My first two nights in NYC – I let my friends choose for me.
I’m in New York for a conference this week, so I know I won’t have much time to explore or enjoy the extensive culinary options that Manhattan boasts. It’s kind of a bummer – even our networking dinners always seem to be at a high-end chain restaurant. Never a local gem. And, while these aren’t true “She Ordered What?!?” posts, I’m posting them as such since my friends ordered for me, and I really didn’t know what I was in for!
After what felt like an epic journey to get here (which had me ranting on Facebook and Twitter – ignorant mom with your mobile phone stuck to your ear while your children disrupted every last passenger on the plane, I’m talking to you! American Airlines, I’m also talking to you for boarding, de-planing, re-boarding, de-planing again, canceling, all the while lapsing in customer service and forcing passengers to carry their own bags up and down rickety stairs while in dresses, carrying other personal items, babies, etc, and up again, and down again – and then finally getting us to NYC. – post-script: same bologna on the way home!), I decided to take the advice of my friend Daniel. He tweeted me and advised me to grab chicken and rice with the “crack” sauce (the white sauce I would surely get addicted to) from a street food vendor on the corner of 53rd and 6th called Halal’s. He also advised me that their would likely be a line, indicative of just how good the food was!
It was about a ten minute walk from my hotel, and it was a gorgeous night. The line was 6-7 people deep at 8PM. That was a good sign!
I spent $6.00, plus a $2.00 tip, and carried home enough food to feed four people! I spent more than twice that on a glass of wine from the hotel bar!!
But, Daniel was correct. It was really good food, and the “crack sauce” was yummy. Not spicy like I thought it would be, given Daniel’s addiction to Sriracha sauce, but that’s why I was also given a tiny tub of red spicy sauce along with the white sauce. To spice it up!
I was only able to eat about 1/4 – 1/3 of the portion, and I wish I had a fridge in the room to save the rest. But, alas, most of it went to waste. 😦
I think that food gave me some good energy too! Monday morning, I woke up early and went for a run through the city. I knew I was motoring way faster than I used to when I was a regular runner…and map my run (while getting a bit confused amongst the skyscrapers) seemed to agree. I covered some pretty good ground in about 18 min. And, I broke a nice sweat. I was glad to get a workout in, because I knew I was meeting a dear, dear friend for dinner that night. Beth lived in the city for 12 years before she and her husband bought a home in New Jersey last year. My original plan was to go visit them Sunday, but as I mentioned, that didn’t happen.
So, after a day of fruitful meetings, I set out on foot to meet Beth at Inakaya – at 40th and 8th. Again, a short walk, but nice to get out for a bit!
After her long day, and the rough start to my trip (did I mention that my brother called that morning to tell me my mom had broken her leg and was in the hospital?), we decided to split a bottle of wine along with sushi, sashimi, egg custard, and maki.
I let Beth order everything, since she knows me as well as I know myself! We caught up (it had been a year since we’d seen each other) and enjoyed really fine food. The lone “eh” piece was the mackerel. Fishy and not up to snuff with the other pieces.
It was a great night though…how can you go wrong with a good friend, good wine, good food, and in an amazing city?!?
A bit later, another friend messaged me and asked if I wanted to join him for dinner. I told him I’d keep him company and watch him eat…so that’s what I did. I kid you not, Jeff polished off this whole platter of chicken parmesan before we went on to meet up his colleagues and business contacts of mine. I had to throw this photo in for good measure!
While I wish I had time to spend walking the city like I do on personal trips to Manhattan, I simply don’t. I am grateful to have had two nights to dine as I like to, without forced networking that comes with conference attendance! Tonight, it’s about networking (and turning back into that shy girl I was so many years ago!). Wish me luck!