Blog: The 2013 Taste of Times Square
Whoever says rain ruins a party wasn’t in Times Square on Monday night. Sure it was a bit wet and a bit humid but that didn’t stop tourists and city dwellers alike for coming out to the crossroads of the world to celebrate and dine on some of the best dishes made by some of the most popular restaurants in the area. In a stretch of street that started at 46th Street and Broadway and going as far as the eye could see, event goers could purchase tickets to redeem for vendors food at a great value at “A Taste of Times Square.”
As we shook off the residual rain from the afternoon it was time to seriously dig into some great neighborhood eats. B.B Kings Blues Club & Grill was the first stop on our “Taste” and we couldn’t have been happier. The popular 42nd Street music club also has some of the best soul food in the area and on this night they were serving up overstuffed “Pulled Pork Sliders” topped with a vinegary slaw and creamy mac and cheese. The mac even had that crunchy breaded topper that truly makes this comfort food dish blast off. In keeping with bold and big eats we made our way through the crowd and a slight line to the table run by Gallagher’s Steak House. We are huge fans of steak, especially the handheld potable variety and their crew of expert steak chefs prepared a criminally (in a good way) juicy “Sliced Steak Sandwich” served with a side of homemade kettle potato chips. We could spot event goers with huge meat smiles chomping down on the huge sandwich with onions spilling out the side in such a satisfying way.
Once we had packed in these two incredible dishes it was time to take a short break to drink in this neighborhood that New Yorkers like myself never spend much time in. Times Square staple The Naked Cowboy could be seen donning his guitar and tighty-whitey underwear serenading tourists with his signature humorous swagger. The Stardust Diner was also on hand with some of their waitstaff belting out tunes to passers by, just like they do at their restaurant on a daily basis. From this point on the rain from earlier was a memory and the sun shined in a refreshing manner. The sun’s rays gave us the cue to start eating again.
The crew from Nuchas Empanadas sold heaping amounts of their much beloved “Spicy Chicken and Pork Empanadas” at one of the best values of the event. It also doesn’t hurt that they are basically bite sized allowing one to constantly pop them into your mouth. On the other side of the coin Virgil’s Real BBQ was all about huge eats with their oversized “BBQ Chicken Wings” and “Memphis Style Pork Ribs.” We honestly cannot get enough of their ribs as the dry rub is deliciously savory.
When it was time to close out the evening of eating, we opted for something complex yet fun all at the same time. Luckily for us Times Square’s own Ruby Foo’s was dishing out their Asian delights. Their “Sesame Crusted Tuna” was decorated with wok charred mushrooms, lime and Korean chili aioli in a single serving version of a meal that we would love an entire plate of. The lime and the spice worked brilliantly together atop the very fresh tuna. Wiping our mouths in retrospect, the weather wasn’t agreeable on Monday afternoon. But the “Taste of Times Square” proved that this neighborhood has its fair share of great eats that jaded New Yorkers should take another look at.
- Jay Rubin