Archive Page 2

14
Jun
11

Dined and Done…

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So my trusty lunch buddy, Badda Boom and I just hit this downtown smorgasbord up and man was it packed! I was hoping it was going to rain because today was the last day of my two-week detox, but alas it didn’t rain and my detox was cut short by a day. Oh darn.

So as we rolled up to the plaza we immediately knew we needed a strategy…long lines, herds of people, and so much to sample! Clearly this was a “sharing is caring” kinda day and we were going to split everything so we can try more. So we started scoping out the menu signs at tables…and everybody’s plate that was walking by. He saw some delish (and very easily portable) empanadas floating around so Salud was stop numero uno.

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The beef and cheese empanadas were $3 ea or 2/$5 and they came served with crema fresca. Badda Boom got us two and here we go. The crust was light and flaky surprisingly not too oily but the filling was the star of this one. The beef filling was charred and well seasoned but the corn provided a surprising hint of sweetness when you are least expecting it.

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As we walked around we checked out all of the different booths and writing mental postits of everything so we can narrow down what we wanted. As we took 5 steps we ran into Pound and Pence and their London Porter-Braised Lamb Sandwich served with pickled carrot salad. Braised lamb? No brainer here since BB and I both love lamb. Ok, we will start walking and checking the tables out after just this one. It was deelish. The sandwich looked like a sloppy joe but with immense flavor. The carrot salad definitely had a strong Indian influenced flavor which was probably thanks to some cumin and the strong yellow tint came from a heavy hand with the herdi (turmeric). Overall two happy grubbers and now onto the rest of the event.

There were ceviches at several tables with everyone giving the dish their own spin. Being that this IS the Wall Street area, we are pretty steakhouse-heavy down here and they definitely represented their specialities. Delmonico’s line was out.of.control. And with a roped off line we were not even touching that one…even if they did have their amazing crab mac and cheese on the menu. Only thing missing was a VELVET rope. SMH.

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The infamous Stone Street venues were out in full force also. Waterstone Grill had a tilapia sandwich and crab gazpacho, Mad Dog & Beans had their steak tacos and Mexian corn, The Dubliner had some amazing looking beef stew and the eponymous Stone Street Tavern had spicy gazpacho and some insanely yummy lobster mac and cheese. The City Hall Restaurant on Duane Street was there with their crazy grilled steak sandwich which looked scrumptous with its grilled onions and non-mayo-y coleslaw. Since we didn’t watch the seasons turn waiting on that Delmonico’s line for the crab mac n cheese we decided to get the Stone Street lobster mac n cheese with the grilled steak sandwich.

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The grilled steak sandwich was pretty good, but nothing outrageous. The carmelized onions and the coleslaw were wonderful topping because they layered sweet and salty flavor profiles nicely with the steak. The coleslaw was smart because it also contributed a unique crunchy texture to each bite that you would not usually get in a steak sandwich. I’d give it a B+.

Now onto the mac and cheese. This is a classic case of “you can put truffle oil on anything and make it taste good.” Yes, it tasted GREAT. However, there is a big BUT in here. I have a pet peeve. I hate when a dish is marketed with the spotlight on an ingrediant and you have to go on a scavenger hunt in that dish for the ingredient. Don’t serve me shrimp fried rice with one shrimp. Capiche?? Well, here we are with this bowl of lobster mac and cheese…and barely any lobster. If you click on the right picture below, you will see some red shavings. Those three red thread-like lobster pieces were the “lobster” in my dish. Really? NO BUENO! No wonder they threw in truffle oil; it was to take away from the fact that they forgot to add the lobster! Badda Boom would also like me to add in here that he thought the mac n cheese was a lil spicy. For the record, I did NOT. Let’s also keep in mind that I am Indian and I like fresh jalapenos, or as he likes to say, I like my food radioactive. Nooooo, I like my food like I like my men, with a lil flavor! Helloooo!

