Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lunch at Sea Thai

After a glorious walk on the new Highline last Thursday a friend and I decided to grab lunch at what used to be called the Highline- Sea Thai in the Meatpacking district.

It was the first non-rainy day in years it seemed so we grabbed a table outside and each ordered one of the lunch box sets.

Mine came with Coconut Soup, Roasted Tofu Salad in Peanut sauce, Golden Shrimp Fritters and Garlic and Vegetables with Beef.



I wasn’t expecting to like the Coconut soup but once I smelled the wonderful creamy broth I was sold.

The broth was filled with peppers, mushrooms, scallions and big chunks of chicken.

I wasn’t expecting to enjoy a bowl of soup on such a warm sunny day but it was fantastic.

The Shrimp Fritters were pretty amazing as well.

I’ve had these before a bunch of times at Spice but this was the best showing I think I’ve ever had.

They were super crispy and came with just the right amount of sweet chili honey sauce for dipping.

The only part of this dish that really disappointed me was the main course.

The beef was really stringy and the garlic sauce didn’t have as much flavor as I was expecting it to have.

It was really difficult for me to even bite into the overcooked meat and after a few jaw wrenching mouthfuls I simply gave up.

Luckily I loved the peanut dressing on the salad and with all of my other sides I was completely stuffed with the main course.

My friend got a different box set that came with the Coconut soup, a Tofu Caesar Salad, Basil Spring Rolls and Broad Noodle with Chicken.



Her main course was much better than mine.

I loved the texture of the broad noodle and the chicken, egg and broccoli were a perfect accompaniment to the sweet soy dressing.

The only part of her box set that fell short was the spring rolls.

Nothing was really wrong with them- they were just boring.

They were a little soft and didn’t have that spicy basil taste to make them pop.

However it was barely noticed because just like me she was stuffed after only making it through about half of the food in the set.

They rounded out the meal with a small plates of mini cheesecake bites with a great graham cracker crust.



For $14.00 each this was a pretty good deal.

If we had taken our leftovers we easily would have had enough for later.

However we decided to go for some drinks instead and headed over to the Brass Monkey rooftop where we found the building next door on fire.



Some men working at the Standard next door ended up calling the fire department and we watched all the fire trucks pull up and extinguish the fire.

Luckily no one was hurt and it made for quite an exciting day.

Sea Thai

Monday, June 22, 2009

Oh Taisho

After some shopping in the East Village Tuesday night we headed over to our old standby yakitori joint Yakitori Taisho for dinner.

We got there about 5:55 and the women inside told us they weren’t open yet but that next door was available.

Next door? We had no clue what she was talking about.

We walked to the left and saw a similar looking joint called Oh! Taisho. This seems to be some sort of spin off of the original.

For the purposes of comparison I will call the spin off “Oh!” and the regular “Taisho” during this post.

We decided to check it out and ordered our usual Taisho dishes to see how it compared.

First up the Tuna Carpaccio.



This came out looking a little different than Taisho. The tuna was in bigger chunks and there was a lot less lettuce.

The tuna was definitely thicker than normal but still had the same salty sauce on top and the same mayonnaise on the side.

I really enjoy having lettuce with my tuna to cut the salty taste a bit and would have enjoyed some more on the dish.

Next was our Chicken Meatball Skewer and Quail wrapped in Bacon.



Okay the Quail wrapped in Bacon was awesome!!!

It was like having a mini breakfast on a stick! Why hadn’t I ever tried one of these before!

We also got some Chicken and Beef yakitori.



The chicken had a very nice char but seemed to be lacking a little bit in the flavor department.

We finished our meal with the grilled squid which was exactly like we had before next door at Taisho.



So overall our meal was good but it just seemed to be lacking the extreme flavor we usually get at Taisho.

Mr. T thinks they didn’t put as much sauce on the meat as they usually do.

I have no idea. I still found it to be good food at a cheap price.

The one thing I did see being ordered here a lot were the Mentai fries.

Man those looked good!! I am putting that on the list for next time for sure.

