New York Travels: Taking A Bite Out Of The Big Apple

In the second article about my trip to New York City, I wanted to write about some of the restaurants inside the city. I actually composed a list of various places to go, but I actually went off the rails with most of the eateries.

 

The Meatball Shop

6d6e04d4After I landed in LaGuardia and settled in my hostel room, I took the L-Train and went to The Meatball Shop. Located near Union Square, this was one of the first places to check out.

It is highly reviewed and I’m a sucker for pasta. On the menu, you can choose the types of meat, sauce, and cheese.

I went with a mix of beef, pesto sauce, and mozzarella. There are 4 large meatballs that sit on a plate of pasta with a slice of bread.

By far, The Meatball Shop was one of my favorite places to eat in NYC and I will recommend every potential visitor to check it out. The meat and sauce was so tasty.

 

Deli’s 48

Later on that same day, I looked around midtown Manhattan especially around Rockefeller Center. As the sun started to set, I began my trek back to the bus stop.

delis-48During my walk, I wanted to stop by a smaller shop and grab a dinner to-go. New York delis seemed like a good solution.

There’s one called Deli’s 48 that appeared on my route. Inside the establishment on 48th Avenue, there is a deli, coffee section, and an international food buffet.

I ordered an Italian Supreme Cold Sandwich, which contained ham, salami, pepperoni, pepper, prosciutto, lettuce, tomato and oil vinegar. For a nine bucks sandwich, it was very large and thickly loaded. It was well worth the money.

 

Coney’s Cones

13331028_10102083991820870_8150673938224398280_nOn my second day, I spend my time in Brooklyn and Queens. Toward the late afternoon, I took the train to Coney Island and checked out the boardwalk.

While looking at the ocean, I went to get some ice cream at Coney’s Cones. For about $4 or $5, you can get two heaping scoops in a bowl or waffle cone.

I got chocolate and mint chocolate chip rounds of ice cream. It’s the best of both worlds as they are my favorite flavors.

Out of any ice cream parlor I’ve ever been to, Coney’s Cones is my favorite one. The price is steeper than Baskin Robbins but you get what you pay for.

 

Danny’s Pizzeria

A short walk from the Moore NY Hostel, there’s a pizza place in Brooklyn called Danny’s Pizzeria. I wanted bona-fide NY style pizza and there was no shortage.

13335841_10102084093067970_3153748107829155425_nHowever, I searched for nearby places and Danny’s Pizzeria was close by and has decent reviews on Yelp. After a long wait (there was a large crowd in front of me), I ordered a personal sized “Danny’s Special.”

The “personal sized” was actually quite large for one person. It was more equivalent to a medium at other establishments.

Danny’s Special had Italian sausage, bell pepper, pepperoni, onions, cheese, and mushrooms. It didn’t look like the most appealing pizza, but it was very flavorful and delicious.

It was about $12 and was probably the most filling meal I had during my vacation. I earned it though as I walked all over the city during the trip.

 

Bill’s Bar & Burger

Located in Rockefeller Center, Bill’s Bar & Burger was one of the those random places I walked by and took a gamble. You couldn’t get a burger wrong at a burger joint. At least, that’s what I said to myself.

I tried out a Bacon Cheddar Burger with fries and Keegan Mother’s Milk Stout. The stout had a familiar taste. It wasn’t Wiseacre’s Get Up to Get Down, but the taste and texture was similar. Still, it was pretty good.

The burger itself was on-point. It wasn’t moving mountains, but it was a pleasurable meal.

 

Happy Lucky Restaurant

aaedb5c92696ca0f70e279b371add339Little Italy and Chinatown were two areas in New York to check out for some unique food. I wasn’t able to go to Little Italy but went to Chinatown instead.

Chinatown in NYC was a very interesting neighborhood. There were a ton of shops and restaurants wanting a visitors attention.

As I was going from outdoor menu to menu, there was a man for this particular one that wanted me to check out his eatery.

I went inside Happy Lucky Restaurant and it’s pretty much what you’d expect in every Chinese restaurant.

One thing to note to future travelers to New York: bring cash if you go to Chinatown. Many places here do not take debit & credit cards. You don’t want to hustle to the nearest ATM once you get your ticket.

Aside from that issue and no air conditioning at Happy Lucky, it was a very full meal of General Tso’s Chicken. Plenty of chicken, rice, and teas. It was almost too much.

The magnificent feast only set me back about $10.

 

Heartland Brewery

13344713_10102086779354630_7023604804722250177_nAfter going on top of the Empire State Building, I went back down to the bottom floor and went inside Heartland Brewery. Prior to leaving Memphis, I checked out their menu and was determined to try the Oatmeal Stout and the NY Strip Steak Sandwich.

