Tag Archives: New York Deals

Skippy 2.0

photo c/o MilkMadeIcecream.com

During the summers of my youth in lovely Rochester, NY few sounds brought greater joy to my little heart than the ringing bell of Skippy, the ice cream truck (was he called Skippy everywhere? Or is this another local word that I’m unaware of?). I remember begging for a dollar and then chasing that truck down the street, hoping for some sickly sweet frozen dessert that would promptly melt down my forearm because I ate so freaking slow.

Nowadays, there is an easier and way chicer way to have ice cream delivered to you, and it’s called MilkMade. This brilliant company will deliver handmade ice cream to your door, once a month for three months at the low, low price of $50 (I know, it seems a little steep but with flavors like Coffee and Donuts made with Crop to Cup‘s Uganda Bugisu coffee and REAL Doughnut Plant donuts, I’d say: worth it). Their focus is on using products from local companies and creating stellar combinations of flavors you won’t find in the grocery store.

If you’re outside their limited delivery area, you can also find them at the Greenpoint Food Market. The next market is May 22. See you there? That’s what I thought.

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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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Filed under New York Restaurants

Azul Skies Smiling at Me

New York has endless restaurants and it’s impossible to keep up with all of them. Restaurants open and close before you even get a chance to peep the menu, so while I try to eat at as many new places as I can, sometimes I cave and end up at old favorites. I’ve been to Azul on the Lower East Side of Manhattan multiple times (five that I can distinctly recall) and their $19.95 recession special can not be beat: small green salad, 8 oz. skirt steak (tender, juicy, and “holy hell” delicious), mashed or fried potatoes, and a glass of wine. Seriously. Are you on your way there now? You should be.

Azul Argentinian Restaurant Located at 152 Stanton Street (corner of Suffolk and Stanton). The bar serves beer and wine, and beware: vegetarians will NOT like this restaurant. The Argentines like their red meat. My kind of people.


On the menu:
Mixed grill for 2, medium rareĀ (short ribs, lamb chops, skirt steak, chorizo, blood sausage, sweetbreads), with mashed potatoes and salad
Quilmes beer
Malbec ’08 Reserva, Finca Flichman
Vanilla bean panna cotta

I don’t really have to do a Verdict here, do I? I love this restaurant. It was warm out, the doors were open onto the street, pre-smelly-summer breeze was blowing, I had a glass of Malbec in my hand… What was I talking about?

Right. The food.

I have to admit I’m not a fan of blood sausage, but everything else was just as it should be. The skirt steak was seared on theĀ outside, juicy and tender on the inside. The chorizo was spiced perfectly and the short ribs had the distinct, salty, beautiful flavor I had hoped for. This was my first foray into sweetbreads and I have to tell you: tastes like chicken.

Oh, and the vanilla bean panna cotta with blueberries? Custard is never my first choice for dessert but this was just what I wanted after the heavy mixed grill: smooth, firm consistency with a light vanilla bean flavor that melted in my mouth. Thanks for dinner, Azul! See you in a couple weeks.

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Food Cart Friday!

In my opinion, and from what I’ve read online and in newspapers, New York is behind in the food cart trend. Sure, we have lots of halal food, cupcakes, falafel, and chicken and rice, but where is our creme brulee cart? Our bacon dog cart? Our gumbo cart? All in due time, I’m sure. For now, I’ve done a little research into the tastiest midtown food cart options in Manhattan. And no better day than Friday to treat myself to a little fried fish and some cookies.

Kim’s Aunt Kitchen Cart: 46th Street between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue (closer to 6th Ave, south side of the street) I decided to try Kim’s Aunt because most websites claimed that the fish was fresh and made to order, quelling two of my food cart fears. Who wants to eat food that’s been sitting in a grease pit for hours? Not this girl.

On the menu:
Flounder sandwich (fried flounder pieces, tomato, lettuce and white sauce on standard white bread)

Verdict: YUM. Oh, beautiful fried fruit of the sea. While the bread got soggy in the ten minute walk from the cart to my warm little office, I barely even noticed. The coating on the huge chunks of fish was crispy, the flounder inside was flaky and tender, and the veggies were crisp and fresh. You can’t get much in midtown Manhattan for $4.50 but this sandwich will fill you up and keep you full straight through the 3:00 office slump. Props to you, Kim’s Aunt, whoever you are.

Treats Truck: in some sort of sneaky PR move, or perhaps just to keep the population of midtown from gaining a collective five pounds, the Treats Truck moves! Their schedule can be found on their website, but for the past few Fridays they’ve been stationed on 45th Street and 6th Avenue from 12:30 – 3. Uh… or so I hear.

On the menu:
Double chocolate sandwich cookie with mint chocolate filling
Chocolate chip cookie
Vanilla sandwich cookie with vanilla filling
Double chocolate sandwich cookie with chocolate fudge filling
Double chocolate sandwich cookie with peanut butter filling
NOTE: I did not eat all of these cookies in one sitting, nor did I buy them all on one day. And this was strictly for research purposes. It’s a tough job reviewing cookies. Honest.

Verdict: Why hello there, brand new love of my life. This is my kind of cookie. The chocolate sandwich cookies had the PERFECT consistency: crisp on the edges, chewy in the middle. The vanilla sandwich cookie had a crispy texture all the way through, which is not MY favorite, but I’m sure some would disagree with me. And the chocolate chip was standard fare but delicious none the less. As you can probably tell… I recommend the chocolate sandwich cookies. And anything with frosting is alright with me.

If you have a New York food cart recommendation, lay it on me! Is there a creme brulee cart that I’m missing? Maybe it’s best if I don’t know about that one.

*top picture c/o Serious Eats

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Dolla Dolla Bill, Y’all

New York is one of the most expensive cities in the world. And my paycheck is sickeningly small. But every once in awhile, God smiles down upon me and offers up His greatest bounty (food, that is) for just a buck. There is dollar pizza on St. Mark’s Place. Dollar drafts on Mondays at Third and Long. And while you may end up splurging on everything from bacon wrapped dates to crispy calamari while you’re there, there are dollar oysters at Lure.

On the Menu:
Raw oysters
Raw clams
Lobster croutons
Crab cakes

Look at those beauties. Hello, little friends.

Verdict: If you are hell bent on making it a cheap night, then pay attention: this place is great for the raw oysters and clams and the house wine (which will set you back $6 a glass). If you venture outside of this bar menu, you’re looking at a hefty bill. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and the slurpy little creatures on the half shell. And for a buck a piece, you can’t go wrong.

For a comprehensive look at dollar oysters in the city, check out My Salty Sweet.

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