Category Archives: Brooklyn

The Best Steak I Have Ever Had

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

Best. Steak. Ever.  I don’t even love meat and I love Peter Luger porterhouse steak.  It’s probably one of the oldest restaurants still running in New York, having been established in  1887!  If you haven’t been, check it out and you’ll understand how it has lasted this long.  It is a no frills restaurant that just serves up great food.  And when I say no frills, I really mean no frills.  There is one kind of steak that you get and you pay per person.  Everything is served family style.  You walk in and a strong charred scent of MEAT wafts towards you.  The waiters are all big men with thick New York accents.  They are sarcastic and tell you what to order.  It’s a little off putting at first but once you get the drift, it’s kind of fun.

“I would like the… ”

“Two tomato and onions, at least one bacon per person, two potatoes and two spinaches.”

“Oh, right.  Okay, sounds good.”

That’s pretty much how it works.  For once, I liked being told what to eat.  They weren’t douchebags about it either.  The waiters would tell me when I was ordering too much and stop me.  As in actually refuse to have me order more. Continue reading

Ramen Sans Broth at Yuji

Yuji Ramen
N 11 St & Wythe Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

 

Dry ramen?  I was intrigued.  I was even more intrigued that Yuji is only open on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.  It’s a pop-up restaurant that shares the space behind a bar with another restaurant that operates on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  The vibe is very hip, even more hip than Williamsburg itself because it is tucked away from Bedford Ave in a garage that is also an art gallery.  So hip.

  

The space is very small.  We were lucky enough to secure the back long table against the cool Asian mural (K.C. – it is Asian!!).  The menu changes constantly.  The uni ramen that so many Yelpers yelped about was no longer on the menu when I got there.  I imagine they are doing their market research and rotating items to see which ones are the best so they know which ones to implement when they open their real deal.

I ordered the Chilled Tomato and Clam ($11) while everyone else ordered the Summer Crab ($12).  The benefit to dry ramen is that the noodles stay al dente throughout your gastronomic journey, unlike traditional soupy ramen.  There is no broth to weaken the chewiness.  My chilled ramen was perfect for the hot summer night (no air conditioning at this venue!).  The tomato and clam sauce made it taste almost like an Italian pasta sauce over Japanese noodles.  Clams were barely present but definitely added to the flavor of the fresh tomato paste.  My only qualm about the dish is that the portion was way too small.  It seemed more like an appetizer portion.  It would be a perfect bar snack though…  Maybe that’s what it is intended to be.  In that case, lower your prices, please!

Continue reading

Ikea!

Okay, watch this first.

Now try not to think about the song while you finish reading my post.  It’s going to be difficult.  This catchy catchy (that wasn’t a mistake, it is in fact catchy catchy) tune was written and performed by my talented musician friend, Brad Go, and shot by the one and only LAW+Hags!  I tagged along during the location scout and after a tiring afternoon of sitting in sofas and lying in beds, we ate at the awesome Ikea Restaurant.

Pictured above is my tray of delights.  Clockwise, we have a simple salad, honey mustard and ketchup, Dryck FlÄder (Elderflower drink), Swedish Meatballs, Crack Pie, Fork and Knife, Ikea Furniture Shopping List, and Lingonberry Juice.

Continue reading

The Meatball Shop

Meatball Shop
64 Greenwich Ave
(between 7th Ave & 11th St)
New York, NY 10011
(also 2 other locations in Lower East Side and Williamsburg)

 

I was never particularly fond of meatballs before living in NYC.  Meatballs always reminded me of dry and limp cafeteria spaghetti – not exactly something I would seek out.  But after moving to NYC, I found that the Meatball Shop was the talk of the town.  As a very open-minded eater, I was eager to change my mind about meatballs and checked out the Meatball Shop as soon as I could.  The first time I went, we waited 2 hours for a table… don’t worry, this was before they had opened any other locations.  I’ve been to all three locations now and will say that the original Lower East Side one has been lacking in quality since the opening of the other two locations… not sure why.  The West Village and Williamsburg locations are great and much bigger.

