Tuesday, August 12, 2014

That Time I Ate Manhattan - Part II (with Kids, Queens, and Brooklyn)

The first time I got to go to New York City, I was 35.  I was there for less than two full days, and it was my mission to eat my way through as much of Manhattan as possible.  I blogged about it in That Time I Ate Manhattan.

When I learned that my cousin was getting married in Brooklyn, I decided that we should do our best to bring the kids, so that they got their first taste of the city before the age that I did.  Though The Hubby was unable to come due to work, my mother and I bundled up the kids and went to stay with a good friend in Astoria for the long weekend.

Snacks for the trip: Yogurt, champagne grapes, cucumber, and trail mix

We started out from Vermont bright and early Friday morning.  My mother brought homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and I packed Easylunchboxes full of car-friendly fruits and more.  The kids were able to eat happily in the back seat without  making any pit-stops.

We drove all the way to a train station in Connecticut, then hopped on the commuter rail into Grand Central Station, where my friend picked us up.

We wandered around Midtown Manhattan, showing the kids Broadway, Times Square, and (the lobby of) the Empire State Building, among other things.

For dinner on Friday night, we decided to take in the "show" at Ellen's Stardust Diner.  It was worth the wait in line!  The waitstaff are all up-and-coming Broadway stars, and since we could not fit in a Broadway show for this trip, we decided this was a good option.  The kids were enthralled!

My mother and I had some Brooklyn Lager (it was a long drive, long day, and time for a beer... and my mother doesn't care for crowds and lines, so she really deserved this!).

I had a Reuben sandwich, my mother had a beautiful Blue cheese burger, The Boy had a salad with macaroni and cheese bites, and The Girl had a meatloaf.

Seen, but not eaten at... someday.... 

"I am tired, and need sugar."

We wandered around after dinner to Rockefeller Center, and ended up at Junior's for dessert.

My mother and I shared Devil's Food Cheesecake.

Yes, we brought leftovers back to my friend's apartment
The Boy had Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake.

Our friend got a Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake.

The Girl ... had to be different.  She got some strawberry ice cream.

I, of course, got coffee.

The first day entirely tuckered the kids (and the rest of us) out.  Back to my friend's in Astoria!

We started off our second day at the New York City Bagel and Coffee House in Astoria.  We got "mini" bagels, and they were the size of normal bagels in Vermont.  Thanks to my friend for suggesting minis - or else we would have been totally overwhelmed!

From there, we headed into Manhattan.  Our agenda for the day was to see the American Natural History Museum!  On our first trip to this fabulous museum, we worked our way through the North American Mammals dioramas, the dinosaurs, and the Hall of Human origins... so much more to see!

Crusty bread with olive oil

For lunch, we decided to go for classic New York pizza and stopped into Patsy's for a pie.  Delicious!

Appetizer: Octopus skewers with wilted potatoes

My entree - hake fish with clams

Mom's entree - chicken in garlic sauce
Chocolate mousse as a dessert option

An assortment of cupcakes in lieu of wedding cake
The kids hung out with our friend while my mother and I went to my cousin's wedding at MyMoon restaurant in Brooklyn.  The wedding was lovely - and the food was amazing.  We got to order from a set menu, and all of them were absolutely wonderful.  The wedding was beautiful and heartfelt and sweet, and I was thrilled that we could be a part of it.

On Day 3, we went to breakfast at Cafe Via Espresso.  I got huevos rancheros, my mother got a Greek omelette, The Girl got pancakes and an egg, and The Boy got a big banana chocolate chip muffin.  I would absolutely go to this place again.  The coffee was delicious, and if I had wanted a larger breakfast, I would have tried the challah French toast.

From there, we went on the the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  The Girl was in her glory in the Egyptian wing.  She could easily have spent an entire week there.

The Boy was less enthusiastic about the Egyptian exhibit, and I took him to see the Medieval art, along with Armor and weapons.  He liked that better.

We took a jaunt up to the rooftop garden, but the food there was not to our liking, so we just took in the view before heading out.  We didn't even get to see the Roman or Greek sections of the Met... so much else to see!  Next time, next time...

We walked through Central park, getting some (very subpar, sadly) soft pretzels for the walk.  The kids liked them, but my mother is a soft pretzel aficionado... so that was disappointing.

On the other side of Central Park, we found Savoury, an Indian restaurant, and my sister and her husband joined us for lunch.  My mother and The Boy were not hungry, so they just got salads, but the rest of us got the lunch specials to share, along with some chicken pakora and vegetable samosas to share.  I was busy eating and got no pictures... oops. My brother-in-law got Chicken Tikka Makhani, I got Lamb Pasanda (in a cardamom cream sauce that I have to try to recreate), my sister got the Goat Rogn Josh, and The Girl got the Chicken Saag.  All of the lunch specials came with naan and rice.  We were very happy with this meal.

From there, we continued back to the American Natural History Museum to try to see some things that we didn't get a chance to see the day before.

For dinner, we headed into Union Square.  Oh, hi, Trader Joe's Wine Shop!

We ate at Heartland Brewery, a local brew-pub.  My mother and I had the Heartland Pu Pu Platter - a sampler of some of their most popular items.  It was exactly what we wanted.  The Boy got a grilled cheese with a side Caesar salad. The Girl got a bacon cheeseburger.  I had an apricot ale, which was delightful.

A short walk brought us to a view of the Flatiron building and some more beautiful views of the city.

For our final morning, we decided to eat at Grand Central Station, so that we could have some time for people watching before our train back to Connecticut.  We ate at Dishes.  The Boy and my mother had yogurt parfaits with pecan and pine nut honey granola (I will be trying to recreate this one).  The Girl and I had breakfast sandwiches with ham and spinach and cheese.

Before it was time to hop on our train, we took a nice walk around Grand Central. I bought some Rainbow cookies from Zaro's Bakery for the way home, and to share with The Hubby and friends.  I will also be trying to recreate these.

I think the kids were a little tuckered out from our weekend!  We are looking forward to our next adventure, though it will not be nearly as grand as this one.  It was amazing and I am thrilled that we were able to bring the kids to NYC for their first taste!

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  1. Yeah! I'm so glad you were able to go to Ellens! I knew the kids would love it!

  2. I love Manhattan. I enjoyed reading about your food experiences in the city!

  3. I love Manhattan. I enjoyed reading about your food experiences in the city!