‘Why Armenia?’, ‘What do you get there?, ‘What are you going to see?’ Most people echoed these words when I told them I was leaving for a quick getaway to this Eurasian country. Honestly, I had zero expectations myself, and had this not been a work trip, I’d never have voluntarily picked an offbeat destination such as Armenia to travel to. The only knowledge I had about this country that papa Kardashian hailed from here, and I remember seeing some pictures on Kim’s Instagram page. #KeepingUp
I guess sometimes travelling with a clean slate of mind helps. It helped me discover this beautiful country with no predisposed notions about what was in store for me. And ohh, I was in for a beautiful surprise!
Most honeymoon-ing couples spend their time at exotic and secluded locales, snuggled under blankets, away from the crowds. My husband and I are an absolutely different breed. We put ourselves through one of the most hectic holidays of our lives through the East Coast of USA, filled to the brim with activity, exploring the streets, chatting up the locals, and of course eating up all the delicious food New York City has to offer.
This post is an ode to all that wonderfully sinful food we devoured while in NYC, but in no means is a listicle or a guide to NYC eats. This list is the microscopic pointed end that sits atop the tip of an iceberg, because you see, NYC is a food lover’s paradise. Here you’ll find hot dog and pretzel carts at every street corner, the best of street food doled out of food trucks, and cuisines from the world over. In NYC will you see a fast food chain, a small mom and pop eatery and a Michelin starred gourmet restaurant all sitting comfortably side-by-side.
Here’s a list of our favourites from our week long NYC sojourn:
Visiting the Bohri Mohalla area or the Minara Masjid area during Ramzan is about more than just food; it is an experience. The lights and sounds are captivating. You cannot help but get drawn into the festivities and camaraderie. It’s such a beautiful amalgamation of people from different cultures, religions, and walks of life. And then there’s the food. Smells of meat being grilled, malpuas being fried, and masalas being coated. Sights of colourful phirnis and halwas on display, kebabs hanging off skewers, and ginormous tawas cooking up every meat imaginable.
I wrote these lines back in 2015, when I wrote about another Iftaar walk, which you can read about here. Nothing much has changed in all this time. The vibe at these places during Ramadan and my feeling about the entire eating out experience during this holy month remains the same. Even though most people flock to Mohammed Ali Road and the Minara Masjid area for their share of grub, I have been partial to Bohri Mohalla and the stalls there. There’s lesser jostling through crowds here, and the food is just as delicious. Here are my top five stalls/restaurants that you must visit in the Bohri Mohalla area to get your Iftaar feast.
It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves. ~ Sir Edmund Hillary
The mountains can be both awe-inspiring as well as overwhelming. Their grandeur can make you feel like an inconsequential speck in the larger scheme of things, which is exactly how I felt driving around in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand during our four-day Culinary Soujourn of Garhwal. I, a self proclaimed beach bum with an exaggerated fear of heights, finally learnt to give in to nature, live in the moment and embrace the mountains. ‘Respect the mountains, and she’ll respect you back,’ my grandfather’s saying came echoing back to me.
Garhwal is a mountainous region in the state of Uttarakhand; it’s vibrant Garhwali culture has remained overshadowed and underexposed over the decades. Their simple, hearty cuisine and sustainable cooking methods are also lesser known among the larger population; which is why the Culinary Soujourn of Garhwal organized by the JW Marriott Walnut Grove Resort and Spa, Mussoorie in collaboration with Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal of the APB Cook Studio was the perfect way to acquaint myself with their culture and cuisine. Along the way I fell in love with a region I knew very little about, a cuisine I had never eaten before, and people we never knew yet they welcomed us into their world with open arms. It was love at first sight. And/or first bite.