We are well into January, mucus season here in snowy New York City. Its also the beginning of the end of resolution season, where we start to forget about all the resolutions of the new year. Normally the end of resolution season coincides with Cassoulet Week which starts on January 10th, but with the news of obesity rates going up, resolution season has been extended a few more days. This is after all the season where we ask ourselves that all important question, “Did I gain weight, or am I just bloated”. Well, you’ve been bloated for 4 weeks, hence its time to take a break. Reflect, relax, hibernate, and come up with a sensitive plan for this new year. Food, travel, what else is there to plan. Maybe babies. Food, travel, and babies.
I personally haven’t eaten anything noteworthy for almost a month, and my left leg is starting to shake. Actually its my left thigh really, my Culatello. So instead of featuring one player today, lets grab our selfie sticks and take a walk in one of the best eating areas in the country, West Village, for a little food tour. Part of it is in Greenwich Village actually, but for the purpose of this blog its West or East, so if its not East, its West, Kapish? Lets eat..
Taboonette – Lets start the walk in Union Square. Close your eyes while crossing 14th st and Mazal Tov, you made it to the village. On 13th st, you have tiny but deadly Taboonette which can be described in 3 different ways. A pocket food place, fancy street food, or Middleterranean (Middle eastern with Mediterranean touch) hole in the wall. Contrary to what it may say on its site, No Falafel For You in this baby Taboon. But its time to try something new anyway, like the Sabich (with a jewish spitting on your phone ch), a pita sandwich of fried eggplant, hard boiled eggs, Tehini and more, invented in Ramat Gan Israel. More Israeli veg options like the Kruvit, (roasted cauliflower) fill the menu, or try some of the platters like the Chicken Sawarma (below) or the “Kebab” which is more like hefty delicious Lamb cutlets.
Amorino – We are breaking all the rules here on EWZ and heading straight to Ice Cream for stop #2. Normally I start my Gelato relationship with Nocciola and this was love at first Nocciola. Every cone filling is done with a lot of love and to prove that love they shape it like a flower. Or perhaps the dude took a fancy to me. Since then I also discovered the sick Amareno flavor, but only because the Nocciola has been absent. The ingredients here are top notch, as you taste every fruit and every nut. A chain in Europe, but quite possibly the best Gelato in NYC at the moment. At this point a walk in Washington Square Park is in order to kill some calories, or you can head straight west to the next pit stop. I wanted to recommend Forbes Galleries but I just noticed they are permanently closed
Lumpia Shack Snack Bar – You know what they call a food tour without Lumpia? A food tour without Lumpia! These are Vietnamese inspired spring rolls and this Smorgasburg veteran is a good place to try them. Try all three kinds and guess which is my favorite (hint: its the truffled mushroom). And while you ate it don’t leave without trying the garlic chips made from tapioca starch infused with tamarind powder. Yes I said “ate it” on purpose.
Bar Sardine – Time to share a not so average burger. The $10 Fedora burger is generating some buzz and for good reason. A well crafted creation featuring smoked cheddar, sweet barbecue mayo, cucumbers, and a shoestring fries loaded inside the burger to give it that crunchy bite. Fries on the side are an extra $7, but if you really want to try something else, go for the Octopus Hushpuppies.
Empellon Taqueria – I wasnt about to include this one but its practically across the street from Bar Sardine. The Beer Braised Pork Tongue Taco will run you at $7 a pop but its arguably New York’s best taco. Just like Bar Sardine you can sit at the bar and be in and out in no time.
Percy Pizza – An exception to the rule, a dollar slice that doesn’t suck. Very popular with university students, and underpaid professors. You can go to the more famous Joe’s nearby for a $2.50 slice, but for a dollar slice this is as good as it gets and the smaller size is perfect for this itinerary.
Brigadeiro Bakery – We end our tour in this spanking new hidden gem where I almost got arrested. Mariana 1 and Mariana 2 were selling their Brazilian Truffles (Brigadeiros) from a basement in a restaurant around the corner until they finally found this spot. And according to the feminine inner Ziggy, this little shop is adorable. Fantastic spiced hot chocolate, and a wide range of freshly baked Brigadeiro. I’m partial to the bright ones over the chocolate, but try as many as you can. Last time I left with the feeling that I forgot something until I finally remembered 5 blocks later..Paying! Yes, I went back, ask Mariana 2.