Friday, October 30, 2009

NYC - eating and shopping

Recently, I made my annual pilgrimage to New York City.

Some highlights:

Momofuku Noodle Bar
171 First Avenue (between 10th and 11th sts)

This place was awesome. We had the famous pork buns (which were good) but the shitake buns were even better - thin slivers of crispy cucumber nestled in sauteed shitake mushrooms. Yum. We also had the Momofuku ramen which I have to say is damn good ramen. It makes me want to watch Tampopo again. The only downside for me was the dessert - sweet potato and pie crust soft-serve. Normally I love soft-serve. But the pie crust was more salty than sweet and I found the whole thing to be too gimmicky to end an otherwise slamming meal.

My friend Becca was kind enough to get an advance copy of David Chang's new book:

So far, I've only read the introduction. But the recipes beckon... I'll keep you posted.

Joe's Shanghai
9 Pell St.
Chinatown - Manhattan

Soup Dumplings. Good.

Joe's Shanghai is famous for these dumplings. The soup is inside the dumpling. Here is a picture of Becca tearing into one. Despite the look of pain on her face (they're hot!), I think she enjoyed them.

333 Henry Street

A small but very welcoming Japanese restaurant. I ordered the fresh tofu which came in a small glass bottle - like yogurt. It was deliciously custardy and paired beautifully with a light soy bonito broth (I think that's what it was). For my main course, I had the Chirashi which is basically slices of fish served over sushi rice. I always judge the quality of a Japanese restaurant by its Chirashi. I know I'll get the ubiquitous salmon and tuna but it's always interesting to see what else the sushi chef includes. Octopus, yellowtail, sea urchin...

Red Bamboo
271 Adelphi St.

It's billed as "vegetarian Caribbean soul food." So I had to try the Jamaican Jerk Mock Chicken. I'm a fan. Mock meats (seitan, wheat gluten, tofu etc) are great bases for delicious sauces just as long as you don't expect them to taste just like meat. It's nice to know that Jerk spices translate well to the vegetarian palate.

Brooklyn General Store
128 Union St

A good sized yarn and fabric store. How could I resist? I perused their piles of yarn and admired their bolts of fabric. They even had a wall of roving for all the spinners out there.

Purl Soho
137 and 147 Sullivan St.

One address houses the yarn and right down the street lives the fabric. Both places are pretty tiny which made it hard to maneuver. But I didn't care. Both are beautifully organized shops with great attention to the smallest of details. I was particularly enthralled with the fabric. They had lots of whimsical cotton and linen prints from Japan which are hard to come by in South Florida.

Ooh, pretty.

Originally I had planned to go to Mood Fabrics. But alas, it was closed the day we were in the Garment District. So we visited another fabric megastore instead.

Paron Fabrics
206 West 40th St.

When we got there, we had only half an hour until closing time. I had my very own "Project Runway" moment as a little voice in my head said, "You have $50 and 30 minutes, designers."

Lately, the little voice in my head sounds just like Tim Gunn. Huh. Go figure.


  1. Hey, I just heard a story about Momofuku on our public radio station, while driving home in a minivan with 4 small girls. You lucky momofukas!

  2. Ella,

    Yeah, I've been craving a big bowl of ramen so I'm looking into the ramen recipe in the book. I may need to mail order the alkaline salts tho. Maybe it would just be easier to go back to NYC.

  3. mmm, ramen. the bolts of fabric are soooooo pretty

  4. I hope you met our friend Whitney Van Nes - she blogs for purl bee

  5. Arthur and Maggie,

    You mean THE Whitney Van Nes of Whit's Knits?

    No, sadly I did not get to meet her. But I do love her blog entries. is the gold standard of all knitterly (and sew obsessed) blogs. I can only dare to dream...