At the beginning of March I spent a weekend in NYC with Robert and two of my blogging besties: Abby of Heart of a Baker and Kelsey of Appeasing a Food Geek. That weekend developed because Abby and I made plans to see a live episode of the My Favorite Murder Podcast. Once that was finalized, I pulled Robert into the fun and we reached out to Kelsey since she lives nearby in Long Island. Before we knew it we were planning for an epic weekend of drinking and eating all the things together. In fact, we got so sucked into our planning that Abby and I kept forgetting the original reason for the trip: the podcast. Ha! But can you blame some food bloggers for getting overly excited about a food-filled weekend in NYC?
The live podcast WAS awesome and kind of surreal. The MFM audience is notoriously female-heavy, and I’d say the audience (of about 4000 people) at the live show was at least 98% female. Abby and I were in the second to last row of the upper balcony, but that did not detract from our enjoyment one bit. The stories they shared were pretty crazy and it was a fun, memorable episode for us. If you’re at all interested in true crime and haven’t listened to MFM yet, get on it ASAP! #SSDGM
But I know what you’re really here for: THE FOOD. As with most of my travel recaps, I’ll give you a full rundown of all the places we went. If you have any recommendations for me for future visits, please let me know in the comments. Here we go:
Our Airbnb was in Brooklyn, so we stayed relatively local for the evening and saved Manhattan stuff for Saturday. I realized later that Friday was basically my perfect night because it revolved around pizza, amazing cocktails and dessert. If we had thrown some french fries in there it would have been a grand slam.
What I drank: “Pear Shaped” (rye whiskey, pear (?), Benedictine, cinnamon)
What we ate: 3 pizzas: the Margherita (tomato, mozzarella, basil), the Famous Original (tomato, mozzarella, caciocavalla, parmigiano, oregano, chili), and the Nun on the Run (mozzarella, alp blossom, Brussels sprouts, caramelized onions, capers, lemon, chili) – but we asked them to hold the chili on the last two
Robert and I had tried to get into Roberta’s for dinner one night a few years ago but failed. We had high hopes for this trip, however, because we knew we were getting there slightly before the crazy NYC Friday night dinner rush. The timing worked out perfectly this time: Robert, Abby and I got there to put in our names, had a drink at the bar during our 45-minute wait, and then our table was ready just as Kelsey showed up. Yay!
My drink was fantastic and the pizzas were wonderful as well. After my first bite or two I thought it had been over-hyped, but by the end I was like, “No, this stuff is really good.” Their crust has a nuanced and interesting flavor. The Margherita and the Famous Original looked almost the same but tasted wildly different for two “plain” pizzas. I think the Famous Original was my favorite. The combination of cheeses gave it a complex and kind of smoky flavor profile. I’ve had their cookbook for a while now but haven’t made anything from it yet, so now I’m dying to try out their pizza dough to see how it turns out at home.
What I drank: “Violette Beauregarde” (Old Tom gin, Ceme de Violette, lemon, egg white, mint and lavender bitters)
We headed here after dinner to grab a drink with friends of ours who live in the neighborhood. This was my kind of place: small but fairly quiet, with a nice classic bar and a bartender who makes you fancy bevs. I would have loved to try another drink there (the “Sweater Song” was calling my name – a rye whiskey cocktail with amaro and oak-aged dandelion bitters), but I was saving myself for the next place.
