Out of all the events happening all the time, one of my favorite event in NYC is a pop-up eatery space that shows up on several locations. In Spring and the Fall, Greeley Square, right by the Macy’s will have one of these fun and delicious event called the Broadway Bites. The greatest thing about these types of events is that you get to have a taste of all kinds of food, desserts, and drinks from many different restaurants, without visiting each of their actual locations. You get to have them all at one spot. Very convenient, and usually comes out much cheaper than dining at a restaurant as well.
They have a good variety of food from American, Italian, Asian, Spanish, Afrincan, etc. You can find some seafood, meat, and vegetarian, and of course, good amount of desserts such as macaron, gelato, and crepes. You can get creative, and get some Spanish appetizers, Asian main dish, and ending it with Italian dessert like Gelato.
They have several seating spots all around, and since people don’t tend to sit for a long time, it was not too hard to find an empty seats to become available. Currently, they are open daily from 11 am – 9 pm, until July 17. If you just can’t make it before July 17, don’t worry. They will have another Broadway Bites, Fall version, in October.
On this Sunday, we decided to get all “Italian” themed food. We started with Arancini Bros. for appetizer. They are the first and only business specializing in authentic Sicilian rice balls. Arancini, or “little oranges,” named from the rice balls’ appearance, and are a street food in Sicily since centuries ago. They are basically balls of risotto stuffed (or mixed) with various fillings. They kind of reminds of Japanese croquette.
They had 7 different kinds on their menu, with one of them crossed out already. (It was in the afternoon when we got there). Since they were 6 for $10 (before tax), and they only had 6 kinds of balls left, we decided to order one of everything. They came in a cute little egg carton. Their logo incorporates Trinacria (You can read more about Trinacria here: http://www.foodlovergirl.com/trattoria-mediterranea/).
They had Classic Ragu, Bianco Verde, Pizza Ball, Philly Cheese Steak, Broccoli Rabe, and Nutella. The one that got sold out was Buffalo Ball. I guess it was the one item that sounded most enticing… How can you resist a Buffalo Ball? Am I right? LOL. The Classis Ragu is made with saffron risotto with tomato meat sauce, peas, and mozzarella. It was really tasty, had nice tomato meat sauce flavor. It was packed with flavor in this cute little ball. The risotto was cooked just right, not too hard, not mushy. Lightly fried and satisfying. Bianco Verde basil pesto with mozzarella filling. Since I am already a fan of basil pesto, this was a delight. And, this is one of their vegetarian balls.
Pizza Ball seems to be very popular as well, they are Italian style Margherita pitta with tomato and mozzarella. Another one of their vegetarian ball. And yes, it was super tasty! Who would’ve thouht pizza (without curst, of course) inside risotto will taste so great? Philly Cheese Steak was my least favorite. It was made with grilled ribeye, caramelized onions and provolone cheese. I didn’t get much of ribeye or caramelized onions, but more of a mushy, creamy filling. More mushy than creamy…and didn’t have much flavor.
Broccoli Rabe was another wonderful ball. It is made with broccoli rabe and sausage, and mozzarella. It was really flavorful, the sausage was sweet and had just the right amount of seasoning. This was easity the top three. Then, the last but not least, Nutella. I heard their Nutella is pretty famous and popular. And rightfully so, it was really good! It was made with chocolate hazelnut filling, and coated with cinnamon sugar. Yum! and all of them were fried lightly, so that they are not greasy. Risotto was cooked just right, fluffy and flavorful. They certainly made me their fan.
Then, we moved on to the main dish. We went over to Barilla, where they serve Italian dishes that they say they would feed to their own children. This story begins when Pietro Barilla opens a bread and pasta store in downtown Parma in 1877. Now, we can find their pasta brand in most of all grocery stores. We ordered their Spaghetti & Meatballs ($10). They cooked it up right away (they were not something that was just sitting there). They put them in a nice, sturdy container.
For $10, I thought it was a really good, generous portion. Their meatballs are homemade, and pretty big size. We had maybe 5 meatballs, which was awesome! They were juicy and packed with flavor. The pasta was cooked just right, and very tasty. The staffs there were really nice, the chef was very friendly and accommodating. The simple spaghetti and meatball can be really good or really bad. I really enjoyed their spaghetti and meatballs, it was very delicious!
After the satisfying meal, it was time for dessert. They did have an Italian gelato vendor, but I really wanted ice cream sandwich, so, I figured, gelato – ice cream, close enough… So, for our “Italian” dessert, we went over to Melt Ice Cream Sandwiches. They make all our ice cream and cookies from scratch daily. I really like that! And what’s more, they make sustainable ice cream sandwich company focused on locally sourced ingredients, as much as possible, with seasonal flavor combinations. The female staff was really sweet and friendly, welcomed me with a nice big smile.
They had 5 flavors, all $5 each. After much agonizing moments, we decided to go with Lovelet and Ethereal. The staff told me to give it a few minutes before biting in, to let them become a bit soft (as they were completely frozen). The Lovelet is made with Red Velvet Meltcakes and Cream Cheese Ice Cream. I must say, I have never had (or heard of) cream cheese ice cream. Since we love red velvet cakes, we wanted to see how the ice cream sandwich version would be. And let me tell you, it was GREAT! The ice cream was so creamy and rich, so flavorful. The “Meltcakes” were fluffy and soft, but yet solid so that they won’t fall apart while eating. It was more like real red velvet cake than cookies. And, it was a really big size! I was a bit afraid that they will fall apart while I eat them, or that the cookies were too hard and that they push out the ice cream, or just become a huge mess. But, this one kept its form, didn’t become any kind of mess, it was a delight from the beginning to the end.
The Ethereal is made with Pastis Crackle Cookies and Strawberry Ice Cream. The cookies were kind of like sugar cookies, not too hard, not too soft, just the right softness. The strawberry ice cream needed a little extra time to soften than the cream cheese ice cream. I could taste the real strawberries, it was a really good quality ice cream. The cookies were super tasty also, I loved it! And, just as the Lovelet, this one also kept its from from the beginning to the end. I don’t know how they make them to be just the right softness and firmness together, so that you can bite into them easily, without them falling apart.
After the delightful appetizer, main, and dessert, we were happily full and satisfied. We made the right choice with each choice, and they were all very reasonable price. And they are other vendors that offer interesting and intriguing food, all sorts of international and domestic cuisines. I can’t wait to go back to get some more, from different vendors to try out next time! In a meanwhile, I found three wonderful Italian (and dessert) eateries in NYC. I am glad they do this event every year, twice a year! If you want some quick bite, try some food from a restaurant you have been wanting to try from, or simply want to have many choices of cuisine at one spot, head over to Broadway Bites!
Broadway Bites – Greeley Square – Broadway, between 32nd and 33rd Street