NYC – Sunday – Katz’s, Pommes Frites, Dessert Truck and More
We made our way to Central Park on Sunday morning after breakfast. We stopped first at The Dakota where John Lennon was shot and then crossed the street into Strawberry Fields. The little Imagine monument was pretty cute as some guy was decorating it with flowers. We spent some time strolling through the park, which was great because it was such a nice day. I loved seeing all the people with their dogs. Then, much to my excitement, we hunted down the pond and bridge where Kevin met the pigeon lady in Home Alone 2. After that, we walked into The Plaza, again because of the movie, and took a few pictures there before leaving the area to go get lunch.
Lunch was awesome! We went to Katz’s Deli for pastrami on rye where Harry met Sally. I was tempted to act out the scene from the movie. The sandwich itself was incredible but, sadly, I have nothing to compare it to since I’d never had pastrami before. It truly was a flavor explosion, though: warm pastrami, run-off juices, mustard and rye bread all coming together in perfect harmony. My only problem with this was that the sandwich was a ridiculous size. Normally the boy and I do a 70-30 split of our food but there was no way I could eat 30% of this sandwich knowing we had another part of lunch coming as soon as we left Katz’s. The sandwich was so thick and piled very high–there was easily over 1 pound of thick-cut hot pastrami on there. It was nicely seasoned and complimented perfectly by the mustard, something I am not normally fond of. I would order it again if they had a children’s menu. Haha. As my friend K put it, “that’s not a sandwich, it’s a full-on attack of some innocent bread!”
Our sandwich came with some homemade pickles, potato salad and Dr. Brown’s Cream Soda. The drink is the boy’s favorite soda and he’s a lover of potato salad and pickles so I think this meal was an all-around win for him. For me, it was just potatoes and mayo–nothing special. The darker pickles were great while the lighter ones tasted like bland cucumbers. I suppose my conditions for returning to Katz’s for some delicious pastrami would be a child’s menu with no sides.
After Katz’s, we walked one block to Russ & Daughter’s for lox and cream cheese on a bagel. I picked the Nova lox (Nova Scotia, represent!) and the scallion cream cheese. It was a perfect combination and we were both surprised at how good it was. The best part of Russ & Daughters was that the man behind the counter let me taste a few different kinds of lox before we settled on one. I also found a black and white cookie when we were in there and just HAD to get one.
JERRY: Oh look Elaine, the black and white cookie. I love the black and white. Two races of flavor living side by side. It’s a wonderful thing isn’t it?
JERRY: Uhm, The thing about eating the black and white cookie, Elaine, is you want to get some black and some white in each bite. Nothing mixes better than vanilla and chocolate. And yet somehow racial harmony eludes us. If people would only look to the cookie all our problems would be solved.
ELAINE: Your views on race relations are fascinating. You really should do an op-ed piece for the Times.
JERRY: Um, um, Look to the cookie Elaine. Look to the cookie.
The cookie was surprisingly good. Far too big for one person to eat after having a meal but we managed to get through half of it by working together. The cookie was more like a flat cake and the fondant icing was really dense. I made sure to take some bites with black and white in each bite for the perfect harmony.
After lunch, we made our way to Chinatown and Little Italy for a little while just to check shit out before heading back downtown. We went back downtown thinking we would go to MoMA. However, $20 each seemed a little steep to spend on something that was (a) not food and (b) not something we were totally stoked about doing so we decided to pass. We wandered around some more, checked out the cathedral on 5th street and window shopped a little.
Knowing we had to catch Stomp at 7 in the East Village, we made our way back out there and made our next food stop at Dessert Truck. I was so excited to find it. I had been looking forward to trying their goat cheese cheesecake. This tasty nugget was served with a crisp cookie, rosemary caramel sauce and fresh blackberries… in a paper cup with a plastic spoon. It was a bit of a novelty and we didn’t eat the whole thing but I love the concept. The flavor of the cake itself was fantastic but I did not detect any rosemary in the caramel sauce. The blackberries were a little too sour. It wasn’t a total swing and a miss since the cake was good but, if I ever go back to Dessert Truck again, I will try something else.