The sandwich tasted good and has pepper jack cheese, onion straws, chipotle mayo. It was served on a brioche bun and fries.

The Oatmeal Stout was similar to the milk stout at Bill’s but this has a dark chocolate flavor and was more foamy.

This was the most expensive meal I had in New York. The NY Strip Steak Sandwich was $19 and the Oatmeal Stout was $8 for a pint.

 

Hard Rock Cafe

13315628_10102088776527280_7580482972107402094_nI am probably going to get some flack for going to it, but Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square was my last stop on my final day in NYC. If you been to any of them across the country, then the food here is virtually the same.

I came here to actually check the place itself instead of the food. There’s a lot of rock memorabilia here including a guitar from a famous Beatle. Speaking of guitars, there a section of wall embedded with them.

As for the food, it is the same menu in all Hard Rock Cafes and it wasn’t to write home about. It wasn’t bad either. If I remember correctly, the meal was a Buffalo Chicken Club Sandwich with remoulade sauce and a Sam Adams.

 

There were many more eateries I wanted to experience in NYC, but 5 days isn’t enough time to get the full experience. Hopefully on my next visit, I’ll go to places I missed out on the previous trip.

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New York Travels: Entering A Hostel Environment

ny-moore-hostelI feel bad about not blogging about it. With an upcoming trip to Boston in six months, I’m compelled to talk about my somewhat-recent trip to New York City.

Earlier this year, most of my friends were having these great vacation plans while I still didn’t act upon mine. In March 2016, I booked a Southwest flight from Memphis to the Big Apple.

Along with a flight, reservations for a living space had to be made. Hotels and AirBnb were considered, but they were a bit expensive.

The vacation was planned around Memorial Day (just three months away). There was not much time to save a lot of money so I opted for a hostel.

For those wondering about them, hostels are a cross between hotels and a college dorm. The amenities of a hotel are present at most hostels (like Wi-Fi, showers, beds, towels, coffee, etc.) but one shares a living space with other travelers. The trade-off is they are much cheaper.

During the trip, I stayed at the NY Moore Hostel, which is located in Brooklyn. The surrounding neighborhood reminded me a lot of Memphis. It had a Cooper-Young feel meshed with some industrial buildings sprinkled in. It was also close to the L-train, which was very convenient getting into Manhattan and other parts of the city.

As I checked in, the staff was helpful in taking me to my room and even gave me a tour. The living1 quarters were spacious with three twin-sized beds, dressers, lockers, and nightstand with lamp.

Bathrooms were also located in the unit and all the rooms were well-kept and clean.

There were other features including a partial kitchen (with pantry, refrigerators, microwaves, sink, and coffer makers), lounge with TV, computer room, and temporary storage for those with early arrivals or late departures.

One advantage of hostels over hotels is free food and entertainment. Each have their own ways, but the Moore Hostel would regularly have comedy nights and offered pizza. The only catch is to listen to some comedians, which NYC is well-known for.

One of the comedy nights had Tori Piskin,  Jacob WilliamsKatie Boyle, and Chris James. There were some hit and miss jokes, but by-and-large they had funny moments. It was good they took out time for a smaller crowd of strangers.

28535691Overall, the experience was good and my only complaint was the air conditioner didn’t work. The hostel staff was aware of the situation but it remained broken until I left. Other than that, it was a good stay and even folks at the front desk loaned me a lock and storage space free of charge during the trip.

Another part of the hostel experience was the roommates. One would think it could be horrible, but the folks in my room were decent folks. For my first two nights in NYC, there were two guys from Alabama. These guys were courteous and apologized one night for waking me after getting soaked in a downpour. Them waking me up was the least of my problems considering they had a rough night.

There was one night I had the room all to myself, but that changed when a kid from Detroit stayed until the final day in New York. He was okay and kept to himself, but I do remember him being on the phone a lot.

I’d say to anyone looking to visit NYC and have a lot of money, look into some other places especially if 13332731_10102088776098140_2322348117671306210_nyou are travelling with a group. I don’t regret staying at the hostel and had a good stay. If you temper your expectations, then you wouldn’t be terribly disappointed.

New York City has other hostels, including one in the middle of Manhattan, so definitely look into them if you plan on it.

This post is the first of a few more related articles about my NYC trip. There was so much to talk about that I haven’t begun to scratch the surface.

The next post will talk about some of the restaurants I visited during the trip. Hopefully you’ll enjoy these articles soon to come.