GROM Bleecker St. & 6th ave - 3:30pm
Free Eats: 1 spoonful of Ciocolato all'arancia (flavor of the month) and 1 spoonful of nocciola.
Method: Sample and run (loosely based off high school ring and run habit...mom always said it was just a phase)
Food Groups: Sugar Sugar...ohh honey honey
Free Thoughts: GROM vs. l'Arte del Gelato...ding ding ding. Round one: NOCCIOLA
Yesterday's nocciola sample at l'Arte del Gelato was double the size of today's GROM spoonful. Flavorwise, point also goes to Arte del Gelato. Price favors ADG, too...it's a landslide.
Murray's Cheese Bleecker btwn 6th and 7th - 3:35pm
Free Eats: 4 small chunks of Le Gruyere and 4 bites of Emmentaler
Normal Price: Too busy sampling to notice
Method: Played the lactose intolerance card, i.e., if I eat anything bigger than a free sample, I won't be feeling so hot.
Food Groups: Straight up dairy
Free Thoughts: I never miss a chance to take a lap around Murray's. It's a New York fixture and the staff is great. Check back frequently for Pâté and dark chocolate hander-outers.
Free Eats: Thinly-sliced soprasatta (two hot and two sweet)
Method: Ask the butcher for a taste
Food Groups: Protein
Free thoughts: My best free eat to date. Sliced on the spot, packed with freshness and flavor. Faicco's has some of the freshest soprasatta and sausages in Manhattan and is a festive place to stock up on all Italian essentials.
Pure Dark Bleecker St. btwn W. 10th & Charles -4:00pm
Free Eats: 1 cup Striking Slab 57% dark chocolate with roasted caramalized nibs, 1 raspberry acai chocolate piece, 1 cup of Subtle Slab, cherry, cashew and cranberry mix, 5 cups of water
Normal Price: Chocolate is $2.75/oz
Method: Free Samples
Food Groups: Fruit, Legumes
Free Thoughts: Delicious atmosphere and high-quality products. The young staff is highly knowledgable and encourage you to sit and enjoy their abundant free samples in the back lounge area. A most zen free eats den. After over-dooing it on the GG olives and scarfing down spicy soprasatta their ice cold water cooler was a lucky find.