concrete jungle // munching in soho

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04.21.2013 by Andrea

When I walk outside of my walk-up in NY I am still amazed at all that is right at my fingertips. A few weeks ago we had the moody weather swings of Mother Nature. I landed on Friday morning, and JFK appeared to be getting socked in. In fact, friends who were coming to celebrate a birthday and flying into Newark were delayed over 3 hours before taking off from Seattle that morning. I wasn’t prepared for the blustery weather, note to self, start using the weather app on my smart phone before packing. It was icky, yet, by the time I woke up from mid-morning snooze, it had all but started melting away. Imagine my surprise then when the next day it was beautiful, upper 50’s and warm enough to go for a run outside. Portland and Seattle folks were telling me the weather was just as beautiful there and so somehow, all three cities I am deeply rooted in, celebrated the day with very similar weather.

My running route takes me through Chinatown, down by the water in the Financial District, across the Williamsburg Bridge into Brooklyn, and then loops through the East Village and back home to Soho. I must sound like a babbling idiot to my roommate but I am consistently struck with amazement at how everything where we live is so accessible. I feel so centrally located, and love that my neighborhood is an easy pivot point for walking around and getting to and fro.

It only makes sense then when I finished with my run, on this particular day, showered, and was starving that I would punch in my favorite comfort food, mac and cheese, and see if there were any nearby restaurants that specialized in this dish. Much to my surprise there are 3 restaurants within 0.5 mile walking distance that serve this up in a gourmet way.

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I went with macbar as my first foray into an all mac and cheese eatery in NY. I decided to not hold back and ordered the medium sized lobster mac.

lobster mac and cheese

lobster mac and cheese

It was delicious, my eyes were bigger than my stomach, and I should have known with such rich ingredients I didn’t need that next step up. Have no fear, there wasn’t really enough to warm up for a second meal, in what I called leftovers. The three bites of scraps tossed in the garbage, were contemplated over for just a moment as I wondered if I could stuff them into my belly. I walked by s’mac the other day and am excited for another run to cause the motivation to check out this next mac and cheese house.

A girl has to up her game sometimes and so it was only appropriate that one of my favorite residents, JP, and I venture into something that has a distinctly NY vibe. The Soho Mondrian is close to my casa and so JP skipped in from work one Friday and met me at Cafe Select and we then headed to Isola Trattoria and Crudo Bar. We ate like kings thanks to my friend JV. What started with a simple order of beef carpaccio evolved in a multitude of many bites. Arancini, tuna crudo, the parade didn’t stop and I have to say I think even JP was impressed with my choice.

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Clearly it wasn’t fair for JV to fill me with all of these delightful snacks and for us to not venture out on a foodie adventure ourselves. We opted to not stray too far from the motherland and went to Stanton Social for brunch. Technically it’s a bit outside of the Soho neighborhood. You can read up on what we snacked on at 24 Dollar Burger. I am going to be a contributor to this burgeoning food community and my post was on Stanton Social. Good times are always to be had when a friend is involved. We chose a great Sunday to brunch and then wandered through the Nolita Market where there were lots of wonderful vendors with hidden treasures displayed. It was difficult to walk away from all of the jewelry artisans.

All in all, just a tiny snapshot of places to eat. I’m finding I’m constantly texting myself names of restaurants that catch my eye and my roommate often points out her favs as we walk to the grocery and through the neighborhood. I’m headed back to Seattle to do some wine tasting and celebrating of bachelorettes the next few weekends. In the past couple days I’ve attended panel discussions regarding eating and tweeting and a demonstration revolving around food foraging. Just when I think it can’t get any better, NY continues to surprise me. Until the next bite.

cheers.

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