Friday, February 27, 2009

March forth to dinner

I'd like to bring everyone together to celebrate food, friendship, and me! Let's all go to dinner for my birthday! I'm thinking sushi, so everyone chime in with your fave place, and what night is best for you (maybe next friday or saturday?). See ya somewhere, pals!

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I'd like to take a moment to salute Pommes Frites.

Pretty much everyone who has ever spent five minutes in NYC knows about Pommes Frites. It is a legend. When I visited the city for a week a few years ago, the acquaintance who was showing me around took me there as soon as we met up. I fell in love as soon as I took the first bite of a delicious Belgian fry dipped in one of the many delicious sauces (I believe I chose War Sauce that time).

Since then, I've had many more Pomme-Frite-tastic experiences. Like the time right after I moved here and we all went to Pommes Frites because everything was fun and exciting and new (although not that new I guess). And then Casey tried the Pomegranate Teriyaki sauce and it turned out to be the best sauce ever? Or the time I took myself on a date to Pommes Frites and then made Casey meet me there. Or how about the time that Erin and I needed Pommes Frites so badly that we briskly walked there in the rain from Johnny's (0.8 miles round trip), and made it back so quickly that Johnny didn't even notice! Or maybe that time on Halloween when we got delicious Pommes Frites after fighting our way through the parade and having a devil-horn headband thrown at us.

Pommes Frites is a magical place. Share your experiences.

Cooking Can Save Your Life...Or At Least Your Bank Account

Reasons why this is amazing:

1. This woman calls the robbers in her home "young men."
2. The ridiculously long explanation of what happened is delivered lecture-style from what appears to be her library.
3. The moral of the story is that alcohol causes problems.
4. A saucepan can easily mete out justice.
5. This quote: "'She was upset that she had to turn over her favorite saucepan as evidence.'" I would be too.
6. This story is brought to you from a town in Ohio right next to where I grew up. Because we know how to take care of business in the heartland.

Thanks to Rob for this!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

“It’s that guy in the band with the big plastic glasses who’s already asking for grass-fed steak and knows about nibs”

According to the times , brooklyn's food scene is poppin! It seems that a scrappy young crew, "with a taste for bold graphics, salvaged wood and scruffy beards," have pieced together quite the culinary culture in our favorite borough. Thanks to such rascals as the guy I used to pass everyday on the way to the L, bk can boast handmade pickles, cheeses, and chocolate. Plus, blogs.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Various free things: limited engagement

1. It's national pancake day. If you go to IHOP between 7am-10pm you can celebrate by eating a free short stack.

2. It's the 24th of Feb. which is, as far as I'm aware, not of any significance to tacos however if you go to Jack in the Box today you can get 2 free tacos! for more details.

3. Free quizno's sub provided you're willing to 'register' with them. This lasts until they give away a million I guess?

Finally, 4. if you like Arby's roast burger you can get one for free with the purchase of a beverage with this coupon: This is good through March 9th.

Not as classy as free wine with your gourmet cheese, but we'll take it!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Another comment on our most recent poll

I'm really disappointed in the performance of pb&j. It truly is the perfect the sammy, and I'm so sorry this wasn't recognized. So here's to you, buddy, for being so good that no one even felt the need to validate you with a vote.

A comment on our most recent poll

I am really amazed that the monte cristo has pulled into the lead there. It's an excellent sandwich that, of all places, Bennigan's (RIP) taught me to love. I didn't vote for her, but I have to say I am pulling for her to win this thing out. Woo-wee life is full of surprises.

The Academy Awards: Another Excuse To Eat

Homemade snacks, clockwise from top left: L's pepperoni rolls with sauce, my chocolate chip cream cheese ball (with graham crackers for dipping), LT's corn salad, T's spinach balls. (Not pictured: Copious glasses of wine).

"Sign A Couple Autographs So I Can Eat My Meals For Free"

In New York, and pretty much everywhere else, it's all about who you know. Your career, your social life, and sometimes your dinner can depend on it.

