Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A lunch date with New York City

I visited my brother last weekend in New York, didn’t show up with my regular long list of restaurants I wanted to hit, decided to go with the flow, not an easy thing for me to do. I did however, manage to coax my brother into a cab (while he was on the phone and not sure what I was motioning to him, just shrugging and agreeing) and to my favorite lunch place. Lunch in NYC always means one of two things to me: A long leisurely way to forget the pressure and panic of "We are in New York!!!!! We have to do it all!!", to share a bottle of wine, take it slow, people watch, and enjoy good food & friends . The other, is to save my greenback for an addition to my wardrobe, or a cool pair of boots -and find something quick, easy but equally as delicious. I think it is important to take a time-out for lunch, but sometimes you just want to keep the momentum, not be served a menu, by a waiter, with water & ice, and have to power down midday... you catch my drift.

There are so many great places to eat while in New York that it's hard to not make this blog 180 pages... but there are two lunch spots I always crave around 11am while roaming the streets of the big apple.

The first is Taim. Over the years I have sent many friends there - every single one of them now hooked forever. Falafel, israeli salad, fried eggplant and tahini - all the most delicious of it’s kind in the world, I am sure of it.

There are three types of falafel balls - Harissa (my fave), Green (basil and spinach), and roasted red pepper. They are tiny, moist, crispy and delicious. The place is also tiny... just a little bar for about 5 people to sit facing the street, and benches outside in the summer. The neighborhood is beautiful, Waverly Place is one of my favorite streets to take a stroll, and sitting out on a bench with a platter of israeli deliciousness is a great way to spend lunchtime in NYC (even if it means a little tahini on my outfit for the day - par for the course - I don’t think even a proper table and chairs could save me from myself).

After grabbing a bite there earlier this summer, we walked off lunch in the rain & had a run in with Gisele Bundchen. Obviously I was a frizzy haired, falafel breathing monster, for my 2 minute chat with the most beautiful woman on the planet. I desperately wanted to tell her that I usually smell like peach gum, and take pride in my hair. Anyways... Taim must haves: platter of falafel balls with Israeli Salad,Hummus, & pita; fried eggplant & tahini app; and of course either the homemade lemonade or iced tea - both are amazing. It’s a can’t go wrong menu. Taim is at 222 Waverly Place between 11th and Perry.

Second great tiny lunchtime-hole-in-the-wall: Olive's in Soho (on Prince, between Wooster & Greene).

Another incredible spot - this one with no seats inside and a bench outside crammed full of all types of Soho locals inhaling Sandwiches, iced lattes & delicious cookies. There are days when I sit down and spread out my whole lunch on that red bench and others, when I can barely find a place to squeeze my tush in for a spot to refuel for shopping (another messy endeavor). Scrumptious, quality lunch - quick and cheap - so you can save time and money, and then spend both hitting Intermix just down the street. My favorites at Olive’s are the Smoked Turkey Sandwich, the soups (whatever it is that day)- and a hot or iced latte depending on the weather.


  1. I read this post a while ago...and just a few days ago I was watching the Food Network at Taim was featured on Throwdown with Bobby Flay!

  2. My favorite blog! Love the photos and all the food descriptions.mmmmm