Category Archives: Alphabet City

Apartment 13: Japanese, Caribbean, and American

Apartment 13 Apartment 13
113 Loisada Ave (Ave C and 7th Street)
New York, NY 10009

I was lucky enough to meet CutiePatroller last week over dinner at Apartment 13. CutiePatroller is a NYC food blogger recently started working for Tabelog. Tabelog is a review site curated by other food bloggers. The idea is that the reviews you read will be of higher quality and will contain better photos so you can make a more informed decision. You might remember, but I was a judge for Tabelog a while ago for one of their many restaurant awards. It was awesome to connect with CutiePatroller because a) I don’t really ever connect with other food bloggers and it’s great to learn about their processes and challenges; and b) she’s super cool and fun AND has had her own little boutique clothing store (Cutie Room) in NoHo. Needless to say, I had a great time! Now onto the food!

Apartment 13
Apartment 13 serves up fusion Japanese, Caribbean, and American cuisine. It’s well rated on Yelp and sounded like it has interesting flavor combinations so I was pretty excited to try it. We started with Mimi’s Maryland Crabcake with coconut crema, sour mango, and scotch bonnet (don’t know what that is) ($13). $13 for a single crabcake is definitely on the pricier side. Given the price and that it was pretty mediocre, I wouldn’t recommend it. It came not cold nor hot, symbolic of our meal to come. At least it was packed with crab and not just filled with breading.  Continue reading

Pigs in a Blanket for Valentine’s Day? Be mine!

Brooklyn PiggiesBrooklyn Piggies
195 Ave A (between 12th and 13th)
New York, NY 10009

I was walking down Avenue A and the words “LOVE” and “PIGGIES” and “SPICY” jumped out at me (naturally). Those three words are some of my favorite things and someone was offering them for Valentine’s Day?!

Brooklyn PiggiesForget chocolates, pigs in a blanket are the way to a true woman’s heart. This tiny little restaurant just opened a little over a week ago on Ave A and specializes in pigs in blankets. 

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Gruppo: thin, crisp, and chewy pizzas with lots of flavor

GruppoGruppo
98 Ave B
New York, NY 10009

After playing a couple hours of pretty intense volleyball, a short but tiring game involving a soccer ball, and an hour and 15 minutes of anti-gravity yoga (a story for another time…), LAW and I were starved and so happy to hear that the rest of our crew had already been seated at Gruppo, Posto’s pizza sister located in Alphabet City. When we arrived to join our dinner family, E.C. had already ordered for us. I normally am pretty involved in the ordering process so felt that it was refreshing to have someone else take the lead.

We started with the Strawberries & Pecorino Crostini with toasted ciabatta bread, topped with pecorino cheese, fresh strawberries, fresh basil, and white truffle honey ($9). SO. DAMN. GOOD. Strawberries aren’t in season now so were a bit more tart, which was solved with the delicious truffle honey. The saltiness and creaminess from the cheese gave this crostini a delicious balanced flavor. The fresh basil added a nice herby kick. I am definitely going to make this at home sometime, perhaps with a saltier cheese. Continue reading

Gnocco, exploring Alphabet City.

Gnocco
337 E 10th St
(between Avenue B & Avenue A)
New York, NY 10009

I had a slice of Gnocco’s pizza a few months ago when we needed just a snack before drinks at Evelyn, a new “mixology” bar a street over. I was ravenous so wolfed down my slice and thought it was one of the best slices I’d had, comparable to my absolute favorite Luzzo’s. A week or so later, I practically dragged L.C. over, along with B.A., E.C., D.T., and A.P., because I wanted to share my delight in finding a new go-to pizza place in our part of town. This second time around, no less ravenous than last time but far more in the mood to formally critique my food, I found Gnocco just a tad disappointing. We shared some pizzas and pastas and left feeling pretty good, but not Luzzo-tastic.

Pictured above is the Al Salame Piccante ($14.95) with fresh mozzarella, tomato sauce, and spicy hot salame. We shared two pizzas as a group and this was one I suggested because it was the one I had tried before. The mozzarella was melted but still slightly springy. It was not too salty, which was fine, because the salame provided the perfect meaty savoriness to the pizza. The edges of the salame were crisp and burnt – delicious. Tomato sauce tasted fresh and was liberally applied. Crust was… good. Crust may have been the only sub-par item compared to Luzzo’s. It was floppy the way I like it but it was not chewy enough. It didn’t have the springy texture that Luzzo’s crust always has. Continue reading

Westville East, get your share of veggies here.

Westville East
173 Ave A
New York, NY 10009

Both Westville locations are so incredibly popular.  They are especially known for their market vegetables.  You can pick four of them for $14 (used to be $12, I believe!).  Your choices range from lemon grilled asparagus with parmesan, to soy glazed green beans, to korean cucumber salad, and roasted beets with walnuts.  There is always a huge list to choose from and I don’t know anyone who goes to Westville and doesn’t get the market vegetables.  Pictured above is the full plate of brussels sprouts with honey dijon, cauliflower dijonaise, artichoke hearts with parmesan, and fried plantains with cojita cheese.  I think because I cook Chinese food almost every week night that I’m not as enamored with the plethora of sauteed veggies.   Continue reading

Ciao For Now! But I’ll Be Back Reaaaaal Soon.

