Monday, December 22, 2014

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays Readers!

In the spirit of all that is jolly and bright right now, I'll be taking the rest of the year off from blogging. But don't you fret. I'll still be doing lots of cooking, baking, and eating in the background. So 2015 will still be packed of delicious delights to share with you.

So please enjoy your holidays and new year. May it be filled with delicious memories!

Cheers!
Hungry of Tasty-Eating Blog
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Friday, December 19, 2014

Lunch Week 44: Jap Chae

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Jap Chae

The holidays are coming up and I wanted to get a head start on eating well. People, myself included, tend to go all out during these times of the year and end up regretting the over eating. So to offset that gluttony, I've decided to try to be better during the week. So this week, I made vegan jap chae which is a Korean sweet potato noodle dish with various vegetables.
Not only is this dish vegan but it also turns out of be gluten free too (if you're into that). So it's pretty healthy but it's certainly not devoid of flavor nor texture. Oh, it's quite the opposite. Of course, you can add meat or eggs to the dish if you please. Strips of beef like bulgogi or chicken would work really nice here. And even thinly cut strips of egg pancakes would be delicious here. Want protein but not meat? Try tofu. That would be wonderful as well. It's quite versatile actually.
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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Picnic Garden

I really enjoy introducing people to new foods. As long as they are curious enough to try, I'm willing to show them. On this chilly night, a few friends, Mr. M&P, and I drove over to the Picnic Garden in Edison, NJ. There we enjoyed in the delights of all you can eat Korean barbecue dinner for about $30+ per person. That includes a buffet of meats and seafood for the grill and a variety of cooked appetizers, rice, soups, and ice cream. It also includes traditional banchan like tofu, kimchi, pickled cucumbers, etc. It's really a great deal. And what's best is that they have these huge vents above every grill allowing the smoke and odors quickly get sucked up instead of into your clothes. Oh and have I mentioned it's BYOB? Oh yeah, bring your own booze. Does that sound enticing enough for you?
We started the night with some appetizers. I usually like to choose some lighter more vegetable based fare to offset all the meat we would be eating that night. Above, I had some jap chare, watercress salad, spicy cucumbers, pajeon, and mandoo.
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Monday, December 15, 2014

Junoon

To celebrate my sister and my birthday, we chose to go to Junoon this year. She always wants something different from what she usually eats. She doesn't eat a lot of different cuisines. It's not that she's not adventurous. It's more that she doesn't go out of her way to explore and discover much like Mr. M&P and I. Anyway, I know that she doesn't have much experience with Indian food so I thought it would be a good idea to suggest fancy Indian food. Most people have some kind of pre-conceived notion of what Indian food is; And that's usually curry. Boring and wrong. It's so much more than that. And I for one, wanted to find out more about the cuisine too.
So we sat a very spacious table and spoke with the waiter. We asked him about the menu and what would be best to share. We went through many suggestions and ordered a good variety. But to start, the kitchen sent an amuse bouche of carrot soup with paneer. It was flavorful but light. A really nice easy start to the meal.
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Friday, December 12, 2014

Lunch Week 43: Galbi and Bok Choy Over Rice

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Galbi and Bok Choy Over Rice
After all that Thanksgiving food last week, I was craving Asian big time. So I made something quick and easy this week but screamed of the familiar Asian flavors that I wanted. Soy glazed galbi (Korean short ribs) that was broiled in the oven until browned. Then I sliced the meat off the bone for ease. With that, I sauteed bok choy in oil and seasoned with salt. And then some white rice on the bottom. Like I said simple but good and delicious.
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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Lunch Week 42: Thanksgiving Leftovers

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Thanksgiving Leftovers
Not much to say except yum! Thanksgiving leftovers are the best!
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Monday, December 8, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

I know this post is a bit late but there was no way I wasn't going to post about Thanksgiving. It's one of my favorite holidays all year. And I go all out. I host the feast and invite my family. Most, if not all, dishes are made from scratch and is oh so delicious. It's a ton of work and takes me about 4 days of prep but I love it. I'll never give it up.
And without further ado, here's my Thanksgiving feast this year. Above is the turkey platter. I made 2 turkeys this year. One Butterball and one all natural from the butcher. The latter did taste better but we're not completely convinced if it was noticeable by the average eater. More testing is going to be needed. But one thing is for sure, I spatchcocked the turkeys and roasted them in an hour. I started doing this last year and never looked back. It's the best. For the recipe, please click here.
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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Lunch Week 41: Sesame Noodles with Chicken and Bok Choy

