Skylines, Crispy Pig Ears, Soup Dumplings, Dinosaur BBQ —NYC and Me

We just got back last night from a whirlwind trip to NYC to see our son, Micah, who is an MBA student at Columbia.  I can not say enough about our trip and trust me—there will be lots of posts highlighting the sights and sounds of the city.  I was a little nervous about going for some reason but once we go there it was fabulous.  Simply fabulous.  I love the city and I can not wait to go back.  Maybe it was because we had not seen him since May and I was missing him.  Maybe it was just that feeling that a mom has that she has to know that her “kid” is okay all settled in and doing well.  I did not need to worry one bit.  All is well.  All is better than well.

We stayed at an apartment only 5 blocks away from where Micah lives so it really was convenient and it could not have been easier.   Our time there was brief but honestly—we saw so much in such a short time that we got the NYC overview.

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View from our balcony was pretty spectacular .

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A cloudier day and a different look.


The night look.


The fabulous sunrise.


The food—oh the food.   Micah is always really good at finding great places to eat and he has scoped out quite a few places in his short time in NYC.  We were not disappointed with any of the choices and we crammed a lot into our gastronomical adventure.  My favorites from trip one had to be Joe Shanghai’s in Chinatown, Dinosaur BBQ  in Harlem, and Casa Mono at Irving Place and 17th Street.   Oh my my my.  First of all –we ate a lot of great food.  A lot!   I was usually too involved in the actual food eating to take great pictures but here are a few.  Thanks to Micah for the Casa Mono pictures.


We ordered some fabulous food at Dinosaur BBQ.  Great wings with just the right amount of heat, pulled pork, brisket, a slab of ribs with sides of mac and cheese, greens, salt potatoes and beans.  Yum.  It wasn’t North Carolina BBQ but it was pretty great, in my humble opinion.

Casa Mono was a delight and the tiny place was packed full when we got there but even without reservations we were able to be seated at the bar area and enjoy the fabulous cuisine with dishes from all corners of the Iberian Peninsula.  I love the small plate way of eating—I tend to not overeat when there are lots of choices to share.

Sweetbreads with Fennel al Mono (I think)

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Crispy Pig’s Ears with Kohlrabi and Montcabrer

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Razor Clams a la Plancha

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Foie Gras with Cinco Cebollas

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Grilled Beef Tongue with Smoked Tomato

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Another delightful dish i can’t remember what it was but it was wrapped in swiss chard.  YUM!

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The other fabulous place that we visited was Joe Shanghai’s in Chinatown.    We took Micah and his two roommates and it was quite an adventure. First of all we couldn’t read the number on the ticket that they gave us and the guys were “crowdsourcing” to try to figure out what it was.   There did not seem to be any consensus so we chose to go with the lowest possible number combination and about a half an hour later we were shown into the crowded noisy restaurant.  The thing to get here are the soup dumplings which were by far the BEST dumplings I have ever had—even compared to the ones I had in Shanghai last year.

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The thing about these were that there is actual soup inside the dumpling so care has to be taken in eating them.  Micah taught us the proper technique and we devoured a double order in no time and were ready for our entrees.   I didn’t get a great picture of the entrees because we all dove into them pretty fast but it was a nice combination of fried rice, shrimp, some wonderful kind of crispy beef and chicken.  Yum.  There were no leftovers.  None.


What a fabulous food eating trip we had.  These were the highlights but there is obviously no shortage of wonderful eating experiences in NYC.   Next trip we will explore even more.

If you have a few minutes this video is a great one to watch to show exactly how to properly eat a Soup Dumpling—-and take note—this place is packed all the time—they had to have cleared the place for this video!!!



  1. I can’t believe all of the amazing foods you got to eat! I’ve always wanted to try soup dumplings. Looks like a memorable weekend.

    • Oh the soup dumplings were fabulous. Simply fabulous. I could have eaten the entire order by myself but with 4 other “men” I had to share. 🙂 It was definitely a great eating trip–these were just my faves.

  2. Wow, those are lots of interesting foods to eat during such a short trip. Were those seriously pigs’ ears and beef tongue? I have bad memories of a college roommate boiling a cow’s tongue atop the stove in our apartment. Other than those two items, your meals sound/look delicious.

    Mostly, though, I’m sure the highlight was seeing Micah. I didn’t remember that you had not seen him since May. That is way too long for a mama. I’ll remember that when I feel melancholy about not seeing Caleb and Miranda.

