It’s taken me the best part of this week to recover from our intense NYC tour and also to wade through all the photos we took.

There is no doubt that many UK cities, and in particular London, offer great inspiration but since we found ourselves in New York it seemed churlish not to make the most of it. So after the usual suspects and Brooklyn, we set off to mop up the remaining places. This city delivers people doing one thing well, whether it’s coffee, ice lollies, meatballs, dougnuts…..you name it they do it. As ever, my friends from Echochamber and also the lovely Lauren & Ben gave me the best tips making it easier to cherry pick the places to catch up on.

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Lauren & Ben epitomise the passionate New Yorker. They seem to be friends and connected with so many of the new food & drink people and know so much about where to go and what to consume. Every recommendation is spot on. They told me about Daniel Delaney last time and we popped into Briskettown when we were in Brooklyn.

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This time they told us about Mighty Quinn’s BBQ, which is similar to Pitt Cue Co. but keeps it more open with the kitchen butchery on show and stacks of wood to fuel the fire and produce great dishes such as the spare ribs and especially burnt ends. Signature bottled BBQ sauce is a must these days along with the t-shirt and baseball cap. Also essential is smoking the meat and slow cooking those delicious hard working cuts that are just the best when cooked like this.

Butchery at Mighty Quinn's

Butchery at Mighty Quinn’s

The obligatory signature sauce

The obligatory signature sauce

We also discovered Chobani which has become a bit of a phenomenon in the USA. This company was started by a Turkish immigrant, Hamdi Ulukaya, in 2005 and in the past 7 years has grown into a $1billion business. He keeps it simple, making authentic, natural strained or ‘greek’ yogurt with real fruit flavours and this formula has made it into the most popular yogurt brand in the US. It is coming over to the UK with some Tesco and Morrisons stores now stocking it.

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Frankly it is not the pot of yogurt that impressed me – rather their Soho shop. Set on the corner of Prince and W Broadway, this yogurt bar is so well done with a clever service counter, lovely finish to the outside and most especially a wonderful way of serving take away yogurt with glass dishes and a simple muslin lid held on with a red elastic band. Oh – and the yogurt wasn’t bad either!

inside Chobani

inside Chobani

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The other place that is less well known but continues to deliver is Sullivan Street Bakery in deepest darkest Hells Kitchen, making wonderful authentic Italian bread and pizza bianca.

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Founder/owner Jim Lahey keeps it real with an open kitchen, simple decor and edited range of breads that showcase his now well known techniques. I particularly liked these wooden ladders for the pizza which clearly allow the base to breathe and remain crisp crisp crisp.

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Finally, no trip to New York would be complete without a connection with the Cronut. I say a connection because it is still almost impossible to get one, but nevertheless, I whizzed off to Dominique Ansel’s Soho patisserie on Sunday morning to witness the craze. True to form, the Cronut queue is still going strong with a security guard manning the entrance and the order. When someone asked him why people were queueing for a pastry he simply said ….they need to get a life! Well, life or not, we went in to witness the process and actually had a really lovely not-cronut pastry, the DKA. It may not have made the media hype but we loved it and judging by the people around us who had managed to bag a cronut, it was markedly more manageable than the slightly sweet sticky signature. In fact, one couple sitting next to us said it wasn’t as good as the copy they had eaten the previous week!

The cronut factory continues with avengeance at the back of the bakery

The cronut factory continues with avengeance at the back of the bakery

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