House of Small Wonder
77 N 6th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Attention fellow friends who love cute little non-traditional brunch places: I have found your next brunch spot. It’s just off the L train in Williamsburg. House of Small Wonder is a pseudo European cafe with Japanese influences. You all know my opinion of eggs bennies and scrambled eggs (rarely worth the trek out for brunch unless you’re Prune) and my deep love affair with Japanese brunches (see Sakamai and Shabu Tatsu). House of Small Wonder is another Japanese inspired brunch place to add to the list. Its menu consists of both “euro” items like sandwiches (e.g. fig+brie+apple sandwich, salumi arugula sandwich), croissant french toasts, and croque madames, as well as Japanese inspired dishes like Okinawan taco rice, tsukune don (meatball + rice), and sashimi zuke don (sashimi + rice).
It’s decor is also the cutest! You basically enter a little greenhouse with a REAL LIVING TREE in the center of the restaurant. Every wooden surface, faded piece of art, pot of plant, and trendy diner (see B.J. in this one) is Instagram worthy. K.C., B.J., R.Y., and I got to the restaurant before it even opened (10am on weekends) to ensure we got in without a wait.
We each started with the Lavender Latte ($5). This is one deliciously smooth, creamy, latte with a hint of lavender. It has just the right amount of sweetness to feel like a real latte and not a dessert. I give it 10 out of 10 points for warming me physically and emotionally (lots of feelings were expressed at this brunch <3). For those looking for more of a boozy brunch experience, they also offer a cocktail list with concoctions such as fizzy pear, lavender lemonade, and tipsy latte. K.C., B.Y., R.Y. – next time we do boozy?
K.C. and I both ordered the Sashimi Zuke Don ($15), which consisted of soy sauce marinated sashimi of the day, avocado, sweet mushrooms, sesame, and egg served over sushi rice. The ratio of toppings to rice was perfect. Every bite was like a perfect bite of sushi really. The quality of fish was solid (not the highest grade but also zero fishiness). The rice was great. Highly recommend. Continue reading House of Small Wonder
Park Avenue Summer
260 Park Avenue South (between 25th and 26th streets)
New York, NY 10010
OMGOMGOMGGGGG it’s almost WINTER and I have yet to post about my INCREDIBLE dinner at Park Avenue Summer from… the SUMMER! I’m sad on so many levels: 1) summer is over, 2) fall, my favorite season, snuck up on me and is on its way out already (I haven’t even taken out my fall clothes yet!!), and 3) I’ve really abandoned this blog :( I’m currently working on all kinds of things so that one day my food life and work life can maybe merge and become one. How amazing would that be?? This blog has been such a crucial outlet for me so THANK YOU ALL for being so supportive!
Okay. I know. You don’t care. I’m a sap (it’s not that time of the month I swear). Onto the food.
B.J., K.C., R.Y. and I had a ladies’ dinner here in August during Restaurant Week ($38 for an appetizer, entree, and dessert). The restaurant used to be uptown but recently moved to Flatiron, “offering a more casual, accessible version” of the restaurant. Casual and accessible is right. The place was super classy and the food was definitely high-end cuisine but the mood was light – something I loved about the restaurant. Our waiter made us laugh (THE FLORAL ARRANGEMENTS #insidejoke) but was professional at the same time. In general, I’m not the biggest fan of going to fancy restaurants because they’re usually stuffy and overly polite (and my table of friends somehow always ends up being the loudest). Park Avenue Summer allowed me to have amazingly delicate food without the stuffy package.
Oh, and for those of you who don’t know, the restaurant changes seasonally (the name of it, the menu, the decor – everything) so is worth going to at least four times a year.
Our amuse bouche: watermelon cubes on a stick with a creamy spicy sauce on top. Tres refreshing. Continue reading Park Avenue Summer: Excellent Restaurant Week Choice
2250 Emmons Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11235
This past Saturday, I got up at 4:50AM and got on the train at 5:20AM to Sheepshead Bay to board the Captain Steve’s Seaqueen VII. J.P. organized this lovely morning trip (that I almost didn’t go to until I found a Groupon deal for half the price: $35 for two, instead of $35 for one). Nothing against J.P. or fishing at all, I’m just really not a morning person. I grumpily made my way to the boat and complained about my hurting stomach and stinging eyes (my symptoms of lack of sleep).
My sleepy fingers were not excited about touching these little guys until… the first catch of the day was made. An experienced young fisher caught a 26 inch fluke. The entire boat erupted in loud cheers. In 20 minutes, cheers were happening all over the boat as more and more people caught fish. If your fluke is 19 inches or longer, you get to keep it and take it home. I started to wake up because I realized I could be bringing home dinner. That would make my trip worth it. I started trying and about two hours later, I caught something. It was a pathetic 10 inch little guy.
As small as this looks, this is actually my second catch. I only made two catches on Saturday, but the second one made the cut at a full 22 inches! My roommates on the trip, LAW, H.W., and S.S., were probably all selfishly (sel-fish-ly?) happy because they knew we would have a fresh catch for dinner. Continue reading Eating My Catch: Fishing for Fluke in Brooklyn
Parker & Otis
112 S Duke St
Durham, NC 27701
Second time in Durham, second time at Parker & Otis. The place is rustic, charming, and full of fun little trinkets. It’s a place where you find yourself meandering through the aisles of goodies but end up leaving with nothing. A bar of chocolate was $7. Enough said.
The food, on the other hand, is decently priced. I split two sandwiches and three sides with LAW. Pictured here is the turkey and Stonewall Kitchen mango chutney sandwich with bacon, lettuce, red onion, mayo, and yellow cheddar on sourdough ($7.99). The ratios of their sandwiches are not quite my ideal because they give waaaay too much meat for the thin slices of bread that they use. The turkey was decent though a little dry and the sourdough was also just meh. The mango chutney, on the other hand, was delicious! It was sweet, slightly spiced, and added a great kick to the sandwich. Bacon was crispy and not too fatty, giving the sandwich a little texture. Though, the best bacon in a sandwich can be found in my last post: Fosters Market. Continue reading Parker & Otis
Hot ‘n Juicy Crawfish
4810 Spring Mountain Rd
Ste C & D
Las Vegas, NV 89102
I realized I had never had crawfish before and was excited to hear about this place from multiple friends. It fit under my criteria of “uniquely Vegas,” “delicious,” and “not too expensive.” It’s right at the edge of Chinatown so you’ll need a car or cab to get to it.
The crowd seemed very local. Everyone had their sleeves rolled up, plastic bib tied on, and was smackin’ their lips and lickin’ their fingers. We ordered a pound of crawfish and a pound of shrimp, both in the Hot ‘n Juicy special sauce (you have other choices such as lemon pepper and juicy cajun).
The crawfish ($10) is steamed with a large amount of super tasty and spicy sauce. Looking back, I wish I ordered some rice or rolls on the side so I could have soaked up the sauce. We had ordered sweet potato fries for our carb instead. Though the fries were good, soft on the inside and crisp on the outside, sweet potato didn’t go quite well with the seafood and sauce. I needed something more bland. The crawfish tasted very fresh and sweet but crawfish is just a bit too small… each one has meat about the size of a gum ball and takes quite a bit of breaking and peeling. It was far too much work for too little reward. We asked them to add two corns in the bag as well. The corn was hot and sweet and tasted amazing with the sauce. Continue reading Hot ‘n Juicy Crawfish