Went to Harlem for the first time yesterday. Usually there's nothing that actually takes me there, except the Metro-North training passing through the Harlem-125th street station, so it's just not somewhere I'd ever been before. However this time I had a medical appointment there, so off PreZ and I trekked.
Definitely interesting, especially all the little food joints. Usually when in the lower areas of Manhattan it's sandwich bars and pizza joints tucked into small hole-in-the-wall places, in Harlem the food was more exotic, for obvious reasons. We walked past some joint called the Tropical Grill, which looked like a variation on the sandwich bar theme, but smelled incredible. However as we were going to head out for lunch after my appointment we refrained from succumbing to the wonderful smells of soul food and bbq.( Drawing Blood )
After the appointment we walked back to the 125th street station, past more unusual food joints... fast food places called Nate's Papaya Hot Dogs and such. I'm still trying to figure out how papaya and hot dogs go together, but there you go. I could have done with some of those tropical fruit drinks they sell in some of the food joints, it all sounded yummy.
Lunch however was an Irish pub 2 blocks from where PreZ works in midtown. He'd come home a few weeks ago raving about their Shepard's Pie, and he was jonesing to try their Meatloaf, though that turned out to be a Thursday-only special, so he'll have to go back for that. Instead we both got fish and chips, and it was the best fish and chips I've had in longer than I can remember. With real malt vinegar for the chips. The fish was perfect... crisp crunchy batter, and soft succulent melt-in-your-mouth flaky fish. Yum. I'll never be able to order fish and chips at Applebees again. I mean, I know Applebees is average mediocre food at best, who dropped severely in my esteem a couple weeks ago when I had their grilled salmon, which was an overcooked pink rubber puck that I could have bounced off the wall. Their fish and chips can hold no candle to what we had yesterday, and I'll resent myself for ever having it after having had the perfect fish and chips.
I did have excellently cooked salmon when we ate at the Cheesecake Factory on Sunday, which we finally tried out after I'd seen Devon rave about it on her lj so many times ;) Salmon that was soft, flaky and perfect. The cheesecake was also bliss... lemon raspberry cream for me, swiss almond toblerone for PreZ. Gorgeous. That visit topped off our Christmas shopping spree, which was relatively painless. We now have gifts for the family we'll be having Christmas with. Whee.
As for the Irish pub, I'll have to meet up with PreZ for lunch on different days just to try some of their other weekly specials... Yankee Pot Roast on Wednesdays, Meatloaf on Thursdays, and Fridays Fish sounded good too. And then there was a bunch of other stuff on their regular menu that looked really good.
On other food notes, Saturday meant that we had our little tea party, and Tom and Karen came equipped with scones, a delicious coffee cake, and the thing they know will make me happy most of all... samosas from their local Indian shop. And they brought LOTS of samosas. I was a very happy girly indeed. A very happy girly that scarfed about 4 or 5 of the samosas. I need to find a local Indian place that sells them too *sigh*.