Hey fellow foodies.
I just registered here, but I've been a lurker for a while. This really is one of my favorite message boards, being extremely informative when it comes to anything food.
Anyways, I'm from Poughkeepsie originally [Dutchess County]. Moved down south to the Tampa, FL area about 2 years ago, so you can bet that I miss New York. I decided that I'm going to start 2008 with a bang and eat my way up the East Coast, obviously with the pinnacle of the trip being several days and nights in Manhattan. But first... [Lengthy post ahead]
I'm going to automote/locomote up the coast the first week of January. Coming out of Tampa, my first major stop will be Atlanta. I've been meaning to check out this city, hit-up the Delkalb Market for some fresh ingredients [especially on my way back down to FL], possibly spend the day there. Any area of interest in Atlanta you feel worth mentioning would be welcome, as I love exploring new places.
A few other pitstops will be made, likely including Asheville, Richmond and Philadelphia. I wanted to pick your brains regarding eating locations not to miss. Not the typical fare though: the more obscure, pedestrian and diamond-in-the-rough the better. Nothing fancy, as all the big bucks will certainly be spend in New York...
Now, what I'm specifically searching out are good, authentic, Vietnamese and Korean joints that lay anywhere in my path [excluding Manhattan, I'll get to that in a bit]. Recently I've become somewhat of a Phởnatic, so I definitely would appreciate some input on where to grab a good bowl of phở or two. I've heard Virginia has a decent Vietnamese population -- perhaps something there may prove worthwhile? Besides pho, I like Hu Tieu and Boat Noodle Soup, basically any big, tasty, cheap soup with rice noodles [not too spicy though]. I could down a decent bowl of that stuff and be set to drive for at least several hours. Any other input you might have regarding the Carolinas, Virginia, Pennsylvania or New Jersey would be great.
[Yada, yada, yada]
Several days later: New York. Hopefully I get there in time for the sunrise version of Manhattanhenge. Once I'm established in there, I have so many options. But between all of the errands and visiting I'll need to do, I'm dead set on eating some of the freshest sushi. Must-eats include Yasuda, Kuruma-Zushi, Kanoyama, Ushiwakamaru and Sasabune, to name a few. Perhaps you guys can point me in the best direction, as I'm largely seeking the freshest, most interesting fish and seafood -- sashimi, preferably. Things like bluefin otoro, the best [live!] uni from Japan/Russia/Maine, some Sayori, 'artisan' oysters, live hotategai and just about any 'uncommon' fish imported from Japan, all served impeccably fresh.
Any and all of you New Yorkers are welcome to join me when I go to said sushi bars. Actually, I insist on it -- I enjoy the company of sushi fanatics/snobs, like myself, but I still have much I want to learn. And anyone that knows some Japanese has my blessings if they would like to join me... I eventually would like to start learning Japanese [for when I inevitably move there], and it would be a great learning experience for me to accompany you to a setting where I will undoubtedly find myself often. I'll get into town around January 5th or 6th and will stay about a week or so. Hit me up if you're interested.
I'm also not against getting some good, cheap Viet grub during the day either, especially pho. There's likely some good Korean in the City, as well. Feel free to contact me and perhaps let me tag along to your favorite pho place. Also, any leads or recommendations on affordable places to spend a night or few would be great. Any advice or anything else you can suggest would be most welcome.
Thank you much!