Food tour – New York City

Food tours are so great, we had to do another. We were in NYC last week for the kids’ spring break, and we did another tour from the company that did my Madrid tour – Devour Tour Greenwich Village.

It started off with some weirdness that was handled quite well by our guide. He was talking to us about the arch at Washington Square Park and a gentleman not in the tour started to listen. I imagine this happens all the time and the guide shot him down gently and quickly, noting that you had to pay for the tour in advance. As the guy left, I realized how weird he was. If you told me he had just stepped off the set of a vampire movie set in the 1800’s I would have simply nodded. He was carrying a fancy bible and a watch on a gold chain. He was very polite but I was glad he moved on quickly, his vibe was super creepy.

Anyway, on to the food. There is no shortage of sketchy people in any city.

I can’t believe I forgot to get a photo of the first item – a bacon egg and cheese on homemade bread from Court Street Grocers. Fluffy eggs, crisp bacon, bread with just a bit of chewy toughness – highly recommend.

Next stop, Brigadeiro Bakery for some brigadieros.

Brigadeiros on a plate from Brigadeiro Bakery

You know how I ate croquetas in Madrid? Think of these as the sweet version. The inside is something like a b├ęchamel sauce except made with sweetened condensed milk. These were delicious and probably my favorite bite of the tour. We also had this delicious cheesy bread that I didn’t catch the name of and don’t see on their online menu. Our guide said this was something eaten by slaves who didn’t even have flour so it was gluten free. Yes, this framing is slightly problematic. They were delightful anyway.

Dense and delicious Brazilian cheesy bread

Next stop was Rafetto’s, where we met the 3rd generating Rafetto (The 4th generation had the day off), and tasted their pasta.

A small dish of ravioli in red sauce

Next stop, Manousheh for zataar flatbread.

A flat bread folded over with a green spice blend inside. Next to it is a cup of yogurt with oil and a spoon to add it to the bread.

We were told that the owner of the restaurant imported the oven from Lebanon as that’s the only way to properly cook the bread, and that Lebanese immigrants from states away make the trek here to get a taste of home. It was delicious, though I think the distribution of the spices was a little uneven, as Gremlin 1 nearly choked on hers, and I don’t think she has a particularly sensitive palate. She still finished it, so she must have liked it.

We then stopped at the Porto Rico Importing Company. If you do not like coffee or the smell of coffee then I recommend you give this one a miss. Otherwise, highly recommended. We had chocolate covered espresso beans and I got a latte (not included with the tour but a good addition).

Next was Rocco’s Pasticceria and Cafe for cannolis. They fill theirs by hand when you order so the cream isn’t just sitting there getting the crust soggy. You can taste the care they put in.

Three cannolis on a plate next to my wife’s phone

No NYC food tour could be complete without a slice or two, and Bleeker Street Pizza didn’t disappoint. The crust was crispier than I’m used to in NYC, which did make it easier to eat.

A bunch of slices of pizza topped with cheese, tomatoes, and herbs

And finally we ended at The Blind Tiger for grilled cheese and tomato soup. I was NOT hungry at this point but I ate it anyway because 1) you’re supposed to and 2) it was really good

A bowl of tomato soup on a plate. There is half a grilled cheese sandwich on the plate. In the background is a large can of Sip of Sunshine IPA

The Sip of Sunshine was extra but a lovely addition. I keep forgetting that while you can’t get this beer in DC, it’s all over NYC. One thing I learned about the bar – the name comes from Prohibition, where bars would advertise that you could come pay a fee to see the blind tiger and when you came in, they’d give you alcohol. I can’t imagine how this worked – maybe it was just enough plausible deniability that the cops just let it go?

Next time you travel, GO DO A FOOD TOUR. Especially if you’re alone. You get new friends, at least for a few hours, and you’ll get to see and learn stuff about wherever you’re visiting that you likely wouldn’t otherwise.