Ciao For Now
523 E 12th St
(between Avenue B & Avenue A)
New York, NY 10009

 

I discovered another yummy (and super healthy) brunch place in the East Village area.  It’s tucked off to the side between A and B so is away from the hustle and bustle of the crazy EV hipsters.  The restaurant ends up having a very homey and small-town feel, almost like Boston.  Ciao For Now is neighbors with Northern Spy Food Company, but is not as “famous” and never has a wait.

I read all about their Almond Brioche French Toast ($9.50 with fresh OJ or grapefruit juice) before coming and knew I had to get it.  Brioche in general is amazing for french toast because it has a concentration of egg and butter, making the bread slightly puffy and yes, QQ (chewy).  Almond Brioche is just brioche with almond cream and a sweet almond crusted topping.  You really can’t go wrong with this french toast.  However, the beauty of what Ciao For Now did is that the french toast isn’t heavy at all.  It was buttery and delicious but somehow manages to stay light and healthy.  How?  I really don’t know.

We also shared the Organic Steel Cut Oats with brown sugar, currants, and cranberries ($4.25).  I love love love steel cut oats because they are chewier and have more of a bite to them than regular rolled (or quick) oats.  This is because steel cut oats are pretty much straight up oats chopped into smaller pieces.  Rolled oats are oats that have been flattened by a roller and have had their outer “bran” skin removed.  The result is a softer, less textured oat.  Bran is tougher but also more nutritious (yay fiber) and I just prefer the texture.  The Ciao For Now bowl was a hearty bowl of steel cut oats with a little too much brown sugar.  Luckily, it wasn’t mixed in so I removed most of it before devouring the bowl.  Though it came with a side of milk, the oats were already very creamy and delicious.  The oats were perfectly cooked so that they weren’t overly soggy nor were they still too hard. This was probably the best oatmeal I’ve ever had…

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Minca and Kambi, sister restaurants that look the same but taste different.

In the great You Es of Eh, we often think of Japanese food as merely sushi and and edamame and forget about a super duper important, tasty part of it: ramen.  Big bowls of chewy noodles in hearty pork or chicken bone broths topped with slices of tender and flavorful barbecue pork, ramen is definitely one of my favorite foods (along with pizza and cookies).  My most favorite ramen place is Totto Ramen in Midtown West but I have yet to write a legitimate blog post about it because I am waiting until I get a new camera (SOON!) so I can do the place some justice (my photos now are horrible so don’t judge by the link)!  For now… I present to you two other ramen places.  One not so good and one pretty good. Minca Ramen Factory*
536 E 5th St
(between Avenue A & Avenue B)*
New York, NY 10009
Kambi Ramen House*
351 E 14th St
(between 1st Ave & 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10003

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Brunch for Spies!


Northern Spy Food Co.
511 E 12th St
(between Avenue A & Avenue B)
New York, NY 10009

 

Another brunch post!  This time a little less “alternative” than Hummus Place and Maharlika, but still not quite the traditional brunch like Prune.  I was so intrigued about this place because of its name.  Northern Spy Food Company… a restaurant that serves food for Russian spies?

    

Not quite… quite the opposite actually.  Northern Spy Food Co. is a homey little restaurant that is named after a New York apple called the Northern Spy.  The wooden furniture and delicate flower patterned wallpaper work together to evoke a warm countryside setting.  We ordered the buttermilk biscuits ($5) with apple butter to fully immerse ourselves in the wholesomeness.  The apple butter was amazing actually seemed like it had more apple than butter – definitely homemade.  It certainly didn’t need any more butter because the biscuits came out warm and super buttery.  The slight tartness of the apple butter melded very well with the biscuit.  I was very pleased!

L.C. and I both ordered the Kale Salad ($12) with cheddar, sweet potato, almonds, pecorino, and two baked eggs (+ $3).  Kale seems to be the new “it” vegetable.  It is popping up in all the NYC restaurants as sides or salads.  Then again, is it only because I just started noticing the vegetable?  Or is it really showing up everywhere… Kale is in the cabbage family and apparently contains a lot of sulforaphane, a chemical with anti-cancer properties, and indole-3-carbinol, a chemical that boosts DNA cell repair and helps block the growth of cancer cells.  Woot!  With all the cancer research craze going on, it would make sense that this vegetable is gaining popularity.  It is also very fibrous (I was so full after this salad!!) and really gets your digestive system going, like… really really does.  If that isn’t enough, Kale also gives a healthy dose of vitamins A, C, and K (a cup with 180%, 200%, and 1020% of our daily intake respectively).  If you understand the Chinese concept of heat, or 上火, Kale also helps to cool your body down, or 清火.

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