Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City
There have been a lot of fancy, trendy food halls that have opened in New York in the last few years. Most are just big spaces with a diverse option of over-priced gourmet local fast food. I’m mostly a fan of them and I understand this economy’s need for something like that. But Great Northern Food Hall is a little bit different.
This is one of a few ways that famous Danish chef Claus Mayer has practically taken over the culinary side of Grand Central Terminal. In addition to the new Nordic food hall, he has opened a high-end restaurant, a take-away grocer, and a hot dog stand – all within one of the world’s most famous transportation hubs.
I have to admit I was not anticipcating that the newest food hall in this town would be dedicated to Nordic food, but I’m glad to see this under-represented cuisine finally getting its due.
The hall is divided into the typical stands – pizza, sandwiches, salads, juices, etc. But all have some interesting ingredients and unusual twists. Perhaps the most Danish of all the stalls is the one named Open Rye. This is where you can choose from a variety of smørrebørd, or small open-faced sandwiches.
I could have gone with smoked salmon, chicken liver mousse, or eggs and shrimp. But since this is Scandinavian food, I had to get my herring fix. The pickled fish was sufficiently fatty and plump. It had a nice vinegary bite that was tamed by a generous schmear of créme fraîche and enlivened with peppery radishes and the requisite fresh dill. The bold and bright concoction sat on a traditional slice of dark seeded rye bread.
Not everyone is a herring fan, but for those that are, this is a worthy choice. For those that are not, there is still a whole world of Nordic flavors throughout the market from sea buckthorn juices to pearl barley bowls to cardamom-studded pastries. It’s a far cry from the usual burgers and salads and that’s what I love about this place. That and the herring. Price: $6
|GREAT NORTHERN FOOD HALL|
|Inside Grand Central Terminal,
89 Vanderbilt Avenue (between 42nd and 45th Street),