One of the perks of unemployment is having loads and loads of time to eat. Well, maybe this is a perk that turns into a problem (i.e. weight gain), but between the sleeping well and the running around to interviews, I feel that it’s balancing out. Or maybe that’s just the little white lie I tell myself..but the food in question is usually worth it. Take, for example, my lunch at Northern Spy Food Co.; a casual and inviting little gem in the East Village.
Upon entering Northern Spy, you will notice a small space, with a few tables of casual-chic couples, hungover groups of friends, all sitting at wooden tables that are actually made from real bowling lanes (one of them even has the little arrows on it!). So charming. The friendly staff will offer you coffee or juice, or perhaps a mimosa, if that’s your thing. On this day, we were here to simply eat, not drink, so we sampled a few of their recommendations:
Pork Sticky Rolls. Ohh how do I describe these? Definitely a Jedi Mind Trick of sorts, because it looks like a cinnamon roll, but it tastes nothing like that. It’s the same dough, but swirled in between those sticky layers is braised pork, isntead of cinnamon sugar. WHOA. Then the “icing” is made of a maple/dijon/parsnip glaze. DOUBLE WHOA. Definitely a must try if you’re like me, and love all things of or related to the pig.
Another fave food of mine? Eggs. I love eggs, especially hardboiled. Northern Spy’s pickled eggs are just a bit tart, and they have a beautiful fuschia color that really pops against the bright yellow yolks. What goes well with pickled eggs? Pickled onions.
I had heard wonderful things about Northern Spy’s Roasted Turkey sandwich, so we had to give that one a try. In truth, the turkey was really juicy, which is always a plus, but I did feel that if it didn’t have the other accoutrements on it (apples, sage mayo, arugula), that it would have fell a little flat. Perhaps more seasoning would have helped. The apples were a nice compliment, and the bread was super buttery and delicious, so altogether it was hard to resist.
On that day, they had pork. They had turkey. They also had lamb. What a meat-filled lunch! The lamb burger with Landaff cheese, pickled red onions and duck fat fries was like a little bit of heaven in my mouth. Lamb has such a distinct taste – if you like lamb chops or any kind of lamb, you need to try this lamb burger. The mild cheese lends a nice melty factor, and then there’s that acidic sweetness that you can only get from pickled red onions. Delicious and satisfying, this is for the hungry carnivore. Also, more on Landaff cheese here.
I hear brunch and dinner are also wonderful at Northern Spy, and given the great experience and friendly staff, I will be sure to put that on my list for future visits. And in the meantime, if you find yourself craving some pork rolls that look like Cinnabons, then Northern Spy is where you need to be.
Northern Spy Food Co.
511 East 12th Street