BlogHer12: The Food
What would a week of posts be without me talking about food?!
It’s by far one of my favorite topics and, judging by this weekend, it’s my favorite pastime too :) I must be missing my food soul mate (Diana) because I’ve been chowing down this weekend and missing the awesome meals we shared at BlogHer.
Remind me to ask her how she can eat like that and stay so small!
So, the food…
BlogHer provides lunch and dinner each day so those are covered and dinner is up to you. The appetizers at last year’s parties pretty much took care of dinner, but this year’s party food was skimpy in comparison. It’s a good thing Diana and I like to eat and weren’t afraid to venture into the city for good grub.
Let’s start from the beginning…
On Thursday, landed at Laguardia airport in New York around 1:45pm very hungry. I didn’t want to waste too much time at the airport because I knew my bus/subway trip into the city was going to take longer than I remembered (SO. MANY. STOPS.) so I grabbed a sandwich at a newsstand in the baggage claim area. Classy, I know.
It doesn’t look like much, especially for NINE WHOLE DOLLARS, but it was actually good. The bread was tasty and chock full of nuts and seeds, the innards were fresh and it had Dijon mustard on it. What more can you ask of a sandwich from the baggage claim area?
That first night is when we went to the Stoneyfield Organic and Babble parties, but we only ate tiny, teeny hors d’oeuvre which were really more like amuse bouche. (Friends reference for the die hard fans) so we were hungry by the end of the night. We headed back to our room to re-group and then we decide to venture out to the Carnegie Deli.
I’d heard of this place before and I thought it would have some kind of iconic store front, so when we walked up and it looked like any old hole-in-the-wall deli, I was pretty sure we were at the knockoff version of the real deli.
After walking inside and seeing the walls covered from floor to ceiling with autographed photos of celebrities who had visited, I was starting to be convinced that this really was the right place.
When we opened the menu and saw that the average sandwich was going to set us back $24.95, we knew this was the right place. And we almost fell off our chairs!
We deliberated for a moment and decided to split a Reuben sandwich ($24.95 and order of onion rings ($6.95).
It didn’t take long for our order to arrive and oh was it delicious! I don’t think I’ve ever seen such huge portions! I guess they really do try to give you your money’s worth!
I’m notorious for sliding my camera setting over to video without noticing it. When it comes time to snap a photo, I push the button, wait for the picture to take, and then usually swear when I realize I’ve taken a video instead of a picture. It’s maddening, but here’s a short clip of our food and no swearing :)
As you can see, it was GINORMOUS and I can assure you it was equally delicious. As if dinner wasn’t enough, my partner in crime suggested that we get a piece of cheesecake for dessert. I was a little skeptical but being the food lover that I am, I couldn’t turn it down!
I’m so happy I caved because that cheesecake was divine!
The iphone was included to show the scale of the cheesecake, but I didn’t get it at the right angle. The piece was massive and totally delish.
The next day was the first official day of the conference so we ate official conference food for breakfast and lunch and both meals were very good.
I know, I know…my portions were huge. It was partly because I was super hungry at every meal and partly because I wanted to be sure to stock up when I could because I never knew where our adventures would take us. I really didn’t want to end up hangry (hungry+angry) later in the day.
Then there was dinner. Oh dinner.
A local blogger highly recommended the Halal Cart so we scouted them out at dinner time. Luckily there was one right outside our hotel and the smells coming from that little cart were enough to make my mouth water. We each got the combo plate because we were “very much hungry” as the guy aptly put it.
The food did not disappoint. Oh em gee. The meat was tender and seasoned to perfection, the rice was unreal, the salad was a nice balance to the rest and the creamy and spicy sauces were divine. I want more of it right now…
It was nice enjoy this meal at the little table in our room overlooking the skyscrapers around us. The air conditioning was also wonderful. Have I mentioned it was hotter than hell that weekend? Well, it was. But during this dinner we were sweating from the hot sauce rather than the sauna-like air outside which was a great change of pace.
By day 3 we were exhausted and sleep totally trumped breakfast. In fact, it trumped the first sessions of the day too. We rolled out of bed when we were ready and we choked down the “Starbucks” coffee in our hotel room. I prepared it just like the directions said, but it was not good. At that point it was more about the caffeine than the enjoyment so we toughed it out.
We ate the official lunch that afternoon and while it was good, it wasn’t photo-worthy. I remember having a chipotle chicken sandwich and watermelon/feta salad. I know there was more, but I must have been enraptured by Katie Couric on stage because I just don’t remember.
Later that day we headed way downtown to visit the 9/11 memorial (more on that tomorrow) and we grabbed hot dogs from a street cart since they were on both of our “food bucket lists” for the weekend.
The hot dog was great, but the real star of the show was dinner that night from Grimaldi’s Pizza.
I’d read tons of comments on another blog post about this being a “must do” thing in NYC. So many different people were raving about this pizza that I just had to check it out for myself and fortunately Diana was willing to make the trek over to Brooklyn to wait an HOUR for this meal.
We got off the subway in Brooklyn and marveled at the pretty neighborhood we were in. I grabbed a water to keep from passing out due to the heat and then we hauled ourselves over a few blocks to Front Street which is just under the bridge on the Brooklyn side.
Before we even crossed the street, I saw the line.
Oh boy. People weren’t kidding. The line was crazy.
When we got up closer, Diana heard an employee tell someone the wait was currently an hour and a half.
We had to make a decision to stay and miss the parties were planning to attend that night – or – head all the way back to our hotel just in time to make it to the second party.
We decided to stay for the pizza.
As only true food lovers would :)
We started with Olde Brooklyn sodas (orange for Diana and black cherry for me) and antipasto. Let me tell you that my doctor would not have been pleased, but that cheese, those olives, that salami and those roasted red peppers were out of this world.
And the pizza…Oh, the pizza!
We settled on a large pizza (because why not?!) with roasted peppers, sun dried tomatoes, capers, olives, mushrooms ricotta, and fresh basil.
There are no words for how amazing it was.
Really, no words.
We woke up Sunday and after feeling super sad that it was our last day together in the Big Apple, we headed out to the American Girl store to pick up something special for our girls. During checkout we realized that Diana’s wallet was missing but after calling the hotel and being transferred to Lost & Found and ultimately security, we learned that she’d accidentally left it in our room when we checked out. They had it waiting for us and once we picked it up from the security office in the belly of the hotel, all was right with the world and we were a sweaty mess from running all around.
Time to check off the last item on our “food bucket list” – bagels!
You can’t leave New York without getting an authentic NY bagel. Also, we needed air conditioning STAT.
The hotel concierge recommended a place a couple block away so that’s where we went.
Pick-A-Bagel probably isn’t home of the best bagels we could have scored, but it was good enough and the bagels were great.
And that, my friends, is all she wrote about food.
For now anyway ;)
Stay tuned for the last installment of my BlogHer12 trip…The Favorites!