February 2018

Top 5 Waterfront Restaurants in Tampa

Whether you live in a city on the water or you’re just visiting for vacation, you might as well take advantage of what any such city has to offer. Tampa is a great place for those who seek a wide variety of options for dining experiences along the water. No matter what you’re in the mood for, you can find something you’ll enjoy. Here are the top 5 waterfront restaurants where you can find great food in Tampa.

  1. The Yacht Starship is a restaurant on the water–not just alongside the water. If you’re in the mood for some awesome views of the city while you enjoy a seasonally-changing menu, then this is something you’d enjoy. In addition to that, you can take the time to dance while you’re there. Even if you don’t love the food (you will), you’ll never forget the night out. Keep in mind, though, that this is a cruise, and you’ll only have a few options for dinner.
  2. What better place to enjoy sushi than on the water? Jackson’s Bistro Bar & Sushi has what you’re after, and helps add some extra flavor to the already great variety of restaurants in Tampa, Florida. If sushi isn’t your thing, you can find more traditional fare–like steak. The establishment offers a buffet for Sunday brunch, but expect it to be extremely busy.
  3. If you’re more in the mood for something a little lighter, then check out the Sono Cafe for some coffee and sandwiches. If you’re in a drinking mood, you’ll find a great selection of craft beer and cocktails. The best part? The scenery around the cafe is beautiful. If you’re in the area, this is not to be missed.
  4. Spend the day along the Tampa Riverwalk alongside Garrison Channel, and stop in at the Columbia Cafe. The Spanish-themed restaurant offers a wide variety of soups, salads, tapas, sandwiches, entrees, and a few common desserts.
  5. Ulele is an experience all its own. You’ll find the restaurant at the north end of the Tampa Riverwalk, and you probably won’t find much that you were expecting. It takes its name from the Native American princess and provides dishes using local ingredients to create some truly unique dishes. Here are just a few options you’ll find right now on their seasonal menu: alligator hush puppies, okra fries, native chili, and Karson’s jalapeno corn beer muffins. If trying out new taste combinations isn’t something you enjoy, then Ulele probably isn’t for you. Even so, the restaurant is very highly rated.

Top 5 Cuban Restaurants in Miami

A lot of people would argue that Cuban cuisine has a lot to offer our dainty American taste buds–and they wouldn’t be wrong in that assessment. If you’ve ever been to Florida, you’ve probably experienced the wonders of Cuban food for yourself. If you’ve ever been to Miami, though, then you’ve probably had some of the best food you’ll ever have. These are the five best restaurants for a fine Cuban dining experience right here in Miami.

  1. Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop is definitely an establishment worth remembering if you ever spend time in Miami. It’s a great place to enjoy lunch if you’re in the mood for a pressed Cuban. They do things a little differently there, if you’re so inclined to experiment with greatness. Ever considered croquetas in your sandwich? No, probably not. But it works. It definitely, definitely works.
  2. Jimmy’z Cubano is a local favorite, and it won’t take your taste buds very long to figure out why. The ingredients are fresh and scrumptious, and you’re in for a treat no matter what you decide to order. If you’re not in the mood for one of the favorites, then there are a number of items on the menu that might make you lick your lips. When it’s time for dessert, try the guava cheesecake.
  3. If you’re a true meat lover, then look no further than El Palacio De Los Jugos, where you’ll find a whole lot of it. Their sandwiches are chock full of meat, and there are a number to choose from. They also specialize in some fairly miraculous baked goods that you won’t find anywhere else with the same quality, so don’t leave empty-handed. Save some for later at home!
  4. Take a trip over to La Carreta if you’d like to sample their roast-pork sandwich with plantain chips. Oh, and what Cuban meal is complete without Cuban coffee? La Carreta offers a great variety of soups, omelettes, seafood, desserts, and unforgettable Cuban appetizers. If you’re in the mood for something lighter, their salads might hit the spot. They don’t come with your typical American fare.
  5. You’ll find an unforgettable classic Cuban at Estefan Kitchen. If you’re a fan of Emilio and Gloria, you might find them hanging out while you eat. They’re the owners, and they’ve done a great job turning the establishment into a place you’ll want to return to again and again.

