I used to live down in the Washington Sq. Park area the first summer I lived in New York City. I can’t tell you how many times I walked up and down University Place going from my apartment to Union Square. I loved living down in that area of Manhattan — there wasn’t anything more special than to walk outside in the morning and walk right out into the park. There’s something about The Village that just brings back so many memories, my initial memories of the city. If you are only in the city for one day I say skip Times Square and Central Park and head down to Washington Square Park and wander the village, walk in and out of boutiques, eat at some great restaurants and call it a day. I could honestly sit on a bench in Washington Square Park and people watch for hours and hours.
My friend Blaz asked me to lunch and since he works down in the Union Square area I offered to meet him in the neighborhood. He suggested we go to The Grey Dog. I have never even heard of The Grey Dog before but of course I said yes. It also gave me the perfect opportunity to wander around a few of my favorite blocks in the city and sit in the park on a lovely spring afternoon.
While I waited for Blaz tons of people came in and out of the restaurant, and I knew I was going to have a great experience when people would walk by and rave about the food to their friends or family, and tons of people also would point to the restaurant and tell their friends, “I have heard amazing things about that place.” So, clearly I was waiting impatiently while waiting for my friend to arrive for our lunch date.
Once he arrived, we went inside and waited to order. The way the restaurant works is: you walk in, view the menu on a big chalk board, stand in line, and order your food when it’s your turn. If you want to sit down after ordering someone will ask you while you’re in line and he will tell you where you’ll be sitting and you can sit down once you’ve ordered. There’s no table service, so when they call your name you need to get up and get your food, especially if it’s a crazy day. If you want a refill on your drink, sorry to say but you’ll have to stand in line again. So be sure to order everything you want before sitting down.
I ordered the grilled chicken press with fresh mozzarella, pesto and roasted tomato. Such a simple sandwich and even though it was unbelievably delicious, I wished that I ordered something a little more exotic — like the sliced granny smith apple with turkey, brie and raspberry mustard. I guess I will save that order for next time! The chicken meat in my sandwich was nice and moist and the pesto really hit the spot. Pesto is one of my comfort foods and I love putting it on all sorts of things. Served with my pressed sandwich were sweet potato fries. Have you ever put mayo on your sweet potato fries? Do it! And you’ll be hooked on the combo!
In addition to my sandwich, my friend Blaz told me I had to try one of the raspberry iced teas. I wasn’t too sure about the unsweetened iced tea, I love having something nice and sweet because it really quenches my thirst! So, instead, I ordered the raspberry lemonade — and I am beginning to crave a glass of it right now as I type this post. The lemonade reminded me of what I used to drink growing up. As I sipped down my lemonade I remembered how I used to go bare-foot in the middle of summer time, and how I used to love to run barefoot through the grass (something I sadly I can’t do here in the city). I probably thought about this because I used to drink pink lemonade all summer long when I was a teenager. The raspberry flavor only added the most perfect sophistication to the very sweet lemonade. You can’t go to The Grey Dog without ordering one of those drinks — Raspberry Lemonade or Raspberry Iced Tea.
It was such a nice day, we probably should have ordered the food to-go and then sat down in the park. It’s something to keep in mind for next time, especially if there are no tables available to sit down at!