Sam and I are back in the Bay Area, and I wanted to share a few food-related highlights from our trip.
Le Pain Quotidien Waffle Window at Central Park
Waffles have a long history in New York City. New York was originally colonized by the Dutch, who brought waffles to the New World. While walking through Central Park, Sam and I discovered the Le Pain Quotidien Waffle Window, which serves waffles with numerous toppings, both sweet and savory. Sam and I ordered a waffle topped with lox, spring onions and sour cream. The waffle was light and crispy, and it was refreshing to have a savory instead of a sweet waffle topping. The lox and waffle combo would make an excellent brunch item.
TAO New York Restaurant
In my “Greetings from the Big Apple” post I asked for restaurant or food recommendations for New York City. Bethany recommended that we try TAO New York Restaurant. Following Bethany’s advice, we made reservations and headed out for a night on the town. TAO has a hip, trendy atmosphere: dim lighting, city-chic concrete walls, a giant Buddha statue and thumping techno-lounge music. Yelp reviewers complained that the music at TAO is too loud, but we were lucky to be seated at a quiet table tucked into a nook.
TAO takes its guests on “a sensual trip through the cuisines of Asia,” serving dishes from Japan, China and Thailand. Our sleuthing on Yelp revealed that guests were crazy for TAO’s Teriyaki Glazed Chilean Sea Bass. We ordered the sea bass along with a side of vegetarian fried brown rice. This was hands down the best sea bass either of us had ever had—creamy, melt-in-your mouth delicious. We also ordered Thai crab cakes, which were very satisfying. We were disappointed with the lobster spring rolls because the portabella mushroom overpowered the lobster flavor. For dessert: banana pudding with fried bananas on top. Great banana flavor and a fun way to finish the meal. The hip atmosphere and good food made our evening at TAO a fun memory.
P.S. Sorry there are no pictures for TAO! It was way too dim in the restaurant to get any good shots.
Zabar’s is a fine foods and kosher foods emporium, “specializing in the finest smoked fish, caviar, coffee, cheese, kitchen equipment and housewares.” Established in 1934 by Louis and Lillian Zabar, Zabar’s has become a New York food landmark. The staff behind the meat, cheese, baked goods and coffee counters are happy to help you find just the item you are looking for. We bought a pound of Zabar’s French Italian coffee beans. Though we haven’t had a chance to try our coffee beans yet, we’ve heard good things about Zabar’s coffee. Upstairs, Zabar’s has possibly the largest selection of kitchen equipment I have ever encountered. From kitchen appliances to bamboo spatulas to cupcake liners, Zabar’s has great selection at incredible prices. If I lived in New York City or was staying for a longer period of time, I would definitely visit Zabar’s again and stock up on their meats, cheeses and breads.
E.A.T. deli and cafe is the brainchild of Eli Zabar, son of the couple who founded Zabar’s. Eli Zabar founded E.A.T. in 1973, and since then his establishment has grown to include several restaurants, a Kosher bakery, a mustard and vinegar factory, a flower shop and a summer ice cream shop. Whew! When we entered E.A.T., we were tempted by a whole-grain, seeded loaf, which we brought home with us and are still enjoying. We also stepped into the E.A.T. café next door and ordered coffee, smoked salmon and rugellach off the Teatime menu. The smoked salmon was excellent with the assortment of Eli’s breads it came with. The rugellach was disappointing—tasted like a standard cream cheese pastry crust. Still, I’d go back to E.A.T. in a heartbeat.