Sorry for taking a long break from blogging. These past 3 months have been surprisingly busy. I haven’t been able to get into a proper sleep pattern in months, so constantly being tired makes it difficult to have enough energy to get everything done. It also makes writing a challenge when I can’t really focus on putting words together. It’s been a while, though, and I want to do an update. So even though it’s currently 3am here, I’m going to try to articulate myself as best as I can.
In the middle of March, my boyfriend had a flight to Newark with a relatively decent stay (3 whole days!) so I flew there with him. It was really nice being able to see blue skies and smell fresh air for a change. We also really missed good North American food; the first thing we did on the night we arrived was hit up a local pub for nachos, among other pub fare staples. Although that was a satisfying meal, the good food didn’t end there.
Since we were staying in Weehawken, New Jersey, we spent our first full day in Jersey just to take it easy. After lunch at The Cheesecake Factory, we walked over to Target and did some shopping there. Target is one of our favourite places to stock up on North American goods, especially for the home and kitchen. A lot of the things we’re used to using in Canada either isn’t available in Hong Kong or it’s a lot more expensive for worse quality, which is why my boyfriend tends to do a lot of our shopping in the various cities he travels to. Steak, for instance, can be half the price in places like Toronto and Sydney for a much better cut. It really does pay to shop elsewhere.
Anyway, after shopping at Target, we stopped by Carlos’ Bakery in Hoboken. It wasn’t overly busy when we got there around 5pm, but there was a consistent flow of people in the store.
As soon as we entered the bakery, the first thing we noticed was that everything looked as good as it does on TV. Watching Cake Boss while in HK made us drool over their pastries, so we just had to try them for ourselves. Carlo’s cannoli, biscotti, rugelach, and double chocolate with white chocolate chip cookie were all delicious. Our favourite was the chocolate chip rugelach, which we ended up buying more to bring back to HK. We also brought an individual strawberry cheesecake and an individual chocolate mousse cake back to HK. Even after traveling over 15 hours to the other side of the world, they were still among the best cakes we had.
Down the street from Carlo’s Bakery was Grimaldi’s Coal Brick Oven Pizzeria. My boyfriend took me there for dinner because he’s tried Grimaldi’s and absolutely loves their pizza. Watching them make pizza was mesmerizing. We timed them and it literally took no more than 2 minutes to make each pizza from scratch before they went in the oven. It turned out to be the the best pizza I’ve ever had.
We took a 10-minute bus ride over to Manhattan on the second day. It was convenient having the bus stop so close to our hotel. Our first stop was Katz’s Deli, our favourite place for pastrami.
After lunch, we went to Century 21 to look for bedding. Since we were close by, we made a pit stop to see the north pool outside the 9/11 Memorial Museum. How things have changed since my first trip to New York in 1996 – exactly 20 years ago.
Even though my boyfriend and I have been to New York numerous times, neither of us had ever seen a Broadway musical, so we decided to see Phantom of the Opera during this trip. It is, after all, the longest running show in Broadway history. We enjoyed the show, but I think we both agree that the actor who played the Phantom was probably the one who gave the strongest performance. We had a late dinner at Dallas BBQ after the show, which fulfilled our craving for good BBQ. The Henney wings that my boyfriend recommended were especially good. If only we could get them in HK.
The third day wasn’t very eventful because we had to fly back to HK at the end of that day at midnight. All we did was we went out for a late lunch at a Mexican restaurant my boyfriend had been to and really enjoyed. It was a very small restaurant, but the food was good and authentic. They even made the guac right at our table.
We stopped by Carlo’s Bakery after to pick up the chocolate chip rugelach for HK and was pleasantly surprised to see Madeline, one of Buddy’s sisters. She was nice enough to stop and chat with the customers and, of course, we all asked for photos with her.
Those were pretty much the highlights of our 3-day Newark trip. You’re probably tired of reading by now so I’ll save our Japan trip for the next post, which I’ll try to do in the next couple days. Have a good weekend!