Bun Boy Eats LA
Bun Boy Eats NYC

CAFE MOGADOR – EAST VILLAGE – BRUNCH

  • September 30, 2016 5:43 am

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Café Mogador, a Moroccan restaurant which opened in 1983, is a East Village institution.

And while the eatery may have been here forever, the clientele appeared not to have been born until Beverly Hills 90210 was already off the air. In other words, the demographic slants towards the younger side.

We were flanked by three tables of dudes and bros, freshly rolled out of bed, discussing the previous night’s exploits.

Luckily everyone appeared too hung over to speak with any sort of volume, so my hatred of them was only minimal.

For brunch, you have the option of doing the $17.50 brunch pre-fix by picking your eggs benedict of choice, which all come with coffee/tea, delicious freshly squeezed orange juice, home fries and a pointless salad. The coffee includes cappuccinos, so this was a good option for me.

I ordered the pretty solid Eggs Blackstone, which was a benedict with bacon and roasted tomato. It was….solid. Nothing bad about it, but nothing amazing.

You can also order the more traditional Moroccan items, such as the Lamb Tagine by dining companion chose. It wasn’t as enormous as I feared, so it can easily be finished in one sitting. But it’s on the heavier side and $22, so probably not the ideal brunch item for everyone.

Normally this place is packed but there was a heat wave going on, so everyone was either home or trying to get home to avoid instant death. We were one of the few dumb ones actually stepping foot outside.

101 St Marks Pl
New York, NY 10009
b/t Avenue A & 1st Ave
East Village, Alphabet City
(212) 677-2226
cafemogador.com

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Blackstone Eggs w/ Bacon and Roasted Tomato - $17.50 (with homefries, salad, orange juice and coffee/tea)

Blackstone Eggs w/ Bacon and Roasted Tomato – $17.50 (with homefries, salad, orange juice and coffee/tea)

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Lamb Tagine - $22

Lamb Tagine – $22

VINEGAR HILL HOUSE – BROOKLYN – DINNER

  • September 28, 2016 5:43 am

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I love love LOVE Vinegar Hill house.

FYI.

Not only is it rustic and charming inside and out, the service is prompt and friendly but the food is phenomenal.

The location is a bit of a trek from the nearest subway station, so take note if you want to come here in shitty weather.

The Vinegar Hill neighborhood is a quirky mix of super old brick building’s from the 1800’s mixed with trendy new lofts. Not really many stores or restaurants to speak of, I think Vinegar Hill House is it.

The cocktails are tasty and boozy.

Definitely order the chicken liver mousse with pistachios and caramelized onions. Perfection.

The pork chop is super sexy. It comes already chopped up and has a nice char on it. It’s seasoned really simply, which I loved.

If it weren’t so far away from me, I would definitely come to Vinegar Hill House as often as possible. But it’s not, so I’ll likely never come back. Sorry, I’m a bit of a b*tch that way.

72 Hudson Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11201
b/t Water St & Front St
Vinegar Hill
(718) 522-1018
vinegarhillhouse.com

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Strawberry Rhubarb Negroni Strawberry gin, Aperol, Sfumato Rabarbaro, Dolin Rouge $13

Strawberry Rhubarb Negroni
Strawberry gin, Aperol, Sfumato Rabarbaro, Dolin Rouge
$13

Vinegar Hill Rittenhouse Rye, Cocchi Vermouth, Dolin Genepy, hopped grapefruit bitters $13

Vinegar Hill
Rittenhouse Rye, Cocchi Vermouth, Dolin Genepy, hopped grapefruit bitters
$13

South by Southeast Del Maguey Vida, Pueblo Viejo blanco, yuzu, lime, cucumber $13

South by Southeast
Del Maguey Vida, Pueblo Viejo blanco, yuzu, lime, cucumber
$13

Chicken Liver Mousse vinegar onions, pistachios $14

Chicken Liver Mousse
vinegar onions, pistachios
$14

Tagliatelle with Pork Ragu, Ricotta, capers & pine nuts - $16

Tagliatelle with Pork Ragu, Ricotta, capers & pine nuts – $16

Red Wattle Country Chop fingerling potato salad, anise hyssop, poppy seed jus $32

Red Wattle Country Chop
fingerling potato salad, anise hyssop, poppy seed jus
$32

EL TORO BLANCO – WEST VILLAGE – BRUNCH

  • September 26, 2016 5:43 am

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If I were still in LA, I’d rip a place like El Toro Blanco to shreds.

Nothing worse than overpriced, fancy Mexican.

In NYC, however, good Mexican is hard to come by. I’ve tried the awful tacos from the trucks parked around Union Square. Not good.

Apparently, here you have to shell out big bucks for tasty (albeit, far from authentic) Mexican food.

While the fish tacos were definitely nice, the Green Chili Queso and the Mexican Street Corn were just wonderful. Good enough to make me want to come back (which never happens).

The breakfast enchiladas were also superb (I don’t use that word enough) and I would probably order them, next time.