This mantra was verified yet again last Saturday night. After a dinner in Little Italy that was on par with the usual LI fare, I headed uptown with my friend L and her visiting mum to pick up some dessert at Maloney & Porcelli , a steakhouse in Midtown (37 E. 50th St. between Park and Madison). L chose the place because an actor friend of hers is a server there and he encouraged us to drop by.

This place is spacious and seriously swanky, with two floors and a large center bar adorned with what appears to be a large statue of a ram. To the immediate left of the entrace is the coat check, where the coats are stored in quaint little cupboards that line the wide carpeted staircase (which included a banister, in case you were wondering). After we were seated, our waiters immediately plied us with fresh, warm bread that appeared to be multi-grain, flatbread and mustard butter. The bread, we were told, is baked fresh continuously throughout the day. Our waiter explained that if the bread isn't eaten within a specific time interval each day, it's thrown out and new bread is baked. This concerned me because it seemed pretty wasteful, so I'm still crossing my fingers that by "throw it out" our waiter actually meant "give it to the homeless."

Our stomachs already stuffed with pasta, we gorged ourselves on the amazing, doughy bread, which was warm and flavorful (especially paired with the tangy mustard butter). Thanks to L's connections, we scored some champagne immediately. This definitely helped me deal with the menu, which boasted prices that would normally induce me to faint. However, since we'd just eaten, we just opted to each order a $10 dessert and share them. L and I also requested cappucinos, which had already been offered to us on the house.

I chose the dessert special for the evening, a lemon cheesecake with graham cracker crust. L's was a mocha ice cream served with a bit of biscotti and espresso and anisette toppings, and her mother got an oven-baked apple tart.

As usual, it was a taste explosion. What was extraordinary was the beautiful and classy presentation. I barely managed to get a photo of my perfectly round cheesecake garnished with a thin, sugar-coated lemon slice balancing vertically on top before I dug in with relish.

Each dessert was perfect in its own way. My cheesecake, though rich, had just the right amount of refreshing, zesty lemon flavor to keep me from feeling like I'd gone too far and eaten too much (even though I had). The apple tart included thinly sliced apples arranged fan-like in a circle, sweetened to perfection without tasting syrupy. I don't think I even need to talk about L's mocha ice cream; the flavors of chocolate, coffee and alcohol all wrapped up in an ice cream package? Yes please!

In the end, three $10 desserts, two cappucinos and three glasses of champagne (with several refills) should have added up to a total bill of at least $70. What did we pay for delicious dessert, foamy caffeinated beverages, alcohol and friendly, expedient service, you may ask? A big, fat, UNBELIEVABLE nothing. ZIP. Forget location, location, location. What New Yorkers need are connections, connections, connections!

But speaking of location, it must be said that I would definitely come back to this place as a paying customer. It would have to be a special occasion in terms of justifying the financial aspects, but the bread and desserts were totally worth it, and the wait staff was charming, deft, quick and polite. Also, I'm pretty interested in the $75 Weekend Wine Dinner they advertise. Sounds like a birthday celebration in the works to me!

The moral of this story: next time a member of the food industry wants to trade business cards, it would certainly behoove you to oblige! It would appear that complimentary desserts and solid friendships are just two sides of the same coin.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Weekend update

1. I have the flu, so it's been flu food as of late. A big ole' pot of soup and granola bars. I made some pasta with really rich sauce, and that was a BAD idea.

2. I'm on campus for the better part of the day twice a week this semester and it's really getting to me food wise. I have never known why food on campuses is always both terrible and overpriced. Were it cheap I would probably not complain much, and if it were good same thing. But if I am paying Artisanal prices and getting McDonald's quality I'm going to be pissed. Yes, that's an exxageration, but it by much. If anyone has any good 'bring your own lunch' suggestions I'm all ears.

3. I want to try Otto. An old friend was in town, she tried it, and she loved it. I want to love it. Someone come with me for expensive pizza.

