Continuing to eat my way through Manhattan…
Okay y’all. So I can’t go to a museum every day, or see a show every night, or do new and exciting things about which to write every 24 hours. What I can and do do daily, however, is eat, and sometimes I eat awesome things. And so, on days when I am not enriching myself culturally and blogging about it, I will enrich myself in a culinary manner and blog about it. And I will provide you with pictures, and food porn. Today, there is much food porn.
I was meeting up with a friend in Midtown for dinner, and so headed down early to get tickets for my sister and me to see Hair on Sunday. Serious Eats New York, one of my favorite New York food sites, is obsessed with the food scene in Hell’s Kitchen, and so I decided to try one of the major obsessions on the site: pizza bianca from Sullivan Street Bakery, on 47th between 10th and 11th.
Here is Ed Levine’s review of the bakery, which is what prompted me to march across town to try it. And here is his review of the pizza bianca. Two dollars will buy you two very large slices of the pizza bianca, which is served at room temperature in the store. Twenty-five dollars will buy you an ENTIRE PIZZA BIANCA, which is six feet long and one foot wide and will serve a mess of people.
So I trekked out to Sullivan Street Bakery and bought myself a slice (or two slices to be exact, but I only ate one, and the other is sitting in my refrigerator to be eaten tomorrow, maybe for dinner, with some eggs and salad, that sounds delicious). The two thick slices were served to me in a little waxy bag. I sat on the little wooden bench outside the bakery and ate my pizza bianca, and it was delicious.
It was pretty awesome. The dough was light but really nicely chewy, and flavored gently with olive oil, sea salt, and rosemary. Occassionaly I would get a big bite of sea salt or rosemary, which was really really awesome. The pizza also left a lovely, ridiculous powder on my fingers and around my mouth, which I’m sure looked ridiculous to passersby. I tried to use napkins copiously. Anyhow, I really enjoyed my simple, well-made pizza bianca, and am looking forward to eating the second slice tomorrow. And then going back to Sullivan Street Bakery in the future to try their other varieties of pizza (margherita, potato, mushroom, etc.) and maybe their sandwiches, and then maybe to buy a loaf of their pullman multi-grain bread.
So after consuming my after-work/pre-dinner snack I got up, brushed the crumbs off my dress, and proceeded to wander around Hell’s Kitchen, gazing at the restaurants I hope to try while I am here. I want to try the soy-based soft serve and desserts at Kyotofu. I want to try the empanadas at Empanada Mama. I want to try the Druise cuisine at Gazala Place. I want it all, and I want it now!
I walked through Hell’s Kitchen into Midtown proper, and headed to Le Parker Meridien, where I was meeting my friend at The Burger Joint, the odd, but famous, little seeming hole-in-the-wall burger place in the lobby of a fancy hotel. I am not kidding, really: there is the lobby, and then a weird little hallway with a giant flourescent burger and an arrow pointing into a doorway, and then a tiny little room with a counter and lots of tables crammed together and lots of people and ketchup bottles. It was sort of amazing/ridiculous.
I’m not really huge on burgers, but since burgers are all this place serves, burgers I had. My burger was pretty good–I’m sure if I loved burgers I’d say it was awesome, but all I can say is the bun was nice and soft, the meat was perfectly cooked and juicy and tender, the cheese was nice and salty, and my inner carnivore was satisfied. My fries were less good but were still crispy. My friend got a milkshake which looked yummy, but I decided to forego the milkshake and have a Diet Coke, because obviously that would cancel out the calories from the burger and fries.
So if you like burgers and fries and milkshakes, and are serious enough about this enjoyment to brave crowds and fight for tables (evidently mostly at dinner, I hear it is less crowded during the day and non-dinner hours), check out The Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien, at 56th between 6th and 7th.
And because I can’t leave art alone for too long, I leave you with one last picture of fries, courtesy of Claes Oldenburg: