Monthly Archives: March 2014

An Epic Birthday Dinner at Peter Luger’s

Peter Luger's
Peter Luger Steakhouse
178 Broadway
(between 6th St & Driggs Ave)
Brooklyn, NY 11211

I’ve been around the block now, nearly three years in NYC, and to this day, I only crave the steak of Peter Luger’s. 50% of the reason is that the steak is just so damn tasty. The steak has a crust that is so savory and charred that is also drizzled with extra steak oil before it is served. 30% of the reason is for the bacon. So damn delicious. The last 20% of my love for Peter Luger’s comes from the no BS attitude and air of the restaurant. Replace the usual white tablecloth stuffiness of a usual steakhouse with simple, rustic wooden tables.

Read more about my take on the service in my last Luger’s post before I had my awesome food camera. Pictures below are from my EPIC quarter century birthday. Continue reading

Eataly: BEST Prime Rib Sandwich I’ve had!

Eataly: Prime Rib Sandwich
Eataly
200 5th Ave
New York, NY 10010

You all know now that I love Eataly (especially after my trip to Italy). LAW and I were in the neighborhood and decided to grab a quick lunch. G.B. had told me numerous times that him and N.T. always split the Prime Rib sandwich from Eataly’s Rosticceria. This butcher counter sells a different meat per day of the week (for example, porchetta Thursdays and meatball Fridays). You can buy roasted meat and rotisserie chicken by the pound, or buy freshly made sandwiches and sides (they have roasted brussels sprouts!). Continue reading

Ugly Kitchen: where I had balut, a duck embryo. It was great.

Ugly Kitchen
Ugly Kitchen
103 1st Ave (between 6th and 7th streets)
New York, NY 10003

I love Filipino food. I didn’t really discover this until Jeepney (sister to Maharlika) popped up in my neighborhood and I got to try some excellent Bicol Express (slow roasted pork shoulder in coconut milk). I haven’t blogged Jeepney yet because I never have my camera when I go, but I definitely need to soon. It embodies everything I know about Filipino culture: fun, familial, loud, and delicious. Ugly Kitchen is another Filipino restaurant in the East Village that my friend L.B. is involved with (and even worked in the kitchen!). It embodies the same kind of vibe as Jeepney’s but is a bit more affordable (mains are $10-$15 whereas at Jeepney where they are $15-$20).

Ugly Kitchen
L.B. welcomed me and Y.N. with dangerous fruity cocktails that the bartender threw together as a special for the night. The most dangerous part of the cocktail was that it didn’t taste dangerous…

Ugly Kitchen
Y.N. asked for the most popular dish on the menu: The Ugly Grilled Chicken ($14), which consists of two pieces of fire grilled chicken with a Korean fusion marinade and a side salad and rice. As simple as this sounds, it tasted pretty damn delicious. The chicken was flavorful, had a strong charred flavor, and was fairly tender. As the chicken cooled down, it got less tender (so eat quickly!), but was still tasty. Great home cookin’ for when you don’t want to take out the grill (or don’t have one because you live in NYC).

Ugly Kitchen
L.B. got the Sizzling Sisig ($13), which consists of spicy minced pork belly, liver, pork cheek, all sautéed together in onions and soy sauce with an egg on top. The waiter cuts the pieces up on the sizzling stone plate when the dish is brought over. The bite size pieces are fatty, and super fragrant. It’s a classic Filipino dish that I haven’t quite learned to love just yet but can see why it is Filipino comfort food. Continue reading

Pie for Pi Day! Oreo Crust Triple Layer Chocolate Pie…

Oreo Crust Triple Layer Chocolate Pie
Happy 3.14159265359.. Day! I’m not normally nerdy enough to celebrate the day (let’s be real now, the true reason I don’t celebrate is because I actually don’t love pie – minus Pearl’s summer blueberry pie… two and a half months away from my tummy). I don’t love desserts and I rarely bake because I don’t like to measure things, which generally causes a disaster in baking. But my team at work celebrates the day so I felt obliged to participate. I decided to make a no-bake pie to minimize failure.