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Overall, this was definitely a welcome diversion to the usual humdrum of downtown lunching. If you were planning on just “running out” to grab something, this was not the place since the lines were pretty long. With that said, considering the insane turnout this year, I have to commend all of the restaurants for their overall efficiency and hospitality. With this being over, what now? Food trucks folks!! They seems to be migrating down to FiDi in droves this year and I’ve noticed. Now that my detox is over, let the food truck games begin ūüôā

Salud

14
Jun
11

Dine Around Downtown

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Attention all downtown lunchers!¬† Ever wish there was a place you can go and sample everything that FiDi and TriBeCa has to offer foodwise?¬† You’re in luck!¬† Today, from 11am to 3pm you can sample treats from all area restaurants who will be showcasing their best stuff at Chase Plaza.¬† The food will range from $3-$7 and of course there will be live entertainment.¬† For a list of all of the participants click here.¬† I’m on my way right now and may have to report back ūüôā

19
May
11

Smorgasburg! (Williamsburg)

Ask and you shall receive! So after experiencing the awesomely awesome Hester Street Fair last year, I commented to Little Miss Chatterbox, I wish there was more stuff like this in Queens and Brooklyn. Ta daaaaaaa. The food genie comes through.

The masterminds of Brooklyn Flea decided to put their thinking caps on and their noggins together to capitalize on our food obsessed society…that would shamelessly include moi. Debuting on May 21, this “all-food bonanza” will be open every Saturday from 8am to 5pm and will have booths ranging from GrowNY Greenmarket to Kickstarter, a funding platform for creative business models and projects. To learn about all of the vendors, farmers and purveyors, click on their logo above.

I’ve already made plans the beginning of June to check this out. Definitely seems larger than some of the street fairs in Manhattan, but we shall see. I’ll report back on this bonanza.

19
May
11

Crawl for a Good Cause (LES)

Attention all cupcake fiends and significant others who want to impress their cupcake fiends!  Walking Tours Manhattan has an organized pub cupcake crawl through the streets of LES this Sunday (5/22) to benefit the Food Bank for New York City all for a nominal donation of $5!

First they will start at the popular vegan/gluten-free cupcakery, Babycakes (mental note for my detox starting in two weeks).  Second and third will be Sugar Sweet Sunshine (off-shoot by one of the ex-Magnolia cupcakers) and Butter Lane.  The crawl will wrap up at Dessert Club.

If you are around Sunday, definitely go check it out.  For $5 (or more if you choose open your heart and wallet a little wider) you get to walk through one of the most awesome neighborhoods in the city while tasting deelish cupcakes and contributing to feeding our hungry, homeless masses.  GOOOO!

18
May
11

Making Mobile, Making Mortar (East Village/LES)

So if you recall from my summer¬†jaunts across the city last year, I came across two¬†scrumptuous¬†ice cream vendors: Melt Bakery at the Hester Street Fair and the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck in Union Square.¬† Within the past week, there’s been some buzz about both that I thought you guys would find useful.¬†

Bowery Boogie is reporting that Melt Bakery is now going to set-up shop at 132 Orchard Street.¬† Does that mean they will no longer be a staple at the Hester Street Fair?¬† Hope not!¬† Hester Street and I have a date coming up in a few weeks and I definitely want to check out Melt’s pretty awesome ice cream sandwiches with their creative¬†flavor combinations.¬†¬† Lily Koi, Ike, Cocoa Daddy and the Jackson are on the top of my to-try list.¬†¬†I’ll have to report back on this…

As for the Big Gay Ice Cream guys, they are making news of their own.¬† Gothamist is reporting that they will be setting up shop in the East¬†Village¬†on 7th Street somewhere between First and A.¬† Unfortunately we don’t have a timeframe other than “this summer” to go off of, so I guess we will have to keep checking their website with pictures that will make you want to¬†spontaneously lick your screen.¬† I’m not saying I do that, but I’m just saying you maaaay want to do that.¬† Just maybe.

18
May
11

The Greek Squad (LES/Mobile)

So just as my stomach was getting ready to remind me it’s lunchtime,¬†Bada Boom¬†peeks over and asks me if I’ve been to the souvlaki truck. ¬†Negative.¬† Vamos!¬† Or as the Greeks would say…¬Ķa¬Ķő¨ saŌā!¬† Ok, I entirely made that up.

So the backstory to this excursion is that one of the three owners, Kostas, is apparently good friends with one of our salesguys, hence, making this truck the hottest thing on the trading floor these past two weeks.¬† The other two owners you ask?¬† They are a married couple who met last April Fools’ Day and got married sixteen days later.¬† No, seriously.¬† How’s that you cynical New Yorkers?? ¬†To read about all of them and their LES outpost click here.

