This was actually our second full day in New York, and our first Sunday. The major plans for the day involved a walk on the High Line followed by a production of Puffs (a Harry Potter parody/tribute we took the boys too and which they loved). After that we were scheduled for early dinner with an old friend at Bombay Bread Bar. Those dinner plans changed later—we ended up at Ippudo Ramen instead and ate at Bombay Bread Bar the following weekend—but we needed to grab an early lunch before getting on the High Line. Looking around on Google Maps, Chelsea Market looked like a good place to get a range of things we might all like.
I had a vague idea about the place before we got there. I imagined it was like an indoor version of Montreal’s fabulous Jean-Talon, with an emphasis on the greenmarket along with some restaurant counters interspersed with food shops. When we got there, however, it seemed to be mostly a giant food hall/court (and the building itself is large, taking up an entire city block, with office space on the higher levels). Later I learned that there’s a basement/lower level that we did not know about or notice where most of the actual market is and where presumably locals go to shop. We were appropriately up in the tourist trap food hall with the rest of the tourists. It’s quite something, with surging masses of people moving through and milling around most of the counters. If I lived in Manhattan I’m sure it would take me just about a week or so to start sneering at it. But coming from Minnesota we were happy to gape for a bit at retail cosmopolitanism. And we managed to eat quite well.
And, of course, I took a lot of pictures, as I always do at places like this. I have two excessive slideshows for you in this post. The first and larger one follows our path through the market as we tried to figure out what the various food options were, not expecting there to be so many. The second one covers what we actually ate. The missus and I and the older brat had pretty decent noodle soups featuring hand-pulled noodles at Very Fresh Noodles; the younger brat had a couple of slices of pizza from Filaga. After that we all ate some gelato at L’Arte Del Gelato. Is there any reason you shouldn’t look at all these pictures? Well, yes, there is but if you were a person of good judgment why would you be reading this blog in the first place?
I did not try the younger lad’s pizza but the three noodle bowls were pretty good and far better than I expected them to be. The boys were also transfixed by the noodle pulling happening right in front of us (we were sitting at their bar). Prices, though not cheap, were also not excessive—we ate today at a significantly more expensive food hall in St. Paul, for example. I’d be happy to go back for another bowl of that cumin lamb soup on our next visit and maybe on that occasion I’ll actually go take a look at the market on the lower level.
Well, I only have four more reports to go from this New York trip. My next one, I think, will be of the place we ate at the night after our dinner at Rezdora: Crown Shy. And next from the Twin Cities, a recent dinner at Joan’s in the Park.