Monthly Archives: October 2011

Birdbath Bakery: Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

Birdbath Bakery
223 1st Ave
(between 13th St & 14th St)
New York, NY 10003

This is the best oatmeal raisin cookie I have ever had. I discovered this gem of a bakery right on 14th and 1st ave. The bakery happens to be the little sister to City Bakery, a bakery known for its pretzel croissants and chocolate chip cookies.  You should definitely try the pretzel croissant if you haven’t already.  The little cubes of salt stuck to the croissant give ever other bite just a little something extra.  Though the last time I had a City bakery cookie, I could still taste the baking soda… Not a good thing. Continue reading

Peter Luger Steakhouse: Porterhouse Cut

Peter Luger Steakhouse
178 Broadway
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11211

A savory and meaty scent wafted through the door the second I stepped into this restaurant. The smell was overwhelmingly tantalizing… And I don’t even like meat that much. We were lucky enough to secure the last reservation at 10:45pm. The minute we sat down, an old, experienced waiter swooped by and asked, “We all here for steak, yes? Steak for 4? Would you like creamed spinach, German fried potatoes, and onions with that? Yes you will get spinach and potatoes. Wine? Would you like wine?” We had not even had the time to consider what we would want to eat and the waiter had already decided our whole course. This was a little off-putting but at the same time… oddly charming. The restaurant is the least pretentious upscale restaurant I have ever been to. The setting is very rustic; the wooden floors were adorned with simple wooden furniture. The waiter threw a small plate onto the table, and brought over our fragrant plate of T-bone for 4. My boyfriend moved the little plate to make room for the meat, only to be yelled at by the waiter, “That is MY plate! Do not touch MY PLATE!” the waiter proceeded to lay down our plate of meat with one end propped up by the small plate. He served us slices of juicy medium rare steak and scooped a spoonful of meat juice onto each of our plates (made easier by the propped up plate, of course). This was the most efficient and no-fuss meal I have had in a long time.

 

Onto the actual food… Steak was so tasty! The outside is charred just perfectly to give a nice salty crust, juxtaposed with the tender and juicy insides. I usually get bored after a couple bites of steak, even really good steak. But Peter Luger’s manages to have my mouth watering for more throughout the entire meal. The creamy spinach is like an Indian Palak Paneer minus the cheese. The German potatoes went perfectly with the meat, a creamy carb to balance out the meal. I am definitely going to come back to try their burger. And then come back again to have their steak. And again. And again.

Pork Buns

We created our own pork buns last night to accompany our hodgepodge dinner of random leftovers. I bought frozen buns in Chinatown and steamed them after the pork belly had been roasted for 2+ hours. Even though the pork belly was already very flavorful by itself, I made a spicy garlic sauce to go with the buns anyway to add more of a kick. Not quite as good as the $4.5 a piece Ippudo pork buns but definitely satisfying. Especially since we can eat so many more at home!

Robataya: Gindara Saikyo Yaki (fillet of cod fish steeped in saikyo miso)

Robataya
231 E 9th St
(between Stuyvesant St & 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10003

This is the best Japanese Miso Cod I have ever had. It is extremely tasty, soft, tender, and flaky. The skin is slightly crisp, complimenting the natural buttery taste of the cod. Cod is also a plump fish that absorbs flavor very well. The miso that they use is a golden yellow paste that is traditionally made in Kyoto. It is naturally sweet from the fermentation process and contains less salt than most misos. The flavor of misos is affected by the ratio of soy beans to rice malt. This particular kind of miso has a higher proportion of rice malt, hence the sweetness.

At $13 per fillet (two fillets pictured), this fish is quite an expensive treat. Like all the other delicacies that Robataya serves up, this fish is well worth the occasional splurge.

Korilla Food Truck: Spicy Pork Burrito

Korilla Food Truck spotted on 3rd Ave and 14th Street

DELICIOUS. The meat was well-marinated and was further boosted with finger-licking Korilla sauce (think Asian sweet and salty BBQ sauce). We chose to have the sticky rice which was slightly undercooked but still a good pair with the flavorful meats. The wrap was very, very good, probably one of the best parts of the whole thing. It was not too thick, was very chewy, and had a very nice smooth texture. It was the finishing piece of the puzzle and helped bring together all the flavors, wrapping them into a roll of savory bliss. Every bite had an equal portion of rice and meats and kimchi. I can’t wait to have another one.

Doughnut Plant: Pistachio Cake Doughnut

Doughnut Plant
220 W 23rd St
(between 7th Ave & 8th Ave)
New York, NY 10011

Not really a doughnut person but felt like I had to try this hyped-up place when I stumbled upon it. They have both yeast and cake doughnuts. The yeast ones are lighter and fluffier (think Krispy Kreme) and the cake ones are much more dense (think Dunkin Donuts). I would normally prefer the yeast kind but the pistachio was only offered in cake style so I had to get the cake. The doughnut was nothing special. The pistachio was a great choice but I prefer the Sugar Sweet Sunshine pistachio cupcake (for those of you who haven’t had it, drop your things and get one now). Maybe cake style just isn’t my thing. It was dense and very sweet (also glazed when it really didn’t need to be). This gourmet-ified version is more hype than anything else.

Hong Kong Street Cart (Madison Sq. Eats): Beijing Ya bun

Madison Square Eats is a month long food festival right by Madison Square Park. There are about a dozen vendors, including Waffles & Dinges, Momofuku Milk Bar, Red Hook Lobster, Roberta’s Pizza, Sigmund’s Pretzels, The Cannibal, etc. – a ton of yummy food. I was walking past here before dinner but just had to get a snack…

The Beijing Ya bun is a soft steamed bun with roast duck, minced shrimp, scallion, cucumber, and sweet and salty Peking sauce. It is a modern play on the traditional Peking duck wrap, which usually consists of roast duck, scallions, cucumbers, Peking sauce, all wrapped into a very very thin flour “tortilla.” This Peking Ya bun uses a soft, fluffy steamed bun instead of the “tortilla” and is a bit heavier and sweeter but is still delicious. The sauce was a bit too sweet for my taste and the duck was by no means anything extraordinary. The bun was still tasty… You can’t really go wrong with roast duck, and Peking sauce. Though $4 a bun is a bit too pricey in my opinion. I’d rather go to Ippudo to get the $4.50 pork bun.

Luzzo’s: Pappardelle Speck E Porcini

Luzzo’s
211 1st Ave
(between 12th St & 13th St)
New York, NY 10003

Luzzo’s is known for it’s delicious pizzas. It has the same owner as Ovest Pizzoteca, another of my favorites. Their pizza is never disappointing… Fresh ingredients, not too much cheese, very flavorful tomato sauce, AMAZING crust. God I could just eat that crust on it’s own.

Last time we went we decided to try one of their pastas. The pasta was good the same reason their pizzas are. Fresh, high quality ingredients. You really can’t go wrong. The noodles were a bit too eggy tasting. They kind of “snapped” as you bit into them as they did not have the “bounce” that really nice pastas have. Nonetheless, I ate it all. Truffle oil and porcini mushrooms… Mmm…