Okay I know, I should really start with a meatball photo but one of my favorite things about the Meatball Shop is their market salads.  They switch it up… every week maybe?  The one pictured above is probably my favorite: butter lettuce, almonds, radicchio, sunchoke, clementines, and sherry vinaigrette.  If you think about each ingredient… they are all very intensely flavored and so the combination could either go really wrong, or so so right.  The butter lettuce was soooo tender and leafy!  I now know why they are called butter lettuce because in their prime state, they really feel like they melt in your mouth… like butter.  Almonds are always a welcomed addition to anything… it gave the salad a great crunch and nutty context.  Radicchio is slightly bitter and almost a little spicy sometimes.  I actually barely tasted them in this salad but I’m sure they added to the complexity of the salad.  This was my first time having sunchoke and wow, was it amazing.  Sunchokes are knobbly and funny looking… kind of like twisted ginger roots.  They were boiled or maybe blanched just so that they had the consistency of a very chewy potato.  They were slightly creamy… and had slight sweet and nutty undertones.  They went very well with the almonds and butter lettuce.  The clementines were the sweetest I’ve had (nothing like those awful sour and dry ones you find in most supermarkets) and the sherry vinaigrette just bonded all the flavors together.  I. LOVE. THIS. SALAD.

Here is a close-up of a classic beef ball with spicy meat sauce.  See how juicy and tender it looks on the inside?  You have the option of picking the type of ball you want and the type of sauce (see menu photo on top).  Having tried all of the balls and almost in every ball-sauce combination possible, I find that the classic beef ball and spicy meat sauce is my favorite.

Continue reading

Brooklyn Flea – The Food Edition

  

Brooklyn Flea Market
Skylight One Hanson
1 Hanson Place (Forte Greene)
Brooklyn, NY 11217

 

As you can see from the photos above, the location of this flea market is absolutely stunning!  During the winter months, the Brooklyn Flea is held indoors every Saturday and Sunday from 10am-5pm at the former Williamsburg Savings Bank.  As you navigate through the aisles of vendors, it takes you a second before you realize that their booths are set up against old teller windows – so cute!  People rarely look up in a place with so many goodies  below eye-level but if you do, you’ll see the beautiful vaulted ceiling and even an old “Life Insurance” sign that someone forgot to take off.  Over 100 vendors gather at this site to sell all sorts of random things.

  

In addition to the cool vintage jewelry, clothing, handbags, there are also paintings, old school toys, handmade crafts, and of course…. FOOD.  The food is located on the lower level, where the bank’s vault used to be.  You have to come just to even check out these amazing original vault doors.  Look at how thick they are!

There are two sets of these crazy doors, the last of which leads you into the “dining” space.  We tried almost every single booth, which unfortunately, was not as many as I hoped there would be.  Apparently there are more food vendors during the warmer months.  I must come back.  Anyway, let the food tour begin…

 

Red Hook Lobster Pound
  

BETTER THAN LUKE’S LOBSTER ROLL!  I don’t normally like to write in all-caps because my brain automatically reads it in a yelling voice when I see it but in this case… I WANT YOU TO READ IT THAT WAY BECAUSE IT HAS BEEN A LONG TIME SINCE I HAVE DISCOVERED A NEW LOBSTER ROLL THAT I LOVE.  If any restaurant boasts about its lobster roll, I will give it a try.  Since trying Pearl Oyster Bar for the first time almost two years ago, I have tried all of “Boston’s Best” and most of “New York’s Best.”  Pearl always wins.  Luke’s always comes in second as a cheaper alternative.  At $16, RHLP’s roll is one entire dollar more expensive than Luke’s, but I would say tastes maybe five dollars better.  The bread is very, very toasty and almost a little crisp on the outside.  The interior is warm and buttered.  The lobster is, like Luke’s and Pearl, sweet and plentiful.  However, RHLP uses a little more mayo than Luke’s, making it more similar to Pearl, aka. more delicious.  The thinly sliced scallions on top surprisingly add a great deal to the flavor, making it THAT much better.  I would definitely have this over Luke’s any day.  Unfortunately they are only located in Brooklyn.

 

Asia Dog
  

Meh.  Not.  Worth.  It.  $4.50 for a beef, chicken, or veggie dog or $5.00 for an organic one.  I got the MASH because it is apparently their bestseller.  It ended up being a low-grade and very skinny beef dog topped with slightly stale chips that are the leftovers at the bottom of the bag, “spicy ketchup” (tasted like normal ketchup) and “jalepeno mustard” (didn’t taste the pepper at all…) stuck between a very dry bun that was falling apart. 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.