culture, food, Lifestyle, New York, travel

New York: food and drink

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 I don’t like to wait too long for food, and I like even less to wait too long for a pint of beer. But when you hear from several sources that Shake Shack, seemingly the most hipster gourmet burger chain in New York, has queues half an hour long you suddenly really want some.

I’d heard the burgers were amazing and when I saw beer on the menu it made it a bit easier to stick it out in the queue. The line moves faster than you might think (but if you’re that bothered there’s a web cam to show you how busy it is before you arrive) and once you order you see it’s pretty heavily staffed.

I got a cheese burger and a beer for just under $10. Was it worth the wait? I wouldn’t go again at such a busy time (it does seem to have its quiet moments during the day) but it was very tasty. The flavours reminded me a lot of McDonald’s but the ingredients were clearly much better quality.

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 Brunch is apparently a big thing in New York, and a lot of the good restaurants book up for Sunday brunch pretty quickly. For some late breakfast we headed to Five Leaves on Bedford Avenue in Green Point, fairly near where we stayed with our friend Toni. This casual oyster bar, opened with the backing of Heath Ledger’s estate when he died before he saw his cafe plans come to fruition, was packed.

We grabbed a table in the sunshine and shared a huge stack of ricotta pancakes with honeycomb butter, banana, blueberries and strawberries, and some dandelion bruschetta, all for about $20 – pretty decent value considering we had to abandon half the pancakes.

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Further down Bedford Avenue is a string of great vintage shops, boutiques and bars and restaurants – I highly recommend a visit if you go to Williamsburg. We had a quick drink on the roof terrace at Juliette but there’s a big restaurant downstairs if you’re hungry.

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I didn’t take my DSLR out to dinner with our good friend Ayesha but here’s a little iPhone pic of the great Mexican food at Zona Rosa on Lorimer Street and the corner of Metropolitan Avenue. We were drawn to this place for three main reasons – a roof terrace, cool fairly lights and an old Airstream that made up the side of the kitchen. We didn’t make it to a table on the terrace but the food here is great. We ordered a selection of tacos and our hearts fell a bit when we were presented with a high tea-style get-up. Then we got very full. Eyes, belly…

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And here are some pics I nabbed from their website…

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And I didn’t get anything from this next place but how cool is this? Draft beer to take away? Why don’t we have this in Britain?

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