When you’re visiting Miami, do you eat Cuban? You should!

 

Top 5 Hotspots For Philly Cheesesteak Connoisseurs

Let’s face it: whipping up the perfect Philly Cheesesteak is an art. Few can do it decently, and even fewer can do it to perfection. What about when you go out to eat? Is there even a chance at cheesesteak bliss? Well, it depends on whether or not you’re in the right area of Philly–and even if you’re in the right part of the city, you still need to know exactly where to look. This is where word of mouth often comes in handy. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to figure out what people think of particular foods at specific restaurants. Here are the five hottest spots for Philly Cheesesteak lovers from the people who know best.

  1. Check out Tony Luke’s if you’re in the mood for something that tastes a little bit more home-cooked. You can grab a side of peppers or pickles, and the cheesesteaks themselves are served on delectable bread. They don’t cut as many corners as most other vendors. Best yet, the staff won’t make it easy for you. They’re jerks. It’s how they show you the love, and it’s one of the things that makes ordering from their windows such a plain delight.
  2. You can’t miss Geno’s Steaks if you’re in the area. It’s a 24 hour establishment at the intersection of 9th and Passyunk Avenue, and they know their business over there. That’s why there’s such a long line. Don’t worry–it’s worth the wait. If you’re not a local, everyone around you will know it right away. They order with a few words, while you’re more likely to have a short conversation about what you do or don’t want. Don’t let that stop you!
  3. If you’re ever on Market Street in Old City, don’t forget to stop by Campo’s Deli. This is an especially easy stop if you’re touring the city, since it’s not far from the Liberty Bell (and if you’re in Pennsylvania, then of course you won’t want to miss the disappointment of that tiny thing).
  4. Not everyone specializes in the Cheesesteak, but everyone gives it a try–and some do it better than others. That’s the case at McNally’s Tavern. Their Philly Cheesesteak is more like a sandwich than a sub, and they add grilled salami, sauce, and tomatoes to give it their own special flavor.
  5. Let’s face it. If you’re in the mood for a Philly Cheesesteak, then you’ve probably got an ache for a good drink too. Check out Dalessandro’s if you’re in the mood to both eat and drink. Since you’ve already travelled around the city in your quest for the perfect dish, you won’t mind heading toward Roxborough along the northwestern ridge.

Where do you find the perfect Philly Cheesesteak? You be the judge.

 

Starting a Food Blog for Your Health

Accountability is a key ingredient in dieting. If we aren’t careful, we can fool ourselves into thinking that we are eating right and well. However, when we look closely, that handful of trail mix or that quick stop at McDonalds adds up. One way to hold ourselves accountable to our diets is documentation. Historically, this has been done through a diary.

This idea still holds up today, but the value and power of that diary have been magnified by the internet. If you log your diet and exercise through a blog, you not only keep track of your food, progress, cheats, successes and failures, you share it with the world.

By opening up yourself to worldwide observation you have created a powerful motivation to stay on track. And nowadays, finding a great domain name and creating a quality blog site is easy and inexpensive. Here are a few observations as to why starting a food blog is good for your health.

Focus

When we chronicle our activities, we keep them more in the forefront of our minds. That little slip with a handful of M&Ms doesn’t go unnoticed if we are documenting all of our calories.

If we don’t log everything we eat, it can easily be forgotten and then we wonder why we struggle with results. But when we document everything and then share it with the world, suddenly that handful of candy feels like a major decision and not merely an innocent moment of convenience.

Perspective

When we document our diets and all that goes along with that, we have written evidence of our progress. Therefore, when we are months down the road and our inner critic wants us to quit because it’s not even working, we have the written proof that our body is changing and our fitness is improving.

