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Top 100 Best Things to do in New York

Top 100 Best Things to do in New York

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Just like the tacky tourist mugs and t-shirts say – I HEART NYC! After living there once (very briefly) and visiting many times, I never get sick of the city that never sleeps. Here is a list of 100 of the best things to do in the Big Apple (in no particular order) and a few what not to do’s:

1. Have a boozy brunch at Clinton Street Baking House

2. Have a day of eating at Eataly

3. Walk around the Guggenheim
4. Go ice skating at Rockefeller or Central Park
5. Go bowling at Brooklyn Bowl
6. Walk down Fifth Avenue
7. Watch (or play) street basketball at Riverside Park
8. Marvel at the art at the Met
9. Take a step back in time at the Natural History Museum
10. Walk the highline
11. Sit on your lap top at the Ace Hotel lobby
12. Catch the subway… you never know what will happen
13. Bar hop in the Lower East Side
14. Go to tranny bingo at Lips
15. Row a boat in Central Park
16. Go to Yankee Stadium and watch a game
17. Kayak on the Hudson River
18. Have high tea at the Plaza
19. Walk done Madison Avenue
20. Wonder through the Chelsea markets
21. Go shopping in the meat packing district
22. Have a cocktail at the Boom Boom room at sunset
23. Have a cheese burger at the Standard Grill
24. Have afternoon drinks at the Frying Pan boat bar
25. Go to the Chelsea Pier driving range
26. Get a chopper ride around Manhattan
27. Pick up a bargain at the Brooklyn flea market
28. Go op shopping in Brooklyn
29. Have a drink at the Wythe Hotel roof top bar
30. Wonder the cobble stone streets of West Village
31. See live comedy at the Comedy Cellar
32. Go to the top of the Rockafeller
33. See a Broadway show
34. Cycle around central park
35. Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge
36. Have a picnic in Central Park
37. Gallery hop around Chelsea
38. Go shopping in Soho
39. Have lunch at the Boat House
40. Eat a gyro platter from the Halal guys
41. Get a massage at Okuyama Bodywork
42. Watch an outdoor movie at Bryant Park
43. Eat a slice of cheese pizza at Joe’s
44. Eat Mexican at La Esquina
45. Take a street art tour of Bushwick
46. Eat a rack of ribs at Dinosaur kitchen
47. Taste some beer at Brooklyn Brewery
48. Go to the big apple block party
49. Get drunk at a dive bar
50. Watch a game or concert at Madison Square garden
51. Volunteer at the Eagle Street Roof Top Farm
52. Go for a swim at the Equinox Printing Room roof top pool
53. Take a break and the Elevated Arce
54. Check out the old city hall subway station
55. Pay your respects at the 9/11 memorial
56. Drink beer at the movies at Nitehawk cinema
57. Eat a sandwich a pastrami at Katz Deli
58. Eat a cream cheese bagel at Murray’s bagels
59. Do sunset yoga in Fort Tryon Park
60. Eat dinner at Baltazar
61. Eat a burger at The Spotted Pig
62. Have lunch at ABC kitchen
63. Stay at The Standard Hotel
64. Admire The Frick collection at The Met
65. Explore the up and coming art scene in Dumbo
66. Drink at a college bar in Union Square
67. Go to a gay bar on Christopher Street
68. Eat dumpling’s at Ping’s Seafood, China Town
69. Eat tacos from the El Ray del Taco food truck
70. Grab a book and a coffee at Housing Works Book Store
71. Eat Sushi at Nobu
72. Spend the night at the Crosby Hotel
73. Have a coffee at Toby’s Estate
74. Go to the underground Apple store
75. Play on the giant key board at FAO Schwartz
76. Hit the d-floor at Brass Monkey
77. Eat meatballs at the meatball shop
78. Eat lunch at Pastsis
79. See a gig at terminal 5 or Radio City Music Hall
80. Go to MOMA
81. Buy designer fashion from a consignment store
82. Eat a cronut from Dominque Ansel Bakery
83. Make dumplings at Brooklyn Brainey’s cooking school
84. Take a Tribeca loft tour
85. Hail a yellow cab
86. Go to the Tenement Museum
87. Admire the view from 230 Fifth
88. Eat a cup cake from Mongolia Bakery
89. Take the aerial tram to Roosevelt Island
90. See jazz at the Village Vanguard
91. Eat a pretzel or hotdog off the street
92. Catch a train from Grand Central
93. Go on the roller coast at Coney Island
94. Admire the Statue of Liberty
95. Go to the top of the Empire State Building
96. Ride the Wall Street bull
97. Spend an afternoon drinking at Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden
98. Walk the streets of Little Italy
99. People watch… anywhere!
100. Have a sleepless night in the city that never sleeps.

