Friday, June 18, 2010

The Frying Pan Bar & Grill - Chelsea, NYC

When Chai Yuet and her friend Kheng Leng visited NYC over the Memorial Day weekend, we knew that we had to bring them to go check out and have dinner at one of our favorite bars in the city. Located on Pier 66 (just 3 blocks north of Chelsea Piers), The Frying Pan is definitely the place to be if you want to catch the sunset over the Hudson, while kicking back with a Corona or Sangria in hand.What's so cool about The Frying Pan anyways? Well, apart from the awesome views and sunsets, there is quite a history behind this lightship. Built in 1929, The Frying Pan is a historic lightship that was salvaged after spending 3 years at the bottom of Chesapeake Bay. It was then brought to Chelsea Piers and it has become a bar ever since. The Frying Pan is docked to Pier 66 (which is actually an old railroad barge) and it's neighbor, the the John J. Harvey fireboat is docked beside it. There is also a caboose right in the middle of Pier 66.
The Frying Pan is open everyday starting from May up til October (or when it starts to get cold). They start serving drinks at noon and they stay open all the way til midnight. The best time to go would be just before sunset but be warned, it gets really packed during the weekends. So, you might want to get there early if you want a table and/or seat. Oh, and they do card after 6pm or so. Yeah, that's right. You must be above 21 to enter.
Ahhh, there you go. This is the Frying Pan. As you can see, you are allowed to go on board and just chill anywhere. The engine room is also open for you to check out. Also, when the sun goes down, the Frying Pan starts to heat up. There is a dance floor inside this lightship!
Look at the amount of people there that day. I believe it was so packed because it was the Memorial Day weekend as well as Fleet Week in NYC. The whole of Pier 66 was just packed with people (both on the bottom and top floors!). It can get pretty wild with all the 'frat boy partying' at times, especially on weekends and holidays. Oh, check out the background of this pic. You can also see part the John J. Harvey fireboat in the background. Occasionally, there will be a water salute coming from the fireboat.
We were really lucky to get to seat down, let alone a table to ourselves that day. Can you see the stage behidn us? It was so packed until they had to set up tables on the stage! There would be live bands performing on stage during lunchtime as well as later on in the day.
So, hows the food and drinks there? Well, the food served there is your typical bar food but I would say that the taste is above bar food standards. Everything is self serve at the Frying Pan. What you would do is go up to the bar to order your food, pay and you would be given a ticket with a number. Then you just have to wait until your number is called, then you can go pick up your food and drinks. They accept both cash and credit cards but on the day that we were there, their credit card machine was down. So, we had to pay cash. For those of you who do not like to carry around much cash, there is also an ATM machine in the bar itself.
I ordered the Lemon Herb Chicken Breast Wrap ($9.23). The chicken was very nicely marinated and juicy. It came with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, tzatziki, some greens, all wrapped up in a grilled flatbread. It also came with a nice side salad. A really refreshing dish on a hot summers day. Kevin and Kheng Leng got the Grilled 8oz Sirloin Burger ($9.22). Kevin said that it was really good. Heck, even I can see that it was good, with yummy juices flowing out each time he took a bite :P The burgers was served on a sesame seed brioche roll with cheese, lettuce, onions, tomatoes and pickles. You can add on bacon, avocado or mushrooms for an additional $1.84 each. The two best sellers at The Frying Pan when it comes to drinks is their White Sangria ($35 per pitcher....I think) and their Corona buckets ($35 per bucket). The sangria was really refreshing, all loaded up with fruits. Definitely my choice of beverage on a super hot summers day. The Corona bucket is a really good deal too. 5 bottles of Corona for $35. It also comes with a small cup of lime wedges. Kheng Leng also bought all of us a pitcher of Long Island Iced Tea (I do not know the price) to share. However, Kevin said that it tasted a little bit watered down. I think I kinda agree with him. We polished off the whole pitcher and we didn't even get a buzz. Definitely watered down.
Ahhh, this is the reason why most people come to The Frying Pan. Check out the view. You can get a superb view of the Manhattan skyline from almost any part of the bar. Also, it's pretty near the ever so busy West 30th St Heliport. So, you can check out all the different types of helicopters that are heading towards or leaving the heliport.
Now, this is what everybody is waiting for. The highlight of the evening. It was such an amazing feeling to just sit back, relax and watch the sun set over the Hudson River. The gentle breeze, the slight swaying of the boats, an icy cold Corona in hand...if not for the New Jersey skyline, you would sometimes even forget that you are smacked right in the middle of Manhattan.

We had a great time hanging out with Chai Yuet and Kheng Leng at The Frying Pan. So, the next time you are visiting Manhattan or if you are looking to get away from the crazy city life for a couple of hours, head over to The Frying Pan and get yourself a bucket of Corona. Hey, you might even see us there! :P

The Frying Pan Bar & Grill
Pier 66 Maritime,
W.26th Street and Hudson River Park,
New York, NY 10001
Tel: (212) 989-6363

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