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Sesame Noodles with Chicken and Bok Choy
Szechuan peppercorns are spicy with a lingering heat on your tongue. I prefer it over the smack in your face spice that a lot of other cuisines may have. I find it a bit more sophisticated. That's just a personal choice though. To start off the level of heat, I had to make a chili oil with the peppercorns.
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Monday, November 24, 2014

Parm

One night after helping Mrs. Green M&M and Mr. HP Sauce move, Mr. M&P and I were ravenous. It was still early in the night so we decided to see if we could score a table at the ever so popular Parm. There was a bit of a wait but we were in no rush. So when we got seated, we kind of ordered with our eyes while our stomachs gurgled in hunger.
We started off the night with the Pizza Knots ($5) which were like garlic knots but with sauce and cheese. These were quite tasty but didn't blow my mind. I wouldn't mind order them again but only when I'm craving them.
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Friday, November 21, 2014

Lunch Week 40: Cheese Tortelli with Roasted Vegetables and Sausage

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Cheese Tortelli with Roasted Vegetables and Sausage
Fall and winter is definitely here. So that means more heartier lunches to keep me warm and comfy. But that doesn't mean it has to be bad for you. This week, I roasted lots of vegetables, added some sausages, and tossed all of that with some sausages. The result is a good mix of textures, flavors, and nutrients.
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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Marta

When I asked Dessert Zombie what he wanted to do for this birthday, he didn't hesitate about Marta. This new Danny Meyer establishment has been getting wonderful reviews. What can I say? That man really knows how to run a restaurant. No wonder he's consider the king of New York.
Unfortunately we waited a bit for our table as the guests before us took their time. But once we were seated, the waitress apologized and we were on our way to some delicious food. We started off by sharing a bunch of appetizers like the croquetti di patate e salame ($7) which were just okay. Sure the outside was crispy and the inside was a mix of creamy potatoes, scallions, and soppresata but I've had better. It wasn't bad but certainly didn't shine like the other dishes we chose that night.
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Monday, November 17, 2014

Lunch Week 39: Lamb Sandwich Wraps

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Lamb Sandwich Wraps
Sandwiches don't have to be boring. Forego the deli meat and roast your own protein for a more delicious lunch. And layer in the garnishes and other ingredients for a wide variety of flavors and textures. And don't forget about the bread. It can be as important or even more so than what's in a sandwich.
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

How to Host a Party Without Cooking Much

I really love to host parties. May it be for family or friends, I like to show off my kitchen skills. But sometimes, I'm much too tired to put out a big homemade spread. So instead, I just do one or two homemade dishes, and buy the rest. Now I'm not talking about Sandra Lee-ing anything here. I'm talking about buying high quality food and displaying it all as a beautiful spread. Trust me, your guests will be impressed with it even if you didn't even turn on the stove/oven.
So here's the spread that I provided for some good friends that I hosted recently. I made pork belly buns (recipe here) as the "main" dish. I always like to put out one dish that's more filling. But everything I put out that day is grazing food. So no utensils needed. Just your hands and the taste buds in your mouth to enjoy the food.
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Monday, November 10, 2014

Oda House

Have you ever had Georgian food? The country, not the state. Neither have I. But I've been hearing a whole lot about it lately in the food news. It's becoming quite popular among the circuit these days. So Mr. M&P and Dessert Zombie, and I went to try some. So what's the most famous dish to have? Why the famous Georgian bread, khachapuri!
This freshly made to order bread come piping hot to the table in a boat like shape cradling delicious fillings. The most popular is the adjaruli with cheese, butter, and a raw egg ($16).
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Friday, November 7, 2014

Lunch Week 38: Bibimbop

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Bibimbop

After last week's unsuccessful lunch (enchiladas made with poor corn tortillas), I wanted to redeem myself with something I know would be delicious and satisfying. At the same point, I wanted a bit of detox as I felt a little off from the last few weeks. So a vegetarian bibimbop was a great way to achieve all those points.
 This bibimbop (a Korean rice dish with lots of garnishes) is vegetarian mainly due to the eggs. It can easily be vegan without it. Check your sauces though. Some of them can contain traces of animal products (ie: anchovies) so make sure you check the label.

