Just so everyone knows that I didn't just eat Indian and vegetarian foods when I took my break, here's some of the not-so-healthy stuff.
Out by Madison Square Park, they've set up stalls for eating and shopping that they call Madison Square Mark't. They seem to do this every fall, and this year it lasts from Sept 25-Oct 23. I was in the area with a friend, and since the lines at Eataly were insane, we grabbed an assortment of food from these stalls.
Chicken biscuit from Pies N Thighs, with a freshly fried piece of chicken, biscuit, and their honey butter and hot sauce. Freshly cut and fried french fries right off the mandolin from Bar Suzette. Also from Bar Suzette, ricotta and mushroom crepe, which was a delicious mix of sweet and savory in one.
We stopped by and walked through Eataly, but it was so packed that there was no point trying to eat any food there. We walked further up Broadway and reached FoodParc, the huge new food court in the Eventi hotel. There are electronic kiosks all over the place that allow you to order and pay by credit card, and large screens everywhere listing order numbers from the various stands.
My friend had the mango smoothie from the smoothie place, and I chose to try the Katz's pastrami egg roll from the asian food stand. The egg roll was fried so crispy that there was no sense of a skin at all, and the pastrami had good flavor dipped in the mustard. Not bad.
From the burgers and shakes stand, I opted to try an egg cream, which was good and not too expensive.
There are so many big name Italian restaurants in NYC, but Via Emilia manages to continue being a crowd favorite with it's fresh pastas, solid Italian fare, and no reservations/cash-only policy. I was there for lunch and had the lasagna (Northern Italian style). The pork and beef ragu was absolutely delicious, and worked well with the soft but not mushy spinach noodles. The menus are essentially the same for lunch and dinner, with lunch options being $2 cheaper on average.
It's amazing how many new food options have opened up in the flatiron/madison square park area recently, and another one that's gotten buzz is Hill Country Chicken, the fried chicken place from the Hill Country BBQ people.
The fried chicken is sold by the piece, with a piece of breast costing $5.50! I opted to try a thigh piece, and while it was definitely tender and juicy, I didn't think there was enough flavoring in the fried skin. Then I noticed that at the condiments area there was chicken shake, so perhaps I was supposed to use it.
The chicken tenders, however, were amazing I thought. At $6.50 for 3, they were huge, moist, and tender. They have three dipping sauces (BBQ, buttermilk ranch, honey mustard), and I got one of each and enjoyed mixing and matching the tang of the BBQ, the sweetness of the mustard, and the cool of the ranch.
They also have a whole bunch of pies, ranging from these small ones for $3@ to slices of full-sized ones. I tried the banana cream pie, which was nice, but I'm not a big pie person to begin with so I didn't think it was anything special. It was a bigger portion than I originally thought, though.
Back home, I ordered delivery for the first time since I moved to this new place. Half a hainanese chicken from Penang, which has pretty good food, was perfect since I've really missed hainanese chicken.