Tag Archives: NYC

Bibble & Sip: An Alpaca Cafe with lots of matcha and lavender (and alpacas)

Bibble & Sip
Bibble & Sip
253 W 53rd St (8th Ave)
New York, NY 10019

J.S., my super trendy fashionista friend (check out her blog!) who also loves to eat and drink coffee, introduced me to Bibble & Sip. She had me at “alpaca.”

Bibble & SipBibble & Sip is a cute coffee shop in Hell’s Kitchen (I know, cute+coffee shop+Hell’s Kitchen almost never go together) that serves up lots of unique, delicious things like earl grey banana bread, pistachio cake, earl grey panna cotta, matcha latte, lavender lattes, etc. The theme seems to be tea-infused things…. yumz. It is also RANDOMLY alpaca themed.

Bibble & SipI spy with my little eye… an alpaca.

Bibble & Sip
I made R.Y. come check it out with me recently and we got these pretty cups of matcha latte and lavender latte.  Continue reading

Interesting AND Tasty: A Delicious Ladies Lunch at Jean Georges

Jean-Georges
Jean Georges
1 Central Park West
New York, NY 10023

HI GUYZ! It’s been awhile since I’ve done a real blog post. Going to try to get back at it now that the weather is nicer and I’m less inclined to stay home and cook (follow my instagram @whatshisees to see my daily cookeries!). Today’s blog post is from a recent Ladies Lunch I went to with the lovely K.C, B.J., and J.N. As I mentioned in my Betony post, going to fancy restaurants is fun for me in the same way going to a museum is… I admire art and creativity. I usually don’t go for a really satisfying, tasty meal (given that my favorite foods consist of dumplings, noodles, and pizza… you can see why). Luckily for me, Jean Georges ended up being both beautiful and very, very tasty.

Jean-Georges
If you’re a chronic bruncher or lunch-deal-hunter, you probably know that Jean Georges has one of the best lunch deals. Where else can you go to a Michelin star restaurant for a $48 meal? The $48 lunch deal is a 2-course meal. Any additional “courses” costs $24. We each had two courses and added an additional dessert course because, well, because! And looking back on my journey, it was well worth it. Anyway, let me begin to describe my culinary journey at this fancy pants place.

Bread: Decent. Just decent. The sesame bread was my favorite because it was light and very, very sesame-y (do you like my descriptors?) The bread definitely wasn’t as  good as at Betony. I’m going to Bouley next week where the free bread is supposed to be awesome. That’s the only reason I’ve been dying to go! #bread4lyfe

Jean-Georges
Our meal started with a little amuse bouche featuring a trio of different flavors and textures. Starting clockwise is a tiny bit of soup, a roasted portabello mushroom, and a swirl of smoked salmon. Every item was pretty unique and flavorful, but didn’t really go together. I feel like each was meant to stimulate a different taste profile on my tongue… to get all my taste buds wired and ready to go. Good job Mr. Amuse Bouche. It worked.

Jean-Georges
This… this… might be my favorite uni dish of all time. And I’ve had a lot of uni things. B.J. and I ordered it for our first course. It is a trio of Santa Barbara urchin (only the best) over a thick slab of butter, on top of toasted black bread. It’s topped with the most amazing flakes of sea salt and a tiny slice of jalepeno. Oh, and there’s yuzu somewhere in there. The ginormous slab of urchin was sweet and creamy, only to be made more creamy and delicious with the butter. The yuzu added a nice citrusy kick to the creaminess, and the jalepeno added a little bit of heat at the end of your bite. The toasted black bread was a nice addition to help soak in some of the flavors. Honestly, just so much YUM in my mouth. AND THERE WERE THREE OF THEM!!!!!!!!!!!! Continue reading

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

Shake Shack >> In-N-Out.

Shake Shack
215 Murray St
New York, NY 10282

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about Shake Shack, my favorite fast food chain and my FAVORITE burger of all time.  I’ve tried the whole spectrum from McDonald’s to Minetta Tavern’s $26 Black Label Burger and Shake Shack still wins in terms of 100% taste (meaning, I’m not giving it any bonus points for it being cheap).

I recently went to the Battery Park venue after a beautiful bike ride along the East side river.  LAW and I got three burgers and one order of fries.  Normally we would have also gotten the pricey but delicious Fair Shake ($5.50), which is a vanilla shake with organic Arabica Fair Trade coffee.  It’s the only shake I love because it is deliciously creamy and has such a nice roasted coffee flavor.  But we didn’t get it because we were hosting a root beer float party later that day…  Continue reading

Rai Rai Ken, the ramen battle continues.


Rai Rai Ken
214 E 10th St
(between 1st Ave & 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10003

 

GAHHH!  I just found out that my favorite East Village Japanese restaurants are all owned by one… person.  How is this possible?!  Soba-Ya, Robataya, Cha-An, Curry-Ya, Shabu-Tatsu are among my favorites that one person calls his own.  Mr. Bon Yagi came to the U.S. as a dishwasher and somehow worked his way up to owning 11 Asian restaurantsand at one point, owning a diner that often saw folks like Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, and Madonna.  To say the least, I am impressed.  Most of his restaurants are rated 4-4.5 out of 5 stars on Yelp and each of them is someone’s “favorite” Japanese restaurant.  Rai Rai Ken is Mr. Yagi’s ramen venture.

