A slice of sweet heaven in NY

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - Escape - - FUN AT SEA -

Rod­ney Ch­ester pounds the Big Ap­ple pave­ment on a mis­sion to find great cheese­cake – and not gain weight

FOR­GET about the Big Ap­ple. For lovers of the sweet things in life, the real food con­nec­tion with New York is cheese­cake.

Ask a New York lo­cal (and we did) where to find the best New York cheese­cake and you’ll get a quick-fire sug­ges­tion – and pos­si­bly start a fiery de­bate.

Imag­ine lis­ten­ing to a deleted scene from Good­fel­las – but in­volv­ing ho­tel door­men and cheese­cake ref­er­ences.

Ten years ago, New York Times writer Ed Levine went on a quest to find the ul­ti­mate cheese­cake. He took 30 days and tasted four dozen to come up with a short list.

“In a city of con­stant eth­nic flux, cheese­cake is it­self a con­stant,” Levine wrote.

As a tourist in New York, you don’t have time to taste test 48 pieces of cheese­cake. Andwho can af­ford the calo­ries?

But there is a way you can have the best New York has to of­fer in cheese­cake, at no cost. Well, no calo­rie cost – money, when it comes to cheese­cake, is not worth men­tion­ing.

My mis­sion was one of bal­ance. Dis­cover New York. Taste cheese­cake. Avoid a waist­line ex­plo­sion.

My aim was to con­sume calo­ries, and to burn them, with the bot­tom line be­ing a pos­i­tive out­come for my bot­tom.

I strapped on a Garmin Fore­run­ner 220 watch, which mapped my route across Man­hat­tan and calo­rie burn.

If you are go­ing to start eat­ing cheese­cake in New York, there are few bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ences than start­ing at Carnegie Deli, on 7th Ave near 55th St and just a few blocks from Cen­tral Park.

This deli opened in 1937 and, along with its cheese­cake, is fa­mous for its gar­gan­tuan sand­wiches. Pic­ture two slices of bread with about 10cm of meat stuffed in-be­tween.

I de­cide not to in­dulge in a sand­wich on the ad­vice of the New Yorker sit­ting next to me, who was im­pressed with my idea of eat­ing my way across New York. “Eat one of these and you’ll have to walk all the way back to Aus­tralia,” he said.

Be­fore I could or­der, a waiter ar­rived with pick­les. Pick­les, it turns out, is an­other thing for which Carnegie is fa­mous.

The cheese­cake, when it comes out, is all you could hope for. I skip the pick­les and opt for the cof­fee. You would walk all day for

cheese­cake like this. I wouldn’t cross the street for the cof­fee in New York.

With 400 calo­ries un­der my belt, I start walk­ing down 7th Ave. At the 1km mark I con­sider pop­ping in to the M&M store but fig­ure I don’t need choco­late to­day. At the 1.2km mark, I soak up the at­mos­phere of Times Square be­fore head­ing for Broad­way.

The beauty of my route is that it passes, or nearly passes, many of New York’s most

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