poor scientist. will blog 4 food.

the culinary adventures of a self-described foodie


A Historical Tour of Lower Manhattan, Foodie Style

I know what you’re thinking. “She STILL has material from NYC?! From AUGUST?!” Never fear, my readers, this is the last post about NYC. It’s ridiculous how backlogged I am, but now that I’m done traveling and finished with my grant (thank goodness), I hope to be blogging more regularly.

On my last full day in NYC, RS and I headed to the Essex Street Market in the Lower East Side. According to their website, the market was established in 1940 to organize the pushcarts and vendors into one location. Unfortunately for us, 10:30am on a Monday morning wasn’t exactly a bustling time at the Market, as most vendors were just beginning to set up shop. It’s basically a bunch of different kind of food vendors (produce, cheese, specialty items) under one roof.

Without any particular purpose or destination, we kept walking. We happened to pass Katz’s Deli again, which was much less busy compared to my experience just a couple of days before. We then walked past Russ and Daughters, which caught my eye previously but didn’t get a very good look. RS and I stopped in to check it out. The store is pristine with attractive, retro decor. The counters were full of delicious looking things, familiar and strange. Even though I wasn’t very hungry, the tubs of cream cheese alone made me salivate. Interestingly, in 1933, Joel Russ changed the name of his store to Russ and Daughters. According to the website, Russ and Daughters may have been the first business to officially have the word “Daughters” in its name. Way to go, Joel Russ!

russ and daughters

RS picked up a bagel with cream cheese at Russ and Daughters, and we kept walking. We ended up at the Ear Inn, on the other side of Lower Manhattan. It is a bar and restaurant housed in the James Brown House, which is a designated landmark of NYC. Even though there is a significant chunk of land separating the Inn from the water today, it used to be located five feet from the water. Thus, it was a favorite amongst sailors, who called the bar “The Green Door.” In fact, the bar never had a real name until 1977, when the neon sign reading “Bar” burned slightly, resulting in the B looking like an E. From then on, the bar was renamed the Ear Inn.

the ear inn

Inside, the woodwork and decor is reminiscent of being in the hull of a ship. The bathroom was so small that it was indeed a “water closet.” For lunch, RS and I shared an avocado, tomato, and cucumber salad, smoked trout (sorry that’s mislabeled on the collage), and steamed mussels. It was good, though I have to say that the avocado didn’t quite match California standards. (I know, I’m such a snob!)

After leaving RS, I made my way to Queens to meet up with EY, where I had my first Pinkberry experience! (I just realized that statement sounds pretty perverted if you don’t know what Pinkberry is.) Anyway, Pinkberry was among the first of the “real frozen yogurt” places, meaning that it tastes more tart and less sweet, like real yogurt. I had heard about them for years, but because they are very exclusive about their franchising, they are found only in select cities in California, New York, and Texas. I got the passionfruit frozen yogurt with mango and blueberry. Yum!

Fro Yo!

Fro Yo!

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New York, New York

A great start to the day: toasted everything bagel + cream cheese shmear.

A great start to the day: toasted everything bagel from H&H + cream cheese schmear.

Welcome to the first of a series of posts on my recent visit to the fine city of New York!

Still on Pacific Standard Time, I awoke Saturday morning in a groggy (and slightly cranky) state. Luckily, my wonderful friends had already gone out to buy a dozen bagels from the world famous H&H Bagels, not to mention cream cheese AND hot coffee from Starbucks. Hooray! I made my host JL dig out her toaster so that I could toast my everything bagel before I schmeared it with lox spread. Yum. This was my only request the entire weekend and I was so happy to be eating an authentic, chewy NYC bagel.

For lunch, we headed to EF’s only request for the entire weekend: Katz’s Delicatessen. She had gotten a tip from a trusted foodie friend of hers, so we made our way down to the Lower East Side for late lunch. Being that it was Saturday, the place was packed. We pulled up our bootstraps and fought through the crowd, ordered our $15(!) pastrami sandwich, flirted with the pastrami man, and secured a table for four. Yes, the sandwich is quite pricey but it is so full of delicious, hot pastrami that we shared two sandwiches between the four of us. Definitely worth it!

I’m trying something new with the photos for this post: because the internet connection is so slow at my parents’ place in Taipei, I decided to copy the collage style of friend and fellow blogger SBJ at Fit For a Femme. Seriously guys, it took me 10 MINUTES PER PHOTO yesterday to upload those stupid pho pictures. And I had 10 photos from Katz’s… so you do the math! Anyway, I’ll go back to the full photos when I have a better internet connection but I hope you enjoy this collage of Katz’s Deli!

katz deli