Bibimbop is fairly easy to make. You make rice and then cook all the garnishes separately. Then you just throw them all together into one bowl for a cohesive meal. Most of the work is really prepping everything. If you're fast with prep work, this would go really quick for you.
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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Peasant

For Mr. Peanut Head's birthday, we went to Peasant. He's never been there before but several of us have. It's an oldie but a goodie. Solid Italian food with bold flavors. We sat as a fairly large group so I didn't take pictures of everything. I mainly focused on my own dishes and Mr. M&P's.
To start, Mr. M&P had the Pizza Bianca ($16) which was a white pizza with mozzarella, ricotta, and parmigiano reggiano and in season fava beans. This was fantastic. While I enjoyed the three cheeses, I really thought the fava beans took the pizza to another level adding both mouth pleasing flavor and texture to the dish.
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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Stage House Tavern

It has come to Mr. M&P and my attention that we need to explore our neighborhood some more. So one random night, we decided to go out to dinner. We chose the Stage House Tavern as it always seemed to be busy. Once we arrived, we wished that we had gone and visited earlier. They have a really nice outdoor area with its own bar, tvs, and tables. A good space to just sit and hang out. But since it was a bit chilly this night, we decided to have a table inside and enjoy dinner.
With a predominately Italian menu with some American aspects, the menu looked pretty simple and familiar. We started with the garlic bread to share. This wasn't exactly what I was expecting. This Italian bread with chopped garlic, cheese, and even more cheese on top was kind of like an Ellio's pizza but not as bad as that. You know what I mean.
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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tuesday Nights: Boulton & Watt

Towards the end of  one year, my friends thought that we weren't hanging out enough. It's true, we weren't. So they started Tuesday night get-togethers. Every Tuesday, we'll pick a bar to drink, eat, and hang out for a couple of hours. Whoever can make it will attend. If you're busy, it's okay. There's always next week. So this is Tuesday Nights on Tasty Eating where you will find bars that serve food and how we like them.

On this recent Tuesday Night, we headed out to: Boulton & Watt
I enjoyed Boulton and Watt so much the first time that we decided to go back for some more. However, we found that some of our favorite items on the menu are no longer there! So long braised short rib toast. We'll miss you dearly. So instead, we decided to try a few of the newer items on the menu. First up, the tuna tartare ($14) with tuna, charred pineapple, avocado, and red pepper chutney with a side of fried taro chips. A nice refreshing start to the night.
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Monday, November 3, 2014

Root & Bone

Comfort food has taken over the restaurant scene across this country for awhile. It almost seems that every new restaurant is about the casual scene each toting the best this or the best that. I've seen a lot of burgers, noodles, and fried chicken places pop up recently. I'm wary about a lot of these new places but when Root & Bone hit the market with rave reviews of their fried chicken, I had to check it out. My favorite, Bob White, is fantastic and I wanted to know if Root & Bone would measure up. So off I went with Dessert Zombie in tow to celebrate some happy life changes. We sat at a two top table in a fairly small restaurant. Expect to be elbow to elbow with your neighbors. They try to squeeze in as many tables as possible in this place. We arrived at an early 5:45pm for dinner and the place was packed by 6:30pm. All this on a weekday. Yup, it certainly is a buzzed about place.
Now onto the food. There was no doubt we were going to order the fried chicken. The half chicken to share, in fact. But what sides and starters should we get as well? Biscuits, of course! The Grandma Daisy's Angel Biscuits comes with a bowl of honey roasted chicken jus for dipping and some salt and seed on the side. These biscuits came hot to the table and were quite nice. I actually preferred them without the chicken jus as I enjoyed their buttery flavor. Were these the lightest and fluffiest biscuits? Nope but quite nice on their own.
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Friday, October 31, 2014

Lunch Week 37: Beef Enchiladas

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Beef Enchiladas
And finally the lunch of the week. I made enchiladas again but this time I used beef instead of turkey. The filling and sauce was lovely as usual but the corn tortillas that I picked up were horrible. I mean really terrible. They broke apart as I rolled them around the filling and even after baking, they were still pretty bad. The texture and the taste was bad. It pretty much ruined the lunch. Anyone any good corn tortilla brands?

