First Stop: Brooklyn
Nestled about a twenty-minute walk from the Brooklyn Bridge is an inconspicuous little Thai restaurant. Its twin awnings are black, its frames wooden, and if you’re looking for a sign, you won’t find it. Welcome to Joya!
- Not a single drop of oil dripped from the fried shrimp rolls.
- I ordered the spicy squid pad thai but the flavor was too subtle for me and not nearly spicy enough.
- The best friend ordered the spicy noodle but it was a flavor explosion in her mouth.
- Solution! We switched dishes and finished every noodle on our plates, despite how stuffed we were. It was absolutely delicious.
- The service was impeccable: we stayed for hours chatting while the waitress kept our water glasses full.
Bonus: Gluten-Free Alert! The noodles are rice noodles and the shrimp rolls are wrapped in rice paper. One of the best friends was recently diagnosed with a mild gluten allergy, so gluten-free is now the magic word in our lives.
Second Stop: Chinatown
Trying to have some semblance of a healthy lifestyle, the best friend and I walked the Brooklyn Bridge, regularly saved each other from colliding with bikers, and basked in the beautiful views.
On the other side of the Brooklyn Bridge is the Chinatown neighborhood of Manhattan. Naturally, the best friend and I rewarded ourselves for the walk with some of the best soft serve Chinatown has to offer. Onwards to Soft Swerve!
- Super fresh Asian-inspired flavors, like purple yam and matcha green tea
- Customizable toppings and cone options, which I didn’t opt for this time
- Rich, creamy, and refreshing, as soft serve should be on a hot summer day
Third Stop: Upper East Side
Like the caption says on my Instagram post: I don’t know what kind of unicorn magic Tony’s Di Napoli puts in their food, but their pasta sauces are downright addicting. Clockwise, from the top left corner: Chicken Marsala; Fried Calamari; Gluten-free Spaghetti with Broccoli and Garlic; Stuffed Mushrooms.
Tony’s also got major bonus points for the stuffed mushrooms, which is not typically a gluten-free option (because of the breadcrumbs used to hold the filling together). However, the best friend asked if the breadcrumbs could be taken out, and the waiter offered to pass the request on to the chef. Next thing we know, her stuffed mushrooms were customized by using extra cheese to substitute the breadcrumbs!
Tony’s is known for their family-style Strawberry Shortcake dessert, which means it’s supposed to serve four people, but the best friend and I never let realistic portion sizes get in the way of our dreams.
Needless to say, the two of us practically rolled out of the restaurant, but we had no regrets.
To read more Hanging Out With Life posts, click here.