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Tips for NYC area food souvenirs (ingredients or products)?

thanks for the tips!

My bad re: New York-- I can't even remember what I said but I actually meant that I wasn't intending to cover them in nyc based posts. An upstate post would be fine.

I don't often do quick perishables, but make exceptions-- my mom likes to visit and bring home a dozen bagels to freeze, for example. With the cookies I'm going to have to investigate how long they'll last for.

My readers also like ideas about inexpensive things to bring back to the office to share with everyone on return (to thank your coworkers for covering for you). A batch of cookies certainly fits.

I bring back quick perishables for myself too-- even if it's just the next morning, enjoying a baked good from Europe the first day home with my coffee is a way of extending the vacation feeling. I wouldn't dream of gifting anyone a quick perishable they hadn't specifically requested.

Also, food items are just one of the many souvenirs I cover on my site- most of the entries are things (like yukatas from Japan, Liberty shirts from London etc). Sometimes the thing itself is less significant than the story behind it-- I like to research things/food items and provide some background about why it represents the area.

Apr 02, 2014
Kikinyc in Manhattan

Tips for NYC area food souvenirs (ingredients or products)?

I'm definitely doing GCT-- my office is across the street and I eat at the oyster bar all the time.

Mar 25, 2014
Kikinyc in Manhattan

Tips for NYC area food souvenirs (ingredients or products)?

All great ideas, thanks. I'll probably end up doing both bialys and bagels in the end. Cider (and cider donuts) I associate more with New England, but good idea for when I get around to that.

Noting all your suggestions, thank you!

Mar 25, 2014
Kikinyc in Manhattan

Tips for NYC area food souvenirs (ingredients or products)?

Kathryn this is beyond helpful, exactly the resources I need. I do a lot of museum shops so those recs are very helpful too. I've heard the modern is great but haven't been so this will be a great excuse-- research!

Mar 25, 2014
Kikinyc in Manhattan

Tips for NYC area food souvenirs (ingredients or products)?

Thanks, forgot about midtown lunch, that is a good site. I'm planning to write on Chelsea market-- Madison square is a great idea too.

Mar 25, 2014
Kikinyc in Manhattan

Tips for NYC area food souvenirs (ingredients or products)?

Lol not exactly famous yet! : ) I do love Budapest though, I would love to see your friend's blog.

Great ideas on the sodas-- not the best souvenir in terms of transport but I make exceptions for originality-- love that the espresso soda dates back 100 years.

Mar 25, 2014
Kikinyc in Manhattan

Tips for NYC area food souvenirs (ingredients or products)?

Thanks to all for taking the time to respond-- some great ideas here.

re: egg creams, bialys and pickles-- great suggestions, I was also thinking maybe Lexington candy shop would be good to feature-- in my old hood too. I could do a couple of places, photogenic is always a plus!

re: gforceny's comment about no one eating bialys/egg creams-- that may be true, and even more of a reason I would choose to feature the items (a chance to experience a bit of NY's past before it completely disappears).

This is true for not just NYC but for all of the areas I cover-- e.g., locals in Budapest aren't running out to get hungarian lace necessarily, but a tourist might have more interest in learning about those traditions (before they are lost forever).

That said, I also cover modern traditions, so if you have any ideas for modern food souvenirs I'd love those too (I'll probably cover Levain or Momofuku cookies for example).

re: ethnic food souvenirs-- while "americanized" Chinese or americanized Italian would be something I would feature because that would be the NY twist on them, I would not feature ethnic things you can buy here-- because I would feature those in the original country.

Lol don't think I could feature egg rolls to take home though!

But, and I am getting beyond the scope of my original question, I do have a section on my blog called "quick bites" in which I cover a few of my favorite quick pit stops when I visit a city-- so much tourist stuff is geared toward the best restaurants but I know when I'm running around a new city I don't have hours to kill lingering over lunch so I love quick options that are centrally located-- like if a tourist was there anyway sightseeing or touring-- not some out of the way spot way out in a borough (which are easy enough to find on sites like this). So if anyone has suggestions for those too, they are welcome. An example I did for Vienna were the awesome wurst stands everywhere-- fantastic to grab a bite while touring.

Mar 25, 2014
Kikinyc in Manhattan

Tips for NYC area food souvenirs (ingredients or products)?

Thanks Kathryn, very helpful.

After I posted I thought "oh let me try a search," (duh!) so I've been reading through some threads-- I hadn't found the Serious Eats links you pointed to, so those are v. helpful too.

My question is a little different too because I'm looking to make shopping part of the "experience"-- it's not just about grabbing the stuff at one purveyor, but maybe visiting a spot where you can get a sense of the history/uniqueness behind it. So I'd rather recommend a bakery that feels "New York" that would inspire someone to go there. My posts are very photo-oriented too.

