Tuesday, December 1, 2009

1st Ave NYC Food Sendoff (food)

After spending a few months here away from Hong Kong, my friend JL decided that it's time to go back. For the proper sendoff, I tried to fit a good amount of special NYC food into one lunch. We started off by meeting up in union square near where I work, and walked all the way to 1st ave. Our first stop was Artichoke pizza.

The Sicilian slice ($3.5) at Artichoke is my favorite slice in Manhattan, and probably in all of NYC if you factor in the hassle of going to DiFara and the price. Very similar to DiFara's square slice, you get the smell of fresh basil and flavorful sauce with a perfect crust. Blackened and crunchy, yet with no taste of carbon at all.

Next we walked down 1st ave until 7th st and went to Porchetta. Porchetta is an Italian preparation of slow-roasted pork stuffed with many herbs. We split one sandwich ($10+t), which comes on a tasty ciabatta roll with chunks of the moist roast pork and pieces of the cracklin skin. The skin is the key to sandwich, providing a terrific crunch while at the same time oozing more and more fat onto the sandwich to keep it moist. This skin is probably also something JL will be unlikely to find in HK since the Chinese tend to prefer their roast pig skin to be more puffed up.

It is very important to eat the sandwich here at the restaurant. I think the porchetta sandwich loses its magic when the skin is no longer crisp and the fat can't continue to moisten the pork as you're eating it.

A whole porchetta.

For our next stop, we continued walking down to Houston st to stop at Katz's. Here we decided to split both a pastrami and a tongue sandwich. In retrospect, I think we should have split a pastrami sandwich here and then gone next door to Russ and Daughters to split a Super Heeb sandwich. Then we really would've gotten everything.

Since JL didn't have any Dr. Brown's sodas on previous trips to Katz's, I made sure JL had to try some, especially the Cel-Ray. As usual, the comment was something along the lines of "interesting" and "weird".

The Pastrami sandwich. Still juicy, though not piled as high as it used to be.

I mentioned before that I like the tongue at Katz's, because it is very fatty. However, it was just too much after we'd already done so much eating. We knew it was good but couldn't really enjoy it.

On the way back we walked back up towards my office, and got away from 1st ave to go to Momofuku Milk Bar and grab some cookies to go. This is the cornflake, marshmallow, and chocolate chip (all in one!) cookie, and it's really heavy but so good. I'm glad we at least got some walking in while gorging on all this NYC food. Good luck in HK, JL!