Yes, I have in fact become a “lady who lunches.” Not a bad gig, mind you. And what I have found the most interesting is how in fact, I am not alone in this. Restaurants in NYC are very busy mid-day. Sure, a lot of people are probably on their lunch break, but it also seems a lot of people just have the time for a long and leisurely mid-day lunch. Oh how I wish this was always the case for me! But the past two weeks, I have joined this group of well dressed women and men for many a delicious breakfast, brunch, and lunch.
An early morning spin class at Soulcycle (the most incredible and intense spinning class I’ve EVER taken) ended with a delicious morning breakfast in Tribeca at Kitchenette with Leticia and Katherine. This very cutesy diner/bakery serves up some delicious and very large plates of comfort food.
The very LARGE lumberjack platter definitely satisfied after the intense soulcycle class. The pancakes were not your ordinary pancakes…made fresh from their four grain mix with sweet peaches, they were light and fluffy and my dining partners agreed, quite delicious.
From comfort food breakfast to comfort food lunch, Parm, the casual outpost from Torrisi Italian Specialties, has been on my list ever since I read about their delicious turkey platter on Mckenzie’s blog. So I knew what I was eating for lunch. Luckily, my companion in weekday lunching was in the sharing mood and we ordered enough food for leftovers the next day.
Turkey breast has the tendency to be dry but not this bird. It was super moist and flavored with some sort of herb filled oil. The spicy and thick sauce on the side added a really nice touch. I also have decided from here on out, asparagus should always be coated with tons of parm and tossed with buttery croutons. After all this heavy comfort food eating, a vegan lunch at Peacefood on the UWS was a nice change of pace. And lunching with new friend Ashley was also a very nice treat! Ashley had dined at Peacefood many times and was very helpful in ensuring we ordered and shared all of Peacefood’s specialties.
The chickpea fries were not exactly what I expected…which was a good thing because they were WAY more delicious than I imagined. The Indian spices really worked well with the chickpea batter and the crispy exterior and soft interior was so texturaly pleasing. I have previously professed my love for all things gourd-like and this sandwich was no exception. The sweet filling and onions were just unbelievable. My one issue was with the very dry bread. I guess that’s what happens when you order a sandwich on all natural rye/flax seed bread. But the filling more than made up for this in my eyes.
I know some of you are thinking, “Is there any food I haven’t eaten yet???” Surprisingly, yes! In all my time here, I had yet to try the famous soup dumplings found in many of the establishments in Chinatown. Well, this all changed when I lunched with a friend at not one, but TWO restaurants for our second traveling lunch (see our Xian Famous Foods tour). The tour began at Shanghai Cafe Deluxe. After some good advice from a feisty foodie, this spot was chosen as the place to have my very first soup dumplings experience. And while we were there, we should try some of their other items from their extremely lengthy menu, no?
The tiny buns are filled with tender pork and crab and a delicious broth. I would have liked a tad more soup in my “soup” dumplings but otherwise, they were everything I had read and dreamed about! These rice cakes were also a nice dish. They had a terrific chewy texture and mixed with meaty and even chewier mushrooms, this dish was also a hit! But this was a traveling lunch, right? So still slightly peckish, my friend brought me to one of her favorite Malaysian restaurants in Chinatown, Nyonya. It’s hard to believe, but this menu may have been even bigger than Cafe Shanghai’s extensive list of dishes. Luckily, my friend had been here many MANY times and knew the perfect dishes to order to satisfy our appetites.
I will quote my friend to describe the roti: “Like the best pizza dough…crispy and chewy at the same time!” Those squid were like nothing I’ve ever had before. Almost caramelized and not breaded or greasy like typical fried squid. Its the type of food you could just keep eating bowls and bowls of and never get full. Like the perfect TV watching snack. I think I make a pretty good “lady who lunches,” wouldn’t you agree?