 

After my sister-ramen-restaurant battle post, many readers suggested I try Rai Rai Ken, another one of those renown ramen places in the city.  Everyone has their favorite (Totto Ramen) and though I am known to be a very loyal customer (Totto4Life), I am always willing to try other favorites – mainly because I like to try new places but also because I like to re-confirm that my favorite still rocks.

 

Pictured above is the Shoyu Ramen ($9.50), which is ramen in a soy sauce based noodle soup topped with bamboo shoot, boiled egg, roast pork, spinach, fish cake, dried seaweed, and scallion.  I have to admit, this was a solid bowl of ramen.  Rai Rai Ken also gets extra points for making the egg perfectly gooey in the center, like how Ippudo does it.  But the roast pork was just okay… slightly tough and bland.  Noodles were not particularly memorable, meaning they were good.  Not overcooked and slightly springy.  They didn’t fall apart when slurped (unlike Ippudo’s!!) but also weren’t as tasty nor chewy as Totto’s and Kambi’s.  Broth was… good.  Also not particularly memorable, but was definitely good.   Continue reading

Ich Liebe Weiner

Wechsler’s Currywurst & Bratwurst
120 1st Ave
(between 7th St & St Marks Pl)
New York, NY 10009

 

Have you had a currywurst before?  I hadn’t until very recently.  Currywurst is one of those things that is common and around enough that I always assumed I would definitely try at some point because it was just… always there… like that college friend who lives in the same city as you but you never see because you figure you can see her anytime.  Luckily, K.B. was in town and since she grew up in Germany, comfort food for her after a tiring weekend was currywurst.  We checked out Wechsler’s Currywurst & Bratwurst because it is supposedly one of the best currywurst places in the city.  The place is dark with brick walls and wooden tables and stools.  It’s what you would imagine a German beer bar to be like.  They boast an extensive German beer list with beers like Weihenstephaner Vitus and Pinkus Jubilate (I don’t actually know beers, I just thought those sounded funny).

First up, a large Currywurst with Fries ($12).  A pork and veal sausage is sliced up, pan-fried, and topped with their homemade tomato curry sauce.  The sausage was extremely moist and tender.  The natural saltiness of the sausage tasted so damn good with the tomato sauce and curry powder.  I wish we had more sauce because I ended up scraping the bottom of the paper container with the fries.

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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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Motorino’s Pizza

Motorino
349 E 12th St
(between 1st Ave & 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10003

 

I’m always on the search for the best pizza in town because it is on my list of favorite foods and New York just has so many “best pizza in town” kinds of places.  Bread and tomatoes are some of my most favorite things in the world so you can imagine why pizza would be on that list.  Having tried to make pizza many times myself, I know how little they cost to make and how easy it is once you have the right pizza dough recipe (ingredients and timing, both very important!).  But between the thickness and consistency of the crust, the  the sauce, and the ingredients, the world of pizza is actually pretty damn large.  Like people, they come in all shapes and sizes and can vary greatly based on where they come from.

After a long day of volleyball and boardgames, we ordered in so we could… continue playing boardgames.  Motorino is the last East Village “best” that I had not tried so we ordered from there.  Pictured above is the Brussels Sprouts ($16) pizza with fior di latte (aka. mozzarella made from cow milk, and not buffalo), garlic, pecorino, and smoked pancetta.  Brussels sprouts tasted FRESH, not the frozen kind out of a bag.  Smoked pancetta was super tasty and crisp along the edges.  Cheese was very mediocre and lacked a little flavor.  Their crust is pretty thin and becomes very soggy pretty quickly (it might be better to order in at the restaurant for their pizza).  The edge of the crust was sort of puffy but lacked the chewiness of Luzzo’s crust.  BUT, this pizza was much, much better than L’asso EV’s brussels sprouts pizza.

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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.

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Best Chicken and Rice?

    
Halal Guys
53rd St & 6th Ave
New York, NY 10019

 

If you’re visiting New York City and want to try something quintessentially NYC, forget the pretzel and hot dog stands, and try some chicken and rice from Halal Guys on 53rd and 6th*.  You’ll find Halal Carts on almost every street corner in the city, yet Halal Guys has somehow able to secure the “best” title in a majority of New Yorkers’ minds.  LAW works near there so I sometimes will go and have a weekday lunch with him there and even on weekdays, there is always a line (see top right).  I hear that on weekends, both for lunch, dinner, and post-partying munchies, the line can get pretty crazy… sometimes up to an hour wait.

True… the pile of chicken and bin full of lamb do not really look that appetizing.  But no one ever said this was a pretty meal.

Once it is all put it all in a tin plate with extra white sauce and drops of super spicy red sauce, you will for sure be salivating for the first bite.  The rice is a yellow rice that is quite firm and not sticky at all.  The white sauce is like a Greek-yogurt sauce and helps to bind all the ingredients together.  Looking at some recipes online, it appears that the white sauce is made with yogurt, spices, and lots of mayo… gluttony.  You can get the Chicken and Rice platter, Lamb and Rice platter, or the Mix Platter which contains both meats, each for $7.  The pita bread that it comes with is soft and chewy, much more doughy than supermarket pitas.  Thankfully, the platter also comes with some chopped lettuce on the side to freshen up the fattiness of the chicken and sauce.

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