Posted tagged ‘New York’

Swirls on Wheels!

September 24, 2009

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Does anyone else think it’s absolutely adorable that Pinkberry delivers in NY?!?  Even McDonald’s delivers over there!

French Fries at Balthazar… and other stuff too

September 23, 2009

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My last meal in NY was at Balthazar.  I had been crossing my fingers we’d make it there and barely did before they closed, our last night in town.  Bobby Flay said the best french fries he ever ate was at Balthazar and seeing as how I love french fries, I needed to try them.

Keep in mind that before we made it to Balthazar, we had a slice of pizza as a snack, dinner at a Japanese izakaya with numerous pitchers of draft beer, a slice of pizza as a snack soon after and gelato for dessert at the place next door before we rolled ourselves a few blocks to SoHo.  This was all in the span of four hours.  You’ve already seen the pictures of how piggy we were that night!

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I didn’t even notice the french onion soup on the menu and would’ve been tempted to order it had I not been obsessed with getting fries.  Candace let me try some of her soup and it was all sorts of goodness with cheese melted on top.

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Joy got the shrimp cocktail.  The color of the shrimp were so beautiful and they looked so fresh!

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This was the seafood bar we sat next to.  Everything was beautifully laid out on ice.

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Boyfriend had a hard time deciding what to order and finally chose the warm goat cheese with caramelized onion tart.  It sounds quite wonderful, doesn’t it?  By looking at the picture, I’m sure you can tell that is not a goat cheese and onion tart… Boyfriend ended up with a burger because they had run out of his first choice appetizer.

Joy told us that Balthazar is actually known for having good burgers and it was quite an impressive one!  The patty was cooked to order and had a great flavor to it.

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Now for the star of the show.  The whole reason I had any desire to go to Balthazar to begin with were the french fries.  They were mentioned on “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” and I was immediately intrigued.  They soak the cut potatoes in water to get rid of the starch and then blanch them in oil.  When you place your order, they fry them again so they come out fresh and hot.  It’s a two part deep frying process that leaves the fries silky on the inside while crispy on the outside.

This restaurant was amazingly packed at 11 PM on a Monday night.  I can only imagine what it’s like at prime dinner time on a weekend!

80 Spring St.  New York, NY

A snack, dinner, dessert, then late night dinner

September 22, 2009

This is everything we ate before dinner, for dinner and after dinner…

Needless to say, we pigged out!  Pizza from Ray’s Pizza for our before dinner snack.  Tons of small dishes from Village Yokocho at our izakaya dinner.  Joe’s Pizza as an after dinner snack.  Gelato from GROM for dessert, next door to Joe’s.  It was our last night in NY and it did feel like we walked a mini marathon.  After dessert, the group split up and Joy, Candace, Boyfriend and I walked (yes, we walked again!) to Balthazar’s for a late night dinner.

Mmmm, Balthazar’s deserves its own entry.

Hundred Acres

September 18, 2009

Randall had mentioned he wanted to take us to Hundred Acres for brunch so we checked out the menu online before we went.  Boyfriend LOVES anything cinnamon (or curry) so when we saw the Cinnamon-sugar Donuts with mocha dipping sauce as a starter, I knew he’d want to try them.

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We get to the restaurant and alas, there are no cinnamon-sugar donuts on the menu!  No mocha dipping sauce.  Nothing of the sort.  Poor Boyfriend.  So I went ahead and ordered warm, cream homemade biscuits with honey butter and banana walnut bread. 

The biscuits were good but pretty dense.  They really expanded in my stomach later on.  The star of the plate was the honey butter.  Randall likes this honey butter so much that he stole a bite of it and licked it right off his knife!

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Boyfriend went with a chilaquiles dish that was very filling. 

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I chose the blueberry pancakes with creme fraiche.  The pancakes were light, fluffy and scumptious but I was so full from my biscuit that I barely finished one!

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Randall and Vu both went with Poached Eggs
house-made biscuits, smoked salmon & hollandaise sauce

 

 

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 Horace went with the French Toast on
semolina-raisin bread, caramelized pineapple & honey yoghurt

 

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 Horace’s cousin Derrick went with one of the specials.  An open faced sandwich.  It must’ve been good because his plate was wiped clean when he was done!

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 Horace’s other cousin Ehrlick went with the Acrs Scramble which came with a side of corn bread and salad.

 

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Hundred Acres had a really nice atmosphere and comfy decor.  I feel like I hardly ate anything though because the biscuit made me so full.  I’ll have to not order a starter next time and stick to a main dish!