Anyway, for step by step instructions and a proper recipe, click here.
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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Lunch Week 36: Turkey Meatloaf with Sauteed Escarole

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Turkey Meatloaf with Sauteed Escarole
The weather is getting kind of chilly these days. And it's been rainy too. That screams for more comfort food, no? So this week I went for meatloaf. Turkey meatloaf to be exact. Juicy, tender meatloaf with a glaze of ketchup on top. And because I feel guilty about the meatloaf, I sauteed some escarole on the side.

For the recipe and step by step instructions, click here.
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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Lunch Week 35: Asian Sloppy Joes with Egg Crepe

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Asian Sloppy Joes with Egg Crepe

So it looks like I'm even more behind on my lunch posts than I thought. I've been slacking, haven't I? Sorry about that. So here are the missing lunch posts from the past few weeks.
For this week, I made Asian sloppy joes with egg crepe. This is something completely from my childhood. It's comfort food. Although I changed a few things here (I added more vegetables for health reasons) but the idea is the same.
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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My Trip to Chicago, IL (Day 4): O'Hare Airport - Tortas Frontera

But you didn't think at was it, did you? No sir! Our last meal from Chicago wasn't necessarily in Chicago. When we arrived to the airport, we rushed over to Tortas Frontera to grab some sandwiches to go. We had hoped to eat them on the plane and forego the terrible airline food. Mr. M&P ate his on the plane while I decided to sleep instead. But don't worry, they were quite tasty back home as well.
We decided to split a couple of sandwiches: the Pepito ($11.50) and the Choriqueso ($9). The first was beer braised beef short ribs with pickled jalapenos, chihuahua cheese, black beans, cilantro crema, and avocado. This sandwich was really delicious being slightly spicy with juicy and tender meat and the freshness of the accompaniments. Really well done. My sandwich, the Choriqueso, had pork chorizo, poblano rajas, chihuahua cheese, and avocado. This sandwich was also good but not as good as the Pepito. I found it slightly dryer and needed the side of salsa that came with every sandwich.
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Monday, October 27, 2014

My Trip to Chicago, IL (Day 4): Dusek's

I didn't get a chance to finish my Chicago posts. Sorry about that. I'm trying to catch up on a lot of things that have fallen off my priority list. But now that I have a few minutes, I'm going to try to punch out the last couple of posts for you. On our last day in Chicago (not a full day) but really just a few hours in the day before heading to the airport, we met up with some friends that lived moved to the Windy City from NYC. We met up at Dusek's for brunch on Sunday.
The menu looked pretty interesting from the main dishes to the pastries. While we waited for our main courses to come out, we snacked on some pie spiced beignets ($4 for 4). These were fantastic. Impossibly light and fluffy, hot to the table, and just sweet enough to make my drool ever so slightly. These were wonderful. Our friends shared the doughnut (not pictured) which they enjoyed as well.
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Thursday, October 16, 2014

My Trip to Chicago, IL (Day 3): Gibson's Bar & Steakhouse

For our last dinner in Chicago, we went for steak. We definitely wanted to try an old school steakhouse and gladly settled on Gibson’s. We’ve read plenty about it and have also seen it on the League (not that any of the characters actually eat there).

We arrive to a very bustling scene. Apparently a lot of popular restaurants are in this area. It certainly seemed like a place to be seen. And that was validated as sports car after sports car pulls up to valet with the driver (usually an older gentleman) and his hot young date step out, pose, and head on into one of the restaurants. I stood outside and watched as people paraded themselves up and down the streets showing off what they had. It was quite entertaining actually. Some people call the neighborhood the Viagra Triangle. Take that as you will.

