Friday, May 30, 2014

Lunch Week 20: Pork Chop and Pickled Mustard Greens 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: Pork Chop and Pickled Mustard Greens Over Rice
Again, pressed for time this week. But I didn't want to go boring or low on flavor either. So I looked around my pantry and my freezer and came up with an idea. A hodge podge of ingredients over rice.
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Lunch Week 19: Chimichurri Chicken Sandwiches

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: Chimichurri Chicken Sandwiches
I didn't have much to make lunch a couple of weeks ago. I didn't want to just eat a salad again or unhealthy deli meat. I wanted something more interesting. So I made chimichurri chicken sandwiches. The freshness of the herbs and the tartness of the vinegar really made the sandwich taste fresh and bright.
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Thursday, May 29, 2014

My Trip to Spain: Airplane Food

And for my final post about Spain, here is the food I ate at the airport and on the plane.
I thought I would be smart and bring my own food this time. Unfortunately, we left it in the car. Sigh. So I was left with whatever I could find at the airport. I wasn't feeling any of the sad sandwiches or salad. I didn't want fast food burgers either. Instead, I got a pepperoni and mushroom pizza from Wolfgang Pucks. This actually wasn't half bad. Although, looking back, it probably wasn't the best idea to eat something heavy like this before boarding a plane.
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My Trip to Spain: Snacks

If you know me and how I travel, then you know I'm very big on snacks. It's good for mid day eating, late night booze soaking eating, and everything in between. I think we went a bit overboard on this trip. But at least we got to try a bunch of stuff. I think the common thing for this Spain snack adventure is definitely potato chips. But before I start with that, I must remind you that no European trip is complete without coffee. Morning, noon, and sometimes night. It's what keeps us going day after day.
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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My Trip to Barcelona, Spain (Day 8): Divinius

On our last night in Barcelona, we wanted to eat paella. Good paella. I mistakenly told everyone that there was a good place close to us only to find out too late that it was along the shore. None of us wanted to make the trek and none of us wanted to take out more money to pay for the meal. The places along the shore tend to be more expensive. I wanted to take some time and figure out where we should eat but everyone thought it would be a good idea to walk around instead. Personally, I think this is a bad choice to go about picking a place because most people aren't aggressive enough to choose. They're afraid that people may be disappointed. And so we walked around aimlessly until we got too tired and ended up at Divinius.
Divinius is located off a popular street and was a big place. It certainly had enough room for our larger group. We sat and ordered some drinks instead. Here you can get large steins of beer which is not common in Spain at all. Mr. Peanut Head and Mr. M&P was certainly happy about that.

We ordered a bunch of food to share. First, some octopus which was just okay. It was a bit rubbery and lacked flavor.
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My Trip to Barcelona, Spain (Day 8): La Boqueria - Bar Pinotxo

And our final spot for lunch was at Bar Pinotxo. This famed bar is always packed. We couldn't find any seats at the bar but we did find a couple of communal tables where one waiter graciously came out to take our order. We were quite full by this point so we didn't order much.
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My Trip to Barcelona, Spain (Day 8): La Boqueria - El Quim

Our next stop was at El Quim. This tiny stall ran like a well tuned machine. Everyone in the tiny space knew what to do, where to be, and did it efficiently. It was really kind of amazing.
We waited a bit for El Quim. But we eventually scored a corner space with two chairs. That was enough space for two to sit and one to stand. I edged out another tourist looking for space by plopping my ass into one of the chairs. When it comes to food, I can be very aggressive.
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My Trip to Barcelona, Spain (Day 8): La Boqueria - Kiosko Universal

If you're looking for a bite to eat within La Boqueria, then there are a few places worth visiting. Although I missed a place on the outside of the market serving platters of cooked seafood that's to be eaten with your hands. That's my kind of place. Anyway, back on track. Most of the places within the market are bar stools only. It's first come, first served so be ready to hover and pounce if you get a chance. If you're feeling a bit adventurous, bounce around the different stalls for a bit of food at each. If you would rather sit and relax, plop yourself down and relax.
If you get there early enough before regular Spaniards eat, then you may easily find seats like we did at Kiosko Universal. This place takes the daily local market good and cooks them to order. How much more fresh can you get? I read somewhere that Kiosko is known for their seafood so we centered on that.
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My Trip to Barcelona, Spain (Day 8): La Boqueria

