Monday, November 23, 2009

Good Eats: Katz’s Delicatessen, NYC



Here since 1888, this casual spot with atmospheric hanging salamis is the oldest deli in NYC. There is no pork here, only kosher-style fare, and almost everything is made or cured on site. Service is cafeteria-style, and portions are huge. They are famous for their hot pastrami on rye and hot dog (the taught skin sort of pops when you bite in), but you can also get what they claim is New York’s best cheesecake or have what Meg Ryan had for lunch in that famous scene in “When Harry Met Sally” (customers have acted out this scene under the sign designating the spot). And then there are latkes (potato pancakes), stuffed cabbage, and knoblewurst (garlic sausage). But whatever you do, don’t lose the ticket you are given when you enter, or your bill will be $50.

Katz’s Delicatessen 205 E. Houston St./Ludlow St., Lower East Side, (800) 4-HOT-DOG, (212) 254-2246. M-Tu 8am-9:45pm, W-Thur to 10:45pm, F-Sat to 2:45am, Sun to 10:45pm.

More things to do on the Lower East Side.
 
More things to do in NYC.

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways. 

image c2009 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Good Eats: Brick Lane Curry House, NYC



Named for London’s narrow Brick Lane, which is home to a collection of Indian restaurants, this popular venue’s menu lists all the usual suspects plus a few more. Interestingly, the colorful walls are painted with real paprika, turmeric, and coriander mixed into the paint. Some diners here are actually brave enough to take the Phaal Challenge. It is claimed that this Phaal curry is the world’s hottest--so hot that the chef dons a gas mask when he prepares it to keep his throat from getting irritated during cooking. Those who take the challenge must finish all the curry, but they can take as long as they like. Those who actually manage to down it all get a free beer, a certificate, and their picture on the restaurant’s website. N.Y.C. resident Suzanne Meyers says, “It made my throat feel like it was closing up.” She and her dining companion last week, Raul Flores (depicted in photo), didn’t make it to the finish line.

Brick Lane Curry House 306-308 E. 6th St./1st. Ave., 212-979-2900. L-D daily; $$. Reservations advised. 

More things to do in NYC.  

More travel articles to inspire you and help you plan some spectacular getaways.

 
image c2009 Suzanne Meyers

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Great Sleeps: Playa Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Mexico


Built in 1955, this low-rise (four stories) colonial-style resort features rooms with either a terrace or private balcony. Its choice beach-front location faces Isla de Venados. The beach is sandy, the surf is gentle, and thatched palapas provide respite from the sun. The quietest rooms are in a three-story section surrounding well-tended interior gardens; those by the restaurant and beach can be noisy (the beach is one of the town’s liveliest). Rooms are decorated with dark wood furnishings and colonial accents. For more than 40 years, the hotel has hosted Fiesta Mexicana on Saturdays (http://laoriginalfiestamexicana.com/ ), and fireworks light up the sky on Sunday nights. A popular passtime is relaxing in traditional rocking chairs from Concordia and watching the lobby action. The resort’s open-air La Terraza Playa restaurant-bar overlooks the beach, and rock climbing walls, a zip line, and a spa with a temazcal (an igloo-shaped sauna room where guests are seated around red-hot lava rocks) and a cenote (cave pool).


Playa Mazatlan Av. Playa Gaviotas 202, Zona Dorada (Golden Zone), Playa Norte, 3 mi. from downtown, 800-762-5816 in the U.S, 669-989-0555; direct to hotel 011-52-669-989-0555; http://www.playamazatlan.com/; http://www.hotelplayamazatlan.com.mx/. 423 units; $110+/2. 3 pools; indoor & outdoor hot tub; fitness room; spa.

More things to do in Mazatlan. 


More things to do in Mexico. 


Travel articles to inspire and help you plan trips.

image c2009 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Good Eats: Yonah Schimmel, NYC



This knish shop hasn’t changed a bit since it opened in 1910--the knishes were sold from a push cart from 1890 to 1910--except maybe for a few newfangled electric appliances. The shop even has its original dumb waiter. All of the heavy, hearty, baseball-size knishes are vegetarian (the traditional potato is a personal favorite) and are still made by hand and baked (never fried) downstairs, as they have been for generations. Consider washing one down with a fizzy cherry-lime Ricky, orange cream, or egg cream made--all with authentic old-time soda water. This delish knish shop is in a scene in the Woody Allen movie, “Whatever Works.”

Yonah Schimmel 137 E. Houston St./Eldridge St., Lower East Side, (212) 477-2858.

More things to do on the Lower East Side.
 
More things to do in NYC.
   
More vegan-vegetarian places. 

