Every time you visit New York, there are a few things that you need to have at some point and time during your visit. The first of these treats is the infamous New York Bagel. There are quite a few places that you can get a good bagel, such as Ess-A-Bagel or Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company, but the one that I truly enjoy is H & H bagels. A simple shop that has now become a worldwide shipping machine has not lost the recipe for great bagels. The old rotating oven continues to put out the best bagel in town. As soon as you walk in the door, the smell of fresh dough fills the air. The usual compliments are offered in the small shop, smoked salmon, butter, and of course, cream cheese. I decided to go with my usual which is an everything bagel. The bagel was covered with onion, garlic, poppy seeds, and sesame seeds. It was exactly you want out of a bagel, light, fresh and most importantly warm. Each bite was clean and not doughy. I ate one half plain because it was just that good and put cream cheese on the other half which only added to already great flavor.
The second treat I would like talk about may not be a staple in New York, but maybe it should be. Now a trip to chinatown is something that everyone visiting the city should do and visiting the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory is also a must for big ice cream fans, such as myself. This tiny ice cream shop is probably no bigger than an average hallway in someone's house but produces some of the best ice cream I have ever had. Very creamy texture is a common theme through all the flavors I tasted. Being a Chinese ice cream shop, I decided to go with those classic flavors and get a scoop of red bean, green tea, and plum. Each one of these were probably the best renditions of those flavors I've tasted. I liked the fact that none were too sweet but the right balance of all taste. And their regular flavors, like plain vanilla, were equally delicious. Now I have to admit that Bluebell's homemade vanilla is probably my favorite but this vanilla was pretty darn good. Chinatown Ice Cream Factory is definitely a place, I would put on a "must see" list for anyone in New York.
The last treat I want to talk about is probably the one most people think about when they think about the city, CHEESECAKE. Now I am sure the debate about the best cheesecake in town is one that has been going on for quite some time and will never be resolved. But I want to tell you about my favorite. I tried a few different slices around town, Roxy's and a few other restaurants. However, my favorite sits on the corner of Kenmare and Cleveland in Soho. Eileen's Special Cheesecake is a small shop that has been making cheesecake for over 30 years. And after all those years you can still taste the "love" in every bite of this sweet treat. One of the nice things about Eileen's is that you can buy small individual size cheesecakes, so you can try a couple different flavors. That day I tried strawberry, caramel pecan, and marble varieties. Each bit was the perfect mix of creaminess and sweetness, while still keeping that rich cream cheese flavor.
Now I know when you visit New York, there are many culinary adventures to be had. Thousands of restaurants fill Manhattan alone. Trying to find the "best" is a fun search that I proudly took part of that while in the city. Now I may have not found what everyone else considers the best but I found my favorites. So the debate continues. Happy Eating!