4. El Quinto Pino! It's a fancy tapas/wine place in Chelsea (24th and 9th if I'm not mistaken). I went with a the same friend, her fiance, and Z met us there a bit later. First thing's first: it's costly, so you have to be ready to just drop some dough when you go there or you'll not enjoy yourself. Second thing's second: it's pretty good, so if you're in the right mindset it's worth it. They have an uni (that's sea urchin roe) panini that's really good. It's got korean mustard sauce to give it some kick, and the uni is really mild so if you're not super adventurous it's a good way to get into it. Garlic shrimp was decent, not spectacular--though they gave us plenty of bread to soak up the gingery-sauce. Garbonozo bean soupything was great ... with a buttery cumin sauce mm mm mmm mmmmm. Spiced almonds shaped like oyster crackers were neat. olives were olives. and the goat cheese had this weird caramelized onion sauce that was great. As for drinks: the happy hour wines were both great, the sangria was very spice (clovey) and good, and there was a vey burbon-y horchata. the place is very very small,but that can be good when you're with a friend whom you've not seen for four years. Now back to diseased feeling sorry for myself.

Cup o' No

Sad news: my number five has reached its end. Greenpoint's own Cup o' Joes closed down recently to make way for some sort of pie shop. Pie is good, I like pie, but I can't help but feel like this is the end of an era. I also claim a little responsibility, as I hadn't been there in while which I'm sure hurt their bottom line. Best of luck to the guys who ran the place, who made it a true neighborhood establishment.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

i finally fixed the time so it doesn't look like we wake up at 6 am to write about tacos.

Friday, February 20, 2009


1. It's Pancake Month!

2. It's Fondue Month!

I don't think I've ever been this happy.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Oh casserole. Who doesn't like casserole. I loved my mom's squash casserole before I even liked squash. Now that I officially love squash, I figured it was time for another go. I started by trying to follow this recipe, but it quickly morphed into not really that at all (although it does look great!).

I sliced 4 yellow squash, 2 green squash, and 1 yellow onion and sauteed it all until it looked like that. Then chopped & boiled a head of cauliflower, for fiber's sake, and broke up about a sleeve and half of ritz crackers.After mixing the squash medley and cauliflower in a casserole dish, I added a can of potato, broccoli, & cheese soup and stirred it all together while sprinkling on the crumbs (saving enough at the end for a copious crumb topping).

It went in the oven, at 350 degrees, for about 20 minutes; then out came a gooey glob of casserole delight.

Naturally, I still miss my mom's dish and wouldn't mind giving her recipe try. Or maybe I'll just go home and do crossword puzzles at the kitchen counter while she makes it for me.

No Words Necessary

Last night I made these:

I have no further comments or pictures of my own. I think that link should suffice.

Monday, February 16, 2009

valentine's day!

hope all SPFers had a great valentines day! mine was spent having dinner at 11pm in great neck... luckily dinner was delicious fondue from simply fondue. i somehow neglected to capture the delicious pepper jack fondue, but here are some pictures of the other courses!

i love fondue!

The Monday Surprise

Good lord guys. I just ate something that I might have enjoyed as much as mwr did his little bugs of mouth joy. j improvised this totally kick-ass sandwich, to be now and forever known as The Monday Surprise.

Okay so I fried the eggs sunny-side up, which I've never actually done before but somehow didn't screw up entirely. We put them on lightly toasted semolina bread with pepper jack cheese, arugula, and Ukrainian ham. The spicy zest of the cheese atop the smoky-sweet flavor of the ham complemented the arugula's bitterness perfectly. And then, hey whats up gelatinous egg explosion! Where have you been all my life?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Spinach Ricotta Gnocchi


Pictures to come (though they don't look as good as the ones on the website with the recipe). So we did it. We made some Italian food from scratch that wasn't terrible! It was gnocchi, but using ricotta cheese rather than potato, which is apparently less difficult to mess up. The texture, though, was exactly no worse than the best gnocchi I've ever had (which, actually was a beet gnocchi at some swanky Italian joint in Williamsburg). This may be because I've just had and liked the ricotta variety in the past, but it doesn't matter. These were like biting, oh I'm too excited to come up with some appropriate metaphor. They rolled around in my mouth like little bugs of joy as I devoured them or something like that. Seriously, guys, I can't explain how good these are.

