A Day in New York City with Ayersian (and FINALLY getting to meet Bruce & Sue!)

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billyboy
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2011/03/20 13:16:01 (permalink)

A Day in New York City with Ayersian (and FINALLY getting to meet Bruce & Sue!)

Chris & Amy (ayersian) contacted me a while back saying they would be visiting Bruce Bilmes and Sue Boyle and that they would  be coming into NYC for a day to get some good eats.  So we put together a small list of Roadfood to tackle and on Saturday, February 5th, we set out to satisfy our hunger.  
The first stop was Peter Luger's in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, NY.  

We started with a basket of their crusty, chewy breads...

Accompanied by that delicious steakhouse sauce.

Now, I've spoken at length about the burgers here, but we decided to go a step further on this day and split a steak as well, medium rare.  Look at those juices bubbling on that hot plate!  Every bite of this was just wonderful.  Tender, juicy and bursting with flavor.

I really wanted their opinion on the burger so we split a bacon cheeseburger as well.  Just as good as the three I have had in the last year or so.  It really is all about the beef.

Sides of fries...

and creamed spinach made for a "well-balanced" meal.

Of course, we had to end this mini-feast with an apple strudel

and a HUGE bowl of schlag

And the gold chocolate coins given to us by our waiter to complete the meal.  

I think Chris & Amy really liked Luger's.  Not time to rest though as we had a little bit of walking and more stops to make!  Our next port of call was about 5 blocks away at Pies-n-Thighs.  Comfort foods such as fried chicken, biscuits, grits, etc have made many inroads here in NYC.  Pies-n-Thighs has been on the scene for a few years.

 

We decided to split a few small items as we had more stops to make so we started out with a cinnamon-sugar dusted cake donut.  I have to say that I was disappointed in this when I went to cut it into portions to share.  This donut was way too dense and chewy.

Chris and Amy and the donut, ready for their close-up!

P-n-T is a tiny place with a homey feel to it.

A lot of things were calling out to me.

But I suggested we try the chicken biscuit.  I really wanted to know how Brooklyn does this classic.  The biscuit was not the best any of us had ever tried we were digging the lightly breaded, fresh tasting chicken breast that was liberally doused with hot sauce (I'm guessing it was Frank's or Texas Pete).  I could have eaten another one of these.

Well, with pie on the menu, was there really any question?  Buffetbuster, I know you might have liked for us to try the banana cream pie, but having made and eaten countless chocolate pudding pies since I was in short pants that one just cried out, "Pick me!  Pick me!"  

I really didn't think this was a pudding pie, but more of a chocolate fudge or ganache pie.  The filling had a denseness and lacked the "jiggliness" that I would expect from a pudding pie.  Very rich and begged for a cup of coffee to accompany it. While it was good, I was a bit disappointed as I had been expecting a taste of my childhood.  Maybe I set the bar too high.  I would like to go back and try their lunch/dinner options.

After a nice walk, we took the subway to Manhattan and I managed to get another shot of this couple on the train!

We made our way to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in Midtown Manhattan to check out the Andy Warhol exhibit, among others.  I had never been here before and was amazed at how huge the museum was and at the wealth of informative and moving artwork on display.  One piece was simply a list of offences one could could arrested for in post-Katrina New Orleans and advice on how to deal with local police.  
Another subway ride and short walk later, we found ourselves at City Bakery on 18th Street.  The next three photos are stock that I had on hand from previous visits.

 

We split one of their famous pretzel croissants.  I could eat this buttery, crispy, flaky, salty, pillowy beauty every day!

Since February was hot chocolate month, they had different flavors available and we went for the caramel hot chocolate which had a nice subtle caramel flavor that hit my taste buds at the back of my mouth and pair very nicely with the croissant.

Bruce & Sue were in the city catching some films and doing some Roadfooding as well so we called them and made plans to meet up at STAND on 12th Street.  After getting lost for a few minutes as I couldn't remember what street it was on, we met up with Bruce & Sue and a friend of theirs for some insanely rich milkshakes.  I was so happy to have finally met them and they were a joy to talk to!  I have to say though that I could not get the image of the Christmas commercial of the M&Ms and Santa Claus meeting up on Christmas Eve and crying out, "He does exist!/They do exist!" out of my head.  I was beginning to think they were an urban legend.  I need to get out and hit the road more!  (More stock photos below as I forgot to take shots on this evening.  The light was pretty low too, so maybe it was a good thing.)

I would love to work my way through THIS menu!

I went for the Toasted Marshmallow milkshake which is like a campfire in a glass.  In addition to the two singed beauties crowning the top of this gorgeous glass of dairy goodness, they blend toasted marshmallows into the ice cream as well so every sip is infused with that classic flavor. I only ordered a mini which is a great idea, especially if you're doing a food tour.  I think Bruce & Sue had the Ricotta-Pistachio and Chris & Amy had the Honey-Lavender.  Not sure. but I think they really enjoyed them.  They invited me to join them in seeing a film at the theater next door and then for some more Roadfood after and I was torn but I had to decline as I had a race the next day and knew I'd regret staying out too late.  I sure do hope to meet up with them again soon as sharing great food is mace even better by the wonderful company.  

 
"Eating is an adventure, enjoy the ride!" - billyboy, 2011
 
#1

19 Replies Related Threads

    ann peeples
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    Re:A Day in New York City with Ayersian (and FINALLY getting to meet Bruce & Sue!) 2011/03/20 13:18:48 (permalink)
    How adorable are Amy and Chris. How fantastic the food shared.
    #2
    mar52
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    Re:A Day in New York City with Ayersian (and FINALLY getting to meet Bruce & Sue!) 2011/03/20 20:50:51 (permalink)
    Chris and Amy are adorable.
     
    I want that marshmallow.
     
    Guess I'll also take a few of the other items as well.
     
    Are those juices under the steak from the steak or butter?
     
    I can always expect good things from you.  You've done it again.
     
    #3
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:A Day in New York City with Ayersian (and FINALLY getting to meet Bruce & Sue!) 2011/03/21 08:43:10 (permalink)
    billyboy

    Now, I've spoken at length about the burgers here, but we decided to go a step further on this day and split a steak as well, medium rare.  Look at those juices bubbling on that hot plate!  Every bite of this was just wonderful.  Tender, juicy and bursting with flavor.

     
    I'm really glad you're not a vegan.  You just can't do this with brown rice and tofu.
     
    Brad
    #4
    buffetbuster
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    Re:A Day in New York City with Ayersian (and FINALLY getting to meet Bruce & Sue!) 2011/03/21 09:05:47 (permalink)
    billyboy
    Well, with pie on the menu, was there really any question?  Buffetbuster, I know you might have liked for us to try the banana cream pie, but having made and eaten countless chocolate pudding pies since I was in short pants that one just cried out, "Pick me!  Pick me!"
      
     

    In a contest like this, there are no losers!  The chocolate pudding pie at least looks wonderful.  Sorry to hear you didn't love it.  Another excellent report billyboy!  I always enjoy reading your adventures. 

    #5
    Nancypalooza
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    Re:A Day in New York City with Ayersian (and FINALLY getting to meet Bruce & Sue!) 2011/03/21 10:03:47 (permalink)
    I believe with my vote that we will reach a quorum on the 'resolved: Chris and Amy are adorable' issue. :)
     
    I also recently ran into your chocolate pie problem myself.  Witness:
     

     
    This is from a much less high-end place, McConkey's Jungle Shack on Edisto Island, SC, but it was on the menu as chocolate peanut butter fudge pie, and that's exactly what it was--two slabs of fudge on top of a crust.  From my lousy picture, you can also see that it was straight out of the fridge and you could tonk-tonk it with your fork.  Now, that's not entirely a complaint because who doesn't love fudge?  But I'm amused at the efforts to class up pie that basically turn it into candy.
     
    The rest of that food . . holy god.  Y'all had a good time!  Looks wonderful!
    #6
    The Travelin Man
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    Re:A Day in New York City with Ayersian (and FINALLY getting to meet Bruce & Sue!) 2011/03/21 10:26:52 (permalink)
    Nancy, maybe my "humor" button is stuck this morning, but Pies & Thighs is by no means "high end," either.  It is the closest you can come to a "shack" in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.  It is extremely laid back and casual (although littered with hipsters or hipster-wannabees) there - and relatively inexpensive by most NY standards.
    #7
    Nancypalooza
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    Re:A Day in New York City with Ayersian (and FINALLY getting to meet Bruce & Sue!) 2011/03/21 10:53:53 (permalink)
    Well then maybe it's about the same as McConkey's.  I am particularly amused by their collection of signs out on the porch dining room, one of which is 'swimsuits optional.'  :)
    #8
    joerogo
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    Re:A Day in New York City with Ayersian (and FINALLY getting to meet Bruce & Sue!) 2011/03/21 13:26:37 (permalink)
    billyboy, Way to start the day!  Going right for the juggler at Peter Luger    
     