Anyway, back to food. As our party was led through the dining room through cramped quarters and jovial patrons, we spied on what other people were eating. Steak was clearly the choice but we looked and sides and even desserts. There was a lot to absorb. Once seated, we looked over the menu while the waiter introduced himself. We came back later with a platter displaying many of the steak offerings of the night but raw. We could see the difference of marbling between different cuts. By the way, they wet age their steaks. They also had a 2 lb lobster tail for viewing pleasure too.
After much consideration, I chose the bone-in strip steak while Mr. M&P had the bone-in ribeye and our guest had the filet. To share, we ordered the mashed potatoes with red eye gravy, creamed spinach, and asparagus with hollandaise sauce. But before all that food graced our table, every entrĂ©e order comes with a starter of a salad or soup. While the rest of my party chose the salad, I had the soup which was a seafood gumbo that night. Rich, deep ocean flavors with chunks of seafood around. My only complaint was that it was a bit salty. I guess that the soup was made ahead of time and sat as the night went on allowing it to reduce and the seasonings becoming more apparent. I’ve experienced this at several restaurants before and it’s not uncommon.
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My Trip to Chicago, IL (Day 3): Lou Malnati's

On our last full day in Chicago, we decided to have deep dish pizza for lunch again. We're on vacation so why not splurge of gluttony?
This time, we headed to Lou Malnati's. Similar to Gino's, they have several locations around the city but obviously we went to the one that was within walking distance to where we needed to be. We planned on having an early lunch in order to beat the crowd (it was a Saturday) and get to where we needed to be going. That decision turned out to be smart because by the time we left, there was a line waiting to be seated. You see, deep dish pizza takes awhile to cook. Any good waitress will let you know that it's a 45 minute wait for your pizza to arrive. So if you know which pizza you're going to order, then do it right when you're seated. Then mull over the appetizers or drinks.
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My Trip to Chicago, IL (Day 2): The Girl and the Goat

For our second night out, we had reservations to the Girl and the Goat. I've been a big fan of Chef Stephanie Izzard since her Top Chef days. Her restaurant has been revered over and over again by critics. And friends of our have also recommended it. So it was a no brainer to have dinner here. Their menu is made for sharing which is great for groups, big or small.
To start, we had the fried Naked Cowboy oysters with egg salad and capers. Plump crispy oysters giving a sweet yet briny flavor. Nicely executed and delicious. The flavors worked really well together.
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My Trip to Chicago, IL (Day 2): Gino's East

On the next day, we decided to get some infamous Chicago style deep dish pizza. We've heard good things about Gino's East from its old school low key decor and good buttery crusts.
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My Trip to Chicago, IL (Day 1): Alinea

And the good eating just won't stop. On our first night in Chicago, we went to Alinea. Oh yes, we did. And although I was allowed to take pictures of my meal, I decided to opt out. Why? Well, sometimes I just want to enjoy the meal and forget about having to take the perfect picture. And this was the kind of meal that I really wanted to enjoy. Lucky for you, my readers, they provided me with the menu after dinner. So please read on below because this was the most interesting and interactive meal I have ever had. And I can honestly say that it was one of the best meals I've ever had too. Yup, it really impressed me.
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My Trip to Chicago, IL (Day 1): Frontera Grill

After having a double cheeseburger for breakfast then some doughnuts from Glazed and Infused for dessert, it was then time for our lunch reservation at Frontera Grill. You didn't expect me to go all the way to Chicago without going to a Rick Bayless restaurant, did you?
To start, we had to have try the guacamole ($9.50) which came with some homemade tortilla chips and two types of salsas: roasted tomato and tomatillo. This was excellent. Light, refreshing,and full of flavor. Even the complimentary salsas were fantastic.
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My Trip to Chicago, IL (Day 1): Billy Goat Tavern

When we landed in Chicago, I was starving. It was still pretty early in the morning and wasn't time for our lunch reservation yet. So as we walked towards our hotel from the train station, we passed by a sign for none other that the Billy Goat Tavern. I was immediately excited because I knew it was serving burgers at this hour. So we dropped off our luggage and headed straight there. We were practically the only patrons there at that hour. But shortly after more people came in for the lunch rush.
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Monday, October 13, 2014

My Trip to Chicago, IL: Doughnuts Galore!

