Pennsy

J enna Gladfelter

We all know that Penn Station is an absolute mess right now. Even Governor Cuomo didn't sugarcoat the railway pandemonium when he called it the "Summer of hell." I think we can all agree that the construction is much-needed, but a pain nonetheless. 
 
But you know what's not a disaster? The newly renovated Pennsy Food Hall and Beer Garden. Seemingly hidden in plain site, it's located at street level directly above Penn Station and next to Madison Square Garden. If you're like me and do a lot of traveling, you may have walked right past Pennsy without noticing it (despite it's funky neon signage). And I'm big enough to admit that each time I take a train, I grab a half (okay, WHOLE) dozen of Krispy Kreme donuts, take a seat in the Amtrak waiting room and browse my phone for a solid hour as I await my departure. But guys, knowing that Pennsy is there... this opens new (less fattening, more nutritious) doors in life. 
 
Why, you ask? Because Pennsy has a pretty fabulous selection of restaurants to choose from and I am never stepping foot at that commercial deli I frequent next to Track 5 again. Let me give you a recap:
 
Ribalta: Hey, loyal reader: do you remember that article we wrote about Ribalta (link to article - http://sunshineandlace.com/birra-antoniana-and-ribalta)? Oh yeah, they have that delicious pizza there. I stand by my tried-and-true Margherita pizza, but you won’t be disappointed by the other options. 
 
Cinnamon Snail: Although I'll always have a soft spot for those Krispy Kreme donuts, Cinnamon Snail has next-level bakery items but, they're so much more than that. With a whole menu of salads, "samiches", and burgers, everything in me wanted to try the BeastMode Burger - which is an Ancho chili seitan burger grilled in maple hickory bbq sauce with jalapeno mac n cheese, arugula, smoked chili coconut bacon & chipotle mayo on a grilled pretzel bun (I mean, seriously? I’m never getting full again). But I think what I love most of all is their sides. Any place that offers baked ziti as a side is all right in my book. 
 
The Little Beet: This is for the greens-lovers in your life. My favorite part about this place was the option to make your own bowl. With this option, you can select your base (greens or grains), vegetables, proteins, sauce, and garnish. 
 
Sabi Sushi: If you’re anything like me, you never know when a sushi craving is going to strike. Here’s your solution.
 
Taco Dumbo: Every day is Taco Tuesday in my world. This place is much more than a taqueria. In addition to the standard tacos, bowls, they also have nori tacos with the options of spicy tuna or wild salmon.  
 
Pat LaFrieda: This was hands down Alexandra's favorite. I was honestly worried she would buy the place up, but at the same time, I almost joined her. Because of Pat's Prime Rib sandwich. Frankly, it was a taste bud explosion. The Chicken Parm sandwich was also delish, but the prime rib takes the cake.
 
So, the moral of the story here is the new Pennsy Food Hall is good news, folks. Not just because of all the delicious food options listed above, but because it's a light in the otherwise dark world of Penn Station renovations. It turned the summer of hell to the summer of eating well. 

Jenna was born and raised in farm-country Pennsylvania. After attending college in Virginia and grad school in Maryland, she worked her way back up the East Coast to New York City. Her first job out of school was working with adults with developmental disabilities which she found to be incredibly rewarding.. Now she finds herself advocating for the rights of senior citizens in NYC.

Inspired by books penned by strong, comedic women such as Tina Fey, Carrie Fisher, and Jenny Lawson, she hopes to one day write a book herself. Among her family and friends, she's known for her Julie Andrews obsession, leaving umbrellas everywhere, and knowing useless pieces of trivia. In her spare time, she loves to try new restaurants, binge-watch Netflix, wander through botanical gardens, and eat insane amounts of popcorn.