And finally, La Boqueria. Trust me, we visiting this famous market a few times but I wanted to consolidate my posts about it. First, it's not just a food market. It's also an open air grocery market selling all kind of things from fruit and vegetables to meat, cheese, charcuterie, and seafood. It's a one stop shop for people looking for food to cook as well as cooked food to eat right away.
This is also a really good place to look for food gifts/souvenirs. Though I would skip the saffron here. Instead, go to Angel Jobal which is a wholesale spice store. I received the best price per ounce there. Also, there's no question about the quality of the Spanish saffron there. Avoid the Turkish saffron.
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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My Trip to Barcelona, Spain (Day 7): Tickets

Spain has in recent times been in the forefront of modern food. With El Bulli being the most well known, food as we know it has changed. Our senses can be tricked and our minds blown. With that, we luckily booked a dinner at Tickets which is a Adrian brothers restaurant. We went in not knowing what to expect. We left with our jaws dropped, our palates excited, and our minds stimulated. This was, by far, the best meal we had in Spain.
The waiter was really helpful in describing their menu and food focus. He suggested that if we're open to most foods, that we let them pick the dishes for us. With that, we happily obliged. The first round of food was so beautiful. False peanuts (peanut shaped nut treats), tempura of pistachios (fried crunchy pistachios), solid cocktail of apple and hibiscus (sweet tequila soaked apple wedges).
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My Trip to Barcelona, Spain (Day 7): Cuines de Santa Caterina

While in Barcelona, I wanted to make a point to visit the other markets besides La Boqueria. Most of them are so different in atmosphere, decor, and food options from the famous one that I think they're worth seeking out. For instance, at the Mercat Santa Caterina there exists actual restaurants with tables and seats with waiter service. At the other markets, it's first come first served to bar stools or open seating. Sometimes, it's nice to just relax and enjoy be served on.
And this was such a day. We went to Cuines de Santa Caterina and started with the pimientos (we can't get enough greens now) which were nicely fried with blistered skin, oil, and salt. Super hot to the table but the sweet peppers with the salinity of the salt worked really well together.
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Monday, May 26, 2014

My Trip to Barcelona, Spain (Day 6): Taller de Tapas

After a long day, we wanted to do something low key for dinner. While some of us went for Chinese food (it's a tradition), Mr. M&P and I went for more tapas. Tired as we were, we just went to place close to the hotel. I know, I know tourist central. But luckily, the food was decent, as I read previously.
Since we were really craving vegetables at this point, we were really happy that Taller de Tapas had a good selection of tapas that included them. The sauteed mushrooms were tender with earthy flavor. We savored these.
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My Trip to Barcelona, Spain (Day 6): Bubo

After a relatively heavy lunch, a few of us needed some coffee to ease us back into reality (more walking), we went to Bubo for a pick me up. Luckily for us, they also served some pastries and chocolate. We ordered a few to share like a hazelnut creme cake, and a chocolate cake. Clearly, my choice below was the cheeseburger shaped dessert.
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My Trip to Barcelona, Spain (Day 6): Cal Pep

The next day, we went walking around the city looking at sites. Along the way, we decided to stop for lunch. The streets of Barcelona can be quite confusing. There are so many small, dark streets that look like alleys. Most tourist maps don't even list these streets. Better to get a very local map otherwise have fun walking around looking for things and places. Lucky for us, we didn't have to look too long for Cal Pep, our next dining destination.
As tourists, we arrived pretty early for lunch and were the only patrons there. Don't be shy about the bar seats up front. There are tables in the back for larger groups. Lucky for us, our waiter spoke English and was quite the showman. We did tricks and tried to get the ladies drunk off cava. He certainly was entertaining. But more importantly, he recommended a variety of tapas to share from meat to fish to vegetarian. We agreed and let the chef give us whatever he pleased.

To start, we had grilled anchovies with red pepper over toast. Anchovies do not get enough love. They're delicious and not "fishy" at all. They certainly get a bad reputation from naysayers. These, in fact, were simply cooked with oil and lemon. Paired nicely with the sweetness of the pepper to the crunchiness of the toast. A good start to the meal.
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Friday, May 23, 2014

My Trip to Barcelona, Spain (Day 5): Tapas 24

From Madrid, we took the high speed train to Barcelona. We chose this route to avoid having to waste time at the airport with check in and security lines. Even though the train is technically more expensive, it was a bit more relaxing in terms of boarding and the ride itself. We were a bit tired from our first half of our Spain trip so m ost people took a well deserved nap. However, I got a second wind and decided to work on my list of restaurants. I double and triple checked with a couple of books we all gathered together. I studied the maps and neighborhood. I was prepared.
First stop, dinner at Tapas 24. Reservations are not taken but just wait for a table. Beers are offered while you stand and wonderful smells torture you as the time ticks away.