3 things NOT to do:

1.  Go to Time Square – It looks just like the photos, don’t waste your time
2. Go to Mid-town – boooooring
3. Ride the horses in central park – horses don’t belong in the CBD, don’t encourage it!

Oink oink,

Truffle Pig.

P.S Send me any I missed!

Sydney’s Best Bakeries

Sydney’s Best Bakeries

IMG_6821As people are becoming more food conscious (aka food snobs), we have seen the demise of Brumbies and the rise of gourmet bakeries. You won’t hear any complaints from me; I will take a gourmet pie over a 4 and 20 any day of the week. Here are my top picks for Sydney’s best bakeries.

Bourke Street Bakery
This bakery opened its flagship store in Surry Hills but has opened up 8 more since. Why? Because everything they bake is bloody delicious. Must order item: The lamb, rosemary and harissa sausage roll.
Bourke Street Bakery on Urbanspoon
Bourke Street Bakery on Urbanspoon

Luxe
Luxe was once a Newtown institution is now a well-loved bakery chain in the eastern suburbs. Must order item: the banana bread, toasted with butter of course.
Luxe Bakery on Urbanspoon
Luxe Espresso on Urbanspoon

Sonoma
Their bread is good enough for top restaurants around Sydney, so it is good enough for me. They do a damn good coffee too. Must order item: the miche loaf toast.
Sonoma Bakery Café on Urbanspoon
Sonoma Bakery Cafe on Urbanspoon

Iggy’s
This bread is so good that you’re unlikely to get your hands on any before midday because it sells like hot potatoes (or hot bread in this case). Must order item: The sourdough, good enough to eat on its own.
Iggy's Down Under on Urbanspoon

The Tin Pin Bakery
This cosy little hole in the wall has become a bustling hot spot for breakfast and lunch with cabinets full of prepare sandwiches, gourmet pies and breads. Must order item: The gluten free loaf.
The Tin Pin Bakery on Urbanspoon

La Banette Pâtisserie
You can’t walk past this place without being in awe of the beautiful tarts and pastries. Must order item: The almond croissant.

La Banette Pâtisserie on Urbanspoon

Brasserie Bread
Organic sourdough geniuses and suppliers to top tier restaurants, these guys know how to bake! Must order item: the olive and rosemary loaf.
Brasserie Bread on Urbanspoon

Central Baking Depot
This quaint little bakery doesn’t look like your typical CBD Café, but that is exactly where it is. Must order item: Pancetta & gruyere cheese quiche.

Central Baking Depot on Urbanspoon

Oink oink,

Truffle Pig.

5 Easy Ways to Detox …

5 Easy Ways to Detox …

Whether you have had a long week, a heavy meal or overindulged in a few beverages, your body will need a detox once in a while. Here are 5 of the easiest ways to detox that require little money and hardly any effort that will have you hitting reboot on your body:

1. Hot water with lemon juice – start your day with this and your digestive system will love you.

2. Coconut oil pulling – swish around a table spoon of mouth for 20 minutes, spit and rinse. Sounds weird, yes, but it will rid your mouth of all the toxins and bacteria before they enter your body.

3. Sweat – whether you sit in a sauna for an hour, do a hot yoga class or run up a mountain, you will go from feeling a million baht to a million bucks!

4. A shot of apple cider vinegar – this potent liquid might stink like smelly feet but it does wonders for your body. Research shows that it can help stimulate cardiovascular circulation and help detoxify the liver.

5. Fast – not eating for 24 hours might sound daunting but once you have given your digestive system a well-earned break your post- weekend recovery will be a breeze. Drink a tonne of water to flush that system out.

