This is a continuation of our Alphabet City Progressive Dinner tour. The East Village is one of the city's most eclectic hubs, ripe with ethnic restaurants, itty-bitty bars and funky shops. If you're a purveyor of rich food and off-the-beaten-path atmosphere, allow your feet to wander all over this hood. You could walk around this area of town for hours and never see the same restaurant twice.
If you take the subway to Astor Place, you will exit right by Starbucks. If you're interested in doing a bit of pre-game people watching, grab a beverage and sit in this massive window. This particular Starbucks location has the most perfect view of Astor Place, looking all the way down St. Marks Street. You can check out all the chic fashionistas walking by - and you don't feel like such a creeper, staring from your perch on a bench. Because instead, you're a creeper behind the glass. Just sayin', it's a bit of an upgrade.
Once you've had your fill of crowd-watching, dive into the mix and start walking down St. Marks. There are some of the CUTEST little shops in this area. Resist going into everything, because then you will never actually get to the eating. Which, in my opinion, is the best part.
103 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003
Cuisine: Merger of Texas & "the Carolinas"-style Barbeque
Must Order: Burnt Ends, Pulled Pork, Brisket BBQ, Edamame & Sweet Pea Salad, Baked Beans (and I don't even LIKE baked beans, but these were scrumptious), plus all the Pickled Add-Ons (cucumbers, celery, red onions, chilies)
Impression: So, about a month ago I wrote a post about the deliciousness of Harlem's Dinosaur Barbeque (and I will stand by that review!), but I have to admit - THIS IS BETTER. Also a completely different style of barbeque. Mighty Quinns is smokier, steeped in juicy sauce and tenderly, joyously falling off the bone. Into my mouth. Warming my heart. The Burnt Ends Pork was probably my favorite, but its a real toss-up, because all the meat was so freakin' delish. And the atmosphere is awesome, kinda country (I mean, as country as it gets in the middle of Manhattan) and staffed with folks who know their barbeque. This place had a 30-minute line out the door, and it was completely worth the wait. GO TO THERE.
Big Gay Ice Cream Shop
125 East 7th Street, New York NY 10009
Cuisine: Ice Cream
Must Order: Salty Pimp (vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche, sea salt, chocolate dip), American Globs (vanilla ice cream, pretzels, sea salt, chocolate dip), Gobbler (vanilla ice cream, pumpkin butter & maple syrup OR apple butter & bourbon butterscotch, pie pieces, whipped cream)
Impression: It's pretty self-explanatory. It's a big, gay ice cream shop. There is a gigantic unicorn painted on the wall. And there is really, REALLY good ice cream to be eaten, if you don't mind the insanely long lines. There are benches outside where you can eat and enjoy the sunshine, although beware - the serving sizes are huge and your ice cream might do some melting in the spring sunshine :)
The Far East. Village, that is.
Once again, many many, MANY mad-crazy thanks to our bright-eyed guides to the East Village, dearest Anthony & Jessica. Geez, I'm so thankful to know you. And to glean from your foodie research and wisdom. You two are just the creamiest of the crop. Love you both :)