Sunday, November 1, 2009

New York City- Part 1

I'll break our trip to NYC into several parts. As always concentrating on where and what I ate, but also adding some comments on activities.
We arrived Saturday Oct 24 in late afternoon. Marilyn did not fell great, as we left Cincinnati, but we were both hopping a change of scenery would help.
Saturday night we met a "Nebagamon"( camp) friend, whose wife was working on Detroit, temporarily, at "Gino's" 780 Lexington Ave 10065-212-758-4466. My Father fist took me to "Gino's" in the mid 1940' shortly after it opened. Not much has changed, except prices and the fact that they now accept credit cards. It is old, steady and the food is standard except for the kinds of things that are on their menu, which I like and can not fine often: tongue, tripe, sweetbreads and brains. After the Bombay I settled on a Gino Chopped Salad and Beef tongue served on spinach or greens. Our Nebagamon friend, in his mid 50's, assured me that he would help with a bottle of wine and I took him at his word. His idea of help was one decent size glass and so I'm not sure if the food was as good as I remember or if the wine induced haze made it seem that way.
Next morning we caught the 10:52 to Poughkeepsie for a visit with our son and his daughter, who is a Freshman at Vassar. Our son and the rest of his clan had come East for a visit including Vassar, Cooperstown and Cambridge, for the Harvard bands 90th reunion.
The ride up the Hudson was knock out gorgeous, fall foliage etc, and it was great to be met at the station by him, his wife and younger daughter. The 5 of us had lunch at "Coyote Grill". one of many restaurants built around bar business and expanded "bar food". Trying to eat light, whenever possible, I had an Iceberg lettuce wedge with sliced tomato's and crumbled blue cheese. The Balsamic vinaigrette dressing and corn bread were both outstanding. After a 2 hour tour of the Vassar campus( the library is phenomenal) we took Lilly, the Freshmen, to "Stop & Shop" to load up on dorm room food. Lilly is most happy when eating "Pasta" in one form or another and so she chose "Thai Spice" 28 Raymond Ave Poughkeepsie, NY 12603 - 845-486-8888. The place was packed but two servers handled the crowd efficiently. There is a large and varied menu and although several chose Pad Thai, including Lilly, there were enough other dishes that tastes could be shared. For the table we had platters of Spring Rolls and Chicken Satay. I had Pineapple Fried Rice, served in a half of fresh Pineapple. It included both chicken and shrimp in plentiful quantity. Beer seemed the correct beverage for this dinner.
Monday, Lilly's younger sister, Raina, took the train "into the city" to spend some days with Grandma and Grandpa. I walked from our quarters, at 75th and Madison to Grand Central Station on 42nd Street. I left plenty of time for lunch, before the train arrived, at "The Oyster Bar" Grand Central Station NY, NY 10017 - 212-490-6650. I like seafood and the Oyster Bar has never disappointed. It is large, seating approximately 450, and since the volume is great the food , to me, is always fresh. Being alone I sat at the counter and enjoyed a platter of raw oysters, 4 different varieties, and a good sized portion of Cole slaw as well a conversation with an accountant from Long Island, who is a regular. I had told Raina, who had never tasted Lobster, that on the trip she should have a Lobster Roll. I ordered one "to go" ($28) and found to my delight that is was large and accompanied with slaw and sweet potato chips. Raina, when she got to the apartment ate about 1/3 and so I had the balance, still fresh, 2 days later.
Monday evening our cousin came in from Long Island (Mamaroneck) and the 4 of us went to "Heidelberg Restaurant" 1648 Second Ave, 10028 212-628-2332. The restaurant is in the heart of "Yorkville" which used to be an old German area, and it alone, in this neighborhood, carries on the tradition. There is a large bar, with 16 or more German brews, and decorations and staff costumes out of a "Disneyland German Beer hall". The food is very good and very reasonable, especially for East side upper Manhattan. Dinner was approximately $25 each including beverages. Not gratuity.
I enjoyed a German semi dark beer. We began by the table sharing an order of marinated cucumbers in a sour cream dressing, crisp and beautifully seasoned, the four of us did not finish the serving. I had Wiener Schnitzel ala Holstein, served with a large amount of in house made Spetzels and a side of Red Cabbage. Marilyn had the same with "home fried potato's" instead of the Spetzels and the potato's were equally as good if not better. I was the only one of the four able to finish the majority of the food. As you might guess that place attracts many young people whom seem to share the costs, and drink a "Boot of Beer", each, which I would guess is 36 to 48 oz. Ah, to be young.

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