It's a messy, time and dish consuming process, though. Make sure that you're either feeding a lot of people or really want this meal a few times before making it. Z took care of the sauce, which a bit of melted goat cheese made quite delicious. I did the entire making the gnocchi process myself. I am normally awful with non-cookie flour-involving recipes. Furthermore the recipe demands a 'light touch' that I imagined would be even harder to pull off than it would have been to add copious breadcrumbs to tempeh hot-wings. Still, the fates had decided that this was my burden alone to bare, and bore it I did! Self-congratulation aside, though, it got to be fun after a while. You have to do a lot of rolling things into logs that Z thought looked like how asparagus feels. I realized while I was doing that why play-dough has the post-hyphen content that it does (well, maybe there isn't a hyphen in the actual name, I don't know.). Also fun was cutting the middle-finger diamtered tubes into 1 inch pillows with a fork. Z then put the awesome fork indentations into them. She seemed to think it was extraneous work, but it made them look much more awesome afterward, and probably made them cook better too.

In summary, I have never been so excited about a meal that I posted about it this quickly after consuming it. We have about another tray full of uncooked little guys to freeze for later. I can only hope they'll be as good!

PS, you can actually tasted the spinach too. It's very faint and you have to sort of dig around with your sensations, but it's there and that is a big pulse as far as I am concerned.

Weekend Roundup

Okay, so that last post wasn't as good as it should have been, but I'm kinda running short on time. I also wanted to do two independent posts about these things, but no can do. So, here it is: your weekend roundup!

1. Papacitos!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is an amazing little Mexican joint deep in the heart of greenpoint (Heron (sp?) and Manhattan). It was opened by the head chef at Brooklyn Label after he bailed and they started to get terrible and overpriced (though their tempeh reuben is still to die for! (wow, to die for really was the first phrase that popped into my head. What is happening to me?). Z and I went there yesterday because I really wanted Mexican food (which, after point 2, will be clearly absurd. I guess this could be a theme post, but I really like the weekend roundup, so I'm gonna stick it out. Okay, so Z had the chili rellenos, which was fried and amazing looking and tasting. I was pretty happy about that since I've wanted to try it before I make it sometime. Now, though, the bar is set pretty high. I had the chimichanga burrito with seitan asado. I'm kind of fascinated by this whole seitan thing, now that I've talked about it so much on here. I thought it was decent. It had obviously been spiced and fried before it was put into the burrito. Still, chicken works better for some reason. Anyway, it's called 'chimichanga' becuase they lightly fry it and then cover it with salsa and a really good sour cream. Everything there is always super-fresh tasting. I give it a lot of mmmmm's for mexican.

2. That morning we made "huevos a la Mexicana". This is just mexican scrambled eggs I think. You take some shallots and fry 'em. You throw in a chopped fresh tomato and fry it. Then add oregano and jalapanos. We used fresh ones, the recipe called for canned ones. I think the recipe might have been right, because there wasn't much kick to ours. Anyway, then you crack some eggs into the pan and mix 'em around so that they are not gross. Serve and eat. Delicious!

That was my Mexican Valentines day.


Okay guys, I don't know why I've put off writing this post for so long. So Artisanal is this amazing place I went to on Christmas day with Z last year. I ate snails for the first time. They came in this mini-muffing tray soaked in butter and each had a puff pastry top, so the entire idea seemed to be 'get the snail taste out of the snail' but it was delicious nevertheless.

Anyway, It's a little pricy, so I needed an excuse to go back. Well, the bad economy seems to have supplied one. In an attempt not to lose all of their business they have a 'grilled cheese bar' which is basically their lunch menu that they now serve at the bar for dinner. It's comprised of overpriced sandwiches (12-15) with really amazing cheeses. When this wasn't enough, though, they brought out the big guns: February is Fondue Month! So the deal is, they have a different fondue every day. They have 2 sizes: small and large. The former is said to serve 1-3 people and the latter 4-6, though with the fondue deal the former comes with 2 glasses of wine and the latter 4, so that tells you how much it really serves. You get some bread, and you have to pay for extra dippers (about 4.50 per thing, and the fingerlings are amazing!)

