Monday, May 31, 2010

I Can Cook: A whole day's food

Usually when I undertake a cooking endeavor I try one dish at a time. I don't know what overcame me, but today I cooked Brunch and Dinner. But dinner wasn't just one dish- it included an appetizer and dessert. Whoa. Calm down now. We started the day out with Cannoli Stuffed French Toast with a side of fresh papaya,

and I could have quit right there, but no. I trekked on and we finished our day with Onion Rings and Chicken Wings.

I know this is all sounding like a fairly unhealthy day, but all the recipes were from Hungry Girl, so were completely guilt free. I tried to end the day in a flourish by attempting to make a souffle,

but as you can see, I couldn't rise to the occasion. I don't feel too discouraged though since souffles are infamously difficult to get right, I gotta start somewhere- and with some whipped cream and cocoa powder for garnish it wasn't half bad.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Best Bagel: Murray's


One of the mornings that we were moving in we went to the closest bagel joint, grabbed some bagels, and kept working away. These bagels were not good. So when the Mr. suggested we grab some more of said bagels the next day, I threw on the brakes at hit the interwebs to find some real bagels. It took a lot to convince him that those bagels weren't that great and that instead of two blocks, we should walk almost a mile for a bagel. Then, once we got there there was a line. He was not feeling this little escapade "how much better can they possibly be". But then, all of the frustration melted after he took his first bite and he saw the light. So now I've got the Mr. well on his way to being a real New York bagel snob and in the mean time I'm now trying to convince him that we don't have to go to Murrays every day.

Murray's Bagels on Urbanspoon

Max Brenner: Real Life Willy Wonka

Stopped into Max Brenner in Union Square for dessert. This place is a must for any chocoholic in NYC. Some people turn up their noses at this place for being 'touristy'- you know what, fine. While you are over there being snobby, I'm going to be in chocolate heaven having a blissful chocolate-filled experience. Pictured here is their version of Tiramisu which comes in an adorable little jar with fresh fruit and a beaker of rich, velvety chocolate. All served on a plate that resembles loose leaf paper. As if the chocolate wasn't enough by itself, they have to go and make it all cute too. Ach, you've got me Max Brenner, and I will come back to you again and again.

Max Brenner Chocolate by the Bald Man on Urbanspoon

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Angelo & Maxie: These dudes know steak

Sometimes I have this assumption that the restaurant across the street from you can't be that good. I mean, it's just too easy right? Hop across the street and get a great meal? Where is the hunt? Nonetheless, we need to scope out our local haunts, so to Angelo & Maxie's we went. Out came the bread basket:

Mmmmmmooo. Delicious. Especially the onion roll. And I loved the little cow that came on top of the butter, you can roll your eyes all you want. I'm a sucker for that kind of thing.

We started off with the Portabello mushroom stuffed with goat cheese & wild mushrooms. I'm going to let the picture speak for this one, because it was every bit as good as it looked.

Then it was time to bring on the meat. Honestly I don't remember which cut we split since that is more the Mr's department, but it was good. Real good. For sides we got the mashed potatoes and creamed spinach which I could not stop going back for more helpings of.

Now here I will add my disclaimer that we still haven't been to Peter Luger's or Craft or any of the other high end steakhouses that make boasts of being the end all be all of steak, but we enjoyed the mid-level price and fanciness range of this place. Nice for an evening out that's definitely a few steps up from Outback, but not something you have to save up all year for.

Angelo & Maxies on Urbanspoon

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Baohaus: Buns Runner Up

Momofuku's pork buns have launched The Mr. on a quest to find the best pork buns in NYC. The Food Network featured Baohaus on Ultimate Recipe Showdown so off we went. It's a small joint with limited seating, no frills, just buns. The Mr. ordered a Sidra apple drink and I went for a hot chrysanthemum tea and we grabbed some stools and waited for our buns. On our menu for the evening: The Haus Bao, The Chairman Bao, The Uncle Jesse (close-up) and Sweet Black Sesame Bao Fries. Our favorite was the Haus Bao which was hangar steak since the pork belly Chairman Bao was just a sad substitution for Momofuku's. The Bao fries sounded heavenly, but were basically bread with some sweet black sesame icing. Everything was good, but definitely not outstanding and not worth coming back for.

Baohaus on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Pings & Caffe Palermo: Around the world in two blocks

Best Cannoli in the Universe?
Crossed off two items on our checklist this afternoon: Dim Sum in Chinatown and Cannolis in Little Italy.

We dragged our out of town guests to meet up with my high school friend, his wife, and his wife's family at Ping's in Chinatown for some Dim Sum. I for one was very happy that my friend's wife is from China, because she took care of the ordering and made sure there were always new delicious dishes on our table. I decided to be adventurous and tried chicken feet, but stopped while I was ahead and opted out of trying the tripe. Next time perhaps. The dishes kept coming until we were all fully and happy and then when we got the bill we were happier still. All that food and endless tea for $12 per person!

Next we headed over to Canal street and got some coffee and cannolis at Caffe Palermo. They claim not just to have the best cannolis in Little Italy, or New York, or even the US, but the ENTIRE PLANET. And while I can't speak to that, it was pretty darn good, if a little pricey for a few cannolis and some coffee.

Ping's Seafood on Urbanspoon

Caffe Palermo on Urbanspoon

Not wild about Wildwood BBQ

We need to scope out all our neighborhood Gramercy/Flatiron haunts and we had a pang of longing for BBQ so across the street to Wildwood BBQ we went. We wanted to order some ribs, but they were out. Out? You're a BBQ restaurant and you are OUT of ribs? We scoffed and then ordered the brisket and pulled pork with beans & creamed spinach instead.