Oreo Crust Triple Layer Chocolate Pie
This recipe is super duper easy. All you need is:

  • 32 oreos ish (if someone steals one or two while you’re cooking, you’ll live)
  • two packs of JELL-O Chocolate Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
  • half a stick of butter (melted)
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 8 oz. tub of Cool Whip (go with extra creamy)

Oreo Crust Triple Layer Chocolate Pie
As I don’t bake very often, I don’t have any of the right tools. I read online that it’s easiest to crush oreo cookies in a food processor but why would I have one of those when I have knife and hammer skills? As you can see, I laid out Oreos in a ziplock bag and hammered them into crumbs. A lack of resources inspires innovation, guys. Do as you like as long as you break the cookies up. Continue reading

Shi’s Kitchen: Fish Fragrant (YuXiang) Eggplant

Yuxiang Eggplant
Eggplant really doesn’t get enough love. The craze was brussels sprouts in 2012, kale in 2013, not too sure what the vegetable craze will be this year… but I’m hoping that eggplant will make it to the list in the near future because it’s a damn good (and healthy) vegetable that too many people find repulsive. People who say “it’s the texture” are just being narrow-minded. The texture of an eggplant is similar to a zucchini!

Yuxiang EggplantFish Fragrant Eggplant (鱼香茄子) is a classic Sichuan homecooked dish. As Appetite in China (where I got my recipe) says, the name is deceiving because it isn’t meant to taste like fish at all. The flavor is associated with how fish is often prepared in Sichuan cuisine, hence the name. It’s super easy to make and goes great with a bowl of rice. Very few Chinese kids hate eggplant and I attribute that to them growing up with this very specific dish. Continue reading

Beef Brisket and Tendon Noodle Soup from Lam Zhou

Lam Zhou Handmade NoodleLam Zhou Handmade Noodles
144 E Broadway
New York, NY 10002

If you haven’t already, it’s about time you make the trek deep into Manhattan Chinatown away from the fake Coach bags and thousands of iPhone cases on Canal Street. Lam Zhou Handmade Noodles is a tiny noodle shop on the very South Eastern tip of Chinatown. It’s been around for ages and is consistently rated as one of the best Chinese noodle places in the city. I.K., D.C, F.L., and I skipped the usual eggs benny and came  here for brunch/lunch one weekend.

Lam Zhou Handmade Noodle
Prices have stayed cheap and options fairly minimal.

Lam Zhou Handmade NoodleThe restaurant is small and a little dirty. Expect to sit facing a wall or at a table with other noodle-slurping diners. Lam Zhou is a restaurant in its most basic and practical form: serves food and provides utensils to eat.

Lam Zhou Handmade NoodleNotice that the chopsticks are from another restaurant. Seeing this made me miss home tremendously, because it reminded of how practical Chinese people are. Chopsticks are chopsticks!

Lam Zhou Handmade Noodle
As the name of the restaurant suggests, Lam Zhou is a noodle shop. It specializes in beef noodle soup where you can choose the beef type (brisket, tendon, oxtail, some combination, etc.) and the noodles (handpulled or knife-cut). I chose a brisket-tendon combo with knife-cut noodles.  Continue reading

Le Farm: BACON CLAM BUTTER. That is all.

Le Farm
Le Farm
256 Post Road E
Westport, CT 06880

Yes, that address is right. My travels for food have extended to Connecticut.

Le Farm
The restaurant is cozy in a completely different way New York restaurants are cozy. New York cozy is like dark, chic cozy. Le Farm is homey cozy. I felt like I actually walked into a grandmother’s home (who happens to also have really good taste).

Le Farm
J.L. raved about this place before taking us so I let him kind of guide the ordering. He ordered the Fried Risotto Balls with bacon-clam butter and fried garlic ($13) for the table. Ugh, typing those ingredients makes me salivate for that sauce. The bacon-clam butter combo is seriously the definition of umami. Why wasn’t there free bread so I could soak up the sauce? Why wasn’t there MORE of the sauce so I could take leftovers home and toss it with a pasta?  Continue reading