Free Eats: 1 mini brownie
Normal Price: $2:50 each
Method: Free Sample
Food Groups: Carbs!!!
Free Thoughts: The brownie was not my favorite of all time...too cakey and crumbly. I'm a fudge brownie girl.
Noticed signage next to sample plate: Tips for samples are welcome. Limit one per person.
L'Arte Del Gelato Chelsea Market, New York City --4:15pm
Free Eats: 1 spoonful of nocciola (hazelnut) gelato
Normal Price: $4.50 for a small
Method: Asked to taste, then left. Exact wording, "I'll come back when my [imaginary] friend gets here so we can have gelato together."
Food Groups: Legumes (I love that word)
Free Thoughts: Big points on texture...molto cremoso! The flavor of nocciola transported me back to countless afternoons in countless Italian bars lapping up the best no frills, all taste, gelato on the planet. The competition: Many Italians have said that GROM is the best quality gelato in Italy (the one in Torino, especially) so I would also recommend trying their two NYC locations.
Hale and Hearty Soup Chelsea Market, New York City --4:20 pm
Free Eats: 1 small cup of shrimp bisque
Normal Price: $8.29 for a large container
Method: Brutal honesty and toothy smile. Exact wording, "Can I tell you a little secret? I have no intention of buying anything today. I'm just hungry. I'll come back another day to buy some soup."
Food Groups: Protein, dairy
Free Thoughts: The guy behind counter was sweeter than a split pea and I will go back and eat this bisque again. It's that good. Such intense combination of flavors and not the least bit fishy like clam chowders can be. Strange that the medium-sized option on the soup board was crossed off. I can't order a medium shrimp bisque, but I can eat any other soup out of medium containers?