I have a lot of friends that call me a "foodie."
The truth is, I just like to eat.
Sadly, I have been lactose intolerant since I was a child. But sometimes, that doesn't stop me; so thank you Lactaid.
I have a lot of friends that call me a "foodie."
The truth is, I just like to eat.
Sadly, I have been lactose intolerant since I was a child. But sometimes, that doesn't stop me; so thank you Lactaid.
A trio of fish tacos from my dinner break at Haru sushi, near Union Square.
Tuna, Salmon and Yellowtail in a Yuzu apple marinade with avocado, peppers and shallots. Just the right amount of sweet and salty with crunch. They were a little pricey for a break, but delicious.
Yes, social media helped me find Cha Cha Matcha! So, when I walked by it on the way to Seamore's, I knew where I was going for dessert!
Although the matcha soft serve sounded amazing, I thought it would be best to skip the dairy for this meal. I opted for their version of a cronut, a doughssant, filled with matcha cream and perfectly flaky.
For my drink, I chose a soy match latte, iced, of course! I was also amused by the number of other Asian girls in the shop, taking photos of their drinks and food...there's not a blog called "Asians Taking Pictures of Food" for no reason!
I made the mistake of thinking Seamore's opened earlier for brunch, so I had to sweat it out in Little Italy for about 15 minutes before settling in to eat. (Usually, not a problem, but it was over 90 degrees and super humid.)
It had been awhile since I had been to Seamore's, but I knew I had to get something on their brunch menu. I went for one of the "bagel stacks." Consisting of an Everything bagel from another one of my favs, Russ & Daughters, avocado, roasted tomatoes, poached eggs and chili flakes. I opted for a side of Seamore's greens instead of fries (who am I?), which was a smart choice in the heat.
At first, I was puzzled when the waiter brought me a steak knife, but once my food arrived, I realized it was a smart idea. There was no way you could pick up the bagel and eat it...it was best cutting it up into manageable bites.
After a few delicious meals at Pizza Loves Emily in Brooklyn, I knew I had to try their newest restaurant, Emmy Squared. My first attempt was thwarted by a late June monsoon, which flooded the kitchen and forced them to close for the evening. However, I was able to score a reservation and went back with my friend, Kristi, to catch up on life and enjoy some Detroit-style slices.
I chose the Deluxe: sauce, mozzarella, sausage, green peppers, mushrooms and added those little crispy pepperoni slices. Something about that crispy, burnt cheese crust made it everything. I'm drooling a bit, just thinking about it.
I can't wait to go back and have another pie!
When I was little, I thought pistachio ice cream sounded gross...but as I've gotten old and my tastes have expanded, I realized that I actually really like it!
So, this was my first time trying a real Spumoni ice cream and what better place to try it than at L&B Spumoni Gardens!? I got a cup of the swirled vanilla, chocolate and pistachio and it was dreamy! Even a few bees couldn't stop me and Christina from enjoying our ice cream before heading to Coney Island to see New Kids on the Block!
For my first time at Spumoni Gardens, I chose a traditional square cheese slice and a Pepsi. The thick crust on this slice was particularly tasty and it held up all the sauce and cheese well.
Of course, like a true Nebraskan, I can to get a can of Pepsi. No Coca-Cola for this girl.
Since I've been working near Union Square for almost 5 years, sometimes it's hard to find something new that I like to eat during my break. Recently, Republic has had some great lunchtime bento box specials. I think they change up every now and then, but this has been my favorite set for a bit.
Three cubes of crispy tofu in a peanut sesame & mustard sauce (even though I'm not usually a fan of mustard, this sauce wasn't too tart), a bowl of wonton soup with shrimp & pork in a clear broth with vegetables and shallots and the main entree, a large bowl of glass noodles with sauteed chicken, carrots, celery, garlic and cilantro (which I promptly picked out). All of these dishes set me back just under $20, which isn't too bad, considering their usual entrees can run $15-$17 anyways.
I decided to spend the last day of my staycation uptown and FINALLY visiting the Isaac Mizrahi exhibit at the Jewish Museum. Luckily, there's also one of my favorite restaurants connected to the museum.
The wait was a little long for a table for one, so I took my order to go and sat in Central Park to eat it. I chose the Gaspe Nova smoked salmon on an everything bagel with a side of bagel chips and a Dr. Brown's Black Cherry Cola.
I can't help but dream of that deliciously smoky salmon...and the saltiness of that bagel...
I spent part of my staycation in Flushing with Christopher, shopping, finding wonderful Asian treats, checking out all sorts of Korean beauty products and eating.
Luckily, we stopped into Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao for lunch before a downpour started! Several families around us found themselves trapped by the monsoon, but we just sat and enjoyed our meal.
I got a plate of fried rice cakes with shredded pork and a fried bun with chives and egg.
It's hard to believe that this was my first time trying the banana pudding at Magnolia Bakery (What's wrong with me?)! It was the perfect treat on a hot day in the city.
I got a small of the classic banana pudding - layers of vanilla wafers, fresh bananas and a creamy vanilla pudding; served chilled.