This can be powerful when our mind loses its willpower. Showing ourselves proof, from a credible source (ourselves) that we are making progress can keep us going. And subjecting ourselves to our audience and their feedback keeps us on track as well. Nobody likes our critics adding fuel to the fire of our doubts.

Depth

We often enter into a plan to eat better with some simple criteria: eat less and eat better. That “better” part can be vague and typically misunderstood, especially at the beginning. As we write about our food consumption and expose ourselves to our readers it becomes more and more clear that we want to eliminate preservatives, additives, certain types of foods.

Conversely we want to eat more of certain foods. This understand develops over time and through scrutiny. As we blog about our diets, we learn and adjust and refine. Every step helps us along the way and it all underpins the process and the value of continuing.

Real Fresh

As our the depth our nutritional understanding develops, it becomes more obvious that fresh foods are more nutritious. Even if we understand this passively going in, by blogging about our food choices, we subject ourselves to our own standards and those standards tend to rise.

Eventually it becomes critical that we eat fresh foods instead of processed or preserved foods. Fewer ingredients usually indicate that the food is, well, food. It seems silly to say, but eating real food and fresh food is healthier. And what we often accept as food becomes exposed the longer and closer we monitor our diets.

Preparation

One villain of our diets comes from our hectic and stressful lifestyles. When we are out and about, managing a million things and putting out fires, eating well is challenging.  But when we blog about our diet, we commit ourselves to preparing better for this reality.

Food bloggers tend to prepare healthy snacks and foods that can be easily transported. Cutting up vegetables and keeping them nearby in baggies replaces those Snickers bars and chips. Keeping water on hand is a powerful solution to drinking sodas or other less healthy drinks. Thirst is often confused with hunger as well and often triggers the desire to eat. Drinking plenty of water, by having with you can be a valuable way to suppress appetites as well as keep us hydrated.

Move On

One tendency many of us have is turning one mistake into two. If we slip up on our diets, we often pile on and add guilt and judgment to the miscue. This isn’t helpful. If you make a mistake, own it and move on.

Blogging about it can be liberating, because you aren’t hiding a secret that eats away at you and weakens your resolve. If you slip, own it, document it, and move on. You’re human and so is everyone else. Mistakes and setbacks are expected. Just don’t turn a minor slip up into a major tumble.

Starting a food blog is a great way to experience more and better foods, keep yourself on track and accountable, while you enjoy learning more and more about what we consume.

 

Exercises Following Shoulder Injury

One of the largest and most complex joints in the body, the shoulder is a combination of bones, ligaments, tendons, cartilage and muscles, designed to be amazingly flexible to allow for our wide range of motion. We tend to take this remarkably strong and versatile joint for granted until it demands our attention by malfunctioning or becoming injured. When something does go wrong with the shoulder, we quickly realize just how much we depend on it.

Shoulder pain or decreased range of motion may mean there is an issue with the joint itself or with the surrounding muscles, ligaments and tendons. One of the more common problems is a tear in the rotator cuff, which is the group of four tendons and muscles that stabilize the shoulder joint. Our ability to rotate our arms and lift objects are completely dependent on the rotator cuff, and, when it is torn, any movement of that type becomes painful and difficult.

Obviously, a tear to the rotator cuff is serious, and it is important to consult with a healthcare professional as soon as possible. If caught before it gets worse, it is likely that surgery will not be required. Treatment will usually include some combination of physical therapy, over-the-counter pain medications to reduce pain and inflammation and cortisone injections. An important part of physical therapy for rotator cuff injuries is exercise designed to help restore the range of motion in the muscles and joint.

Exercises Following Shoulder Rotator Cuff Injury

Pendulum circles and isometric shoulder rotations are often recommended following a rotator cuff injury but never attempt these or any type of exercise following an injury without first consulting with your physical therapist or orthopedic specialist.

Pendulum Circles
Pendulum circles are done with or without weights, which can be added and increased as the recovery process progresses. Something like a chair or table to help maintain balance is required for these exercises. With the uninjured arm holding the chair, bend forward 90 degrees at the waist and let the arm with the rotator cuff injury hang loosely. Swing this arm in small circles, like a pendulum, alternating direction after about 10 circles. Movement should be smooth and effortless and repetitions can be increased as strength returns.  

