WARNING: This will make you hungry for American food

My last post left you with a lovely picture of a half eaten pie from Dub Pies (sorry if that looked a bit gross – it tasted lovely).

Dub Pies, Manhattan, New York

Dub Pies, Manhattan, New York

I returned to the Manhattan shop for another pie a few hours before I started my Foodie Tour in the West Village – Greenwich area. I did a tour with Foods of NY Tours, which I thought was really great. I was nervous after the pie I’d eaten that I wouldn’t be able to fit in all the food from the tour, but it was just the perfect amount. You eat a bit then go for a walk, hear some local history and facts and then move on to the next food spot for another small taster. I found our guide – Bert, to be really knowledgeable and made the tour really interesting. The food ranged from a slice of pizza from Joe’s Pizza (one of the original pizza spots), cookies from the incredible Milk and Cookies shop, an incredible cauliflower dish (I’m not a fan of cauliflower, but this changed me) from Palma, other tastings from Murray’s Cheese, Rafele, O&Co. (incredible garlic olive oil, that makes bread taste like garlic bread) and more. Not only did we get to taste awesome food, we were also told tricks of the trade – the difference between Olive Oils in clear bottles vs. tinted bottles and how to check for real Balsamic Vinegar.

Milk and Cookies, Manhattan, New York

Milk and Cookies, Manhattan, New York

Palma resturant, Manhattan, New York

Palma resturant, Manhattan, New York

O & Co. Olive Oil shop in Manhattan, New York

O & Co. Olive Oil shop in Manhattan, New York

Murray's Cheese store, Manhattan, New York

Murray’s Cheese store, Manhattan, New York

I was blown away by the foodie tour and found it really neat that all the shops in the area specialize in certain food, then they source the other relevant food they need from the other local shops. It’s an incredible area and I think if I returned to New York I’d try finding accommodation near Greenwich to make the most of the great foodie spots there.

A good way to burn off all the food I ate that day was walking the High Line. It’s a park walkway not far from Greenwish, above Manhattan, with trees and gardens all along it.

High Line, Manhattan, New York

High Line, Manhattan, New York

By the time I finished the walk, I figured I needed a little top-up in the form of a donut (had to be on the list somewhere, right?).

I enjoyed the foodie tour so much I decided to book in for a 4-course Chef’s tasting at the Italian restaurant, Rafele for when I returned from Niagara Falls – as an early birthday present to myself. I hardly ever go out for special meals, so I thought this would be an experience. And it was.

I was first asked be what food I like/dislike and if there was anything in particular I felt like that evening. I wasn’t about to be too picky because I wanted to be surprised with what the chef came up with. From there I leisurely sat at a bar that overlooked the kitchen (and didn’t make me feel so lonely eating alone). The kitchen was so interesting to look at what was going on.

View of the kitchen in Rafele restaurant

View of the kitchen in Rafele restaurant

Close up of the decorative aspects of the kitchen, Rafele

Close up of the decorative aspects of the kitchen, Rafele

Pizza Oven next to me

Pizza Oven next to me

I only wish I could say I managed to polish off all this food… I’m a small person – only so much fits in! I did give every course a really good go though.

Beautiful bread and amazing Olive chutney

Beautiful bread and amazing Olive chutney (I hate olives, but this really was lovely)

Starter of Cheese Rice Balls and Artichokes

Starter of Cheese Rice Balls and Fried Artichokes, another amazing yummy combination

Beautiful Pasta Dish by Rafele

Beautiful Pasta Dish by Rafele

Cauliflower, Pine nuts, Currants, Breadcrumb side

Amazing tasty Cavolfiore (Cauliflower, Pine nuts, Currants, Breadcrumb) side to the main.

Rafele Main dish of small chicken

Main dish of small chicken. Tasty!

Desert cheesecake

Desert, which I struggled to fit in – Italian Cheesecake

The foodie fun didn’t stop there. With the help of my mini lonely planet New York book and my list from an Aussie living in New York and even my London Physio gave me recommendations, I had plenty still to taste.

Absolute Bagels was my favourite breakfast stop. They often have lines going out the door of this little bagel shop if you’re not early enough, but the bagels are worth the wait. My favourite was the cinnamon and raisin toasted bagel with blueberries and cream cheese.

Getting hungry yet?

Then there is the famous Carnegie Deli – very similar to Katz Deli, where you have to taste the mountain sandwich of hot pastrami between two pathetic slices of bread (it’s basically just eating a plate of nice meat). I’ve course there are other options, that’s just the trademark one.

New York does tend to have a Starbucks on every corner (I’m not kidding), but there are alternatives for coffee. Stumptown is a little coffee shop that seems to be standing only, people obviously come in for their quick hit of brilliant coffee and then carry on with their day.

There were a few suggestions of chain food spots that I was recommended that I also tried, such as the typical New York hot dog from Shake Shack (which I have just found also in London too!), and trademark red velvet cupcake from Crumbs.

Cupcake eaten in Central Park from Crumbs

Cupcake eaten in Central Park from Crumbs

Zabar’s is worth visiting if you’re planning a picnic in Central Park – it’s a food market nearby, with an amazing array for almost anyone’s tastebuds.

Dim Sums from Dim Sum Go Go

Dim Sums from Dim Sum Go Go

Then finally to round the New York food off I’ll have to mention Chinatown. I met up with the Aussie food advisor that provided me an amazing New York to-do list and her husband for lunch in Chinatown. We opted for an incredible array of Dim Sums from Dim Sum Go Go. This reminded me how nice it can be to meet people on your travels – I wouldn’t have been able to taste an array of food like that if I was just having lunch on my own. We waited a little while and the restaurant seemed in a terrible rush, but being Aussies and Kiwis, we took our time and enjoyed it all the same.

The food didn’t stop there either! When I got to Philadelphia there was different types of Philly Cheesesteaks to be sampled, which I highly recommend too! I was even treated to a surprise home-made birthday cake too – I haven’t had one of those in years!

So as you can see food was a very important part of my visit to the East Coast of America. I didn’t expect it to be so fantastic, but they really do have some amazing food spots to check out. I don’t think you could ever get bored finding a new spot to try.

This isn’t the end of my posts, there’s still plenty more in me – Niagara Falls and Halloween at least! So keep checking back each week for more updates. If you missed last weeks post check out A day of sights in the Big Apple (happy and sad ones) »

If you want to check out my photo gallery from the USA and Canada visit this link on designack.com »

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