NYC + El Cazador = Gastronomical Heaven

We’re back! and man what a gastronomically evil trip it was. This is NYC we’re talking about, food is on every corner in the form of diners, food carts, mom and pop shops serving everything from pizza, halal, Ukranian, you name it and we ate it all. You gotta wash all the grub down so we drank it all too, beer, tequila, gin, old-fashion’s, more beer. At the end of our 96 hour escapade I was done. No drinking or eating for at least a week, maybe two. The human body just isn’t fit to handle the copious amounts of food and booze we threw at it. Here’s the lowdown.

My first night brought a round of beers at my buddies place just off Union Square. That set our appetite in motion for some killer Ukrainian food at Veselka in the east village. Multiple sausages, pierogies, kraut and stuffed cabbage. It wouldn’t be a boys trip without some Ukrainian beers right? After this was a string of bars, McSorley’s, Burp Castle and Jimmy’s Corner, a classic (or generic depending on your take) boxers bar in the city complete with photo’s of Jimmy with the previous 40 years worth of boxing legends on the walls and table all lit by christmas lights, classy.

It wouldn’t warrant posting here unless we got some Mexican grub while in town. It just so happened that we walked upon a street food fair that was about 2 miles long. If there was ethnic food available in Gotham, here it was. We chowed on some empanada’s from Empanada Mama’s which were piping hot and filled with meaty goodness. Our fav was the Cuban, filled with slowly roasted pork, ham with mozzarella cheese and a touch of sofrito sauce. The Brasil, with ground beef, olives, sauteed onions, and potatoes was a damn close second. From there we found some Mexican Street corn, this stuff is legendary! Whats not to love about grilled corn spread with Cotija Cheese and cayenne pepper? It’s sweet, savory, and just the right amount of spice. We’ll be posting a recipe for this in the next week so look out. I also got my hands on some carnita’s taco’s topped with cilantro and onion just how I like it, while good it was pale in comparison to the corn and empanada’s. There was also some Greek seasoned lamb kabob’s but they were severely overshadowed by the Latino based grub. I’d also be lying if we didn’t stop into the iconic dive Rudy’s Bar to grab a pitcher of Bud, with my buds. There were even some postal workers having a 2pm cocktail. Grab some bud’s right?

After recovering from food hangover number one with a long walk through the meatpacking district on the High Line park, an elevated defunct railroad converted to greenspace/pedestrian walkway we had dinner planes at the legendary Keen’s Steakhouse. We drank single malts among photo’s of Teddy Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, General Douglas MacArthur and “Buffalo Bill” Cody before settling in at our table for a bottle of vino and a round of killer steaks. These were some killer steaks too, thick cut, aged, and cooked to perfection. After this we took our classy asses to the Campbell Apartment, the hidden but not so hidden prohibition bar tucked away in Grand Central. This was no beer bar and thus the night called for old-fashions, Manhattan’s and copious amounts of rye and bourbon. It wouldn’t be New York without grabbing a hot dog from a food cart. What better way to finish some exquisite cocktails from a fine speakeasy.

The following day we grabbed a quick cup of coffee and bagel and walked through the east village for a lunch spot. Some extended family was coming into town before the Yankee game that night and we needed some lunch…and beers. We settled on the Penny Farthing. It was a great spot for this since it wasn’t too loud or crowded so we were able to converse without yelling. It was mainly sandwiches, I had a pretty good short rib sandwich and a couple Bodington’s.

Afterwards it was time to visit Yankee stadium. We had some killer seats right behind home plate below the press box. This is how to see a ball game…damn. After the game, damn yankee’s lost to the sox…again we took the subway back into town for some more beverages. No night out would be complete without some late night pizza at the corner oven, something that would be repeated just about every night.

The following day took us to be truly cultured individuals while perusing fine works of art at MOMA. Art+3 Dudes=Ravenous appetite…again. We were right around the corner from the infamous tourist trap, Carnegie Deli so we swung in for some sammies. We indulged in the “Woody Allen” which is Pastrami and Corned beef on Rye. This thing easily weighed in at 3 lbs without the healthy dosing of deli mustard and Russian dressing. You could guess that it wasn’t enough so we ordered a turkey rueben as well. The Woody Allen, A+. The Rueben, B-. Too much cheese. Either way we were full again and back into our food coma’s which would only subside for the next few hours.

And what do you wash down 3lbs of salted meats? more beer…at the Shark Bar. Great beer selection with lots of unique brews and good prices. You know beer brings about an appetite like none other? So we hit up Cafe Habana in Soho. Ohh my god…This place is heaven in NYC. We had some more grilled corn and plantains that were out of this world. We also split a Cuban Sandwich which was fantastic as well. It’s too bad we couldn’t put anymore food down because the skirt steak, yellow rice and black beans looked amazing.

The remainder of the trip was a drunken flash through a bunch of nowhere bars with multiple pitchers of “Merican lagers and random glasses of tequila thrown in. Speaking of which I was able to try a couple flavors I hadn’t had before, Avion, El Tesoro repo and anejo, and Partida Blanco. I reviewed Avion earlier in the week so check that post out.

The trip ended as quick as it started and as you can see it was a gut bomb of a journey. There is no shortage of killer food and drink to imbibe in around Manhattan.

Veselka Restaurant
144 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10003-8305
(212) 228-9682

Burp Castle
41 East 7th Street
New York, NY 10003

Keens Steakhouse
72 West 36th Street
New York, NY 10018
(212) 947-3636

Jimmy’s Corner
140 W. 44th St., near Broadway
New York, NY 10036

Carnegie Deli
854 7th Avenue
New York, NY 10019-5216
(212) 757-2245

Cafe Habana
17 Prince Street
New York, NY 10012-3507
(212) 625-2001

Spring Lounge
48 Spring St., off Mulberry
New York, NY 10012


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