Isometric Should Rotations

The term isometric comes from the Greek “iso,” meaning “same,” and “metric,” meaning length. Isometric exercises are done with the joint angle and muscle length not changing when the muscle contracts. This is accomplished by one muscle being worked against another or against a fixed object, like a wall.

Isometric Shoulder External Rotation
In this exercise the patient stands with the injured shoulder about six inches from a wall, with the elbow bent at 90 degrees and the backside of the fist pressed against the wall as if trying to rotate the arm in an outward motion through the wall. Repetitions can be increased as recovery progresses.

Isometric Shoulder Internal Rotation
The isometric shoulder internal rotation is done the same as the external rotation except that it is done facing into the corner of the wall and the inside of the fist is pressed against the wall and the arm is rotated inward instead of outward.

Does Coffee Damage Teeth?

Coffee. First thing in the morning. No exceptions. No negotiation. Even if you, personally, are not a coffee drinker, you probably live with one and recognize the futility of trying to converse or do pretty much anything until at least that first cup of coffee has been consumed. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about folks living in a high-rise in New York City or on the family farm in Iowa. For more than 60 percent of Americans, coffee starts the morning with us and travels with us throughout the rest of the day.  

It may be that there are places where people are more obsessed with the kind of coffee they drink than others are. Single-cup coffee makers are rapidly finding their way into homes in small town and rural areas all across the U.S., but it is in the larger metro areas that specialty blends and gourmet varieties have become an integral way of life. Actual surveys have been done, and it has been determined that, if you were dropped anywhere in Manhattan or Queens, you would be no more than 1,335 feet from a Starbucks, which equates to about five blocks. That is the farthest. On average, 20 percent of the island has a Starbucks every two blocks!

Coffee consumption had started to taper off in recent years, but last year it jumped back up. No one knows exactly why. Millennials drink more than their share and that, no doubt, accounts for a part of the resurgence. More likely, however, is that we just love our coffee, even though we believe it probably isn’t good for us. One of the main reasons for that is the concern about coffee damaging our teeth.

How Does Coffee Affect Teeth?

The enamel on the outside of teeth is the hardest substance in the body. It is important to maintain the integrity of the enamel so that the teeth can perform their chewing function and can also protect the interior layers of the tooth. Everyone knows that coffee is acidic, which has the effect of softening the enamel. What is not as well-known but extremely important is that the softening is only temporary. Rinsing the mouth with water after drinking coffee is helpful, but brushing right way can damage the enamel and the dentin layer underneath it. Always wait at least 30 minutes after drinking coffee, wine or any other acidic beverage before brushing.

There is, however, a high likelihood of staining as a result of coffee building up in the small holes and ridges in the enamel, and it is believed that it only takes one cup a day for evidence of staining to appear. Staining happens with natural teeth as well as the materials used in restorations. Once again, rinsing with water as soon as possible after drinking coffee is recommended, although it may not be sufficient to prevent staining. If this is the case, your dental professional will be able to suggest whitening methods that are safe and effective.

The good news is that coffee actually has a lot of positive benefits. It is now believed to play a role in protecting the liver and reducing the risks of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. It may also actually protect the teeth by helping to prevent bone loss in the jaw. 

Try These 3 Healthier Alternatives to Frying Your Food

It really is too bad, not to mention totally unfair, that it seems to be a rule of the universe that those things we love the most are so often the worst for us. Not everything, of course. Puppies, walks on the beach, clean sheets on the bed. These are all wonderful and, shoes that are mistaken for chew toys aside, positive additions to our lives. This is not the case when it comes to fried chicken, greasy burgers, French fries, chicken tenders, mozzarella sticks, hush puppies, egg rolls and, well, you get the picture.

