I know. I have got to stop writing about food. However, after my gyro blog I felt I needed to redeem New York’s name as the culinary capital that it is. With two of Adam’s sisters in town not long ago, we all trekked up to the lovely upper west side for a simple mid-morning snack – a bagel spread with smoked salmon dip (something I saw on a food travel show which stuck in my head).
We grabbed some bagels at H&H Bagels, where they are “Like no other bagel in the world”. There, the bagels (being essentially boiled bread) are sold in a wide variety of flavours – plain, onion, poppy seed, blueberry, sourdough, pumpkin, etc. The original plan was to grab 4 bagels. We walked out with 7.
Armed with our bag of boiled bread and hungry, we went in search for salmon dip at Zabar’s across the road. But what waited for us there was oh so much more than just salmon dip. Zabar’s, a gourmet food emporium, has been described as “an upper west side institution”. The sultry smell of marinated olives greets you at the door as you enter. Inside, every shelf, stand and aisle was bursting with the freshest produce. Amongst the frenzy and madness of the place, you could find any kind of food imaginable from cheeses and freshly prepared salads to cured meats and smoked fish. The tantalizing scents that drift by as you wander through are intoxicating – olives, cheeses, spices, freshly baked crusty breads, cakes and coffee.
Zabar’s was meant to be a 10 minute deal – dip in and come out with .. well.. dip. We spent about an hour in there and (still feeling like our visit was cut too short) walked out with slightly more than we had planned. In our basket we had a tuna salad, a lobster bisque dip, a pickle & dill potato salad, a mixed green salad, a jar of basil pesto, a tub of tabouli, 3 types of cheeses, a foot long French baguette, a Russian coffee cake, a cinnamon bobka (had to be done to please the inner‑Seinfeld in us), 3 chocolate crepes, freshly ground coffee and, just because it went so well with what we already had, a tray of fresh sushi. Let’s not forget the 7 bagels already waiting to be eaten.
The lesson to be learnt from this – never shop hungry! The lazy summer picnic at Central Park that followed was definitely the best way to enjoy our delectable feast.
Posted by – Trinh