Bsquared – NYC (Hell’s Kitchen)

I have officially finished writing about my amazing food adventures in Boston.  It truly was an amazing two days of food, history, and culture.  I cannot wait to be living there.  If those two days were a preview of what is to come, I will be very happy in this city.  Before we headed back to DC though, we took a quick overnight trip to NYC.

I have long loved telling people I had never been to New York, because the looks on their faces are priceless.  If you want to give people a shock, tell them you’ve never been to New York.  As of last week, I can no longer say that, but when I tell people I just got back from my first trip to NYC, I am still getting the same shocked reaction.

I never thought I’d like New York.  I don’t particularly like being around a lot of people, and I don’t like a lot of noises.  It heightens my anxiety.  So, I have always associated New  York as this place I would hate because it’s too bustling and packed.

New York is an overwhelming place, especially being there for the first time.  However, I really liked the city and was surprised at how much I enjoyed being there.  For a moment, I even imagined myself living there one day, but certainly no time soon.

With a little over 24 hours to spend in the city, we had to wisely decide what to do.  It was important to me to hit the big touristy spots in order to get a good first Manhattan experience.

Our hotel was just a couple blocks from Times Square, so that was our first stop after dropping off our bags at the hotel.  I know it’s super touristy, but I really liked Times Square.  I’ve never seen anything quite like it before.  I wouldn’t want to spend all my time there, but I think it was neat and made for a great photo op.

The second stop of the day was at Rockefeller Center to see the city from the observation deck of the Comcast building.  I was told this was the best place to see the city.  I understood why when we got there.  Rockefeller is a very tall building, but it is not the most beautiful building in all of New York.  From the top of the Rock, you can get an awesome view of the Empire State building, the Chrysler building, and even a far-off glance of the Statue of Liberty.

We had a beautiful day with clear skies to see the city from above.  I was absolutely awestruck.  I couldn’t wrap my head around what I was seeing.  It’s not just because I live in DC where there are no tall buildings because no building is allowed to be taller than the Capitol.  I have been on observation decks before in other cities, but I have never been in a city anywhere near as big as NYC.  It is truly an impressive city.  I just kept looking at all these tall buildings, trying to imagine how many people are in this city.  I couldn’t even see where the city ends.  I’ve never witnessed anything quite like NYC from the sky.  Oh, and this also was a great photo op!  The Hungry Trio have a new family photo.

I want to be completely upfront about what this trip was like for me.  So far, I have talked all about the sights we saw and the food we ate.  I haven’t talked much about my mental or physical state during this trip.  I was trying to get myself together and get into better shape going into this trip.  I didn’t get nearly as far as I had hoped.  I was more active on this trip than I have been for awhile.  That was both a good and bad thing.  I was glad to be getting the exercise, but it was so exhausting.  By the time we hit New York, I felt like my body had been through the ringer with all the walking.  I was sore, tired, and just about had enough.  I had to muster up enough energy to get around New York for the next 24+ hours, then I could be reunited with my own bed and have some quality solitude time.

One thing that kept me getting through the days was taking breaks to refuel.  Getting food and especially water in me was essential.  That’s why I was glad when Andrew’s friends (Kelli and Ringo) came to show us the food scene in Hell’s Kitchen.

They had a few places they were trying to take us in the neighborhood, but it was turning out to be a busy Friday evening.  We ended up at Bsquared, an artisanal pizza joint just a couple blocks from the theater where we would be seeing a show after dinner.  Finally, we had a chance to sit and relax drinking some beer (and a cocktail for Kelli).

We obviously didn’t have enough time in the city for me to get a comprehensive sense of New York’s food scene.  However, pizza seemed just about as big of a New York thing as any.  We each picked out a pizza to eat with our beers.

Both myself and Ringo picked out “The Roza.”  This pizza had portobello mushrooms, garlic, roasted poblano peppers, provolone, sprinkled over a marinara sauce.  This was the second night in a row where I was enticed to chose a vegetarian dish over a meat dish.  I considered getting the “El Porco Loco” with pancetta, pork sausage, and chilies, but I truly love poblano peppers.  I didn’t want something too heavy that would put me to sleep during the show.

This pizza was great.  The crust had a slight crunch on the exterior but was good and chewy at the same time.  The sauce was great, and it had a good balance of toppings.  I didn’t even miss the meat.

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Chris and Kelli both got the “Oscar the Grouch.”  This pizza had spinach, black kale, garlic, and mozzarella fonduta.  Chris and I each traded a slice, so I got to try this pizza.  I almost had no words.  There were so many greens on this pizza that it was hard to pick up by the crust, but that was part of what made it so good.  There was this bite or two towards the crust that had this perfect saltiness.  This was a very good pizza.

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Andrew ordered “The Becky,” and yes, the pizza was just about as basic as the name in the best way.  It had garlic puree, fontina, ricotta, smoked mozzarella, parmesan, and cream.  Just look at all that cheesy goodness! I did not try this pizza, but by the looks of it, I could have easily demolished it.  In fact, we all destroyed our pizzas.

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I cannot think of a better way to be introduced to NY food.  This pizza was just what we needed after a day of walking around NYC.  After dinner, Chris, Andrew, and I headed to the New World Stages to see Avenue Q.  It was a blast! I am glad we waited in line at TKS to get these day-of tickets.  My first day in NYC was even better than I could have hoped.

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