We love fried food, and it is bad for us in so many ways. Fried foods are known to be prime contributors to obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol and lead to Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health conducted a study of more than 100,000 men and women over about a period of 25 years and found that those eating fried food 4 to 6 times per week were 39% more likely to develop diabetes than those who ate fried foods less than once per week. The risk increased as the frequency of eating foods that were fried increased.

Here in the U.S., it seems like we fry everything and that there is a fast food restaurant on every corner. That may be true, but we certainly didn’t invent the idea of frying food in hot oil. The ancient Egyptians did that about 7,000 years ago. The Romans were frying chicken in the 1400s, and, by the 1600s, the Japanese were doing tempura. They may or may not have realized how unhealthy this type of cooking is, but we have no excuse: we know how important it is to switch to other methods.

Alternatives to Frying Food  

We have actually known for quite some time that our health would benefit by eliminating or at least cutting down on fried foods. Unfortunately, that has not been as easy as it should be. One reason is that we are conditioned to grabbing lunch or dinner on the fly, which usually means fast food and, more often than not, something fried. Perhaps even more of a factor, though, is that we grew up on fried food, and we just really like the way it tastes. Finding replacements that satisfy us, in the same way, is a challenge. Nevertheless, there are some good alternatives and three of the most popular are:

Baking or Broiling – baking and broiling are one of the popular alternative methods of frying. More and more innovative recipes are being developed all the time to closer approximate the taste and “crunch” of frying. 

Sautéing and Stir-Frying –  even though these words sometimes are used to describe the same thing, they are indeed two different things. Sautéing involves cooking meats and/or vegetables in a pan over a high heat. The pan is usually lubricated with either oil, chicken broth or water. It’s a go-to for many because it’s quick, easy and can be flavorful. Stir-Frying is very similar in the sense that you are cooking meat and veggies on high heat in a pan, however, the heat is usually much higher. This requires constant stirring of the food so it doesn’t burn to the side of the pan. 

Air Fryers – the latest rage on social media, air fryers can give you the crispiness you desire from using a normal fryer without having to dip it in oil first. Air fryers work my spinning hot air around the food causing the outer layer to carmelize causing that crunchy, crispiness that you often associate with fried foods.  

Foods Associated with California

What springs to mind when you think about California? Hollywood and movie stars? The Golden Gate Bridge? Yosemite? Big Sur? The breathtaking coastline? Hearst Castle? The redwoods of Muir Woods? The list can go on and on. One thing that might not immediately spring to mind, but should, are the many things natives and visitors, alike, love to eat and drink that are just so “California”.  

California wine, naturally, tops the list. A visit to the Golden State just wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Napa Valley and its wonderful vineyards and wineries. The French have been making wine since the 6th century BC. Who would have believed that in only a couple hundred years the vineyards of California would be producing wine that is in high demand all over the world?

What about foods that are associated with California? There may be more than you think!

Most of us believe that if we were fortunate enough to own a fancy restaurant, we could always have exactly what we wanted to eat, and there would always be someone to fix it for us. Reality usually falls somewhere in between fact and belief, and that appears to be what happened one night in 1937 when Bob Cobb, owner of the famous Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood decided he was hungry. Nothing on the menu appealed to him, and everyone was really busy so he started grabbing things at random from the huge refrigerator. He pulled out a couple kinds of lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, watercress, a cooked chicken breast, cheese, chives and a hard-boiled egg. You know where this is going, right? Once he chopped it all up, swiped a bit of crispy bacon from a busy cook and added some French dressing, he ended up with the first ever Cobb Salad.   

Cobb Salads are now on menus everywhere, and there are stories just like that from all over. Recipes that catch on and become popular have been created in every state in the union, but California seems to have more than its share of new and unique ways of presenting food. There’s just something about California that encourages the different and the innovative.

Foods Associated with California

Cioppino – a northern California fish stew with a mix of many different kinds of seafood including squid, Dungeness crab, mussels, clams and white fish. It’s served in a tomato and wine sauce base. 

Fish Tacos – they may be on menus other places but they are everywhere in California where fresh, seasonal catches like red snapper, jumbo scallops and soft-shell crab are always available.

