Sunday, 15 March 2009

OUT OF TOWN: NEW YORK CITY




OUT OF TOWN
NEW YORK CITY
A slice of attitude

As I ate a slice of pizza from an Edinburgh pizza chain the other day, I couldn't help but chuckle at its size. In comparison to the pie slice I had in New York City recently, this laughably tiny triangle didn't hold a candle to ones in the Big Apple; it could barely hold a couple of bits of pepperoni.

New York City is this amazing place that I admittedly must frequent every year. She has it all, at any corner, at any hour, and more than likely it can be delivered, and yes, many times in portions that are beautifully abundant. Luckily I have a super girl friend who could show me around on my last visit and introduce me to some unknown corners holding the city's finest foods.

Back to the pizza. Fat Sal's in Hell's Kitchen was a first stop, and my friend's regular indulgence. It's the kind of portion that merits only a slice or maybe two to totally satisfy. Mine was a thin, crisp and voluminous slice with feta, tomatoes and basil (pronounced this time 'bay-zul') and it tasted just like I had arrived.

A quite famous hot dog joint was our late night stop. Grey's Papaya on Amsterdam and 72nd has most recently been immortalised on-screen with Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist and now I know why it's such a local institution. As a friend of ours said, in a very Brooklyn accent, "Where else in New York can you get two dogs and a drink for $4.50? You can't get anything in New York for $4.50." It's true. Considering I once had to pay $20 for a simple martini, I knew that my cheap yet amazing saurkraut and dijon mustard-covered 'dogs' were special indeed.

New York is also known for its attitude and although I think it's just more of a case of millions of very nice people with a bit of a shell, I did find just the place to go if you want a taste of the 'tude. The Hummus Place in the East Village was my stop off one day amid some vintage shopping. Now my hummus was the best I have had. Enriched with sauteed mushrooms, onions, parsley and paprika, it was a colourful snack I enjoyed with a cup of brilliantly spiced coffee. However, after I left, I was chased onto the sidewalk and confronted with my bill and an angry waiter who thought I hadn't tipped. He just hadn't seen the more than 20% tip (at least 18% is customary) that I left on the counter so I did point it out to him and continued on a bit baffled but admittedly thinking still, 'God, I love New York!'

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