Making Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple (Oct. 2013)

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2013/11/07 15:24:05 (permalink)

Making Manhattan Memories - A Roadfood Meet & Greet in the Big Apple (Oct. 2013)

Since The Travelin' Man put together the last big Roadfood meet-up in New York City back in 2011, I figured it was time for me to get on the ball and organize one this year!  The Tuesday before the tour, I did a dry run of all the stops, you know, for uhhhh, "research".  I did want to find out if places took cash/credit, had bathrooms and what the walking times were between stops.  I also wanted a chance to talk to the staff/owners in person to see if handling a large group would be an issue.  I gained some valuable intel and had some tasty food!  Here are some of the highlight shots:
The baked ham, mac & cheese and buttered corn at Sylvia's Restaurant in Harlem was quite good.  

I came across more pantyhose and disembodied legs (on 86th St. on the Upper East Side) than I'd ever hoped to see at once.  I'm sure I won't have ANY nightmares about this picture down the road!

A thick chocolate malt (complete with a silver beaker with almost another 2 glasses worth) at Lexington Candy Shop really hit the spot.

It was TOTALLY necessary to make sure the cheeseburger & fries at Burger Joint were still as good as ever.  Right on.
FRIDAY OCTOBER 25TH, 2013 - Roadfooder PhillyBeth and her mom came into NYC today.  After we exchanged a few texts I went down to the TKTS booth near the South Street Seaport to pick up some Broadway show tickets for "Big Fish" for they and my girlfriend to see tonight.  We also agreed to meet in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for lunch at Peter Luger steak house.  The chance to have another one of those bacon cheeseburgers?  Twist my arm!  I met Beth and her mom, Joanne, at the bar enjoying a cocktail.


 I love that steakhouse sauce.  It really isn't meant for the steak but to pour over the tomato & onion salad or in which to dip bread.  

 We all loved the excellent bread basket and couldn't stop picking away at it.  Just really, really fresh bread.

 The sleeper hit of this meal was the wedge salad. Iceberg lettuce, chunks of tomato, a chunky & creamy blue cheese dressing and a liberal dose of that famous bacon, cut up into oversized nubs and smoky, fatty goodness.  How have I never tried this before?!?!  

 We shared sides of mashed potatoes and creamed spinach.  Both were really good but the spinach in managed to have a very creamy texture without looking or feeling like it was run over by cream.

Joanne had the salmon which I believe she thought was pretty good.  

My cheeseburger and bacon.  While I love the flavor of that bacon I thought this particular piece was a bit too fatty.  I should have asked for "extra char" on it.

My cheeseburger, cooked to medium.

Beth's cheeseburger, cooked to medium rare.  We were both loving these and each had to take a separate moment of silence to fully take in what was happening as we ate them.  The most well-balanced, harmonious cheeseburger I have ever eaten.  I had a very lovely time with both of them and I look forward to breaking bread again with them down in their neck of the woods!

After we parted ways I felt a strong urge to walk a few blocks and pay homage to Buffetbuster, ChiTownDinerCajunKing and The Travelin' Man with a slice of pie at Pies -N- Thighs.  

I spied some good looking' doughnuts by the front, no, focus Billyboy!  Pie is why you're here!  But which one??

 The Sour Cherry Pear Crumble pie was calling out to me.  Everything came together nicely in this slice and I think the next time you guys are in NYC, we need to come here.  

 Now, to work off some of this substantial lunch I went for a stroll across the Williamsburg Bridge over the east River back into Manhattan, specifically the Lower East Side.  

 Love this so much.

Another place I had contemplated adding to the tour (assuming there would be any time left!) was Sugar Sweet Sunshine on Rivington St.  Just outside the shop.  After 10 years living here, none of the bottom half of this sign comes as a shock to me.  

 I've had the chocolate chip cookie pudding before and I was craving it now. 

 Butterscotch pudding, broken up pieces of chocolate chip cookies and fresh whipped cream.  Perfect, just perfect.

 A stop at Economy Candy one block over on Rivington was in order.  After everything I had just eaten I couldn't think of a single piece of candy that I was craving.  

No matter, I was really coming to pick up a couple of bottle of Fox's U-Bet chocolate syrup.  Cheapest place I've found in the city.  

SATURDAY OCTOBER 26TH, 2013 - The big day!  I was a bit nervous as I had never led a group this large before.  I knew that this date was the weekend after the official Roadfood tour in Memphis and Little Rock so I wasn't sure what the response would be when I posted the date for this on the site.  The response was fantastic!  Our first stop of the day was for breakfast at Sylvia's Restaurant in Harlem.  

 Coconut, chocolate are red velvet?  One of these is in my very near future.

 They started us out with some fresh, warm biscuits.  I don't know how these compare to version in the South but I really liked them.  Getting her at 9:30 meant that we would miss the 11:00am brunch crowd and as it worked out the place was fairly empty when we arrived so we  had a very short wait for our tables.  We could have gotten one big table but we would have had to order from a set menu.  I'm glad we could order from the regular menu and the different tables allowed for people to sit with others they hadn't met before and have the chance to get to know one another.  

 Stephen Rushmore Jr's eggs, grits and corned beef hash.  I tried some of Stephen's corned beef hash which I thought was pretty good.  Ditto for Chris' fried catfish of which I didn't get a photo.  

 TnTinCT's (Tim's) waffle and thick-cut bacon.

 TnTinCt's (Terri's) fried chicken & waffles.

 Billyboy's fried chicken & grits.  Loved this.  The grits were very creamy and they didn't skimp with the butter.  The chicken was pretty moist and the crust was crispy and had a nice seasoning to it.  My only regret is that I failed to read the label on the bottle of hot sauce that I had used to liberally douse on some of my chicken.  It was only after I started coughing that I realized that it said Sylvia's TRIPLE STRENGTH Hot Sauce.  I loved it but the level of heat was most unexpected!  

 Joanne's chicken livers & grits.

 From left to right:  Kendall, RFer Karilyn (Kendall's mom), RFer Ayersian (Amy), Ayersian's friend Yvel.

 Mariton, Buffetbuster, The Travelin' Man, Ayersian (Chris).

 Joanne, RFer PhillyBeth, my girlfriend Dayna.  My apologies as I forgot to take a picture of my table where Stephen, Tim, Terri and their friend Colleen were sitting.

 We wedre all pretty stuffed after this meal but some of us decided to pace ourselves for the fill day ahead (not me, of course!!).  I did have to get a slice of red velvet cake to pass around for the group to try.  I liked it but not the best red velvet I've ever tried.  

 Just inside the entrance at Sylvia's is a banner with thousands of signatures on it from many customers over the years.  

 The requisite group shot.  Front row, left to right:  Stephen Rushmore Jr., Ayersian (Chris), The Travelin' Man, Ayersian (Amy).  Back row, left to right:  Mariton, Buffetbuster, Colleen, Terri & Tim (TnTinCT), Kendall, Karilyn, Yvel, Dayna, Beth, Joanne.

If anyone from the tour has any comments or pictures to add, please feel free to do so.

post edited by billyboy - 2013/11/13 16:44:03

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