The other day, an underclassman that I know stopped me as I was crossing a street by yelling, “Wait, what’s your favorite sandwich shop?!” The question surprised me. Despite my love of food, no one’s really asked me if I ever had a “favorite.” Yes, they’ll ask if a place is good or bad but never something as difficult and seemingly permanent as a favorite. But then I realized that I tend to use the word “favorite” generously, letting my short-term preferences dictate what I deem worthy at the top of the list. That particular day was no different. That underclassman and his friend wanted to do a sandwich tour of New York. Disregarding all the immediately nationally-recognized places, I recommended Parisi Bakery to him.
Thanksgiving is a uniquely American, and Canadian, holiday. Traditionally, the holiday was instated to give thanks for the previous year’s harvest and, for some, pay tribute to the pilgrims and Puritans who first settled in America. But nowadays, Thanksgiving is about family and lots of food. Which is exactly why those in the UK could care less about Thanksgiving – why should they celebrate a holiday built around people who purposefully wanted to escape England? So when I was studying abroad in London, we had to prepare the Thanksgiving feast ourselves. This hot artichoke and spinach dip is my way of rectifying the less than spectacular Thanksgiving meal that I had while abroad in London.
Taboonette is the little sibling of Taboon Restaurant up in Hell’s Kitchen, but it’s definitely gaining a large following of its own. Similar to Taboon, Taboonette focuses on what the owners call Middleterranean food – a fusion of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. When you think of shawarma or falafel in New York, you might first think of the low-cost street, smoking carts on nearly every major corner in the city. So I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived at Taboonette and found a very modern, spacious restaurant with an interesting contrast of dark wood and white tile.
Out of all the places that I have eaten in Europe so far, The Dzungel was by far one of the most memorable and hilarious. Most of all, I will always remember its miracle dumpling. More on that later; and trust me, it truly was a miracle. The Dzungel was recommended to my friends and me by one of the employees at the hostel in which we were staying. We took his suggestion because he said that the place would “be fun.”
To ensure that we all keep in touch and get out a little more often, my friends and I formed a brunch group. Well, we do a lot of things together regardless, but it just seemed logical to focus heavily on our shameless interest in eating. One of my friends has lovingly dubbed us The Brunch Bitches and jokes that we should start making our own key chains and other memorabilia. I’ll leave the name up in the air… But I do love the idea that we’ve sort of formed a club. The first place we visited was Friend of a Farmer, a brunch place one of my friends absolutely loves.
Friend of a Farmer is decorated as if it’s a cozy home in the countryside. The patterned wallpaper, wooden picture frames, and hanging copper pans help to take away from the fact that the restaurant is jam packed. It’s difficult to pull out your seat without bumping into a server or fellow guest. But I think that’s a bit of the charm of the place.