My Summer vacation...from my mouth's perspective: NYC Flatiron/Union Square

Oh vacation...I miss you already! 

I had such a fantastic time visiting family and friends in DC, Virginia and New York the last two weeks.  Cooked a bit, danced a lot, met some interesting new people and ate A TON!  Lots to share guys...we'll start in NYC! 

First of all New York was way too humid when I arrived 4th of July weekend (which equals crazy chia pet hair, but somehow I made it work...well kinda).  I was starving after the long drive up from DC so my friend David took me on my first NYC subway ride (yay!) and picked out a yummy salad spot in the Flatiron district called Benvenuto Café.

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It's a "build-your-own-salad" kind of place featuring endless choices like: Sushi-grade Tuna, Grilled Asparagus, Portabella Mushrooms, Mandarin Oranges, Artichoke Hearts, Steak and the list goes on.  Benvenuto also offers a variety of baked goods, coffee, juice bar, protein shakes, sandwiches, and soups.  Everything is very fresh and the smorgasbord of salad mania that I created was fantastic! (I think I was going for a Southwestern-esque theme but at some point I just started adding anything that looked good to me...that's hunger for ya!)

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Voila! I'm pretty sure it was Fresh Corn, Black Beans, Grilled Chicken, Cherry Tomatoes, Cheddar Cheese and Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette.

We then headed over to the nearby Farmer's Market so he could take care of some off-duty Chef business and I could marvel at the concept of this little slice of agricultural paradise holding court in the center of one of the world's busiest cities.  I'd always wondered where a NYC Farmer's Market would take place...and here it was in front of me, smack dab in the middle of Union Square...paradoxical magic!

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Life-size, chrome Andy Warhol statue in Union Square

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Empire State Building...and then came Eataly (brainchild of Mario Batali and Oscar Farinetti), the largest artisanal food and wine marketplace in the world aka every food-lovers dream!  A 50,000 sqft. one-stop food emporium where you can grab an aromatic shot of espresso, nosh on Prosciutto DeiParma w/ Figs or Penne Napoli in one of the 12 eateries, sip from a broad selection of wines while watching as mozzarella is made right in front of you, step outside and enjoy a temperature perfect beer from the rooftop brewery, shop for Italian delicacies like Sicilian capers and handmade pastas, and be inspired by taking one of the cooking classes.   

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Caffe Lavazza

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Look at the ultra-collage on the walls!!  How cool is that!

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Retail Marketplace

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Real Italian Gelato from Gelateria!! 

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I had the Stracciatella e Banana (Banana w/ Chocolate Shavings...tasted exactly like a frozen chocolate covered banana!) 

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Pretty Manly drink!

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Milk and Cheese

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Fresh Seafood

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Sausages! but wait there's more...in the coming days you'll get the rundown of my East Coast adventures.  Next stop Chinatown!

Benvenuto Café

www.benvenutocafe.com

Flatiron 950 Broadway at 23rd Street New York, NY  10010 and Tribeca 369 Greenwich at Franklin Street New York, NY 10013

Eataly

www.eatalyny.com

200 5th Ave New York, NY 10010