NYC Summer Grub Series: The Chelsea Market
By Jonas Barnes
NYC is a city full of anything and everything you could want. Entertainment, 5-star cuisine, drinks and homeless men masturbating are just a sample of the indulgences you can take part of every day in NYC.
As the summer rolls in, the city unleashes pure culinary bliss onto the people in the form of food fairs, festivals, markets, and new menu offerings from some of the best chefs around the world. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be outlining some of the summer grub spots in NYC, starting with a year-round staple that is especially popular during the summer: The Chelsea Market.
Right on the border of “The Meatpacking District” and Chelsea neighborhoods of Manhattan, at the foot of the famous “Highline” park, lies Chelsea Market. This mega-complex spans an entire block and houses some of the best food spots in NYC along with shopping and the Food Network headquarters. Recently, Google even took up some real estate on the 3rd and 4th floors, if that tells you anything about how awesome this building is. Historically speaking, the retail concourse of The Chelsea Market takes up the space that was built for, and originally occupied by, Nabisco. This place has fat kid history written all over it because the Oreo cookie was invented here. Legend says that, if you eat enough, you’re visited by the ghost of the original Oreo cookie. Either that or the impending heart attack is making you temporarily hallucinate right before you croak.
I’m gonna highlight a few places for you here on the “restaurant” side so that when you come here, you don’t miss the best of the best.
First is a place dear to my heart because I’m a west coast transplant: Los Tacos No. 1.
Right in the middle of this historical, artistic building lies a no bullshit, walk up taco joint that serves tacos so good, they’ll blow your dick off. I know and love good tacos. NYC disappointed me so much on the taco game because they’re all filled with some hipstery, nu-chef horseshit like papaya and cinnamon carnitas. Fuck you, man. Tortillas, protein, onions, cilantro, lime, salsa and radish on the side…that’s all you need! Let the ingredients speak for themselves and make sweet love to your mouth. Such sweet love, I might add, that you’ll happily swallow every drop.
Next on the agenda is a fantastic seafood joint called The Lobster Place. On top of the fresh fish and seafood, they serve amazing lobster rolls and chowders. I’m telling you this as a fat man from Seattle, they have amazing chowder. Oh, and you’d kill a distant family member to get your lips wrapped around one of the amazing Po’ Boys they serve up.
Finally, our gastrointestinal magic carpet ride brings us to the final “must go to” on the trip: The Creamline.
TRIGGER WARNING: If you’re lactose intolerant, stop reading. The dairy based pornography that is about to follow will only make you jealous and angry. Okay, now that they’ve left, I’ll continue. The Creamline is a stand in the market that serves simple, amazing comfort food. Dry aged beef cheeseburgers dripping with farm fresh cheese sit atop a menu that also includes Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup, fresh caught tuna salad, griddle cooked peanut butter & jelly and fried motherfucking Oreos with fresh whipped cream. I don’t know about you guys, but I need a towel to wipe this up and a cigarette.
On top of all the restaurants, Chelsea Market is anchored down by shops of all kinds. One of the cornerstones of the market has always been the Italian specialty grocery store, Buon Italia. They specialize in imported cheeses, meats, oils, plates of pasta, and prepared foods from Italy. And if you have a sweet tooth, this imported diabetes warehouse has something for you.
For the carnivores among us, the Chelsea Market contains an amazing butcher shop by the name of Dicksons Farmstand Meats.
This is an incredible butcher shop that sells freshly butchered meats and jerky & meat sticks that will change your life.