Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Defontes

Ever since I saw the 30 Rock episode where the teamsters go to a secret sandwich shop in Brooklyn and bring back some amazing sandwich's with a "magical" dipping sauce, I knew I had to find out exactly where this place was.

I did find out- it was Defontes in Red Hook.

I never made it to Red Hook and luckily now I don't have to.

THEY OPENED ONE 2 BLOCKS FROM MY APARTMENT!!!!!

Sorry for all of the caps but I was so psyched! And man it seriously delivered.



This is the sandwich they are most known for- the number 20 Hot Roast Beef.

Basically perfectly rare roast beef, fresh mozzarella and fried eggplant get thrown on a fantastic baked roll that has been dipped in au jus.

Oh...my...goodness. It was one of the best freaking sandwich's I have ever had.

Something about their roast beef is addicting. It was smokey, salty and just fantastic.

Mr. T and I swung by after having dinner at Ippudo.

We figured we would get a sandwich, try a bite and save it for tomorrow.

That did not happen.

One bite and we were chowing down on the whole damn thing.

This is after a huge bowl of ramen mind you!!!

I cannot tell you how good it was.

This place is the bomb! I cannot wait to go back and try out more of their stuff.

The people inside are super friendly and get this- the guy who made our sandwich was wearing a Buffalo Bills hat! What is there not to love!!!

We are already making plans to return for breakfast this weekend.

Thank you Defonte's-thank you 30 Rock- you both rule!!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Pizza Pub

The Pizza pub opened in the old Push space over on 3rd avenue.

Apparently the owners are the same they just wanted to try something new.

I was really excited about some new good pizza in the neighborhood so I went over to check it out the day after it opened.

The sign that greeted me outside the pub read "Free slice with very shot".

Hmmm...interesting I guess.

I'm not really a shot taker so I just grabbed at seat at the counter and ordered two slices of pie.

First up is the regular.



The pizza looked like it was going to be exactly what I love.

Super thin with a perfect ratio of cheese and sauce I had high hopes. Unfortunately it just wasn't that great.

While the crust was super crunchy- it had no flavor. In fact it tasted a little bit like cardboard.

The pizza itself was alright but it lacked flavor overall as well.

I added some oregano and garlic salt which improved the pie but it still needed something more.



The grandma slice didn't do much better.

Again- upon first look the slice looked like it was going to be amazing.

The golden crust looked so rich and buttery while the sauce and cheese smelled extra garlicky.

Unfortunately the dough was extremely undercooked and the sauce was almost a little too sweet for my taste.

So overall the pizza pub was a little disappointing. While they looked amazing they both lacked in flavor.

Maybe it's just some early kinks. I will definitely give it another try in a few weeks and check out some of their other slices.

They do have some nice TV's and a decent selection of beer that helps.

We'll see if they can pull it together a little bt more.

What???

Okay I don't live near any Burger Kings and really don't frequent fast food places so I have no idea if this is just a Chinatown thing or all Burger Kings??? WTF?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Some Random Food Pics

These are from the past week and really don't deserve a whole post on their own so I thought I would just kind of throw them together.

First up some french fries from Zum Schneider.




I've written a zillion times how much I love everything about Zum Schneider- the beers, potato pancakes, atmosphere and now the french fries.

Long, skinny and perfectly crisped, these are great beer drinking snackers.

If you like McDonald's fries (and who doesn't) you will love these.


A treat that didn't quite make the cut is the Triple Berry Kit Kat.



I was grocery shopping at New Kam Man in Chinatown when this bright shiny box jumped out at me.

Triple Berry Kit Kat!! I had to try it out.

The box was unfortunately the best part.

This Kit Kat was sickeningly sweet and tasted a lot like strawberry Nesquik.

It had a horrible artificial taste I just couldn't get past. Too bad because the packaging is so fun.

Last but not least Donburiya.



Mr. T and I had lunch together in midtown and I ordered a bowl of the sukidon.

It was basically a big bowl of rice topped with stir fried beef, sauteed onions and veggies, two big chunks of tofu and topped with a fried egg.

This is the total definition of comfort food.

Warm and hearty I ate the whole bowl and basically had to waddle out of the restaurant.

For $11 this is a pretty cheap and filling lunch option for midtown Manhattan

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day!!!

Oh Valentines Day...some people really hate this holiday and some people love it.

I'm in between- I think it's definitely a marketing scheme by Hallmark but on the other hand why not have a day dedicated to the ones you love?

And why not have mandatory chocolate with that as well :)

Mr. T did exceptionally well this year in the treats department and got me two of my favorite things.

