Monday, May 25, 2009

A few bites out of the Big Apple

I love the major legal holidays, because you can park just about anywhere in Manhattan without feeding the meters, and so we drove into the city on Monday for lunch at Ipuddo NY, 65 Fourth Ave., a branch of a ramen chain in Japan that is widely known for its tonkotsu, or pork, broth.

We liked everything about Ippudo -- the shouted greetings from the staff, the reggae soundtrack and the food. We tried the shiomaru NY ramen, akamaru modern ramen (both $13), pork buns ($9) and black cod with miso ($12). The broth of the shiomaru ramen was rich but the akamaru ramen was even better with its splash of soy. Ippudo NY uses Berkshire pork, a breed raised without antibiotics or growth hormones. The two spicy pork buns, cut into four pieces, wowed us and compared favorably with those at Momofuku. The fish was moist and delicious.

This ramen was better than the noodle soup at our old standby, Batten Ramen in Fort Lee, but we missed the delicious gyoza we have on each visit there.

After our lunch, we drove over to Dirty Bird To Go on West 14th Street to pick up a rotisserie chicken ($13.95) and side dishes for dinner at home. The free-roaming chickens are raised in Pennsylvania Amish country without antibiotics and fed a vegetarian diet, according to the menu. 

After a long walk in Central Park, we stopped at Fairway Market in Harlem for three pounds of ground coffee and fresh Murray's free-roaming chicken. The prices are higher in the city than at the Fairway Market in Paramus. I don't buy Murray's wings in Paramus because they are priced higher than the leg quarters; in Manhattan, the wings were over $3 a pound, compared with $1.89 for leg quarters (20 cents a pound more than in New Jersey). I did pay $4.99 for a large can of Bumble Bee red salmon, compared to $5.99 at ShopRite, which no longer puts this item on sale. 

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