I also got a slice of the peanut butter Icebox Pie - a vanilla wafer crust layered with caramel and peanut butter whipped cream with a cream cheese filling and topped with Reese's peanut butter cups. No photo of this one, as it melted a bit in my bag before I got home to enjoy it.
I was happy to spend part of my staycation out at brunch with a friend and some of her theatre buddies! (In fact, one of them and I were talking so much about Hamilton, that his boyfriend offered to switch seats with me.)
The boys had chosen Barraca in the West Village, which I had never been to, but the menu looked amazing! I got some crispy potatoes, but the best part was this "Coca e Kale" - a flatbread with crispy kale, manchego cheese, caramelized onions, chili flakes and fried egg.
I would easily come back here again for the food and company.
After a few stressful weeks, I met up with my friend, Christina, to catch up on life and enjoy some tacos at Tacomi in NoLita.
Of course I had to get the chorizo breakfast taco & a crispy fish taco. We wanted to try the special tostadas, but somehow ended up with chips & guac instead.
Oh well, the meal was still delicious and just what the doctor ordered to help clear up those blues!
Another sweltering New York City day and I decided to swing by the Midtown location of Xi'an Famous Foods for some noodles and a burger.
Since I'm not the biggest fan of spice, but I can't get enough of those chewy, hand-pulled noodles, I got the N4: stewed pork noodles and B1: stewed pork burger with a jasmine tea.
If only I could make noodles this good at home!
After a little bit of hiatus from Shake Shack, I checked the ShackCam on this sweltering NYC day and saw a short line; so I rushed up the 4 blocks to Madison Square Park.
They were featuring the "Bacon Cheddar Shack" - a Shake Shack burger with Niman Ranch bacon and Wisconsin aged cheddar cheese sauce. Of course, I had to get a side of cheese fries (Yes, I ordered the cheese sauce on the side, but it still came ON the fries!) and an iced tea.
Who knew that by getting the special, I would wait almost 50 minutes from the time I ordered until when I got my food!? Oof. And in 90+ degree weather, it wasn't fun. I watched order after order come up & finally asked where my food was.
Luckily, my co-workers were understanding and let me take an extra 10 minutes on my break to enjoy my food! And, thanks to the power of Twitter, I got an apology from Shake Shack for the crazy wait!
Bring on the summer heat wave! Yes, I walked up 4 blocks vs. down 2 blocks to the Dig Inn on 23rd Street! They have a different menu than the other location and I can't get enough of their charred chicken over brown rice.
With the change in seasons, comes the change in sides: so, I chose broccoli & tomatoes with cantaloupe and an iced passion black tea.
After a rough week, I treated myself to dinner at the Meatball Shop. Not exactly a #fatfriday indulgence, but straying a bit from my "healthier" track of eating.
Even though I chose my standard of chicken meatballs with mushroom gravy, I decided to top my balls with "the family jewels" or more widely known as a fried egg. Of course, I needed my carbs, so TMS' buttery, smooth mashed potatoes won out as my side of choice.
If you haven't been to City Kitchen near the Theatre District, you should go. It's a great place to eat before/after a show or to grab a snack when you're having a two-show day, like I often do!
After seeing a matinee of "An Act of God" with Sean Hayes, my friend, Adriane & I stopped by City Kitchen. Once inside, I quickly noticed that Dough had a Horchata doughnut as their special of the day; so, naturally, I had to get one!
Something about that mixture of cinnamon, sugar and rice milk, makes it an easy favorite of mine!
After running some errands on my lunch break, I decided to walk to the other side of Union Square and eat at Dorado.
I got two of their Baja fish tacos - beer battered Atlantic whitefish with cabbage, pickled onions and salsa fresca with a side of rice and a Masala Chai tea from Plan Tea.
Usually, I'm not a big fan of beer battered things, but these tacos hit the spot with just enough rich flavor and crispiness.
My friend, Emily, was also raving about the ice cream sandwiches at Nowadays. From "It's It" in San Francisco, where they are a tradition; this ice cream sandwich consists of two oatmeal cookies and a selection of ice cream flavors & then it's dipped in dark chocolate and frozen.
I chose the traditional vanilla for my first experience, but will have to try all the flavors eventually.
After a day at the beach with friends, we went to Nowadays in Ridgewood for dinner & drinks. My friend, Emily, kept going on and on about their grilled cheese, so I knew that was what I had to get.
Since it was also the 4th of July Weekend, I had to get a hot dog too...#fatsaturday, anyone?
Their hot dog is a beef frank served "mash style" with sweet spicy ketchup, chips and caramelized onions. Their grilled cheese is made with American cheese and Munster cheese with arugula and a side of potato chips.
This meal totally hit the spot after getting really sunburned at Brighton Beach!
Another month of a delicious "dumps of the month" with Whitney! This month, Mimi Cheng's featured a pork & beef meatball dumpling in marinara sauce. I got a side of their Taiwanese street cart greens with fried shallots and an iced mint tea.