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways. 

image c2009 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Good Eats: The Enthusiastic Gourmet tour, NYC--CLOSED



Take some tasty bites of the Big Apple’s Jewish ethnic delights on the “NY Nosh Tour” of the Lower East Side. Guide Susan Rosenbaum, who leads all the tours herself, is nothing if not enthusiastic and obviously loves leading her groups through this often overlooked Old World section of Manhattan. She will feed both your mouth and your mind. Stops can vary, but usually include a delish knish shop that is in a scene in the most recent Woody Allen movie (“Whatever Works”), an “appetizing store” that specializes in smoked and pickled fish, and the famous delicatessen where that memorable scene in “When Sally Met Harry” was filmed—not to mention a tiny matzoh factory where you get to taste the product hot out of the basket.

The Enthusiastic Gourmet; (646) 209-4724. $50.

More things to do on the Lower East Side.

More NYC tours.

More things to do in NYC.  

More food tours.

More travel articles to inspire you and help you plan some spectacular getaways.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Good Eats: Great N.Y. Noodletown, NYC


Locals, tourists, and police alike bump elbows in this unassuming and small dining room. Diners are moved in and out quickly and find themselves sharing any empty seats with incoming diners. The kitchen serves up a legendary bowl of wonton noodle soup featuring succulent dumplings filled with sweet whole shrimp and a topping of roast pork. Spicy yellow Singapore chow fun is another favorite, and some declare that the salt-baked squid is to die for (salt baking is light deep-frying). Personal noodle favorites include lo mein (chubby noodles) and chow fun (flat noodles), but you can choose from wheat, rice, and egg noodle items. After, take a walk around Chinatown and also along Canal Street, where you can pick up some knock-off bargains.

Great N.Y. Noodletown 28 1/2 Bowery/Bayard, Chinatown, 212-349-0923. Daily 9am-4am; $. Cash only.

More things to do in NYC.

More travel articles to inspire you and help you plan some spectacular getaways.
 

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sights to See: Guanajuato, Mexico


Near Leon and not far from San Miguel de Allende, and about 200 miles west of Mexico City and 200 miles east of Guadalajara, Guanajuato is more or less in the center of Mexico. Its altitude is 6,500, and it can get chilly. Founded by the Spanish in the early 16th century, it is the capital of the Mexican state of the same name. More of a workers’ town than San Miguel, it sees fewer foreigners but is vibrantly filled with young adults. Attractions include the childhood home of muralist Diego Rivera, who was born here in 1886, and the ever-popular mummy museum. A World Heritage Site since 1988, this unique town sports narrow alleys (don't miss "kiss alley," depicted in this image), pedestrian streets, colorfully painted buildings, colonial architecture, multiple plazas, underground traffic tunnels, and no traffic lights.

see my video overview of the city:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lywMVTyJMX0

read more about the city:
http://caroundtheworld.com/guanajuato

more things to do in Guanajuato. 

More things to do in Mexico.

more places to kiss around the world.

More love sites. 

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan trips. 

image c2009 Chris Gray

Friday, November 6, 2009

Good Eats: Las Mercedes, Guanajuato, Mexico


Contemporary local Mexican cuisine is served here in a hillside home that doubles as a family-run restaurant. Here, you literally dine in a local family's home--the upstairs is used as their residence—and, with menu selections that are tasty and refined and made with fresh local ingredients, the chef/family member definitely proves that not all Mexican cuisine is about tacos. In addition, the atmosphere is welcoming and friendly and the view expansive. The gourmet lunch I enjoyed a few weeks ago included a salad with cactus and squash blossoms, little chilies filled with cheese, a rich chicken mole, a dessert corn cake topped with coconut ice cream, and a horchata drink made of sweetened rice water.
Las Mercedes Calle de Arriba No. 6. Fracc, San Javier, 473-73-2-73-75; www.visiteguanajuato.com.mx/restaurantes/las_mercedes/index.html.

more things to do in Guanajuato. 

see my video overview of the city.

More things to do in Mexico.

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan trips.
image c2009 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Misc.: TallBoys Band, Ajijic, Mexico


A few weeks ago I met TallBoy David Truly at a festive dinner at Hacienda Ajijic’s Steak Place. I think I heard him sing "Somewhere in Mexico," too, but it could have been the margaritas doing their thing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pV4xh4g5WJQ

More things to do in Ajijic.

More things to do in Mexico

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sights to See: Diego Rivera Museum, Guanajuato, Mexico



Muralist Diego Rivera was born in Guanajuato in 1886. His modest home is now a museum that houses dozens of his original works, as well as galleries displaying the work of guest artists in rotating exhibits.
Diego Rivera Museum, www.diegorivera.com/index.php .

more things to do in Guanajuato. 

see my video overview of the city.

More things to do in Mexico.

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan trips.

image c2009 Carole Terwilliger Meyers