This week I had the opportunity to be in the audience for Martha Stewart‘s blogging show. I wasn’t one of the cool kids live blogging in the laptop section, but it was a fun experience nonetheless. One of the guests, Eddie Ross (also a Martha employee and Top Design contestant), blogged from backstage, for a different perspective. Matt Armendariz of Matt Bites was the featured foodblogger, who cooked up a batch of cookies with Martha.
I made the most of my day in New York with a foodie tour of the city. I keep a running list on del.icio.us of places I need to visit in NYC, and since I only had a couple hours after the show, I had to narrow it down to a few highlights. In the spirit of Martha, here are my “Foodie Good Things, NYC.”
1. The Martha Stewart set. The kitchen is even more drool-worthy in person. And then there’s the prep kitchen to the side, which I would love to actually get inside of one day.
2. Hot dogs. I have far too many restaurants on my must-visit list, but with limited time I figured I’d stick with a classic fast food option, the hot dog. Little did I know we were going to have to sit through Martha tasting 27 hot dogs for a hot dog competition to air next week! Some of them were pretty spectacular (macaroni and cheese on top?!) and others Martha and her judging partner literally gagged on. I was vicariously hot dogged out by the end, but as I walked through Chelsea in search of a lunch spot, F&B Gudtfood caught my eye with a “healthy hot dog” claim. I settled on the Farm Dog, a chicken sausage on whole wheat bun topped with sweet corn salsa. Yum. Of course I countered the healthy selection with a helping of truffle fries. Can’t wait to see who wins Martha’s hot dog challenge next week, to add to my list for our next trip up.
3. Cupcakes. This is the city that started the cupcake craze, after all. I headed to batch nyc to check out their offerings. I was tempted by the chocolate matcha green tea, but couldn’t resist the salted caramel carrot cake. It’s hard to judge a cupcakery on a carrot cupcake, rather than something light and fluffy like basic vanilla, but this one was outstanding. Moist, dense, and full of fresh carrot without seeming overly healthy. The salted caramel frosting was scrumptious.
4. Cheese. Now that we have a cheese/gourmet shop in our neighborhood and an Italian store not far away, my pantry-stocking list is a little shorter when visiting NY. But that wasn’t going to deter me from visiting the cheese mecca, Murray’s, in the Village. They claimed to carry more of the Wine Spectator 100 Great Cheeses than anyone else, but I failed to count them to see how Cheesetique measures up. I found one of those 100 that I don’t believe my shop carries to bring home, La Serena, which was excellent.
5. Cookbooks. Bonnie Slotnick‘s vintage cookbook shop is a treasure trove of food history, and if it were a little roomier, I could easily move in. The friendly owner hands out chocolates of the day, making the shop even more irresistible. I picked up a Peter Rabbit cookbook I’ve been searching for for years, for my kids’ cookbook collection.
6. Kids shops. Of course I couldn’t spend 24 hours away from home and not pick up a little something for the toddler. Doodle Doo‘s is a hair salon-slash-boutique with cute toys, onesies, books and games. What’s the food connection? The 1, 2, 3 New York counting book has apples, pizza and hot dogs, of course.
7. Gelato. Another NY must eat, my gelateria of choice was Grom. I had the flavor of the month, Noce, made from walnut oil from Sorrento. Grom uses all-natural ingredients, many from Italy, and supports the Slow Food Presidia project. And it was tasty, too. Rich, creamy and flavorful.
8. Greenmarket. Union Square’s Greenmarket is one of the largest in the country. I love seeing what’s in season in other parts of the country, though New York’s crops are fairly similar to ours. A couple vendors still had strawberries though, and there’s some definite NYC sticker-shock when stumbling across $5 per pound heirloom tomatoes. My $3 brandywine a couple weeks ago seems like a bargain now! I picked up a couple New Jersey peaches to snack on on my drive home, and to add a seventh state to my list of peaches sampled this year. (MD, VA, WV, PA, OR, WA and NJ.)
9. Bialys. We love the bialys from Slim’s over in Queens, and my in-laws were kind enough to pick them up for me to have ready for breakfast.
10. Pizza. Okay, it would be wildly inappropriate to write a Good Things NY list and not include pizza. We usually just eat at one of the perfectly acceptable places in Queens, where my in-laws live, but my personal favorite is in Brooklyn. I’m only a New Yorker by marriage, so please consult the experts before choosing a pizza joint for your own visit.
My biggest foodie craving left unsatisfied this visit was brunch at Balthazar. Would love to hear your NYC cravings or suggestions to add to my must-visit list!