Charles says that the reason that food is so good in New York is because you're so grateful you survived to eat it.
I recently returned from a business trip in Manhattan. While the food at the hotel wasn't all that, wandering around the streets and randomly choosing restaurants worked really well. Almost everything that I ate out was dynamite, and all of it was an experience.
It began with the evening that my boss and I arrived in NYC. We were starving but didn't want to eat in the hotel restaurant. My boss had been given a list of places to go while in the Big Apple, and she was VERY emphatic that we try one of those spots, so I chose a German eatery. I've never been to a German restaurant, so I thought it might be a fun experience. I still have never eaten at a German restaurant. After 45 minutes of wandering around, stomachs growling loud enough to scare fellow pedestrians, we discovered that the eatery in question no longer existed. My boss then admitted that her friend hadn't lived in New York in a number of years. Ugh! Rather annoyed by this point, I said, "There's an Italian place. Let's eat there." And so began our saga of lucky picks. (I had the Ravioli alla Vodka which was stuffed with goat cheese and spinach and topped with pink vodka sauce and asparagus. I paired it with a Pinot, and it was so amazing, I didn't want to stop eating.)
The morning found us stumbling in search of coffee and sustenance. In that order! We walked a few feet down to the Carnegie Deli. The waiter was the best part about our time spent at the Deli. Since it was breakfast time, I opted for a breakfast dish, not one of their (in)famous sandwiches. While the food was okay, the portions were way too large and the coffee was Robusta. The waiter bullied me into getting a bagel with my meal. The strong-arming was hilarious, and he was right. The bagel -- a classic New York wonder of a bagel, was the best part of my meal.
The next night was much the same. We met up with our friend from the Chico Co-op, saw the sights, and realized extreme hunger. Once again, we wandered and ended up at a pretty tasty Indian restaurant. Now, being from Yuba City, Calif. -- also known as "little India" -- I can be pretty picky about my Indian cuisine, but I have to vouch for the place. The decor was fun/quaint/trying to be classy, which I LOVED. The food was awesome. I paired my Chicken Tikka Masala with a Kingfisher Lager. The lager wasn't much to sneeze at on its own, but paired with the food, wonderful banana notes surfaced, so I couldn't say no to a second glass.
My final night in the big city's main event was getting to see a Broadway show. But before doing something ever-so-fancy, the contrary part of my nature wanted something more down-to-earth. That's how we ended up at a brew pub, a place I had had my eye on since the first night. I enjoyed a pulled-pork sandwich, fries, and a very tasty Irish Amber.
Well, since coming back from New York, I haven't had a satisfying meal. Is it because I'm looking for something really fancy-pants or because I just have me some classic palate fatigue?
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