The ultimate New York City food tour
“I sometimes feel like a drug dealer, pushing stuff on people,” my driver confessed as he weaved a white Checker taxi through New York City traffic. “Hey, wanna piece of pie?”
For Famous Fat Dave, aka David Freedenberg, this is his job: providing a mobile buffet featuring the best food you’ll never find near Times Square. Dave leads fun food tours made on the fly from hundreds of hand-picked sandwich shops, pizzerias, bakeries and noodle houses. Many are old-school dives in the boroughs, where accents run deep. How does he pick them?
“‘I’m not a foodie,” he admitted. “I just like food for its pure taste.”
I also like food for its pure taste, and on a recent tour of seven stops in several hours, I ate memorable meals at places that I hadn’t previously noticed on long-familiar streets. In SoHo, we started with a 90-year-old Italian butcher’s, picking up pepper sausage to snack on while criss-crossing Brooklyn’s back streets. At Defonte’s in nearby Red Hook, I wolfed down a delicious beef, aubergine and mozzarella sandwich. In Sunset Park – Brooklyn’s Chinatown – we squeezed into Yun Nan Flavour Snack, a cubbyhole serving an unreal cold noodle bowl of pork, peanuts and spicy chilli sauce.
Since going full-time in 2006, Dave’s happily gained 30 pounds seeking out new stuff to eat. His to-eat list begins with locals’ tips from when he drove a cab. “This tour could only work in New York,” he claimed. “It’s been the coolest place in the world for 400 years. And it will be for the next 400.”
|posted on||April 8, 2012|
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