I want to be a part of it… New York, New York
It was quite easy to be a part of the other aspects of New York without breaking my budget – as detailed in my previous post, most of my entertainment during my stay was derived from just walking around looking at things.
But, despite being more broke than my battered hand luggage rucksack (and still recovering from a nasty bout of food poisoning), I still really wanted to revel in the restaurants of New York, and was particularly interested to see what gluten free NYC had to offer.
So rather than spending my money on shopping and attractions, I decided to spend the little money I did have pursuing my interest in eating. Great decision, right?
I only brushed the surface of New York’s and its fantastic food, but my stomach definitely enjoyed its time there and I think it will be returning.
Here’s where I dined at:
A haven of quirky shops, fancy deli food, and the odd restaurant, Chelsea Market attracts locals and tourists alike. The eateries aren’t exactly cheap, but with a little hunting, decently priced food can be found. I went to Chelsea Thai; which looks very similar to any Asian fast food restaurant, but the cuisine was phenomenal. I opted for peanut butter chicken with rice and a spring roll, and it was a delight to my tastebuds.
Also in Chelsea Market is a delightful little bakery, which not only sells charming iced biscuits (which aren’t gluten free, but I thought they were really cool) but flourless gluten free chocolate buns, with a generous amount of frosting on them. So good!
Madison Square Eats
This pop up market in the Flat Iron district offers a wide array of food from around the globe at reasonable prices. The Korean BBQ does great BBQ pork and I also really enjoyed a ‘summer roll’ from Two Tablespoons; which was made of beetroot and goats cheese wrapped in rice paper wrappers. A delicious gluten free snack! The market only pops up at certain times of the year, but if it’s around when you are, it’s definitely worth the visit.
Panna II Indian Restaurant
It’s hard to describe the joy that my night at this Indian restaurant on the Lower East Side brought me. The food was great, but even better was the fact that the entire place was adorned in Christmas tree lights and miniture flags of the world.
There’s actually another Indian restaurant next door, and two more below it, all equally illuminated; and they are run by four rival brothers. For birthdays (there seemed to be about 8 during the 2 hours we were there), they turn all the lights off and then burst into song as they are switched back on. It’s BYOB too, which certainly cuts some of the prices.
Cos you can’t go to America without going to an American diner, right? I went on my last night in the city and decided to treat myself with one of the two glasses of wine I drunk all week. To eat, I had ribs, sweet potato fries and coleslaw. The food wasn’t anything amazing, but I just wanted the all-American diner experience. As it was at the Times Square branch, there was lots of that.
They’ve made it big in England, but, like Applebees, I was keen to experience FiveGuys burgers and fries in America. For gluten free, the NYC restaurant wrap the burger patty in lettuce; which I actually really enjoyed. The food is New York City priced, but all toppings are free and unlimited and drinks (from the amazing drinks machine that vends hundreds of different brands and flavours) are refillable. The burgers and fries themselves are delicious; really fresh tasting and well made. Even though it was slightly pricer, the fast food chain is in another league to the McDonalds across the road!
This cute little restaurant in Little Italy served mainly bread (as the name suggests) – not the greatest for non wheat eaters! However, the staff advised me that they had gluten free pasta, and cooked me a lovely dish with tomato sauce and mozzarella that wasn’t on the menu.
The Cold Stone Creamery
No visit to New York is complete without a trip to this ice cream heaven. You choose a variety of flavours, toppings and sauces, and they take a stone slab and really mix in all the ingredients you’ve chosen, so you’re left with a completely unique blend of sweet frozen utopia. I had strawberry and cheesecake ice creams mixed with white chocolate buttons and marshmallows and fudge sauce, and it was certainly one of the best sweet treats i’ve ever had. (and I eat a lot of them).
Where I saved on everything else (bar accommodation) in New York, I certainly didn’t on food. But everyone’s allowed a vice, right? Alicia Keys called the city a “Concrete jungle where dreams are made of”, and, from someone who frequently dreams about food, I completely concur.
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