After a weekend of over indulgence, I can already tell when I step on the scale, a wave of regret will wash over me. Oh, but the food. It was worth it.
If you’d like to see only photos of my trip, click here!
This time around, I didn’t go to NYC for the food adventures. My best friend, Holly, and I were simply hungry wanderers on a mission to travel far and wide. When I say far, I mean 4 hours away from home because we’re as broke as any college students. Who can afford Europe or South America on a whim?
A long bus ride was all it took to get to one of the most well-known cities in the world, NEW YORK CITY. Honestly though, the guy creepily eyeing Holly on the bus the entire trip made me question whether it was the right choice or not. He looked at her like I do at my food, which was a serious problem. Fortunately, we weren’t mugged, murdered, and featured on the local news. Safe and sound, the two of us ended up in Williamburg, a hipster part of Brooklyn that was much more welcoming than either of us anticipated. Posh bars, vintage clothing stores, and old book shops lined the winding streets that resembled rushing rivers after a storm. It felt as though we were being carried along, swept off our feet by the possibilities all around us. On every corner, a new restaurant I just HAD to try. Reading a book on the balcony of our tiny Airbnb apartment would have been enough for me after my morning doughnut, but there was too much to see, and eat.
Thursday evening, we arrived with little in our stomachs, but a lot in our bags. “Pack light or you’ll hate your life.” Why the hell don’t I take my own advice? By the time we got through the metro and up the beautiful, but infinitely long street to our apartment, all we wanted to do was eat. It’s so easy to find food on a smart phone. Swiped, scanned, and selected a restaurant against my better judgment. It was awful (I’m being nice). You could have given me a lunchable for 15$ and it would have been a more impressive pizza. I don’t go in for that adequate shit.
From our rooftop seats that barely made up for the quality of the food, a glowing cafe caught both of our eyes; the nonverbal “hell yes, we’re going” cue followed.
The mint green exterior drew us in as quickly as a “free food” sign. An open air window let the sweet smell of frosting and cake dance in the air around the store. I had never seen a cupcake café before; certainly I wish I had experienced it much sooner. Sweethaus is a cupcake cafe in Brooklyn that I’d recommend to every person I meet.
A carrot cake cupcake with cream cheese frosting, throw in a lemon cupcake with the perfect texture. I don’t know if you could convince me there’s anything quite that satisfying besides a good book or the newest episode of Doctor Who.
On our first day, we probably went into full bad ass mode too quickly. Doughnut Plant was the first stop and the best way to start the day. I’m a sucker for a cake doughnut, especially a cinnamon sugar one. Holly got a coffee cake doughnut that she said was “delish,” but I didn’t get to try it! In a blink of an eye it was gone.
Both of us were like magicians; we made the doughnuts disappear on our walk to the subway. It may have been because the food was delicious, but also it was probably due to our excitement to make it into Manhattan. First was Central Park, then to the Met. Most of the enjoyable moments Holly and I had were either eating, or in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The halls were filled with people from all around the world. Rarely did we hear English, and when we did, it unintentionally saved us. “Where is the fashion exhibit? I heard it’s amazing!” Didn’t even know there was one. Holly was enthralled (that’s her THING; fashion). Honestly, I’m not very fashionable. I like wearing whatever is cute and comfortable. You don’t have to be incredibly interested to appreciate something though. For me, it was enough to see how much it excited Holly. The exhibit was badass and as interesting as any works of modern art.
However, I’m much more interested in paintings of Europe and Asia. Around my bed, the walls are covered with one of a kind artwork, impressionist reprints, Van Gogh, and Georgia O’Keeffe. The impressionist and post-impressionist art movements have always been my favorite for the style of the works of art, as well as the motivation behind them. I ran through the halls of early European and American art to find my favorite artists. All I wanted to see was Van Gogh AT LEAST. After searching for about 20 minutes, I finally found Degas, knowing that Van Gogh and Monet must be around the corner. I walked into the room with Vincent’s self-portrait. Overwhelmed, I easily cried at twenty paintings because that’s the type of person I am. I made Holly take a few photos of me in front of multiple paintings.
A slow hunger crept upon us after a long afternoon of artistic appreciation. Our transformation into bitchzillas was on the horizon if we didn’t get brunch ASAP. Three restaurants’ menus were so unsatisfying, the only thing we got from them were glasses of water. Hungry, and on the verge of an outburst, I finally just said “screw this, let’s go there.” E.A.T Cafe was the final answer to the inevitable question of where the hell is good enough to stomach.
I wouldn’t say E.A.T Cafe is worth the price we paid. I got a omelet for 24$. NOT OKAY. If you have money to blow, go right ahead and walk in for lunch. There’s even an attached gourmet grocery store that can take more of your money than a gold digging wife! Take my advice though, and just enjoy the photos I took at the restaurant that could have been worth it
After an uncomfortable walk back to Central Park with a much lighter bank account and a feeling of being screwed over, Holly and I decided to go on a hobbit-like adventure. I can only imagine the snapchats people took of us. “Crazy ass girls climbing up and down several rocks. wtf they doin.” We were in search of where Doctor Who was filmed for an episode, Angels Take Manhattan. I’m still not sure we even came close. For our mental health, we claimed a rock as the spot and left it at that for the day.