Z and I went a few nights ago and had muenster with caraway. I don't like muenster and I don't like caraway (actually, I thought I hated rye for a while, but it's really just the seeds). This was delicious. So, well, that's as good an endorsement as I can give. I REALLY want to go tomorrow because I love comte cheese. PLEASE GO WITH ME!!!!!!!!!!! Also there's a Gruyere and a Gorgonzola coming up that I'd love to try!!

Night Flight

photo courtesy of erika pal illustration
I hope everyone had a good Valentine's day; I did. We went to Vol de Nuit, a Belgian beer lounge in the west village (on w 4th just east of 6th avenue). During a lovely sunday afternoon spent wandering the streets of lower manhattan, we stumbled upon this gem and decided it warranted a special occassion visit.

You have to walk through a sort of alley/courtyard deal to get to the entrance of Vol de Nuit, which imediately gives it a foreign feel (or at least makes it that much easier to pretend that you aren't in new york for a couple of hours). The first thing I thought upon entering was I want to live here. It is just a realy cool, comfortable space. It's pretty dark, with distressed walls and exposed ceiling beams that have old cobwebby lanterns hanging off of them. There are a few tables when you first walk in, next to the windows that look out onto the small courtyard area; which, if i lived here, would make a nice foyer. Then you walk up a couple of steps into the main space where there are some couches and tall tables before you get to the bar. Across from the bar in the back, there's a nook with a large communal table, where I would put my bed. Here the windows look out onto that basketball court on 6th, so basically on all sides you are insulated from the city somehow.

We sat at one of the front tables, where they served us from a menu with a fine selection of beers on tap. The beer comes in what I'm guessing are appropriate kinds of big, fun glasses which I always enjoy. But we were not there merely to imbibe. Rest assured, SPFers, Vol de Nuit offers a dining experience not soon to be forgotten. Moules et Frites is a traditional Belgian snack, and I wouldn't mind if it turned into my traditional Saturday night dinner. They served the mussels in a large pot, floating in an oniony sea of brine. The fries came in a paper cone, served alongside ketchup (lame), mayo (gross), and our choice of dipping sauce (Aioli garlic). I realize the sauce is probably predominantly mayonnaise, but if we could all just not talk about it, that would be great. While the sauce selection here is smaller than at Pommes Frites, I personally liked the fries better. They were less potatoey: more fried and salty, how I like my fries.

As if all of this weren't perfect enough, there is also a little bonus bar across the courtyard. This feels more like a wine bar, but it seems to have the full selection of food and drink available. Either no one else knows about the annex, or they don't prefer its (aptly dubbed by j) industrial gothic decor, but we practically had the place to ourselves. The small lounge upstairs was totally empty, and the ideal place to have our final drink as we digested. This is the one location that provides an actual view of the city streets, preparing us for the outside world once again.

I really love this place. Oh and if I lived there, I would obviously keep the bar in place. And you guys could all live in baby bar and we could hang out in the courtyard and that would be great.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Medina Update

This place gets busy, which can make ordering somewhat complicated and confusing. And though I waited for quite a few stressful minutes, my roast turkey and brie sandwich was well worth it.

The turkey was kind of shredded, letting the beautiful brie melt in nicely among the chopped red onions, inside pressed sourdough bread. This delish came to $7.95, and was very big; I still have half left over. mmmmmmmedina!

No Gene-ie in a Bottle

I usually don't waste my time posting about bad food and restaurant experiences on SPF. Instead, I prefer to focus my energy on writing about the many delicious places I've discovered. However, while my dinner last night was not abysmal, I still feel the need to speak out about my mediocre dining experience.

Gene's Coffee Shop, located on 60th St. between Park and Madison, was recommended to me by co-worker. I was meeting my friend L. for dinner before we headed to a movie theater on 64th Street and Second Avenue, and we both love diner food. This place was in an ideal location, seemed to charge reasonable prices, and boasted raves and high ratings on many different restaurant Web sites, so we gave it a shot with high expectations.

When I arrived there were a few crotchety diners already chowing down, and the man at the register was welcoming and friendly. He told me to sit wherever I liked (again, an underrated detail of a good dining experience), and I was immediately plied with a glass of cold water.

