So if you want to be a little adventurous in your dining experiences, you should try something different on the menu once in awhile. Go for something that might be a little avant garde -especially if you're a regular at Olive Garden (which, I hope you're not!).
The following 3 suggestions are just the top three that I picked from my small brain and limited memory capacity. Maybe you might have something to add that I can try out, too.... that's why you can post a comment. I'm game, are you?
Ok. Here we go:
Tripe - I know some of you cringe at the mere thought. So ok....it's stomach lining, but if it's prepared right, it can be really good. Most Momofuku restaurants (of the David Chang Empire) do amazing things with tripe. However, Locanda Verde has the market share on incredible tripe goodness: Tripe alla Parmigiana with a fried organic egg. Try it. Don't fear the tripe. Embrace it.
Foie Gras - Ok, I know. There are haters out there. There are those who say it is unethical. And I AGREE -to an extent. If the geese are force-fed, that's one thing and it is bad. However, if it is a natural liver that's unaltered, then it's no different than eating the chicken or the egg. Daniel Boulud's creations with the FG is of the ooh la la type.
Uni (aka Sea Urchin) - Not for everyone. But at least give it a try before you say you hate it. Sample it in real Japanese style if you're feeling up to something really "uni-que": Sakagura's Onsen Tamago is a good bet. It is a soft boiled egg topped with sea urchin and salmon roe in cold soup.
I've been up and down this crazy island trying different flavors, new tastes and some downright sensational food. (Yeah, I know - I called Manhattan a "crazy island" - but it is what it is.) The challenge that I have faced is eating in a gluten-free world lately.... (for health reasons, not just "cuz"!) has been.... minimal.
I'm really lucky. In this particular geographical location, we have a ton of amazing culinary choices. Some phenomenal, some only worthy of a Department of Health code violation with permanent closure.... but that's for another blog post.... Anywaaaaaay.....
One of my favorite picks lately is Tu Lu's Bakery - O.M.F'ing.G!!! I've gone gluten-free for a ton of reasons, but seriously - you do not have to be a gluten-free consumer to enjoy these delicious treats of wheat-free-ness. Really! They are THAT good. The cupcakes and cookies are tasty! And they even have a panini that doesn't consist of bread that would give you TMJ - the bread is so good, I found out who their supplier is, and ordered from the online catalog immediately that same day. Honestly - if you have sampled gluten-free breads in the past that tasted like sawdust or it was made of something out of a quarry, you know what I mean! So Tu-Lu's has my vote for BEST GLUTEN-FREE BREAD in the City. As well as cupcakes.
The cupcake thing really impressed me.
And for me, my life seems to evolve around these precious little tidbits of yummy cakery in a mini-form. Ok, and this blog is a little top heavy on the cupcake thing, too. I'll be the first to admit it. And after this, I promise to take it down a notch, or two, on the whole cupcake deal.
If you haven't seen my previous post about Baby Cakes (God, the mere mention of that place makes me throw up a little!), then you should check it out that writing BEFORE ever going there. If it is Vegan and Gluten-free cupcake - WTF are they using to make their products? No eggs, no milk.... the products coming out of there are better served as paperweights. I'm not freaking kidding! The frosting on a Baby Cakes' cupcake tastes like melted plastic - yes, you feel like you're eating liquid toxins on top of a dense, tasteless piece of granite. Some are lighter and fluffier - like a candle that's been sitting on Grandma's window bench since 1934. Ugh.
Sorry. I digress. Let me take a few Tums and get back to better thoughts and praises....
Ok. Tu-Lu's Bakery in the East Village is a great stop and fits any budget. You can get some
little cupcake minis to go, a bag of cookies or get a panini to eat in the cafe. And their hours of operation are insane - they don't know the phrase "close early on Sundays". Or any other day for that matter.
The only downside is that their brownies are so-so. Another favorite of mine, Risotteria, will beat anyone in the city for a gluten-free brownie or black and white cookie (known as "half moons" in upstate NY). They also have a spankin' good gluten-free pizza - you can find them on Bleeker St -or click that link above for their website to get directions.
I'm now getting hungry. (Eating salad and yogurt only goes so far in this diet of mine.) It's time for my gluten-free fix... and I've got nothing "tu lu's".... (Sorry. That was just too easy.)
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