In New York, there’s an urban legend of a single city-dweller with so little closet space she’s forced to store her sweaters in the stove. A slight exaggeration, yes, but it’s not the furthest from the truth. New Yorkers do have a reputation for rarely setting foot in their kitchens, but who can blame them when the city offers such a dizzying array of cuisines.
One New Yorker finding her bliss in the city is Jordan Boswell. Born in Southern California, raised in New Jersey and having attended college in Los Angeles, Jordan spent her early life crisscrossing coasts before moving to New York in 2016. Now settled in the East Village, she is a community manager for SheKnows Media by day and can be found delighting in the best bites the city has to offer by night. In her hunt for the best bagels, burgers, pizza, pasta, tacos and dim sum, she’s found a pretty brilliant way to explore other cultures in the city she now calls home.
We got Jordan to share her must-try restaurants, the weirdest thing she’s ever eaten, what’s on her NYC food bucket list and why she feels no shame in embracing the term “foodie.” Read on for how this new New Yorker enjoys life one bite at a time.
STYLECASTER: Let’s dive right in — what are your favorite foods?
Jordan Boswell: This is such a toughie, because I love foods from all different cuisines as long as it’s done well. But definitely at the top of the list are sushi, New York pizza and bagels, poke bowls and anything with truffles! And can’t forget the Fedora Burger from Bar Sardine. It’s unreal — if it were up to me, I’d indulge in that every day!
SC: Besides superior pizza and bagels, what’s your favorite thing about the food scene in New York?
JB: The diversity of cuisines here is amazing — there’s options for any craving. If I’m craving dim sum, I can go to Chinatown for authentic soup dumplings. Or I go to an an amazing Chinese spot in the West Village that’s my current favorite underrated gem.
SC: What’s your all-time favorite NYC restaurant?
JB: Buddakan is probably my absolute favorite. It is definitely one to be saved for a special occasion, but the food is phenomenal, and the atmosphere is unbelievably cool. If you go here, you need to order the short rib scallion pancakes and edamame dumplings — they’re both sublime.
SC: New Yorkers have a rep for eating out a lot. Tell us the truth, when was the last time you turned on your stove?
JB: I really do try to cook at home! At the very least I like to make my lunches for the week. Let’s see, the last time I turned on my stove was probably last Wednesday — so over a week ago? Oops.
SC: How do you find inspiring recipes when you’re cooking at home?
JB: I usually head to Epicurious or Bon Appétit, and plug in the ingredients I have around my apartment and can usually find a great one. I also have a cookbook of family recipes I’ll go through in a pinch.
SC: Okay, so what do you love to cook at home that feels fancy, but is actually super simple?
JB: My favorite weeknight meal is this super-easy pasta my college roommate showed me. It’s made with spaghetti, olive oil, beaten egg, oregano, salt and red pepper flakes. Feels way more refined than it is!
My go-to make-ahead lunch is inspired by a dish from one of my favorite L.A. spots Zinqué. It’s a brown rice bowl with grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes, onions, avocado, arugula, lemon, salt, garlic powder and sriracha aioli. You can make a bunch in advance, and it’s SO tasty. A lifesaver on days you don’t want to turn on the stove!
SC: How did you develop an adventurous attitude toward food?
JB: I’m lucky to have a father who went to culinary school and a mother who owned her own catering company, so my parents definitely raised me to both appreciate good food and be excited to try new foods at any opportunity. I’m the opposite of a picky eater — I love trying new things. Even if you don’t like it, you can at least say you know for certain that you don’t. Expanding your culinary horizons is one of the greatest joys in life, not only for a tasty meal but also to experience a new culture or dining experience.
SC: Be honest — what are your feelings about the word “foodie”?
JB: I don’t hate the term foodie! I know it gets a bad rap and is associated with millennials and our pretentious “rather eat avocado toast than buy a house” mentality, but I think there needed to be a word for the modern-day epicurean and “foodie” covers it. I would definitely say I’m a foodie.
SC: So, what foods are on your NYC food bucket list?
JB: So many things! But definitely the elusive and scarce burger from Raouls — it only serves a handful each night — , chocolate chip cookie shot from Dominique Ansel and Bee Sting Pizza from Roberta’s.
SC: Complete this sentence: You aren’t a true New Yorker until you’ve tried…
JB: A TRUE New York bagel! My favorite is an everything bagel with lox spread, capers, onions and tomatoes.
SC: Finally, how would you sum up your philosophy on food?
JB: Simply put, life is too short to not eat good food.
This post is sponsored by DOVE® Chocolate.