Unfortunately, this is where the good service ended. My father once told me about a (supremely snobbish) woman he had once met who traveled extensively and had dined all over the world. When she and her husband were seated at a restaurant, they would count backward from 60. If someone hadn't arrived to greet them, give them drinks, or take their order by the time they finished counting, they would get up and leave.

Now, I certainly don't have standards this high, but the service at Gene's was pretty inattentive. It took at least 10-15 minutes for the waiter to take our orders, and he didn't seem to be busy at all. In addition, we had put down our menus and folded them, an indication that we were ready to order. I don't think I'm a prima donna, but part of good service is paying attention to customers. Normally I wouldn't have been so agitated about it (I am a brunch girl, after all, which means I like to linger), but we had pre-ordered our movie tickets and needed to get to the theater on time.

When my order, an Italian panini (with grilled chicken, mozzarella, mushrooms, tomatos and greens), arrived, it was the appropriate temperature and at least looked delicious. However, the bread was soggy to the point of deterioration, the tomatos looked a little past their prime, and the mushrooms reminded me of what you might find on a Pizza Hut pizza back in the heartland. I would hypothesize that they were straight from a can. They were a bit of an odd color, chewy, and a reminder of why I didn't like mushrooms until I reached adulthood and tasted them as they were meant to be served.

Two bright spots were my fries (crisped to perfection and delicious with and without ketchup, an important criterion) and L.'s French Onion soup (slightly greasy, but still yummy and topped with cheese). L. also seemed to enjoy her meal, although I imagine it's difficult to ruin grilled cheese.

The waiter took his sweet time clearing our plates, and he brought me a very inappropriately-sized box in which to transport my leftovers (yes, I understand the irony of not enjoying my dinner and then taking it home's a recession, people!). The box also promptly broke, and we were forced to take our own check to the counter because we were running so late.

The final straw was the fact that the jelly mints were (gasp) a bit stale. L. and anyone else who has ever accompanied me to a diner knows that I LIVE for the jelly mints on the way out the door. Otherwise, what's the point of going? A combination of stale jelly mints and unimpressive mushrooms, even when paired with good fries, do not make for a pleasant dining experience.

The conclusion here, folks, is that my meal was merely passable. It wasn't horrible, but it also wasn't worth $12. I probably could have gotten something more satisfying at McDonald's, truth be told. I'm not trying to harp on this or nitpick, but I thought it was important to note that not every eating experience in New York is mind-blowing. Would I go back to Gene's? Perhaps. I don't like to judge based on one experience, and it's possible their breakfasts are better. Still, the beauty of this city is that I never have to settle for anything less than MMMMMM.

"That's a lot of beef."

Carnivores, take heart.

That's nearly a pound of meat, loaded with onions and dripping with jalepneo pepper jack cheese. It actually tasted a bit like a taco, which I guess makes sense and is fine by me. Don't forget to say hi to our old friend asparagus.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

You Had Me At Tapas

When I suggested to K that we include bars and SPF-worthy drinking experiences in our posts, she astutely pointed out that the posts would NEVER end. Fortunately, although I originally went to Cafe Mogador to drink, it's food that is really driving this post. I'm writing, of course, about one of life's greatest things: tapas.

My friend A. and I were trying, as usual, to think up a new place to quench our thirst ( when she suggested Cafe Mogador, a Moroccan and Mediterranean restaurant located between 1st Ave. and Avenue A on St. Mark's Place. It sounds strange, but I've always been a fan of this particular block, which also boasts a lovely little crepe restaurant (Crooked Tree Creperie), a delicious chain ice cream joint (Australian Homemade) and a snug little used book shop (East Village Books and Records). It's also not as INSANE as the rest of St. Mark's in the sense that there are comparatively fewer tourists and annoying 19-year-old mini-hipsters getting in the way.