First up- Chocolates!!!



Pierre Marcolini makes some of the most delicious Belgian chocolates in the whole entire world! Luckily he has an outpost here in New York and Mr. T picked me up the perfect size sampler.

Last year he had gotten me the dark chocolate sampler so this year I got the milk chocolate one.

Marcolini's chocolate's are exquisite. I have never had chocolates that are so smooth and rich. I could eat this whole box in one sitting but that would be blasphemy.

These chocolates are meant to be savored...and savor them is what I will do!!

Mr. T also got me something else I love- Macarons!!



Okay there were actually six macarons but I put down the first three- hazelnut chocolate, coffee and strawberry chocolate, before the camera came out.

(All that restraint from the Marcolini chocolates took it's form instead in a macaron frenzy to see how many I could stuff in my face at once!)

These Macarons are from Tafu in Midtown but they are actually made by Itzy Bitzy Patisserie out in Brooklyn.

Luckily Tafu has decided to start selling them so people like me don't have to make the trek out to Brooklyn for my fix.

I truly think these macarons are the best in the city.

Bouchon Bakery's are a little too big, Madelines are a little too sweet, but these are just right.

They have the perfect balance of chewy meringue outside and smooth creamy filling with a shockingly wonderful pure flavor.

I cannot wait to eat the rest!!

So Mr. T did pretty well on the gifts huh!

What did I get him?

Two tickets to dinner and a show at Medieval Times!! LOL!!!

We plan to spend the day avoiding the Valentine's crowds at Zum scheinder and then go to a nice dinner or brunch tomorrow.

I'm having trouble deciding where to go. Our thoughts are Compass, Dovetail or Sushi Azuba.

Pretty all over the place huh! If anyone has any suggestions as to which one to go to please help me out- Thanks!!!

Oh and Happy Valentines Day!!!!!!

Itzy Bitzy Patisserie

Pierre Marcolini

Friday, February 13, 2009

Beers At Sakagura

Mr. T and I had an impromptu dinner the other night at Sakagura.

I had been dying for sushi and we decided to meet up and go to Sushi Yasuda right when it opened for dinner at 6:00.

I got there right at 6:00 and they were completely booked! No room at all!

I was so disappointed :(

I guess I shouldn't have been surprised. Even at 6:00 on a Friday night that place is hopping.

Luckily Sakagura had room at their bar so we hopped over there and had some small dishes.

The highlight of the meal for me was the beers we had- particularly the one Mr. T ordered.



This is the "Ginga Kogen" beer from Iwate, Japan.

This had a fantastic nutty, rich flavor. It was kind of like a Japanese Winter beer.

If they sold this in the stores I would definitely pick up a six pack.

My beer was really good as well but not so special.



I got the Soba Buckwheat Ale.

When I ordered it I didn't realize that it was a Rogue Brewing Company beer.

I love Rouge Beers but I was hoping to try something a little different. This I can find in my local bodega.

Oh well- It was nice but Mr. T's really stole the show.

However I love how the bottle is completely different than it normally is in the store. I kind of wanted to take it home.

Our dinner was very good as well. Th best dish being of course the Sakagura pork dish.

Insanely fatty, rich and salty- It was amazing.

Not exactly what i was hoping for but it did the job. Next time I'll plan my Yasuda outing a little bit better.

Sakagura

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chikalicious Proper!

If you remember I did a post last week about Chikalicious Dessert club and their cupcakes. I had to settle for the place across the street because I could never actually get into the actual restaurant because it was too crowded.

Well right after I published that post I was kind of just hanging out doing nothing and I realized something…

GO RIGHT NOW!!

Why not? I was doing nothing and it was early enough that there shouldn’t be anyone there.

So I zipped down to the East Village and showed up to Chikalicious right around 4:30.

There were two couples inside and a woman with some audio visual equipment who looked to be doing a piece on the restaurant.

I took a seat at the bar and placed my order.

For those of you that don’t know, Chikalicious is a prix fix dessert bar.

For $12 you pick your choice of dessert and then you receive the Amuse of the day to begin and end with the Chef’s selection of Petits Fours.

The amuse that day was a Vanilla Milk Sorbet with a Kumquat Soup.



Okay when I looked at this amuse I really wasn’t expecting much, but when I took a bite I was absolutely floored.

I can’t even describe how wonderful this was. I love vanilla and this dish just had an amazingly pure vanilla flavor. Mix that with the acidity of the kumquat and it combined to make a taste that was absolutely heavenly.