We will be sticking with the original Taisho but Oh! is a good alternative if you don’t want to stand in the insane lines that form outside for Taisho.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Momofuku Ssam

Saturday night we went to Momofuku Ssam Bar for dinner.

It was packed when we walked inside and ended up putting in our names and having a drink in the Milk Bar area where they apparently know have guests wait for their tables.

It was kind of weird having drinks in the dessert shop.

The smell of cookies kind of overwhelmed me and I swear if they made us wait any longer than they did I probably would have ended up having some Corn Cookies for dinner.

We got seat and ordered the BBQ Rib sandwich to start.



Look familiar? Kind of like the limited time McRib sandwich from McDonalds?

Oh but his is much much better.

The meat was super tender and the red onion coleslaw on top was a perfect match for the smoky sweet sauce.

I was upset to see they had changed their menu and my Steak Ssam was no longer there.

So instead I ordered the Bev Eggleston's Pork Shoulder Steak.



OMG this dish was awesome.

I swear David Chang can do things with pork that nobody else can even come close to! I mean this pork was so moist and packed with flavor it was a little ridiculous.


It came with some grilled zucchini and a wonderful ramp dressing that really pulled the whole dish together.

I wish I could have bought a bottle of that ramp dressing to take home with me.

Mr. T ordered the Bell & Evan's Fried Chicken.

Okay, I’m going to let you in on a little secret- Mr. T hates Momofuku. He always has.

“The Ramen’s not as good as Ippudo’s, the pork buns are a rip off for $9.00, Chang just uses weird flavors together that don’t taste right.”

I’ve heard it all.

Unfortunately tonight was no different.



The chicken was slightly dry and I have to agree that the portion was a little small for the price tag.

It came with some nice ramps and morels on the side but the dish just didn’t have any real spice to it. It was kind of disappointing.

With drinks our bill ended up being about $128.00. That’s pretty pricey for two people at a casual spot I’ll admit.

I still love Momofuku, I dream about it often, but I think that was Mr. T’s last visit.

It looks like I must have a solo love affair with my pork products.

Momofuku Ssam Bar

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Brass Monkey Brunch

We decided to go and check out the new Highline Saturday so we headed over to the Meatpacking district.

On the walk there we decided we stop off at Brass Monkey to grab some food.

Although it was slightly rainy we went in and asked for a table on the roof.

Luckily they had a small awning covering the tables against the wall and only two other ladies were eating there.

We took a seat and ordered up some drinks.



Yay!! This is what I like to see. Sometimes I get sick of the usual brunch mimosa. Why can’t they offer something else?

Here they offered a complimentary Bloody Mary, Mimosa, Beer or Wine.

What a great deal! So I got a Chardonnay and Mr. T ordered a Stella.

Okay it might not be perfect brunch etiquette but that’s what I wanted to start off my day.

So we sipped our drinks and looked out at sprinkling rain and the calm water until our entrees arrived.

I ordered the Spinach and Goat Cheese Salad.



This actually was supposed to come with some roasted beets but I asked for it plain.

I guess the salad would be a little more exciting with the beets but this was just what I wanted.

The goat cheese crumbles were super creamy and it came tossed in an excellent balsamic vinegar dressing.

Mr. T ordered their Chicken Sandwich.



This was excellent! A grilled Chicken cutlet stacked on a Basil Sourdough Roll with fresh Mozzarella, roasted tomato and pesto.

The fries it came with were super skinny and just crisp enough for dunking in some ketchup.

All of this food and drinks included came to $12.95 a person.

Not a bad deal in this part of town and a nice relaxing view as well!

I love this place during the early parts of the day. At night it can get a little…err…let’s just say I don’t always enjoy the crowd at night.

But for $12.95 this is one of the best brunch deals going on in town.

Brass Monkey Website

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday In Park Slope

Sunday was the last day my friends from Vegas were in town. Their flight didn’t leave until 9:30 that night so we decided to pack in a few more things before they left.

There were two things they wanted to do Central Park and Brooklyn.

So we got up early and had a nice brunch right near the Alice in Wonderland Statue.

I had grabbed a bed sheet from the closet for us to sit on not realizing it was one of the fitted ones.