In addition to the nice atmosphere outside the restaurant, the interior has a warm, cozy appeal that makes it an ideal spot for a cold night. Immediately beyond the door is a thick velvet curtain, which gives the impression of creating a partition between patrons and the outside world. Fortunately, the large street-level windows on either side of the door keep it from having a weird, cave-like vibe. Typical dim mood lighting, of course, finishes off the appeal.

The restaurant section of the restaurant is off to the left, and the bar is on the right. A. beat me there, and immediately upon my arrival she presented me with an extensive tapas menu. Each drink order came with two free tapas, which we could select from the list. I ordered a delicious red wine for $7 and chose falafel with tahini sauce and a miniature feta cheese pizza, while A. ordered potatoes and garlic eggplant.

True, the portions were tiny, but if those tapas are any indication of the food at Cafe Mogador I will definitely be going back. Both of my choices were quite flavorful and warm, and the feta on the pizza was soft and savory. I've had bad falafel (Warning: do not order it at Pump) and great falafel (Mamoun's...obviously) and this leaned heavily on the great side, especially paired with the tahini sauce. With my next drink, I requested another round of the pizza (which was approximately cracker-sized) and halloumi cheese (spelled halumi on the menu), which was served with a warm pita and tasted something like muenster (with that consistency) and goat cheese on steroids. Explosion of deliciousness.

When it became clear that I would spend my evening drinking (first at Mogador and later at Johnny's with A., K and P), I knew I needed more than tapas to get me through. I ordered babaganoush from the appetizers menu for a mere $4.75 and was pleasantly surprised when they presented us with a plate piled high with the stuff. They may serve miniature tapas, but that simple appetizer had enough substance to fill me, A and her friend J with baba-goodness.

The babaganoush was also served with three huge, delicious rounds of pita bread, which were thick and warm and not at all crispy or brittle. When we finished the three pieces and were left with extra babaganoush, J requested more bread and they kindly gave us two more pieces without charging us. That, my friends, is the kind of thing that makes for repeat customers!

So, I ended up spending $19 (before tip) and got two drinks, four tapas and an appetizer that fed three people (two of whom continued to complain about how full they were for the rest of the evening). I would be absolutely delighted to grab a drink here again, and I'm looking forward to getting a meal as well, especially if it's anything like those tapas!

The verdict: A great place to drink, and an even better place to eat!

In this economy

If anyone is interested in getting a free sample of Quaker rice cakes, you can do so here.

I got mine yesterday, and they're good. I mean, if you like flavored rice cakes, it is definitely a worthwhile endeavor. Plus, getting stuff in the mail is exciting and it comes with a coupon, so there's that.

We take what we can get.
excuse me for the lack of updates. i haven't had many unbeatable eatables recently (though i have had some notable potables. sorry!)

i did eat an unreal meal on sunday! awesome thai after having lots of fun at p.s. 1. i think we should all go soon. (well before june!)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Weekend roundup

Our resident graphic design expert SPF K did an awesome job on the new layout!

So, often times I'll have a few posts I want to make over the course of a week I never get around to making. I think I'll try to do a mini-sunday roundup whenever that's the case so that thoughts don't evaporate forever.

1. Z and I made a warm quinoa salad the other day. The Q was cooked in veggie stock (which I still need to start making at home) with garlic and onions and that was wonderful! It was a little lemon-Mediterranean for me, so next time I think I'll add a bit of feta and replace the bed of avocado-romaine with one of baby spinach!

2. Sweet potatoes make great friends, but not great leftovers apparently! We had a dinner party here wed. night. 2 mutual friends and one friend old for Z and new for me came. I put on my imaginary apron and made sweet potato risotto (walnuts rather than pecans. A lateral change only) and sweet potato curry. I made larger portions of both in hopes of being able to steal some out to SB with me the next day. No such luck, they were so well received that everything vanished that night. We must all be pigs!

3. I really like getting differently shaped noodles for when I make pasta.

4. I have eaten so much peanut butter this week that my stomach turns just thinking about it. Come on loan check, arrive!

Friday, February 6, 2009


Good news, all! I've found a new convenient, affordable, and delicious lunch option. Cafe Medina is a humble little spot on 17th btw 5th and 6th ave that is sure to become a fixture in my lunch repertiore.

