our family and i lived in Chinatown on Mott St. for several years, but i never really got to experience the San Gennaro Feast and Carnival until this year. although the festival has a religious background, it welcomes visitors from all colors and creed. there are food, craft, and carnival games. for us, we were there for the food. i mean, how could you pass up some delicious italian treats? we went to the feast on a Saturday, and boy, was it packed! we found it hard to move but the food more than made up for it. we ate and ate to our little heart’s content, life is good, isn’t it?
-first bite of the day, we were famished and this hits the spot! sweet grilled sausage, peppers and onions on a roll, it doesn’t get any better than that! Christian and I had to get off the street and stood on someone’s door step to enjoy this sub, it was delicious.
-S. America meets Italy, this is mozzarella cheese sandwiched between two pieces of sweet corn griddle cakes. we loved the ooey gooey cheese and sweet corn cakes, crispy and tender, all at the same time! this is like an international version of grilled cheese, i must say.
-Christian had fond memories of potato tornado, or whole potato cut into swirls and fried on a stick. sadly, he was disappointed this year, the potatoes were okay, but they don’t have any unique sauces to go with it, only ketchup. meh, not a must-eat.
-we got this from a stand at the corner of mulberry and grand st., in front of Alleva of Little Italy. the rice ball was filled with cheese, ground beef, and green peas; then fried. when ordering, customers have a choice of getting it with or without sauce. the red sauce was a must, it had fresh, deep tomato flavor and went went well with the cheesy rice ball. love it!
-when in Little Italy, this slice was average… btw, i realized that the best pizza does not come from Little Italy. i’m still on a mission to find that perfect margherita slice.
-no, we didn’t go for the pimp cup or long tubular container, this sweet, sweet drink in a 16 oz cup is more than enough.
-Umberto’s is a famous joint in Little Italy that serves seafood, clams, oysters, mussels, and calamari, etc. but this was more of a letdown than pleasant surprise, we find the calamari a bit too salty and that the tomato sauce (medium) had a weird taste that we can’t quite put a finger on. the toast on the bottom of the tray was hard as a rock, if you want to save your dentures, don’t do it. we found more seafood stands along the festival that looks way better. skip this one.
-i couldn’t decide if i wanted cannolis or the lobster tail to wrap up our food tour, so we walked and walked to the end of the festival towards NoHo, and then back up the center of Little Italy. thankfully, i finally made up my mind by the time an old gentleman served me, i got the ginormous lobster tail! it’s a crispy pastry filled with pastry cream, slightly sweet for my taste, and definitely sinful for a dieter. lol. good pick, but next time, i will go for a more manageable, dainty cannoli. lol.
the food was amazing and the crowd is a deterrent, go on weekdays to fully enjoy the festivities. the festival ends on Sept. 22nd, we plan on coming back another time for the sausage and peppers, and the rice balls, of course!
San Gennaro FeastMulberry St
New York, NY 10013
Neighborhood: Little Italy