Tag Archives: lamb

Shawarma Mediterranean Grill Flame House (longest name for the tiniest place)

Shawarma Mediterranean Grill Flame House
Shawarma Mediterranean Grill Flame House (right by Prospect Park)
212 Prospect Park W
Brooklyn, NY 11215

A good while ago, before my trip to Iceland with LAW, N.T., and G.B., we decided we needed to prep for the upcoming intense hiking by doing some local hiking in … Prospect Park. So maybe it wasn’t so intense, but we pretended it was by taking a bunch of well-planned, well-cropped photos. Before we started our rigorous day in the park, we stopped by Shawarma Mediterranean Grill Flame House, which seemed to be a local favorite.

Shawarma Mediterranean Grill Flame House We got off the F train and found this tiny restaurant.  Continue reading

Cafe Mogador: NYC’s pioneer Moroccan restaurant

Cafe Mogador Cafe Mogador
101 St. Marks Place (between Ave A and 1st Ave)
New York, NY 10009

Cafe Mogador is the definition of the type of restaurant that I love. It has all the right components to keep me going back again and again. I’m almost sad that I just discovered it now because it is just that good. It satisfies my criteria of:

  1. Having really great food (duh)
  2. Having a speciality food (I hate places that do “all things” because it is impossible to do all things well) – Moroccan specifically (think tagines, cous cous, hummus, babaganoush…)
  3. Having really reasonable prices (~$20 an entree and ~$10 an appetizer)
  4. Having the right “mood” that  pauses time and allows you to get lost in your food and conversation

Cafe Mogador
The drinks are also strong. There’s really nothing not to like! It’s been around since 1983 so is pretty much an East Village landmark. A colleague of mine said his wife grew up going to Cafe Mogador as a little girl. I can’t imagine growing up in East Village but if it involved coming to Cafe Mogador every weekend, I’d be pretty happy about it.

Cafe Mogador
LAW, B.A., B.P., H.W., and I came on a Friday night and definitely waited a good hour before we got a table. It was warm out (YES warm nights!) so it wasn’t so bad. We started with the Hummus Falafel Platter with green sauce ($12). The hummus is the best I’ve had in the city, not quite at Jordanian hummus level, but very, very, good. Not as machine-made smooth as store-bought… FRESH is how I would describe it. Fresh, light, and creamy. The falafel was also the kind I like: small, crisp on the outside, and fluffy on the inside. Hate it when falafels are over fried and have a thick crust and dense filling. Continue reading

Fushimi: French inspired Japanese food

Fushimi
Fushimi
475 Driggs Ave (right off of the L train in Williamsburg)
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Doesn’t look like NYC right? Fushimi is a gigantic restaurant (in NYC terms) tucked a couple streets behind the Bedford Ave stop on the L train in Williamsburg. I wouldn’t have known about it had I not been invited to sample their menu recently. I brought LAW along with me who also played Mr. Photographer for me. And let me tell you, it was quite an experience. 

Fushimi
The place is decorated like a lounge. Red and blue lights everywhere. I was told to ask for Sunny when I got in. So I did, and the hostess said, “you must be Tiffany,” as she curtsied/bowed to me. Service is serious. We waited for a couple minutes before Sunny showed up in a tight-fitted suit. 

Fushimi
He brought us to our table, which was in a booth with red tassels that hung off the top rim of the ceiling. The decor was very stereotypically “Asian” – I almost felt like I was in Hong Kong at a mafia-run lounge. Sunny had the chef prepare us a special menu that included some specials they planned to debut over Mother’s Day weekend. The food is fusion, which is often way too sweet and drenched in sauces for me. Fushimi was different, and was less fusion than French-inspired Japanese food. Sunny also explained that a lot of people tend to think of Japanese food as just raw fish, which he tries to dispel through Fushimi’s menu. Fushimi’s menu is therefore mostly cooked food. Something Sunny hopes will appeal more to Westerners or older folks who are not used to eating raw foods.

FushimiAll the menu items are Japanese inspired but certainly don’t stay within the realm of Japanese food. LAW started with the West Meets East cocktail ($10), which is a whiskey based cocktail that is very, very strong. Definitely a good deal given the quality of the drink.

Fushimi
I started with the Yuzu Citrus Martini, which is a deeeelicious girly drink. Yuzu is a citrus fruit commonly used in Japanese cuisine. It kind of tastes like a grapefruit and mandarin orange hybrid… very great for a cocktail because the bitterness cuts out the alcohol flavor.

Fushimi
Our food adventure begins with the Prawn Frites ($15) with coconut and macadamia crusted jumbo prawns and homemade lemon tartar sauce. The side salad was dressed in a yuzu wasabi vinaigrette.

Fushimi
The prawns were ginormous. The photo doesn’t do it justice because you have nothing to compare it to. The prawn was sweet, tender, and very meaty on the inside. I couldn’t really taste the macadamia crust but the coconut added a nice flakey texture to the crust. Good stuff.

