We woke up Saturday morning and were excited to attend the New York Times Travel Show. After getting ready we walked down to 42nd St and stopped for some Starbucks. Once we were done with our drinks we hopped into a taxi and made our way to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
Once inside we found the coat check which was immensely helpful. Greg had purchased tickets for me as part of my Christmas present so we were able to pick up a couple lanyards and head right on into the main area. Our first stop inside was Asia. We sat down and discussed a tour of China focusing on visiting the Great Wall. We looked into information to Tokyo, South Korea, Nepal, and Thailand (we're planning a trip for early 2019). I've never really been one to want to go on set tours but some of the travel companies we met with had unique and fun options at pretty reasonable prices. After Asia we visited the Africa section. We looked at a couple different lodges, safaris, and spoke with South African Airways. Unfortunately, we didn't spend too much time here as we know we won't be getting a trip together to Africa for a while.
Nearby we came across the booth of Rare Finds Travel Club. Melanie created Rare Finds Travel Club and offers her members ideas, tips, and plans for short getaways. Melanie is passionate, intelligent, and very funny; we loved chatting with her. During the travel show a monthly discount was offered, we took full advantage of it and joined the club. I can honestly say, that after reading a couple of the escapes, Rare Finds Travel Club does offer a unique perspective. There were definitely some places I have never heard of that I just have to visit now.
The next section we visited was Europe. We looked at Access Trips and their culinary tours. They do seem to be a little on the high side of pricing but I liked their itinerary's. I was most intrigued by GAP Travel booth. We discussed the new options of active travel on Avalon Waterways with Robin. We have heard great things about Avalon Waterways but knew that it was geared to an older crowd. With their new active options, we agree that if feels like it's something more in line with our travel desires.
After a few hours and about 40 pounds worth of booklets we were ready to head out for some lunch. I would have liked to go to more of the special events or speaking sessions but I am really saving that up for the Boston Globe Travel Show. In Boston I will be attending show during trade day and hopefully meeting up with the group from Travel Massive.
After dropping off all of our brochures and cards we decided to try a casual restaurant nearby. Yaso Tangbao offers Shanghai street food. The restaurant is counter service and offers a large menu. We ordered easily ordered 4 dishes to try. Unfortunately, this is when things went bad. The staff were very disorganized, slow, and other than 1 individual unapologetic.
After a long wait we received our spicy pork soup dumplings, chicken shao mai (sticky rice dumplings), sweet and sour pork ribs, and garlic cucumber salad. The soup dumplings were pretty flavorful, the sticky rice dumplings were filling, the ribs were okay, and the cucumbers were too bitter from the garlic. I wasn't expecting gourmet cuisine but we both felt that this restaurants options were more like reheated food.
After lunch we decided to be gluttons and walk back up to Sprinkles Cupcakes for some dessert. The cupcake ATM was out of vegan cupcakes so we had to be traditional and go inside to order. The staff were very friendly, were happy to package my vegan cupcake alone so it wouldn't be contaminated, and had us quickly on our way.
For dinner we had a reservation at Reichenbach Hall. Our sole purpose for going to this restaurant was to order the pork shank in hopes of having a similar experience to those in Frankfurt. When we arrived, we were brought to our reserved table and given menus. The first thing I noticed was the pork shank was no longer on the menu. What?! I confirmed that this was true! We weren't off to a great start. Our waitress was very busy dealing with multiple tables so after a bit of a wait we finally ordered drinks (beer for great, bourbon for me). To start our meal, we ordered the large pretzel with just mustard. The pretzel was hot and delicious although we had to wipe off a lot of the salt. For entrees I ordered the currywurst and french fries (usually an appetizer) and Greg ordered the bratwurst sampler.
My meal was awful! Currywurst should be cooked bratwurst topped with curry ketchup served with french fries. This dish was bratwurst cooked in a curry ketchup sauce that had been cooking for a while and had been reduced down. It was overpowering and unappetizing. Greg's dish was good although when the best part of the dish is the potato salad I feel like that isn't saying much either.
Unfortunately, I think Reichenbach Hall has become more of a bar scene rather than a restaurant. When looking around you had most of the people drinking only. I noticed that those who did order food didn't finish their dishes either. Needless to say, we wouldn't be back and wouldn't recommend a visit.
On Sunday morning we condensed all of our purchases, brochures, and luggage. After a bit of confusion with the hotel we got our car from the valet and left New York City. 3.5 hours later we were home and happy to see Fred!