Oink oink,

Truffle Pig.

A Guide to Mudgee ….

A Guide to Mudgee ….

Only 3.5 hours from Sydney but many worlds away sits Mudgee, a small country town full of life and surprises. Yes of course it has Target Country and the main road is full of fast food, but there are many gourmet cafes, cosy bars and world class cellar doors to explore. Mudgee’s population might be small but the population are passionate about all the good things in life – food, wine and the great outdoors.

What to do:

Cycle

Mudgee is fairly flat and many of the best cellar doors are only a few kilometres away from each other. The distances are still a little too far to walk (unless you have the time and energy), but perfect for cycling. There is no bike hire unfortunately so it is BYO.

Hike

The Mudgee region is surrounded by national parks perfect for hiking but nothing beats the weir walk and long cave circuit for stunning views which will be approximately a two hour round trip.

Go to the markets

The Mudgee Farmer’s Markets are located in the picturesque grounds of St Marys Church every third Saturday of the month. There are up to 50 stallholders here with a range of food all of which have been grown, baked or smoked all within a 100 mile radius of the town.

Wine tours

There are plenty of nice people willing to take you on a personalised wine tour including Mudgee Wine Tours. Make sure you add these cellar doors to the list:

Cellar Doors

Logan Wines

Logan Wines is the perfect place to start or end your trip to Mudgee as it located a few kilometres out of town on the road to and from Sydney. The cellar door itself is stunning and has a huge glass façade making it perfect any time of year with views of rolling vine covered hills. Must try wine: Hannah Rose.

Lowe Family Wine Co.

Lowe Family Wine Co. is an institution in Mudgee and has been squeezing grapes since 1815. You can tell it is a family run business thanks to the warm hospitality and the welcoming cellar door. When the sun is shining there is no better place to be than in their garden. Must try wine: The sparking red.

Di Lusso Estate

Di Lusso Estate is more than a cellar door, it’s an adult’s playground and the perfect place to settle into an afternoon drinking and playing a game of bocce. Must try wine: Sangiovese
Cucina di Lusso on Urbanspoon

Where to eat:

The Butcher Shop Café
The Butcher Shop Café is unsurprisingly located in an old butcher shop dating back to 1875 but is now a modern, bustling café that does the best breakfast in town.
Butcher Shop Cafe on Urbanspoon

High Valley Wine & Cheese Co.
As the name suggests, this historic little cottage has been transformed into a delightful little haven of cheese and wine. Go here for breakfast, a lazy lunch or an afternoon grazing board filled with their hand made cheese. They will happily allow you taste them first.

Sajos:
Located in the heart of town Sajo’s is the perfect dinner spot before exploring Mudgee’s pub and bar scene. The menu is modern Australian and made from all local produce. There are set menu specials and a great list of local wines and cocktails.
Sajo's on Urbanspoon

Where to drink:

Mudgee Brewing Co.

Mudgee Brewing Co. not only make their own craft beers, they have a wine list full of local wines and a menu featuring tasty bar snacks made from local produce like the chilli and peanut chicken wings and fries lathered in bacon, mozzarella and ranch dressing. Wash them all down with a Mudgee Mud or a Pale Ale, both made in-house.
Mudgee Brewing Company on Urbanspoon

Roth’s Wine Bar

Roth’s Wine Bar is a local watering hole as well as a hot spot for visitors. This is the perfect location for some atmosphere with live music playing every Friday and Saturday night.
Roth's Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

The Orient Hotel

The Orient Hotel is a must-visit, good old fashioned country pub. With live sport inside and plenty of outdoor dining, it is perfect for any occasion whether is a afternoon drink or a big night out on the country-town, there is always a bustling atmosphere at the “ori”.
Sajo's on Urbanspoon

Getting there:

Drive, from Sydney. It can feel like a slow drive at time so I suggest either leaving early or planning a lunch in the Blue Mountains en route.

Where to stay:

28 Rocky Waterhole Road is a lovely little self-contained cottage a few minutes out of down with unrivalled sun set views and a tennis court. Sleeps 4.
The Tannery is a quaint little guest house that epitomises country shabby chic located in the heart of town.