    Sounds like you had a fab trip and I look forward to reading more posts about your adventures.

    • Yep—we always try amazing things when we visit new places and I was not a huge fan of the tongue but the razor clams were AMAZING!
      We did love seeing Micah. He is having such a great time and we had fun meeting his roommates and seeing how they are all doing in the city. Very well. I think he will end up living there long term if he can. Which would be amazing because we could have lots of trips there!
      We will see him again at Thanksgiving and Christmas so the drought is over. 🙂

  3. I take it they were not rum laced “diddle diddle dumplings” lol

  4. My husband and I are thinking about going to NYC in March – I know, not an ideal time of year, but it’s the time that we can “easily” get someone to come stay with our kids. It’s hard living far, far away from relatives! Anyway, your post has gotten me excited to go!!

  5. I’ve never had “soup dumplings”, but I used to make my own dumplings every Christmas Eve for my family – I would go to China Town & get homemade wonton wrappers, fill them (ground pork, pepper, chinese five spice, green onions) & steam them in a bamboo steamer. Yum!

  6. Even tho I live in a big city, there is something very special about New York City. The people, the sounds, views and of-course the food! I am a big fan of dumplings. Cole likes sweet bread and Foie Gras. I am a pretty ordinary, but I love watching other people venture out. The only thing missing is cronuts! Glad Micah is taking the city by storm and really enjoying everything it has to offer. Now is a great time for him to say, Yes, Why Not, and go for it!

    • We did not have the Cronut experience because our time was valuable. :-). I had an even better time than I imagined I would have. The people and diversity are amazing. So much to take in and enjoy. The dumplings were honestly the best because of the soup inside. I was not neatly as neat as in the video but I did ok. The girl across from us could have used some help— she squirted hers across the table!

  7. The video is too funny. Love all the food. Those razor clams are really something. I’ll have to ask if our sushi place can get them. I could really eat some dumplings right now. 🙂

    • The video cracked me up. And I think the technique they showed takes more than one visit to master. Micah showed us the “punch a hole in it with the chopstick” method instead of the nibble the dumpling method. The razor clams were really good with all the seasonings. Yum.

  8. Always great to spend time with one of your kids isn’t it? Sounds like he knows the best places to eat in NYC. Glad you had a wonderful time and look forward to more pictures.

    • Micah is a bit of a foodie but as a grad student now he has to curb that in a bit—that is until Mom and Dad come and pay. 🙂

      • We know all about that. They pay back when they are finished school and working!

        • Well he has been working for 5 years and is now back in school—-it is an adjustment to have made great money and then go back in debt for school but the payoff will be great in the end. And he is in his element now—which makes me happy. 🙂

  9. Miles would like the pig’s ear! And I’m a huge fan of dumplings. Love them. Each year we look forward to our trip to NYC and one of the reasons is the food. London is great, but I do miss food from home and NY is one of the best cities to pig out. Our last trip involved going from one place to the next to eat, eat, eat. I felt so full when I left–now I need to go back!

    • I can identify! That is about all we did other than walk walk walk walk! But what fun to find new places. The pigs ears were my least favorite of all the things we had but at least I tried them.

  10. Our daughters live in the city and we have always found great places to eat, so many choices! Looks like you had a great time, but I’m not sure I’d be up for the pig ears… we used to give them to our dog.

    • I know, I know! I was adventurous but I have to admit I ate more of the kohlrabi that was in that dish than the pig ears. I bet you have a great time when you visit! Our son lives on the west side but we definitely did not limit ourselves to stuff around there, as you can see! Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Those are some seriously beautiful pictures from your balcony! I could not have done the pig ears or beef tongue but I would have fought for all the dumplings!!

  12. I’m so happy that you had a great time here in NYC and you had great weather! That really helps, doesn’t it?
    You made the right choice to go to Joe’s in Chinatown. I’ve eaten there before and really enjoyed it. I can’t wait to hear more about your adventure!

    • Oh we had soooo much fun, Jackie!!! No Cursing Chinese Lady but some great “pole dancers” on the subway! The weather was perfect and the food—oh the food!!! Yummers. Stay tuned for more adventures!

  13. We have enjoyed great foods in NY also. You are making me hungry as it is noon here and I don’t know what I will have.


  1. […] packed a lot into the weekend visit and got to see a lot of the tourist places, eat a lot of great food, and see a lot of cute little dogs! It was an amazing weekend and I am already counting down the […]

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