Momofuku's pork buns had to be sampled, and they were miles away from London's Leong's Legends efforts. Juicy, fatty pork squished in an airy bun with pickled cucumbers was everything I had hoped for. Upon my return, I bought Chang's cookbook immediately.
Chicken parm from Torrisi and the Italian combo make me wonder why on earth London doesn't seem to have any decent sandwich shops. Melty cheese flecked with basil and tomato sauce was perfect with the chicken, while quality sliced meats was made fiery with some pickled peppers. Not a cheap sandwich at $10 each, but then nothing seems to be in New York.
After a night on the cocktails a coleslaw-topped, jalapeno-flooded 'Spicy Redneck' from Crif Dogs hit the spot. Waffle-shaped fries topped with terrifyingly lurid and plastic cheese were delicious dunked in ketchup, and washed down with a root beer I felt quite the all-American. Especially when I followed it later that afternoon with a Shake Shack burger.
Right on the other end of the spectrum, a Red Hook stand at a Saturday food market in Williamsburg sold us a hearty lobster roll for $16. Offered in a brioche roll with a pickle, the Connecticut style, dressed in butter was my favourite, though the Maine style in cold mayonnaise was nothing to be sniffed at.
It wasn't all sandwiches though. Fette Sau, mere minutes away from where I was staying offered barbecued meat by the pound. Queues snaked around the till so we settled ourselves at the bar, drinking bourbon-tinged cocktails. Pulled pork, smoked brisket and pink juicy beef tri-tip were served on trays. The smokey beans almost eclipsed the meat. Almost.
On another barbecue trip we hit up Fatty 'Cue for brunch. A bloody mary was made with smoked tomato juice and had a huge spicy hit. Asian-inspired, the pork ribs I ordered were meaty and fatty, served with a palm sugar fish sauce glaze. I hoped for some vegetables but none seemed to be on the menu. The companion's smoked brisket sandwich packed with coriander, chilli jam and aioli made me jealous.
It may not look like much, but Momofuku's pork ramen was the best noodle soup EVER. Intensely meaty broth, springy noodles and a perfectly poached egg nestled inside. Alas, the cold smoked brisket noodles paled in comparison beside them; we should have eaten them first.
A seafood dinner at the John Dory Oyster Bar in the Ace Hotel had me captive; moody low lighting and absorbing as much of the atmosphere and concentrating on the food made me forget completely to take photos but I highly recommend you go. With plenty of dollar.
So that was it. A weekend is not nearly long enough.