The thin marinara sauce was a nice addition to the richness of the meatballs in the dumplings with their crispy, fried bottoms. Not as great as their Thanksgiving dumpling or brunch dumpling, but I would easily come back to get these if they were a special again.
Post #fatfriday meal at Juniper, Emily and I walked to Van Leeuwen near the water to get some ice cream. Unlike me, Em isn't a big sweets person, but I convinced her to try some of their unusual flavors.
For myself, I opted for a scoop of their Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and a scoop of their Vegan Matcha Green Tea in a waffle cone.
We sat at their beautiful counter top, similar to one you might have found in an old malt shop & enjoyed our scoops while talking about boys.
It had been a few months since I had the chance to catch up with my friend, Emily, so we decided to meet after work to eat and drink. Since the restaurant was BYOB, she even brought a bottle of pink Moscato (since it's my fav)!
On the way into the restaurant, we ran into an old coworker of ours; which started off the great night of stories filled with laughter and fun.
I settled on the chorizo burger, where the sausage was blended into the ground beef to make the patty! I chose regular fries and a mixed green salad. Em got the truffle burger with mushrooms and truffle oil with a side of spicy fries.
Since I'm such a lightweight, the moscato quickly made me chatty and we kept talking, while walking through Williamsburg towards our dessert destination.
It had been awhile since I had been to Hill Country Chicken for a #fatfriday! So, I made the 6 block hike up 5th Avenue to 25th street for some Texas Tenders, with a buttermilk biscuit, a side of cheesy fried mashed potatoes and a Cowboy mini pie cup.
I love the coating on the Texas Tenders, but they are almost too big! I ordered two tenders (when I used to get three), but could only finish one and a half! The addition of french fries into the mashed potatoes only made it a better #fatfriday and then I needed something sweet; so that fountain Boylan's Black Cherry soda hit the spot.
I saved my mini pie for later...
I love pasta! I was hoping for some garlic olive oil & broccoli rabe, but opted for some orrechiette with Genovese basil pesto, roasted tomatoes, shrimp and grated parmesan cheese.
Going to Al Vicoletto is on the pricier side for my meal break, but it's nice to sit down in a restaurant every now and then. They always have great bread and usually I'm one of few customers in there, which makes for great people watching of their staff. It's like my own episode of Top Chef or Waiting!
A few months ago a new place to eat popped up near my work. Union Fare showcases a coffee bar, gastropub, bakery and some food stalls where you can get pizza, burgers, tacos or poke.
For my first time, I wanted to try something on the "lighter" side and opted for the salmon e poke bowl. Tossed with shiitake mushrooms, edamame, brown rice, mixed greens & shallots the meal was a bit pricey and the sauce was a little too sharp for my tastes.
Also, I seemed to have stopped by during the turnover of their lunch to dinner service. They haven't found the best way to shuffle customers out, so they can flip tables...it was awkward at best.
Next round: definitely a burger or pizza!
After checking out the "Egg Rolls, Empanadas & Egg Cream" Festival on the Lower East Side, I was still hungry. My friend from high school, Shannon and her husband, Lapo had come into the city from White Plains for the day. We met up with another high school friend, Jonathan, and my date, Nolan, to see what was going on at this festival.
While walking through Chinatown, my clumsy self tripped over a curb and banged up my knees pretty badly. Shannon & Lapo graciously helped me clean up my wounds and Nolan took me to get bandages, while Jonathan waited to meet up with us all.
The festival was pretty cool and there were lots of activities from these three cultures that inhabit the LES; but the food was not plentiful. Luckily, Jonathan and Nolan knew of a great place within walking distance for brunch.
We grabbed a table in the back, ordered some food and talked for a few hours. I had a hard time choosing what to get, but ended up ordering the breakfast burrito: scrambled eggs, chorizo, potatoes and cheddar cheese with a mixed greens salad and a ginger ale. I would definitely come back here again!
After running some errands, I had some time to kill and figured why not grab a burger at Umami Burger before heading into work? Having burgers used to be an almost daily occurrence for me until I learned that I had really high cholesterol about two years ago.
I went cold turkey off of fried foods (for the most part) and now give myself #fatfriday as a cheat day for burgers, pizza, fried chicken, etc.
I got the "Umami" burger, which consists of parmesan frico, shiitake mushrooms, roasted tomato, caramelized onions and umami ketchup with a side of thin fries and a real cane sugar Pepsi. It totally hit the spot.
I've been working in the Flatiron District for almost 5 years, so every now and then I start to run out of places that I feel like going to eat. Luckily, a new location of Paris Baguette opened up on 23rd and Park Ave S., so I walked up there.
They have this great Pesto Chicken Salad and a wonderfully refreshing fresh fruit sangria. The weather was just right to eat outside and watch some kids play around in the park, before heading back to work.
Their version of this salad comes with orecchiette in pesto, cubes of white cheddar cheese, grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes and croutons on a bed of romaine lettuce.
I hardly ever get a Sunday off, so I try to have a "proper" brunch when I can. I met up with my college best friend, Phil, at Upland on Park Ave South.
