This past Saturday my husband and I traveled with some friends to New York for a food tour. It was one of the best trips I have ever taken. We designed our own food tour from places we had heard about from TV as well as took some advice from local New Yorkers. Our friends had traveled to New York recently so we relied on them as our tour guide. We always wanted to go to New York, but thought it would be hard to find everything. Also, with our bad sense of direction we were convinced we would get lost and be wandering around New York forever. However, after going this past Saturday we realized it is pretty easy to get around. We will be planning another trip soon.
So, let me share with you our “New York Food Tour”. I encourage you to try out any or all of these places. Pictures provided by our friend John who runs JA Creative.
First Stop: Carlos Bake Shop in Hoboken, NJ- Home of the Cake Boss
One of my favorite shows is Cake Boss. If you have never seen the show – you should. I love designing cakes and so watching this show is so amazing to me. We were a little worried about stopping here. The reviews we had read were not very glowing of Carlo’s Bake Shop. The reviews showed that the average wait in line was four hours. I even read one review where a lady had waited eight hours and when she got to the front of the line the shop closed early. We decided to drive to the shop anyway and prepared ourselves for the worse case scenario. We figured if the line was too long we would just hop out of the car, take our picture and leave. We want to see the shop without developing a hatred for Buddy and his show.
When we arrived the line wasn’t long at all. So, we got in line, and it was just in time. As soon as we stepped in line one of the two bouncers at the door moved everyone who was in line behind us down a block to form new line. In a matter of minutes the line grew about a block long. Our total wait time was a half hour. Not bad at all. While in line we asked one of the bouncers some questions about the show and he was so friendly and knew a lot of information.
Once inside we bought some t-shirts. Then we ordered some cannolis and lobster tails. So yummy! The Lobster Tails were like a croissant filled with french cream. The whole experience was worth it. I don’t know if it would have been worth it if we had to wait four hours. But it was for a half hour wait. The only thing that would have made it better was to have seen Buddy himself, but we knew that probably would not have happened.
Second Stop: Soul Daddy’s – Winner of NBC’s America’s Next Great Restaurant
This was our one and only let down. All of us had followed the show and were excited to try this new Soul Food restaurant. However, the food did not live up to expectations. The chicken was dry, the sides were not anything special, and the sauces were average. I appreciated the natural ingredients and the healthy spin, but overall this is not a place I would go out of my way to travel to. I would pick Boston Market over this restaurant any day of the week. I would probably avoid going to it in my next trip to New York. Unfortunately, we believe Soul Daddy’s does not have long for this world. I will say the best thing I ate there was the corn bread waffle. Other than that, don’t waste your time or money.
Third Stop: Ma Peche (Owned by Momofuku’s Milk Bar)
This is home of the Compost Cookie and Crack Pie. If you are wondering what Compost Cookie is, well it is exactly what it sounds like. It is a cookie filled with everything but the kitchen sink. It can have chocolate chips, candy, potato chips, gold fish, pretzels. Anything you like can go inside. The one I had consisted of: pretzels, potato chips, coffee, oats, butterscotch, chocolate chips. SO GOOOOOD. Definitely worth it. But better still was their Crack Pie. It’s called Crack Pie because it is so good its as addictive as “crack”. Let me tell you, it lived up to it’s name. The pie is made of a toasted oat crust and a gooey butter filling. The next time I go I will try their candy bar pie. Well worth the stop. Loved every bite!
Fourth Stop: John’s Pizzeria – “no slices”
The message that they do not sell slices was everywhere! So, be warned, they DO NOT SELL SLICES. However, their pies are not too expensive. They cost as much as a your average pizza, but the quality is so much better than any pizza I have ever tasted. The atmosphere of the restaurant in Time Square was great as well. The pizzeria is located inside an old church and one is the largest pizzeria in the country. It can seat up to 500 people. This stop alone is worth a trip to New York.
Fifth Stop: Junior’s – Most Fabulous Cheesecake
I don’t know if I would call it Most Fabulous Cheesecake but it is one of the best I have ever had. I would say it is equal to any cheesecake I have had at The Cheesecake Factory . The one we tried was the Devil’s Food Cheesecake and it was very yummy. I’m not sure if I would try it again though.
I hope I have peaked your curiosity if not your taste buds. If you try any of these places let me know what you think. Overall it was an awesome day. Not just because of the food, but also for the fellowship we had with friends. The weather was great and the day was just perfect. The Lord is good. He always gives above and beyond what we could ask or think.