48 Obese Hours in New York City
Author: Khamilah Khelili "Eat Your Calories"
New York is a city I have been fortunate enough to come back to time and time again over the years. There are spots I refuse to leave without returning to, and every single trip, I also discover new dining options that reawaken my love for the metropolis. This time, I had just a little over 48 hours to get as much eating done as possible. Thankfully, my partner in devouring was my friend Joana, who is one of the few people in this world with an appetite as ginormous as mine.
Below is all the good grub we got our hands on!
The Magnolia Banana Pudding
#1 Magnolia Bakery
While the cupcake craze has passed and there are a million other equally good cupcake shops in NY, the Magnolia banana pudding is unlike anything else in this world. Get the large tub. For yourself. I bought just one for me and Joana to share. It was the worst decision I made this year.
Perfect Mozzarella Sticks
#2 Smorgasburg Market
Famous for showcasing NY’s diverse street food scene all in one place, if you hit up the city during the warmer months, failing to visit Smorgasburg means you’re no real foodie. The market runs only on weekends in two different locations in Brooklyn, with different vendors being present on Saturdays and Sundays.
We kicked things off with classic mozzarella sticks from Big Mozz. Mozzarella in larger than life format makes the cheese porn more satisfying, my tummy happier, and my thighs fatter.
Deep-Fried Brownie Batter
The rest ended up becoming an accidental dessert fest. Firstly, we opted for the deep-fried brownie batter balls from Dō. If you’re a fan of cookie dough, this will blow your mind.
Next, was a mixed fruit whipped cream sando from a Japanese stall that I don’t know the name of because Smorgasburg isn’t smart enough to supply their vendors list on their website. Bon Appetit Magazine called this sandwich a “dessert filled with joy”. I’d say mild joy.
Ok, time for a drink. Joana and I are matcha addicts. So obvs we stopped at Matchaful. Their Moon Berry cold drink is some confusing colourful concoction. But who cares when it’s 27 degrees with 80% humidity and if tastes delicious. Bonus, you get a free reusable bamboo straw with your order.
New York: The Capitol of Cheesecakes
#3 Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery
We are all well aware that New York is the capital of cheesecake. Yet my love for Japanese version has made me completely forget about the western original. Though when Joana’s New Yorker cousin told us that Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery makes THE New York cheesecake, our fat asses ran as fast as we could to get our slices before closing time.
We ordered the oh so rightly named Heavenly Cheesecake with lemon zest and vanilla bean as well as the fall special Pumpkin (of course) Cheesecake, which made all my basic white girl dreams come true. We were ready to leave when a group of people came in frantically asking if there were granola bars left. We figured that ought to be something good and bought one ourselves. If every granola was as decadent and delicious as this one, I would eat this stuff way more often. But I guess being unhealthy goes against the average principle of granola.
Tex Mex at Mexicure
The cuisine isn’t watered down Mexican, but food rather a real fusion between the two sides of the border that naturally took form in Texas. It’s a known fact that the state is famous for its BBQ. At Mexicue, traditional Mexican ingredients are incorporated with southern flavours seamlessly in a way that will make you want to further explore what Tex Mex truly is all about.
Food Porn at Levain Bakery
#5 Levain Bakery
Imagine a cookie and a cake had sex and made a fat cookie. Sounds amazing right? Get 100. It still won’t be enough.
Food Coma coming up at Cafeteria
If you love SATC as much as I do, you already know why we came here. It’s where my four favourite gals have breakfast on every episode of the best show ever created. This iconic establishment is open 24/7, pumping out good food in portions hefty enough to fill two baby elephants like Joana and I.
Just perfect meat!
#7 Peter Luger
There are experiences that make me look at food, and life in general, in a whole new way. Peter Luger is one of them. This place hasn’t been around for 125 years for no reason. Forget every steak you ever had. Yes, you too you Argentinian reading this. I am Brazilian, so I can talk. Now forget every burger you ever had. And thirdly, every bacon. Did I just destroy your three favourite foods? Ya, I know. Peter Luger does them all better. So much better. You need everything on the menu. Even the creamed spinach and the potatoes. Even the sundae.
The restaurant is as old school as it gets from the waiters who have been there for 50 years to their cash-only policy to the classic no fuss dishes. The meal is a splurge but I promise it is worth every penny. FYI, wear your stretchiest pants and book well in advance.
After-Dinner Snack at Joe's Pizza
#8 Joe's Pizza
Joe's Pizza serves pizza by the slice, making it a great snack stop post-Peter Luger (don’t judge us) while you browse all the Williamsburg boutiques with clothes you won’t fit in after this trip. There’s a time and a place to order pizza with fancy toppings. Don’t do that here. Their 4 cheese and marguerite pies are as good as it gets.
Speakeasy Bar Back Room
#9 Back Room
I don’t usually talk about bars. For one, I’m not a big drinker, and thus, I don’t go to them often. As we were waiting for a table at our dinner establishment of choice, we had time to kill.
Our lovely host (hi Ana) suggested we check out Back Room, a real speakeasy from prohibition times where the drinks are still served in tea cups and paper bags just as they were almost a hundred years ago. It’s a hipster’s dream without it even being hipster; an authentic badass piece of New York history.
Signature Ramen by the genious of Ivan Orkin
#10 Ivan Ramen
Thanks to David Chang and Chef’s Table, the world got to know the legend that is Ivan Orkin and Ivan Ramen. His restaurant has been on my list ever since. For some reason, his sun-dried tomato ramen is what made him famous in Japan. I guess cause tomatoes are exotic to the Japanese? I don’t know. The point is, it’s not the best thing on the menu.
We were told the Chicken Paitan Ramen is the most popular and Ivan’s personal favourite. It’s also the best bowl of ramen you will ever slurp in your life.
Candy Heaven at Economy Candy
#11 Economy Candy
This store has been around since the 1930s. We stumbled upon it on our way to breakfast and were beside ourselves. Every possible candy that has ever existed in the USA can be found here; from current favourites to sweets you never got to try because they were discontinued before you were even born.
Joana and I spent a solid hour, if not more, filling our baskets with our favourite throwbacks. We highly recommend you bring a luggage to carry everything you will end up buying.
A "can't go wrong" bakery
#12 Supermoon Bakehouse
The beauty of NY is that you stumble upon a meal on your way to your next meal. Before dinner the night before, we saw this bakery, and so, we came back the next morning. As if croissants, muffins, doughnuts, etc weren’t good enough as they are, Supermoon fills them to the brim with a million yummy combinations like dehydrated strawberries, raspberry jelly, and white chocolate shards.
You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, especially if you order the chai and butter croissant soft serve swirl. It doesn’t hurt either that the interior is ridiculously IG-appropriate.
Rice Puddings 2.0
#13 Rice to Riches
Joana is Portuguese. When I told her there was a rice pudding bar we couldn’t miss, she looked at me sceptically as if I just said we needed to go to McDonald’s. Rice pudding is as common to her as poutine is to my Canadian-raised self. No matter. I dragged her ass, telling her to trust me.
Rice to Riches takes the humble traditional dessert and like anything in America, makes it bigger, sweeter, while also creating many more varietals. They’re like an ice cream parlour but for rice pudding. I’ve been going there for the past decade and have yet to try a flavour I didn’t love. Don’t add any toppings unless your goal is to get diabetes. They’re luscious enough on their own. My doubtful friend was certainly sold.
For more Foodie Bucket List Adventures visit Eat Your Calories!