Sunday, August 16, 2015

Farewell to New York, New York Day 13 - Flatiron History and Food Tour by Like a Local Tours

Sadly, we came to our last day of our New York trip.  Not wanting to waste it, we booked into the Flatiron History and Food Tour by Like a Local Tours

We jumped out at the 23rd Street subway:

and had time to admire the Flatiron Building in all its glory before the tour started:

Our small tour group met our guide, Ben, at Eataly, an enormous Italian marketplace.  Our first sample of the day was at Caffe Vergnano, where coffee is served from this very handsome machine:

Our sample was an espresso, which really put hair on your chest:

Ben then led us on a whirlwind walking tour through Eataly, where among other things, you will find seafood:

fresh pasta:



a deli:



and everything Nutella that you could ever want:

Our next stop after Eataly was meant to be the Union Square branch of Shake Shack - however, as you can see on the right, the line was ginormous and included a school group:
so as an alternative, we went to Schnippers:

Schnippers' decor imitates an old fashioned burger joint:

Our group each tried a quarter of a hamburger - it tasted fine, but it was worryingly pink inside:

In any event, there were no ill effects from the burger.

We then went back to have some touristy snaps in front of the Flatiron Building: 

and the Empire State Building:

You can see that the weather went from grey and moody to bright  and sunny in the space of less than an hour.

Our happy snaps done with a dose of history thrown in, we went on to Obica Mozzarella Bar:

Obica is a casual dining Italian restaurant that serves pizza, pasta and small plates:

At Obica, we received some crusty bread in a bag (which I wisely left given the carbs to come):


and a slice of pizza:

It was all delicious, but I especially enjoyed the fresh flavours of the burrata.

At the front entrance of Obica, they have preserved the signage from the Exchange Buffet, being the first cafeteria in America:

I think it is a nice touch.

From Obica, we walked on to Beechers Handmade Cheese, a cheese store and factory right in the middle of downtown Manhattan:

There is a viewing area where you can watch the workers carrying out the cheesemaking process:
Downstairs at Beechers, there is a restaurant called The Cellar, where Tim and I found this cool sign on the milk tank:
In The Cellar, they have cheese in glass cases in various stages of ripening for you to view, although most of the cheese is ripened in offsite cheese caves:

The Cellar is as dark and mysterious as it sounds, even in the middle of the day:

Here is some fun artwork on the wall of The Cellar:

After a talk by the manager of The Cellar about cheese ripening, we went back upstairs to try a quarter of a toasted cheese sandwich from Beecher's upstairs deli:

Believe me, a quarter of a sandwich was plenty, as we had been eating all morning.  It was delish - who doesn't like a toasted cheese sandwich?

Our walking tour continued on past the site of Andy Warhol's Factory (which now houses Petco):

to Bread's Bakery, home of the famous chocolate babka:

Of course, our sample here was none other than the chocolate babka:

They warmed it up for us so it was all oozy chocolatey goodness.  It was very rich, so Ben gifted us the leftovers, which we took back to Oz with us for our own piece of New York at home.  You can find the recipe for the Bread's Bakery chocolate babka online here, should you be minded to try making it for yourself.  

Here is our guide, Ben, in front of the chocolate babka sign at Bread's Bakery:

Don't you think he looks like Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor?
Our tour being officially over, Tim and I went back to a homewares store pointed out by Ben called Fish's Eddy:
I was glad that we did - they had lots of cool crockery, glassware, tea towels and other miscellaneous gadgets.  I bought two small plates that were on sale:
and the matching tea towel to the cat plate:

I think they are really cute!
Tim was keen to visit the Chrysler Building before we left, so we went back into the subway, via the Mennonites, who were giving out free CDs:

and travelled to the subway station that is in the bottom of the art deco Chrysler Building: 

It was very beautiful in there, although you cannot actually go into the building proper.

Then, sadly, it was back to the hotel to collect our bags and catch a cab to the airport.

Thanks to the State of New York and its people for making our trip such a memorable, wonderful experience.

200 5th Ave
New York, NY 10010
United States
Ph: +1 212 229 2560

23rd Street and Madison
New York, NY
United States
Ph: +1 212 233 1025

928 Broadway
New York, NY 10010
United States
Ph: +1 212 777 2754
900 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
United States
Ph: +1  212 466 3340
18 E 16th St
New York, NY 10003
United States
Ph: +1 212 633 2253
889 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
United StatesPh: +1 212 420 9020


The Caked Crusader said...

I'm with you - that burger looks a little pink for me!
Love your plates!
Great photos as always

Gourmet Getaways said...

Oh that was a nice summary of a fun NY trip :) The Flatiron Building looks amazing! So does the toasted cheese sandwich...mmmm!!! Thanks for sharing the experience :)

Julie & Alesah
Gourmet Getaways xx

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

So many good things in the one post from the burger, toasted cheese, babka and the cat plates!

Pam said...

The burger looks perfect to me and I love that kitty towel! It's so sad when a trip like that ends, but you can always visit in your memories. Great pics!

Johanna GGG said...

I am quite sad to read your last new york post - probably missed a few but have really enjoyed them - that chocolate babka looks delicious and I really love the flatiron building because it looks so unlikely - glad you had such a great trip