Thoughts For Food

Insights into the Mind of a Culinary School Student

Food Bites: The NYC Food Scene

Hey guys! I know I said that I would have a blog entry up yesterday, but I had some homework to take care of and on top of that, there was a power outage in my building. Thankfully I didn’t lose anything on my laptop. Now that that’ out of the way, let’s move onto some food-related business!

Back on Saturday (June 5) some friends and I took a day trip into NYC to check out the ever evolving food scene, sample a couple of NYC staples and to get our friends from California and Maryland acquainted with authentic NY-style pizza. It really was an adventure. We left early in the morning on a train into the city.

Our first stop was a local favorite; Doughnut Plant, located on 379 Grand Street. This, to be honest, was our first and only reason for going into NYC that day. The doughnuts here are absolutely out of this world. Doughnut Plant has been featured in countless publications (Time Out New York, NY Times, Boston Globe, etc.) as well as TV shows (Regis & Kelly, Emeril Live, Good Morning America, etc.) and the doughnuts really show why it deserves to be in the spotlight. They’re a lot lighter than most other doughnuts. They’re less cake-y and more airy. The flavors are absolutely fantastic. Mango, Tres Leches, Blackout Doughnuts, just to name a few. If you have a major sweet tooth to satisfy, Doughnut Plant is the place to go.

Once we had our fill of doughnuts, we decided to head elsewhere and search out more NYC eats. A local pointed us toward a NYC staple: Katz’s Deli on 205 East Houston Street. In business since 1888, Katz’s has been known for many things: outstanding pickles, outstanding meats and outstanding staff, just to name a few. The one thing people don’t seem to mention is the lack of seating room! But that’s really the only gripe I have with the place. The food is the main star here and let me tell you, it REALLY shines through here. There are tons of choices at Katz’s and I am pretty sure you won’t go wrong with anything on that menu. Salami, burgers, chili dogs, drinks, etc. Whatever you order at Katz’s, you can be sure it’s going to taste great. I ordered a chili dog there and I gotta say, it was one of the best chili dogs I ever ate. If you want a local favorite with a great reputation and good food to back it up, Katz’s is the place to go.

The rest of the day was devoted to wandering the streets of the city, looking out for any food place that looked interesting to us. We really didn’t have to go far. Once we hit Rockefeller Plaza, we came upon a street fair and as locals and frequent visitors to NYC know; where there’s a street fair, there’s going to be NYC street food. Now, I’m not just talking about hot dogs, although there were plenty of those there. I’m talking about Halal, Gyros, Italian Sausage (my personal favorite), Lemonade, Roasted Sweet Corn, etc. You name it, and it was probably there. I’ve always been a proponent of small, local eateries and it really doesn’t get any smaller than the NYC street vendors. We picked up a couple of gyros and I grabbed an Italian Sausage. Two words: SO GOOD. There’s just something about the small places that just screams “Good Food.” The next time you see a street vendor in NYC or in any city, stop by. You very well may get a nice surprise.

Our last stop before leaving was for authentic NY-style pizza. The best of the best, when it comes to pizza (although I could make a case for New Haven style pizza, but that’s another entry). We stopped by a tiny place and got a few slices. I really don’t know what it is about NY-style pizza. It’s just GOOD. Thin crust, fantastic cheese and sauce, awesome toppings. It all really melds well with each other and it just explodes with flavor. It really was the best way to end a food day in the city.

Seriously guys, go check out the places I mentioned here. They are absolutely worth a trip into NYC any day of the week. Sadly, we did not make our way to the famous Shake Shack, but we vowed to go another day. And you can bet that once we do go, I’ll write all about it here!