So, after the Smorgasburg food extravaganza and a scenic ferry ride back into Manhattan, DC and I headed back to his place to chill out before dinner in true New York style – drinking beers on his building’s outdoor terrace. Yes, that really is as awesome as it sounds. Just look at this place!
A couple of hours later, we headed to St. Mark’s Place in the East Village. This area seemed really popular. There were a lot of Asian-fusion restaurants, a few karaoke places and even a Japadog, which is a popular street cart turned restaurant in Vancouver.
Dinner that night was at Boka for their infamous Bon Chon Chicken. My friend Saschie had raved about this place and even DC agreed that it was a must-try while in New York City.
Basically, bon chon is Korean-style fried chicken. The skin is deep fried twice, making it super crispy and leaving the meat very moist and juicy. We ordered the wings and drumsticks combo tossed in a sweet and tangy soy-garlic sauce.
We also grabbed a plate of the Tuna Tartar Salad. It came with these deep fried sweet potato chips that were lightly seasoned and great for heaping spoonfuls of the creamy tuna into your mouth. Or, in our case, just snacking on since the 1 pound of bon chon chicken turned out to be the best-worst idea ever.
Honestly, as good as it looked and as amazing as it tasted, there was just SO. MUCH. CHICKEN. It was enough to almost make me not want to eat chicken again for the rest of my trip. Almost.
Miraculously though, after hobbling out of Boka, I got my second wind and we walked a few blocks to the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop. I’d seen the food truck version on Eat St. and was so excited to try it that I didn’t mind the 20-minute wait. What I did mind was that my Salty Pimp tasted neither salty nor anything more amazing than a chocolate dipped vanilla ice cream cone. There was barely any dulce de leche on it either. Sigh. I seriously could’ve just gone to Dairy Queen.
That mishap aside, we proceeded to The Wren for some drinks with school friends of mine from the Philippines. Alex now lives in Queens while Marco was visiting from out of town. It was surreal to see these guys in my part of the world after so many years apart, but definitely great to catch up and see familiar faces at the same time.
Most of the bars in NYC have no cover – yes, even on a Saturday night! – so barhopping was a must. If we didn’t like one place, we’d pop out after a few minutes and walk right into another one. We went to so many that I can’t even remember what they were called anymore. We even managed to find one of those bars that from the outside look abandoned, but once you go inside, it’s actually a really swanky underground club.
We ended the night with classic New York pizza and I finally crawled to bed close to 5am, ending what was probably the longest Saturday of my life – enough for three blog posts anyway!
How would you spend a Saturday night in a new city?