Thursday, December 12, 2013

NYC Trip (Happy Birthday Jason) Part 1

Late August, my brother, boyfriend and I went back up to NYC for a long weekend to celebrate my boyfriend's birthday! It was also the first PSU football game of the year (Syracuse v. PSU) at MetLife Stadium right outside of NYC in Jersey.

It's no secret that my boyfriend bleeds Blue and White. We met in college and I'm just happy to support his passion. I am spirited but not obsessed about sports. I do hope all his teams win though because he's such a sourpuss for the rest of the week post-loss.

I had just gotten back from my first August NYC trip (recap part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4,  part 5) where I went to pick up my brother who came back from Taipei. There were only about 9 days between trips before we were back up in NYC shacking up with my sister. Thankfully, my sister loves us and likes spending time with us (I hope).

Bright and early at Tampa airport waiting for our direct flight to NYC.

The flight was short and sweet. First thing we did was head to my sister's apartment in Brooklyn to drop off our bags. I had taken her spare keys when I left the last time so I didn't have to go all the way to Manhattan where she works (planning ahead is a forte of mine when it comes to travel..other things, not so much).

It was a little after 12 when we were ready to head out again and we were starving. I had already semi-planned the itinerary for the week beforehand doing my research. 

On one my trips to NYC, my siblings and I also went to Mission Chinese Food for the famous Sichuan Chicken Wings (super spicy) and knew my boyfriend would adore them. Their original location is in San Francisco. I saw them originally featured on the Travel Channel with Bourdain's seal of approval.

Before we even hopped on the subway in Williamsburg, I called ahead to order two orders of their wings to-go. The restaurant is PACKED during lunch hours and even more so at night so take-out was the way to go. 

We took the wings to my sister to enjoy with her. We ate in her office's outside balcony area. 

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Recently, I heard that the restaurant was closed during health violations (GROSS) but thankfully no one got food poisoning during our visit.

After our wing appetizer and saying hello to our lovely host, we headed to our second destination on my list: PARM. The owners of Parm also own the upscale Italian restaurant next door to it: Torrisi

Parm is a more casual joint known for their simple but well-executed menu. It's an incredibly popular lunch spot and since seating is limited, most people order take out or brave the wait. We went a little after 1 PM so the lunch crowd had died down by then.

My boyfriend loves two things in life: spicy food and mozzarella sticks. He doesn't often indulge in fried cheese sticks but considering it was his birthday weekend, I made sure to find a place known for good mozzarella sticks. 

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Besides mozzarella sticks, we also ordered three types of sandwiches to share: Chicken Parm, Sausage & Pepper and Meatball Parm. My favorite was the Meatball Parm but all three were standout. The food took a while to come out but it meant it was freshly made and not sitting around.

Post-lunch consisted of walking around the Soho/Little Italy/Chinatown area. The one thing I love about big cities is the amount of walking I can do while window shopping. I'm hoping we have wonderful weather when we head to Taipei later this month (cross rain por favor)

The boys heading to Kung Fu Tea for some bubble tea about two hours into our walk

My brother entertaining himself when we were browsing one of many home decor shops.

We enjoyed nice weather during our entire stay in NYC that week. 

This is the weather in NYC right now...

Side note: My sister sent us a recent photo of her dog running around outdoors. This is the same balcony area we ate our wings only a few months ago. Isn't it great that her workplace let's the workers being in pets?
We had dinner plans with friends but my boyfriend wanted to meet up with his cousins at a local sports bar beforehand. He left to do that while I went back to the apartment with my brother to freshen up and rest a bit before heading out again. 

My brother had an ulterior motive for heading back early. He wanted to spend time with his doggy niece. I know he wants a pet for himself but at the moment, my boyfriend and I are not willing to take on that responsibility. 

Dinner was at a restaurant my sister recommended: Legend Bar & Restaurant. It's a Chinese restaurant specializing in Sichuan cooking known for their numbingly spicy dishes. Most of the dishes in the menu weren't spicy though and you could tell the server how spicy you want it. The waitstaff was incredibly accommodating and friendly throughout our meal. 

There was an entire basement level of the restaurant that I didn't realize was there. It was a weekday night so we were one of the few groups seated on the bottom so it was very intimate.

I only head to Chinese restaurants when it's with a big enough group that I'm comfortable eating family style with. It's more fun that way! One thing that stood about this restaurant was definitely decor because it was so modern, spacious and airy.

Here are some of the dishes we ordered. The two standouts in my head are definitely the tea smoked duck and the scallion pancakes. All the dishes were perfectly executed though with no complaints from me. 

They have happy hour daily with drink specials.

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My friends have a sweet tooth just like me so we headed to the Big Gay Ice Cream Store nearby to finish our night on a sweet note. This is my second time visiting and I'm still a fan. I know some people consider it overpriced soft-serve but I've always finished my dessert with no complaints (and wishing for more...)

Now I'm craving ice cream....

All in all, I consider Day 1 a success because we got everything we wanted to do done at a leisurely pace. The restaurant choices were all knockouts and nothing disappointed.

Day 2 consisted of eating breakfast at Cornerstone Cafe, walking around the Museum of Natural History, eating at a couple of food trucks and enjoying my boyfriend's Birthday dinner at Kittichai. 

Until next time (which is soon I promise)........

1 comment:

  1. One of my big 2013 lessons was that I like more than 2 weeks between trips (though of course that's not always possible, particularly with work travel). Glad it worked out well for you! I was thinking I'd have to check out Mission next time I'm there, while I can't do chicken, I would love some really good Chinese food, but then I saw your note about it being closed -- yuck! Guess I'll aim for Legend and some bubble tea instead.


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