[I know I’m supposed to write about the tea outing with Patrick but I need to do this first. I promise things would go back to normal.]
I used to think Grand Central Terminal’s Market has nothing fit for me, in regards to food. It’s just a transfer hub to get to work with the occasional need of caffeine from my beloved Joe that opened ever since the past fall. Arguably, it’s the best thing that happened to this station for me. I depend on my life for good coffee. But I needed more than just coffee and willing to open my mind a bit when I was invited by Susan to try a few things from this vast area.
The past Friday afternoon, I’ve met Susan to a tasting at Murray’s Real Salami. We got acquainted and eventually met our charcuterie guide, Aaron.
Yep, I ate it all…and a bit more
Aaron gave us a whirlwind of a meat tour and almost tried one of everything in their display case (as you see the photos above; just click on it to know what is what). There are a some missing photos since it’s almost back-to-back samplings of meat (the Prosciutto de Parma and the coarsely ground, duck rillettes – which is similar to pâté, if you ever ate it).
My favorites were the acorn fed piggy, the Iberco bellota. It’s so nutty, silky but admittedly a tad chewy. The lardo that made me craved for a fresh, crusty baguette to nosh on, and a rich (reads: 75/25 pork-to-fat ratio), complex, wine-y, rich Felino salami. The others were great but it didn’t knock my socks off as the ones I’ve just mentioned.
All of their meats are sliced tissue paper thin by machine. I know some of you salume snobs would prefer to have some of your meats cut by hand but at least it’s consistent here and I’m content with it.
After eating (and arguably, hardening my arteries) Susan took me over to Pescatore and we’ve met with the outgoing, hospitable co-owner, Glenn. Pescatore started as a wholesale seafood company that gotten a retail outlet here in Grand Central Market and expanded with their prepared seafood. His brother Jerry, who was a CIA alum created recipes for the prepared foods. It’s a logical and a good business idea to do so since they have great ingredients, utilize it and charge in accordance to the quality of the food.
Since my time was running out (I had to go back to work), Glenn was gracious enough to let me bring back several items to sample – a slab of sesame crusted yellowfin tuna that cuts like butter and melts in my mouth like it, coconut crusted shrimp, grilled shrimp, and their famed Maryland lump crab cake, that stole the show. The crab cake was packed with sweet, lump crab meat that’s barely crusted with panko bread crumbs. They’re all very delicious and I highly recommend you to try some of their seafood. (Note: Yes, I forgot to take photos of the samplers. I was starving and my camera was not in the same vicinity as my food. Apologies again.)
Murray’s Real Salami & Pescatore
In Grand Central Market
87 E 42nd Street (between Park Ave & Vanderbilt Ave)
New York, NY 10017 (map)