We talked about the Tony Awards, like any good gay boy/straight girl couple and caught up on life. I was excited to share my last good date story with him, while we waited for our food and consumed a mixed bread basket as an appetizer.
My brunch meal consisted of two poached eggs, arugula, smashed potatoes, bacon and a slice of charred bread. I should have ordered a mimosa to make it more "proper," but opted to save some money instead.
After a busy afternoon of playing tour guide for some friends from LA, I needed sustenance and quick. We had been shopping around Herald Square, so naturally, Koreatown was my first thought for dinner.
I was craving something salty, so when I looked at Shanghai Mong's menu and found that I could get noodles AND rice; I knew it was where I was going to eat.
I got an order of the fried "Home Dumplings" and beef japchae with white rice. Plenty of carbs to please my heart (but maybe not my arteries...)!
Even a little rain couldn't keep me from eating a meal outside on a cool NYC day. I got the trofie al pesto - pasta with homemade Genovese basil pesto, potatoes, string beans and pine nuts.
Delicious and just the right amount of food for fuel before heading back to work for the evening.
I hadn't been to Pies 'n' Thighs in Williamsburg for years, which is sad, considering how much I love fried Southern food and how close it is to my apartment.
Since I already knew the chicken biscuit sandwich was great, I opted for the "Rob Evans" - a split biscuit, with soft scrambled eggs, cheese and sausage gravy. I also couldn't resist ordering a sweet tea to help wash it all down. Then I walked across the Williamsburg bridge into the city, which definitely helped burn off those excess calories!
After many months of wanting to go together to Matchabar, my coworker, Alison & I finally made it on my birthday! We both love matcha, so it was hard to decide what kind of drink to get!
I finally decided on a coconut milk chai matcha, which was perfect for this warm, muggy day!
I decided to take a long weekend to attend the Vulture Festival and to celebrate my birthday, which fell on a Tuesday this year. So, I had a Monday off and spent it in the city and grabbing lunch at Veselka.
The weather was beautiful, so it was a great day to sit outside, people watch and enjoy some great food. I got the meat combo plate with a meat-stuffed cabbage covered in mushroom gravy with two potato & two meat pierogies.
It's the closest thing to a Runza that I can find in the city, just minus the bread.
After my salty lunch, I was craving a sweet snack. Fortunately, I'd already taken some Lactaid with my chicken pot pie from Tuck Shop, so grabbing gelato sounded like a great idea.
I chose two flavors: amarena varigato (sour cherry) & chocolato al latte (milk chocolate) and sat in a park across from Chelsea Market before heading back to the Vulture Festival.
In between panels at New York Magazine's Vulture Festival, I stopped into Chelsea Market for lunch. I was really craving some mashed potatoes from Tuck Shop, but they were out. So, I took a quick spin around the other restaurants to see if there was anything else I'd want and ended up back right where I started.
I grabbed a chicken pot pie and a Coke and found a small table amongst the crowds of tourists to stand and eat before heading back to another panel.
Several years ago, I stumbled upon Boba Guys in San Francisco. Flash forward to 2015 and they have opened up a store in NYC. It might have taken me months to finally make it here, but it was worth the wait. They don't call them "Grade A balls" for no reason!
I got the jasmine green tea with soy milk and boba and now I hear that they have larger sized cold drinks...guess this won't be the last time I trek to the lower east side for this tea.
Well, I was short on cash and my Mom had sent me a $25 gift card to Red Lobster...so, before going to see She Loves Me, I stopped by the Red Lobster in Times Square for a meal.
I got the parmesan-crusted tilapia with a side of sauteed broccoli, mashed potatoes and of course, cheddar bay biscuits!
The most awkward part: they sat me at a table for 4, by myself. Oh well.
After a failed attempt to meet up with some friends for dim sum in Chinatown, I decided to grab lunch at Cha Chan Tang. Introduced to me by my high school best friend and old roommate, Jim, they have all sorts of delicious noodle & rice dishes.
For this meal, I chose the Portuguese style baked chicken with potatoes and carrots in a yellow curry over a bed of white rice. Rich, creamy and super hot; I had to get an iced tea to help combat the heat.
Just a little snack of a few horchata doughnut holes and a chocolate creme doughnut on a long Friday. I was trying to get the matcha special, but didn't check my order and wound up with the chocolate creme when I was back at work.
It ended up being ok, but those horchata doughnut holes were to die for!
I'm not really a morning person, but if I have to be up early, you can bet you'll find me with a breakfast sandwich in hand. This particular morning, I found myself in Dumbo & early for an appointment...luckily I found Le Bagel Delight and grabbed a sausage & egg (no cheese) on a plain bagel, t8o save my morning!
Bonus: This Gossip Girl-y shot of the Manhattan Bridge.
After checking out the new Pintrill store in Williamsburg, I still had some time to kill before going into the city and into work. So, I hit up one of my favorite Williamsburg spot: The Meatball Shop.
I usually get their biscuits & gravy, but after a so-so experience the last time, I decided to try their Balls Benedict. I chose the breakfast sausage meatballs and they came with two poached eggs on top of a slice of thick cut brioche bread and bacon, which was then covered in Hollandaise and green onions. Another solid egg dish to add to my list of favorites.