While planning my trip to Chicago with Mr. M&P, I saw that they had a lot of well regarded doughnut places. So what was I to do but to create a map of doughnut places to try. While some places were completely far from where we were staying or visiting, others were well within walking distance from our hotel. So we planned on having some doughnuts every morning for breakfast. What better fuel was there to get us going for the day? First up, Glazed and Infused. The location we went to was a little storefront located within another restaurant. You actually have to enter through the restaurant in order to get to the doughnut counter. Or you can walk up to the take out window.
On this first day, we were a little wide eyed and decided to order 3 doughnuts to share. This was a bit more than what we could finish. Of course, this was after we had gone for a burger already. But more on that later. The doughnuts pictured above are: white chocolate passionfruit, chocolate, and maple bacon. The white chocolate passionfruit was our favorite actually. Creme filled, sweet, but also lightly tart as well. It was a well sized and well balanced doughnut. In fact, this was our favorite doughnut from the whole trip.

The chocolate doughnut was good but didn't hit that "oooh chocolate" spot. We couldn't pinpoint what was missing though. And surprisingly, the maple bacon doughnut wasn't that great. The bacon was overly smoky and overpowered the flavors of everything else.
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Friday, October 10, 2014

Lunch Week 34: Rice Cakes with Pork and Vegetables

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Rice Cakes with Pork and Vegetables
This week's lunch is something I've made before but I've been experimenting with it. I'm not completely satisfied with how I've been executing this dish but I get one step closer every time. And therefore, there is no step by step nor written recipe...yet. I'm still going to work on this until I'm entirely happy with the dish.

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Monday, October 6, 2014

Upcoming Posts

Hi Readers!

I'm a bit behind on my posts this week. So I'm going to take this time to catch up on some interesting eating adventures to write up. But here's a hint: Chicago!

In the meantime, eat well! I'll be back next week. Enjoy!
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Friday, October 3, 2014

Lunch Week 33: Peruvian Chicken with Aji Verde Sauce and Roasted Butternut Squash

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Peruvian Chicken with Aji Verde Sauce and Roasted Butternut Squash
This chicken is one of my more favorite things to make for lunch. I'm not sure why I don't make it more often though. It's so delicious and easy to make in big batches. And it's really versatile meaning you can serve almost anything on the side. Although I made it a bit spicier than normal, I do suggest a soothing side like a salad or avocado. I opted for roasted butternut squash this time considering it's in season now.
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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Baking: Three Layer Smores Cake

I really enjoyed how this smores cake came out that I'm dedicating a whole post (with recipe!) to it.
To remind you, the cake is a chocolate base with white chocolate graham cracker filling, and a toaste marshmallow frosting.
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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Cooking for September Birthday Ladies

In September, we've been celebrating dual birthday dinners for Mrs. Pattis Magician and Ms. Pastry Chef's birthdays. I always tell people that they shouldn't have to cook for themselves for their own birthdays. So when I joined this family, I offered to cook for them for their birthdays. And what have they picked year after year? Chinese food. And who am I to say no?
So feast your eyes on the meal that I gave them this year. To see these dishes more up close and personal, keep reading.
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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tuesday Nights: BXL Zoute

Towards the end of  one year, my friends thought that we weren't hanging out enough. It's true, we weren't. So they started Tuesday night get-togethers. Every Tuesday, we'll pick a bar to drink, eat, and hang out for a couple of hours. Whoever can make it will attend. If you're busy, it's okay. There's always next week. So this is Tuesday Nights on Tasty Eating where you will find bars that serve food and how we like them.

On this recent Tuesday Night, we headed out to: BXL Zoute
I've been to sister restaurants of the BXL Restaurant family before and enjoyed them. So when I found out that there's one flatiron area, I wanted to try it out too. BXL Zoute is a bigger and newer version of this chain of Belgian restaurants. I do, however, enjoy the kitsch at the other locations too. So it's personal preference, really.