I was tantalizingly close to making it a ginormous-cupcake-for-lunch day (and thereby setting a dangerous precedent) when I heard the magical words "sweet potato bisque" float across the room. I followed up, and after rave reviews from some coworkers decided that the cupcake could wait until dinner.

I got the SPB, because occasionally we have to live up to our name here. I'm eating it right now and it is perfect. However, don't be fooled by the fact that I didn't dine in. Medina is set up deli-style, so you don't feel like a sad person eating there alone. I would like to take a certain lunch buddy there with me someday though, as there is just too much variety for me to conquer on my own. From juice & coffee to sammys & salad, Medina is a one-stop lunchathon.


Taco Thursday Redux

and beer

Thursday, February 5, 2009

i pledge allegiance to curly's

i have had some very good meals at curly's, the very tiny vegetarian restaurant on 14th street between 2nd and 1st avenues. the veggie burger with soy cheese and either curly fries or sweet potato fries... delicious! the blue plate entrée that i was lucky enough to try: mashed potato croquettes filled with raisin-sweetened picadillo, served on top of delicious garlicky greens... amazing.

it happened again last night, when curly's served me one of the most amazing sandwiches i've ever had the pleasure of eating:

the santa barbarella sandwich. sprouts, onion, cucumber, avocado, tomato, jack cheese, mixed greens, and tofu bacon stuffed between two pieces of 8-grain bread, each piece somehow supporting all of that plus a thick layer of pumpkinseed pesto!

as i said in a text message to e last night, "curly's just took it to a whole new level."

on another positive note, p (who talks almost daily about how delicious steak is) ordered the fake buffalo chicken sandwich and loved it! also, i ordered a glass of blackberry ginger sangria and it was heavenly.

Taco Thursday

courtesy of God

A Real Meal

Because sometimes, spending $5.08 on this and eating it with a good friend makes for an absolutely unbeatable dinner.

A gourmet meal consisting of a Ray's Pizza broccoli and tomato slice, a Ray's Pizza garlic knot, a Dunkin' Donuts glazed cruller, bottled water, and yes, that would be a salad. Oh, and paper towels with puppies printed on them.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Blunching at Blossom

I really don't feel up to the challenge of writing the definitive post on Chelsea's wonderful vegan establishment, but it has been over 24 hours since a handful of SPFers dined at Blossom and something needs to be said. I'm going to have to take advantage of my total boredom and inability to write a paper on encyclopedias right now and shortly relive the experience.

omg i really like blossom and want to go back.

Okay, so Blossom is fairly expensive, and the second bottle of champagne was probably unnecessarily lavish. But sometimes, in new york, you just have to sacrifice eating for the rest of the week so you can pretend to be in an episode of sex and the city.

While my french toast was pretty badass, I'm kind of plagued with regret for not getting the tofu scramble. But k and eLs insisted upon it and I'm pretty opposed to more than half of the table getting the same dish. At the time, I also thought it was unacceptable to get beet salad for the second time this week, and I'm realizing that was silly of me because now I can't stop thinking about it. Also, that chocolate thing that the people at the table next us caught me shamelessly lusting over would be cool right about now.

Basically, I have a lot of unfinished business at Blossom.

Bagel Revision

As I've mentioned before I've been doing a lot of work at the Bobst library near Washington Square lately. This has given me the opportunity to re-evaluate my assessment of Murry's bagels. After 4 trips over the past week I have to downgrade them from top-notch to 'will do in a pinch'. Although, as CF points out, they do top both sides of their everything bagels, the odds of getting a warm bagel are slim--even during the overcrowded lunch time. This is especially problematic because they won't toast their bagels on account of their 'freshness'. If you don't go during the crowded times, though, you can get a pretty tough ring-o boiled dough that requires the warm touch of a toaster to make delicious. Although I've not had them mess up any orders like others on the blog, they do cost 2.7X, which is more than their W-burg competitors.

On the brighter side of things, I've been to Bagelsmith twice in the past month and been happily surprised. So, all things considered, my favorite bagel options are not dwindling in size, though they are certainly all congregating in the same geographical location.