NYC Vacay – Recap

We just got back from a vacay in Hawaii!  It’s snowing here in DC, so naturally we dream of soft, sandy beaches and fresh coconut water, plus MORE VACATION!  Funny how our jet-lagged brains think of vacation right after vacation.  So what better way to reminisce about bygone holidays than by recapping our trip to NYC in early December.

This trip to NYC was very special for a number of reasons.  Family, food, fun, holiday decorations, and best of all….Hugh Jackman on Broadway. I would tell you to go and see the show now, but it was over faster than Kris Humphries could say annulment.

So fast forward to the part where we stop talking nonsense and get to the FOOD.

First stop: Macarons at Cafe M
My Aunt Cee frequents this cute cafe in Koreatown because it’s close to work and is cozy as a macaron-selling cafe should be. Cafe M sells other goodies and drinks, but we had our game faces on so we stuck with macarons. They have a ton of different flavors–all colorful and delightful. My favorite was vanilla. The cookie part of the macaron isn’t quite as delicate as Laduree; but for half the cost and 45 mins less of a wait, this is a great option.


After Cafe M we walked to Eataly–Mario Batali’s Italian Heaven.  I was gaining weight just dreaming of this place.  Unlimited amounts of pasta, pizza, and every other carb imaginable?  Yes, please.


Sadly, Eataly was a bit of a let down.  It was really crowded and all the lines were long.  It almost felt like a tourist trap.  However, the worst part was when we were told by the panini cashier that they ran out of mozzarella.  It’s like going to a Chinese restaurant and being told they ran out of MSG.  Crazy right?  I  immediately had a flash back of Brit Brit running around outside with a shaved head, sketchers shoes, and a big pointy umbrella.

In spite of the mozzarella shenanigan, we ordered two different panini and the arancino.  The panini bread was ridiculously hard and the other ingredients didn’t taste fresh or fabulous.


Eataly sorta redeemed itself with the arancini, but not enough to warrant a return trip.

After Eately, we jumped on the six and made a beeline for Laduree (for write up, see previous post).

After Laduree, we decided to trek to Totto Ramen for an early pre-theater dinner. Totto gets rave reviews on Yelp and other sites, so we endured a 60 minute wait in the cold to eat here.  Was it worth it?  YES!! Best meal of the day!

Totto’s ramen is seriously TO.DIE.FOR.  I ordered the spicy vegetable ramen and it was full of veggies, including fresh avocado. Yum!!  The only thing that didn’t work for me was the spiciness.  It was rated like one chili pepper on the heat index, but my lips were on fire so this might be more like 23.6 peppers on the heat index.  If you like spice, I’d recommend getting the spicy sauce on the side so you can add incrementally.

Mr. Chow and I did a quick switcharoo and I was a million times happier with the spicy miso ramen.  This was advertised as like five chili peppers on the heat index scale, but tasted like one.  The broth was still super tasty and the noodles were cooked to perfection.  The pork was also insanely good.  Thinly sliced and grilled with a nice brown char.  Fatty, porky deliciousness.  Yummmm.

My cousin, Kay, got the regular miso ramen and really loved it.  Overall, this place was a winna!  While we love Toki Underground and would go nowhere else in DC, Totto’s broth, pork, and noodles are so much better.  We recently had a bunch of ramen in Hawaii (where we think the ramen eating is pretty good) and even that paled in comparison to Totto.

This trip to NYC was so full of fabulosity, Kimora Lee Simmons would literally burst out of her Baby Phat jeggings.  We can’t wait to go back!

Cafe M
315 5th Ave
(between 31st St & 32nd St)
New York, NY 10016
(212) 213-8393

200 5th AVENUE
NEW YORK, NY 10010
Entrances on 5th Avenue and 23rd Street
(212) 229.2560

Totto Ramen
366 W 52nd St
(between 8th Ave & 9th Ave)
New York, NY 10019
(212) 582-0052


About Chow DC

We have have been eating our way through the DC metro area since 2005. Many calories later, we thought it’d be fun to share our food adventures with anyone crazy enough to listen. We are not food experts by any means, we just love to eat and will try anything once. Although we love a fancy meal, we strive to balance the price, popularity, diversity, and location of our dining experiences. Please contact us with questions or comments. We’d love to hear from you! chownowdc at Follow us on twitter: @chownowDC
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