What a classic me kind of move. We all had to sit in the corners and not move so there was enough room and the sheet wouldn’t snap back.

But it was lovely nonetheless.

Then we grabbed their luggage and hopped on a train over to Park Slope.

They had a friend who wanted to show them around his neighborhood (which basically means going to a bunch of bars).

So we had some drinks outside at Cherry Tree and 4th Avenue Bar (Good Beer Selection at both) and then headed over to Alchemy to have one last meal all together before they got their flight.

I was really surprised how packed Alchemy was for an early Sunday evening. We got the last big table out back available.

For appetizers we decided to split a couple orders of the BBQ’d Spare Ribs.



These were a little disappointing. The ribs didn’t have much meat on them and the sauce was a little too sticky sweet for my taste.

I think we may just have had a bad showing because the entrees that came out next were fantastic!

This is the Alchemy Burger.



Yum!!! I knew I had to order his when I saw the cheese toppings for the burger.

They listed Cheddar, Blue, Swiss and Havarti.

Havarti!! I love that cheese and have never ever seen it on a burger before.

It was delicious. A nice thick slab of Angus Beef topped with a delicious shallot confit and terribly addicting crispy fries on the side.

The burger was slightly overcooked and it was a brioche bun which I never like but I still really enjoyed this burger.

It had so much flavor going on between the shallots, cheese and onion bun.

I would return for this burger in a heart beat.

Mr. T went for the Fish and Chips.



Fish and chips can be very hit or miss and these ones definitely hit!

The fish was perfectly crispy on all sides but the batter was light enough to really taste big chunks of moist cod.

The best part about the dish was the tarter sauce.

OMG it was so good I just kept dipping my fries in it.

I couldn’t tell what was inside, maybe some rosemary, but it was house made and delicious.

We ended our night at Alchemy with a couple send off beers and said goodbye.

Mr. T and I ambled our way back to Manhattan, exhausted but happy.

We had a great weekend filled with old friends, new friends and a ton of good food in between. What more can you ask for.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Brunch At Acme

We had friends visiting last week from Vegas and spent quite a good amount of time eating and drinking our way around the city.

We had some awesome Roast Pork and Congee take out from Big Wong, some slices in the sun at Artichoke and of course some hot dogs at Gray’s Papaya.

All that stuff is great but we hadn’t really sat down anywhere to just eat. So on Saturday morning we decided to wake up and get a proper brunch.

I was craving some grits so we headed down to Acme where they promptly started us off with a nice big basket of Corn Bread.



It was nice and fluffy and served piping hot so the butter melted immediately upon contact.

We all decided to order directly from the Brunch Pre-Fix which involves a free drink of some sort.



I went with my usual Pineapple Mimosa, Mt. T got a Rolling Rock and my friend Chris got one of the spiciest Bloody Marys I have ever tasted.

It was damn good. I mean serious sinus clearing good.

My friend made a comment like “Do you think they’ll have hot sauce for our food?”

It was a pretty stupid comment because there were hundreds of hot sauce bottles lining the walls around us. I think they’ll have hot sauce.

For my main dish I got the Three Eggs Scrambled with Bacon, Hash Browns and Grits.



Wow- that is a TON of food!

There was enough bacon on my plate for the whole table to enjoy!

And talk about the bacon- It had been cooked until each piece had a nice crispy char on the outside and no visible gloppy fat.

Just the way I like it.

The hash browns were spicy and the eggs had a nice taste although they could have been a little bit fluffier.

Our waiter brought over some Peninsula Gold Caribbean Pepper Sauce for the eggs.

It just kind of kicked the flavor up a notch. Not something I would usually put on my eggs but interesting.

The rest of the group got the Fried Catfish and Eggs and the Pancake Sausage Platter.

Everyone loved their meals and we were stuffed beyond belief at the end.

Another reason I really like Acme is the service.

Our waiter had the driest sense of humor that I just couldn’t get enough of. He was awesome.

Acme continues to be a chill place to hang out, have some drinks and a ton of food.

It’s not going to blow your mind, or lead you to some culinary epiphany.

