San Francisco

San Francisco
San Francisco

Laugh With Me

Laugh With Me
Laugh With Me

Big Apple and Big Tummies

Almost two months later... Hi. For honest, this time. For honest, the phrase 'for honest' pisses my friends off so much because it makes absolutely no sense at all, but I pretend it's endearing and use it anyways.

Moving on.

This week is Spring Break for me and so after my finals ended last week, I hopped on a flight to the good old New York City to visit my sister for the weekend before coming to Houston (aka boredom and consistent parental presence...) for a week. I think the fact that literally 98.23408% of my NYC pictures are pictures of food attests to the truth of the statement that gastronomical activity takes precedence in my life. Observe:

Exhibit A.
{ fork, knife, and Four Flowers juice at the ready }

Here I am, about 3 hours fresh off a red-eye flight from SF and my first solo taxi ride. My sister kindly took me out for brunch at Sarabeth's West, the first of many, many meals out and about in NYC. I have the best sister, no exaggeration needed. Loosen up your (pants) buttons, baby, because just looking at the all the standout food I consumed will give you an extra 5-10-700 pounds. 

{ clockwise from top left: sweet milk gelato from Eataly // Goldie Lox - scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and cream cheese and a croissant from Sarabeth's // sweet potato fries from Brother Jimmy's // a brisket sandwich from Katz's }

That sweet milk gelato was FAB. Mario Batali is a genius, I tell you. A giant Italian supermarket with categorized restaurants/eating areas, including one for GELATO?! So good. The scrambled eggs from Sarabeth's were very likely some of the best I've ever had. The sharp flavor from the salmon, the creamy spread, the fluffy eggs, oh goodness. The sweet potato fries were pretty good, nothing too mindblowing, but the experience was great! The brisket sandwich was also good- it was bordering too dry, although a dollop of ketchup saved the day and the bread was wonderful and crisp.

{ clockwise from top left: mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil and rigatoni from Lil Frankie's // me cradling my Cereal Milk soft serve in front of the Momofuku Milk Bar chalkboard // banana pudding from Magnolia Bakery }

The mozzarella was superb. My sister liked eating the components separately, but I combined them and found heaven. To each their own. The rigatoni was also delicious- the pasta was perfectly al dente and there was a perfect ratio of pasta to sausages. The sauce was tangier than what I find ideal, but still mouthwateringly good. I've been wanting to try Milk Bar for a long time now-- it is so much tinier than I expected. The Cereal Milk soft serve (what is it with me and ordering various milk-flavored frozen treats?) was hands-down genius and amazing and eye-opening to my soul. The famous crack pie was a bit of a letdown- too buttery and sweet for my personal taste, but who I am to judge? And finally... Magnolia Bakery. Literally, I think if you let me bring one thing to a deserted island, I'd pick Magnolia Bakery and I'd never leave. It is definitely on my top 10 favorite places (not bakeries/restaurants/food places, but ANY PLACE) in the world. The red velvet cupcakes I would give an arm and a leg for were lovely as always, this banana pudding was so perfect, and the muffins I took home brighten my days. Magnolia Bakery - where dreams come true.

{ clockwise from top left: tagliatelle // me and my sis showing off our love for pasta and each other to the world // artisanal salumi with our Italian sodas // pasta al forno al Ragu all from Eataly }

Wait for it... Wait for it. That lasagna was-- literally, figuratively, theoretically, actually-- the best lasagna I have ever had. In my life. Ever. It is so unlike American-Italian lasagnas, but it was so earth-shatteringly amazing. Layers and layers of thin pasta with crispy edges, the perfect amount of sauce and cheese... The meats were all super delicious as well, perfectly salted. Day = made.

{ clockwise from left: whoops, same brisket sandwich from Katz's pictured twice // me sippin' on my peach smoothay from Fruit Generation // a mellow midnight snack in bed // wild blueberry pancakes from Clinton St. Bakery }

OK. Here's the thing about New York. The population is out the roof, the number of delicious restaurants is out the roof, and the wait with half that population in line for those delicious restaurants is out the freaking roof. It's crazy, but part of the culture and I thoroughly enjoyed partaking in it. The smoothie was amazing and amazingly healthy as well- that's always a plus. Watching TV in her super comfortable and snuggle-able bed with my sister every night was very much so the highlight of my trip, and her making me noodles was just the cherry on top. Those pancakes-- best pancakes I've ever had in my life period. Fluffy, perfect, worth the wait and the experience of having to eat them on the little steps next to the actual bakery because there was no more room in the restaurant. 

