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History Of Food In Manhattan Essay

6996 words - 28 pages

I stepped off the bus at around 10:45 on the morning of the twenty-second, and I found myself surrounded by countless flashing lights, giant oversized billboards displaying mostly-naked teenagers, and what felt like millions of people. Times Square, New York. My godparents and I walked down a side street and into a diner, which felt smaller than my college room at Millennium Hall. Our mission for the day was simple: eat Manhattan. I was served a western omlette, possibly the best I ever had, by the giant eastern European guy who had taken my order.We left and, after a visit to a bizarre mirrored bathroom in a primitive chic hotel two doors down from the diner, met up with my brother, a graduate student at Columbia University. We wandered around Fifth and Sixth avenue trying to determine where Mesa Grill was, our next stop. Crossing Broadway I was briefly involved in the massive war protest which had been scheduled for the same day. We finally found Mesa Grill and entered. The maitre d' looked positively shocked that customers had entered his dining room, but proceeded to seat us toward the back, near the kitchen. This was the restaurant of Food Network chef personality Bobby Flay, host of several shows and who had even controversially represented America twice on the Japanese cooking competition program, Iron Chef.The food was incredible: southwestern cuisine made to look and taste contemporary by the use of exotic ingredients, circle molds and squeeze bottled sauces. I had a smoked shrimp and goat cheese empanada and a size order of chorizo sausage. I made a mental note that the grill marks on the sausage were thin and uneven, a sign that they had likely been applied by a heated metal skewer. One of the middle aged, Midwestern accented women at the next table revealed to the other that this was Bobby Flay's place and the group chattered with excitement.After a visit to the museum-like New York Public Library and a carousel ride in Central Park, we walked back towards Times Square, stopping at a coffee shop for a rest and contemplated where to eat next. We chose Café Un Duex Tois, a French bistro in the theatre district. I opted for the Prix Fixe theatre menu of country pâté, lamb with white beans and potatoes au gratin, and chocolate mousse. The pâté and lamb were excellent but the beans were undercooked. Our waiter was overly theatrical, and the person who did most of the work was the Latino bus boy.This is the New York restaurant scene as it is today: a unique blend of nationalities, television personalities, and magnificent food that remains the epicenter of American Cuisine.The history of New York restaurants is hidden within the very heart of the American Dream. Throughout the latter half of the Twentieth Century, New York's immigrants from around the world, continued to descend upon the city. They brought with them their work ethics, their culinary mentalities and their favorite recipes. In a symbiotic...

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