What do you do if you live in New York City and have out-of-town guests for the weekend? You eat!

So many options, so little time. My top ten varies all the time—and depends of course on the visitor, the season, the budget, the food allergy—but will likely include at least a few of the following:

Russ & Daughters (or Katz’s)
Diner (or Dressler)
Sun-in-Bloom (esp. if a friend is vegan or gluten free)
ABC Kitchen
Blue Ribbon (Sushi or Bakery)
Prune
Di Fara Pizza (or Roberta’s)
Momofuku (pick your fave – Noodle Bar, Ko, Milk Bar, et al.)
Tarallucci e Vino
Al di Là

Other pit-stops might include Gimme Coffee, the Union Square Greenmarket, the Park Slope Food Co-op, or Babycakes Bakery.

This weekend was a flurry of out-of-towners, hailing from Boston, Zurich, Madison, Phoenicia, and Vermont. The weekend began with a late breakfast on Friday at Sun in Bloom in Park Slope. Hey, it’s good to start the weekend off healthy; it was all downhill from there.

You’re looking at gluten-free pancakes and a raw kale wrap with “live” sesame dressing. Both were delicious and way better than either may sound to you.

Friday night I finally got to try Samurai Mama in Williamsburg, a new udon joint brought to you by the owners of Bozu, which is just down the street from Mama on Grand. I had the vegetarian udon with wild edible Japanese plants. It was simple, not too salty, and the udon had an al dente chewiness that I liked. We also had flying fish jerky that was salty and chewy and basically perfect tapas food.

Saturday was a movie and Katz’s. Hugo in 3D to be exact and a post-cinema pastrami on rye. (Not Parisian bistro fare as the movie may have otherwise inspired.) Katz’s, for those of you unfortunate not to know, is one of New York City’s longest-standing Jewish delis, located on the Lower East Side since 1888. I hadn’t had one of their towering sandwiches in ages and I have to say, it was better than Mile End’s, where, you may remember, I bought pastrami on rye for my grandmother’s birthday earlier this year. Well this was worth every penny of the $15 sandwich. Throw in some sour pickles, matzo ball soup, and you’re in heaven. Or I’m in heaven.


After Katz’s I got on the F at 2nd Avenue to find this old New York City subway car sitting in the station. Apparently it’s a refurbished train—from the 1930s I believe—and it will be running on the M line next weekend for the holidays.

Sunday was a whole new day for eating and I had brunch with a bunch of old Cornell friends at Moutarde in Park Slope, across the street from my first apartment in Brooklyn. Later in the afternoon I went to a “gemuetlicher Advent” party at the home of a German couple, friends of mine, also in Park Slope. We ate delicious Stollen—the Christmas cake of Germany—and moon-shaped buttery cookies that to me tasted like Italian wedding cookies but perhaps they’re also German wedding cookies. Or German Advent cookies! For more on Stollen check out my friend Valerie’s post here. I’d love to try this recipe.

Dinner Sunday night was Japanese comfort food at Supercore in Williamsburg, an old favorite. Here’s some dried squid (I call it squid jerky), served with Japanese mayo.

And finally, feasting with the out-of-towners wrapped up this afternoon with my dad and stepmom who took me to lunch at ABC Kitchen. We all shared the roasted kabocha squash with ricotta and apple cider vinegar on toast; beets with homemade yogurt; pizza with mushrooms and a runny egg on top; and veal meatballs with bowtie pasta.

Not bad eh?

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