I had a little business trip to the East Coast last week.
I flew into JFK and drove from there to Baltimore, named after an Irish place called Baile Ti Mhor, which probably means 'town with much rain '.
Had dinner in Roccos in Baltimore's Little Italy on the first evening, corner of Fawn and South High streets. Dreadful. Ordered a bruschetta, which never came and flounder alla livornese, in a tomato and caper sauce. The fish came first in a bright red chopped tomato sauce with a few capers and olives. The waiter then brought a side dish of penne with the same tinned chopped tomato sauce poured over it. I've never had penne with fish before. Like something I did at university. This is the same stuff that I buy in Tesco. Their website says that sauces are the chef's speciality. I've had better tomato sauce with pasta in Nether Under Middle Wallop. Awful. Avoid this place. http://www.roccosinlittleitaly.com/
The second night I was taken out to Fogo do Chao, a Brazilian churrascaria along Pratt Street. I don't eat meat out, in fact I barely touch meat at all now, kosher or non-kosher. However I was with a small party and it all looked pretty good. The salad bar was plentiful and looked good. I made do with asparagus, palm hearts, other bits and pieces with fried platanos and mashed potatoes. This restaurant is part of a chain across the US. http://www.fogodechao.com/
Walking back to my hotel along Lombard Street I inadvertently turned into Baltimore's red light district which is one block along Baltimore Street . Don't think Amsterdam has much to worry about.
Then up to Philadelphia for the weekend where by sheer coincidence I ran into my sister-in-law and husband at the Mikve Israel synagogue, one of only 2 Spanish & Portuguese synagogues in the US ( we have 7 in England ). They were returning from Atlantic City to Montreal. They didn't know that I was in the US and I didn't know they would be there. After the service we had a hot chicken lunch served in the hall. After that I went walkabout round the historic quarter tagging on to a tour group until I was twigged and told to get lost in typical American terms. Ended up at Las Bugumbilias, a Mexican restaurant along South Street where I had a rather good ceviche for my tea. I saw it on a menu and fancied it.
Sunday was up to New York and an afternoon spent walking along the beach at Bridgehampton on Long Island wearing an Orioles baseball cap. Got 2 parking tickets, one for parking without a beach permit ( you really need a permit to go the beach ?) and one for parking facing the wrong way. I shall send them one of my special letters
After all that I was in New York, staying at the Helmsley and commuting out to Yonkers and back. I tried 2nd Avenue deli which is no longer on 2nd Avenue but at 3rd and Lexington. I had the gefilte fish, which was bland, and then the brisket with kasha and mashed potato. Great comfort food. Since the demise of Blooms kosher restaurant in London you can't get brisket and kasha any more. The kosher restaurant scene in London is dominated by Israelis with grills and shwarma. A great shame. http://www.2ndavedeli.com/
The second night I wanted to try Mendys Atrium at 53rd but it is only open at lunchtime. So I jumped in a cab and went over to Estihana at W 79th since it was the only address I could remember ( this is where an IPhone would have come in useful ). Again bland but since it is owned by my wife's mishpacha ( family ) I'd better be careful what I write here. But it was exactly as I expected it to be.
The next night I tried Mr Broadway at 1372 Broadway. I wanted to try Noahs Ark but that was down near Battery Park and it was very hot and I didn't fancy the subway ride in the heat. Mr Broadway was quite busy. I chose the chicken soup with kreplach to start and then the brisket with mashed potato. As I said great comfort food. I had a nice waiter who kept repeating 'awesome, awesome' when I ordered. I had no idea that brisket was awesome. The kreplach in the soup was heavy duty requiring a knife and fork to cut it. When Blooms here was still going you could cut their stuff with the side of a spoon. Halfway through the brisket the waiter came up and told me that he was going and gave me the check. It was all quite nice, not as good as 2nd Ave deli in my opinion. http://www.mrbroadwaykosher.com/
I can't really eat red meat like steaks any more. Can't digest that, that's why I eat the 'softer' stuff like brisket or even hamburgers. And I don't drink wine any more. I am now an expert on all different fruit juices and varieties of mineral water. I must open up a blog on that.
Flew back Premium Economy on Virgin Atlantic. Disappointing service. Seats were good though. Entertainment system needs upgrading.