Finally found enough time to report back on my trip last weekend.
Sorry no photos but I'm going to try on my upcoming baseball trip.
I left Rhode Island last Thursday just after 3pm. After battling gridlock through Stamford CT and heavy traffic I finally arrived in New Jersey approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes later.
My friend Ian and I decided to head to the local Kosher (and yes it's Kosher) deli in Montvale NJ called the Manhattan Kosher Deli.
Although it seems to be a habit lately, I ordered the stuffed cabbage which came with salad bar, vegetable medly and real mashed potatos. I also ordered a cup of Matzo Ball Soup and Ian and I shared a side of Kasha Varnishkes. The Stuffed Cabbage arrived, it was OK, I wasn't impressed with the reddish brown Sauce, it was actually the same sauce which came with the Kasha Varnishkes and that combination seemed to fare better as it was actually really good. The Matzo Ball Soup was ok too. On the way out I picked up some Rugelach and hamentaschen to go for one of my coworkers back home, I was also given a free sample of Rasberry Rugelach- delish!
The next morning my friend and I went to Ronny's Bagel's in Hillsdale New Jersey. This place is more than just a bagel shop. You can order full breakfasts, hot lunches, muffins, pastries, even smoothies! I had the Oat Bran Bagel with Creamcheese and it was really good.
Later that morning I drove into the city. I was going to meet up with my friend Alan who was visiting for the week from Seattle. I hadn't seen him in 8 years. The ride into the city was just over 1/2 an hour- no traffic at all. I parked my car in the parking garage on the west side and walked to my hotel- Crowne Plaza Time Square and only $125 on price line. I met up with Alan at the hotel. And we walked to Ray's Pizza in Greenwich Village. Although not the best pizza in New York, Ray's still bakes a pretty mean slice. I got one big slice of Spinach Pizza. Like most of Ray's Toppings, the Spinach is added and then covered with an extra layer of cheese. And unlike most spinach slices, this one had red sauce. Truly one of the best Spinach Slices I've had. After lunch we walked to So Ho and perused some of the galleries. I then dropped Alan off in Chelsea where he was staying with a friend and walked back to my hotel to meet up with Stevekoe who was in the NYC area on business.
After chatting for a while we walked to Chelseay to pick up Alan and headed to Little Italy. Alan on his previous visit had gone to La Luna on Mulberry Street a casual inexpensive eatery known for doling out large portions at cheap prices. Imagine Alan's dissapointment when he found out the place closed up about a year and a half ago.
We ended up being enticed by a guy wearing a chicken on his head, you got it- The Maitre D' at Fratelli Ristorante www.littleitalynyc.com/restaurant.asp?rest=FRATELLI
was wearing a rubber chicken. A lively character, "Jose" who hails from the Dominican Republic and his band of Chilean waiters are a colorful bunch who made the evening delightful. After ordering a pitcher of stellar Sangria, I ordered the Veal Sorrentina which comes with a light sauce topped with Prosciutto, Mozzarella and Egglplant and a choice of Pasta. The Veal was absolutely delicious. Towards the end of the night, Alan's friend joined us and the waiter brought over a complimentary 2/3 of a pitcher of more Sangria for the table. This place was definetely one of the highlights of the weekend. After parting ways with Alan, his friend and Stevekoe I walked the 3/4 of a mile back to my hotel.
The next morning I was supposed to hook up with Alan and his friend for Dim Sum in Chinatown, I managed to find offstreet parking at 18th and 8th, returned to my hotel, however due to an inoperable message light on the hotel phone and my lack of a cell phone, I got the call too late. I decided to walk back to my car after checking out. On the way I stumbled across Manganero's by accident. Well, perfect time to have lunch. I ordered a Veal Parm Hero which was huge. I decided to eat half of it and would bring the other half to my friends Steve and Andrea on Long Island.
I arrived on Long Island after an hours drive. It was Derby day and my friend Steve decided to head to the OTB and place a bet. We actually headed into Fort Lee NJ that night to visit our friends Glenn and Natalie. We headed to a Greek Restaurant in Fort Lee called "It's Greek to Me" after sharing a Tzatziki and Pita appetizer which was really good and a calamari appetizer which tasted like fried rubber" I had Moussaka which was nothing special, I've had better. We then headed to the Meadowlands for a some harness horse racing. I'm not much of a gambler and I've never betted on a horse before. However I put 2 bucks down on a horse called "All Over The Place" and won twenty bucks. That was the only bet I placed that evening, hey I was $18 ahead!
The next morning back on Long Island we headed to the diner I grew up with, The East Bay Diner in Bellmore for breakfast. I ordered the Spinach Feta Omelette which comes with homefries, toast (whole wheat for me) I also got a side of bacon. The diners on Long Island do and excellent job with the omelettes. Instead of frying the egg around the spinach and feta, it's actually cooked right in with the egg and it's well done, just the way I like it. After parting ways, I drove up the Seaford Oyster Bay and took Route 110 to 25A the scenic route to the Orient Point New London Ferry. I stopped at Station Pizza and Brew near my old alma mater, SUNY Stony Brook for a couple of stellar Chicken Parm Pizza Slices. A nice finishing touch for my weekend.