January 31, 2012

Food Tour - Nolita

Boy have I got a post for you!  

Being a native New Yorker has it's bad sides.  See, lots of times we frequent the same exact spots over and over just because we know it's good there.  Hubby and I love venturing out and finding new places to eat in and go to but when you're starving you don't really want to "try a place".  Am I right?  Cue Food Tour!

We were gifted two tickets to take the Nolita (North of Little Italy - I know, I know) food tour.  It's literally a street tour of the area where you get to go into specific restaurants and sample the fare as well as view the decor (I loved that part).

Guess what the first stop was?  CUPCAKES!  (This tour was made for me.) The coolest thing is that they give you a backstory on all the restaurants and the neighborhood surrounding it.  I gotta say, I never knew so much about Little Italy or the Bowery.  It was an educational experience as well as a culinary delight.


We tried blackout cupcakes from Little Cupcake Bakeshop.  
They were chocolate perfection and reminded me of my favorite 
Entenmann's Chocolate cake which I crave once a month ;)  LOL!

Next stop was pizza.  For real?!  Yeah, it was SOOOO good.  This wasn't New York style pizza.  It was the real deal Holyfield.  Italian deliciousness.  Organic, hormone and antibiotic free perfection.  I ate the entire slice.  (Which was a mistake because after the slice and the cupcake, I was done.)


Pizza perfected from Emporio.

Next stop was a super cute Cuban/American place called the Pan American.  They made their version of the Cuban sandwich.  I loved the colors in this place!


We got lots of history lessons about the neighborhood and it's architecture.  Our tour guide, Anny, was the bomb.  She was so fun and cute and full of energy.  We really had a nice time.  

The next stop was my FAVORITE!  It was SOOOO good!  (Okay, let me stop screaming.)  We stopped at Tacombi to have the slammin'est tacos.  I mean, really REALLY good.  It's Aarón Sanchez's place (you know, the Food Network chef).  I was wishing he'd be there but, alas, he was not.  But his tacos made up for his absence.  The tacos and the horchata were to die for.  And, at this point I was about to faint from being stuffed.  Our tour guide is from Cali and she said that this is one of the only taco places she frequents because it's authentically delish. 


I'm telling you, the pork and pineapple taco will make you cry.

We got some more history and architecture lessons and on our way to our next stop we passed by this building.  See those gold sculptures crawling up the side of the building?  Guess what they're made of?  YUP!  PAPER.  See, you thought my entire post was gonna be about food and it turns out I did have some paper love in here for you. (Gotta take care of my paper peeps.)  They're some really cool papier mache sculptures that the entire neighborhood fought to keep as part of their aesthetic.


We also saw lots of other cool architecture like this building that's been restored called the Wedding Cake Building in true Roman style.  Seriously, I've passed by here hundreds of times in my life and never even noticed this thing.  SO sad.  There's another interesting building with some weird things outside and then the cool picture of Steve Jobs that someone so meticulously put together on a fence strip by strip.


We had delicious ricotta bruschetta, and last stop was dessert ;) 
Delicious salted chocolate cookies fresh from the oven.  
This place specializes in "build-your-own-biscuits".  WHAT?!


We went around and went into the old site of CBGB but pictures aren't allowed (BOO).  However we got a few before we got scolded.  Tee Hee.  I have a newfound respect for this area now and if we're ever hungry and around there then I totally know where to go.


So, if you're ever visiting NYC I would definitely recommend taking one of the Food Tours.  There are various areas (all in Manhattan) that you can choose from. Hubby and I are planning on taking another one in the Spring.  I mean, what's the use of living in such a huge city and not knowing which places are worth eating at?

Hope you enjoyed the tour and I hope you try one out if you get a chance.  

Oh, duh!  Here's the link for the place where you can book your tour.