Garlic Ice Cream – Gilroy, inland from famed Monterey Bay, is the garlic capital of the world and may be one of the only places you can find garlic ice cream.

Korean BBQ – the largest population of Koreans in America live in California, which is why, unless you want to actually go to Korea, this is where you will find the most authentic and delicious Korean barbecue.

Tri-Tip – tender muscle cut from the underside of sirloin of a steer, but once you try it grilled medium-rare on a French roll, you are not likely to forget it.

Clam Chowder – true, this may have been invented in New England, and it’s hard to beat recipes from Boston and Portland, but it was Californians who had the sheer genius to carve out a hollow in sourdough bread and serve the chowder inside it.

French Dip – French in name only. This classic was first created in Los Angeles.

Cruffin – the recent San Francisco addition to the pastry world, a combination of croissant and muffin filled with a creamy center.

Grilled Corn – Mexican-style corn, boiled or grilled, heaped with butter, cheese, mayo, lemon or lime, and salt.

Avocados – everywhere in everything.

Ghirardelli Chocolate – found in many other states but in San Francisco it is an entire block all about chocolate.

Best Food Trucks In New York City

Is there anything better than street food? Sure, family holidays a couple times a year are great, just like picnics on the beach and backyard barbecues with friends. And, no one is trying to minimize those intimate dinners with the special people in our lives, whether at the hottest new restaurant or lovingly prepared at home. But, be honest, is there anything that makes your heart start beating a little faster and your mouth water more than discovering that your favorite food truck is nearby?

Even before Jon Favreau came out with “Chef”, a film about a highly acclaimed chef walking away from his position at a well-known restaurant to becoming his own boss with a food truck, Americans were crazy about food trucks. Movie-goers got to follow him from Miami to Los Angeles as he served Cuban sandwiches that folks lined up for before he ever found a parking space.     

So, what is it about food trucks? They are not new. Right after the Civil War, chuck wagons, which were the same thing only horse-drawn, started following wagon trains and cattle drives cross country and their urban counterparts, the pushcart, has been feeding people in places like New York City since the late 1600s. They certainly haven’t always been “gourmet”. The trucks that used to show up at construction sites and outside factories were known as “roach coaches” due to their questionable sanitation practices.        

With all of the dining options available today, there must be something really different, something uniquely special, about food trucks to make people obsessively track their location and stand in line in parking lots and on street corners. What is it? Quite simply, it’s the food and the passion behind it. No one gets excited about a truck that sells tacos, but the award-winning, home-style, Oaxacan tacos you get from the Tacos El Rancho food truck are a whole different matter! New Yorkers cannot get enough of these freshly-made, authentic, soft corn tortillas wrapped around salted beef or tongue, which are unbelievably seasoned and insanely cheap!

The Soriano family, like other popular food truck owners, put a tremendous amount of time and effort into making their specialty taco the very best that it can be. This is what drives the popularity of today’s food truck craze: finding the best, whether that’s a taco, falafel, Korean BBQ or whatever. Nowhere will you find the love of good food like you do in New York City! And New Yorkers will go to great lengths to find their favorite food trucks. Fortunately, with today’s technology, current locations are just a tweet away since most food trucks are savvy enough to announce where they will be via Twitter.

Food Trucks That Are New York Favorites    

New Yorkers can be fickle and new places pop up all the time. Any “best of” list is apt to change on a daily basis, but if you don’t mind standing in line, here are some New York food truck suggestions that won’t disappoint:

Hard Times Sundaes – serious burgers

Solber Pupusas – pupusas, thick corn tortillas stuffed with cheese, meat and veggies

Anton’s Dumplings – pelmeni, Russian dumplings

The Cinnamon Snail – vegan breakfast burritos, tempeh sandwiches and seitan burgers

Coolhaus – arty ice cream sandwiches

El Olomega – Salvadoran food

Freddy Zeideia’s King of Falafel and Shawarma –  shawarma, falafel and kebabs

Korilla BBQ – Korean-Mexican cuisine

Luke’s Lobster Truck – lobster rolls

Schnitzel and Things – Austrian schnitzel, bratwurst, potato salad and sauerkraut

Wafels and Dinges – Belgian waffles and creative toppings

New York City: So Much Food, So Little Time!

