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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fun Food Day in NYC

It's been a long time since my sister-in-law Brigette came for a fun day in NYC. She is a big foodie and a fantastic cook, so I knew I could entice her to come when I got tickets to a taping of ABC's new talk show The Chew, with two of her favorite chefs, Mario Batali and Michael Symon.

The taping stars at 9am, so we had to be at the studio on 67th St. and Columbus Ave. at 7:30am. We were hoping for a good giveaway, and since it was publication day for Mario Batali's new cookbook, Molto Batali, we walked away with a free copy.

The show was fun, with host Clinton Kelly and executive producer Gordon Elliot putting on quite a show with their dance moves to 'bad 70's songs'.  Former Top Chef contestant Carla Hall, also a host on the show, showed off some goofy dance moves too.

Michael Symon and Brigette
On our way out, Brigette got to meet Michael Symon and tell him that her husband is a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan too.

The Live with Regis & Kelly set is right down the street, and they were looking for new audience members for their Eddie Murphy interview. I've been to Regis before when Bette Midler co-hosted with Kelly, but seeing Regis on his TV show is on my Bucket List, so I got to cross that off when we got in to see this. It was pretty cool to see Eddie Murphy too, he is one snappy dresser.
Eddie Murphy, Regis, Kelly

Regis talking to the audience

After that, we raced to get downtown to meet Josh from Sidewalk Tours of NY. The traffic was bad, and there are all kinds of security barricades up down there, so we got there in the nick of time. Josh was a great tour guide, and we only had two other people in our group, Tom & Diane, a married couple from New Jersey who were very nice.

Josh gave us a little history of the area, and then we visited five Food Trucks. There are a bunch of Food Trucks that park near Hanover Square and serve lunch to the hungry hordes of workers in the Financial District near Battery Park.

At the first truck we ate Korean tacos from Big D's Grub Truck. I had never had a Korean taco, and it was really tasty, with the crunch of cucumber and the heat of the spices adding a unique dimension.

Next we had souvlaki on a stick at Souvlaki GR, winner of Rookie of the Year last year at the Vendy Awards, and this year taking home the Customer Favorite award. We had the pork souvlaki, and it came with two small pita triangles and a tangy yogurt sauce. The pork just melted in your mouth, it was so tender.

We headed down the street to Jiannetto's for a grandma slice of authentic NYC pizza. The sauce was just perfect, as was the melted mozzarella and basil.

Our fourth stop was San Luis Tacos, which featured Mexican and Equidorian food. We tasted something like a quesadilla, with chicken, cheese and sauce that was heavenly, and my favorite of the day.

We finished with a mini Rocky Road cupcake from the Cupcake Crew, and it was one of the best cupcakes I have had in NYC, second only to Two Little Red Hens.

If you come to NYC and love to eat, check out the Sidewalk Tours of NYC. They have several different ones from which to choose. It was so much fun, and a great chance to try different foods. You'll never look at the food trucks in the same way. (Food Network also has a cool show called The Great Food Truck Race that features gourmet trucks like these)
Big D's Grub Truck

Cupcake Crew Truck
We ended the day at Eataly, the new Italian marketplace near Madison Square Park. It is owned by Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich and her son, Joseph. I had been there before, but never eaten at any of the restaurants. I had the best pasta I have ever had anywhere; it was a spinach ravioli, with a lemon butter sauce topped with pistachios. Brigette has been to Italy, and says that this pasta dish rivaled the pasta from Italy.

It's a wonderful place to shop for Italian specialty groceries, and the gelato is melt-in-your-mouth delicious. This is a place you want to be able to spend a few hours in.

And so ended our Foodie Day, with full stomachs and aching feet. 


  1. OMG what a day. WOW WOW WOW. I love the new Mario cookbook (I have a copy here waiting to be reviewed), how lucky you were to snag a free copy. Sounds like you and your SIL had one of the best foodie days ever.

  2. WOW is right! Any of those events would have made my day - you and Brigette had a very eventful, fun-filled time!

    Thanks for the recommendations - have heard only good things about Eataly, and the Sidewalk Tours will be on my list for an upcoming trip to NYC.

  3. Dawn, we got a good deal on Groupon for the Sidewalk Tour- you should try there before you come. If you have any free time when you are in NYC, let me know, we could meet for a drink!

  4. I took a food tour of the village from Sidewalk and it was really good - our guide was very funny and we stopped at some iconic village eateries! We actually tried to do the food truck one but it was sold out. Glad to know it is good - I will definitely try it the next time there is a groupon.

  5. I definitely want to do the Village tour too!