Continue reading

Comme Ci Comme Ça, Mediterranean/Moroccan Food Truck

Comme Ci Comme ÇaComme Ci Comme Ça
52nd and Park Ave

As much as I love to eat and try new foods, weekday lunch is usually my time to cleanse my palate. My favorite lunch spot is Chop’t and nine times out of ten, I’ll get half kale half mesclun mix, cherry tomatoes, corn, crumbled egg (makes the salad a tinge creamy), and sunflower seeds. I alternate between the Chop’t Mexican Goddess dressing, which is a jalepeno, cilantro, and avocado dressing, and my own concoction of half a lemon’s worth of lemon juice, EVOO, salt, and pepper. I always ask for extra bread because the salad on its own isn’t enough to last me. Anyway, my coworkers have been trying to organize lunches more so I’ve been tagging along occasionally. We recently picked up some Mediterranean/Moroccan food at Comme Ci Comme Ça, a food truck often parked in Midtown. The wait was about 20 minutes, pretty ridiculous for lunch, but promising for a satisfying meal.

Comme Ci Comme Ça
This is what D.Z. got: The Cous Cous Royal ($12), which includes all the meats (lemon chicken, beef, kofta, and merguez) on a bed of fluffy cous cous made with vegetable stock. All the cous cous platters come with an assortment of roasted vegetables (think eggplants, zucchini, squash, pumpkin…)

Comme Ci Comme Ça
On the opposite end of the spectrum, E.D. ordered the Vegetarian Cous Cous ($8), which is just more roasted veggies over the same cous cous. You get to pick two out of four sauces: Spicy Andalusian Sauce (red chili peppers, olive oil, lemon juice), Green Olive Sauce (light mayo base, green olives, olive oil, lemon juice, blend of spices), Spicy Mint (green chili peppers, mint, yogurt, blend of spices), and Casablanca Sauce (light mayo base, olive oil, lemon juice, blend of spices).  Continue reading

Saxon + Parole, bobo’s paradise.


Saxon + Parole
316 Bowery
(between Bleecker St & 1st St)
New York, NY 10012

“New American.” What does that even mean? When I think New American, I think of foods like mashed potatoes with truffle oil and roasted turkey with kumquat cranberry sauce (which Saxon + Parole actually had on their Thanksgiving menu). Wikipedia has a great definition:

New American cuisine is a term for upscale, contemporary cooking served primarily in restaurants in the United States. Combining flavors from America’s melting pot with traditional techniques, New American cuisine includes ethnic twists on old standbys, Old World peasant dishes made from luxury American ingredients and molecular gastronomy.

Old World peasant dishes made from luxury ingredients with a little spherification here and there. Sounds about right. As you can probably tell, I’m not the biggest fan of New American. I’m always down for a new take on a traditional food (see Mission Chinese) but when stuff is added just for the sake of making it seem more upscale, it gets lame. Anyway, not saying Saxon + Parole is lame at all, because it was actually pretty good. I just had a bad feeling about the place when I walked in and saw the stable-esque decor, minus the smell of horses. It’s where bobos (bourgeois bohemian) like to put on their birkenstocks and sip on their free trade coffee bean espresso after a decadent but “humble” meal. Continue reading

Mission Chinese – amazing Modern Chinese cuisine

Mission Chinese
154 Orchard St
(between Stanton St & Rivington St)
New York, NY 10002

Wow. This is some legit modern Chinese food. I hate pan-Asian and in general, hate it when people try to mess with authentic Chinese cuisine. American Chinese food is only good when Panda Express makes it because they at least don’t pretend to be something they’re not. I would call Mission Chinese modern Sichuan cuisine. The dishes certainly diverge from the traditional but it does so in the best way possible: keeping the essence of the traditional while adding something new to make the dish bigger, better, faster, stronger. This is probably the goal of pan-Asian but pan-Asian tends to just sweeten everything too much, add too much grease, and cater to people who don’t know what the original is like. Mission Chinese seems to cater to people who know what Sichuan food actually is and want to push the boundaries further. It’s like an inside joke that you would only understand if you’re already well-versed in Sichuan food.


I started the meal with an Oolong Hai ($10), which was simply oolong tea, lemon, and soju. It was a deliciously simple cocktail that was definitely made with some well-brewed oolong tea. It was probably made extra strong to compensate for the inevitable watering-down-of-tea from the ice because the tea tasted strong and penetrated the soju from beginning to end of drink. It was only very slightly sweet, which tasted more like the floral accents from the tea rather than from any sugar or honey, though I’m sure they had to add something.


We ordered a variety of cold appetizers: Beer Brined Sichuan Pickles (napa cabbage, carrot, chili oil, sichuan pepper) , Beijing Vinegar Peanuts (smoked garlic, anise, rock sugar), and Smashed Cucumbers (salted chili, sesame paste, garlic) ($4 each). $4 is quite expensive for the tiny portions of dishes that, in my opinion, could be/should be complimentary (like Korean banchan). They were not incredibly special but the fact that they even had Sichuan Pickles and Beijing Vinegar Peanuts made me excited. I had not had them since I was in China. Truth be told, they weren’t authentic and these appetizers definitely lacked in quality. I quickly forgot about them once the hot dishes came. Continue reading