Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Impromptu Road Trip to New York: 1 of 2

I took a very impromptu trip back to NYC yesterday, once I found out that Company, that excellent musical I saw last month, is closing this Sunday. It’s a shame, really, but it’s for the best. You don’t want the show to get stale.

Just some quick notes on what I did and where I ate (everything else stays in New York). Photos to follow. NB: I got many of these recommendations from another Frommer’s book, Pauline Frommer’s New York City Guide.

Street Food – from hot dogs to halal

After the train station I decided to save some money and just eat food along the way to the hotel – the Gershwin on 27th Street, between 5th and Madison (next to the ubiquitous Museum of Sex). At this funky hotel I had booked a bed in a 10-bed hostel room for just $41! (Even better, they upgraded me to a 6-bunk room for the same price). Thought I’d hate it, but I didn’t.
My first stop: the ever famous Sabrett’s. Someone told me a while ago that this is New York’s finest hot dog. I may have been confused. This was the most flavorless hot dog I have ever eaten, and I have eaten many hot dogs in my life. I don’t know if it’s because all the flavor was boiled out of it. I have had better luck with an Esskay frank boiled for 5 – 10 minutes. But the thing was inedible. Maybe if I see one grilled or fried, I’ll try it. But not boiled.

I had even worse luck with a knish that was encased in a rock-solid outer shell. Kind of like that chicken I had at Higgin’s in OC. But I fared quite well, however, at one of many halal food stands further along. I got a falafel sandwich on pita. It was messy, and the falafel was not crisp. But it was very tasty. Maybe that’s where all the flavor from the hot dog went – but wait, then it wouldn’t be halal, would it?


Next I hit the specialty sales by the Empire State Building. Bought a nice shirt to use that night at Prato’s. Then it was a quick jaunt back to the hotel to dress, and off I went for dinner.
Meskerem is not related to DC’s Ethiopian-American institution. This was where I ate before I hit Company. For $15.95, I got a small lentil sambusa (like a samosa, but of Somali/Ethiopian origin) with this great sauce - berbere sauce perhaps? – and a plate of lega tibs, or lamb chunks in mild Ethiopian spices, and a Diet Coke. Beer is on the menu, but don’t bother because they don’t have any – it’s BYOB!

After Meskerem I hit Barrage, a festive little gay bar on the way back to the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, for a pint of, um, something. It wasn’t memorable. Even more memorable than that was the Heineken I had at another gay bar, the New York Eagle, after the show. Very few people there on a Tuesday night.


charm city cupcake said...

Dude, if you need gay bar suggestions in NYC, ask me! I know which ones are the good ones (I have a gajillion gay friends and I have been to every single one, no joke).

PS. I woulda told you that Barrage is BAD!

John said...

CCC: I will definitely ask next time, thanks :) !

As for Barrage: eh, it happened more because it was between the restaurant and the theater, and looked interesting. I was hoping for beer, it was convenient. I should've gone into one of the, what, seven Irish pubs along that same stretch of road :) Not an option the following day, me trotting around town in my England home soccer jersey!

And as for the Eagle, those people are more my crowd. Er, except for the leather. I'm not into that. They're more laid back I mean. But it's a much more interesting bar on the weekends. Especially Memorial Day weekend - my LORD, I couldn't move!