I was trying to show good manners by delicately spooning up the last drops in the bowl but I really wanted to throw back the saucer and lick the insides!

Next up was my main dessert course which I was able to watch the chef meticulously put together behind the bar which was pretty neat.



This is the Banana Carpaccio with Bourbon-Molasses Ice Cream and Coca Agar Gelee.



First of all the presentation was lovely. Each piece of banana seemed so lovingly put into place with the chocolate gelee and bourbon sauce.

The dessert was quite wonderful tasting as well.

The warm caramelized bourbon sauce on the banana was fantastic with the creamy Bourbon- Molasses Ice Cream.

When I had a bite of everything together- banana, chocolate gelee, peanut, sauce and ice cream- this dessert was fantastic.

How ever there were only about 4 peanuts on the whole plate! I would definitely add more to enhance the flavor of each bite.

Also the chocolate gelee was kind of dull on its own. I could barely taste the chocolate flavor. I almost tasted the texture of the gelee more than the chocolate (if that makes any sense).

I think overall it was a very good dessert that could be truly fantastic with a little tweak here or there.

To finish up the meal I was given a selection of three petites fours- a Coconut Marshmallow, Black Pepper Pineapple and Chai Tea Chocolate.



The coconut marshmallow was tasty. I usually hate coconut unless it’s toasted and this coconut was nice and toasty with a soft marshmallow.

The Chai Tea Chocolate truffle was just alright. I have never enjoyed the Chai flavor with chocolate. It just doesn’t taste right to me.

However the last petit four, the one I saved for last because I was sure I wouldn’t like it, blew me out of the water!

How this tiny little jelly tasted so good I have no idea.

It was like biting into summer! The pineapple flavor was once again so pure and strong it was shocking.

The black pepper gave just a tiny kick at the end that really sealed in the flavor. I really wanted to ask for more of these but once again I restrained myself.

So overall I really enjoyed Chikalicious. I think it’s funny I probably enjoyed the beginning and end of the meal the most because they surprised me.

I was worried before coming here that I would be super stuffed after the 3 desserts but I actually felt lighter than I usually do.

The dessert wasn’t heavy and the amuse and petite fours were small so they didn’t weigh me down.

For $12 it isn’t cheap but the experience was worth every penny.

They seem to change their menu quite often and I saw about 2 other desserts I would love to try out so hopefully I will be back soon.

Valentines Day is right around the corner- might be the perfect place for a date!

Chikalicious

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Momofuku Sundae

Mr. T and I decided to try and eat something light and healthy on Sunday morning because we knew we would be chowing down later on some heavy football food for the Superbowl.

We had some fruit, cleaned up the house a little and headed out to get some last minute provisions.

It was such a nice day outside we decided to walk down to Whole Foods Bowery instead of just hitting up our neighborhood Union Square.

Well the more we walked the more hungry we got, until both of us just decided we needed to grab something. All thoughts of our plan to stick to something light and healthy went out the window when we realized we were only one block away from Momofuku Milk Bar!

It was still pretty early in the day around 2:00, but there were still about 6 people in line ahead of us.

While we waited, Mr. T decided to get his usual Momofuku order- some pork buns- while I said I would satiate my cravings with a cookie.

Well by the time we got up to the counter to order I had been staring at all of the deliciousness around me I just couldn’t handle it and ended up ordering some ice cream and a cookie!

And not just ice cream- Momofuku’s graham cracker soft serve with toppings of marshmallow, pretzels, peanut butter halvah and hot fudge sauce.

I think the toppings cost more than the ice cream in the end.

Mr. T looked at me like I was crazy but whatever- I have no control when it comes to desserts.

Here is the finished sundae.



I was really excited but unfortunately I didn’t really enjoy it as much as I had hoped.

The custard is thick and very, very strong in graham flavor.

At first I loved the strong flavor but around bite four it really started to wear on me.

As far as toppings go the marshmallow and pretzel were fantastic.

I loved the addition of salty crispy bits to the sweet base and I ate almost all of those- however the peanut butter halvah had a strange aftertaste that didn’t seem to go with my choice of ice cream.

The hot fudge was super dense and while I love a gooey rich fudge this was also a little too strong to enjoy with the strong flavor of the graham.

I think this may have been the only sundae I have not been able to finish in my life.

Now that isn’t to say I will not try out another sundae again from here- hell no!!!!

I love Momofuku- I just think I ordered wrong for my tastes.

I usually have my sweets- especially sundaes - late at night and I think this was just too heavy for daytime consumption.

