Neighborhood Comfort Foods

February 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

From time to time, I think of the dishes or meals in New York that I will miss most one day when I no longer live here. While there are certainly some outstanding dishes from gourmet meals that I will never forget (and probably merit their own post), I often find myself craving the simple comfort foods even more as many evoke memories of the friends with whom I discovered them. We revisit them frequently (sometimes too frequently I admit) as they all reside only a short walk from my apartment. These will certainly be the things that I prioritize and weave into my return visits. For those in the city or those who venture here for a visit here are some of simple edible pleasures of my life in New York that I would not want anyone to miss:

Sugarless Berry Scone
Joe The Art of Coffee

This scone is a perfect mid morning breakfast  when paired with one of Joe’s perfect lattes. The berries themselves provide just enough sweetness and the flakey, crumbly scone has the perfect ratio of soft interior to crunch, browned exterior. The sugarless connotates health, but I think the jury is still out on that one…

Banana Buckwheat Pancakes
Veselka

While Veselka holds a place in many people’s hearts for pierogies and blintzes, I can’t resist their buckwheat pancakes. The buckwheat is much heartier than the typical buttermilk variety and when bananas are added an almost banana bread like texture and flavor occurs.

Gnocco
Gnocco

The gnocco found in this quaint East Village Italian spot are puffed, deep fried pillows of savory dough served with cured meats such as prosciutto and salami. I’ve found ordering entrees to be futile here as I much prefer to indulge in these paired with a nice salad and red wine and spare no room for a second course.

Pork Buns
Momofuku Ssam Bar, Noodle Bar and/or Milk Bar

These 3-bite steamed buns are the perfect combination of succulent pork belly, thinly sliced cucumbers, a sweet hoisin sauce and soft, pillowly bun. A few drops of sriracha is all that is needed to add the perfect bit of kick to each bite.

Spicy Garden Pizza
Posto

While the spicy garden is no longer an official menu item, one can achieve the same results by ordering a pie topped with broccoli, jalapeno and mushrooms. Posto has mastered the thin crust pizza in my opinion, and the veggie toppings add just enough volume to make this quite filling and even more spicy (thanks to the jalapenos). Like me, you may find you don’t miss the meaty toppings at all.

Mixed Platter
Cafe Mogador

The hummus, labne (which I substitute for babaganoush), tabouli and salad  are something I crave on a regular basis, especially when spread onto Cafe Mogador’s freshly baked pita. Be sure to request their homemade hot which is a must for those who enjoy spice.

 

 

 

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