Monday, March 31, 2008

Chelsea in Chelsea, Amongst Other Lower Manhattan Locales

See those green balls of deliciousness? They are what God would have if he asked for falafel. Taim's classic green falafel sandwich was the first dish of the day on my outing with my friend Chelsea to (a week belatedly) celebrate my birthday. The object of our day was to eat and shop our way around several neighborhoods of New York. We did pretty well, considering it was one of the windiest days of the year and we both were tight on cash.

Our first stop wasn't actually Taim; it was Chelsea Market. We wandered through a bunch of the stores, especially the restaurant supply store and the fresh market. However, much as I wanted to drop a few bills, I only walked out with one bag and that only contained unbleached parchment paper and cupcake cups.

After CM, we enjoyed that fabulous falafel at Taim, then headed over to Union Square to see what all the fuss was about at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. We have WF and TJ's here in Jersey, so I thought the New York stores might be different. They weren't. In fact, they were smaller and generally unimpressive as far as their chains were concerned. You could easily go to West Orange or Princeton and experience very nice WF stores. And, if you wanted a nice TJ's, there are many to pick from in Jersey.

Our favorite stop in Union Square was Lush. Both Chelsea and I are big Lushies, and we dropped quite a bit of cash at the wee store. While the London and Toronto stores are much better, it was still a nice experience. I highly recommend the Karma soap.

If you're lucky, you might recognize the delicious pizza above from Luzzo's, our next stop. It's definitely my favorite pizza in NY, and I'm happy to say that Chelsea became a convert as well.

There she is, looking every bit the Mona Lisa with the pizza.

Since we were in the St. Mark's area, we had to stop by Angelica Kitchen for take out. I had to have the walnut lentil pate (which is what I always order because it's so tasty). Unfortunately, the one thing I should have bought, the Angelica Home Kitchen cookbook, wasn't available in the take out side of the restaurant.

After Angelica, we headed down to the Lower East Side for cupcakes, Jewish food, and fancy cheeses. We started at Russ and Daughters for some old fashioned belly lox (nice and salty!). I was impressed by the counter man's ability to slice and clean the lox before wrapping up my little package. I also ordered some whitefish salad, but they only serve whitefish and salmon salad, so that's what I walked out with.

Then, we headed up the street to Yonah Shimmel's for some knishes. While we were there, a long-time customer came in to complain that the recipe had changed. I believe him since the sweet potato knish doesn't taste the same any more.

Our second-to-last stop was Babycakes. Chelsea loved the cupcakes. Per usual, I ordered a couple of cupcake tops and multiple pieces of coffee cake. They didn't last long.

Finally, we headed down the block to Essex Street Market in search of Saxelby cheesemongers. There, I bought Constant Bliss cheese and some Parmigiano Reggiano that was probably among the best I've tasted.

The highlights of our day were probably Taim's falafel (a new must-have for NYC visits), Luzzo's pizza, and Lush.

What are your NYC favorites?

1 comment:

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