ok so maybe we actually ended up back in the village the very next morning. but it had to be done. how can you pass up a place that offers breakfast pizza?? but then again, how can you go there with two friends and leave with no one actually ordering the breakfast pizza. it happened at morandi but with good reason. there are just too many tempting offers and we got distracted. i ordered the soft boiled egg with “toasted parmesan bread shoes” and with flecks of sea salt. we ordered sides of toasted tomatoes, also dusted with parmesan, and roasted potatoes crisped in a very generous amount of good olive oil. we devoured breakfast and a strong espresso and were so satisfied. until we saw the breakfast pizza land on a neighbouring table. you know we would have spent the whole day there surfing the menu but we had more to see and taste, so back out to charming wavery place we went.
we didn’t get far. the only hour of rain during our 5 days there started as we walked back outside, so across the street we went to birdbath bakery, a “neighbourhood green bakery” for something sweet. it’s a tasty and seriously green place, with the furniture and even the door being reclaimed pieces. the treats were just as impressive, i could go for one of their cookies right now.
wandering around after the rain led us to commerce street and other fairly quiet by day, but trendy by night niches. i hadn’t read anything about “casa” but after peeking inside this tiny little restaurant, i had to take a picture. it reminded me of a little bistro in paris. maybe that’s why it made me imagine how good everything eaten there would be.
it’s amazing how hungry walking around a city can make you, especially when it’s a place you’re just visiting. maybe it has something to do with taking in all of the things you’re seeing and experiencing with greater detail and effort than you would at home. or maybe it’s because you’re eagerly anticipating your first shake shack experience and it’s all you can do to not to run to the front of the perpetual line.
but at least it’s a pretty place to stand in line. tucked into the south-east corner of madison square park, shake shack’s organized line, order/pager system and plentiful tables set under large, old tress make it easier to bear the wait. the actual food makes you forget all about it. i inhaled fresh yukon gold crinkly fries, the best strawberry shake ever and a veggie burger that many meat-eating patrons order over the regular burger. although i wouldn’t put the “shroom burger” in a category with veggie burgers, since this is no attempt to simulate meat. it’s a portobello mushroom cap that’s topped with cheese and the whole thing is breaded and deep fried to a perfect crispness–and by that i mean that it was not at all greasy from oil, it didn’t get soggy, the cheese was melty. with just a good piece of lettuce and a slice of tomato on a soft, un-toasted hamburger bun as it should be, i finally know what all the hype is about. had i known how good the shroom burger would be, i honestly would have gotten two. if i lived in new york, i would be standing in that line several times a month at least.
but we tore ourselves away. despite all we’d consumed so far, there was more to see and do and much more to eat, this time out of the city. no sleep till…