Location: 93 E 7th St (btw 1st and Ave. A) & 242 E 81st St (near 2nd ave)
It all started with a little dinner in the West Village I don’t even remember who I was having dinner with but I remember seeing that one item that piqued my interest. The crustacean that was market priced and came on a roll with a side of shoestring fries and coleslaw. Yes, the humble lobster roll at Pearl oyster bar which was impeccable but not humbly priced at $25. After the economy took a downturn in ‘08 I remember seeing a surge of street food in general everywhere in NYC and even saw lobster rolls at the Brooklyn Flea market at the Red Hook lobster stand. Lobster rolls as street food for $12-$15?? CRAZY! This might’ve been a norm in the New England area but I think for NYC this was a new trend taking off. As 5 start restaurants were shuttering their doors everywhere in the city these midrange priced food spots were taking off.
So with that preface… here is one of the better lobster roll spots in the city: Luke’s Lobster.
The owner who was laid off during the recession started this spot with connections to the Lobster market in the Northeast and hence was able to bring down lobster at cheaper than normal prices to bring your Luke’s lobster rolls. Currently two spots, one in the East village and one in UES very much a quick bite standish kind of place. Although you could do a $40 meal for two mega-feast. For $15/roll, They give you big chunks of lobster with a bit of mayo and spices for a little extra flavor. The roll is buttery soft and doesn’t get in the way of the lobster and very much there as a supporting cast.
It’s really perfect for a quick lunch and I always associate lobster roll with the summer so great for weekend summer lunch.
Next stop in my lobster roll journey is this guy (underground lobster pound)…
I had Veterans’ Day off and it seemed like I was the only one, amongst my mostly banker friends, that had it off. And being the asshole that I am, I dedicated the day to myself as my “mental health” day, instead of honoring our veterans the proper way. So what does one do on a “mental health” day? It’s only natural that I would pick to do the most “couple-y” and “mom-y” things in the city, duh. Enter.. Guggenheim. If abstract art is your thing, it’s a good time to go
Alice’s Tea Cup
Location: 220 E 81st St (bw 2nd & 3rd Ave), 102 W 73rd st and 156 E 64th St.
While staring at Kandinsky’s art, all I could think about was the pumpkin scone that was soon going to be in my stomach. Once I got to Alice’s Tea Cup, I couldn’t get myself to sit next to moms having tea parties with fellow moms and daughters so I had mine to go. For $3, you get a huge scone and a side of preserves and cream. I tore off a small piece as I walked out the door and the first thought was “Oh shit, that’s good.” Afraid of becoming a victim of thoughtless eating, I placed the scone in my bag for later consumption. I thought the scone was seriously lacking the pumpkin flavor but too strong on the spice. A little more moist than the generic scone and it was actually topped with a caramel glaze that tasted nothing like pumpkin. It was the combination of the pumpkin scone and the slighty burnt caramel-taste glaze that I absolutely loved; too bad they didn’t drench the whole scone with the glaze. Muffin tops exist, why not scone tops?
Good, but doesn’t deserve a dedicated trip to the UES for it.
Ronnybrook Milk Bar
Location: Inside Chelsea Market (9th Ave bw 15th and 16th St.)
With so many mentions in the New York Diet (nymag), I was thoroughly excited to try Ronnybrook Milk Bar. Because my uneaten scone was still in my bag, I trekked down to the Chelsea Market for a leisurely lunch and to soak in the smell of heavenly butter produced by all the bakeries. I ordered the Pressed Mozzarella (pesto, tomato, basil, eggplant on olive panini). This sandwich was so disappointing, the pesto was lacking, there were maybe 4 pieces of basil (I opened my sandwich to check), the tomato wasn’t ripe, and I totally forgot about the eggplant because I didn’t taste any eggplant. It was so bland that I topped the sandwich with the side salad, making it a little better. I do give Ronnybrook credit with the fresh mozzarella and the olive bread. The bread was flavorable for bread standards and the mozzarella was fresh with the right texture. Such a shame the bread and the cheese flavors couldn’t shine through this sandwich.