I've forgotten what the Catalan name for the dishes here so please forgive me. Above were chicken wings with a plate of grated tomatoes. The wings though so simple in nature are delicious. Juicy, tender, and full of flavor. The grated tomatoes with olive oil were perfect with some crusty bread.
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My Trip to Madrid, Spain (Day 5): Toma Jamon

On our last day in Madrid, we decided to do the last jamon place on my list: Toma Jamon. You can't have too much pork products while in Spain, right?
We started with a plate of mixed jamon including chorizo sausage, pork loin, salami, and jamon. Little pieces are bread are included so that you can wrap the meat around it. We watched the guy slowly sliced the meat from the leg. I love eyeing them. So far, a good start to the meal.
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Thursday, May 22, 2014

My Trip to Madrid, Spain (Day 4): Asador Imanol

While we waited for the food at Street XO, we also went next door to Asador Imanol for some more food. This place was a more traditional Spanish tapas restaurant.
At this point, if we saw vegetables, we ordered it. So the alcachofa frita (fried artichokes) to share. Crispy and light. Perfect for snacking.
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My Trip to Madrid, Spain (Day 4) Street XO

Later that night, we were all pretty tired from the day. All that walking and site seeing will add up. So we didn't want to go too far for dinner. Luckily, I had a couple of tapas places in mind that was only 5 minutes away from our hotel. Interestingly enough, they were located inside the food court in a mall. Now, I know what you're thinking. Who goes to eat in a food court on purpose? Well, if they serve food like this, you would too.
First some background information. Street XO is the sister restaurant to Diver XO. The former being a casual yet hip tapas restaurant playing with both Asian and Spanish flavors. The latter is a 3 star Michelin rated restaurant with white tablecloths and matching service. If I were traveling alone or just with Mr. M&P, I would have gone to Diver XO. But when you're with a group, it's a little more difficult. But Street XO came highly recommended.

When we arrived shortly after it opened, the place was packed. All the bar seats were taken and others were waiting. We clearly didn't think this through. But lucky for us, this was a food court. We ordered a bunch of dishes to go and then grabbed a bunch of tables at the communal seating area. Score for being resourceful!

We started with a giant platter of Peking Duck Dumplings (pictured above). These were really good. The wrapper was thin and crispy, the meat inside tender and flavorful, and the garnished of scallions, peppers, and hoisin sauce around made for a beautiful presentation.
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My Trip to Madrid, Spain (Day 4): La Mallorquina

A couple of rain showers left us looking for cover for a couple of minutes. What better way than to duck into a cafe for some hot coffee and pastries?
La Mallorquina is quite the bustling bakery right in the middle of a square. The main floor is take out only but if you grab a number, you can wait for table service upstairs. Don't skip on the torrija (the rectangular pastry on top) which is a bread soaked in milk, honey, and spices then toasted like French toast. The edges are crusty and crunchy while the middle remains soft and custardy. Although, I don't have a sweet tooth, I really liked it. Sweet but not overly so. A really nice midday snack. Oh and if you're wondering, that second pastry (the round one on the bottom) is an ensaimada which is just a sweet bread. Nothing special about that.

La Mallorquina
Calle Mayor, 2
28013 Madrid, Spain
+34 915 21 12 01
www.pastelerialamallorquina.es

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My Trip to Madrid, Spain (Day 4): Mercado de San Miguel

On our last full day in Madrid, we left it as a do as you will day. We've seen most of the big sites and hit a lot of big touristy things. So we slowed down this day and did a very relaxing schedule. How European of us, no?
We started the morning at Mercado de San Miguel. Everyone talks about La Boqueria in Barcelona but this market is worth seeing as well. This is less a market to buy produce and meat but more of a market for cooked food and drinks. Think Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia, PA. The weekends are packed and crazy so try to go on a weekday instead. You'll be much happier, trust me.
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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

My Trip to Madrid, Spain (Day 3): Sobrino de Botin

After all that meat, we needed to burn off those calories in time for dinner. Lots of walking around and site seeing did the trick. A bit too much in fact so we headed back to the hotel and relaxed for a bit before dinner. I reminded everyone that our reservation that night was some heavy eating. So no filling up prior to the meal. We went to Sobrino de Botin (also known as El Botin) which is a rotisserie restaurant. It's pretty famous and is lauded as the oldest running restaurant in Spain and maybe the world.
They specialize in whole roasted pig and if your party is big enough, you can get a little porker to your own group. But before I show you that, we noshed on some appetizers beforehand. Some clams in garlic broth were good. Tender plumps of clam still in their shell and bathed in a garlicky sauce.
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My Trip to Toledo, Spain (Day 3): Meat Store

