New York City Food Shopping

Continuing from last week's post, I thought of a few more recycling ideas: Re-use zip-lock plastic bags.  Believe it or not, my mom used to launder (yes -- in the washing machine) plastic bags when I was growing up.  She was mostly being frugal, but it rubbed off on me.  I own a plastic bag drier that works great to hanging up the bags after rinsing.  Everyone should have one.  As a matter of fact, I think I'll buy a bunch to give as gifts :-).  It also makes a great conversation piece, because people will never guess what it's used for.  Takes no time.  Saves money. Bring those tote bags into the supermarket to avoid using all those plastic shopping bags.  If you do use the plastic, tell the cashier or bagger to fill them up.  It drives me nuts when they put 2 to 3 items in a bag.  In New York City I used to carry 20 lbs of groceries from the store to my apartment building, so I think I can handle packing my trunk with a few heavier bags.   Takes no time or effort. My New York City Food Shopping Adventure I went to visit my family and friends in New York City over Memorial Day.  Manhattan is as crazy as ever, but it also has the best food on the planet...and the most diverse. The menu at Arts & Eats reflects our culinary experiences in New York, eating foods of a wide diversity of cultures.  Chef Jim sent me to an amazing Indian grocery store called Kalustyans to get a few things we can't get in Florida.  They claim to have every ingredient for any recipe from any cuisine in the world.  They have for example, something like 12 types of curry.  Going there is a culinary education.  They also have the best bulk nuts, dried fruits and nut mixes...and yes, you can order online.

Yonah Schimmel Knish

Next stop, Lower East Side.  This area has become very trendy over the past 10 years, but is still home to a few of the food shops that have a long history there.  I shlepped through the pouring rain to visit 3 stores and it was worth getting wet (but I somehow avoided getting splashed by taxis).  The first stop was Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery on East Houston Street.  My grandfather used to frequent this place when he was a young man (he was born in 1895).  The knishes are like pastries -- round and filled with a variety of stuffings including the classic potato, spinach, vegetable, kasha (bulghar), mushroom and more.  They're baked not fried, so you get the yumminess of the pastry and all the flavor of the simple yet delicious stuffing. russanddaughters Just down the street is another oldie but goodie called Russ & Daughters.  They're been selling Jewish-Style delicacies since the early 1900's. yonahschimmel-012110 The prices are high, but so is the quality.  I got some delicious whitefish salad and prune hamantaschan (a triangular filled pastry for the Purim holiday) for Vivian. A trip to the Lower East Side for Jewish Style food wouldn't be complete without a visit to Katz's for a pastrami sandwich.  This one's for Tony.  Katz's was famously featured in the movie "When Harry Met Sally" in which Meg Ryan fakes an orgasm and a senior woman diner says "I'll have what she's having."   (Actually that was Carl Reiner's wife). They've been in business since the late 1800's and the decor probably hasn't changed much since then. You get a ticket when you enter that's checked off depending upon which counter you get served at.  Usually it's very crowded with tourists, but I got in and out pretty quickly...complete with pickles (sour garlic -- I LOVE them and used to pick them from a barrel as a kid in the Bronx), rye bread, lean pastrami and deli mustard.  The guys behind the counter always give samples.  Yum Yum! So, there you have it. Indian spices to Jewish delicacies in just 2 hours.  Only in New York... Katz street katz sign