Once a year, hoards of freebie-hungry travelers head to the Javits Center for the New York Times Travel Show. Despite the overwhelming crowds, I decided to attend this year for the chance to see Bryan Kelly (aka The Points Guy ). I frequently read his blog to learn about how to maximize credit card points and airline miles to use for extravagant trips. His presentation was filled with fabulous tips, which he posted on his blog here. Last year, I got a roundtrip flight from Newark to Istanbul for $450 after applying some of my Amex points and this year, I’m thinking about upping my game. I need to use some of my 100K of United Airline miles, and I’m thinking about Thailand, Bhutan, or Tanzania after listening to everyone at the show. I figure if I start to do some research now, I’ll be able to book a flight as soon as a deal pops up and who knows, maybe I’ll write my next post from an umbrella on Whitehaven Beach! Anyone interested?
30 St. Marks place
I refuse to miss an opportunity to eat out in the big shitty (aka New York), so post conference, my foodie cohorts and I wanted to check out Japadog. Yes, it is what it sounds like- Japanese hot dogs. I had half of the signature hot dog called the terimayo, which is a beef sausauge with teriyaki sauce, mayo, and seaweed, and half of the okonomi, which is a kurobuta pork sausage with ‘special sauce’ and bonito flakes (flakes of dried, smoked bonito fish). Both were tasty (and cheap) but neither were life changing. I think the hot dog bun would have been better as a sticky, steamed rice bun. The seaweed added some great flavor to the terimayo, but the okonomi wasn’t a bold kick of flavor, but rather mellow and smokey. Again, not bad, and who knows, maybe there are other flavors that would have been better choices. I’m willing to go back and try some more.
123 2nd Ave.
Pomme frites are traditional Belgian fries, which are twice fried to give that deliciously crisp exterior and tender, fluffy interior. The line can often be out the door in this East Village outpost, but it moves fast and is completely worth the wait. They offers a whole slew of dipping sauces and last night we picked the curry ketchup and roasted garlic mayo. Both added a boost to our crispy potatoes, but I also just like having them with malt vinegar or some standard Heinz 57.
Big Gay Ice Cream Truck
125 East 7th Street
I adore the big gay ice cream truck. It’s a tiny storefront right next to Butter Lane, which is a cruel choice for me to make, so I usually get ice cream and grab some cupcakes to bring home. I know, I’m ridiculous. Anyway, the ice cream is thick and rich, more like a classic frozen custard than that watered down soft serve, and the toppings are spot-on. I typically go for the salty pimp, which is a cone of vanilla with dulce de leche, sea salt, and dipped in chocolate. While these are classic flavor combos, I swear it’s even better than it sounds. I always try other combinations and come back to my salty pimp. So good…
Now, this all seemed like a good idea at the time. Japanese hot dogs, pomme frites, and then ice cream. I realize that saying this seems stupid after the fact because obviously it was not a good idea. One should take these trips separately, outstretched between a week of mesclun salads, steamed broccoli, and fresh grapefruit wedges. However, I am not known for my good judgement when there is a smorgasbord of delicious New York eats. So if you do follow in my footsteps, do it over a few days. Your stomach will thank you. I promise.