This past weekend, Nick and I took a little mini-break to NYC. Once upon a time I used to make it to New York several times a year, but then I changed roles, and no more. The last time I visited the city was 2015 - entirely too long ago. Needless to say, this trip was extremely overdue, especially since I've been watching Ugly Delicious and basically want to eat everything that David Chang eats on that show.
I'm not a food blogger, nor do I ever claim to be one, but I'm a big fan of great food, and this trip did not disappoint on the food front. Here's a record of everything I ate.
Friday lunch: Ippudo. I'm going through a major ramen phase. I've eaten ramen nearly every single weekend since March, and this weekend continued that trend. Ippudo's spicy miso was delicious, but if you're local to Cleveland, I would put Xinji's spicy miso ramen up against this any day. And honestly, in a head to head battle, Xinji would win.
Friday dinner: Babu Ji. I've been craving really good Indian food since we got back from India, and had been debating between Babu Ji and Bombay Bread Bar. However right before our trip, Thrillist rated Babu Ji the 2nd best Indian in the country, so our choice was made. And Babu Ji did not disappoint. The cocktails were on point, and the tasting menu was INCREDIBLE (and at under $70 per person, was quite a steal, and also the only way to get a reservation). We started with 4 appetizers, and then the main course included a thali, which translates to "plate". A traditional Indian thali includes several small bowls (katori) of different food, and the Babuji Thali was honestly a little intimidating. Go hungry, or you will not finish this meal.
Saturday morning: Zucker's Bagels and Smoked Fish. There was no way I was going to NYC and not eating a bagel. Zucker's is a local bagel chain - solid, reliable bagels, and Saturday morning's marble rye toasted with lox spread was no exception.
Saturday lunch: Given my aforementioned David Chang + ramen obsession, there was no way we were going to miss the opportunity for some Momofuku ramen. Having read all the reviews I was mentally prepared for a wait, but to my surprise we were seated right away when we showed up a little before 1:30 pm. The ramen was delicious and porky - no regrets. Also if you have to choose between Momofuku and Ippudo, pick Momofuku.
Saturday dinner: Ok, so I lied. I don't have a picture of Saturday night's dinner because it was a stand-and-eat type experience at Dekalb Market Hall in Brooklyn with our friends Jon, Katy and Matt. I love food halls, and this was no exception - I dined on paella and nutella stuffed churros, but since I don't have pictures of the food, here's one of the market instead.
Sunday Brunch: We knew we needed to leave for the airport around 1 pm, and having heard rumors of legendary waits for Sunday brunch, our criteria was (a) a place that we could get an 11 or 11:30 am reservation, and (b) had good reviews. We ended up with an initial reservation at ABC Kitchen, but changed plans Sunday morning to The Smith - NoMad. It's shockingly large for a New York City restaurant, but I loved the white subway tiles and general decor, and the food didn't disappoint either. My short rib hash was a delicious blend of creamy cheese grits and short rib, topped with potato straws - unexpected, and such a great addition.
And with that, we headed home, happy and full, and quite a bit bloated. If you need me, I'll be eating salads for the rest of the week.