So maybe the question is more-- what place would make a good story to write about bagels, b&w cookies, pickles, etc?

Egg creams sound perfect! I'll find a nyc spot that does them well (ideas?), photograph the experience, then show you can bring it home by buying the Fox U-Bet.

Re: perishables-- I wlll write about cakes or bagels that you should buy on the the last day or morning you leave. But I need to draw the line at recommending stuff to be put on ice (I personally had a bad experience with this trying to bring NC bbq home). 70% of my readers are from the US (next is the UK), but the rest are worldwide.

Re: TSA-- I give packing tips for liquids, but I try not to recommend wine/liquor if there are other options.

Mar 23, 2014
Kikinyc in Manhattan

Tips for NYC area food souvenirs (ingredients or products)?

I write a popular blog about travel and "souvenir" shopping-- it's not all about food, but food definitely makes a great souvenir. It's been easy to write about foreign places I visit because I know what I can/can't get here in NYC.

But I'm finding it hard to figure out what to write about here in NYC (or in the USA for that matter) because I'm not really sure about availability elsewhere. I look for things that reflect the region-- I do some research on the background of an item, go to the store and photograph it and the surrounding area so the reader can get a feel for the experience and put it in context so it's more than just a "thing".

For NYC, one of the items I was thinking of are bagels of course-- wasn't sure which bagelry would best represent "classic" NYC bagels. Maybe black and white cookies too? Not sure what else?

I also like to focus on an ingredient, then photograph a recipe you can make back home (eg I bought paprika in Budapest came home made goulash). Are there certain ingredients you can only get in the area?

Thanks for any tips!

Mar 23, 2014
Kikinyc in Manhattan

Anyone eat at Toll Gate Inn, Litchfield recently? Other local spots?

Sue- thanks for the reply. I have been to Hopkins before for lunch (again years ago). I think you are dead on in your description. Your order even sounds familiar! I'll definitely consider it-- it does have the great view. Since I posted I managed to learn that the Toll Gate Inn restaurant has undergone another name change-- Mockingbird Kitchen and Bar. Their FB page is somewhat cryptic though with no interior pics-- which makes me wonder if they covered up the classic murals or altered he historical appeal in favor of some "trendy" aesthetic. I also see Whitehorse gets a mediocre zagat review-- despite accolades as best pub in CT.

Aug 30, 2012
Kikinyc in Southern New England

Anyone eat at Toll Gate Inn, Litchfield recently? Other local spots?

Hello!
I am visiting my mom in Goshen this weekend and we are bringing another couple. We just grill out when visiting my mom or hit Bohemian Pizza but we'd like to show the other couple some local atmosphere without driving too far. Years ago I had an event at the Toll Gate Inn in Litchfield and it was fabulous-- great old historic dining room and great food. But that was years ago and I haven't been since-- I can't seem to find recent reviews. Anyone been lately?
What about other local spots (within a 15-20 min drive)? I was thinking about a fun casual night at the Village Pub on the green-- but again ate there years ago and see it's been panned here more recently. I don't want to do anything like West Street Grill or CT-- we are from NYC and these don't have the country casual atmosphere I'm looking for. My mom said Bohemian Pizza has gone downhill lately too.
Another option I was considering was White Horse Tavern-- but this is really pushing it distance wise. Any ideas/suggestions?

Aug 30, 2012
Kikinyc in Southern New England

Garlic shrimp in Lisbon, Cacais or Sintra and other questions

Thanks for the info, very helpful. I realize Lisbon is 40 minutes or so from Sintra and was only planning a day trip there. But I thought if I am based in Sintra (Penhalonga resort) I should be able to cab to either cascais or sintra? I think I am in between them.

Mar 19, 2012
Kikinyc in Spain/Portugal

Garlic shrimp in Lisbon, Cacais or Sintra and other questions

Heading to Portugal next week for 5 days. We will be staying in the Sintra province and will day trip into Lisbon. One of my favorite dishes is shrimp cooked in olive oil with garlic. What is this dish called in portuguese? Will the shrimp be local and fresh this time of year? I am looking for recommendations in Lisbon for lunch (won't have time to venture out of the central area) and/or dinner recommendations around our hotel-- cascais and sintra are both within cabbing distance.

Other questions: what seafood is in season this time of year (if you know the names in English and Portugese that would be extremely helpful).

In case we tire of seafood, are there any dish specialties using typical Portuguese sausage? I love Caldo verde but am unfamiliar with other dishes.

Finally, any simple, rustic but delicious off the beaten track type portugese cuisine restaurants in the Sintra/Cascaiis area for dinner? Nothing modern or nouveau. We will be cabbing so no need to be near public transport.

Mar 18, 2012
Kikinyc in Spain/Portugal