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Posts Tagged ‘new york’

Our base was the lovely Village Guest House, a great value, no-frills  type of accommodation – no front desk, no daily maid service, and no breakfast. But getting the perfect breakfast was no problem whatsoever.

Colleen, the owner/manager of the establishment had prepared a little map of the surrounding area, indicating her recommended restaurants and other amenities. Marked on the map was also Patisserie Claude (or rather “Patisserie Pablo”, as Claude himself has apparently retired and his apprentice has taken over), and as it was the closest option, we decided to have our first breakfast there.

What happened was that for that week, we became regulars. There was absolutely no point going further: scrumptious fresh pastries and decent cappuccino, for a reasonable price – what else would one need?

From the outside, this little bakery doesn’t look like much, and there’s only three tiny tables inside. Therefore, for the rest of the week, one of us simply got us coffee and pastries (plain, chocolate, or almond croissants, all very nice indeed) from Patisserie Claude, and we enjoyed them in the comfort of our little studio apartment.

Later, I googled Patisserie Claude, and it seems that most people enjoy their fare, but there are few bad experiences as well, mainly relating to the service. However, during our week we had nothing to complain about.

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One thing on the Original Soupwoman’s to-do list for this New York trip was to sample authentic New York cheesecake. The problem was, where?

Fortunately, this problem was solved during free Times Square Expose Walking Tour – our guide waxed lyrical about the cheesecake served at Junior’s, a Brooklyn establishment now having a location near Times Square as well (1515 Broadway, at 44th St): “The best cheesecake in town, take it from the fat guy.” And we took his word for it, and later, as we had an hour or so to spare before our allotted entrance to a nearby Tutankhamen exhibition, we thought a slice of cheesecake would make a nice snack.

First, we both wanted to have a slice of the plain original cheesecake, but our waitress advised that the second slice should be something else, and recommended carrot cake cheesecake. That suited the Inhouse Food Critic perfectly, as he loves carrot cake.

Daily calorie requirement and then some in one slice...

When our slices arrived, we were glad we had not ordered any food. They were huge. They were also good – rich, creamy smooth and not sickly sweet. I somehow managed to eat it all, but as Inhouse Food Critic’s slice was practically twice the size, with the added carrot cake, his efforts failed. I pondered for a moment asking for a doggy bag for it, but as we were going to the exhibition I thought it would have been impractical. But if and when I go to New York again, I will definitely get myself a slice of Junior’s cheesecake!

P.S. Apologies for the blurry photo, but it is the only one I got, and you have to see it to believe it!

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At the end of April, despite the chaos in the air caused by an unpronounceable Icelandic volcano, the Original Soupwoman and the Inhouse Food Critic headed for New York, with an intention of spending there a week pretending to be New Yorkers. Our base was a studio apartment in the Village, a stone’s throw from Washington Square and Bleecker Street.

But Soupwoman’s first story is not about any of the lovely culinary establishments in the neighbourhood – it is about the Ultimate Sandwich.

It is a Finnish tradition to have a picnic brunch on May Day. Being in New York, Central Park was the obvious choice for the location. As for the food, we decided to keep it simple and just grab a sandwich on the way there.

Soon we found ourselves queueing at the counter in the Carnegie Deli. We had heard it was famous for its hot pastrami sandwich, so we decided to have one each, despite the whopping price of nearly 15 dollars. When we got our bag, it was surprisingly heavy, but we had no idea what awaited us.

Then, after we found the perfect picnic spot, it was revealed to us. There are no words – and it was as good as it looks:

Pastrami Sandwich by Carnegie Deli – can you finish it?

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Those who ever wore a kerchief a la Ally McBeal, saw Friends when it first came out, had their mind blown by Nirvana, laughed at Ren and Stimpy, were awed by The Matrix, and knew what they really, really wanted, surely remember Seinfeld, right? And if you were a fan or even a casual viewer, you must remember the Soup Nazi as well? And you are aware that the character was based on real person? You’re with me then, good.

A couple of years ago, when the Inhouse Food Critic and the Soupwoman visited New York, New York for the first time, it just so happened that one of The Original Soupman(TM) restaurants was in the neighbourhood, and of course we wanted to give it a try. We had one of the meal deals I think, not sure what exactly but it was reasonably tasty and filling, but not mind-blowing, and perhaps a bit pricey for being “just” a soup meal.

But that is not the point here. When we were finishing our meal, I saw a big, bald man speaking on his mobile and gesturing energetically. I had my camera out, so I snapped a photo of the scene. Then some of the staff came out, and had their picture taken with him, and it was not until then when I realised that it was the Soupman himself – with a lot less hair, but it was clearly the same guy as in the logo. He noticed me in the window with my camera, and he smiled and waved at me. And why not, I’m sure he laughed all the way to the bank as well, back in the day when Seinfeld made him notorious!

After the photos, The Original Soupman let his staff to pose in his fancy Mercedes.

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