After tossing the sad remains of our cake, we walked through the Village until we found Pommes Frites. This was a very exciting find for the boy who is a major fried potato fan in all of it’s delicious forms. He is also a sucker for sauces, salsas and dips so we knew this would be a winner for him. There was a line out the door in an area not too packed with tourists so we took that as a good sign. I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat more than 4-5 fries but I still wanted my fair share of input on the accompanying sauce we would get. Looking at the menu, he waffled over wasabi mayo and sundried tomato mayo. My first choice was Vietnamese pineapple mayo with pomegranate teriyaki coming in a close second. I usually win the culinary battles and Pommes Frites was no exception. While I hunted for a washroom, the boy braved the line and emerged victorious with his hands practically shaking over the prospect of twice-fried Belgian fries in his little paper cone. I’m happy to report that he was not let down and ended up being very pleased with the Vietnamese pineapple mayo! AHHHHHHHH these were some DELICIOUS fries and WOW, the sauce was awesome. It was clearly the right choice for these fries–sweet and tangy with a slight kick, something that complimented the grease very well. Besides the mayo, the fries themselves were fantastic. It’s all too common these days to get naked, cold fries with no skins and no character. Pommes Frites lacked none of that. After having to eat much more than his 70% share to make up for my smaller stomach at lunch, I didn’t think he would finish but he surprised me as he tried to dig out the last little pieces from the bottom of the cone.
After gorging ourselves, we grabbed a drink at a corner bar and then took our seats at Stomp. It was a good show, although it dragged in parts and was much too warm inside the theatre for about a 20 minute stretch. We’re glad we went on a Sunday when tickets were cheaper. After Stomp, we walked through the Village until we found Spitzer’s Corner, a gastropub recommeded by some foodie friends who had spent some time in NYC. They made a great recommendation! We got a nice table at Spitzer’s and enjoyed a night of some interesting pub food and a great beer selection. They have 40 craft brews on tap as well as a nice bottle selection. Not being much of a beer drinker (okay, not a beer drinker at all), I was wary to choose one but made a great call with Sea Dog Bluepaw Wild Blueberry Wheat Ale. It tasted nothing like beer, really, so might not be a good choice for many others but was perfect for me. I even ordered a second bottle! Yum. It comes as no surprise that the first and only beer I’ve ever really liked is (a) blueberry and (b) hard to find in PA. Boo.
I started out with the panko-crusted asparagus spears which came with a citrus soy dipping sauce. I would have liked the sauce to be a little thicker so that it stuck more to the asparagus but, overall, the dish was okay. Then again, I love all things asparagus so I may be a bit biased. The panko was a little lost on me and could have been any kind of crumb topping. The panko definitely could have used some seasoning to punch up the woody asparagus a little. The boy started out with truffle mac and cheese, much to no one’s surprise. This was some seriously yummy mac and cheese. Mixed with parmegiano reggiano, white cheddar and fontina, the cheese complimented the generous helping of truffle and panko topping. I wasn’t sure if the boy would finish this one but he did, quite happily I might add.
Next up for me was the short rib burger with hickory sauce, BBQ onions, lettuce and pickles on the side. This was a mighty tasty burger but I just wasn’t feeling it. It was cooked well and presented nicely but something was just amiss. Perhaps I should have taken the server’s suggestion to add cheese, bacon or a fried egg. I’m not sure what would have saved my impression of the burger but I only took 3 bites before calling it quits. This may have had something to do with the fact that I was so full from the rest of the day! The boy wasted no time plowing through his PBLT of which I was happy to taste a few bites. The braised pork belly had the perfect jus dancing around its fatty layers. Accompanied by a simply dressed green salad and some slow-roasted tomatoes, this dish came in a loud second place to the boisterous mac and cheese.
I will go back to Spitzer’s for another blueberry beer and some truffle mac and cheese. I’m sure that, in the afternoon on a hot summer day, they will combine their powers to send me into a delightfully hazy food coma. Long live the carb crash!
~ by canadianbaconette on May 30, 2009.
Posted in Restaurants, Travel
Tags: asparagus, bagel, beer, blueberry, burger, cheesecake, cookie, dessert truck, katz's, lox, mac and cheese, pastrami, pickles, pommes frites, pork belly, russ & daughters, spitzer's corner