Tuesday, April 23, 2013

New York, New York!

Hello everybody!

I'm so sorry for the brief absence. I actually took myself on a little trip to the East Coast these past few days to visit some friends as well as some cheese shops! In this post I'm going to share some pictures and some stories, but for my next post (which will be in a day or so) I will be talking about a cheese from Consider Bardwell Farm in Vermont. I happened to meet up with my friend Poul who works for the farm at the farmer's market in Union Square yesterday before I left and he hooked me up with one of their cheeses. I figured it was only fair that I feature it on my next post! So stay tuned... :)

I flew into New York on Thursday and due to various delays didn't get in until very late... so I'll start my trip diary off on Friday. Friday morning I first headed over the the Whole Foods Market in TriBeCa. I happen to be friends with the Specialty Team Leader there, so I figured that this would be a good place to start. Here are some pictures...

At this store they have a killer full service case... I was very jealous of their selection!

They also offered a great selection a pre-cut cheeses

I had to take a shot of this chalkboard, one of my favorite goat goudas from Cypress Grove and the chalkboard was awesome!

A cool new venue that they added that day, bulk pasta! I hope that this is something we can bring to the West Coast. 
From the TriBeCa store, I headed over to the Bowery Whole Foods on Bowery and Houston. The picture below doesn't really do it justice, but as I was walking to the store, I caught a glimpse of the Empire State Building down the road and being the tourist that I was, decided to take a not-so-great picture of it. :)

I didn't really get too many good shots of their cheese case, but I did take a couple of pictures of some of the fun things the Bowery location had to offer...

That's right - a pickle bar!! So awesome...

And some shots of their separate store dedicated solely to beer and beer accessories.

They also had a cool pop up venue there that featured a certain type  food or restaurant for a limited amount of time and I got to experience the Shoyu Ramen.... simply divine. 

The next day I headed over to the Essex Street Market.

There I was able to visit Formaggio Essex and try a delectable Robiola wrapped in leek... so tasty! Thanks Andrew! And I also walked by the Saxelby Cheese Counter and while I didn't get a picture, was very impressed with the wonderful selection that was available in such a small space!

Next, I headed over to Union Square to visit the Whole Foods Market there.

This Whole Foods had their cheese counter downstairs. Here is a picture of their full service case...

Again, I was very impressed with the selection in this case as well as what they had in their pre-cut case. I then went and visited the Bedford Cheese Shop and Beecher's New York. Both shops were incredible and I was blown away by the service. Everyone that I talked to in those two shops really knew their stuff.

And here are some fun touristy shots of Union Square and Times Square...

Yes, that is a cowboy playing his guitar in his underwear... 
Before I made it all the way to Times Square, I did get a chance to pop in to the Chelsea Whole Foods, but I didn't take any pictures... *sigh*. After that I met up with some of my friends and danced the night away... I really can't believe that bars are open until 4am!!

On Sunday, I started off my day with a nice run through Brooklyn Bridge Park...

After showering and stuffing my face, I headed over to Murray's Cheese shop. I only got a picture of the storefront because it was pretty crowded in there, but they had a nice selection as well as a cool new-ish grilled cheese bar.

When I was done touring Murray's I made my way over to Eataly, an awesome Italian market on 5th Avenue. Here are some pictures...

A small sampling of their cheese selection
Their stunning meat counter
Watching them make fresh pasta..
And fresh pasta to buy by the pound!
They also had several restaurants, wine tastings, produce, charcuterie, gelato, espresso... pretty much anything Italian, they had it and then some. I would have spent a lot more time there, but it was so crowded! Definitely worth another visit the next time I head to New York and I will be sure to visit on a weekday.

After Eataly, I headed over to Central Park. I had been saving my visit to Central Park for Sunday because the weather was supposed to be the nicest and boy, was it ever! Here are some pictures...

Now I know that I am not the best photographer in the world, but I thought these were alright. After meandering through the park I headed to the Columbus Circle Whole Foods and made myself comfortable at their Tap Room. I had a Cuban hot dog with a really tasty double IPA. Again, I totally forgot to take pictures (I'm a terrible blogger!!) but it was quite a store... I don't think I've ever seen another Whole Foods as crowded as this one was!

After that I ended my evening with a couple beers with my friends and called it a night.

Monday was my last day in New York and I made sure to make it over to Union Square again to meet up with my friend Poul from Consider Bardwell. I tasted their Rupert and as promised, this will be the cheese I talk about in my next post. After grabbing a quick coffee with Poul, I headed over to Washington Square.

I spent an hour or so wandering around and people watching but then I unfortunately had to say good bye to the city and head over to the airport. I got in late last night and while I was very happy to sleep in my own bed, I already miss it over there and can't wait to visit again!

Thank you to all of my friends who made my trip so memorable! You guys are amazing and I can't wait to see you again!

To my loyal readers, I apologize again for the brief absence, but I hope this diary makes up for it a little... I'll be back in the next day or so with a post on Rupert! Until then, eat, drink and be happy!!!