I currently live in Charlotte, NC and after spending 7 years as a personal chef and caterer, I am now happy to share my love of cooking with friends and family. My heart is in the kitchen, but my soul is in the stars!

SoHo Is Anything But SoSo

Put your walking shoes on bloggers because we have one heck of a gastromonical experience going on today! Since I'll be attending the Fancy Food Show for the next three days, it was my turn to lead the city exploration today. With map in hand, we headed out. Figuring we needed sustenance for our long journey, we grabbed a quick breakfast across the street at PAX Wholesome Foods. Yogurt with granola and fresh fruit, fresh squeezed OJ, biscotti, and bagels. I've never really been one to partake in the most important meal of the day, mainly because (a) I don't have time, and (b) I don't enjoy most breakfast foods. There was something about breakfast today, though, even simple as it was. Just the fact that I was sitting in a sidewalk cafe in NYC, ready to embark on my long awaited culinary tour made it one fantastic breakfast.

A quick ride on the subway landed us at Ground Zero where we paid our respects to those lost on September 11. We milled around the financial district for awhile but since it was Saturday, Captain Sturm wasn't very interested. Neither was Miss A. Nothing compares to the glitz and glamour of neon in Times Square, according to her, least of all the fish markets in China Town - the first must see place on my list.

It's amazing how much time passes when your strolling along the never-ending blocks of the city. I could tell that my traveling companions were growing tired and weary. Lunch was in order, and I thought there would be no better place than the second must see stop, Once Upon A Tart in the trendy SoHo district.
Is it a sin to go to a place such as OUAT, whose entire existence is based upon tarts and not order a tart? If so, I guess I just guaranteed myself a nice little retirement place south of the equator. My lunch order was a salad combination with couscous, roasted veggies, and a slice of veggie frittata. Captain Sturm opted for the sandwich of the day - the chicken and roasted asparagus on rosemary focaccia. Miss A. chose the roasted turkey sandwich and unbeknownst to her it also had cranberry chutney and brie on it. She probably would have added these things to her Things I Never Knew I Ate list, but she couldn't make it past the crusty bread. I'm not sure what I expected to see at OUAT, but it was most definitely different that I thought it would be. A very teeny, tiny place indeed with good lunch fare but the ambiance just wasn't what I expected. I will, however, have renewed enthusiasm when pulling my OUAT cookbook off the shelf simply because I can say that I've been there.
Just as our lunch begins to settle, we round the corner and there it is....the famed Magnolia Bakery, the third and last must see place on my list today. I read mixed reviews about MB on the internet - about how the long lines didn't justify the end result, but I didn't care. I wanted to go anyway and form my own opinion. We stood in line for about 7 minutes and once we made it inside the teeny storefront, the smell of confections was intoxicating. I stuffed my box with 3 cupcakes and out the door I went, guarding my treasure. We caught the subway back to the hotel and I knew that my troops were secretly glad that my stint as tour guide was over. We devoured our buttercream laddened treats and while I will admit that there was nothing totally spectacular about the cupcake itself, it was the meer fact that it came from Magnolia Bakery that made it so wonderful. I'm mentally counting the recipes that will be tested from the More From Magnolia cookbook.

Now, at this point I should thank you blog readers for sticking with the story when it's only half over. I should also be upfront and honest and tell you that I am now consuming Pepto Bismol tablets every hour on the hour. Dinner, theater, and dessert are looming before me and nothing will stop me now! Our concierge had once again made an excellent recommendation for dinner at the Blue Fin restaurant in Times Square.
With a fabulous menu abundant with raw bar specialties and fresh seafood, I had no problem selecting my entree. How could I pass up a dish that combined my two most favorite food groups - goat cheese and chilean sea bass! Yes, I am aware that it is politically incorrect to eat a fish that is over-fished but since I've sinned once today I figure I had nothing to lose. My meal was excellent and evidenced by the fact that I made "Mmmmm" noises during the entire meal.
The three of us headed off to the Miskoff Theater to see The Lion King and afterwards Captain Sturm and I devoured a slice of New York cheesecake and Miss A. indulged in a chocolate milkshake. Back at the hotel, I popped yet another Pepto tablet and lulled myself to sleep with visions of cupcakes, cheesecake, sea bass and the hopes that my jeans would fit tomorrow!

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Gina said...

You're getting so good at blogging! Love the title of this post...I keep saying it over and over to myself. Great pics!

Alison said...

Thanks Gina! I haven't posted much since I returned - I've had to dig myself out of the paperwork that accumulated while I was gone!