The one and only day trip we made in Spain was to Toledo. We arrived by train and walked far and uphill only to discover we were walking the wrong direction! Damn, we really should have purchased that map at the train. Once we got ourselves straightened out, we toured the large cathedral. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to visit the fort nor the military museum. Oh boo. So instead, we walked around in search for food. By this time, we didn't even have time for a sit down lunch with the Spainards being aloof with their service and all. This would not have been an issue in NYC though.
Anyway, we walked around the very small town. Saw lots of swords and knives. But hunger kept my mind elsewhere. We passed by a butcher shop and went in. They make their own sausages and cured meats. So we bought a variety pack with all sorts of pork goodness from spicy to sweet to salty.
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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My Trip to Madrid, Spain (Day 2): Chocolateria San Gines

Around a dark alley lies a much talked about late night spot: Chocolateria San Gines. Churros and hot chocolate. I thought to myself that this is a must do but I probably wouldn't be that into it. Boy was I wrong.
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My Trip to Madrid, Spain (Day 2): El Zagal

That night, we were looking for a casual place to watch the Real Madrid vs Barcelona futbol game. We had previously tried to get tickets with no luck. Well, the luck would be 500 euros each but that's the kind of luck none of wanted to part with. Instead, we asked our concierge about nearby bars or restaurants that may be showing the game. We walked around a bit. Not to our surprise, many of the places were packed already. People had staked out their tables hours prior to the game. Again, the Spaniards do not care about loitering. We need to remember that. We eventually find a place that was both a bar and a restaurant. While the front of the house was packed with avid fans, the back was pretty empty. There on the wall in the back was one tv and we immediately chose the table right in front.
With our claim to land settled, we proceeded to order some much needed drinks. Beers, wines, and cocktails for everyone. And then the menu. We started with the pulpo (octopus) which is a standard dish in Spain. Again, tender pieces of octopus tentacles and soft potatoes. A sprinkle of paprika on top as a garnish.
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My Trip to Madrid, Spain (Day 2): Cinco Jotas

After El Rastro and more walking, we were ready for lunch again. The weather was still really nice and we wanted to sit outside again. Again, a group of 7 was a bit troublesome when it came to tables. With the waiters being aloof and "European", we took things into our own hands. We all huddled around a table top for 4 people. We made the space ourselves and patted ourselves on the back. Why? Well, basically Spaniards love to linger over lunch and relax. So waiting and hovering over a table doesn't work here. They don't care and won't even bat an eye.
With our accomplishes behind us, we sat down, enjoyed some cold drinks, and ordered away. We chose to share some calamar a la plancha (grilled whole squid), tortilla, gnocchi with anguilas (baby eels), and verduras a la plancha (grilled vegetables). The grilled squid was tender and plump. A light dressing added the acidity that brought it together. The tortilla was filled with tender slices of potato. The egg was just lightly cooked until golden on the outside but still runny on the inside. That was a happy surprise. I've never had a tortilla that had a runny middle. It was excellent. The gnocchi with baby eels were just fine. The pasta itself wasn't too exciting but the baby eels were delicious. My first foray into baby eels and it's been good. Apparently they are a delicacy in Spain. And the plate of grilled vegetables wasn't anything exciting except for the fact it was a plate of vegetables! We really needed something like this. Vegetarian and light.
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My Trip to Madrid, Spain (Day 2): El Rastro

The next morning involved coffee and a long easy walk to El Rastro which is an outdoor flea market. While I quickly walked through most of the kioks selling knich knacks and basically junk. I did see a few interesting items for sale including a chastity belt, dirty comics, and sweaters that would trump any and all ugly sweaters in the US. In fact, one pink ensemble was shaped like a certain female body part. But I digress. After walking uphill and only fueled by coffee that morning. I was hungry.
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Monday, May 19, 2014

My Trip to Madrid, Spain (Day 1): O'Pazo

After being fueled by that awesome lunch, we walked around even more trying to digest everything just in time to have dinner. Of course, we were still on NYC time and was having dinner relatively early for Spain's standards. But with jet lag, we had no choice on the first day. But that didn't stop us from having a nice dinner. Located out in the more residential area of Madrid, we went to O'Pazo in search of seafood. While the dress attire is officially casual, this restaurant is certainly not. While we were in our tshirts and jeans, most of the other patrons were dressed to impress. There were even some suits among the crowd.
The place looks really fancy and modern. Fresh seafood on ice is presented in front to showcase the catch of the day. I felt a little embarrassed at this point. I thought I had chosen a relatively affordable place to eat but instead led my friends to a fancy place with fancy people.

