Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Taste of Nolita

On the heels of Taste of Tribeca, was Taste of Nolita. A very food-filled weekend, indeed.
A similar, yet different experience, Taste of Nolita was a “self guided walking tour” of the neighborhood. Offering seven tastes from the participating restaurants, it was a good way to explore and get out for a walk, on an otherwise dreary Sunday.

We started our culinary adventure at Tacombi @ Fonda Nolita and enjoyed a taco in the cute and rustic establishment. We proceeded to Billy’s Baker, just across the street, and got our cupcakes to go (since we knew there was more food to come). From there, we went to Asia Dog, where I had the “mash” – a beef hot dog with spicy ketchup, jalapeno mustard, and crushed potato chips. I’d had it before and it was just as delicious as I recalled.  I’m such a fan of hot dogs and have a few favorites around the city, but Asia Dog may be the new frontrunner. They do have some competition though, as Ditch Plains has the indulgent Ditch Dog (two hot dogs, topped with ooey, gooey mac ‘n cheese), Bark has sustainable ingredients and a snappy Bark Dog (sweet pepper relish, mustard and onion) and Crif Dogs, the endearing hole-in-the-wall, offers deep-fried wieners. But I digress…
On another note of interesting food, I tried something new, which is always a joy for me. For the first time, I had a Vietnamese sandwich, which I’d been wanting to taste. Served in a baguette (and this bread was especially lovely), I got the Bahn Mi. According to Wikipedia, there are many global and regional variations of the sandwich, but the most common version features thinly sliced pickled carrots and daikon (known as đ chua), cucumbers, cilantro, chili peppers, pâté, mayonnaise and various meat fillings or tofu. I found it particularly interesting that the sandwich is a product of French colonialism in Indochina, combining ingredients from the French (baguettes, pâté and mayonnaise) with native Vietnamese ingredients.

By walk’s end, we had:
·         Tacombi @ Fonda Nolita - Pollo Locochon taco
·         Billy's Bakery - Chocolate cupcake with vanilla buttercream
·         Asia Dog - 1/2-Sized Asia Dog, Mash
·         L'Asso Gourmet Pizza - Classic Margherita thin-crust
·         Saigon Vietnamese  - Bahn Mi Tasting Roll, 'Classic Bao'
·         Eileen's Cheesecake - Classic mini-cheesecake
·         MacBar - Signature 4-Cheese Mac 'n Cheese
All in all, it was a “medium” event (I’m a frequent user of that word when I’m lukewarm on something). For only $18 per ticket, we really couldn’t complain. Sure, the pizza was cold, the mac and cheese, a bit sub-par. But when you’re spending the day with friends, snacking on some good foods and walking around NYC, it’s a good one in my book.

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