Au Naturale Eye Essentials Kit

Eating Our Way Through the Big Apple

I believe in following the eating healthy foods 80% of the time rule. When vacation comes, though, all bets are off. That is when we are much more lenient with eating. We really enjoyed our meals in New York City. I thought I'd share some of our favorites.

My favorite lunch place was not fancy by any means. It could easily be on "Diners, Drive Ins and Dives" and was really lived in with loads of character. It was also my most favorite lunch time stop. I read about it in one of the travel books and I can see why it came recommended. Big Nick's Burger & Pizza Joint is where we decided to head after spending much of our day at the Museum of Natural History. Located at Broadway and 77th in the Upper West Side, we strolled over and enjoyed reading pages and pages of menu.

I had the Gyro Blue Plate Lunch Special for $7.95. It was delicious. Loaded with flavorful meat, feta, onions and tomatoes, I thought it was really the best gyro ever. This is coming from a picky person with Greek roots. My favorite part was the delicious Tzatziki dressing.  I also loved the Chocolate Egg Cream to drink. It's long been a favorite drink of mine and this one was fabulous.

We tried lots of pizza in New York. I am a huge fan of NY pizza and I my favorite place happened to be John's Pizzeria. We ate at the location near Times Square because we were on our way to the mammoth Toys R Us around the corner. This was probably my most favorite pizza ever. We also enjoyed their meatballs and sausage in marinara sauce and I can tell you that I am still thinking about it several days later. So, so good.

After Thursday's Yankees game, we took the subway back to Manhattan and ate at Shorty's on 9th Avenue near the Port Authority terminal. You normally would associate cheesesteaks with Philadelphia, but these truly are as authentic as they come. I had the special, which was a small ("Shorty") cheesesteak and a pint of beer for less than $10. My cheesesteak, which I had with Wiz--something I refuse to eat on anything other than on cheesesteaks--and onions & peppers. This was incredible. 

My most favorite food find was so decadent and rich....and oh so memorable. Who knew a cookie could taste so unbelievably good? I am a big fan of Throwdown on the Food Network. Last year, I watched the chocolate chip cookie "throwdown" Bobby Flay had with the ladies from Levain Bakery. Flay lost. I wondered how, though, because I have made Bobby's losing recipe from Food Network website for a long time and those cookies are heavenly. I usually prefer a thinner, crisper cookie and Flay's meet that requirement. Levain Bakery's cookies are anything but thin and crisp, so I wasn't sure how they'd rate.

We ordered the Double Chocolate Chocolate Chip and the Throwdown winning Chocolate Chip with Walnut. They were huge, dense, and every single bite was full of gooey deliciousness. These are easily the best cookies on the planet. I once thought the Teaism Chocolate Salty Oat cookies in Washington, DC were my most favorite, but they have moved out of the lead. They are worth the $4 you'll pay for each 6 ounce cookie. Both varieties we tried were scrumptious. I think I may have liked the Double Chocolate Chocolate Chip a bit more, but these were both divine.

We visited Levain Bakery after a nice walk through Central Park. It's located at 167 West 74th Street. They also have a seasonal branch in the Hamptons.

We enjoyed lots of different things to eat along the way. I am looking forward to returning for more soon!