But after looking over the menu, the food was actually very reasonably priced. In fact, main dishes weren't much over 15-20 euros. And when the dishes came out, the serving sizes were grand. In the grand scheme of things, the place had the decor and atmosphere of something special but the price of the food and drinks were much more affordable. I was relieved at this point. Thank goodness!

When we sat down, they served us an amuse of smoke salmon which was so delicate and buttery. Smoky but the flavor of the salmon stood through. A really delicious start to the meal.
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My Trip to Madrid, Spain (Day 1): Museo de Jamon

When traveling abroad, we generally like to pick flights that arrive in the morning. That leaves us with plenty of time to check into the hotel and jump straight into the city. We landed in Madrid first. And boy were we anxious to see and absorb everything. But first, we were hungry. After walking around a bit, we settled on Museo de Jamon in the Plaza Mayor. There are several locations of this place but this was closest to where we were at the moment. Besides, it was a beautiful day out and we wanted to sit outside. Also, we were a group of 7 at this point so we had to pick places that would work with a bigger group.
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My Trip to Madrid and Barcelona, Spain

A couple of months ago, my friends and I went on our annual trip. This year, we chose Spain. A few of us have been there before while others have not. We weren't quite done with Europe yet so Spain was a natural choice. Also, with a fluent Spanish speaker, we felt fearless going in. While we didn't prepare as much for Spain as we did for France, we still have a jam packed schedule with site seeing, food eating, and wine drinking. It was another wonderful trip with some great friends. So please, sit back and enjoy the various foods we ate while on our one week trip. Viva Espana! Read more...

Friday, May 16, 2014

Lunch Week 18: Grilled Sirloin Steak and Salad

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: Grilled Sirloin Steak and Salad
I was at my in laws all weekend so I didn't have the means to cook like I normally do. But I did take advantage of their outdoor grill and seared some steaks. The sirloin steaks were seasoned with Montreal Steak Seasoning. Yes, I have all the ingredients in my home already but it was just easy this way. Seared on both sides until medium rare. Then I let it rest and sliced it up into bite sized pieces. To serve with the steak, I threw in baby kale and spring mix. It's lightly dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette. If you want a simple meal with a few ingredients, this is it. Steak, seasoning, salad, dressing. That's it. Read more...

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Acme

For Dr. Mandoo's birthday, she wanted to try something different so she opted for Scandinavian. Isn't Scandinavian food getting a lot of attention now with its Michelin Stars and World Best Restaurants labels? Oh yes, it's definitely got a lot of clout these days. Extreme localism, new cooking techniques, and creative ideas aplenty. Oh and did I mention that the Chef is Mads Refslund? Don't recognize the name? Well he's a co-founder of Noma. Still don't recognize it? Well, Noma is currently the #1 restaurant in the world. Yes, that place.
We weren't sure what to expect for dinner but what we received was really interesting dishes, flavors, and presentations. Will you come along for the ride?
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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Marrow

When a friend decides to move and leave for greener pastures, it's a sad time. I never want to see anyone go. But I always like to do a last hurrah. And for this dear friend, we went to The Marrow. This Harold Dieterle restaurant in the West Village boast both contemporary German and Italian food. And ode to his heritage and the food behind it.
We started with the bone marrow ($17) with sea urchin, fried potatoes, meyer lemon aioli, and baby celery greens. A fat boasting marrow with briny globs of sea urchin schmeared on some toasted bread. I'm a fan of both marrow and sea urchin but the latter was overpowered by other other strong flavors. The delicate flavors of the ocean was muted although the texture did lend a nice creaminess to the dish without adding more fat.
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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tuesday Nights: Saluggi's

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: Saluggi's
Saluggi's is an unassuming pizza place on Church Street. Far from the masses of Manhattan. They boast a brick oven and "Best Pizza" on their website. Best anything is always a red flag for me. But I went in with an open mind anyway. I mean, I do enjoy my pizza.

