10011 Travel Guide
While in some places, interactive touchscreen menus are there to stop customers from dithering around while they make their menu choice, at other restaurants they're just there to look trendy. At the new-ish Philippe Chow Express in Greenwich Village, New York City, it's the latter, as far as we can tell.
Opening about a year ago, Philippe Chow Expressyes, a spin-off from Philippeis full of semi-authentic Chinese food that you can eat in (the restaurant is "atmospherically noisy", we hear) or take away. In both cases you can order via a touchscreen menu if you want, although in comparison to some more high-tech restaurants, the Express touchscreen seems a little bit bland. You can find the full menu, but it's not full of pictures or super-helpful explanations, and you can't flirt with someone using another touchscreen.
So what are you doing this weekend? Drinking beer? Yea, we thought so. Luckily for New Yorkers and tourists to the Big Apple, Manhattan's only active brewery has begun offering free tours to accompany their award-winning beers.
Perched on Pier 59 on the Hudson River, the Chelsea Brewing Company has been sitting calm and cool since 1996, slowly working its way onto the taps at bars around the city. To enjoy their full beer list, featuring a slew of seasonal brews which just became available on April 10, we spent last Saturday heading into the mouth of the brewery beast itself.
Led by craft beer aficionado (and former NBC page) Ian Phillips, the tour leads curious patrons through the steps of the beer making process, including some hops sniffing and picking anecdotes, and ends with a few pitchers of free beer to taste the results. On our visit, we downed some of their standard Checker Cab Blonde Ale, Sunset Red, and Flower and Shower Wheat and rounded out the eve by using the tour's discount beer coupons to sample some newly-released Imperial barleywine at 11.5% alcohol by volume.
What Recession? / Meatpacking District / Burgers / Julian Schnabel / Restaurants / Steakhouses / Food Travel / → All Tags
This week, Jaunted is celebrating the recession by looking at the boom-era ridiculousness that is Manhattan's Meatpacking District. One eatery that is almost certain to make it through the current downtown is the venerable Old Homestead Steakhouse. This place has been there for 140 years, so it knows a thing or two about changes in the neighborhood.
The restaurant can be spotted by the iconic cow sculpture that hangs outside its entrance, but it's better known for a more new-school MePa development: the $41 hamburger.
Manhattan's lunchtime favorite The City Bakery is known for their high-end takes on snacky food, particularly the signature pretzel croissant and the super-rich dark hot chocolate with homemade marshmallow. Now, CB is getting on board the recession resto bandwagon, offering up a new happy hour menu designed to appeal to the cheapskate in you.
City Bakery's New Bad Economy Beer Menu serves up heartwarming fried comfort food snacks from 4 to 8 pm, and everything is priced at $10 or less. There are old school comfort classics like deviled eggs, as well as new inventions like the pig in a pretzel-croissant blanket. There's also the gooey deliciousness that is the bacon and chocolate sandwich. If that can't get you out of a depression, what can?
Serious Eats has a great photo gallery of the entire menu. And don't worry, that over-the-top hot chocolate is still there.
Chef April Bloomfield and her business partner Ken Friedman, the team behind the white hot eatery Spotted Pig, are generally credited with introducing New York to the term gastropub, a.k.a. the idea that burgers and fries can be turned into a fancy--and expensive--night out.
Well, the Spotted pig crew is back with their second restaurant, and this time theyíre aiming to put the same kind of upscale twist on another comfort classic: The British pub.
The John Dory features a colorful and kitschy ocean vibe, with stained-glass fish murals, fish doorknobs and even a 900-gallon tank. But donít look for any calamari or greasy fish and chips here. The British classics are more of the foodie variety, including a smoked haddock and leek tart, whole broiled lobster and the namesake fish, a whole John Dory served with potatoes.
[Photo: John Dory]
Reliving the 90s / Art / Raves / Clubs / Photography / → All Tags
The rave scene may not exactly be at the cutting edge of pop culture these days, but that means itís just the right time to take an overly intellectual look at it, right?