New York City is like no other place on the planet. If you are a New Yorker, you cannot imagine wanting to live anywhere else. Tourists arrive by the millions every year. If you ask them why they come, you will likely get a long list that includes Broadway shows, the Statue of Liberty, carriage rides in Central Park, the Museums, going to the top of the Empire State Building and other favorites. When they go home, though, what they will remember and tell their friends about is the food!

The variety of cuisine in New York City is unparalleled. Whether it is noon or 3 o’clock in the morning, every type of food imaginable is available. Hail a cab, hop on the subway or just stroll down the street, and you can find offerings from all over the world. You could start with Algerian couscous and work your way through the alphabet to a steamy bowl of Ukrainian borscht or Vietnamese pho.

Maybe beet soup (borscht) isn’t on everyone’s list of food to try on vacation or there just might not be enough time to eat everywhere you would like — so much food, so little time! No matter how limited you time might be, there are New York classics that are a must. These are loved by natives and visitors, alike.

You can find lists of the 100 most popular foods in New York and, of course, they don’t agree. Some of the standards, though, in addition to that slice of cheese pizza, include:

Bagel – first brought to the city in the late 19th century by Jewish immigrants, the bagels made here are not easily duplicated. All over the country, former NYC residents buy their bagels and bemoan the fact that “they just aren’t the same”. Some like to say it’s the water but others believe that it’s the process. To get that shiny crust with just the right little bit of hardness and the proper glaze, it requires the traditional boiling, not steaming like so many others places do. That first bite of a true New York bagel can be worth the airfare!

Pizza – there’s so much to do in the city that, inevitably, there ends up being a lot of rushing around. That builds an appetite even when there isn’t time to actually sit down an eat. Not to worry! You’re in New York! Rarely will you be far from that delicious little “slice” of heaven; New York style cheese pizza. They are big, cheesy and cheap. Not only do they practically melt in your mouth, but they’re foldable so that you can eat and keep on walking.

Black and white cookie – made famous by an episode of Seinfeld, The Dinner Party, these are round, cake-like cookies with vanilla frosting on one half and chocolate on the other.

Cronut – this newcomer, which looks like a doughnut, was introduced in Soho in 2013 and is made from croissant-like dough, filled with flavored cream and fried in grapeseed oil. Wildly popular, TIME magazine named it as one of the best “extremely fun” inventions of 2013, but don’t let the “fun” part fool you: the cronut process can take up to three days to complete.

Falafel – where can you find vegans and meat-lovers united? At falafel carts all over the city. These pita-wrapped deep-fried balls of chickpea, parsley and spice are believed by some to be life-changing, especially right around the time the last bar closes…

Nathan’s hot dog – you don’t have to get your dog at the same location where Polish immigrant Nathan Handwerker first started selling his famous hot dogs for a nickel: you can find them throughout New York City and pretty much all over the country, although, no longer for a nickel. But there is something about that first incredible bite mingling with the sounds of seagulls and oceans breezes at the original landmark Nathan’s on Coney Island that will always stay with you.

Cheesecake – New York-style cheesecake is not for the faint of heart. “Light” and “airy” are not adjectives that will ever be called into service to describe this dessert that was gifted to the world by the early Greeks. Rich and dense, creamy and smooth, this favorite is always made with cream cheese, never ricotta. Other versions really should be called something else.  

We’re really just getting started. Pastrami sandwiches. Bacon, egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches from the local bodega, ordered like a native in one word “baconeggandcheese”. Cupcakes from Magnolia with flashbacks of the “Sex in the City” girls. We could go on. And on.

There are so many things to love about New York City, and none of them rival the food. When you come, just make sure you come hungry!