Just about 10 minutes from my apartment is this lovely brunch spot, Cafe Ghia. They have some great weekend-only specials, so I figured why not spend this weekday trying out something new.
I got their "Potato Bowl," which was pretty much made for me. Diced, roasted potatoes topped with white cheddar, a fried egg, scallions and bacon. I added a side of roasted broccoli and an iced tea.
The restaurant is small, but being there on an "off" day and time and dining alone, helped me get at the bar..
One of my favorite places to eat when I worked at the office was Glaze Teriyaki. It had been awhile since I had eaten there and they had remodeled slightly. It's only on the other side of Union Square, but it's sort of a challenge to get that far away on my break, eat and get back to the store in less than an hour.
So, I chose wisely and got the teriyaki combo with salmon & tofu over brown rice with a side salad and carrot ginger dressing.
Jack's Wife Frieda is one of those notorious brunch places in NYC with lines always outside of the restaurant. Tempestt's husband, Rem, had picked Mercer Kitchen for his birthday dinner, but they changed their mind to Jack's Wife Frieda, which was a tad more kid-friendly.
I was coming straight from work, so they went ahead and ordered for me & based off the menu online, I think I did a good job with choosing the right meal.
The Madame Frieda: a pressed sandwich with duck prosciutto, cheddar bechamel, gruyere and a sunny side up egg. Served with fries. Definitely a knife and fork sandwich though.
Tempestt & I finally got to meet up with a former co-worker, Karen & her baby, Ryan! Since she was coming from Long Island and Tempestt is in Jackson Heights, we chose a place in Astoria to meet for lunch.
We had some great appetizers and I got this mouth-wateringly good panini. Berkshire smoked ham with truffle aioli, dirty chips and aged cheddar cheese. Yes, I would travel back to Astoria for this sandwich, but luckily, they just opened a location in the city.
My first trip to Burger & Lobster was to try the burger in a slider version, made with Nebraska beef! It just so happened that the Governor of Nebraska was there, along with someone who knew my Dad and a sister of one of my high school friends!
This time, was craving a burger on my #fatfriday excursion and decided to finally go and eat a whole burger.
The corn-fed Nebraska beef patty is served on a sesame bun with lettuce, tomato, American cheese and pickles. It came with a small side of fries and a house salad. Just a bit of home in the city!
Whenever I'm craving a sweet treat, but don't want the hassle of dairy or taking Lactaid, I'm lucky that Chloe's is right near work! All of their "frozen fruit" is served like fro-yo and is great for lactose intolerant people, like me!
One of their best creations is this one, the "Crunchy Salty" Sundae. Swirled banana & dark chocolate soft serve, topped with bananas, dark chocolate chips, pretzel sticks and covered in peanut butter sauce.
After spending a day off at the new Whitney Museum, I trekked up to Doughnut Plant to grab some of their monthly specials.
I always prefer a cake doughnut to a yeast doughnut and was glad that I was still able to get a matcha green tea cake doughnut and a banana pecan cake doughnut.
The weather finally turned in the city and it was nice enough to sit outside on my lunch break. Thankfully, Mom has supplied me with several gift cards to Chipotle, so it made for an easy lunch choice.
I got a chicken burrito bowl with some fajita veggies, corn salsa, tomatoes, loads of cheese and lettuce. The bag of chips was a nice addition for a sort of plate of nachos.
One of my favorite places to go for dinner after work is Vapiano just off Union Square. You might have to wait a bit for your fresh pasta to be prepared, but you can watch one of their chefs toss everything together right infront of you.
They also have a unique card ordering system, so each item that you select gets added to your card & then swiped upon exit, so you can pay.
I have a slight addiction to their bolognese - a tomato sauce with pork & beef and some sliced carrots. I rarely waiver from this choice and the one time I did, I regretted it. I almost always choose the campanelle as my pasta selection, since it's all fresh pasta, it's the perfect al dente texture; just a little bit chewy.
After celebrating a friend's birthday, a few other friends & I ventured over to Genuine Liquorette for their signature "Cha-Chunked Cocktails" - mini cans of soda with mini bottles of liquor on top.
I got an Absolute Mandarin/Sprite and Brynn got a Jameson/Seagram's Ginger Ale.
Sometimes I luck out on a lunch break and a #fatfriday & there's no line at Shake Shack in Madison Square Park! This Friday was one of those days, so I ran the 4 blocks up to 23rd on my lunch break and grabbed a single cheeseburger, crinkle cut fries with cheese sauce and the special concrete, malted marshmallow milk chocolate.
I usually have a craving for pasta or some sort of carb, so this pappardelle really hit the spot! It was served with short rib ragu, fried sage, parsley and pecorino. I also got a side of Brussels sprouts topped with bacon, parmesan and malt vinegar.
Overall, a solid meal, even if the service was a bit spotty. A great addition to the KC dining scene.
On my last day in Kansas City, I met up with some high school friends for dinner and to catch up on life and their move back to KC from the West Coast.
