Category Archives: New York Restaurants

Did someone say free dessert?

If you live in New York, you want to see this

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Why Don’t You…

Dear friends,

This weekend I’m taking off and I’m leaving my computer behind. I’ll be back on Tuesday with brilliant posts about Garbage Plates and sweet cheese Belgian waffles (you can hardly stand the wait, right?) but in the meantime I leave you with this list of things that I would be doing if I was staying in town this weekend. So…

Why Don’t You…

Get your drink on all sneaky-like at a speakeasy like Dutch Kills (27-24 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City) or Please Don’t Tell (113 St. Marks Place).
Or, opening this weekend and offering free hot dogs (I said FREE HOT DOGS! Go people, go!) in the old East Side Company Bar space on the Lower East Side, Painkiller. 49 Essex Street at Grand Street

Take a culinary vacation from impending rain, use whatcha got, and pretend you’re in Australia while you eat Fairy Bread in bed whilst watching Young Einstein.

Feed your sweetheart little dollops of heaven via chopsticks at Blue Ribbon Sushi. 119 Sullivan Street

Watch Food, Inc. or Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, both available instantly on your Netflix.

Bask in the lusciousness of a $26 pre-fixe lunch menu at Nougatine by Jean-Georges (1 Central Park West); none of the wallet strain, all of the succulent flavor that this famous French chef is known for.

Nurse your Sunday morning hangover with a stack of sour cream pancakes, heavy on the syrup, at Bubby’s (120 Hudson Street). Just don’t look too ragged. It’s a notorious celebrity hangout and you wouldn’t want to miss your chance to woo Justin Timberlake, now would you? Thought so.

Happy weekend, kiddies!

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Cinco de Mayo for Just Un Dolar!

Is that Spanish? Who even knows. And that post is misleading because Cinco de Mayo is today, a Wednesday, and these deliciously cheap tacos are only available on Tuesdays. But don’t be sad: you can go eat $1 tacos next Tuesday and pretend like it’s Cinco de Mayo all over again. Don’t worry. I won’t tell anybody.

Fish tacos! Apologies for the wonky color... clearly my camera has a mind of its own.

Wharf Bar and Grill 3rd Avenue, between 38th Street and 39th Street, New York, NY. Located amidst other bars boasting specials and deals for Happy Hour, Wharf is lovely because it’s spacious, there’s an area upstairs that can accommodate big parties, and it’s an easy going vibe. There are always drink specials and the staff is incredibly friendly.

On the menu:
Shock Top beer
$1 Tacos (fish, chicken, and beef)

Verdict: Did I mention each taco costs $1? How could this possibly be anything but incredible? Each taco is served on a corn tortilla that measures about 5″ in diameter, and you have to order in groups of 3, but truth be told: I ate 6. And I drank 2 delicious summery Shock Top beers (it’s like a Blue Moon). And I was comfortably full. I’d imagine if you’re a large man, you could probably eat 12 tacos and not eat for the rest of the night, but that’s still only $12! The protein of your choice (ground beef, shredded chicken, or fried fish, of which persuasion I’m not sure) is tucked into its shell with shredded lettuce, chopped red onions, a generous helping of shredded cheese, and a spicy salsa verde.

So this month, in honor of… um… the Fifth Day of May (seriously, what IS Cinco de Mayo?), have a taco! Because it’s only a dollar! And it’s delicious! And you just don’t need any more reason than that.

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Brooklyn is Burning

In most areas of the country, brunch is the meal between typical breakfast and lunch hours. In New York City, brunch is an all-out weekend booze fest during which you are encouraged to eat breakfast food between the hours of 6AM and 5PM and drink “breakfast cocktails” to excess. Needless to say, it is my favorite meal of the week.

This weekend was the first ridiculously beautiful, sunny weekend in New York and I soaked it up to the fullest by traveling to Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn where brunch is like a religion.

Cafe LULUc Located on Smith Street between Baltic Street and Butler Street, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. I can’t speak for Cafe LULUc in the winter, but in the warm spring and summer months, the front doors are completely open and the back patio is open, creating a sparkling sunny garden terrace vibe. Warm breeze and Latin music drifted through the cafe, the back tables on the patio surrounded a huge tree that sporadically and poetically dropped purple flowers from its branches, and the clientele is a mix of cool Brooklyn hipsters and gorgeous young families. I didn’t even mind all the babies in the vicinity of my table, and trust me… that’s saying something.

On the menu:
Eggs benedict, with french fries and a green salad
Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, with french fries and a green salad
Mimosas

Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon

Verdict: Delightful. Eggs benedict is my go-to brunch dish and this did not disappoint. 9 out of 10 times when I order eggs benedict, the poached egg is borderline hard-cooked but these eggs were done PERFECTLY. The Hollandaise sauce was creamy and subtle, the accompanying french fries were thin and crispy, and the small side salad had a dreamy basil vinaigrette dressing that lightened everything up. The mimosas were $7 a piece, which seemed a little steep to me, but every meal on the menu was a bargain at under $10 so it all evened out. And after two “light on the orange juice” glasses of my most favorite breakfast cocktail combined with the steamy summer heat and a belly full of food, who cares how much they cost anyway? Not this girl. Not even a little.