What I drank: “Rita and Bernie” (Brown Butter-Washed Black Bottle Scotch, Cardamaro Vino Amaro, Angostura Bitters)
What Abby and Kelsey drank: “Mr. Peanut’s Old-Fashioned Whistle Wetter” (Peanut Butter-Washed Old Overholt Rye Whiskey, honey, salt, Angostura Bitters)
What we ate: a slice of The Birthday Cake, a Unicorn Treat (salty brown butter cookie covered in rainbow sprinkles and gold glitter “blingkles”), and a slice of the Trifecta Pie (pretzel crust, peanut butter mousse, dark chocolate ganache)
Oh my goodness, you guys – this place is heaven. About a minute after stepping inside its doors, I declared this place “my spirit animal.” Butter and Scotch is a bar that specializes in desserts and cocktails (especially whiskey/scotch cocktails). I want to be at this place ALWAYS. Abby, Kelsey and I are all big fans of dessert and big fans of whiskey, so we concluded that we could all happily live there. We sat at the bar, which was super fun because their bartenders are all badass ladies. The music was on point and the bartenders were dancing and singing along to the playlist. I was perfectly content. With my husband, my two blogging besties, a whiskey cocktail and some dessert in front of me, I couldn’t have been happier. Kelsey and I also snagged their cookbook while we were there (it had been on my wish list for a while), but they were out of their signed copies so we made the bartenders sign them instead. GUYS I WANNA GO BACK. Everything was so good.
What I drank: Golden Milk Latte
What I ate: “Toastie” (sourdough, rosemary butter, warm Brie, quince jam, watercress, pepitas)
This place was a few blocks from our Airbnb and right near the Penn station subway, so we started here with a light breakfast to fuel us up before heading over to Manhattan for the day. (Abby, Kelsey and I discovered we’re all perfect traveling buddies because we’re “breakfast people” and don’t understand people who aren’t hungry as soon as they wake up. I need to eat within an hour or two of waking up or I turn into a legit rage monster.) I loved the vibe in this coffee shop with the warm wooden tables and plants everywhere. There’s an actual plant shop in the back. (At least I’m pretty sure there was?) Everything we ordered was A+.
What I drank: Health Ade Pink Lady Kombucha
What I ate: Guac Burger (black bean-quinoa-sweet potato patty, corn salsa, onion, guac, tortilla strips, chipotle aioli, whole grain bun)
This was our first stop in Manhattan, aka our “second breakfast.” Abby eats vegan most of the time, so when we’re traveling together I like to find plant-based places to try with her. I love plant-based meals, so I’m always down for finding those really tasty vegan places. This is one of them. I’ve never loved regular burgers (cake over steak, remember?), but I’ve always enjoyed veggie burgers, especially when there are black beans involved. The guac burger I had was DELICIOUS. This place is famous for a reason. I also tried Abby’s classic burger and mac and cheese, and they were both great as well. If you go here, be prepared to fight for a table. It gets intense in there.
What I drank: cortado
After a little shopping break at Madewell, we stopped here for an afternoon pick-me-up. My cortado was excellent AND pretty. I had a sip of Kelsey’s plain espresso and that was awesome as well. I would definitely go here again.
This shop was right across the street from Ground Support, so it was an obvious stop for us. Plus, Kelsey loves all things Parisian and I fell in love with this place during my honeymoon in Paris (so cliche). I dropped about $17 on 6 cookies but it was worth it. Those darn macarons are so tasty and I hardly ever get to buy them.
What we ate: double order of fries with the port wine sauce, honey mustard mayo and pesto mayo
My coworker told me about this place and I immediately put it on my NYC bucket list. It looks like a tiny Irish pub, but it’s all Belgian-style french fries and dipping sauces. After another shopping spree (at the Everlane showroom) we stopped here for an afternoon snack. The line was constant and it was packed, but somehow we managed to snag seats for all four of us (mainly thanks to Robert). The tables are perfect because they have holes in them for you to put your cone of fries while you eat. This place lived up to the hype – the fries were huge and piping hot (and delicious), and the dipping sauces were great, too. The pesto mayo was my personal favorite.
What I drank: “Green with Envy” (vodka, house pressed green juice, lemon, ginger, soda)
What I ate: soft pretzel with mustard
After our french fries we headed to Chelsea Market for more of a real meal before Abby and I had to be at our podcast event. But, we weren’t quite hungry enough to eat again right away, so we went to this bar below the market. I was feeling the need for some greens, so I liked the detox/retox situation of my cocktail choice. This place was perfect for a casual, early evening drink, and we also hit up their photo booth before heading back upstairs.