38 MacDougal St.  (between Prince and Houston St.)  New York, NY

Chocolate by the Bald Man

September 17, 2009

We ate a lot while in New York.  We ate regular meals, grabbed snacks and made special trips for dessert too.  Our only saving grace was that we did a ton of walking everywhere.   We didn’t make it in time for ChikaLicious before they closed this particular night, so decided to go to Max Brenner’s for chocolate decadence instead.  Luckily, they are open “until late” as the door says.  Although they have a full menu, this seems to be more of a dessert destination since most things on the menu consist of chocolate.

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Boyfriend and Candace both went with The Brown Heart and The Snow White Heart, respectively.  They were warm chocolate cakes with ice cream and fondue on the side and a double layer of pure chocolate and peanut butter (brown heart) or marshmallow (white heart).

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I had forgotten that Randall doesn’t like chocolate when we decided to go here.  He managed to find the one thing on the menu that doesn’t have chocolate in it and ordered The Berry Delicious, Berry Refreshing Berry Sorbet Sundae.  It has rasberry & mango sorbet, fresh strawberries, candied blueberries, macadamia nuts, rice krispies, honey “pop rocks” rasberry sauce and whipped cream.  I had a bite and it was definitely refreshing but very sweet.

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I ordered off the “MAX I SCREAM” menu and went with The Fantastic Popsicle Chocolate Fondue.  It came with one vanilla ice cream popsicle with a side of pure melted chocolate, crunchy wafer balls and candied hazlenut bits to keep dipping in until your ice cream is gone.  The whole time I was eating, I thought the crunchy wafer balls were the hazlenut bits!  Hello.  Lover.  Those crunchy wafer balls were ah-ma-zing and I ate every last one of them.

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I no longer think I can call myself a chocolate lover.  While I love milk chocolate, there actually IS too much of a good thing and I don’t care for dark chocolate at all.  Those crunchy wafer balls though… that was love.

841 Broadway  (between 13th St & 14th St)    New York, NY

Pommes Frites

September 16, 2009

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While we were waiting for our table at Caracas, we decided to stroll over to Pommes Frites for a snack.  This place boasts of authentic Belgian fries and 25 different dipping sauces.

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The fries are made from freshly cut potatoes, fried twice to golden perfection and topped with your favorite sauce.

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We chose #9 pesto mayo and #18 curry ketchup.  The latter sounded strange but ended up being surprisingly good!  Boyfriend loves anything curry flavored and Randall and Candace liked it as well.  There are other “interesting” sounding sauces on the menu such as pomegranate teriyaki mayo, Vietnamese pineapple mayo, and peanut satay.

The fries weren’t out of this world but the sauces are what made them special.  It was a perfect snack to hold us over until our dinner.  All sauces are $1.00 extra.

123 2nd Ave.  (between 7th St. & St. Marks Pl) New York, New York

Frrrozen Hot Chocolate!

September 15, 2009

The day we left for New York, Oprah had a food episode which showed clips from past episodes with celebrities and their favorite recipies.  I watched the episode when I got back and had no idea that she had visited Serendipity 3.

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We went to Serendipity 3 before heading back to Randall’s one night because it’s not too far from where he lives.  We went around 1 AM (they close at 2 AM) so there was no wait.

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Boyfriend went with the Humble Pie.  It’s a creamy peanut butter pie with a graham cracker crust.  It was sweet, rich and just as creamy as the menu promised.

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I really wanted to try the frozen hot chocolate since that is their signature dessert.  Candace and Randall both went with the frozen hot chocolate as well.  There are two new flavors (mint and cherry) so I had to try the mint frrrozen hot chocolate!  It tasted like a mint chocolate granita, pretty icy but flavorful at the same time.

When Oprah visited Serendipity in 2004 the owner Stephen Bruce offered to teach her how to make frozen hot chocolate at home.  I got really excited and envisioned myself making the drink for guests the next time we entertain.  He told Oprah to pour in one cup of cold milk, 3 cups of ice, 1 pack of frrrozen hot chocolate mix (!!!) and then blend it all together.  Put whipped cream and chocolate shavings on top, put in two straws and you’re good to go!  There are 14 different blends of chocolate in the mix packet.

It seemed like more of a commercial to buy the mix from the store than a recipe.  I was disappointed he didn’t give an actual recipe for the drink but at least I now know there is a closer Serendipity to me than in New York.  There is a Serendipity 3 in Ceasar’s Palace in Las Vegas!  I loved the quirkiness and decor of the place and can’t wait to find out if the Vegas one mirrors the one in New York.

