream cheese. It really hit the spot. We headed to our next stop but not before grabbing a side of Sushi for the journey from the fresh seafood bar.
Stop number 3 was the one I was looking forward to the most. Instagram, YouTube Food Blogs, no matter where you look when researching spots in NYC Katz Deli always comes up.
It is an old style Jewish deli but in a 21st century twist. You are greeted as you enter by having a ticket handed to you, this is VERY important. Lose it and you pay $50.00 just for the privilege of entering this historic eatery. Moving past the welcome wagon the Deli is alive with diners. Katz is a well oiled machine, one wall reserved for table service, the middle isles are tables for self service and on the far wall, the main attraction, the ordering counter. A line of Cutters expertly carving meat, before constructing this masterpiece.
We decided to split this MONSTER sandwich and it was one of the best things we ate on this trip. Going for a mix of Pastrami and Corn Beef, it was perfection between two slices of bread. Warm, succulent and hugh, everything you want in a sandwich. The sandwich comes with a side of pickles, which gives a nice contrast and we washed it down with a custom made Katz IPA, not bad for lunchtime.
Remember the ticket I mentioned? This is how you keep track of what you order and settle the bill. For each item you order it’s marked on the paper and you settle up on the way out.
The rest of the afternoon was spent exploring the city by foot and making room for dinner and stop number 4. A quick pit stop back at the hotel and a change of clothes we were ready to tackle dinner.
We have been lucky enough to have eaten pizza in Italy but NYC is up there as some of the best in the world. We headed to one of its most famous, John’s of Bleaker Street. This place is a New York institution and the que out the door showed us we were onto a winner. After a short wait we were guided to our booth, moving through the pizzeria we walked along walls lined with pictures of celebrities. Movies stars, NFL players, Comedians all of whom seem to loves John’s.
Along with the photos of the rich and famous the walls and tables are etched with the names and messages of everyday diners. After ordering a large cheese pizza and some drinks I found myself reading them one by one, trying to find room for us to add our mark.
Our pizzas arrived and it exceeded our expectations.Crispy base, a tangy layer of sauce and covered in cheese, pizza perfection. People say you can’t mess up pizza.This is absolution FALSE in my opinion. John’s delivered on the hype, simple and delicious. It is the best pizza we have had…..outside of Naples.
Belly’s full we decided to walk back uptown to our hotel and we decided to make a detour to the “Oldest Irish bar in the city” McSorelys Old Ale House. In a way this is a typical Irish bar you’d find anywhere in the world. A darkly lit room covered in wood with pictures and memorabilia of Ireland all over the walls. What makes it special, apart from the sawdust on the floor and sharing a name with our local at home (spoiler we are Irish) is the fact that McSorelys only serves two drinks, homebrewed Porter and Red Ale.
Costing $6.00 a drink it is cheap by NYC standards, especially considering that they come in twos. (Picture) The bar was quite as it was early and if we had not of just eaten we may have sampled what they had to offer, instead we opted for a one of each type of home brew and enjoyed the atmosphere.
Thirst quenched we decided to call it a night. Reflecting on our first 24 hours we had covered a lot of what we’d planned, good breakfast, massive sandwich for lunch, pizza for dinner along with some tasty drinks.
We popped into the Big Gay Ice Cream show and split one of their lovely chocolate and vanilla swirls. It really hit the spot and it was definitely time for bed. We had an early start and more food waiting.
Rested and refreshed we headed out for day 2 of our short trip.
Having had eaten our way up and down Manhattan on Day1, we had our eyes set on Brooklyn for Day 2. Starting with a lovely walk across the bridge to our first stop of the day in Dumbo. After taking the customary picture we took a stroll around the area. Funny enough it was the morning of the Women’s World Cup final and the USA playing The Netherlands. There were crowds of people on the street all gathered around a large screen under in the Dumbo archway. Rather than staying to watch the crowd we decided to find a bar and grab some food.
We came across a small Mexican Bar that was just opening its doors so we headed in.(need to find name) The bar was cozy, quiet and smelled fantastic.
We ordered some fish tacos, sat back and enjoyed the game. The food was super fresh with the tacos being hand pressed in front of us. The white fish was marinated in the house hot sauce which gave it a nice heat.
After watching the USA win and some great tacos we headed for the waterfront and to “The Time-Out Market”. Like any market there are a large number of vender’s offering all manor of food but one of the best things about this place is the rooftop terrace. The views of Manhattan are great, it is a lovely spot to just relax in the sun with wooden high backed benches to rest on. We sat and enjoyed a nice Ice coffee watching the world pass us by. After enjoying the view and taking a few more great photos (see our Instagram) we headed back out.
Next stop was a subway ride away and a short walk in Prospect Park. Smorgasbord Food market is a nomadic food fair that operates in a number of locations around the city. We had seen it before we travelled on Instagram and couldn’t wait to get there.
Today it was located in Prospect Park. It offers everything you could imagine, Dim Sum to Shaved Ice, Jerk Chicken to Ramen Burgers. After a lap of the stalls we decided to go for some Dim Sum accompanied by mango fruit drink. The Dumplings were some of the tastiest I’ve ever had. A triple selection of pork, beef and vegetarian.The weather was extremely hot so the iced mango juice was a great decision. We sat at a picnic bench enjoying the great food, music and atmosphere. It was a super way to spend a couple of hours.
Next on the menu was a delicious fresh bowl of poke. We ordered the Tuna bowl with rice, seaweed, sesame seeds and spicy mayo. It was so so flavoursome.
Before leaving our noses caught the smell of something we couldn’t resist. A stall in the corner was offering up Jamaican Jerk Chicken. This was hands down the best bit of food I had in NYC, breast and leg soaked in spices and perfectly cooked, it just fell off the bone. The chicken came with a side of red cabbage slaw and something I’ve never had before. It was some sort of sweet bread stick. Perfect for mopping up the hot sauce and slaw.
Belly’s full and the market winding down we headed back to Manhattan to enjoy our last few hours in the city. We had one last stop planned and that was dessert. We popped into the Big Gay Ice Cream shop and split one of their lovely chocolate and vanilla swirls. It really hit the spot but now it was definitely time for bed. We had an early start flight to catch the next morning.