To start, we shared the House Salad ($8) with mixed greens (iceberg lettuce), onions, tomatoes, and house vinaigrette (tasted like Italian dressing to me). The menu says parmesan cheese on top but we didn't get any of that. The salad was exactly what I expected it to be: a bit overdressed and completely mediocre.
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Monday, May 12, 2014

Uncle Jack's Steakhouse

Sometimes you don't need a reason to have a steak dinner. It's really a reason to say, "Why not?". And so Mr. M&P, Ms. Pastry Chef, and I headed out to Uncle Jack's to stuff our faces with delicious beefy goodness. Let's the bovine parade begin.
To start, we tried the Kobe meatballs ($15) which come 4 to a dish. I don't know why they put a Japan flag on there because it was clearly American Kobe. Anyway, tender meatballs in a thick wine sauce. It tasted good but I always feel that kobe or even rib eye is lost when ground up. No need for the marbling of fat within the meat. You can just add fat to the grinder with leaner meat. Personally, I'd say skip.
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Friday, May 9, 2014

Lunch Week 17: Chicken Marsala Over 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: Chicken Marsala Over Vegetables
It's been a long time since I blogged the step by step instructions of the lunch as well as include a written recipe. This was going to be the lunch that would start it up again. Unfortunately, I disliked the end result. The lack of flavor and the unpleasant texture just didn't do it for me. I've made chicken marsala before and enjoyed it very much. This version, not so much.
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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Clarke's Standard

An unexpected fire truck emergency blocking in our car dashed our dinner plans one day. So instead, we walked around the Union Square area looking for something to eat. We stumbled upon Clarke's Standard and decided to give it a try. Burgers, fries, fast, cheap, and delicious? Maybe.
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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

PJ's Pancake House - West Windsor

Did you know that a new location of PJ's Pancake House opened up? Yup, this Princeton famous institution finally opened up a second location and it's located in West Windsor. That leaves me even closer to fluffy pancake heaven.
The above is two eggs sunny side up with breakfast sausage ($11) and 3 buttermilk pancakes. You also have the choice of potatoes and toast instead of the pancakes. This is my normal order but I wasn't feeling like having it that day.
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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mile End Delicatessen

When people come to NYC, they ask what should I eat? Well, there's a plethora of food here and the choices are endless. But what I really point to are foods that they don't necessarily get in other parts of the country/world. One of those things, is Jewish food. Specifically Jewish deli meat. Oh there's something so wonderful about pastrami or corned beef or beef tongue. It's something special and an experience in itself. Now, I'm a fan of all those famous places in NYC like Katz, Carnegie, 2nd Ave, etc. Those are the staples that I bring out of town people to. Who am I kidding? I go just for myself as well.
So when I heard about Mile End Delicatessen, I was a bit intrigued and cautious at the same time. Here's a newcomer in a world of well distinguished Jewish delis in NYC. What are they trying to do that's different? Or are they not trying to be different at all? So I went to try what it was all about. With Mr. M&P in tow, of course.

We skipped the appetizers and went straight to the sandwiches. He ordered the the Ruth Wilensky ($9) with beef salami, mustard, and an onion roll. That beef salami was really strong in flavor with lots of spices. It was perfect to stand up to the sharp mustard and onion roll. A solid sandwich indeed. The only complaint I think he had was that he wished there were more meat. I think he was expecting sky high meat like you may find at the other establishments.
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Monday, May 5, 2014

Dominique Ansel: Cronut

Everyone has been talking about the Cronut. The demand, the limited supply. People line up for hours in the wee hours of the morning to get a taste of this doughnut-croissant hybrid. But you know, there's an easier way to get your hands on a Cronut. Order them online. Yup, and that's exactly what I did to get my hands on some Cronuts. It was fairly simple and I was successful twice out of the three times that I tried. Well, the first time, I didn't know I needed an active Paypal account so my Cronuts were released back to the masses to snag. I didn't make that same mistake the second time around.
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Friday, May 2, 2014

Lunch Week 16: Spring Vegetables with Quinoa

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: Spring Vegetables with Quinoa
I'm trying new things this week: quinoa. It's every where now due to the gluten free craze. But some people told me it actually tastes pretty good. So what is quinoa anyway? Well, it's actually a seed. But it can be cooked like a grain so a lot of people enjoy that ease. If you're concerned about whole grains, this is a good option.
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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Birthday Dinner Party

And my last birthday meal is my Parsi dinner by Mrs. Pattis Magician. I pick what I want to eat and she makes it. To start, I asked for budja (onion fritters) and fried peppers. The latter is a lottery of which are spicy and which are sweet.
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