Hubby Tony and I are in agreement. When we're on vacation we do not
like to go to chain restaurants. Thankfully, for our trip to New York City it wasn't necessary. We found a whole week's worth of good places by relying on a combination of recommendations and luck.
|New York style pizza|
We'd been planning our excursion for several months. Often when we told someone about our plans they'd give us the names of their favorite restaurants. We ended up with way too many to use (if we'd visited all of them we would have been there for more than a month), but our extensive list covered many parts of the city. In addition to personal word of mouth, this time we also used a modern equivalent--the Urban Spoon and Yelp apps on our phones.
|Middle Eastern lunch from food truck|
Most of the time the apps were spot-on. Our first (and one of the best) meal in town was at a dive-y Cuban restaurant not too far from our hotel. Without the Yelp recommendation we would have walked right by the small storefront. However, sometimes the virtual reviews didn't pan out. The day we were in Lower Manhattan the restaurant we chose based on the Urban Spoon endorsement ended up being a sterile-looking business lunch place. We backtracked to the last corner we'd passed, where a man holding a large sign directed us to a food truck a few blocks away. There we got great (and inexpensive) Middle Eastern meals, which we at a a nearby park.
|Soul food-salmon croquettes, greens,|
black eyed peas
We also went to a couple of New York landmarks. At the Carnegie Deli
Tony and I sat at a communal table and split a huge (about five inches tall) pastrami sandwich along with side dishes and a small bowl of dill pickles. Later in the week we traveled to Harlem to eat at Sylvia's Restaurant
, where we got great soul food.
We did break our no-chain rule a couple of times, but we had a good reason. Most hotels I've stayed in have a small coffee pot in the room or a large urn in the lobby. Not this one; we were forced to leave the hotel for our morning caffeine. Most mornings we ate out and ordered coffee with our meal, but a couple of times we ate breakfast in our room (granola, fruit, and yogurt kept chilled in the ice bucket) then walked to McDonald's or Starbucks. Going to the chains also served an additional purpose, though. Our hotel didn't offer free Wi-Fi, and they did.
Highlights of Vacation Day 2
- Got breakfast at a deli near to the hotel
- Bought transit and sightseeing passes
- Took our first subway ride to Grand Central Station. Walked around the station and spent some time at a train show there.
- Bought lunch at Grand Central Station Market
- Took the subway to SoHo and walked around the neighborhood (which segued into Little Italy, then Chinatown)
- Treated ourselves to a foot massage in Chinatown
- Took a Little Italy neighborhood tour
- Had a great Italian dinner
- Stopped by the discount ticket booth in Times Square and bought tickets to an off Broadway musical called Newsical
- After the theater got cookies on way back to hotel for dessert
Five years ago today: New Thing #133--Garden Gratitude
That sounds really fun. I haven't been to NYC in years, but one of the things I do remember is the awesome food!ReplyDelete
After this vacation the waistband on my jeans was REALLY tight :-)Delete
Fun! Girl... I could travel with you! LOL Tomorrow Himself and I are heading out on a weekend trip. I'm "kidnapping" him for an 'Americana' adventure. Like you... NO chain restaurants (except McD drive-thru for my sweet tea!).ReplyDelete
Have fun! Hopefully I'll read about your adventure soon.Delete
I need you to plan my next holiday! Your food choices look wonderful, and what would we all do without McD's and Starbucks? lolReplyDelete
Yes, fast food and chain places ARE occasionally useful.Delete
I'm thoroughly enjoying this vacation, and it's only day two.ReplyDelete
Vicarious vacation...that has a ring to it :-)Delete
This sounds like an ideal get away, the food has my mouth watering. I love trying different little spots along the way, I don't eat at the fast food places anymore, that stuff is horrid after staying away so long I really taste the junk in the food; fats, salts, and unidentified not good for you stuff (for lack of better words! lol)ReplyDelete
Have a wonderful time!
I SO agree with you about going back to eating junk food when you've been away from it. The excess salt is the worst.Delete
Wow! You are really doing a lot in a few days!ReplyDelete
I needed a 'vacation' from my vacation when I got home :-)Delete