The final day of our honeymoon was, appropriately, a Monday. We solemnly packed our bags and left them with the front desk staff at our hotel after we checked out. Then we tried to forget about it being our last day by heading to Discovery Times Square to take in the Pompeii exhibit.
All that history made us hungry so we hoofed it to the legendary Carnegie Deli just 10 minutes before there was a very long line outside. The walls were plastered with framed, signed photos of celebrities who’d enjoyed their gut-busting meals. The tables are lined up in long, communal lines and you become quick friends with whomever is sitting next to you. Seeing the GIANT portions in front of our neighbors, we opted to share two of the dishes the Deli is most famous for — matzoh ball soup and a pastrami sandwich.
Yes, that really is the color of the matzoh ball soup and there is not a speck of green in sight. It’s very basic, but also very good. Rich chicken flavor with light-as-air matzoh balls. How they accomplished this with matzoh balls bigger than a softball (I’m not joking), is beyond me. I guess that’s why they’re famous.
Above is half of the pastrami sandwich and it takes up much of the plate. I didn’t even bother with the bread and just went for the warm, tender, peppery pastrami. It was my kind of sandwich — just good, simple filling and nothing like mustard or mayo mucking it up. Of course I couldn’t finish my sandwich half and our server seemed really disappointed in me. She helpfully suggested my already full stomach might have room for a glacier-sized piece of cheesecake and I had to politely decline. She was disappointed in that too. Kind of like when my grandma used to shake her head sadly and tell the grandchildren, “Well, I guess you’re not a member of the clean plate club.”
We rolled ourselves out of the Carnegie Deli and did some more exploring of the city. We stopped in at Eataly again for a little gelato snack and sat in the cold outside of the Flatiron Building watching the city go by. We meandered into Tom Collichio’s nearly empty Craftbar (it was 3:30 in the afternoon) where the friendly bartender made K a creative, flowery cocktail tempered with fresh sprigs of rosemary and generously accommodated my requirement for an N/A ginger “martini” (which was super yummy).
Then we wound our way back to our hotel and caught our final taxi (then promptly got caught in traffic on the way to the airport in rush hour).
Now we love New York City. We want to visit again and explore all the neighborhoods we haven’t seen yet, to eat at all the restaurants we didn’t get the chance to taste. Next time we’ll find the neighborhood gems, the hidden jewel boxes only insiders know about. We’ll hoof it around Harlem and Queens.
The Twin Cities can definitely hold its own, food-wise. We most certainly have restaurants and cocktail “alchemists” that are “New York caliber.” We don’t have to travel to the East Coast to find amazing, diverse and delicious food. But we’ll be back. For lots of reasons. And hopefully again sometime soon.