AboutEating my way through the Big Apple and around the world.
Always in favor of extraordinary flavor versus saving a few calories, I’m constantly seeking the best restaurants, recipes, and random little food finds. This blog chronicles my discoveries, most of which are located in New York City, the foodie heaven I am fortunate to call home.
I am an editor at Zagat, but all opinions on this blog are mine and have nothing to do with my employer.
I take my photos with a point-and-shoot Canon PowerShot SD850. Which goes to show that if you're passionate about photography but can't afford fancy camera equipment, you can still take quality photos.
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New York Restaurants
Food in NYC
Eating Around The World
Recipes and Food Finds
Right off Times Square, the French Cafe Un Deux Troisis a decent pre-theater dining destination. (Generous three course theater prix fixe for just $28!) It is also the location of one of my all time favorite New York moments.
The food is nothing extraordinary, although I only had the hamburger frites…and my very own extra large creme brulee. (Felt just like Kevin McCallister when that puppy came out.) What I love is the restaurant’s ambiance; it strikes the perfect balance between boisterous brasserie with whimsical white twinkly lights and refined dining under crystal chandeliers. It’s very Parisian and New York feeling at the same time, and although I tend to favor 20-seat neighborhood joints, this giant room definitely was a fun change.
While dining here last weekend before a show, a fully decked Santa brought out posters depicting the Twelve Days of Christmas, selected various tables to hold the cards up, and had the entire restaurant sing together. We were seated next to the Five Golden Rings family, who definitely did the most joyous verse justice.
My initial thought was “how tacky!” but it actually was so fun for everyone in the restaurant to come together and sing and laugh instead of staying buried in their own private conversations. When does that ever happen in New York? It felt sort of like a flash mob, and it definitely boosted up my Christmas spirit.
Hugs and Kisses green tea (served with rock candy stir stick), hamburger, smoked turkey club with raspberry jam on whole grain bread.
Sometimes you just need a healthy meal, but not necessarily one that tastes like it. Sanctuary T is the perfect place for that. The menu is chock full of organic and vegetarian fare (but also free range beef burgers), and an insane collection of loose leaf teas (I’m guessing somewhere close to 100 varieties). Although the tea is spendy ($10 for a 2 ounce canister), I love giving them as gifts, especially the New York-inspired flavors (SoHo Breakfast, SoHo Chai). The open wall space on trendy but peaceful lower West SoHo tops off the whole experience.
I walked by 5 Napkin a few weekends ago and the smell nearly knocked me out. Sweet, sweet greasy food heaven. So when I found myself back in the area Friday nite, I knew there was one place and one place only where I was going to chow down later.
I ordered the Original 5 Napkin Burger, 10 ounces of ground chuck with caramelized onions, gruyere cheese, and rosemary aioli. Yes, that’s right. That big dollop of white is not cheese. It’s a straight up mayo mixture on top of cheese. The gourmet burger originated at uptown French restaurant Nice Matin, where it quickly became the joint’s top seller. Two years ago, the chef decided to create an entire restaurant based around it, and voila, 5 Napkin Burger was born.
The verdict? Granted I only eat about four burgers a year so I’m no expert, but I don’t think I’ll be back anytime soon to waste one of those precious patties here. The burger was extremely juicy, but there was just no special flavor to it (same with the fries). I’d much rather have a Shake Shack burger for a fraction of that price (5 Napkin Burger: $15). My favorite part of the meal was my frozen strawberry mojito. It was one of the most refreshing drinks I’ve ever had, and it never got watery like most frozen drinks. All in all it was a fun experience, but not one I’ll be dying to repeat regularly.
On Friday I made the rare proclamation, “I want a burger.” Being in the neighborhood, I decided to try the new Standard Grill for lunch.
This burger was quite possibly one of the top five burgers I’ve ever had in my life. Granted I don’t eat them often, but it was thick, juicy, and came with a large side of perfectly crisp fries. Much, much better than my friend’s turkey club, which could have come from any no name diner.
Overall, the food and the fun scene will keep me coming back. Can’t wait to try it for dinner, although the bright, casual lunch will definitely be a redo.
You know one thing all that rain was good for last month? Short lines at Shake Shack. After years of wanting to go, I finally made it on a slightly drizzly night a few weeks back.
I sprang for the fried portobello burger, mostly thanks to this post. Seemed innocent enough, until I took one bite and there was a flavor explosion!
An explosion of muenster and cheddar cheese, that is, which came oozing out of the shroom. Nirvana!
To accompany this delicious morsel, I had krinkle fries…
and coffee and donuts frozen custard. There were literally little pieces of donuts in the custard. I died! Unfortunately, it was a flavor of the month in June, but if we all write in, maybe they’ll bring it back for August.
Everyone agreed, thumbs up all around for Shake Shack!
With the incredible special the Cow has going on right now ($16 3-course prix fixe), and the awesome remodeled back patio, I reeeeally wanted to like my dinner. But…
I’m sad to report my fish burger was almost inedible. Despite the fact that it came with two huge fish fillets, the fish was the funky-fishiest thing I had ever tasted, to the point where I couldn’t eat it. Perhaps I was just spoiled with all of the fresh fish in the Bahamas, but alas, no good. Its one saving grace: a delicious cilantro-mayo spread.
I’ve had the burgers here before, and they are delicious. They’re served with the lot: pineapple, a fried egg, beets, and bacon. I should have played it like my friends and stuck with what I knew.
Will I come back to the Cow? Perhaps. I wasn’t starving so I didn’t get the prix fixe, but on the menu is a Cow Salad (avocado, mango, and pecans with a mango mustard dressing) and a Half Roasted Chicken (with cream corn succotash and potato scallops). All that plus dessert for $16? I must say I’m curious. Also, their all you can drink brunch for $18 is a great time.
I’ll leave you with a few shots of my drink: The Oasis. That’s a little pool of tequila floating on top. Sadly, the taste did not match its awesome looks.
This weekend was gorgeous, and what better way to celebrate a beautiful summer day than with an all-American summer meal.
My friend Rena and I nabbed an outdoor seat at J.G. Melon, a classic, no-frills restaurant near Central Park. Although they’re famous for their hamburger, I opted for the barbeque chicken sandwich. Although tasty, I definitely had some food envy when Rena’s cheeseburger arrived. I’ll be back!