Taking a bite out of the Big Apple is an entertaining and satisfying experience. There are so many places to go in the city that can make your taste buds go into overdrive. But if you’re like me, New York City always calls me by my name and convinces me to visit it again and again. This famous place known for making dreams come true is also quite famous for its culinary experiences. And that’s what I love about eating in New York. Whether it’s grabbing a hot dog in Manhattan on the way to a show, finding a hidden little Thai restaurant in Chinatown, or even hitting up a fancy nightclub like Jekyll and Hyde right in town, it’s no secret the sky’s the limit. for fabulous food.
1. New York Gorilla Cheese:
I love a good trend and I also love a good grilled cheese sandwich. There’s a place in our hometown whose menu is centered around this all-time favorite, so I wanted to see the New York version hit the streets. Gorilla Cheese NYC is one of the most famous food trucks in the city and for good reason. The sensory overload menu is packed with aromatic cheeses, fresh bread varieties and toppings so you can choose exactly what you want in your sammie. I ordered the feature of the day, the Brooklyn Special, a perfect combination of asiago, parma prosciutto in a carefully crafted upside down panini. I think it was the best grilled cheese I’ve ever had. And then I topped it off with their mac and cheese bites. It was two thumbs up. It’s nice that this meal was a “roader” and I had a few blocks to get to my next location so I could walk over it and satisfy the calories.
2. Jekyl & Hyde Club:
OK, Jekyl & Hyde Club is not a place for the faint of heart. Located at 91 7th Avenue, their tagline is that anything can happen at their food club and it’s true. Prepare to be scared to death or entertained, whatever you want to call it! I was on pins and needles and I wasn’t sure if my mind was only on the menu. Its dark, dimly lit atmosphere reminds me of Halloween and the old ’60s TV series, Dark Shadows. The creepy actors/waiters interacted with us while we ate creating a unique “what happens next” vibe. But I was very happy with the delicious, albeit creepy, menu. Mom left my mind wondering about the ingredients and who was cooking in the kitchen. The burger is covered in cheese, for God’s sake! We ordered the pizza with the Cannnibals sausage, pepperoni and meatballs. Then we accompany her with a familiar bottle of beer. They have a huge, monster sized drink menu that won’t scare you away!
3. Garrett East’s Dinner:
Wow, nothing like looking for your food. This small, but infamous set is hidden, so only those in the know know about this little gem. Fortunately, we did. Our colleague knew someone who knew someone who got reservations for us. He only seats about 20 guests and reservations are a must. He reminded me of Carrie and the friends from Sex and the City who loved going to the hottest new places. Dinnertable’s Mexican food was delicious and ready in a New York minute, which is great news when you’re starving after a long day in the city. The seafood was extraordinary and the fact that we were behind an unmarked locked door made for a great experience.
This delightful little secluded beauty is on the Bowery alley and has been serving up spectacular food since 2004. Hmm, just the idea of eating in an alley may not be your thing, but think again. Freeman’s Restaurant is rustic and inspired by Old World American traditions, so there’s a little bit of American history built into every dish. I was drawn to the grilled whole Edenbrook trout, the beluga lentils, and even their popular half-roasted chicken. My favorite was the Pan Roasted Tile Fish crispy potatoes, black lentils, saffron aioli, spring onion vinaigrette which I shared with my sister. Once you finally get a table, you don’t want to leave. The sensory experience is like no other and the service is excellent. Freeman’s takes reservations…get this…one month in advance and for groups over 13, you have to reserve your table a year in advance. That’s planning! They say one part of the dining room is walk-in, but if you decide to visit on a whim, you might find yourself waiting and waiting and waiting at the bar and then eating there too.
Exclusive, modern and private is how I would describe the Bohemian, a Japanese restaurant and bar. This hidden gem is coincidentally located behind a Noho, Manhattan butcher shop. The trick of the day is that you have to know someone to get in. I can’t even believe we were able to bookmark a table because it’s so exclusive and mysterious. I immediately fell in love with the low layers, the artistic atmosphere and the Asian vibe. The historic building used to be the home of the infamous artist Andy Warhol and later the popular 1980s graffiti artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat. As someone who appreciates the arts, the creativity and history of this building was overwhelming and a bit sobering. Now for the food. Prepare your chopsticks and your appetite because everything on the menu is as extraordinary as the setting. I ordered a bucket of oysters and enough saki for a sailor. Andy Warhol would have approved.
What’s up! Okay, I can never say, but I can certainly recommend it! This unique palate pleasure is tucked away in the back of a bodega (a small grocery store in a Spanish speaking neighborhood), open until midnight and get this, you just have to part $3.00 for one of the hottest tacos! memories of your life! This secret is found inside Tehuitzingo Deli and Grocery in Hell’s Kitchen, making the experience even more memorable. Trust me, you won’t walk away hungry, far from it. The portions are family size and deliciously authentic. Note that there are no tables. That’s how it is. You get a stool to lean on the counter or to stand on. All you need is your appetite and sense of Mexican adventure. You can also grab a jar of salsa or other grocery items for a take-home bout of snacking later.