But the day wasn’t over yet. For some weird reason, the two of us assumed it’d be a good idea to continue the day by going to Time Square. The free market was strong with this one. I don’t generally like a lot of advertisements, so to experience this was like having being inside a capitalist pinata ( not that there’s a problem with that at all ). Admittedly, I bought into the shopping spirit at American Eagle. Walking around the city for the rest of the day with my bags made me look forever like a tourist out of her element. I wasn’t though. At times I was scared, but being in any new environment is frightening. It was too much of an exciting experience; the fear was merely an afterthought.
I haven’t traveled all that much in my life; I’m only twenty. The key to it, I think, is to never let your presumptions and fears blind you to what may be right in your grasp, an adventure. That can be true in any aspect of your life.I find this to be the case when trying new food with other people. Do not let your fear override your opportunity for new tastes and culinary journeys.
I have a difficult time overcoming most of my fears due to my anxiety. The worrying used to be endless. Long story short, I’m a lot better now because I genuinely do not care if I embarrass myself. If I make a mistake, at least I can laugh it off. However, I used to be panic-stricken that my blunders would somehow ruin everything in the world. Case and point: speaking Spanish to native speakers. I am a Spanish minor. I love the language and want to practice it as much as possible. At the end of the first day, Holly and I made our way back to Brooklyn with a craving for tacos and a place already in mind. L.A. Burrito was right around the corner. The smell of fresh tortillas and cooked meats was omnipresent in front of the shop. When we entered, I could hear conversation in Spanish. At that moment, I knew I had to do it; I had to order my meal and talk to the workers in Spanish.
“Oh shit, what if I fuck up,” was literally the first thing that popped into my mind. What was the worst that could happen though? Sure, I’d look stupid if I said something wrong, but I’d never see these people again.
It was silly to worry. I nailed that shit and got an excellent meal and conversation. I even learned how to explain I’m minoring in Spanish.
Day two was easily my favorite day of the trip. A local girl at New York City Muffins, or something like that, tipped us off on where to get the best doughnuts in Brooklyn and a bunch of other great food opportunities all at once. Smorgasburg in Williamsburg is a food festival that runs all day on Saturdays with tons of tents. It was a hot morning, but it heavenly to me. Holly was dying from the heat; I was dying for the food.
Instead of telling you in great detail about how hot it was and how much we hated our lives until we started eating, I want to share the amazingness we ate in photos.
An orgasmic Lemon Poppy Seed Doughnut from Dough
A Salted Peanut Butter Cookie from Ovenly (the best)
Jerk Chicken, Fried Plantain, and Slaw
One of my greatest downfalls as a human being is that I cannot expand my stomach to fit more food. I wish I could have fit, and afforded more food, but we had to save our money and bodies for more to come.
The highlight of the day was easily Smorgasburg. However, Little Italy was still incredibly exciting. I will probably regret it until I return, but I didn’t get a cannoli. Now that I think of it, what the hell is wrong with me! That’s like going to a Yankees vs. Redsox game and leaving without missing teeth or a black eye. Common sense. I was excited for something else though.
I have seen everything after this shop. The main theme of it was Greek Yogurt, and I was in heaven. If you didn’t know, I’m a huge plain Greek Yogurt fan. I have written at length about why you should be buying it and adding things to it on your own here. The place was called Geecologies. Admittedly, I didn’t try much because I could barely fit anything in my stomach, but I had room for a greek yogurt parfait. Holy shit, I was in heaven. It was like a merengue orgasm came over me in the middle of the city; I was not embarrassed to let everyone know.
When I come back to NYC, you better believe I’m getting my cannoli and whatever Greecologies is serving. OMFG, yes it is worth it.
As Holly and I made our way through Little Italy, inspecting DEFINITELY legit Coach and Louis Vitton purses, we got rather bored. If we weren’t eating, what was there to do? And then we heard it. The crowd went wild in a bar right nearby. Then it hit me! The Eurocup! Why the hell didn’t I remember? And why weren’t we already watching it?
A bar named Gatsby’s had the cheapest appetizers and the most TV screens, the obvious choice. England vs. Russia, and it was a great game. After that, like the end of the match, all hell broke loose. We tried to go to the Comedy Cellar, a popular comedy club in NYC that Louis C.K frequently visits. You have to be 21. After taking 40 minutes to get there, we were pretty pissed. OH BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE. Holly and I were pretty spot on with directions, so naturally we got incredibly lost. Our first time Ubering will probably be our last. An hour later, the two of us were still in the car after a mix up with the address. Frustrated, and ready to collapse, we finally made it back to the apartment and promptly went to bed.
The end of Day 2 wasn’t enough to crush our hopes and dreams of adventures and foodgasms, but it was enough to make us sleep in rather late. We had already decided in the bar in Little Italy that the next game of the Eurocup we would watch in a nearby bar. Northern Ireland vs. Poland. Holly got an amazing pulled pork sandwich that I will dream about for a while.
Other than that though, my food was burnt to a crisp and the game was quite clearly in Poland’s favor. The rest of the day we spent reading in Central Park, waiting for the bus to bring us back to Maryland.
I prayed to the bus gods to please, please protect us from abnormally wet guys sitting across from us who don’t know how to stop looking at cleavage.
Luckily, I’m home safe and very much alive. I thought I’d go into a food coma after everything I had eaten. It’s quite disappointing to come back to chain restaurants like Ruby Tuesdays and Red Robin, but it makes the food that we ate so much more worth it. At least now I get to get back to the cutting board and my oven. I’m excited to share more recipes and help you become greener, better cooking badasses.