We split the deviled eggs appetizer with 3 bacon eggs and 2 cured smoked salmon eggs over egg yolk with dijon & capers. The salmon ones were definitely better than the bacon, if you can believe that!
Another old co-worker reunion, when I grabbed lunch with Kristen (a former Manager with me at Urban) and Charity. We met up at Unforked in Overland Park and had some great food and caught up on life and her three kids!
I tried out the Akaushi beef burger with lettuce and a roma tomato on an egg bun with a side of truffle fries with truffle salt & parsley.
The burger was a little tasteless, but the fries were delicious!
I finally got to catch up with my bestie, Jenn and her son, Isaiah! We watched some movies and went out to dinner at Taco Republic. With the gorgeous weather, we chose to sit at a table outside.
I got a bowl of fundido - melted chihuhua cheese with roasted poblano peppers, chorizo and flour tortillas. Jenn chose some tacos - vegetable and shrimp. We shared some chips and guacamole with salsa.
We let Isaiah run around the outside tables and play a little cornhole, until he got hit in the face with a bean bag by one of the other kids. Whoops.
Yes, it's true; some of the best KC BBQ comes from inside a gas station! However, I found myself in a weird predicament as all of my KC-based friends are now vegetarian or vegan.
So, I went with my cousin and her 3-month-old baby to get my BBQ fix. She sat out in the car and nursed the baby, while I got a pulled pork sandwich and some dirty rice.
It totally hit the spot, but would have been much better with a partner in crime to eat with me!
Sometimes a trip to Kansas City gives me enough time to drive home and back, but not on this trip. Still, I can get a little piece of home by eating a Runza in Mission, Kansas; at least until I go home at Christmas or "Taste of Nebraska" comes back to NYC again.
I got my usual: a #1 with an Original Runza (ground beef, cabbage, spices baked in a bun), Frings! (crinkle cut fries with double battered onion rings) and a Pepsi.
When I worked on the Country Club Plaza at Urban Outfitters with Charity & Christian, we used to go to Latte Land for coffee, tea and the super sugary wedding cake cookies. Well, now Latte Land has been replaced with Kaldi's Coffee, it was good, but just not the same.
We got an assortment of drinks and when we sat down, I noticed the nice ombre effect of all our drinks, so I had to line them up and take a photo.
From the left to right: chocolate chai, soy chocolate chai (mine), vanilla chai and an almond milk vanilla coffee.
Of course, when you're in the Midwest you have to load up on carbs! My friend, Christian, his husband, Aiden and their son, Alexander drove in from St. Louis to meet up with me in Kansas City.
However, since they are vegetarian/gluten-free, I had to find a place to satisfy all of our cravings! From some helpful photos on Yelp, I found The Big Biscuit, which was only a few minutes drive from my friend, Charity's house, where I was staying.
We split a sticky bun and I chose the "Country Benedict" composed of biscuits topped with sausage patties, poached eggs and country gravy. Of course, it came with a side of hashbrowns and was called a "The Big Biscuit Specialty!"
Big Daddy's Diner is one of my favorite #fatfriday places to eat and a bit of a guilty pleasure, since it was shown in the background during an episode of "SMASH!"
For this meal, I tried out the Sunday Brunch Benedict: two hashbrown patties topped with Canadian bacon, poached eggs and hollandaise with a side of tater tots.
Since my friend, Michelle, moved to Seattle, I'm rarely in this part of Williamsburg anymore, but when I am, I love stopping at Grass Roots Juicery for a smoothie.
This one is the PB&J: vanilla soy milk, peanut butter, purple grapes, flax seeds and agave. Delicious!
When my friend, Jasmine and I heard that Ben & Jerry's was giving away free ice cream in Union Square, we immediately went over to try and get a bowl. However, it turned out to be a marketing/campaigning ply from Bernie Sanders. We were there a little too late and they ran out of ice cream.
In order to satisfy our craving, we walked over to Amorino for some gelato. The best part? They build your cone into a flower of various flavors!
I clearly had a hard time deciding, but stopped with four flavors: pistachio, chocolate, vanilla with cherries (aka amarena) and speculoos! I quickly snapped this photo, before my phone died. Oops.
After our Easter dim sum, Whitney and I walked to Ice & Vice for more ice cream & Pie Felicia!
This time I got a scoop of "Crack O'Lantern" - pumpkin seed oil with crystallized ginger topped with a scoop of "Shade" - smoked dark chocolate with caramelized white chocolate ganache in a The Konery vanilla cone with funfetti sprinkles!
For the past few years, my friend, Whitney and I have been celebrating Easter with dim sum in Chinatown. This year, we decided to try a new spot, Dim Sum Go-Go, a slightly more modern take on the traditional dim sum carts at Jing Fong and Golden Unicorn.
We ordered lots of plates, but here's the more colorful of the two photos: Three-Star dumplings (in a pink wrapper), lotus leaf with sticky rice, shrimp shui mai and rice rolls with beef.
This restaurant was a lot of fun and they had some non-typical dishes and it was nice that we could order straight from a menu vs. guessing when the food we wanted would wheel by on the carts.
