Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2018 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is "Cleaning the Clutter"--I might literally be cleaning my closets or figuratively clearing the excess from some other part of my life. I'm sure you can think of other things this could mean for you as well.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...


Friday, April 8, 2016

Gastronomic Adventures (#atozchallenge)

English: A classic New York slice, October 20,...
A classic New York slice, October 20, 2002, by Pete Harris. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gastronomic Adventures in Manhattan

         In a city as large as Manhattan with so much ethnic diversity, one would expect that diversity to be demonstrated in the foods available.   You name the type of food and you will undoubtedly find it or a reasonable semblance of what you are trying to find.  The number of restaurants in Manhattan is estimated to be about 30,000 give or take a few thousand.  The number probably changes from week to week and this doesn't even take into account the food trucks and street vendors roaming around the town.

         Clearly no one could likely eat in all of Manhattan's food establishments in a single lifetime.   And we haven't even taken into account the grocers, bakeries, and other specialty food stores.  The great abundance of food is a necessity when you consider not only the people who live in Manhattan, but the millions who visit and work in the city every day.  People have got to eat and the demand accounts for the vast supply of food available throughout the city.

        C.W. Martin from Tilting at Windmills said in response to my question What Does Manhattan Say to You?:

        "Well, right now I'm hungry so a nice gravy-drowned Turkey Manhattan sounds good. If you'd have done this on the weekend, I might have reminisced about how long it's been since I've drank a manhattan. But if you want it limited to the borough, I might be at a loss, having never been there. First thing would be Lisa Douglas looking off her balcony singing, "Darling I love you, forgive me Park Avenue." After that I get a chunk of the country song Manhattan, Kansas. After that, I get a visual on Spider Man. Bet that was a lot of help"
        Whoa, Chris!  You've mentioned a lot of things coming up in April in my Manhattan series.  But you had me at "Turkey Manhattan".   I had to look that one up to find that it is essentially what I'd call an open faced turkey sandwich with gravy.    A while back I was trying to find a restaurant around me that served something like that.  They seemed ubiquitous back east, but not so popular in California from what I found.  Now I've got a new Manhattan food namesake to add to my list.

          If someone asks me about food in Manhattan, the first thing that comes into my mind is pizza.  There's something about New York pizza in my mind and I know many agree.  I've heard it said that it's something in the water.  I don't know if that's so, but I have been disappointed by pizzas elsewhere that label themselves as "New York Style".  

            The last time I was in Manhattan I ordered a slice of pizza.  It was good I'm sure but maybe the experience was diminished some because it was so hot that day.  It was like we'd been walking in a pizza oven all afternoon.  My wife got a bit sick and that scared me, but then she got something to drink and felt much better.  She didn't feel like eating pizza, but I had to have a slice before we got on the train back to New Jersey.

           Next time I'm in Manhattan I'll be sure to get more pizza.  Hopefully it will be spring or fall when it isn't so hot.  Maybe even winter.  Actually anytime will do.  We'll pace ourselves and go when we're real hungry.  Get a whole large pie.  Pepperonis.  I'll take some anchovies on a couple slices.   I can just see and smell that big ol' pizza pie right now.

          Excuse me while I go get a pizza.

          What is your favorite style of pizza?   What are your favorite pizza toppings?   What type of  food  is your community most noted for?


BOTB Results!

        My first Battle of the Bands post for April pitted versions of the Leonard Cohen song "First We Take Manhattan".    I was surprised to find so many great covers of this song on YouTube, but I settled on the two that I liked the best.  Then I just had to decide which I liked better than the other.

        This was a very tough choice for me.  I like the haunting minor key piano work throughout the Joe Cocker version and the backing vocals are a nice touch.  This is one of my favorite Cocker performances that I've heard so far.  I'm not a big fan so I don't know all of his work, but this version of "First We Take Manhattan" is pretty powerful in my opinion.

        Jennifer Warnes' version was the first I ever heard of this song and for years was the only version I'd ever known.  It's a recording that I've enjoyed from the first time I heard it.   After I heard Cocker's version I figured this would be a difficult decision.   The vocals on the Warnes version are more pleasing to my ears.  Cocker offers a more convincing vocal, but the smooth tones of Warnes provide an irony to the subject matter of the song.  The smoking guitar work of Stevie Ray Vaughn absolutely cooks throughout the song.   The production value of the recording is excellent.

         In the end I had to stick with the version that I had long known and liked.  Jennifer Warnes' version gets my vote in this Battle.  But I really do like Cocker's version so Jennifer wins my vote by a very slight edge.

          The vote was overwhelmingly in favor of Joe Cocker.  He took an early lead and maintained it throughout the voting.   Thanks to all of you who voted in this round.

Final Vote Tally:

Jennifer Warnes     15 votes

Joe Cocker               29 votes

        Next Battle of the Bands contest will be on Friday April 15th with another "Manhattan" related song.  Plenty more Manhattan posts between now and then so please continue to drop by to see what I've cooked up based on that prompt.


  1. Great A to Z post, and I had the winner of The Bands,

    1. Yvonne, you frequently pick the winners.


    2. Arlee, still no reply box at bottom of page. Though I did notice when I replied this way last time, one showed up. Strange. SO, trying it this way, known as the New York Two Step.

    3. Enelinwen, That happens sometimes with Blogger. Usually if I reload the page the boxes come up okay in the second try.


  2. Your post about Pizza and all made me more hungry.. today i am observing a fast as its an auspicious 1st day of 'Navratri' (9 day Festival for all form of Goddess Durga, where Non Veg , Onion Garlic is prohibited for all these 9 days, is going on).. I love to go through all your Manhattan stories.