What I ate: apples and brie crepe (local apples, French brie, honey, arugula, balsamic vinaigrette)
This was my dinner choice at Chelsea Market. My crepe was huge and I couldn’t finish it, although it was wonderful. The best part of this place was waiting for my crepe while watching the crepe guy make all of the other ones. So mesmerizing.
What I ordered: an assortment of mini doughnuts: Paris Time (lavender, pistachio, vanilla), Urban Monkey (coffee, banana, coconut), Pumpkin Pie Brulee (pumpkin, graham crackers, bruleed sugar, fall spices), Rosemary Road (rosemary, roasted cornmeal, fig)
Of course I needed to also grab something sweet and dessert-like at Chelsea Market, so I picked up a bunch of these doughnuts for us to share. This place makes a bunch of plain mini doughnuts, and then they have a whole assortment of different flavored sugars. So you pick what kinds you want, and then they’ll toss the hot doughnuts in whichever flavored sugars you choose. They were so good! Paris Time was my favorite flavor we tried.
What we ate: tater tots and french fries
After the live podcast show, Abby and I met back up with Kelsey at this hot dog place. (Robert was in his happy place at karaoke with an old friend who lives in the city.) The reason we went there was because there’s a speakeasy you enter through a phone booth inside of it. (It’s called Please Don’t Tell.) Well, it was silly of us to think we could get in there on a Saturday evening. When we showed up it was a 3-4 hour wait. We weren’t TOO disappointed, however, since we were all feeling pretty worn down from our long day of eating and drinking. We refueled slightly with some tots and fries before heading back to our Airbnb.
What we ate: the dulce de leche and the apple jam
We had brunch plans with people around noon, so we checked out of our Airbnb and then wandered around to get some light nibbles to tide us over. This famous doughnut place was in our neighborhood so we zeroed in on it right away as a good breakfast appetizer. These doughnuts are HUGE, like the size of your face huge, and they’re really good. I wish I would have had more room in my stomach to try all of the flavors. (Sadly Kelsey had to leave us here to go to work.)
What we drank: macadamia matcha latte
At this spot Robert and I discovered that we officially don’t like matcha lattes. Abby loved hers, but Robert and I just find them to be too bitter for our tastes. (We’re both quite sensitive to bitter flavors.) It was super pretty but apparently we’re just not matcha latte people. We do enjoy the flavor in sweeter, iced beverages and in some other foods, but not a straight-up latte. Oh well. This place was cute, though. I wish I had gotten one of their delicious-sounding coffee drinks.
What I drank: “Morning, BK!” (coffee-infused whiskey, cynar 70, aquavit, sea salt)
What I ate: Chicken Biscuits (fried chicken thighs, biscuits, honey butter, hot sauce)
We ate brunch here with some of Abby’s college friends, and we were also joined by two local Brooklyn bloggers, Summer of O&O Eats and Genevieve of Gratitude and Greens. This place had a bright blue decor I loved and the food was excellent. I can still taste those biscuits with the honey butter and fried chicken. OMG. Apparently I was super into it and way too busy talking to everyone because I totally forgot to take a photo. Blogger fail!
So that’s it. We packed a lot into a short weekend and we had a great time. I always love the chance to hang out with some blogging besties, and this weekend was special because although I’d hung out with Abby and Kelsey separately before the trip, Abby, Kelsey and Robert had never met before this weekend. Yay for friends! We all had a blast together. If you have any NYC recommendations for me based on these places we enjoyed, please let me know in the comments. If you’re interested in more NYC goodness, check out this recap of my visit to Brooklyn a few years ago.
Illustration at top created with Illustrator and Photoshop.
Prints of my illustrations (along with other products with my work on them) are available in my Society6 shop.