    I will also like to add that I think Amy is as adorable as can be.  Sorry Chris, when it comes to guys with beards, I don't even think Santa is adorable. 
    #9
    billyboy
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    Re:A Day in New York City with Ayersian (and FINALLY getting to meet Bruce & Sue!) 2011/03/21 13:53:09 (permalink)
    Yeah, it really was great spending the day with the Ayersians! 
    @mar52, methinks it may have been a combination of steak juices and butter but I'm not 100% sure.  What I am sure of though is that it was 100% awesome and made for one fine french fry dip!
    @SC, me too!  I love this stuff too much to give it up entirely.
    @BB, when you come to the city, we simply must do a pie crawl!
    @Nancy, I am sooo weirded out by the idea of a slab of fudge reimagined as a pie.  I would expect to see that on the table at Hogwart's or at Alice's tea party!
    @TTM, yeah it's definitely not a classed up kinda place.  The menu looks good and I'm hoping to go back to see how the rest of the menu fares.
    @Joe, I don't play around, man!  No love for the beards, huh?  Endless hours of "manscaping" my face and it's not appreciated!  Harumpphh!!
    #10
    Ahi Mpls.
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    Re:A Day in New York City with Ayersian (and FINALLY getting to meet Bruce & Sue!) 2011/03/21 14:34:21 (permalink)
     I love strudel, spinach, schlag, sauce and STEAK.
     But I would die happy with some bacon and that bread basket, butter and a beer!  
     very nice . like.  
     Now could someone please photoshop a hospital's baby nursery window around Chris and the donut?  
    #11
    Nancypalooza
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    Re:A Day in New York City with Ayersian (and FINALLY getting to meet Bruce & Sue!) 2011/03/21 15:32:03 (permalink)
    He does look like a proud new mom, doesn't he. :)
    #12
    MiamiDon
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    Re:A Day in New York City with Ayersian (and FINALLY getting to meet Bruce & Sue!) 2011/03/21 16:53:47 (permalink)
    Nice one, billyboy!
     
    I think I'm heading up to NYC in June, and I want to try that Stand 4 place, and Peter Lugar.
    #13
    ayersian
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    Re:A Day in New York City with Ayersian (and FINALLY getting to meet Bruce & Sue!) 2011/03/21 19:07:07 (permalink)
    You guys are hilarious.  And MiamiDon, you MUST go to Peter Luger's on your next trip, preferably with a friend or two (hint, hint) so you can sample a few items at once.
     
    Okay, not to derail this talk of cuteness and such (no offense taken, joerogo -- and don't you go giving them ideas, Dawn!), but Billyboy wanted me to weigh in about S'MAC in the East Village.  After our movie, our final stop was pizza at Motorino, but there was a 45-minute wait for a table. Our party was obviously RFers, including Sue's brother, so I suggested we check out S'MAC next door while we waited (and possibly squeeze in one more stop before the finale!).  S'MAC is short for Sarita's Macaroni & Cheese, an only-in-NYC spot solely for mac & cheese.  After glancing at this pie chart:

     
    It was an easy decision to order the Sampler, baked in a sectioned cast-iron skillet:

     
    This variety led to an intriguing discussion as to which one tasted best, and everyone voted differently. Those receiving the most votes were the exotic flavors: Alpine (Swiss, gruyere, bacon), La Mancha (manchego, fennel, onions), and Parisienne (brie, figs, shiitake mushrooms, rosemary).  And talk about calories: there were folks there sharing huge pans of the stuff!  Our Sampler was just enough for us, but I think I'd hit my cheese wall quickly if I'd eaten anymore.  S'MAC is located at 345 East 12th Street, and they do have limited delivery:

     
     
     
     
    #14
    ann peeples
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    Re:A Day in New York City with Ayersian (and FINALLY getting to meet Bruce & Sue!) 2011/03/21 20:34:26 (permalink)
    Very, very nice report. Excellent food choices and love the total variety, from steak to Sarita's!! Enviable meet with fun people.
    #15
    crew84row
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    Re:A Day in New York City with Ayersian (and FINALLY getting to meet Bruce & Sue!) 2011/03/23 14:47:07 (permalink)
    Great report BillyBoy and ayersian!
     
    I would make S'MAC the automatic winner of the "America's Next Best Restaurant" show if they were on!
     
    That would be an excellent franchise!
     
     
    #16
    mr chips
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    Re:A Day in New York City with Ayersian (and FINALLY getting to meet Bruce & Sue!) 2011/03/26 03:28:10 (permalink)
    Always great to see what our Ayersian pair are up to. thanks for sharing.
    #17
    MikeS.
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    Re:A Day in New York City with Ayersian (and FINALLY getting to meet Bruce & Sue!) 2011/03/26 04:11:34 (permalink)
    2 bucks for A donut? Or did I read that sign wrong?
     
    With a Name of Pies N Thighs I was thinking meat pies.
     
    Peter Luger's looked fantastic. Thanks.
    #18
    billyboy
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    Re:A Day in New York City with Ayersian (and FINALLY getting to meet Bruce & Sue!) 2011/03/28 12:08:53 (permalink)
    @MiamiDon, if you want a tour guide or if you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line!
    @Chris & Amy, after seeing those droolworthy pics of S'MAC, I'm thinking I should have stayed out later and "carbo-loaded" with you!
    @Mike, $2 is correct.  Welcome to NYC!  Mind you, not all donuts in the city are that pricey.  I think they hover around $1 at most donut shops.  There actually are a couple of places, DUB Pies and Tuck Shop, that sell Australian meat pies that are pretty good.
    #19
    leethebard
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    Re:A Day in New York City with Ayersian (and FINALLY getting to meet Bruce & Sue!) 2011/03/28 12:35:19 (permalink)
    great report...New York is indeed a food capital,,,,great food,great company. Perfect together!!!!
    #20
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