After spending what time I could with the family, I thought I’d do some more of the off-the-beaten track type things and joined one of the tours from Foods of New York Tours (at USD40). This one centred around one of the foodie-streets in Greenwich Village where we did effectively a progressive sampling from many of the different places in this area.
In total we had thirteen people including a mix of several dutch visitors, an Englishman, and a number of other Americans visiting from different parts of the country. Our tour guide, Cindy who’d been working as a guide for many many years grew up in the area and is extremely passionate about her history and sharing it with the group. It was a very friendly atmosphere and the combination of the questions the group asked and the passion of the tour guide meant the three hours allocated for the tour extended to almost four as we combed the several blocks in the area.
Here’s the places that we ended up visiting:
- Joe’s Pizza (7 Carmine St) – One of the “best” pizza places (there’s many in Manhattan) and also the location of the first scene in the Spiderman 2 film where Peter Parker loses his job. We had half a slice of pizza, freshly baked and crisp from the oven. The small counter means the pizzas are continually fresh and crisp.
- O&Co (249 Bleecker Street) – A store where the store manager is a self confessed “olive oil nerd” and shared with us a number of the shocking facts about olive oil (did you know that many olive oils you buy tend to be blends including many nut oils that trigger allergies in people unknowingly?). Here we had a tasting of olive oil and balsamic vinegar over a fresh baked loaf of bread.
- The Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia Street) – We took a break from all the eating and sat in the basement of this little cafe where they host live music and, often, many popular artists.
- Faicco’s Pork Store (also known as Faicco’s Italian Specialities found on 260 Bleecker St, New York) – This Italian speciality store sells all kind of pork products and is a heaving deli, especially at lunch time when everyone’s ducking in to grab some of their sandwiches, or other freshly made foods. We had a lovely rice ball (cheap at only 75c) here.
- Aphrodisia Herb Shoppe (264 Bleecker Street) – We stopped in here just because our guide pointed out the huge variety of herbs and different spices you can find here. Thankfully we took a break from the eating here too.
- Lime (29 7th Ave S) – A funky Thai restaurant offering a twist on your classic Thai creations. We had two fresh chicken dumplings, sitting in a home made sauce with some fried garlic and a slice of fresh chilli.
- Milk and Cookies (19 Commerce St) – We had our first dessert of the day – an obligatory American chocolate chip cookie that we just sweet enough.
- Bleeker Street Pizza (69 Seventh Avenue South) – We had a slice of square pizza here with a much thicker dough than your classic American. Nice and crunchy with a delicious tomato sauce.
- Murray’s Cheese Shop (254 Bleecker St) – An amazing Cheese store even with its own Cheese cellar and tasting room. We had a fantastic platter of three cheeses (sheep, goat and cow) as well as a pork product from next door and bread from Amy’s down the street.
- Rocco’s Pastry Shop & Espresso Cafe (243 Bleecker St.) – Our guide brought our final item from across the road to Murray’s where we were sitting upstairs in the tasting room. Our final dessert and food item for the day was a light and airy Cannoli. They only fill these when you order them so they stay as crisp as possible without deteriorating into a soggy mess.