45. New York City has so many amazing restaurants and special stores to visit. One of my favorites, at the top of my list, is ZABARS. I love how Google Search calls it "New York City's Gourmet Epicurian Emporium". It really is an emporium! From the moment you walk in the door, you are overwhelmed with sights, sounds and smells all around you, not to mention the people anxious to get past you through the door. They pour through the doors all day.
I learned about Zabars from my sister, Esther, who visits each year with a wonderful list of "must-go-to" places. She heard about it from a sweet co-worker who visits NYC every year. So we just had to check it out! We first went into their deli on the corner and ordered yummy panninis and their homemade frozen yogurt, which you can taste test with little plastic spoons, in the Baskin Robins style. You have to try them all and I think my daughter not only tasted them all but brought home a boat load of little plastic spoons. They show up randomly around the house.
The cheese shop and marinated olives are the first yummy items you see...I always spend time there. You can get any and every type, flavor and make of cheese from around the world! Samples are out...but you have to swoop in quick, because they disappear very fast! I remember the older couple who were hovered over the cheese case. Thinking they were reading the packaging on a hunk of cheese, I stepped past them. But when I looked back, they were devouring an entire plate of crackers and cheese. I guess it was dinner for them that night. Then I make a quick left up the stairs to shop in their cooking supply emporium. Every make, size, shape and color of gadget
and necessary tool you might need to cook or bake. I love their
unbleached parchment paper and like to pick up a new baking item each time I visit.
After I fill my basket upstairs, I come back downstairs...check out the seafood case, but I usually don't purchase any. Fresh fish, in a brown bag, carried around the city for several hours, then onto the Long Island Railroad train for an additional hour...I think I would get thrown off the train. So just before you get to the bakery, I stop at the fresh pasta cooler and collect delightful packets of tortellini with pesto and cheese filling or pumpkin ravioli with cheese...the best. I will sometimes stop at the bakery but then make a right and go directly to the bread and pastry isle. The line is always wrapped around the corner, but it is worth it. You can get any type of bread from any country or pastry like strudel or nut roll potica.
The coffee kiosk is a must and while I wait in line, I choose several new jams and honeys. The supply they have is so delightful. Their coffee is fresh and is pouring out of giant barrels standing on the floor. Then we check out the teas, spices, mustards, spreads, crackers, specialty items and then head for the check out. I always seem to pick up odds and ends along the way.
The next time you watch "You've Got Mail" and get to the scene where Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are in the grocery store...that is Zabars! Oh, and did I mention, the bigger than life personalities of the customers and the store clerks. It is an amazing experience...so the next time you are in NYC...go uptown, on Broadway to Zabars!
"He who distinguishes the true savor of food
can never be a glutton;
he who does not
cannot be otherwise."
~ Henry David Thoreau