Next time I will return after dinner and check out a different flavor of soft serve as well. They were out of the Salty Pistachio…that sounds amazing!!!

Somehow I was able to down some chicken wings and a gloriously greasy Porchetta sandwich about four hours later, so I guess the sundae didn’t do too much damage.

Or maybe I just have the ability to eat an insane amount of unhealthy food in one day.

Momofuku Milk Bar

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Yum...Yakitori!!

I don't know about you but I loooove me some yakitori!

I've been to a bunch of izakayas in the city from the disappointing new Mr. Jones to the basement hidden Hagi and the utterly delicious Aburiya Kinnosuke; but never to the jam packed Yakitori Taisho.

Why? Because it’s always too jam packed!!

So last week we planned out our plan of attack and showed up right around 6:00pm.

Luckily we able to walk right in and get a seat at the bar.

We got a pitcher of Sapporo and started in on some tasty plates of food.

First up- some yakitori of course!



We decided to go for one of the platters filled with skewers of grilled shrimp, beef, chicken meatballs, regular chicken and scallion all on a bed of cabbage.

Each skewer was simply fantastic- moist meat with a slightly smoky char from the grill.

I think my favorites were the regular chicken and the scallions.

The scallions had been doused pretty liberally with salt and the crunchy kernels on the crisp skin was like eating some sort of fantastic veggie chip.

Our next dish was the Tuna Sashimi Salad.



Nice big chunks of tuna on a bed of micro-greens covered in a spicy mayo sauce.

The tuna was super fresh and I really enjoyed the spicy mayo on top- however there was a little bit too much.

I had to start scraping the sauce off the top about halfway through so I could enjoy the taste of the tuna.

Next time I would probably ask to have the sauce on the side so I could regulate the amount a little better.

Next up was our skewer of beef tongue.



This was absolutely delicious as well.

Big, strong beefy flavor that was just perfect for gnawing on :)

The only dish we didn't really care for was the Yaki Unagi Roll.



It was way too huge! The Unagi inside was pretty good but it was completely overshadowed by the enormous amount of rice and generous pour of spicy mayo.

They should stick to the grilling.

Overall we loved our meal and I think Taisho might be my favorite of the Izakaya joints right now.

For all of that food and two pitchers of beer it came to about $50.00.

That is quite the deal!

The atmosphere is just fun as well and everyone seems to be having a good time.

Good food and Lots of Beer! Perfect night in my book!

Yakitori Taisho

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Cuppy Cakes!!!

I have been dying to go to ChikaLicous ever since it opened but there always seems to be a huge line whenever I try.

Then I realized they had opened up another store- right across the street where I could try out some of their goodies to go! How nice!

I swung by the other day and the choices were overwhelming.

Cookies, Pudding, Creme Brulee, Cheesecake. I literally wanted everything I saw.

I finally decided to go with some cupcakes.



I got two of the premium ones- the Smores and Caramel.

What make these Premium?

The inner filling.

Check out the Smores.



This truly tasted like a toasted Smores from my youth.

Graham Cracker cake, dark chocolate center and topped with a slightly burnt tasting marshmallow frosting.

Yum! I really didn't think it would get better than this but then I tried the Caramel.



Wow! I think I liked this even better.

The caramel center was sticky, sweet and utterly delicious.

This was some intense caramel flavor inside such a little cake.

The best part about these cupcakes was the price. Each one was only $2.25.

I've paid double that for cupcakes at other places that haven't even compared in flavor.

I am so glad ChikaLicious isn't closer to my apartment because I don't have the will power to resist something that tastes that good.

Someday I will make it to the main place but in the mean time this will satisfy my craving.

ChikaLicious Dessert Club

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Superbowl!!!!

I love Superbowl Sunday!!!

Football talk all day, good commercials, and an excuse to drink a ton of beer and eat a ton of unhealthy foods...What is there not to love!

I was in Food Emporium yesterday getting some stuff for the game when I spotted this.



McSorley's Dark!!!

McSorleys has always been for sale in bottles but it was the light only.

Now they have the dark for sale! And look at the labels- they switched them up as well and I think they're pretty cool looking.

The dark is far better than the light, in my opinion, so this is fantastic!

I'm hoping my friend the Pitted Pruner can get some in his area- he'll be psyched!!

Anyway- I hope everyone enjoy some good food and drink today and that we see an exciting game.

We plan to be chowing down on some wings from Hill Country, Porchetta sandwiches and some veggies and dip of course (gotta have something not dripping with grease).

Happy Superbowl Sunday!!!