A Quick Trip to NYC

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My little cousin Jennifer has a bun in the oven! (Don’t worry: she’s now a bit older than she was in the photo below.)

When she asked if I’d attend her baby shower, the answer was obvious; after all, Jennifer’s always been more like a sister to me than a cousin. Along with my big sister Fiona, we were basically raised by our grandparents while our parents were at work. 

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Poor Jennifer. Because she was an only child starved for companionship, it was easy to cajole her into playing servant to my queen or shoe salesperson to my snobby shopper. I spent a large chunk of my formative years bossing Jennifer around. I’ve been trying to make it up to her ever since.

I couldn’t miss Jennifer’s baby shower. So bright and early on Friday morning, I kissed the kids and hubby goodbye, hopped on a plane, and flew to the opposite coast to help celebrate the little one’s impending arrival. 

I can’t say I was looking forward to the flight – which included a layover in Phoenix – so I made sure my carry-on was stuffed with shelf-stable food for the skies: SeaSnax, macadamia nuts, canned Ventresca, a couple of clementines, and various Paleo treats from Steve’s Original.

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Somewhere over Kansas, I cracked open the can of tuna and belched the ripe, fishy fumes directly into my Big Mac-eating seatmate’s face. (Okay, not really. I ended up eating only half of the food, and saved the rest for my return trip. And the can o’ fish — which ain’t stinky at all — stayed with Jennifer, so she could try it in the privacy of her own home.)

It was already dark by the time I arrived at Jennifer and JC’s apartment, and I was cranky and tired. Luckily, my food-obsessed cousin knew exactly how to raise my spirits: She arranged for a huge delivery of porchetta and sides from Sara Jenkins’s tiny Porchetta shop.

Delivery food often suffers in transit, but not this meal. I couldn’t resist picking at the crunchy skin wrapped around the tender, juicy porcine goodness as we waited for Jennifer’s other guests to join us for dinner.

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To accompany the porchetta, we also had salad, braised greens and garlic…

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…and roasted cauliflower with pomegranate.

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It makes me sad that I live in the ‘burbs, where delivery is never quite this revelatory.

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On Saturday, we all woke up early to prepare for the baby shower. For breakfast, I made everyone a quick frittata with leftovers from the fridge: porchetta, braised greens, sautéed onions, and chimichurri sauce.

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The rest of the day was all about the baby shower. Again, the food was fantastic: catered trays of chicken and meatball parm, roasted turkey sandwiches, beet salad, and roasted Brussels sprouts from Parm. None of the grub was Paleo, but I managed to eat clean for the most part by sticking with the vegetable sides and devouring the innards of a turkey sandwich. (Truth be told, I did break ranks and indulged in a few bites of bunless meatball and chicken parm, but I’m unrepentant ‘cause it was totally worth it.)

At the end of the night, we caught a cab to the East Village to swan-dive into a pile of succulent, slow-smoked meats at Mighty Quinn’s Barbecue.

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Although there were only four of us and we’d been eating all day, we nonetheless ordered enough to feed a battalion. We sampled the brisket, pulled pork, a full rack of short ribs, and Brontosaurus ribs (beef ribs, not dinosaur ribs — and besides, Brontosauruses never existed in the first place). Oh, and we piled on the sides, too: Sweet potato casserole, slaw, and pickles.

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Man, that was finger-lickin’ Texalina ‘cue.

On Sunday morning, our heels crunched along snow-dusted concrete to Locanda Verde for my last meal of the weekend in NYC. As soon as we queued up at the hostess desk, I heard one of the staff members yell at a patron for taking pictures. Score! That meant I could savor my steak tartare and fire-roasted garlic chicken without the added stress of having to document my food for this here blog. I’m sorry, gang. (But not really.)

And that’s a wrap-up of my super quick, blink-and-you-missed-it trip to the Big Apple. Thanks for all your dining suggestions on Facebook and Twitter! I love my readers.

p.s. If you’re looking for other awesome New York City eats, check out some of my previous posts on dining in Gotham:

*These three were written by Henry and posted on his blog back in 2010. At the time, this site was still a few weeks from hatching!


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  1. audrey-lacrouix reblogged this from nomnompaleo and added:
    Thank you, Nom Nom Paleo!
  2. nomnompaleo posted this