Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Friday, November 16, 2012

[Travel] New York November 2012 - Part One

We arrived into New York on Friday afternoon. The flight with Aer Lingus had been far from great (food-wise) as my pre-ordered gluten-free meal hadn't made it onto the plane. In addition, all of the snacks and chocolate on sale from the trolley contained wheat in some form or another. By the time we were approaching JFK, my tummy was growling.

We had booked a hotel in the middle of all the cool spots - SoHo, NoHo, the Lower East Side and the East Village. Even better was the fact that the famous Katz's Deli was just a few blocks down the street. Around since 1888, and lately featured on Adam Richman's show "Best Sandwich in America", Katz's Deli is truly legendary. It's gloriously untouched by time, from the paper ticket you receive as you enter all the way to the formica tables and counter tops. Hundreds of photos line the walls, and their famous "Send a salami to your boy in the army" slogan is everywhere. 
Tables and photo adorned walls at Katz's Deli
Even before we had left Ireland, himself had decided that he was going to order the Reuben ($16.75) - a massive sandwich of thickly sliced pastrami, melted swiss cheese, Russian dressing and sauerkraut. I went for the melt in your mouth fatty gloriousness of a hot open faced brisket sandwich ($16.05). Even the terrible frozen steak-style chips couldn't ruin this carnivore delight. Katz's Deli feels immutable, as if it will transcend the centuries. You can read more about Katz's in this GQ article from Alan Richman.
Hanging salamis, the Reuben sandwich and the hot open brisket sandwich
Schillers is located in a former drugstore on the corner of Rivington & Norfolk and comes from famous New York restauranteur Keith McNally. We were lured in by the promise of half-price happy hour cocktails, but our server told us that they wouldn't be available for another hour. Regardless, we decided to stay for one, and I had a slightly savoury tasting pear-jalapeno margarita (if possibly a little too light on the lime). 
Schillers, Rivington Street
Later in the night, we found ourselves down at the northern end of Chinatown. To be honest, it never takes us very long to find asian food, and so we entered Nam Son, a Vietnamese restaurant on Grand Street. After waiting for some tables to turn over, we were seated and we quickly chose two bowls of the ridiculously cheap pho, along with a beef & lemongrass stirfry.

The broth used in pho is made over many hours, by boiling bones, spices and meats. The result is a light coloured broth, which is rich in flavour. Both varieties of pho were wonderful (beef for me and seafood for him), with oodles of noodles. In my case, the topping of thin raw beef slices cooked quickly in the broth once pushed under with the chopsticks. 
Bowls of pho and condiments at Nam Son'n
That's the end of Part One of our eating in New York, but if you want more, read on in Part Two.

Katz's Deli, 205 East Houston Street, New York 10002
Tel: +1 (212) 254-2246
URL: http://katzsdelicatessen.com

Schiller's Liqour Bar, 131 Rivington Street, New York 10002
Tel: +1 (212) 260-4555
URL: www.schillersny.com
Twitter: @SchillersNY

Nam So'n, 245 Grand Street #1, New York 10002
Tel: +1 (212) 966-6507
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