This past weekend found me in a New York state of mind. And a New York state of body. Though it wasn’t *quite* as gluttonous as the trip to New Orleans, it was close. Here are a few favorite dishes.
Crispy Pork and Watermelon Salad at Fatty Crab
This? Was the best thing I ate all weekend. For reals, yo: Crispy chunks of fried pork belly sitting perilously atop vibrant cubes of watermelon, all tossed with scallions and a lovely splash of ginger dressing. The various textures, temperatures, and consistencies held a torrid threesome in my mouth that both made me a little shy [blush] and left me sorry that I agreed to share [curses]. Thank you, funky, outgoing, bespectacle’d server, for this stunning recommendation.
Pork sausage with Rice Cakes at Momofuku Ssäm
Ssäm Bar is the casual leg of David Chang’s restaurant trifecta. The diminutive space consists primarily of long, communal tables, giving the trendy space an oddly rustic feel. Our group’s favorite dish was easily the spicy pork sausage with rice cakes, served with Chinese broccoli and crispy shallots. Shazam! The gnocchi-style rice cakes perfectly balanced the meaty-and-heaty spice in the sausage, and the strangely texturific combinations were a welcome surprise.
Lobster Roll at Mary’s Fish Camp
We ordered Mary’s lobster roll at the suggestion of a friend, and thank goodness. Placed happily before us was a generous helping of lobster salad on a gorgeous, super-soft, buttery yum of a toasted hot dog roll. The uber-fresh lobster exploded with flavor, enveloped by just the right amount of mayonnaise and lemon. This thing immediately found a spot on my daily agenda for the weekend… until we scornfully discovered that “Market Price” actually meant $30. Grumble, grumble. Still worth it –- but just this once.
Sausage and Mushroom Pie at Grimaldi’s Pizzeria
We got to the original Grimaldi’s in Brooklyn around 6:15, hoping to beat the dinner rush. No dice. The line spanned the block. And we waited. And waited. And went for coffee. And waited some more. And finally took a seat more than an hour later. What we received in exchange for our time was a traditionally awesome New York pizza: thin, coal-charred crust topped with standard ingredients and smooth Mozzarella. And while I wasn’t blown away with the flavor, I was enamored of the pie’s sheer simplicity.
The famous Shack Burger at Shake Shack
We were a bit deterred by the line of 100+ snaking around the park, but two girls near the front swore that it moved quickly. Turns out they are lying liars because we waited an hour plus just to get an order in. Mere moments afterward, though, our annoyed patience was rewarded with the juiciest of Shack Burgers. Made with high quality meat, fresh vegetables, and secret sauce (which is oddly reminiscent of the one at In-n-Out) this burger is the real deal. Our only problem was that it seemed way too small for our needs.
Cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery
A mandatory stop on all my New York itineraries, Magnolia Bakery is as busy as ever, even despite the numerous cupcakeries that have matured in its shadows. Despite their abundance, though, I still like to top my meals with an original delight. And while the icing seems to have lost a step, the cake remains the golden standard: ever beautiful, ever buttery, ever pristine.