It is what it is. Their slogan “An Okay Place to Eat.”

Acme Website

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Gray's Papaya- Still the Best Deal in the City

When you want something tasty, cheap and quick there is still no better deal than Gray's Papaya.

The price has gone up since I first moved here years and years ago but the Recession Special still holds strong.

You get 2 of these marvelous dogs and a thirst quenching fruit drink for under $5.00.



The hot dogs are nicely grilled and always have a nice snappy casing and a great bun to dog ratio.

I always get mine plain and then add some mustard but you can get it with the works and it is still a tasty treat.

This continues to be the best bang for the buck in the city.

Skip those dirty water dogs, get yourself some Gray's.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Uncle George's

The other day I was in Astoria for work and decided to bring home some good Greek food for dinner.

My friend used to live in Astoria and recommended Uncle George’s as one of his go-to places in the area.

I swung by around 5:00 and the place was pretty empty.

I sat down at a table and asked the waiter if I could have my order to go.

“Sure” he said and then asked me if I wanted anything to drink while I waited.

I looked at the menu and saw they had their house wine for $3.00 a glass. I figured what the hell. It’s $3.00 why not?

See the funny picture of Uncle George on the menu!



It came out in this little red metal carafe which was kind of cute. It went well with the red and white checkered table cloth d├ęcor of the place.

I took a sip and decided that yes- this was a $3.00 glass of wine! However I have definitely had worse before.

I actually only got a chance to drink about half before my order was ready. Man they were fast!

So I paid my bill and jumped on the subway home clutching the bag and trying with all of my might not to rip the bag open and start eating.

I made it home and opened up my wares.

This is the Chicken Souvlaki Platter.



The first thing I noticed looking at the sauce was how chunky it was! Not your average tzatziki sauce.

It was pretty spicy as well and went really well with the perfectly charbroiled chicken.

It came with a nice amount of lettuce, tomatoes, onions and some of the best potatoes.

Those big chunks are the lemon potatoes and they just had a wonderful, light, buttery lemon taste that was a perfect compliment to the spicy sauce and chicken.

We also got a Gyro which had some of the tastiest meat I’ve had in a long time.



I’ll be the first to admit I usually get gyros from diners only so my experience is limited but this gyro was great!! It came with the same sides as the souvlaki and was just really full of flavor.

I will be working in Astoria more often these days and am excited to see what other new and exciting Greek food the area has to offer.

Uncle George’s was a good start.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Donuts!!!

Happy National Doughnut Day!!!



Go out and get something sweet!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Perfect Pint

After a beautiful Saturday spent walking around aimlessly I met up with some friends for dinner and drinks in Midtown at the Perfect Pint.

We chose the Perfect Pint because they have a rooftop on the third floor with tables and TV’s for viewing the various games.

When we got there the place was packed but luckily we scored a table after only a few minutes.

We decided to order a couple appetizers to share.

Our first dish was the Spinach and Artichoke Dip.



The dip had a nice flavor but the texture was a little bit watery. I prefer a dense creamy dip and this was kind of thin.

I didn’t really care for the chips either because they had obviously been fried twice.

I hate when they do that. Tortilla chips only need a dip once and then a dusting of salt.

Frying the chips twice kills the salty flavor and just makes them taste really greasy.

Our other appetizer was the Chicken Fingers.



These fared much better than the dip I thought.

There was just the right amount of breading and lots of juicy white meat underneath.

It came with BBQ, Honey Mustard and some kind of Asian flavored dipping sauces that were all pretty good.

We also ordered a Steak Quesadilla and man was it spicy!!!



They must have marinated the Steak in something before they put it on the grill and it really didn’t taste very good.

It’s a shame too since it could have been a really great quesadilla otherwise with all of the toppings they put on top.

Overall the Perfect Pint disappointed me food wise. The prices were higher than your average pub so I expected the food to be better.

However watching playoff basketball outside is quite a luxury in the city.

And they do have some of the coolest bathrooms I’ve ever seen.



Look at this sink! Isn’t that cool! It looks like a keg and taps!

I’m sure I’ll be back for some drinks but maybe stop off for some food elsewhere.