Thursday, March 29, 2012

Taking a bite out of the Big Apple pt. 3 - Good stuff (cont'd)

Shake Shack in Madison Square Park - The line was blessedly short, though the girls said that lunchtime on a weekday can spawn lines that seem unending. The menu is simple and consists of a few tried-and-true staples that have people singing its praises. I ordered the Bird Dog, which was a chicken-sage-apple sausage hotdog, atop of which]I added sauerkraut and mustard. Delish. One interesting thing that stood out to me was how many people ordered milk shakes despite the cold. That's devotion right there.

Farinella Italian Bakery - This is my type of pizza. Thin, crispy crust with a sprinkling of toppings and a light sauce drizzled over the pie. The place was tiny, but the ambiance was great. You walk in and to the right is a wall with three small, two-person tables lined up and then to the front and curving toward the wall on the left is where the pizza ovens reside and where the various types of pizzas are displayed for perusing on wooden blocks behind clear glass partitions. The girl behind the counter recommended the Capricciosa pizza, which combined Italian cooked ham, mozzarella, mushrooms, black olives, artichokes and tomato sauce. Bonus points go to Farinella for the two beautiful Italian men that were seated next to me, excitedly talking about...I haven't the faintest idea. But it was sexy.

Argo Tea in Chelsea - I stopped into this little cafe on a whim, as I needed a quick drink and it's interesting sign appealed to me (Fun fact: I can be easily swayed by great logo design.) I wasn't expecting much as I am a diehard coffee drinker who likes the warmth and nutty flavor of coffee combined with its energizing properties. Tea hasn't ever much appealed to me, as the few times I've attempted to drink it ended with apathy or disgust on my end. Argo Tea, the veritable wonderland of fun tea for adults, changed my perspective. Argo had warm teas, cold teas, smoothies, milkshake-esque teas, lemonade infusions - you name it, Argo had it. I sipped on a warm, seasonal Winter Spice tea that reminded me of Christmas.

Random street vendors - Fresh off of my amazing falafel wrap from Hummus Kitchen, I was still jonesin' for more falafel goodness. Chelsea mentioned that street vendors' offerings weren't too bad, and she was right. Warm and delicious, the falafel wraps are perfect for grabbing when you're on-the-go. My second sample of vendor truck fare happened whilst the girls and I were checking out the Christmas windows at the department stores. I stopped and bought a bag of roasted chestnuts from a vendor as I was curious to see what they tasted like. Don't tell me you've never listened to 'The Christmas Song' and not wondered at who the hell eats roasted chestnuts. So I tried them, and they were amazing. The shells were cracked open and slightly chewy, and the inside nut was warm and easy to bite into. The taste was a bit meaty, but I liked it.

Sunburst Espresso Bar - I visited this place for brunch with my friend Kelci, and it is one hell of a hidden gem. Free coffee and tea before 11:30 and with a menu that spans four pages, I was obviously in heaven. The server seemed bemused by my inability to narrow down what I wanted to order, and even let me get stuffed crepes with two types of fruit instead of the standard single option. Two coffees and three blueberry-and-banana-stuffed crepes later, I left Sunburst Espresso Bar a happy girl.

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