In which I turn 34 and eat good food

Tuesday was my 34th birthday. Since I’ve never really celebrated with anyone by taking the day off work and going someplace for my birthday, I decided it was high time to do so. Amy poked around on the internet and found a great food and cultural tour of Greenwich Village for us to take. I highly recommend the tour – the guide, Todd, was really knowledgeable and funny, and the food we found was excellent.

We started off by meeting at the Greenwich Village Bistro. Amy got a coffee before the tour started.

Amy at Greenwich Village Bistro

Then it was off to Joe’s Pizza, for a slice of New York pizza. Apparently, this the place in the Spiderman movies, and also claims to be Ben Affleck’s favorite.

Joes Pizza

Next we hit a pastry shop, Rocco’s, for the best cannolli I’ve ever had in my life.

Roccos

Rocco’s is right next door to Bruno’s. Fortunately, they specialize in different Italian pastries. Rocco’s focuses on southern Italian pastries, seen in this case.

Inside Roccos

Then we wandered down a side street and found several great little restaurants. Apparently Home Restaurant has the best lunch burgers this side of … someplace! Scuttlebutt has it that the lunch chef is leaving soon (shhhh…) so get yours soon.

Home

Cornelia Street Cafe is very cute and has spoken word and music performances nearly every night for inexpensive. Their beer seemed cheap too, and the bartender was quite nice-looking.

Cornelia Street Cafe

At Faccio’s Italian Specialists, we were treated to deep-friend rice/cheese/ham balls called arancini. It doesn’t sound very appetizing in English, but Oh. My. God. they were good. Amy had two. 😆

Faccios

Inside Faccio’s were all sorts of canned and bottled Italian goods, as well as more homemade sausages than you can imagine.

Inside Faccios

Right down from Faccio’s is Aphrodisia. Spices, herbs, potpourri, soaps, smelly things, and more! They distribute chocolates from a local candy-maker. I loved the cinnamon-dusted pecan chocolates so much I had to go back later to buy some for my knitting gals this weekend!

Aphrodisia

At this point, we began doing some heavier walking. We went to lots of places, saw the “Friends” building (the one they show in the exterior shot), wandered through a speakeasy, noted some architectural details of homes and buildings, and saw the city’s narrowest house (at 9.5 feet wide!) where Edna St. Vincent Millay used to live. But we also walked through the Blue Mill Tavern, and I about died when I saw the great old bar.

Blue Mill Tavern

Seriously – it’s wonderful!

Next we hit Murray’s Cheeses and ate some fantastic cheeses and olives. Later, I went back and got some of their goat gouda (not goaty at all!) and Italian piave. Amy picked up some really incredible cheddar. Yum. Cheese is life. That is all.

Murrays Cheese Shop

Our next food-tasting happened at a small store-front kebab place. We had falafel and doner kebab. I felt like I was back in Istanbul again, it was that good.

Turkish place

Our last taste of the day came from the other pastry store, Bruno’s. If you go on the tour, you’ll find out all about Bruno and Rocco, and why there are two Italian pastry stores next to one another in Greenwich Village.

Brunos

But what you really need to know is that their inventory hardly overlaps, and that Bruno’s has amazing tarts. We had an apricot-dream tart that was the perfect way to end the tour.

Inside Brunos

After the tour, Amy and I did some shopping (coffee and tea from Porto Rico Imports, cheese from Murray’s, chocolates from Aphrodisia), and headed up to Washington Square Park for some sitting and sun. NYU’s graduation was happening two days later, so we have the nice temporary wooden fencing in the background of this photo. Oh well, we had a great day and a wonderful time in NYC!

In Washington Square Park

The train ride home was long, so we stopped as soon as we got back at World Cafe Live Upstairs for dinner. Amy had gnocchi with tomatos, asparagus, and artichoke hearts. She enjoyed it a ton. My chicken taco salad didn’t photograph well, but tasted excellent.

At World Cafe Live Upstairs

The day was wonderful. It was all I could ask for in a birthday – to be out doing something fun and unusual with an amazing woman. Maggie, however, was less than pleased with us for leaving her to her own devices all day long.

Maggie was not pleased

Fortunately, she got over it and all is well in that little beast’s world now.

6 thoughts to “In which I turn 34 and eat good food”

  1. Oh my god. How cruel it is for this entry to appear in Bloglines on a slow, tummy-rumbling Friday afternoon. I must do this tour!

    How does Murrays compare to DiBrunos? Where did you find out about the tour? And how on earth did you manage dinner after such a day?

    And finally, Happy Birthday!

  2. Everyday should be a birthday. Did you really eat all that in one day? The pastries look delicious. Happy 34th.

  3. Happy birthday! NYC, it’s the thing to do, it seems. The very next day was my birthday, and I was taken to Manhattan to see Spamalot! and a nice Italian dinner with friends.

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