A Quickie Tour of NYC Inspiration and Food

What a weekend, guys. Wow. As any good trip to New York City goes, I was completely wiped by the time I got home. In four short days, I must have walked miles, met handfuls of friendly folks, and eaten a billion calories of the most delicious food, all of which left me even more inspired with new ideas for Milwaukee’s best meal delivery service.

Cherry Bombe Jubilee

The whole point of this trip was to participate in Cherry Bombe’s Jubilee. I’ve been watching this meeting of women and food go on for the past several years, but this year a combination of Nigella Lawson as the keynote speaker and a super cheap flight propelled me into attendance. Thank goodness it did.

Some people get star struck. I got food star struck. From Ruth Reichl to Tanya Holland from Top Chef, to Deb of Smitten Kitchen to Samin Nosrat (and of course, the aforementioned Nigella!), I got to meet them all face to face. Possibly the most exciting was to meet Kerry Diamond of Cherry Bombe herself. I’m not sure she knows it, but with every podcast and issue of the Cherry Bombe magazine, Kerry and her team inspire me to be a better food professional to serve you fine folks. To watch her poise and hear her soothing voice in action made my day! (P.S. New life goal – get important enough that Kerry invites me to be on her podcast.)

Being a food-centric conference, of course, the eats were fantastic. There was a ton of vegan and/or gluten-free food that tasted even better than their counterparts. I tried an amazing dairy-free cream cheese on rice crackers (no seriously, it was delicious!) and a totally cootie-free chocolate cake. I have no idea how the magicians made such a tasty and springy cake without flour, sugar, eggs, or butter, but they did and I want more!

Anyway, if you are a lady and have a business related to food, I highly recommend this one-day affair. The steady stream of badass ladies made me want to kick ass for you. What great inspiration.

Other Food

I was fortunate to have Randy join me, so we got to spend a long weekend eating the way through town. (Aside – always date your significant other. I can’t tell you how long it’s been since we’ve had a simple conversation that wasn’t interrupted by a child, a load of laundry or one of us falling asleep. We made up for that this weekend. It was delightful.)

We started the weekend at Buddakan in Chelsea with a dinner reservation at 10 pm. Yep, we jumped into the NYC scene with two feet. 😉 The recommended edamame dumplings were the highlight of an all-around good meal. Saturday, after the conference we stumbled into Ample Hills Creamery which was also as good as everyone said. That night we tried to go to Lilia in Williamsburg. We couldn’t get in (until Sunday night. We went then and it was wow… Simply wow. How a dish of spaghetti, lemon, parm and pine nuts can be one of the best things I’ve ever eaten is beyond me. Again – food magicians!) Since we couldn’t go where I wanted to go, I had a chip on my shoulder when we stumbled into Denizen down the street. It only took me a cheese plate and a glass of new to me wine to make me forget my troubles. Their French onion soup toast with oxtail made me forget troubles even existed.

As we wandered through town on Sunday, we tried what was promoted as the best chocolate chip cookie in New York City. The entry came from Levain Bakery. It was delicious, but I’m not sure it’s in my top five ever. The cookies from Treat Bakeshop here in Milwaukee are worlds better. (Fingers crossed they come back this summer even though Treat moved!) Later on that afternoon, I tried a piece of Pink Cake from Amy’s Bread per another recommendation. That was a good one! Even though I could tell the cake had sat out for awhile, it was still moist and the frosting flavorful.

After dinner at Lilia that night, we took the subway back into the city to do the required visit to Times Square. By then it was pouring down rain so it was even more miserable than normal, but we lucked out as we stumbled into the tiniest little outpost of Baked by Melissa. Melissa was recently interviewed in one of my favorite podcasts. She has one of those great stories; she was fired from a job she hated anyway, baked some cupcakes since she felt sorry for herself and her brother suggested she turn that into a business. The rest, as they say, was history. Anyway, a six-pack of her tiny cupcake bites was the perfect capstone of a foodie weekend.

Other Stuff

I swear we did do stuff that wasn’t food related. We walked all over the city in all hours of the day. We saw one dude in assless chaps and way too many fashionable ladies in high-waisted jeans and muu-muu style dresses. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the muu-muus, but that is not going to be a good look on us less-than-willowing Midwesterners.) We went to One World Plaza and walked the new High Line. As I mentioned, we made two trips out to Brooklyn (so residential!), a very quick, very cold walk across Central Park, and wandered all over our midtown/Chelsea neighborhoods. My non-food highlight of the trip was the Museum of the City of New York. You start your trip with a 30-minute movie about the history of the town which taught me more in the first five minutes than I expected out of the whole museum. Currently, they have an exhibit about the future of NYC which allows guests to participate in daydreaming. Their use of multimedia is engaging and intriguing. Located on the northeast side of Central Park, I highly recommend you do this out of the way stop the next time you go.

So now it’s time to catch up on regular life (back to that child, laundry and sleepy self back on the couch) which I wouldn’t miss for anything, but it sure is fun to retreat to great trips like this one.

Have you been to New York City? If so, what was your favorite part?