I've liked eating at Paris Baguette ever since I went into their location in Korea-Town. I stumbled upon a newer location on 23rd and Park Ave. South, easily walkable from work and with some great food & most importantly, bubble tea
This day, I opted for their Pesto Chicken Salad: grilled chicken, mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, orecchiette with pesto, black olives and white cheddar cheese.
It may have had dairy in it, which I usually try to avoid as much as possible, but this salad was so good, I'm sure I'll be back soon for another.
Although I'm not usually one for vegan treats, I DO love ice cream and the less times that I have to eat more and more Lactaid, I'm in!
This time I got two flavors: a scoop of peanut butter chip and a scoop of chocolate chip cookie dough.
Seriously, Van Leeuwen has the best vegan ice cream I've ever had (except for that store in Denver...), but I digress. They have a solid rotation of great flavors and the consistency of the ice cream is the closest thing to "real" ice cream that I've eaten.
On a random weekday off, a high school friend of mine, Shannon, came into the city from White Plains for some food and a show. We were walking down 3rd Avenue, towards a healthier meal of sushi, when we passed by Sticky's Finger Joint.
I got some of the poppers (aka nuggets) with a side of gravy and some truffle parmesan fries. I definitely got my money's worth! There were SO many nuggets, I couldn't finish them all!
I've been a fan of Russ & Daughters Cafe in the Lower East Side for awhile, so when Tempestt & I found out they were opening another location inside the Jewish Museum, we knew we had to go there.
I opted for the smoked salmon eggs benedict over a piece of challah bread and Tempestt got the "Fancy Delancey" board with smoked yellowfin tuna, horseradish & dill cream cheese and wasabi microgreens and a bagel.
We also made friends with a woman & her mother, who were seated at the table next to us. She even told us all about her own children when they were Ellie's age, although they were both grown and in college now. The mother seemed to care less.
After our large brunch, Lily & walked around the Lower East Side in search of a good place for dessert. Immediately, my mind went to Spot Dessert Bar on St. Mark's Place. They have great conceptual desserts, which are fun to eat and tasty!
This time, I got their "Green Tea-Ramisu." Layers of green tea chiffon cake, mascarpone cream and candied crispy rice. It also came with a green tea "injection" which I got to squeeze into the cake.
A friend's Snapchat lead me to Root & Bone for brunch on a day off with Lily. We split a side of their mac & cheese with a bread crumb topping.
I chose the biscuits & sausage gravy with what I called "semi-poached" eggs and she got the fried chicken & waffle sandwich with pickled green tomatoes, baby kale and cheddar on a buckwheat waffle with whiskey maple syrup.
The meal was tasty, but it wasn't my favorite plate of biscuits & gravy and the loud group of teenage/early 20's girls next to us made the meal a little less enjoyable. At least it photographed well.
When my friend, Daryl, got a new job pretty quickly; I decided we were well overdue for a catch-up date and what better way to catch up than over lots of BBQ? One of my favorite places for BBQ in the city is the Justin Timberlake-owned, Southern Hospitality in Hell's Kitchen.
We split some fried pickles, sides and black pepper smoked brisket and pulled pork shoulder. Of course, the sides are some of the best part of getting BBQ, so it's good to have a friend to share with. We chose cornbread with honey butter, mac & cheese and the tater tot casserole with cheese & bacon.
#fatfriday for sure!
I finally got to catch up with an old friend from work over cheesy quesadilla at Calexico in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Filled with mushrooms, caramelized onions and Jack cheese, Calexico's quesadilla was perfectly toasted on the outside and I added a side of Mexican rice with pico.
When work sent me on an errand in Soho, why wouldn't I stop by Egg Shop for a meal?,
I got one of their "Cruiser Bowls" with poached eggs, Black Forest bacon, a gluten-free English muffin that was diced up and super crispy, topped with a Meyer lemon citronette. Of course, I added a side of hashbrowns!
I met up with a college friend before going into the Flower Show for my first and only closing shift. We grabbed some sandwiches and caught up on life and our love of art.
On my way out, I grabbed a piece of this pound cake, because I'm a sucker for desserts and because the purple rock candy topping matched my nails. How could I resist?
Last year, I fell in love with the variety of whoopie pies at Flying Monkey bakery in Reading Terminal. This time around was no exception, but I got a few cupcakes too.
They made a special "Death Valley" cupcake inspired by this year's Flower Show. Basically, "death by chocolate" as it was a chocolate cupcake with chocolate ganache and chocolate swiss meringue buttercream!
One of my friends, Mandy, from home works in Philly, so we agreed to meet up on our lunch breaks for a quick catch up. Apparently, I just missed Philly's Benjamin Franklin impersonator eating at Jake's Sandwich Board before I arrived!
We chatted about our mutal friends and our love of theatre; and some hometown friends who are now making their own impact on Broadway! (Lincoln, Nebraska...who knew?)
I grabbed the "Skinny Turkey" with roasted and pulled turkey, roasted veggies and baby spinach on a wheat roll. Of course, I had to get the side of "mini potato pancakes" which were really just like the hashbrowns you can get at any Dunkin' Doughnuts. Anyways, it was a delicious meal that I got a cherry soda with.