So as we head to Old Slip, I see the Mexicue truck right on the corner.¬† Ok, mental post-it note in place for next week! ¬†Parked a few cars behind it was the blue and white truck with a huge, unorganized mass of people standing on the sidewalk in front of it.¬† After status-checking the crowd, we determined where to get on line.¬† After about a 15 min wait on line we finally got to the front where the Fiddler on the Roof greeted us.¬† Well, not really, but the kid clearly stole his hat.¬† He took our order and wrote down “Felson” as our name.¬† Not really, but¬†Bada Boom¬†didn’t have the heart to correct him with the line expanding behind us and Kostas swarming in the crowd next to us.¬† After we ordered we walked to the back of the crowd and sat on the steps of the building.¬† NOTE: we learned that you are not allowed to “sit” on the steps, but rather you are morrrre than welcome to stand, smoke, spit and anything else your heart desires on the steps…just no glut contact please.¬† Okeedokee.¬† After about a 10 min wait for Fiddler to shout, or more like mumble, the name “Felson”, we were up.¬† Total turnaround time from getting on line to getting our food, about 30 mins.

Now for the food.¬† The truck offers three meal options: souvlaki stix, pita souvlaki and the bikteki sandwich (Greek burger).¬† The first two come in chicken or pork options and the burger is beef.¬† We decided on getting a chicken and pork pita souvlaki each and sharing the Greek fries. ¬†The chicken and pork souvlakis are pretty small so if you have a decent appetite, you’ll want to get two…or three.¬† Both souvlakis were served with lettuce, tomato and a rich yogurt tzatziki sauce on a really fresh pita.¬† The overall¬†pita¬†dish was¬†pretty good in the sense that the meat was tender and moist with very good flavor.¬† However, I have to ask…how the hell is there no lamb on this Greek menu?!¬† If you were going to have only two meat options for your skewers and souvlakis I think it would have been a wise decision to go with two meats that were not so similar…like Chicken and Lamb or Pork and Lamb orrrr how about Chicken, Pork AND Lamb? Just a thought Kostas, just a thought.

 

So we decided on sharing the Greek fries which was smart because they are a regular order of fries covered in feta and oregano.¬† As if the soggy fries weren’t already bad enough for you, the feta just put it over the edge.¬† My tip is to definitely get them, but take some of the cheese off because if health concerns aren’t a factor for you, the over-saltiness of the cheese will be.¬† You’ll thank me.¬† To be fair, I have to add that the fries probably¬†got soggy because of the walk back to the office and the steam in the bag¬†most likely¬†compromised the original quality of the fries.

The food was good but I don’t know if I could do this meal multiple times a week.¬† Between the thick, rich tzatziki sauce and the quarter-pound of feta on the fries, this meal may be too heavy to throw in my regular rotation of lunching options.¬† I’m going to have to go back in 2 weeks with another co-worker who’s dying to try this, so maybe I’ll go with the straight protein option¬†in the souvlaki stix and tell them to hold the pita.¬† At least I have two weeks to make the oh so hard decision between chicken or pork!

18
May
11

What Lola wants…

So upon hearing this next piece of news, I had flashbacks to the summer of 2002.¬† Shlepping 40lb backpack full of lawschool books and party shirts shoved at the bottom from TriBeCa to a little party haven up in the sky on 47th St.¬† Oh yes.¬† China Club how we loved thee and¬†thine open bar/free food from 5-7pm.¬† Almost everybody who was anybody that partied in midtown between 2002-2004 either started or ended their Thursday nights at China Club’s Jade Terrace.¬† The parties ended and the venue went through different reincarnations.¬† Last year Grubstreet reported that the Copa was planning a supper club to bring the¬†some much needed¬†life back into this space.¬† After that there was silence, so I figured¬†the plans¬†went belly-up.¬† Not so!¬† Last week¬†Grubstreet followed up with a report that Alex Garcia (of Calle Ocho fame) was named the executive chef for the venue that is expected to open “early summer” but after checking out the supper club’s website, we now know¬†WAS due to open June 2010, so who knows.¬† Keep checking the link for updates on concept and menu!




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