Weeknights in New York City can be a challenge. Of course, we can always rely on whatever happens to be in our refrigerator, and I love to cook. But we get bored with eating the usual seven favorite recipes, and some dishes can be involved and I don’t always have the time. Of course, we can eat out, but that can be expensive, so for a weeknight we look for something both adventurous (hopefully new to us) but also not too pricey.
Our most recent exploration in this direction was to the Urbanspace Vanderbilt, a food hall just north of Grand Central Train Station that reminds me of a mini Reading Terminal Market (the latter, in Philadelphia, is like 20 times the size of this new Manhattan spot).
We made our dinner foray into a little more of an adventure by walking across town to the Grand Central area. First we passed through Broadway in the Garment District where the Fancy Animal Carnival is currently on display, a bunch of delightful humongous animal sculptures created by Taiwan artist Hung Yi.
Finally, just a few minutes later, we arrived at Urbanspace Vanderbilt. I will say that we originally went there intending to visit a different food vendor – since they were out of food at 6 in the evening (the hall closes at 9), which we think is pretty bad planning, I will not tell you who that was. When plan A crashed and burned, we picked Red Hook Lobster Pound as our plan B.
I’ve eaten (and enjoyed) Red Hook’s lobster rolls before – at their food truck, which is sometimes parked at the north end of the High Line. This time I had their Lobster BLT, basically adding bacon and chipotle mayo to a typical lobster roll. I know that lobster roll makers tend to toast their rolls with butter, and invariably, when I mention my allergy, they will tell me that the only way to avoid butter is not to toast the roll, and I always say that’s fine with me. That was the case here, and I don’t feel that I suffered for having an un-toasted roll. There was so much fresh lobster on this that I didn’t mind the $21 price tag, and the crisp rich bacon goes very nicely with the soft luscious lobster. An artisanal soda, a Maine Root Beer, rounded out my meal.
As we wandered home, intending to make a bit of detour to stop at our local pharmacy, I turned to take a picture of Grand Central with the Chrysler Building. Soon there is a nasty skyscraper that will be built to the west of the train station that will hem it in, and you won’t be able to see it until you are almost right on top of it. So, for one last time, I enjoyed the view.