I’m gonna regret writing this.
A few years back, I lived for some time in New York. While the city’s vibe, vivacity, seasonal smell and even the stench of its subways are missable, there are certain grubs that stuck with me real bad. I mean, come on, it’s NY-freakin-C! Home of some of the best chefs in the world — and we’re talking Michelin Stars, TV chef superstars, culinary icons… It’s only natural to NOT forget the New York food scene. But, the most unforgettable for me (which I still often crave for until now) are these simple and yet satisfying eats:
#7 Angus Bacon & Cheese Snack Wrap
I’m not sure if you’ve heard of this (especially if you’re in Asia, I suppose) but this $1.99 meaty goodness is from McDonald’s. Yes, McDonald’s. Sadly, we don’t have it here in the Philippines. 🙁
I was never a fan of burgers but was a regular customer because of their large fries (which, by the way, still seems bigger than the extra large fries in the Philippines). When I get hungry, my default order is this: a mouthwatering Angus beef hamburger imbued with a tinge of smoky flavor and paired with some yummy bacon, onions and American cheese (no pickles for me) blanketed by a soft flour tortilla wrap. Basically, it’s like a burger sans the buns. And I loved it!
#6 Banana Pudding
Thanks to Sex and the City, I learned of Magnolia Bakery’s decadent cupcakes. As yummy as these are, there is another treat I crave for when I think of Magnolia: banana pudding. For $5, give or take, this creamy dessert tastes like a million bucks! It’s so velvety, so luscious, and so deliciously rich.
#5 Chicken Over Rice
Basmati rice served with flavorful chopped chicken plus lettuce, tomatoes, fiery hot sauce and that oh-so-glorious white sauce? Totally crave-worthy!
My favorite chicken over rice was the one from the underrated food truck just outside Queens Center Mall. The second would probably be Adel’s in 49th and 6th. While these food trucks stay in the shadows of Halal Guys, to me they deliver New York’s ultimate street food incredibly well!
What I do when I crave for it and I’m in the Philippines: I eat shawarma rice! I like it better than Halal Guys’, tbh. And it’s only around 60 PHP!
#4 $2 Dumplings
“Hot sauce, soy sauce, everything?”
That’s how it goes when you order from that Chinese lady along Broadway in Elmhurst (outside Hong Kong Supermarket). If you say “Both sauces” or “Just a little soy and more hot sauce” or anything else other than “everything”, there’s a very big chance you’d end up getting the wrong order. Simply say “everything” and she’ll get that right.
Language barrier aside, the dumplings plus the sauce are just delectable! I wouldn’t say it’s the best dumpling I’ve tried but there’s something in there that just makes me want to come back for more… No wonder I used to buy them almost everyday. Thank God it’s only $2 for 9!
PS: You can also get 4 for $1. And this is also highly available in Chinatown.
PPS: Shoutout to my friend Jas! You know this all too well. Dumpling date soon, yes? Xoxo
#3 Pastrami Sandwich
Nobody goes to New York without ever having a pastrami sandwich at Katz’s Delicatessen. I mean, I’ve only had it a few times and my mom always ordered for me but I always remember asking for more of it. And until now, I’m hooked. Everytime I watch FRIENDS and see Joey Tribbiani eat a pastrami sandwich, I imagine Katz’s. Theirs is just a legendary deli classic! I don’t think I’m ever gonna move on from that. Yum.
#2 Double Shackburger with Bacon
BEST. BURGER. EVER.
I think Shake Shack has established a name that resounds all over the world because of their sumptuous burgers. And I mean not just the iconic Shackburger but also their Shackmeister. What I love about Shake Shack burgers is the “homy feeling” I get when I eat it. The taste always feels familiar but not really, and no matter how many times I eat it in a day or week, it just never grows out on me. It’s the epitome of comfort food!!! The toasted potato bun, the juicy patty, the melting cheese, the delish sauce that adds another dimension of flavor to it plus the added bacon — it all create one sapid masterpiece.
“The most perfect word for it would probably be mouthgasm.”
#1 Macapuno Ensaymada
Doesn’t sound extraordinary, right? But Christine’s Bakeshop’s Macapuno Ensaymada (which I buy from Phil-Am Store in Woodside) is absolutely divine! It is unlike any other macapuno ensaymada or even just the regular ensaymada. Trust me, I searched long and hard for it here in Pinas. Nothing ever came close.
Funniest thing was when I was pregnant. I craved for this but couldn’t get any so I cried. My husband went out and bought all kinds of ensaymada he could find. I ended up only taking a bite on each. Still not satisfied.
I finally found an old website or blog page Christine’s Bakeshop had. Sadly, they only distribute their products in the US. I may be wrong on this but from what I remember, their main bakery’s in New Jersey.
Hopeful and desperate, I e-mailed them. Who knows? Their products may already be available in the Philippines and the website’s just outdated! It’s been over 3 years now and I still got no response from them. Not that it’s a surprise since they probably never check on that website anyway.
The softness and creaminess of that macapuno ensaymada is seriously hard to forget. Each bite causes a certain high that I can’t explain. The most perfect word for it would probably be mouthgasm.
Gaaaaahhh… I still dream about it until now. As a matter of fact, I’m drooling as I write this…
Damn. I so regret writing this post. Now I want me some macapuno ensaymada. The problem is, I’m not even in New York right now. 💔 So if you ever find yourself in New York, please do yourself a favor and try these! You’re welcome.
**Photos are not mine. Credits to owners.1