Oink oink,

Truffle Pig.

Coconut chicken with asian salad ….

Coconut chicken with asian salad ….

DSC_0071This salad is a great lunch or dinner option for warmer weather thanks to its crisp freshness and the tropical punch in the coconut. It is light, fresh, quick and easily “beefed up” with some vermicelli noodles.

What you need:

  • ½ bunch of wombok, thinly sliced
  • ½ bunch of red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • Cup of coriander, roughly chopped
  • Cup of mint, roughly chopped
  • 3 cups of bean shoots
  • 2 x chillies (leave out if you don’t like it hot)
  • 1 can of light coconut milk
  • 500g of chicken
  • ½ cup of roasted, unsalted peanuts
  • 3 shallots stalks, finely chopped
  • Soy sauce
  • Fish sauce
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar

What you need to do:

  • Cut chicken into thin strips and place into a pan on medium heat with the coconut milk, a dash of soy sauce and the chillies finely diced and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 5-10 mintues.
  • While the chicken is cooking place all vegetables into a large bowl and toss
  • To make the dressing place about 4 tables spoons of soy and 4 table spoons of fish sauce into a bowl with the sugar and lime juice and stir, then place over salad, add more ingredients based on your tastes
  • Once the chicken is cooked, place it on top of the salad along with the peanuts and serve.

 

Oink oink,

Truffle Pig.

A Guide To Italian Cheeses ….

A Guide To Italian Cheeses ….

A guide to italian cheeses

If you’re looking for cheese for a platter, pasta, pizza or salad, the Italian’s have you covered. Here is a list of just a few varieties of Italian cheeses:

Asiago (pronounced ah-see-ah-go) is a cow’s milk cheese that can assume different textures, according to its aging. Fresh Asiago is smooth and works well on sandwiches, while the aged variety is crumbly with a sharp flavour perfect for pastas, soups and salads.

Brinata cheese has an edible rind and a milky inside. It tastes similar to brie, but more moist and a slight tang. This one goes perfectly with a nice dry glass of white.

Burrata is a sack of mozzarella filled with buttery cream. Yep, and it tastes as good as it sounds.

Crescenza  cheese is similar to Gorgonzola without the blue veins and it becomes very soft and spreadable at room temperature – the perfect partner for a pear or a cracker.

Crotonese is pure sheep’s milk cheese somes soft or hard and has a similar taste to parmesan and a pecorino. Delicious grated or on a platter by itself.

Fontina is a cow’s milk cheese. It has been made in the Aosta Valley, in the Italian Alps since the 12th century. The original Fontina cheese from Italy is fairly pungent and has quite an intense flavour.

Gorgonzola is one of the more well-known varieties – a blue vein made from unskimmed cow or goat milk. Authentic gorgonzola comes in two varieties – dolce meaning sweet and Mountain which is sharper. It can be melted into risotto, used as a pizza topping, or served in a salad.

Mascarpone is an ultra-rich cheese best known as for its involvement in delicious Italian desserts like tiramisu but it is also delicious topped with fresh berries or in a savoury spread.

Mozzarella is a white, semi-soft cheese, with a high-moisture content. Buffalo mozzarella is made from domesticated water buffalo milk and is stringy when melted making it perfect for pizza and lasagne but also delicious when served fresh in a salad.

Parmigiano-Reggiano aka Parmesan is a cow’s milk cheese with a flaky texture and rich nutty flavour. Usually the more is smells, it the better it is. Perfect for salads, pastas, risottos and much much more.

Pecorino Romano is one of Italy’s oldest cheeses, similar to parmesan with a much sharper taste. Perorino is hard, salty, made from sheep’s milk and the perfect cooking accompaniment.

Provolone is a semi hard cow’s milk cheese that varies from being incredibly sweet to incredible sharp. Great for sandwiches and omelettes.

Ricotta is a pure white salty cheese and the Italian’s answer to cottage cheese. Often used for making cakes, this cheese also works well in salads and pastas like ravioli.

Taleggio is a super stinky cheese that has a mild flavour with a fruity tang. The rind is thin and studded with salt and goes perfectly on salads or bruschetta.

Oink oink,

Truffle Pig.