{ clockwise from top left: seaweed salad and pork ramen with extra noodles from Totto // cheeseburgers, cheese fries, and a chocolate shake from Shake Shack }

The food in this collage is a bit of a mix of great and excellent food. What was great: the ramen and the burgers. I prefer Ippudo ramen but the wait was 2 hours. The wait at Totto was (only) about 45 minutes. The noodles were homemade and lovely, just what I've been craving after a quarter of disheartening dining hall food. The broth was very aromatic, but there's just a little something about Ippudo that hits above and beyond. Shake Shack burgers-- the bun was so, so good, but I prefer the doused-in-sauce burgers of In-N-Out. What was excellent: the seaweed salad, the cheese fries, and the chocolate shake. The chocolate shake definitely goes under the 'best-I've-ever-had' category, and the cheese fries are too wonderful. The seaweed salad was also perfectly sweet and sour!

{ clockwise from top: gussied up for a fancy-mcfancy pants dinner at Nobu // blackened cod, rock shrimp, sushi dinner }

And for the fanciest dinner I've had yet, my sister took me out for sushi at Nobu. Bit of an issue-- once you have top-of-the-ladder sushi, there's just no way you can ENJOY regular sushi the same! Both the blackened cod and rock shrimp were excellent hot entrees. I was extremely fond of the shrimp-- the creamy sauce it came with rocked my world. The sushi was melt-in-your-mouth delicious. My sister, playing her big sister role as always, insisted I have the best ones- toro, yellowfin, and salmon. She's my favorite person ever, no lie.

{ clockwise from top left: Gotye concert // cheering on the Tarheels at Brother Jimmy's // dressed up for the Paul Taylor Dance Show at the Lincoln Center // and in Times Square after watching Spiderman on Broadway }

Somehow, between meals we were able to find some time to do some classy things because classy is my middle name. The Gotye concert was really cool-- I only really knew one of their songs, but they are such great live performers and having Kimbra there to open for them was a bonus! Definitely an even bigger fan now. My family is one that is diehard Tarheels and watching them win over Ohio to get to the Elite Eight with a bunch of other Carolina fans was definitely one of the highlights of the trip for me! (We will just conveniently forget about what happened to Carolina after that round...) The Lincoln Center dance show was also an event to remember. I've always wished I could dance, but alas, I'll just watch it from afar. Finally, we sat in the second row at Spiderman on Broadway which was a huge treat. It was amazing!!! Lots of action and flying around and great music. A couple of the Spiderman stuntmen and Flash definitely smiled at me at the end though!

{ clockwise from top left: hanging out at the New York Public Library // newly polished nails // fitting room selection at Zara // and a birthday present at Vince Camuto! }

We walked down Fifth Avenue and stopped by the NYPL for some culture-time, landing me some hot (and on sale!) platform heels as an early birthday present. I'm so in love with them, they are crazy high but fabulous! We also went and got mani/pedi's-- I've been wanting Lilac/Lavender for a while now and Essie's Lilacism got me in the springtime mood for sure. On my first day in the city, my sister had class for a couple of hours. During that time, I got out and became a strong, independent women-- darting in and out of shops and traffic around the Upper West Side. I've been particularly obsessed with mint this season and got mint jeans from Zara that are adorable. Basically, I'm practically Carrie Bradshaw. Shopping-wise, I didn't too much damage other than that. Picked up a couple of tops from Forever21, but that's it!

{ clockwise from left: basking in the sunshine in Central Park // taking a break in the Park with my new mint jeans and its shopping bag // saying goodbye to NYC on my taxi ride to the airport }

This has been my most memorable Spring Break to date. There was no suntanning, no bikinis or wild parties. It was just me and my big sister and the most intoxicating of all cities and lots, and lots of good food. Thanks for the memories, NYC and I will see you soon.


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xx Caroline