December 05, 2015

Can't stop, won't stop: The 2015 Andy, David, Danica reunion food tour

After working in fashion for more than ten years, I have a whole group of really close friends who, well, don't really eat...much. Or, at least, when I hang out with them, eating is not a huge priority of a group activity. On the opposite end of the spectrum, having spent seven years at the New York Post hanging out with an entire team staffed with hedonists and food obsessives—and then, much later, working as exec editor at Epicurious—I have a whole other group of really close friends who have eating pegged as their number-one priority of a group activity.

Rewind to yesterday.

Two of my friends-for-life-from-the-Post, Andy Wang (former NYP real estate editor) and David Landsel (former NYP travel editor), just happened to be in New York City at the same time for the first time in ages. So I took the day off work to hang out with them—and as the day unfolded, so did what turned out to be a pretty insane eating schedule.

Here's what happened:

10 a.m. I met Andy at the Gansevoort Market, where I grabbed a sausage roll and cup of tea at Myers of Keswick and he had an orange soda—because he'd already eaten breakfast risotto at Santina before meeting up. What? Santina is open for breakfast? You know what this means: This means I'm going to start scheduling all my breakfast meetings from now on at Santina.

11:00 a.m. We're texting with David and he's running late, so we decide to take a walk over to Dominique Ansel Kitchen, just to see what Ansel has been up to. The last time I was there was just a couple of weeks ago for a Wool and the Gang event—where I spotted Ansel knitting a snood.

A video posted by Danica Lo (@danicalo) on

David took the train in from Newark that morning, so was hungry when he arrived. I'd already ordered a cup of tea, some green tea beignets, and a flaky pastry sandwich thing with jam and cream:

And David ordered himself a croque monsieur, which turned out to be the most epic croque monsieur of all time. Good value for money, we agreed all around.

12 p.m. Andy had a meeting at Cafe Clover—his parting words to us were: "Don't eat anything!"—so we dropped him off there and decided to walk over to the LES, stopping at Morgenstern's Ice Cream on the way because, well, why not. We ordered three scoops: salted pretzel caramel, american egg custard, and burnt honey. Highly recommend.

1:30 p.m. After a walk through Essex Street Market, we met up with Andy again at Ivan Ramen on Clinton Street, where we'd come specifically to try out Ivan's new-ish Dan Dan Ramen.

It was, predictably, delicious, and we also ordered daikon radish, pork musubi (below), tonkotsu tsukumen, and Herbie's International Sandwich. Everything was ace, super yum—but Ivan is a genius, so yeah.

2:30 p.m. We were pretty full after lunch, so we decided to walk a little, and pay a look-see visit to Xian Famous Foods, one of our favorite noodle spots, on St. Marks. We totally resisted going in, because we were stuffed. Andy and David wanted to try the chicken sandwich at Fuku, but we knew we needed a coffee break first, so we stopped at Tarallucci et Vino for some espresso before popping next door for this. Verdict: eh.

3 to 5 p.m. Onwards, we forged up through the Union Square Holiday Market, which seems bigger and even more unwieldy, crowd-wise, than previous years, and headed up to Eataly, which was packed and intense and stressful. We tried to take a break at the Nomad, but the library bar was packed and Nomad Bar around the corner wasn't open yet. Somehow we managed to catch the M7 bus (I love a bus) uptown to Parm UWS. Now, I've been to all the Parms in New York—multiple times. There's a Parm next door to my office and, for one brief two-week period a few months ago, when work was super-stressful, I'm pretty sure I went there every single day and ate salad, pasta, and ice cream cake. I love Parm, it's one of my favorite, most reliable, affordable places to dine in New York. at Parm UWS, Andy ordered a "Randy Levine" sandwich off the menu, we got the chicken parm, a Sunday salad, and bolognese. Everything was excellent, as usual.

6:30 p.m. After Parm, we walked a little, but it was getting cold, so we hopped in a cab and headed back downtown for our final stop of the night: one of our all-time favorite dining experiences (where we used to bring groups of friends and call our monthly gatherings Chinese Food Fight Club), Szechuan hotpot at Legend in Chelsea. Our friend Alex and his girlfriend Ash joined us and it was awesome. I was dead full and headed home afterwards to immediately crawl into bed and pass out, but David went off to another dinner party, and Andy headed back uptown to meet some friends for Korean barbecue. Because why not.

~ fin ~