Little Bites

Seems like I have been doing everything but keeping fit this month.  All my time has been spent at work, all the while trying to steal away little moments with my friends. Consequently for my fitness, these moments usually are surrounded by food and drinks. Luckily for you, I get to offer you a few more options in case you’re ever in the city.

I have an issue in which my eyes are often bigger than my stomach, and am rarely able to finish all that I seek to conquer on my plate. But I’ve found a kindred spirit at Mark’s. Those who are easily satisfied with just a quick bite will be quite pleased with this spot. What I love the most about Mark is that you can order it in any amount. So a nibbler like me can be happy with my ones and twos, while those with a much bigger appetite can order more with all the fixings. And since the menu consists mainly of sliders, they’re always on the grill. That means the wait time for your meal is rather short, no matter how much is ordered. You must be warned, if you’re looking for more than just sliders, chili cheese fries, and amazing old school shakes, this is probably not for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a quick bite, maybe a little pregame meal before a night of drinks, or even something to soak up all the shots you’ve just had at Continental, then get comfortable.

Marks Sliders

Marks Sliders

Jack Daniels Bread Pudding

Jack Daniels Bread Pudding

Oxtail, Mac n Cheese, Candied Yams from Freda's

Oxtail, Mac n Cheese, Candied Yams from Freda’s

Havana Central

Cuban food at Havana Central

If you have a sensuous appetite for desserts,then you must stop by The Dessert Club. It’s right around the corner from Mark’s and  has a lovely selection of unique desserts and cupcakes. One of my favorites is the Jack Daniel’s Whiskey Bread Pudding! It’s made fresh every day, and is baked to perfection. The top has a lovely crunch from the hardened baked sugar glaze. But don’t let that distract you, for  there’s a soft moist whiskey soaked center that awaits you. All this accompanied by a scoop of soft churned vanilla ice cream to calm your taste buds down after that lovely experience. I’m not sure how long this one will be on the menu, for the menu is known to change every now and then. Personally I love it, because you never really get a chance to be bored, but it also means you could miss out on a new flavor cupcake or dessert if you have been in a while.

 

While assisting in a local skate competition on the upper west side,  my friend and I stumbled upon a great Caribbean spot that I must revisit soon. Freda’s is a small locally owned restaurant known in that area for delicious, authentic Caribbean food. It’s everything you love about mom and pop establishments, it makes you feel like you’re back at grandma’s having dinner with family. It’s cozy and intimate, without all the fuss of a typical New York City restaurant. And in a city where you’re used to paying a lot and getting a little, you’d be surprised to know that the portions are quite hearty.  As usual, I couldn’t finish mine, but my boyfriend cleaned his plate and was left satisfied and in need of a proper bed.  So not only does your money go a long way here, but you’re sure to leave fulfilled.

 

Another spot to try out is Havana Central. My friend had an assignment to go and interview the musician at the restaurant and I couldn’t help bu tag along. Thankfully I did, because it left me nostalgic and took me back home to Miami for a moment. Havana Central is a fabulous chain of Cuban restaurants that can be found on the Upper West Side near Colombia University and midtown in the Theater District. In case you’re a little further from the city there’s one up in Yonkers, and one even in Long Island. The food is amazingly flavorful and sure to leave you wanting more, but it’s the live music that really sets the tone of the restaurant. The musicians who perform take you away with the rhythmic beat of the bongos, seductive stringing guitars, and luscious Spanish vocals. The only thing I wished, was that there was a dance floor. Because by the time you’ve sipped on a few of their infamous Mojitos, and that music hits your ears, you’re gonna want move. It’s truly a lovely experience, so  good you’d forget that you’re actually still in New York and nowhere near the Caribbean.

Stay hungry my friends,

Kay Wanderz

Stranger Inspirations

Kinda strange and almost cinematic at the conversation I found my self in with a complete stranger today. What started out as simple stroll through the High Line in New York City, turned into a little photo opportunity, which turned into a moment of inspiration.

I stopped for a minute to take a few shots over looking the traffic under us, when a gentlemen with an accent I’m far too familiar with complimented me on the photo I’d just captured. I turned and thanked him humbly and went back to taking more photos. He then decided to introduce himself and join me on my stroll through the High Line.

We made light conversation of our origins and shared our New York stories. He then caught me off guard when  he asked, “so what are you doing now?” I paused for a minute quite puzzled, because I thought I had thoroughly explained to him my reason for being in New York. Catching the look on my face made him laugh. “I know  why you are here, but are you doing it now?” I looked down and said, “kind of, I’m working on it. Got a bit more planning to do.”

“Just do  it! Stop hesitating. You’re here now, so don’t sit still. Planning is done now give yourself something to write about,” cheering me on emphatically with fisted hands in the air. I couldn’t help but laugh at his enthusiasm and optimism. His randomness was  contagious and so refreshing.

It suddenly dawned on me. I spend a majority of my time planning, just planning! Not that planning is necessary, but that’s only the first step. Plans are nothing without action, and faith without works is dead. So I can sit here and plan and hope all day long, but sometimes you just need to dive in and do it. Waiting for a good time to start could have me sitting on the sidelines for the rest of my life if I’m not careful. And you certainly don’t get memorable experiences just planning things out.

 

High Line Experience

High Line Experience

Umberto may be a humble mechanic back in Brazil, but he’s lived one hell  of life so far and never let his circumstances dictate his outcome. He’s been to nine different countries, surfed in Australia, and still makes sure he’s in Portugal to see his family for the holidays. Most of his most memorable adventures came from the things that he didn’t plan and to no surprise, he has no regrets. I’ve made tons of new plans this month for the future, time for step two, the doing.

Sometimes it takes a complete stranger with a different perspective to give you the clarity that you’ve been needing. Now, by no means am I encouraging you to run around your city or neighborhood talking to random people.  I’m just saying sometimes it’s good to  listen and let yourself be inspired. Inspiration doesn’t have to come from some grand light in the sky. It could be something as simple as a random stranger.

And with that, back to my writing and adventures in The City. I would hate to miss out on another inspiration.

Be inspired,

Kay Wanderz