I love being a foodie in NYC. If I was a foodie anywhere else, my gawd, it would be torture. I'd actually need to come here to experience real bagels, pizza, Chinese and Indian food anyway.
Although being in Maine does have it's benefits, if you recall the lobster roll post from 2010... I'll get back to that in a bit. May is an awesome month, isn't it? Mild weather, green markets galore and tons of edible events like Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day, coming up on the 19th, and Madison Square Eats on Broadway and 25th street in Manhattan's flatiron district. When I read about all the vendors that were going to be there in one place, serving their famous morsels to the public, I knew I had to try it out. And hell, it's been too damn long since I've done an excursion for this blog anyways.
I couldn't sleep at all so I just got up and went out. That's typical for me. And look, there it is from afar! Aren't you excited?? I sure was, I saw it from across the street, missed the light and wanted to spread my ass cheeks and fly across traffic.
Eventually, the light turned again and I made it. This is the entrance sign with a complete list of which vendors are available. Sadly, I was only allowing myself a couple small treats so I had to be very picky. And believe me... temptation was EVERYWHERE.
Well, no. I resisted. I may not like being hungry but I have complete control over what I allow to quell that hunger.
Despite it all being crammed so close together, there was quite a lot to choose from so I knew being good and sticking to my whole new healthy lifestyle would pose a serious challenge.
What shocked me more than anything was how ridiculously expensive everything was. A burger and fries $19. Soup $15. Personal pizza $14. Tons of other gourmet shit that ran as much as $25. This Chinese place was the cheapest place I saw, which is why I had to shoot it. Though... Chinese? I live near friggin' Little Chinatown, I could get that crap anytime. No, I made a special trip here and I was determined to get something I couldn't get anywhere else.
Now, onto the main course!
I went with Tamara and her family to New England and tried Lobster for the first time in the form of one of these? It was really, really good. I was genuinely surprised at how good it was; it was like my tongue just got laid. Been longing to duplicate that ever since and knew a trip back to Maine was unlikely. So when I saw Red Hook's Lobster Pound stand was selling Lobster rolls Maine style, (which I guess includes lemon-infused mayonnaise) well, I went bonkers. Yeah, it was a hefty $16, but to have that taste again? I'd have probably paid $20.
I know exactly what you're going to say, and you're right. Much like having a Philly Cheesesteak from a Pakistani street cart in Montauk, it was not the same. It wasn't even in the same ballpark of the same. It wasn't even in same's hemisphere. If you can take a good look at what they did here, you will understand why. First of all, it didn't have that sweet, melt-in-your-mouth goodness the Maine lobster roll had. I couldn't taste it very much at all. The lemon was so subtle, it was practically absent. In fact, I couldn't taste anything over the loads of paprika they ladeled over the fucking thing.
So.... whatever. Since I was angry, still very hungry and looking to finally be wowed by these supposed gourmet chefs already, I went back like a masochist and tried another stand. But since I shelled out so much for the first thing, I didn't have much left for another full meal. I saw a stand selling gourmet riceballs. Yeah, they were deep fried, but they were also like $4 and I was hoping the rice in them would finally settle my turbulent tummy.
I had a few bucks leftover and I felt like I was finally on a winning streak, so I did something I don't usually do, which a few of you may find hard to believe.
Would I go back? Sure, I have lots of other stuff to waste my money on, and lots more reviews to write! But before you go, I have a few more photos to show you, because my night didn't end there.
Inside Madison Square Park proper is a more permenant food stand. The line was ridiculously long, it was all greasy burgers, fries and shakes I couldn't have anyway, and I was now flat broke.
There was an..... um.... I guess an art exhibit of some sort. Can't really see because my camera sucks. It was too light for the flash and too dark for anything to come out clearly. Even if you could see, I doubt you'd be able to identify what these sculptures were supposed to be anyways.
Parodies of birds? Animals? WTF??
I know I went to art school and all, but that doesn't mean I will "get" every artist. And just because I don't "get" somebody work doesn't mean it's actually art. So I reiterate... yeah. WTF. Seriously, all I know is that whole portion of the park was inaccessable because of this bullshit.
I gave her my last $1.35 because I'm a big sap for causes like this.
Well, that's about it. Thanks for reading, and hope you enjoyed my culinary misadventure a lot more than I enjoyed that shitty lobster roll.