Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Chicago and New York Eats

A couple of weeks ago I had a flying work visit across to Chicago and New York. I arrived into Chicago in the early evening on Sunday and in an attempt to keep myself awake for a couple of hours before it was a respectable time to go to bed I went out for a walk determined to see the 'coffee bean' which I'd run tantalisingly close to on my previous visit to Chicago, but not actually seen. It's a very cool piece of public art.

On my way back to the hotel I passed the Citroen van above. Turned into a food truck selling donuts I was quite surprised to see it so far from home. It is clearly not just the London street food vendors that are sucking all the retro Citroen vans out of France. There can't be any left in France by now!

I didn't take my camera with me and barely took any phone pics either, but here's a quick roundup of some of the highlights of what I ate.

On Monday lunchtime I made a beeline for the Montreal pastrami sandwich from the French Market in Central Chicago. It was every bit as good as the first time I tried it on my previous visit back in April.
Montreal Pastrami sandwich
For my only dinner in Chicago I went to David Burke's Primehouse with a couple of people from the office. We were told to try the Caesar salad and it was fantastic. Made on a trolley that they wheel to the side of your table the salad is made by the dressing. It's not a heavy mayonnaise based dressing, but a tangy parmesan laced version which perfectly coats every leaf. Definitely worth trying.

As a main I had the 40 day aged ribeye steak. It was quite enormous, quite heavily salted and very tender. I, inadvisably, ate the lot and was in a protein coma as I walked back to my hotel.

New York
I only had two nights in NYC and on the first evening I met up with my friends Rohit and Pryanka to try Amma and Indian restaurant that had been recommended to me and they had heard good things about to.

The restaurant is smaller than expected, located in a converted house on 51 St over on the East side. None of us realised it was restaurant week, where lots of establishments across NY offer fixed price menus for $38. They can be great value if you manage to get a slot at one of the city's top restaurants, but when you are (nearly exclusively) eating the vegetarian options from the menu, in what is a mid priced restaurant anyway, it can actually turn out to be more expensive than going a la carte during the rest of the year.

The service was a bit rushed, the air con not working properly on a sweltering evening and the starters and desserts nothing to right home about. However, the mains of shahi paneer, vegetable Kohlapuri and lamb apricot were all pretty good.
Crab cake at Wild Edibles
On my second night in NY I headed back to where I used to live for a short time and had dinner at Wild Edibles. They've changed the front of the restaurant so I nearly didn't go in as I thought it had changed hands, however, they've just reconfigured the layout so that they can fit in more seats.

I ordered the crab cake to start which, just as the menu described, came with lumps of crab meat and had very little "filler" in it which was great. For my main I had the New Orleans style shrimp with corn. The prawns and broth had the perfect amount of spice and I very nearly ordered some bread so that I could mop up the sauce that was left in my bowl.
Shrimp at Wild Edibles
During Thursday lunchtime I jealously watched a couple of people in the office devouring these hug looking buns which came from a place called Kobeyaki, so on Friday I headed out in search of one and, on the advice of my colleagues, ordered the soft shell crab bun which came served with japanese mayo, crab meat and shredded cabbage. It wasn't blow my mind amazing, but it didn't last very long either!
Soft shell crab sandwich from Kobeyaki

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