Despite our scoffing, we had to admit it was good. Much better than us Texas BBQ connoisseurs expected to get in NYC. However, it didn't blow us away. Final verdict is that it will do when we need a quick BBQ fix, but is probably not a place that we will actively seek out again.

Wildwood Barbeque on Urbanspoon

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Good Dang Chow at Cho Dang Gol

We finally get to Koreatown to try some traditional Korean fare. Even though The Mr is half Korean, I have had surprisingly few Korean food experiences. We were very excited when some friends took us to Cho Dang Gol, their favorite in K-Town. To start the journey off right, we ordered a round of OB beer.

OB Korean Beer
It's basically the Korean version of Bud Light. We also got some bori cha, or barley tea, which is delightful when consumed hot or iced.

Kimchi Pancake & Banchan
Kimchi Pancake definitely seemed like a fitting way to start the meal and it was delicious. Also brought out were the banchan, which are small dishes of food served with Korean meals. These run the gambit from kimchi, to fish, to seaweed and vegetables. I loved getting to try little tastes of different dishes and our dining companions loved that they came complimentary with the meal and had free refills. They also gave us some house made tofu and wow, who knew? It's so different from the packaged stuff that I'd encourage even non-tofu eaters to give it a shot.

Bulgogi Stone Rice Bowl

Chap Chae
For the main event Bulgogi Bibambap and Chap Chae were the traditional dishes we were looking for and they lived up to the task. Cho Dang Gol passed the taste bud test with such flying colors that The Mr decided it would be a great place to bring his Korean family when they visit!

Cho Dang Gol on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Firehouse Pizza has lit a fire in my heart

My dad was in town on business so his sister and mother came into the city for a nice family dinner. I bought some wine, we got to chatting, and we didn't feel like breaking up the party to go out for dinner so we decided to just order in some pizza. I fired up Seamless Web and found Firehouse Pizza who had some pretty amazing reviews- only the best for my family! Once I saw they had a Penne alla Vodka pizza I stopped cold. I mean come on. You know what my problem is with pizza? Not enough carbs! (This is why I also can't wait to try Five Points' Potato Pizza). Went ahead and made the executive decision to order and let my family pick the second pie, we wound up with the following order:

Fried Calamari $8.50
Penne alla Vodka Pizza $18.95
Chicken Pesto Pizza $21.95

The delivery time took quite a while, but it was well worth the wait. The Penne alla Vodka Pizza was everything I dreamed it would be and more. If you are a fellow carb junkie like me, stop what you are doing and figure out how you can make this happen for you.

The Mister who is our household calamari expert proclaimed it as 'decent', which I think is probably good for delivery calamari. Not being one for chicken pizza I will also default to his opinion on that one as well which he described as "excellent".

Firehouse Pizza on Urbanspoon

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ya, Ya, Soba-ya!

Soba-ya came with some high recommendations from a coworker and we were eager to try some authentic Japanese soba. We sat at the bar and decided to sample so ordered the Moriawase which allowed us to pick 3 vegetables:

Then we had the plain cold soba noodles with dipping sauce (Mori) and the Nabeyaki Udon.

We finished up with Black Sesame ice cream which was an unexpected yet delicious flavoring. A delicious, light, and wonderful meal for anyone looking to explore other Japanese cuisine.

Soba-ya on Urbanspoon

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Cuckoo for Kofoo

Our coworkers started up a delivery order from Kofoo (KOrean FOOd, get it?) and me and the Mr chimed in with an order for Kimchi Kimbob and Jalapeno Kimbob. Mmm, mmm good. Now if only the Committee for American Spelling of Korean Words would get together and create a convention for spelling kimpop...kimbap...gimbap. *sigh*

Kofoo on Urbanspoon

Thursday, May 13, 2010


After our sailing lesson we were freezing and starving, it was definitely time for a treat and a big, piping hot bowl of ramen sounded like pure heaven. Decided to give Ippudo a try since they are world famous and all. Started with their pork buns and philadephia cheesesteak spring roll. The buns were good, I found the spring roll a little too fat-tastic for my taste, but the Mr was pretty into it. Then we split some ramen, or as they put it, Japanese soul food. Everything was fantastic- great atmosphere, great food, but let's face it, our hearts belong to Momofuku and it's going to take something truly phenomenal to tear us away.

Ippudo on Urbanspoon

Monday, May 10, 2010

We discover Maoz

There's this crazy little vegetarian place in Union Square that we pass by, its interior is covered in white and bright green tile and its called "Maoz". Apparently it's a dutch word, but they sell falafels. Interesting. The big appeal though is the crazy salad bar with yum fixings that you can load up on your pita or bowl. They also have fresh squeezed carrot juice, making this place pretty healthy...that is until you go for the combo meal and get the mixed belgian & sweet potato fries.

Maoz on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Hooked on Red Hook


Needed to go to Ikea. Again. Our love is wearing off now that we are on our 3rd trip in 3 weeks. The ferry is less of a fun adventure and more of a huge time sink. So we decided to add the air of adventure and discovery back into our Ikea trip by visiting the famous Red Hook Ball Field Vendors. Right next door to the Ikea in Brooklyn are some soccer fields that vendor trucks line up around and sell some of the best South/Latin American food in NYC. Started with a pork huarache and some horchata, then grabbed some pupusas from the El Olomega truck. One pork, one plantain. Everything was delicious and helped make yet another trip to Ikea suddenly seem not so bad.