German artist Andreas Gursky, known for his enormous color photographs, has turned his lens on Euro club culture, producing a series of tricked-out shots of Euro club kids at Frankfurtís giant Cocoon Club. The show is ideal for anyone who ever wanted to feel like they were doing drugs in the middle of 5,000 other people, but didnít want to actually do it.
The raving-as-high-art exhibit opens today at Chelseaís Matthew Marks gallery, and continues through December 24.
[Photo: Matthew Marks]
There was no new Project Runway episode on this week but the reality TV gods must have been smiling down upon us for as we got an afternoon snack at Viceroy on 18th and 8th Ave in New York's Chelsea, we spotted everyone's favorite costume pageant designer Chris March standing outside looking a little confused.
He seemed to be trying to figure out whether he wanted to go north on 8th or east on 18th. Finally, he made his decision and headed into Authentiques, an antique and collectible shop that sells ocean liner memorabilia, pin-ups and sexy stuff, world's fair items and vintage costume jewelry--all of which are right up Chris' alley.
And interestingly enough, the Project Runway website asked Chris where his favorite places to shop were and he replied:
Barneys, small boutiques, thrift stores, vintage stores, and flea markets (I like one-of-a-kind items).
Maybe he was doing some shopping for an upcoming fashion show? Say one in Bryant Park, hmm?
When it comes to travel, we like taking risks. Maybe that's why most of our summer vacations come with an edge. When it comes to art, it's no surprise the same rules apply. Give us pushing the limits, or give us a break. That's why we love the Chelsea gallery Freight + Volume.
Freight + Volume tends to showcase narrative and text-based art. (Don't worry: We didn't know what that meant, either.) Just be ready to see some stuff you can't find anywhere else. We also like that the gallery embraces working class artists. In a city like New York, where it's all about the elite, it's nice to find someone is looking out for the little guy.
[Photo: Chelsea Now]
New York City / Restaurants / Food / Tapas / → All Tags
(Alex Salkever is the editor of Hawaii travel blog Hawaiirama.com and a general travel maven on all things Hawaii. He also spends a lot of time in NYC and writes about it.)
Just when you thought the tapas bar craze has topped out, enter Boqueria. This cozy spot in the Flatiron district is named for the famed open market in Spain where vendors sell small portions of regional delicacies. The bar is clearly not designed for lengthy stays, as all seats are of the barstool variety. While the communal table is alluring for its randomness factor, the bar is probably the best place to nosh as the knowledgeable bar staff will give you an on-the-fly education on Spanish wines (the list is extremely strong with wines from all the major regions including some obscure varietals).
If you order the delicious butidos (cured meats) the bartender cuts them right before your eyes (you can actually watch this action from the street window). The small plates actually vary widely in size. The "medios" - or medium plates - can serve as a small entrée. The pimientos al pardron (seared piquillo peppers) are justifiably a favorite; sweet and occasionally vicious (every 10th pepper or so packs a serious pow), they come topped with chunky rock salt fresh from a well-oiled pan. The stuffed dates were also a wow, with the smoky bacon perfectly offsetting the sweet and sticky taste of the fruit. The lightly-fried calamari came with no batter, a nice lemony romesco sauce, and crunchy deep fried garbanzo beans.
We didn't make it to desert but hey, it's a tapas bar! The crowd is mostly post-hipster, thankfully. You probably won't see Paris' deb set nor the LES regulars here which is reason enough to go.
If you're stuck in NY and actually itching to be in Tibet, check out one of the city's newest museums--the Rubin Museum of Art. It's the first one in the Western World dedicated to the art of the Himalayas and surrounding regions. They've got a beautiful space on 17th & Seventh and exhibits on Female Buddhas and 'Perfected Beings, Pure Realms.'
Admission in an Om-worthy $7 and they're open every day but Monday.