NYC- Food as distraction

We’ve been in the big apple for the past nine days. Bright lights, great friends and a side serving of distraction.

Until yesterday we had no real knowledge if we’d be returning to Sydney. In the back of our minds we thought we would probably have to. There are subpoenas affixed to our fridge at home. There’s a murder retrial that starts on Monday.

That cocktail of uncertainty and unpleasantness has fueled an eating binge like few have seen.

There have been some big name restaurants in there; spots on an itinerary that bring total immersion and escape. Fixtures that help confirm we’re sucking the most of the marrow from this life.

And there have been some smaller bright sparks along the way. Here’s a smattering.

Knishes at Yonah Schimmel’s.

Best eaten piping hot out of a bag that gets traced with grease. Yonah’s has been here in the Lower East Side since 1910. Since that time they’ve done their best to perfect the process of making these fluffy yet dense balls of dough. Most people go for potato; but the sweet cheese with cherries is a ball of pure comfort.

137 East Houston Street New York, NY 10002
Between 1st & 2nd – The Lower East Side

Toasted marshmallow milkshake at The Stand

This one came courtesy of The Amateur Gourmet’s ‘Where to eat in New York‘ post – but there isn’t anything amateur in his suggestions.

It is impossible to be thinking about anything that is not in the realm of baby kittens, butterflies, sunshine and lollipops when sipping on a milkshake from The Stand. Here they take the concept of ‘smoothie’ to a whole new level. Except instead of adding a banana, or some berries into the blender- they add smack downs of indulgence. For the apple pie shake they add in- a whole piece of apple pie. And for the toasted marshmallow there’s a good whack of toasted marshmallows. It’s like sucking on a sweet fire-kissed cloud. It’s so solid that they give you special, extra wide straws.

What they don’t have are extra-wide doors. Which is what I might need to enter buildings through if I have too many more of these.

The Stand
24 East 12th Street
Between University and 5th Ave


It’s a puff of dough the size of a baby’s head. Blonde and crunchy on the outside it has a texture similar to a yorkshire pudding. You crack it open. Dodge the steam. Then you discover air pockets and crevices of dough that border on raw. A special combination of crunch and squish. A neutral blandness in the dough.

It comes with pats of strawberry butter that slide and hide into the warm raw bits. Yes; strawberry butter. Why bother with negotiating both strawberry jam and butter, when you could whip them into one single condiment. It’s thinking like this that made this a nation above others. Popovers come in ones or threes. One would probably have done.

Popover Cafe
551 Amsterdam Avenue
Corner of 86th Street.

Pancakes at the Clinton St Bakery

The queues on the weekend for brunch at the Clinton St Bakery are legendary. Luckily, midweek it subsides to 10 minutes. This bakery cafe is home to the city’s best blueberry pancakes. Outside on Clinton St is the detritus of last night’s bender. Inside it’s all homestyle pine and slightly frumpy soft furnishings. If you squinted it feels like you’re at a weekend rental property in the Blue Mountains that was decorated in 1987.

The pancakes come in stacks of three- they’re the circumference of a pot plant and littered with blueberries which pop and squish.

To the side is a mottley syrup which adds more sweetness if you need it. But what really gets you wiggling your toes is how fluffy they are. Someone has spend a good deal of time whisking egg whites for this batter. It’s not often you say ‘I wish I had more…air in my pancakes’. After eating these, I bet you will.

4 Clinton Street
Between East Houston & Stanton.
Lower East Side

Big gay icecream truck

This is an icecream truck with a difference. Instead of cocking our head to the left and listening for the twinkle of ‘Greensleeves’ we stalked it through Twitter (@biggayicecream).

It’s colourful. It’s kooky. And the toppings to the standard soft serve vary from crushed wasabi peas to olive oil and maldon sea salt.

We found the truck near Union Square. It was hot. There was something on the menu called a ‘salty pimp’. It’s soft serve dipped in dulce du leche caramel, sprinkled with sea salt and dipped in chocolate.

It’s appeal resides in the same realm as dipping salty fries in caramel sundaes.

We were supposed to share. It was pretty hard. But when you’re squabbling over who gets the last bite of a ridiculously named ice cream, it’s nigh impossible to be thinking about anything else on the horizon.

{ 1 Comment }
  1. Delicious distractions indeed!
    Love that you twitter stalked some icecream 🙂

    Safe travels home xxx

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