Thursday, February 28, 2008

food.... everywhere!


My recent trip to New York was jam packed with wonderful places I visited. But most of all, New York gave my taste buds a major workout. I mainly made appearances at eateries in the Upper West Side, however I found myself trekking halfway down Manhattan to visit the famous Momofuku noodle bar, located at 171 First Avenue to get me some of those fabulous pork buns I've been hearing about.

I'd be lying if I said I heard about the pork buns word of mouth, but the truth is, I heard about them from Martha Stewart. She had David Chang (the owner) on the show a couple of months ago, and he managed to get my mouth watering from his process of curing the pork belly to steaming the buns. (No lie, but I haven't been able to get that place out of my head since.) It's an easy enough recipe, but it really takes a long time (patience is the key). But after everything is finished, it's super easy to put together.

The experience in the Momofuku Noodle Bar was amazing ... even sitting at the actual bar (instead of the communal tables) was actually pretty nice. The waiters were all really friendly, dishing out some great service. Once I ordered those buns, I ate them up super fast! I also ordered some Chicken Ramen, which I have to say tasted like nothing I've ever had before (in other words: not packaged ramen) ... but those buns were pretty filling, so I got full quickly. I say you should probably take someone with you next time if you don't want to get full too fast!

To my dismay, there is a lot more on the menu than I had originally thought, and it just makes me sad I wasn't able to try more. But everything I had was good... I'm spreading the word, even though the nearest location is over 3,000 miles away from me. If you're ever heading to NY, don't forget to visit Momofuku!


David Chang describes his restaurant as first starting out as a "mom and pop" type shop, but how it evolved into much more:

Visit: Steamed Pork Buns (MSO - watch the video, too!)
Photo credit: Martha

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

for the record...

One of the many reasons that I am looking forward to visiting NY this time around is to shop. Yeah, I don't really seem like the type to be a crazy shopper, but there's something really exciting about browsing and possibly selecting something to purchase. Or heck, I just love impulse buying even though it's usually followed by some serious buyer's guilt. And plus, I feel like I've shopped San Francisco to its limit ... well, shopped all the places I can afford of course.

While perusing the web the past couple of weeks, I have decided on certain places that I must go. There is the undiscovered, meaning all the stuff I didn't see the first time. And then, there is the old, which I have been waiting four years to revisit.

NYC is most definitely a music town, and that excites me, too. From all the record shops (and I don't mean Virgin), music clubs, Broadway, and even the street performers, the musical possibilities are endless. It's like an important destination for anyone who wants to make music, and/or be a part of the scene.

So imagine my dismay to find out that a certain place on Prince St. called Rocks In Your Head closed down last year and moved to Brooklyn! That place was amazing when I saw it back in 2004. It was the one thing I couldn't stop talking about when I came back, and it's one of the things I vividly remember. When first walking in, I was taken aback by the walls being covered fully by record covers, crates on the ground full of records (records galore!), certain shady people perusing through the stacks... it felt like I walked into some hipster mystery movie, and I was ready to be singled out. I thought this place was utterly perfect--- from the decor, to the counter where I purchased a used copy of John Lennon's "Rock n' Roll" album where they manually (!!!) filled out a receipt for me. Yeah, it's not like some "new" technology, but the simplicity of that really threw me. In that moment, my love for the place was born.

And ever since then my vow was to return, but now I return to dust. Seems like everything I take a liking to either closes down or moves away. Oh well. There are other fish in the (record store) sea.

Visit: NYC Record Shops (Gridskipper)
Photo credits: Peyri; Gothamist

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