So, Kev and I are back from our tour-de-North, also known as "I ate all the carbs and now I have to detox for a week". They keep some dang tasty carbs up there and let me tell you, I tried them all. I also had a stomach ache most of the time because most delicious things have shortening and soy in them. I'll be honest and you know this if you follow me on Instagram, there are a LOT of pictures of food. And I'm going to show you all of them. You're welcome.
We took off Monday morning and headed to Long Island. It's far. There are a lot of tolls. Remind me not to complain about the .37 cent toll that I occasionally have to pay when I go to Cary. It's like $20 to have the privilege of going through Delaware. Seriously Delaware? I know you don't have much to offer in the way of tourist attractions (Rehoboth is nice though) but taking my $20 makes me far less likely to spend longer than an hour in you.
Kev was in charge of looking for road food and he discovered a cute farm stand / chicken / corn store in Maryland.
I ordered a ham, cheese and fried onion sandwich which was hot and pressed on a pretzel bun. I don't really get the recent obsession with pretzel buns, they're nice but haven't changed my life. Foreshadow - I DID eat a food on this trip that changed my life.
It came with mustard dippy sauce.
Then we drove and drove and drove in the drizzling rain through Delaware (damn you Delaware), Jersey and New York until we finally got to out friend's house. By the time we got there we were starving and ended up ordering pizza.
It was pretty tasty and at that point I wanted to eat my face. The thing about Northern pizza vs Southern is the sauce (and bread and cheese) but there's something really special and different about the sauce. This is the right sauce. I can get the right sauce in Pittsburgh too.
The next morning we took the train into the city but of course before heading in, we needed to stop at the bagel store for some breakfast.
This is what I think heaven looks like.
I went with the bacon egg and cheese on a sesame bagel. I was able to make it through about half of the sandwich. Then I was sad because I was full and had to stop eating.
Mmmmm fluffy bagel carbs.
That day we were pretty tired as we walked though the city. 13 hours in the car and several looooong weeks makes for some pretty sleepy people. We stumbled around for a few hours and decided to hit up one of the places on our bucket list, Katz's Deli. Katz's is known for their pastrami, we had a debate over roast beef vs pastrami and went with the pastrami. It's made in house and is unbelievable.
Those pickles? I die.
After a little rest, it was time to meet back up with our friends and headed to Peter Luger. It's seriously one of the best steak houses in the country and as you can see, one of Kev's very most favorite places.
Peter Luger is an old school steak house, complete with wood paneling and grumpy waiters. You pay cash, don't look at the menu and for the love of all that's holy, don't order a well done steak. They'll sneer at you and grumble. Besides, if you want well done steak it means you don't like steak and that's OK. Just get some chicken, at another restaurant.
We started with a round of bacon. Because that's what you do at Luger's, have a meat appetizer before the rest of the meat comes out.
There were five of us and we ordered steak for five, rare. God bless rare meat eating friends.
We were thinking about dessert and saw there were "seasonal pies" on the menu. We asked fantastically old grumpy waiter which pies they had and he said, "NONE, you have the cheesecake." Yes sir.
Cheesecake and schlag. Schlag is their homemade whipped cream which they bring out in a 14 inch bowl and slap on your cake.
At the end of the meal he thew down some gold chocolate coins because that's what you do there.
Everything was amazing and the company was fantastic and it's ridiculously expensive and worth every penny. When you don't get there that often, you do it up right. Surprisingly for us, that was the only big dinner we had the entire trip, might as well make it a good one.
Weds morning we woke up and headed to a real diner for breakfast. I always tend to get eggs, a meat and dry toast. This was the size of a small child.
This time we drove into the city and I let Kev show off his city driving skills. I was pretty pleased to see that neither of us had lost our moderately aggressive northern-driving abilities.
The one place I wanted to stop this trip was the Diamond District. It's my happy place. Let me tell you, I love the Diamond District. As a sales person, I love a good haggle and great deal. If I can haggle my way to a better price, sign me up. Kev is the king of the hagglers, it's really one of his favorite things.
I was in the market for a larger pearl earring. Just a single pearl, no diamonds or accents. It had been a few years since we'd been to the district and I was really surprised at how much the feel had changed. There were a lot of shops that had closed and several of the kiosks weren't nearly as aggressive as they used to be. I expect to have someone try and hard sell me and they really didn't. Some people barely even looked up when we stopped by. Strange....
We ended up at Golda Jewelry and they did something no one else did. They built rapport. I was really impressed with their techniques. We came in, told them what we were looking for and sat down. The owner sent his guy to another location where he kept the pearls. While we waited, the owner chatted with us, gave us liquor and told us a story.
He came back with the pearls and we asked for a price to drill and set 14k gold posts. He quoted us something very reasonable and we said yes. I asked Kev why he didn't haggle and he said "I liked that guy, he told me a story and gave me booze." It's actually a really good sales lesson. Those 12 minutes of rapport was the difference between the sale and no sale.
We had to have them shipped because they wouldn't be ready before we had to leave. So pretty and I can't wait for them to get here!
All too soon it was time to leave the city and head to Jersey!
Bye Times Square! Next time we won't wait as long before coming back!
Have you been to New York City? What do you think?
Ever ben to the Diamond District?