Kool-Aid, Dumplings and Little Italy

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I know the title may suggest a smorgasbord of NYC eats in one sitting, but the truth is over the last month I have dined at a variety of places, slowly checking off areas of the city with overwhelming food appeal.

My first stop to Amy Ruth’s, a soul food kitchen in Harlem, was an ideal choice for Sunday brunch, a suggestion from a friend and Harlem resident. Food choices as a child are picky and unappreciative, but as an adult you learn to value the house specials, which made ordering simple. Chicken and waffles with the Kool-Aid of the day for me. Grape, being the flavor of the day, was too sweet for me, but I enjoyed the nostalgia and drank water in between. The main entree and side of corn bread made for a fulfilling Sunday and enough sustainable energy for a shopping trip to Target.

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I will always have a love hate relationship with Asian cuisine. A brief food poisoning has left a scar, but I hate to be a person who holds grudges. My brother and I chose a restaurant along a row in Chinatown and I was pleased to indulge in some authentic dumplings, General Tso’s chicken and chicken with broccoli and noodles. All portions, large enough to share, good enough to win my appetite back and a bill quite easy to split.

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I may have sold myself short by not visiting Little Italy when I first arrived in the Summer. Sidewalk seating and gelato stands sound absolutely delightful right now. After walking past several restaurants that my brother claimed to be “the one” we were looking for, we finally found our destination. My pasta arrived before my Chicken Parmigiana with sides of potatoes and broccoli, something new to me, but the glass of Cabernet, a part of the happy hour special was very familiar.

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As much as I would like to be content with baked chicken and a vegetable everyday for summer body purposes, the truth is, if I am going to live in this city, I will have to eat it’s food and I don’t mind sharing my calorie intake with the masses. It will be the restaurants tucked around the corner and eateries just pass the train station that will without a doubt create some of the best laughs and memories during my NY residency, something I’m more than willing to eat for. Until next time.

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