I recently went to New York to visit a dear, old friend of mine who lives in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, and of course, eat at some restaurants I'd had a hankering to stuff my face in. So I hopped on a lonely, 12-hour bus ride and spent my first day walking across Manhattan with nothing but the personalized map I made on Google, 500 dollars, and the comfort of a Starbucks on every corner to pee, poop and brush my teeth in.
First stop: Momofuku Milk Bar.
Sort of cliche, but had to be done.
Milk Bar is right down the street from Central Park, and I'd never been! So I took my treats and ate them looking into the green abyss.
Next stop: Mission Chinese
What looks like an average, run-down chinese restaurant is actually the centre of the hipster food scene in New York. The food is reminiscent of that American chinese take-out you ate as a child, but with a contemporary play on flavours and ingredients, like, Kung Pao pastrami, beer brined sichuan pickles and pig ear terrine - all which I did not order, but wish I had the stomach big enough to do so.
Next Stop: Pok Pok Phat Thai
Another seedy looking lower-east-side joint is yet another, exceptional culinary destination, this time thai street-style food. Pok pok is perhaps more than exceptional. Award winning owner and chef Andy Ricker lived and studied thai cuisine and brought back his knowledge to begin the Pok Pok empire. This is one of three NY locations.
Day 2: Smorgasburg - A Brooklyn flea food market
Basically this is everything I could ever dream of all in the same location, with the best weather and best view! This happens every saturday, and if I lived close by I bet I could eat my way through every vendor within a month. Smorgasburg is unique from Toronto food events because it's open free to the public, happens so frequently and all food items are priced roughly within the five dollar range. Something to think about Toronto!
Dinner Time: Umi Nom
Jake is Filipino and I've known him for many years, but I'd never really eaten filipino food (except for at his family dinners, but the filipino dishes were even scarce). Umi Nom is right around the corner from his apartment, so we thought we'd stay close to home, plus is had some good reviews.
Last Supper: PRUNE
Here, I've skipped ahead to dinner due to uncatalogued daytime eats. Prune was a very anticipated destination on my trip after reading owner and chef Gabrielle Hamilton's book, Blood, Bones and Butter. Hamilton portrays Prune as her soul and the reflection of the profound hospitality and culinary experiences that have shaped her career, so I was ecstatic to make a reservation for two and sit in her quaint dining room.