(Spoiler alert: This post will be the last of NY for a while before I take you on a whirlwind tour of Malaysian goodness)
Sandwiches. I don’t know about you but they just sound boring to me. Slices of meat between two pieces of dry bread with maybe some mayo or mustard or ketchup and few obligatory pieces of cheese and lettuce. Fine, maybe I’m exaggerating it a little, but I have never been a fan of sandwiches because I find them un-interesting and not worth the calories ingested. Until of course, I found Mile End Sandwich.
They call themselves a Jewish deli, but in my mind, they are more than that. They are the purveyor of well crafted sandwiches, jewish or otherwise. Heck, they even serve POUTINE!
I’ve only tried 4-5 items from their menu, but I have to say that my favorite is the breakfast burger, served with veal sausage patty, apple butter, maple syrup on an english muffin and topped with an over easy egg. Absolutely divine. I had egg yolk dripping all over my fingers by the time I was done with the burger.
Other items you should try:
Smoked Meat: The brisket is incredibly moist. Just like it would be at 2nd Ave Deli. I’m not a fan of rye bread, since it can get dry at times.
Chopped Liver: Not very livery, if you were worried about that. The garnish makes it a little hard to eat, everything falls apart whichever way you try to shove it into your mouth. But it is delicious nonetheless.
The weck roll is on the salty side, but it’s soft and very tasty. The mustard does give a kick to the sandwich, but also renders the roll a little soggy if you don’t eat it fast. The beef is moist but I actually prefer the roll on its own, maybe with some mustard.
Mile End Sandwich (Manhattan)
53 Bond St,
New York, NY 10012
I come from a country where street food is a major blood vein and is what feeds its people. I’ve always thought that Malaysian street food is what creates a tummy made out of steel… until of course I came to Delhi.
Now, don’t be put off by this Wikipedia link just yet. If you want to sample Mughlai cooking, you should check out Karim’s. Their specialty for breakfast is only 2 kinds of mutton, one of which is the mutton nihari which is served with their khameeri rotis.
Barely awake at 9am (which is when they start serving breakfast), I was a little grumpy from having to wake up so early on a Saturday morning, brave a (rip off) rickshaw ride through some really dodgy little streets and sit at a greasy table. In hindsight, I don’t regret having to do any of those at all. The gravy from the nihari + the fluffy bread was worth it.
(off the Chandi Chowk train station)
Jama Masjid, New Delhi, India
Phone: (011) 2326 9880
Pork and Chinese is synonymous. Anything from pork fat, pork belly, pork ribs, pig tongue, pig intestines, pig ears, pig colagen, you name it we will eat it (we refers to the collective). So when you serve a nice juicy chunk of pork belly on a steamed bun (bao), you will definitely hit it off with the Chinese. As un-chinese as I am, my tummy is very much the opposite. BUT, this post is to highlight the lesser known comrade of the pig, the chicken. Now don’t get me wrong, I do love pork, though not as much as my fellow yellow-skinned brothers and sisters, but it’s about time the chicken takes the stage, so behold the Birdhaus Bao.
Extremely juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. Baohaus has succeeded in making the Birdhaus Bao consistent the many times I’ve had it so I’m sold.
The restaurant (for the lack of a better word, other than shack) is in a quiet area of LES, tucked next to a Chinese massage parlor. It’s small, it’s cosy but it serves its purpose. So go get your Bao on!
137 Rivington Street, NY 10002
It means Little Pig.
So it might be a turn off for non-meat consumers (if you knew what it meant), but when you’re with Danny Meyer, you will most certainly be well fed. From the likes of Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park and Shake Shack comes Maialino. The signage at the door threw me off a little as I had feared and expected a little bit more stuffiness from being set inside Gramercy Park Hotel and located next to the park with the locked gates. But the space was nothing but laid back and welcoming. Family-sized tables and long counter tops dressed the dining area.
I would say the best party size for brunch would be 4 or more. That way you would be able to sample the Cestino di Dolci (basket of pastries) and a whole host of other appetizers. The glazed croissant was truly buttery and perfectly flaky. The olive oil muffin had such a subtle taste and wasn’t overly sweet. And the Bombolinis had just the right amount of cream and powdered sugar.
The star of the day was definitely the Pancetta al Pepe Nero (thick cut black peper bacon), and unfortunately I didn’t manage to take a picture of it. I really liked the Amatriciana eggs. Good amount of spice in the tomato sauce, though I could’ve done without the parmesan, but that’s just me.
I also like how they have a bread/pastry section complete with a barista. The setup reminds me a little of Locanda Verde, but given the choice I would rather come here where it’s less crowded (or maybe it’s because we came on a Saturday instead of Sunday).
Nothing like good breakfast to cure any unwanted reactions from the night before. Next up would be to try a Maialino dinner.
Gramercy Park Hotel
2 Lexington Ave, New York NY 10010
In a city where bakeries are a-plenty, Tartine Bakery stands out amidst their growing list of accolades and awards. Founded and run by pastry chef Elizabeth Pruitt and baker husband Chad Robertson, Tartine looks nondescript from the outside except for the incredibly long line of people waiting to get their orders of bread and pastries.
Pruitt and Robertson have definitely earned their James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chefs titles. Though I was quite annoyed by having to get in line just to put in an order, things were moving fast enough and we were able to find space at the bar to place our stash: brioche bread pudding, morning bun, scone and eclair filled with vanilla custard dipped in Valrhona glaze.
Seating is first-come-first-get, so if you find a spot, grab it. But if the weather permits, bring your pastries to Dolores Park and eat it on the slope in the sun.
Zayni has a terrible sweet tooth, and Sonia’s the total opposite. But we have found that we all love the chocolate tarts at Bourke Street Bakery (I should get a picture of those tarts). When we used to live in Ultimo, there was a Bourke St Bakery branch on Broadway St. Then I discovered the original bakery in Surry Hills while on a photography trip in the city one Sunday afternoon.
If you zoomed in on the corner where the bakery was, you would feel as though you were in the Village in New York, or somewhere in Lincoln Park in Chicago. I especially love the loaves of bread on display on the window of the shop.
It’s an awesome breakfast/hang out place. If the tables run out, there’s always the park across the street. A perfect Saturday morning ritual: fresh sausage rolls from the bakery and eating them on the grass in the park under the sun.
Bourke Street Bakery,
633 Bourke St,
Surry Hills 2010 NSW