Luckily, I got another chance to share a meal with Michael, while I was in town. This also worked to our advantage, as I was craving some fresh pasta and there were two dishes that I wanted to try.
The top is a photo of Brigantessa's black chick pea pappardelle with whey braised lamb and fennel pollen. The pappardelle was a bit grainy, but the lamb ragu was delicious and the first time I'd ever had lamb (hard to believe, right?).
The bottom is a photo of their special semolina flour gnocchi, but it was baked in their wood-fired pizza over, so it was more like a block of polenta, topped with a pork ragu and parmesan. This was my favorite dish of the night! If it's on their list of specials, I would recommend it.
On my first meal break, I wasn't sure where to go in Reading Terminal. I walked by a few places and just walked myself back for another burger at Hunger Burger.
This time I chose the Fun Guy Burger: a beef patty with cheddar cheese, grilled mushrooms, onions, green leaf lettuce, tomato and HB sauce with a side of scalloped potatoes.
I kind of missed out on the fried egg from the Yo!lk Burger from last year, but I figured I should try new things, right?
Hunger Burger's slogan is also "Patties with a Purpose," as they use part of their profits from each burger sold to help feed a child in need. If you're in the Philly area, I would suggest you check them out!
My train got into Philly around 7pm, so my friend, Michael, picked up me up at the train station and then we went out to dinner. He always knows the good places to go, so we stopp by Cheu Noodle Bar; a recently opened restaurant by the same guys who own Bing Bing Dim Sum; where we ate last year, when I was in town for the Flower Show.
We placed our order and about 20 minutes later, our waitress came over to say that she had forgotten to enter in our order. (WHAT!?) Well, we did get some free appetizers, but so many that we were hardly hungry enough to eat the rest of our meal.
The highlight for me: these pizza dumplings! Pork dumplings with chile oil and parmesan cheese. I can't remember what the crispy topping was, but I could have eaten a bunch of it!
Not pictured: our free caramelized onion ragoon made with goat cheese and brown butter sweet & sour sauce and my bowl of fried chicken tantan served with collards, a sweet tea egg and cornbread furikake.
Before heading to Philadelphia to work at the Flower Show, I met up with some friends in the Meatpacking District to celebrate Aly's birthday! We got a few tables in the back and enjoyed Paradou's "bottomless" brunch drinks until I had to head to the train station.
I can't pronounce eggs in French for the life of me, but Christopher saved the day and ordered for both of us; the Oeufs Paradaou. Which was really just a fancy way of saying the smoked salmon benedict. However, instead of English muffins, the salmon & eggs were on top a slice of brioche bread.
I did take a photo of my whole plate of biscuits & gravy from brunch at Sweet Chick, but when I sliced into this poached egg and the yolk didn't break...I couldn't resist this photo.
After stopping by the Opening Ceremony Sample Sale in Brooklyn with a friend, I decide to treat myself to a little brunch at one of my favorite places in Williamsburg.
The biscuits & gravy with mushroom gravy and a gorgeously poached egg definitely his the spot.
I can never pronounce Le Pain Quotidien right, but they do have some great food! I was set to get a smoked salmon tartine, but then I saw this grain bowl.
Quinoa, heirloom black rice, roasted broccoli, sweet potato with spiced pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds over a bed of kale & argula with grilled chicken.
Filling and delicious, but as always, I ate all the toppings before I got through all the greens. Whoops.
Bonus! The extra day for Leap Year, meant I had one more chance to get the special doughnuts at Doughnut Plant. Although the guy infront of my got the last pistachio cake doughnut, I was able to score a pistaschio yeast doughnut and a coffee cake cake doughnut.
I met up with my friend, Laurel, her boyfriend and a few of their friends after work for some Korean BBQ. Between the six of us, we easily split the "large pork set" and an order of bulgogi.
We were almost overwhemled by the amount of plates that came out, but the food was good. Certainly a fun way for Laurel & me to experience our Korean roots together!
Yes, I only knew about Ice & Vice from Instagram, but I'm so glad that I did! Post #dumpofthemonth, Whitney and I went to the "ends of the Earth" to try out Ice & Vice. She was obsessed with their Pie Felicia and I wanted to try a few flavors and a Konery flavored ice cream cone.
I chose "The Drop" sorbet - banana, peanut butter, smoked serrano and peanut crumb on top of "Milk Money" - toasted milk, sea salt, dark chocolate ganache in a chai spiced dark chocolate cone.
Seriously, I could eat this ice cream and cone all the time...except for all of the lactose.
Another edition of #dumpofthemonth with Whitney! This time, Mimi Cheng's was serving up the Chicken Pot Pie dumpling! Organic chicken with fresh carrots, caramelized onions, celery, peas, sauteed cremini mushrooms and thyme. I got them with a side of sauteed broccoli for some greens, before we headed to dessert!
Among some of my favorite "dumplings of the month" from Mimi Cheng's, but I'm still craving those brunch dumplings!