  3. I love NY style and just plain cheese. Pizza here in MA used to be on par w/ NY but now I can't find decent pizza anywhere, except Regina Pizzeria, and the closest one to me is the food court at the Cape Cod Mall. :(

  4. We rarely eat pizza. Didn't know there was a NY style. I thought that was just cheesecake. Pizza in Italy is very different from the overloaded pastry sold in North America.

  5. The only pizza we eat is homemade. Both hubby and I try out different types and give it marks out of 10. He's winning the battle of the pizzas to date. Have a 'topping' weekend :)

  6. We get super supreme hold the green peppers please! ~hehehehe~ My favorite topping is sliced tomatoes. It gives the pizza more juice. mmmm Our community is noted for heinz 57.. we have everything around here from Italian to Chinese and India etc... Have a great day. Oh yes, and I'm now a follower on all your social networks I have found here. Hope you can do the same if you come visit me. hugs and have a wonderful weekend! Woo Hoo A to Zzzzzzzzz!!!

  7. I like my pizza thin and cheesy, no toppings please. New Jersey is known for its juicy, acidic, huge tomatoes and I always try to grow some each summer. I love them fresh best, in salads or with pasta, but I always cook down the surplus at the end of the season for fresh tomato sauce for pasta off season. Of course, I share with neighbors and family.

  8. Ah, classic NY pizza! We're actually lucky to have a good NY-style pizza place in Albuquerque (rare, I know), and we were so happy when we found it!

  9. The pizza tastes delicious I bake my wheat pizza. I love doing it, fresh sauce, mushrooms & crispy capsicum.



  10. Gastronomic adventures are definitely part of any travel plan. I'll be getting that pizza too. Pepperoni, and also Margarita when I want a light one.


  11. You can't beat their pizza or their bagels.

  12. I love New York pizza. There's nothing better. Western New York (Niagara Falls/Buffalo) where I'm from has dang good pizza too.

    Naturally my hometown is known for the famous Buffalo Wings. I grew up on them and they really know how to fix 'em up there. Another famous food item is the Beef on Weck (slices of roast beef smothered in au jus on a kummelweck roll with kosher salt and caraway seeds. usually you put horseradish on it). It's only found in Western New York. I've never seen it anywhere else.
    You can read about it here:

    You have to have the roll. It can't be just any roll. It has to be a kummelweck roll to be authentic. It's soooo good. I could eat those every day!

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Michele, I'd like to try the beef dish. Sounds like an interesting blend of ingredients and I'm very fond of horseradish.


  13. Thank you for sharing!! I've only been to New York once in my life, but I'm going again this summer. I definitely have to stop to get some New York pizza!

  14. For whatever reason, I can't remember who I voted for.
    So, what's the different with New York Style pizza? I know Chicago style is the deep dish variety, and I've never been overly fond of it.
    For my community, we do beer the best. Hey, it's what Milwaukee's famous for. Miller still brews here and there is very nearly a pub on every other city block. The number of micro-brews is outstanding. Sure, not technically a food. But it is liquid bread. So I'm going with that.

  15. My favorite kind of pizza is Greek, with feta cheese, sun-dried or regular tomatoes, spinach, and mushrooms. As I've gotten older, I think I've developed some lactose intolerance, though I never was a milk and cheese person anyway.

  16. First, you caught me hungry again!

    Second, Joe Cocker is in my M10 this week....

  17. I can imagine the diverse range of food in a very diverse city like Manhattan. I enjoy Pizza, with lots of tomato, and a range of toppings, BUT without cheese. :-) #AtoZChallenge

  18. For me, going to NYC is for good ethnic food. Getting a slice of cheese pizza is fun on the way to eat ramen or soup dumplings. @NinaRubin1
    Coaching By Nina Rubin

  19. Visiting from Australia - I didn't know there was a New York style of pizza - what is different about it? I love pizza and am just off to have some ham and pineapple pizza for lunch.

    from Australia
    (where it is already tomorrow)

  20. Okay, so how weird is this? I can't answer right off the bat, after reading. BUT, if I reply to you in a comment, then I can shoot down to the bottom and catch the A Train of Comment boxes.

    What I wanted to say is Nobody does it better than New York on Pizza. Though I know the place which is best will differ from New Yorker to New Yorker... what else is new?
    Stombolis, - used to be on University place, near 14th Street. I spent my college days on the Village campus.

    LOVE that you're doing this series. As my hometown, it's nice to see it through the eyes of others.

    NOTE: Enelinwen is my BLOGGER ID. I'm doing the A to Z Challenge from Wordpress: Https://fimnorawestcaw.wordpress.com


  21. New York style pizza is hand-tossed and thin-crusted, according to Wikipedia. Sounds perfect! ☺I've heard they have fabulous restaurants in Manhattan for every taste. It would be fun to do a culinary tour.

    I went with the winner on your BOTB. Looks like a decisive victory, as was mine.

    1. Debbie, thin crust is what I like with a bit of chewiness and that is NY style. I guess just about anything you are in the mood to eat can be found in Manhattan.


  22. Nothing like that floppy, foldable goodness! {~>

  23. I am not a huge food person unless it's desserts:) I don't order pizza that often but I always must have pepperoni, mushrooms and pineapple

  24. Yum! I love Manhattan pizza! I get a slice every time we go. And sometimes it's the only thing my husband and I eat the entire time we are there. It's just sooo good! You simply can't get pizza like that anywhere else in the world!

    I had never heard of the turkey/gravy sandwich though. That sounds interesting. I wonder where the best place in Manhattan is to get one since I've never noticed them on the menu. Then again, with all of the pizza I've eaten there, maybe I've just been going to the wrong places.

    I'm surprised you didn't mention bagels?

    1. M&J, I mostly associate bagels with breakfast and I've never been in Manhattan for breakfast.



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