Tuesday, August 5, 2014

New York City Day 1!

Before heading home to Coeur d' Alene for the summer, Nate and I wanted to squeeze in a road trip up to New York City. Nate's friends, Jon and Kat, live in NYC right now and graciously let us stay at their place. We rented a car and headed up to NYC, stopping in Philly on the way for cheesesteaks. We arrived around midnight and I went inside while Nate went to find parking in the pouring rain. He found a spot pretty close to the apartment which he felt very lucky for. There weren't any "no parking" warning signs, and there were other people parking in front and back of him. He thought he was safe....

The next morning, we found out some bad news....our car had been towed! And to make things worse, it wasn't even our car, but a rental that needed to be returned that day at 1:30! It sure made our first day in NYC start off with a bang.....a horrible nightmare type of bang. We spent the whole first morning trying to figure out how to get our car back, pay the towing fee and return it before 1:30 to avoid getting charged another day's rental fee. We had to go to the rental car place and print off a paper to prove that we rented that car, then take a long bus ride to pay for the towing fee...$180.00. Ouch. Then we had to go across Manhattan for about 45 min to the towing lot (which was completely full!) and get our car, and then drop off our rental car by 1:30 to the rental car company. Not to mention, we also got a $80.00 parking ticket. Double Ouch. It was awful and made us hate NYC and want to go home. But we got it figured out and were finally on our way to the fun stuff by mid afternoon. What a day!
For lunch we went to Lombardi's Pizza which is the first pizza place in the United States. It was very yummy and tasted amazing especially after not eating anything the whole day. Little Italy is right next to Lombardi's. Lots of fun Italian restaurants and bakeries to explore and look at.
Momofuku Milk Bar is a yummy place to visit. My brother Jeremy who travels to NYC a lot recommended it. We got the "crack pie" and the "cereal milk." The crack pie is supposedly as good as crack and as addictive too that you just can't stop eating it. It was more like a cookie bar than a pie and it was pretty dang addictive. The cereal milk tasted like the last few gulps of milk that you drink from the bowl after your cereal is gone, but in a cold glass bottle. 
The Flatiron Building is cool to see for its unique shape. The triangular architecture is amazing! And this cool display was near the Rockefeller Center. This guy has flowers all over him!

Central park was breathtaking and huge! I was floored at how massive it is! It just kept going and going forever and ever. There are bridges with ponds, and lakes, and fountains. Nate and I were exhausted from the day so we found a quiet place and laid down on the grass and took a nap. It was so relaxing and fun to people watch.
The Lego store is always cool. Every type and color of Legos that you could ever want! 

And of course, no trip to NYC is complete without a trip to Times Square. There is so much to see and do here! It is so crowded with people and taxis, and craziness everywhere. We got to try some "pie in a jar" that people were handing out for free. We saw a girl get captured by the police and handcuffed. We saw some girls that looked like they were wearing bikinis with big feather hats but when you got closer you realized that their bikinis were just painted on their bodies and they were actually completely naked. You never know what you are going to see in NYC that's for sure! Never a dull moment!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Which Cheesesteak Sandwich is Best?

Who likes cheesesteaks? Nate and I do! We recently went to Philadelphia and went on a cheesesteak run. Gino's and Pat's are the two cheesesteak rivals. Nate and I decided to take the challenge and settle the debate of who has the better sandwich. We went to Pat's first to give it a try. 
Then we headed across the street, yes, just across the street, to Gino's. We saw the same customers eating at both places. I think most people try both sandwiches when they are in town to see which is better. We aren't the only crazy foodies around! We got another sandwich to split. 

The Verdict:

While both sandwiches were good, Pat's was definitely the better sandwich. Nate and I both agreed. The only thing that Gino's has over Pat's is their flashy exterior and look of the building that makes it feel more inviting to go to. But at Pat's, the sandwich rocked. The meat was chopped up finer giving each bit more flavor. At Gino's, the meat was in big chunks, making it harder to eat and less flavorful. Also, the all round flavor of the cheese whiz and sandwich as a whole was better at Pat's than at Gino's. Pat's is the winner! If we ever get back to Philly, we will be going to Pat's. 

We have been in Coeur d' Alene Idaho for most of the summer visiting family. When I told my parents about going to Gino's and Pat's while in Philly, they told us that we needed to go to, "The Best Sandwich Shack," on Best Ave in CDA. Mom swore that they were the best and could take Pat's and Gino's any day. We thought she was crazy. A lot of reviews online agreed with mom though and said that they have tried both and really like the one in CDA. So we had to try it to compare!

Nate thought The Best Sandwich Shack was really good. He said that it indeed was comparable to Pat's and that it was better than Gino's. He liked the bread roll at Pat's better though than the one here. But all in all, we thought that the locals in Idaho did a pretty good job at being comparable to the big guns in Philly. 

Yay for sandwiches and good food!