I am also a fan of brunch because it’s technically lunch and after lunch you’re allowed to have dessert. So… I did.

Pistachio ice cream with bumblebee sprinkles

Sweet Melissa Cremerie, 276 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY. You know how sometimes when it’s hot out you eat your ice cream so fast (to keep it from melting, of course) that you can barely even taste it? No? Yeah, me neither. Anyway… this was delicious.

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Letter from the Editor

Dear friends and loved ones,

If you are getting married in the near future (and I know some of you are), and you have invited me (and I know some of you have), then I implore you: serve this at your wedding. Pretty, pretty please. I promise if you do, I will bring you a way nicer gift than I had originally planned.

photo c/o Momofuku.com/milk-bar/

In case you were unaware, as I was until today, Momofuku Milk Bar (one of my favorite places on planet Earth), makes wedding cakes. Oh yes, they do. And friends, loves, nearest-and-dearest-to-my-hearts, if you’re not down for a whole wedding cake, you can order slices of Crack Pie as wedding favors. Nothing says “thanks for celebrating my union” like a slice of Crack Pie.

Seriously.

Nothing.

And if you can’t manage to serve this tower of perfection at your own wedding, maybe you could set me up with a single friend who will soon propose so I can thus serve it at my own. Deal?

Thanks and all best wishes for the future,
Lauren E.

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Food Cart Friday

I have to blame my hatred for lunch on my lack of midday meal options during the week. Anyone who works in midtown Manhattan knows that after your hundredth Cosi salad, Europa “pressata” sandwich, or Cafe Metro wrap, you grow to dread your lunch hour and look to McDonald’s as a source of nourishment. It’s that dire.

It is in that vein that I am constantly on the lookout for new and exciting midday menu options. Introducing Mia Dona‘s meatball cart. For $7 from 12-2PM Monday thru Friday midtown lunchers can enjoy 4 tasty meatballs on fresh baked rosemary focaccia with melted caciocavallo cheese and spicy arugula ($6 gets you the meatballs a la carte).

On the menu:
Meatball sandwich

Verdict: HELLO MY LUNCH HOUR SAVIOR! My dining companion, Meagan, put it best: “At 12:51 I opened the sandwich. By 12:54, it was gone. That sandwich didn’t stand a chance.” The meatballs were done just the way I like them: mostly ground beef with just enough spice to hold them together and give them a robust Italian flavor. The bread was soft and salty, the cheese the perfect smooth complement to the Italian spices, and the arugula the touch of spicy freshness needed to break through all the heartiness.

The Meatball Wagon (too few phrases inspire the salivary glands like ‘Meatball Wagon’ eh?) has only been open for just over a week but the woman working the cart told me they’ve been selling out every day. We commiserated over the lack of lunchtime options for a midtown worker and I sheepishly told her I’d traveled sixteen blocks and three avenues for this tasty treat.

“I’m too lazy to make my own lunch sometimes,” I told her, woman to woman. Midtown worker to midtown worker.
She responded brightly, “But you’re not too lazy to make the long trip for a meatball sandwich!”
Thanks for pointing out the great lengths I’ll go to for a meatball sandwich, Cart Lady. Thanks a lot.

If you’re in the neighborhood (or even if you’re not…), Mia Dona‘s Meatball Wagon is worth the trip and the $7 you’d normally spend on a mediocre salad at Cosi. 58th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue

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My Brush with Fame (or “The Day I Stalked the Food Network”)

After the unbelievable support from WordPress on Monday, I got a surge of confidence. I am surely bound for stardom, either as the smaller, cuter, slightly-less-off-putting Guy Fieri (taste testing diners for a living? YES PLEASE) or as the smaller, cuter, slightly-less-off-putting Rachael Ray. Today my horoscope told me that I’d meet someone who would help further my career. And the Food Network happened to be filming a segment at the Treats Truck parked right near my office. I figured I’d bump into a producer, pitch my idea for the best new food show ever, and be on TV in a matter of weeks.

The Food Network's Adam Gertler filming a segment on 38th St and 5th Avenue in Manhattan

I’m not famous… yet… but it was cool to see them filming. And I figured, “Heck, while I’m already RIGHT by the Treats Truck… might as well give them some business.” I purchased the Kitchen Sink Crispy Square, which I have to say was SLIGHTLY disappointing. It tasted like there was peanut butter mixed into the marshmallows holding the crispies together, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but I think I was hoping for something like Momofuku Milk Bar‘s Compost Cookie, which has potato chips, coffee grounds, and probably some angel’s tears mixed in. It is heaven in cookie form. This crispy treat was “meh.” But lovely looking, no?

See the Whopper? Beautiful.

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