Image hosted by Image hosted by

Manhattan, New York

Friday, April 27, 2007

For my birthday, Jill scheduled a 'Bakery Tour of New York City' trip from Eastern Travel/Oneonta Bus Lines. The trip was to include different ethnic bakeries in New York City.

We met the bus at the Eastern Travel parking lot on Front Street around 7ish and we were off! They had already made a previous stop in Oneonta to pick up some folks there, and we made one more stop at the McDonald's in Great Bend to pick a couple of other people up there. On the way down, we stopped at the rest area on the New Jersey side of the Delaware Water Gap for a quick stretch break.

Eastern Travel actually hired a tour guide from New York City, so our first stop was to pick him up. Although his name was Dennis, he was the spitting image of Paul Reiser! After picking him up, we went to Grand Central Terminal (not 'Station' - that's a city in New Jersey!). Here he gave us a quick tour of the main area and then took us down to the food court where we had lunch on our own. Jill and I found a small counter service place called "Zaro's", where they had Chicago hot dogs on their menu. Yum! Chicago dogs! Hadn't had one of those (made the right way) since we were in Salt Lake City! Alas, the guy behind the counter (all of 65 years old, and clearly from the Bronx) told me that it was New York City, and they didn't have any hot dogs from Chicago, but one of the trains might be leaving for there. He had quite the wit, lemme tell ya! Had everyone he was working with and the customers all in stitches, because his routine was non-stop! I ended up getting a New York City version of a Chicago dog, but it was only slightly authentic. Guess we really need to get ourselves to Chicago so I can get a real one! Upon meeting back up, Dennis had procured mini cheesecakes and black and white cookies from the Juniors Most Fabulous Cheesecake and Desserts stand there in the food court. Very yummy!!

After reloading the bus, we headed to the Poseidon Bakery which is located at 629 9th Ave in the middle of 'Hell's Kitchen'. This was a small Greek bakery, with one very big distinction - it is the last bakery in America that produces its own phyllo dough right there! A couple of pieces of baklava were the treat from our tour guide at this stop, and Jill and I also got a custard filled phyllo roll called galaktoboureko as well as a tiropita, which was a cheese filled phyllo square with a hint of mint in the one we purchased. From the Poseidon, we headed to Chelsea Market.

Chelsea Market is where the Food Network studios are located, although seeing them was not part of this particular tour. On the ground floor of the market were different bakeries and shops that we were given time to visit on this stop. We went into Amy's Bread and bought a loaf of olive sourdough bread and Eleni's where we bought a couple of cookies for Michael and a really good cupcake for the two of us!! We browsed the other stores at the Market, and then it was time to be off to our next stop, but not until we got our next free sample! This time, it was rugalach from Ruthy's.

The last stop on the bakery portion of the tour was in Little Italy, or as Dennis described what is left of Little Italy. Many of the Italians have moved out of lower Manhattan, replaced by an influx of Chinese, and all that really remains of Little Italy is a one block stretch surrounded by Chinatown. The bakery that was the focus of this stop was the Ferrara Bakery and Cafe, located at 195 Grand Street. Since we knew that we were already going to get a sample or two from Ferrara, Jill and I wandered around the rest of Little Italy. In one store, we bought some smoked mozzarella (which went GREAT with the olive bread from Amy's), and in a second store we got some gorgonzolla ravioli's. As we were purchasing the ravioli's, we heard a bit of commotion outside of the store. As we exited, we noticed the focus of all the screaming - some of the elderly ladies that were on the bus trip with us spotted a rat scurrying across Grand Street. The poor thing was skinny and soaked, and probably more afraid of the people than they were of him, but he had one of the older ladies sitting on a bench with her feet straight in the air. It was quite a sight! No where else but New York City, ya know??

After boarding the bus, we were given our last set of samples for the day - a chocolate covered cannoli and a cream puff from Ferrara! Dennis said good-bye to us at this point, and we headed to South Street Seaport for the last stop on the tour before heading home. This part was entirely on our own, and we really only had enough time to get dinner at Pizzeria Uno (very poor service, but again, it's New York!) before reboarding the bus for the ride home.

Total Mileage: 371 Miles

Total Miles Travelled:
84,067 Miles!

[Home] [2003] [2004] [2005] [2006] [2007] [Links]

Page Last Updated: May 10, 2007