Fun Dining in The Big Apple

Who says you cannot savour quality food unless it's fine dining? Fun, not Fine, is where it was at while spending a few days in New York City.

A stifling July weekend found us on a ferry ride to the foot of Brooklyn Bridge. My sis Mimi, my bro in-law Kent, my soul mate Dee and Your Humbleness were headed for Smorgasburg, an open-air but walled in former warehouse site filled with tents serving nourishments, from Bolivian fare to vegetarian ice-cream.

My mate and me, since we are both healthy eaters and weight conscious, decided to share a smoked beef sandwich. And... okay, okay.. I admit we each indulged on gourmet doughnuts. I chose the raspberry & hibiscus treat, thinking I could get some kind of high like as if it were loaded with hemp. Dee ate the chocolate & passionfruit flavour, which was subtly sweet and refreshing, guaranteed to produce a big smile as evidenced here…


The following evening, we took the subway to north of Little Italy, or Nolita, as the locals proudly call the district. There, on the corner of Motts and Spring Streets, is Lombardi's, laying claim to being the first pizzeria in the United States. 

My bro in-law did his homework and knew what to order. One large, i.e., 18-inch pie, half original flavour and the other half 'white pizza'. Cut into eight slices, that's one slice of each flavour for every hungry participant, if you're counting. The 'Lombardi's original' consisted of mozzarella and fresh tomato sauce, with a hint of romano and basil. The other half of the pan was the highlight. White pizza contains mozzarella, ricotta, some other cheeses, without any hint of tomato sauce. Hmmm… don't just stare Kent, dig in!!

The following day, on what was another stinking hot afternoon, Dee and I relieved ourselves from the heat at Katz's Delicatessen. "Yess.. Yeeesss… Yeeeessss..!" If you recall Meg Ryan's character in "When Harry Met Sally", screaming fake orgasms in this diner that was made even more popular because of the movie scene. I don't know what nosh Sally was having, but I chose to order Katz's Knoblewurst, their signature garlic beef sausage between two slices of bread with mustard. Sauerkraut optional.

Let me tell you that dining at Katz's is more about the experience than the flavour. With it's wood panelled walls that may have been around since before the 50s', framed photos of every who's who that shook hands with the owner, an order and pay system that is chaotic, this institution could have only survived and thrived in NYC.

Eccentric, rough, unpretentious. This city does well in showcasing its national treasures. 

I'll be back soon for another round.

July 2013

© Prakoso Sastrowardoyo 2012