On our last day in New York, we got up pretty late. We were also flying back to Los Angeles this day so when we were planning our trip, we did not make any plans for this day and said we would play by ear. In the end we decided we wanted to have lunch at a Shanghainese restaurant called Joe’s Shanghai just a few doors down from our hotel that seemed to always have people waiting and food delivery people coming by to pick up food.
46 Bowery, New York, NY 10013
The restaurant was a pretty typical looking Chinese restaurant. It is known for their soup dumplings (小籠包) so of course we had to order some. We got one order of Pork Meat Soup Dumplings, shredded turnip shortcakes, scallion pancakes and Shanghai Noodle Soup.
The soup dumplings were SO good. They were a bit on the larger side. The skin was just perfect, neither too thin or too thick and they were FULL of soup. I had to be really careful picking them up so the soup would not escape. They were also so large, they just barely fit on one of the Chinese soup spoons. The other items were good to but pretty normal. The soup dumplings are definitely the star of the show and each order comes with eight dumplings. We ordered the pork but they also have a crab meat with pork one too.
After lunch, we stopped by a boba tea place in the neighborhood and then went back to the hotel to finish packing before heading to the airport. As a Hyatt Explorist member, I received two bottles of water daily and in the end we had way too much water that we could not finish. We each took a bottle to go but gave up on the rest.
Our flight was actually not until 6:30 PM out of JFK Airport but hotel check-out was at 2 PM (thanks to my Hyatt status) and we decided to take the subway and AirTrain to the airport which took about an hour. But the main reason we went straight to the airport after checking out was because we had access to the American Express Centurion Lounge at the airport thanks to having the AMEX Platinum Card. The only problem was that the lounge was in Terminal 4 and our flight was out of Terminal 5 and there is no airside connection so we had to go through security to go to the lounge in Terminal 4, then exit, then take the train to Terminal 5 and go through security again to go to our gate.
American Express Centurion Lounge – JFK
JFK Airport – Terminal 4 (International Arrivals Level 4, just past TSA Security), Central Terminal Area, Queens, NY 11430
We arrived at the perfect time, at 3:30 PM to the entrance of the lounge. It was perfect because you can only enter the lounge three hours before your departure time which was 6:30 PM. After checking-in at reception we headed into the lounge which is two floors. Both floors have food and drinks. The upper floor also has a “spa” area and the lower floor had what we were looking for, the speakeasy. Yes, the airport lounge had a speakeasy called 1850. It’s on the lower floor, towards the back, past the food and bar, next to a sign in gold that says “1850”.
Inside is a more dimly lit area with small tables and seating and a bar with three cocktails that can only be ordered there and were different from the ones served in the bars in the main parts of the lounge. Since we had plenty of time in the lounge, we went a little overboard and ordered three rounds of drinks while getting food from the buffet in the main part of the lounge. It was a Tuesday afternoon so there were not too many people in the main part of the lounge and even less in the Speakeasy.
The staff that helped direct us told us that we had to try the espresso martini so my friend ordered ones of those while I stuck to the other drinks since I do not like coffee. The cocktails were great and free (just tip if you want). I really cannot recommend Centurion lounges enough. Not only is their food better than the stuff typically found in domestic lounges, they have legit cocktails and a variety of beer and wine.
When it was getting close to our boarding time, we wrapped up and grabbed some cookies to go and headed over to Terminal 5 where are gate was. The flight back seemed long but while we had a late departure we actually had an early arrival. Even better, upon landing at LAX, we actually headed straight for the gate! After that it was just a short Uber ride back to my apartment.
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