Amada and Village Whiskey prove that Iron Chef Jose Garces isn't just about TV appearances. Your taste buds will explode at Amada where Spanish tapas grace the menu. The energy of the restaurant is contagious. If you're craving a burger or something a bit more bar-like--village whiskey is the spot for you. Burgers reign supreme, but the menu is filled with favorites such as pulled pork, duck fat-fries, pickles, and oysters. The Whiskey King is a luxurious take on the traditional burger if you're feeling groovy. Their great selection of whiskey could keep you there sampling all day.
The Franklin Fountain is an old-school ice cream shop serving delicious homemade ice cream while giving off that true authentic retro feel.
Back in NYC, I visited the Birreria at Eataly after stopping by Old Town Bar and Madison Square Eats. Old Town Bar is a cool neighborhood dive bar --exactly what you get from the name. Madison Square Eats is a monthlong food fair right outside Madison Square Park in Worth Square. While there was tons of great options, I got a pizza from Robertas. The pizza was a traditional pizza base with soppressata, chili aoili, and honey. The $9 personal pan pizza was delicious and saved me a trip to BK although I still want to go there anyway. The honey provided a nice sweetness to offset the spiciness of the chili aoili and soppressata. It was kind of cold, but the food and booze were keeping people warm!
After enjoying my pizza, I headed up to Eataly's beer garden: Birreria. The place was jamming, but we managed to get a table after promising the hostess that we were not only drinking but eating as well. Our server started off cool, but then got a bit pushy. I understand you want to turn your tables, but show a little hospitality. He sold us on a pretzel bread that we thought was complimentary, but turned out to be $5. The over-salted pretzel bread wasn't too good, but I wouldn't have been as upset if he didn't make it sound like it was for free. I tried one of their cask-conditioned beers that were pretty good. We also got a cheese plate and meat board to snack on. The fast paced beer garden was a fun place to check out especially if you want to try out some great artisanal Italian beers; but I doubt I'll go back.
We then met up with some friends for a beer at Crocodile Lounge--that spot that gives you a pizza with every beer you buy. It could get pretty crowded in here, but its a good spot for a quick beer and a pizza for cheap. The Scratcher was the next spot we stopped. We had a table at this place so it was a comfortable spot to kick it with friends; but nothing really made me want to go back. Just when I thought it was time to go home, I walked around the corner to Bowery Electric to meet up with my roommates and get my dance on. The DJ downstairs played some great old-school jams that kept the dance party going.