We looked over the menu and picked a few things to share. Above (from left to right), Bitterballen ($8) which are meat studded bechamel croquettes. These were awesome! If you like Spanish croquettes, you would love these little balls of creamy, cheesy goodness. We also had the Boudin Noir-Coquille ($14) which was an interesting plate of seared scallops and blood sausage. This take on surf and turf combined sweet tender scallops, and funky meaty blood sausage. And finally, one cannot go to a BXL restaurant without ordering the Moules Frites ($22). They offer several different flavors but we opted for the traditional kind: Marinieres (white wine shallot broth). Perfectly plump mussels in a delicious broth ripe for some crusty bread. And the frites were no slackers either. Crispy and well seasoned. Delicious!
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Monday, September 29, 2014

Aldea

For Mrs. Pattis Magician and Ms. Pastry Chef's birthdays, we went to Aldea to celebrate. This George Mendes restaurant focuses on Spanish and Iberian Peninsula cuisine. Seafood is showcased here as well as any seasonal ingredients. You may choose to dine a la carte but the $75 4 course meal is ideal if you prefer to get more bang for your buck. You get to pick any snack, first course, main course, and dessert from the menu. The dishes are not made smaller if you choose the prix fixe. So if you're a big eater, this would work very well for you. For myself, I had some issue finishing all my food but that's just me.
Before I continue, the prices listed below are the a la carte prices. However, we did choose to do the prix fixe.

To start, the snack I picked was the Croquetas de Bacalhao ($11). These creamy little balls of bechamel and fish was light as can be. The side of roasted garlic aioli was nice addition of strong garlic flavor without overpowering the lightness of the croquetas.
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Friday, September 26, 2014

Lunch Week 32: Eggplant Parmesan and Sauteed Kale

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Eggplant Parmesan and Sauteed Kale
What do you do when someone gifts you fresh eggplant and tomatoes? Why make eggplant parmesan! I already have the main ingredients but you'll just have to add some cheese and breadcrumbs. But that wasn't enough for lunch. I also added a side of sauteed kale.
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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Baking: Berry Streusel Pie

PIE! PIE! PIE! Berry streusel pie to be more exact. A sweet, tart, nutty, and buttery pie that perfect for the summer season. Berries are in season making this pie so naturally sweet that you won't need to add much sugar. What can be better? Oh maybe a scoop of rich vanilla ice cream. A la mode? Oh yeah!
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Capital Grille

Me: Hello, Mr. Haribo Mule
Mr. HM: Hi
Me: Steak dinner in NYC?
Mr. HM: Why yes, of course.
Me: Capital Grille in Midtown?
Mr. HM: Sounds good.

And that's how it usually goes when Mr. Haribo Mule comes into town.
First up, some shrimp cocktail to share. Not huge by steak house standards at all. But the taste was decent.
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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cooking: Cumin Lamb Noodles

This is one of the dishes that I contributed at the last FBM Potluck, cumin lamb noodles. At first, I was expecting a Xian kind of spicy dish. But instead, this kind of turned out to be more Middle Eastern/Morrocan to me. None the less, it was still tasty. A couple of tweaks need to be done (more on that later), but otherwise it's pretty good.
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Monday, September 22, 2014

FBM Potluck

Another awesome potluck with my FBM friends. Here's my first plate which I tired to take a little bit of everything. Unfortunately, the plate wasn't big enough so another and another was necessary.
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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Barchetta

For Ms. Lollipop's birthday, we went to Barchetta. She is known to love seafood both raw and cooked. Barchetta is David Pasternack's new seafood place. It opened with mixed reviews but we wanted to go and judge ourselves. The space is open, bright, and modern. They didn't change much from the previous restaurant (La Promenade des Anglais) so we recognized it right away.
Due to lighting and our larger group, it was difficult to take pictures of other people's dishes. So I only took my own and the birthday girl's food.

To start, I had the Calamari alla Piastra ($16) which was grilled whole squid with red hot pepper and arugula salad. The squid was cooked nicely and I enjoyed it being left whole with tentacles and all. Inside, they left the ink sack as well so it became a sauce. I enjoyed this and was the perfect amount of food to start the night.
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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Del Frisco's

It seems like steak has become the meal to celebrate good news. And good news it certainly was. With The Feisty Foodie and Dessert Zombie, we gathered to wish her good luck on her new job. And what better way to congratulate her than with big pieces of charred meat. Oh yeah. You know you want it.
To start, we had the off the menu slab bacon ($6 each). This is no ordinary diner bacon. This is a thick slab cooked to order. Be careful though. All that bacon means extra salt. All that salt means thirst and downing hard alcohol to quench it. Ahem ahem...
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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tuesday Nights: Bar Bacon