225 E. 60th St.  New York, NY

Our nook at Sarabeth’s

September 11, 2009

We went to Sarabeth’s Kitchen for brunch and I came out eating lunch.  We waited a good 45 – 50 minutes to get a table here but the food was definitely worth the wait.  We got to sit in a nook at the restaurant!  The five of us had our own nook in the corner to feel special and cozy in.  Loved it!!

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Joy decided to be brave and eat her first eggs benedict.  She went with the Classic Eggs Benedict with authentic canadian smoked ham and hollandaise sauce.  Her first experience was “very yummy!”

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I was actually eyeing this dish but Randall got it instead.  He went with the Jumbo Lump Crab Cake Sandwich on an english muffin with matchstick fries, tartar sauce and a salad of frisee, watercress & apples.

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Candace got a Vegetable And Gruyere Frittata.  I didn’t even know what a frittata was but it looks so beautiful.  It looks like an omelette but apparently frittatas are finished off in the oven, whereas an omelette is cooked entirely on the stovetop and folded.

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Boyfriend is a big part of this website.  A loyal eater, faithful photographer and encourager of the blog.  The truth is, Boyfriend doesn’t always get what he wants at restaurants.  In fact, he often chooses something the restaurant has run out of… or has decided to discontinue altogether.  It’s happened so many times recently that it almost seems normal for him not to get what he wants.

Boyfriend went with Farmer’s Omelette: leeks, ham and chunks of potato with gruyere.  He had the option of choosing what kind of muffin he’d like on the side and chose a pumpkin spice muffin.  Perfect choice as this is one of my favorites and I assumed I’d get to steal a bite or two.  Of course, they had run out of pumpkin spice muffins!  So the story of his saga begins…

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I went with a club sandwich.  It sounds boring, I know.  This one was NOT boring though and was very special as it had fresh mozzarella cheese in it!   It came with roasted turkey breast, fresh mozzarella, virginia ham, lettuce, tomato and ranch dressing on 7-grain bread.  The bread was excellent with wonderful flavors trapped between.  The salad on the side was light and a perfect complement to the sandwich.

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I wish I had taken pictures of the decor at Sarabeth’s.  The restaurant was very open and bright and much larger than I originally thought because there is quite a large eating area in the back.  It’s in a great location because Central Park is waiting to be explored across the street and there is also great shopping on 5th Ave. 

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What a beautiful day for a stroll in the park!  It’s like visiting the countryside in the middle of the city.  It was also a wonderful way to walk off some of the calories we had just consumed!

40 Central Park S.  (Between 5th and 6th Ave.)  New York, NY

Venezuelan Arepa Bar: Caracas

September 10, 2009

Every meal we ate in New York was wonderful in it’s own way but I think my favorite was at Caracas.  Randall took Candace, Boyfriend and I to this tiny Venezuelan Arepa Bar for dinner one night.

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We started out with YoYos as an appetizer.  These are plaintains stuffed with cheese and then fried.  It comes with some sauce in a cup but to be honest, we didn’t even touch it.  I have no idea what kind of sauce that was but there is ANOTHER sauce that is so good that we had eyes for no other.

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Arepas are these corn-flour medallions that look like English muffins from afar.  They are pockets stuffed with the goodness of your choice.  Candace went with A-5 La Pelua on the menu: shredded beef and cheddar cheese.

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Randall, Boyfriend and I all went with A-20 La Surena: grilled chicken and chorizo with avocado slices and spicy chimi-churi sauce.  the meat was flaavored oh-so-perfectly and everything balanced each other so well.  The crispy outside balanced out with the steamy softness on the inside.

I am usually NOT a sauce person but the “secret sauce” on the table worked it’s magic well.  The arepa would be amazing without it because of the tenderness of the meat and wonderful flavors but this sauce takes it to the next level.  I wish I took a picture of the bottle to share with you but that wouldn’t do it justice.  I put at least three quirts on each bite I took.  It’s this reddish/orange, semi-sweet but spicy sauce that words can’t possibly describe because it’s just THAT good.  After Googling “secret arepa sauce” after we got home that night, we read that the bottles are sold at the restaurant  for $8 each.  If we are unable to recreate it, we’ll have to buy a few bottles and bring them back next time!!

Sadly, we all only ate one arepa a piece.  We had just eaten a snack (which will be blogged about another time) and were planning on going out to dessert after.  Now, I wish I had ordered one more pocket of goodness so I could have slathered it with sauce and basked in the greatness!  Hindsight is always twenty/twenty.

P.S. If anyone knows of a good arepa place in the Bay Area, please let me know!

93 1/2 E. 7th St.  New York, NY

Back to the Westside!

September 9, 2009

 NYC was amazing

The food, as you can see, was also amazing.


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