Although I live in London, the rest of my family which includes my parents and sister as well as some of my cousins and aunts and uncles live in America. My parents stay in New Jersey and my sister is currently in transit to Brooklyn where she is due to start living her big city dreams. When it comes to the Western hemisphere I’ve lived out almost the entirety of my so far adult life in London and on a wider note in Europe. So America to me before the summer of 2016 was a bit of a mystery and my ideas of it were firmly based on tv shows and films. I’ve made two trips in 2016 so far and am due to head back in a couple of months again.
During my last visit in December for the holidays, I finally had the chance to try out two New York institutions – Grimaldi’s (for pizza) and The Magnolia Bakery (for cheesecake).
For those of us who’ve grown up on American tele, New York pizza is famous. Although keep in mind I’m an ardent Londoner and pizza out here is made by actual Italians, a lot of times all the way from Napoli
Credits: Rittika Goswami
So what did I think of New York’s most famous pizzeria?
Honestly its not from Italy, that’s for sure. I’ve spent time in Italy myself (Rome and Florence) and not a single Italian I know will say this is Italian. My flatmate’s Italian and has spent time in Boston and American pizza befuddles her as well. Was it delicious? Yes. As long as you’re not looking to compare it to the real European thing, you’ll enjoy it. The cheese is stringy, the pepperoni is generous and the ‘small’ pizza was enough as a mid day snack for 3 people. For the vegetarians out there there are other toppings instead – mushroom being one. We paid $25 in total which included tip.
When I came back to New York with my parents to see the Rockefeller Christmas tree, I chanced on the Magnolia Bakery. For those of you who watch Sex And The City (SATC) religiously, the bakery was featured in the show as Carey sunk her teeth into this beautiful cupcake. In reality Magnolia’s is situated closer to Times Square and right down the road from the Rockefeller Centre. Its always crowded and the bakery is little more than a tiny corridor. My sister informed me that they were far more famous for their cheesecake where a serving is almost $8 a piece. I ordered three so we could all have a taste – chocolate, red velvet and pumpkin spice. I’d give the chocolate a miss and would definitely recommend the red velvet. I know $8 sounds like a lot for one piece of cheese but its basically one massive ice cream scoop and is worth the experience.
All in all I’m glad I went to both the places. We got ridiculously lucky especially with Grimaldi’s which is over in Brooklyn by the pier as it wasn’t that crowded just that one time. So if you’re ever in New York, do try and hit up these two!
– By Rittika Goswami