Did you know there's a bar in Hell's Kitchen that serves all things bacon related? Oh yes, my friends. BACON BACON BACON. What did you say? Bacon has jumped the shark? Shut up. As for the rest of you, please continue and read about all the bacon foods we had that night. With beers too, of course.
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Monday, September 15, 2014

Balaboosta

As someone who is very much into food, I've had my fair share of good to even great meals. I've also had my share of mediocre to bad ones too. But very rarely, do I come across a meal that not only satisfied my hunger but also impressed me so much  that it left me with the feeling of elation. Balaboosta is one such restaurant. From top to bottom, I was just happy. The food and the service was great. This is one restaurant that I would highly recommend to you even though I haven't even gone through what I had there yet. Yes, it was THAT good.
Balaboosta has been on my go to list for awhile. So when Mr. Matzo Ball's birthday came around, I suggested it. He was as excited as I was. I made my reservation for a group of 6 and happily waited until it the day of the meal. A few days before our reservation, we needed to add 2 more people. No problem, I thought. Oops! It seemed to be difficult for the restaurant as the space is not that big. They'll try to accommodate us but no promises. So as the date crept up, I became more and more nervous. And this is when the front of the house went above and beyond their duty. They made it work for us. They had every right to deny us a table for 8 due to the last minute changes but they worked their magic. The accommodated us in every way and I was very grateful.

And that was only the beginning. Now onto the food! We started with a bunch of appetizers to share. First up, the fried olives with organic labne and harissa oil ($8). These delicious morsels of briny olives breaded and fried until crispy. And the ultra smooth strained yogurt with a punch of chili oil. A really great way to start off the meal.
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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Restaurant Week: Fogo de Chao

I thought about writing a more lengthy post about my Restaurant Week experience at Fogo de Chao. But really there's not much else to say than, it was not good.
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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Baking: Race Car Cake

Another kid's birthday means another attempt at a specialty cake. This time, it was my nephew's birthday who turned 5 years old this year. And what did he want for his birthday cake? A race car. Damn, I knew it was going to be difficult. I scoured the internet for ideas and pieced together some good ones.
Before I started, I tried to find an orange race car to use as the basis for the cake. His favorite color is orange. Once I found that, off to make the cake.
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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Momofuku Ssam Bar: Duck Dinner

Awhile ago, TT & CT, and Mr. M&P and I went on a double date. No reason except that we really wanted to try the duck dinner ($140) at Momofuku Ssam Bar. This is one of the special dinners that they offer. You can also do a bo ssam or a dry aged ribeye steak. But we had our eyes on that luscious duck.
But this is no ordinary rotisserie duck. They take a whole duck, stuff the duck and pork sausage under the skin of the main body. Then they take the other parts and make a stock out of it. More on that later. Before, the beauty is cut up for us, they bring it table side to show us the beautiful lacquered skin. So shiny. So pretty. So drool inducing.
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Monday, September 8, 2014

Baking: Lotus Seed Moon Cakes

This post has been in the making for 2 years now. If you're a frequent reader then you know my goal of making traditional dishes from scratch. One such dish/dessert is moon cakes. Every year during mid autumn or moon festival, these cakes are given to your loved ones as a gift. Now, many store bought ones are pretty good. If you can find a bakery that makes them fresh then that's even better. But as you know, I like to try to make things from scratch so that I know exactly what is going into things.
A couple of years ago, I started my moon cake experiment. I bought molds over the internet and then research for recipes. A good and easy recipe was really hard to come by. I finally settled on one and tried it out. The results I got were just okay. It wasn't bad per se but I also wasn't entirely happy either. Fast forward 2 years and I found another recipe. It looked easier but still seemed to be okay. To my surprise, it was way better  than  the first. The results were better and it was less time consuming. That's a win win in my book.
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Friday, September 5, 2014

Lunch Week 31: Salad with Sauteed Chicken

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Salad with Sauteed Chicken
Just a simple lunch this week since I'll be doing some traveling soon. Some green leaf lettuce with sliced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and sauteed chicken breast. The dressing is homemade honey mustard sauce.
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