They actually serve a $24 Guacamole, which pisses me off, so I want none of that mess. $14 for the small? I just can’t, sorry.

All that aside, most of their other brunch options are fairly reasonable. it’s margaritas and dinner options, where you’ll get into trouble.

Either come for brunch or their awesome happy hour menu (3-7 weekdays only) and you’ll walk away satisfied. Not LA satisfied, but enough for the discerning New Yorker lacking in decent Mexican options.

257 6th Ave
New York, NY 10014
West Village
Phone number (212) 645-0193
eltoroblanconyc.com

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GREEN CHILE QUESO FUNDIDO  mexican cheese & green chile fondue, warm flour tortilla -  $12

GREEN CHILE QUESO FUNDIDO
mexican cheese & green chile fondue,
warm flour tortilla – $12

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Mexican Street Corn - $7

Mexican Street Corn – $7

Enchiladas con Huevo Jamon y Queso scramble eggs, country ham, mexican cheese, salsa verde pico de gallo, crema $15

Enchiladas con Huevo Jamon y Queso
scramble eggs, country ham, mexican cheese, salsa verde
pico de gallo, crema $15

Baja Fish Tacos - Crispy Cod - $10

Baja Fish Tacos – Crispy Cod – $10

PASQUALE JONES – LITTLE ITALY – BRUNCH

  • September 23, 2016 5:43 am

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For a while there, Pasquale Jones was impossible to get into.

No matter when I checked, there was not a single availability before 10:30 pm. So annoying.

Once they opened for brunch, the tide had turned and I was able to finally snag something. I didn’t care that we were one of only two parties at the restaurant, for the entire time we dined. I actually prefer it that way. Who wants someone sitting one inch from you enjoying overpriced pizza and cheap conversation?

Pasquale Jones is from the same folks that run the somehow-still-popular Charlie Bird, so I knew it at least wouldn’t suck.

Who knew they would end up serving an amazing pizza and life changing pasta dish!

The pizza irked me at first, because of the always popular trend of putting only 3 gossamer thin pieces of salami on the entire pizza. WHY?? I know you don’t want to weigh down a perfect pie with a ton of toppings but your slices of salami were not thicker than 1, maybe 2 layers of human skin. Throw a few more on there!

That being (bitterly) said, the crust and sauce were perfection. I loved the char, I loved the flavors, I loved everything about it. Ok Pasquale Jones, maybe you’re onto something with your barely-there toppings approach.

And the side of chilis and chili oil to drizzle on the crust didn’t hurt either. Good idea! Every restaurant serving pizza needs to incorporate this!

Tajarin is a ramen like spaghetti noodle and when paired with a brown butter sauce, fresh corn and shaved truffles?? Pure Wondermint! Wait, isn’t that a word?? Maybe those 1980’s gum commercials helped inject this non-word into my vocabulary.

Either way, the pasta dish was beautiful and perfect and….wondermint!

Don’t be shocked at the high prices, they include tip. I don’t love this idea, but what can you do. Not go? Not in my world.

Our waiter was an odd fellow. He had an aversion to eye contact and would often finish a sentence while on his way to another table. The tone in his voice was the equivalent to an eye roll. Not rude, just slightly over it. It was only noon, it’s not going to get better, dude!

187 Mulberry St
New York, NY 10012
b/t Kenmare St & Broome St
Little Italy, Nolita
(917) 472-7230
pasqualejones.com

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1/2 Bottle of Chilled Red Wine - $25

1/2 Bottle of Chilled Red Wine – $25

Diavola Pizza - Spicy Neapolitan Salami, Provolone PIccante & Mint - $22

Diavola Pizza – Spicy Neapolitan Salami, Provolone PIccante & Mint – $22

Hand Cut Tajarin Pasta - Sweet Corn and Summer Truffle - $21

Hand Cut Tajarin Pasta – Sweet Corn and Summer Truffle – $21

A different angle, same deliciousness.

A different angle, same deliciousness.

FRANKIE’S SPUTINO 570 – WEST VILLAGE – BRUNCH

  • September 21, 2016 5:42 am

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Frankie’s is a casual Italian eatery featuring some really nummers Crostini’s and a truly fantastic Celery Root and Fennel salad.

I usually come to a place and order what they’re known for. Which is often their most fattening, artery clogging dish.

But it’s summer in NYC and hot as hell. Sometimes maybe I don’t want to cram an entire pizza in my face. Sometimes I just want a salad, IS THAT OK WITH YOU??

Frankie’s is one of those places that I would go to all the time, if I did that sort of thing. Places you can just show up without a reservation, eat a tasty meal and maybe not spend $200 doing it.

But I don’t repeat restaurants, so I’ll never be back. Sorry Frankie’s, this is New York City. And there are DEINIFTELY other fish in the sea.

570 Hudson St
New York, NY 10014
b/t 11th St & Perry St
West Village
(212) 924-0818
frankiesspuntino.com

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Complimentary Table Bread

Complimentary Table Bread

Chicken Liver and Ricotta Honey Crostinis

Chicken Liver and Ricotta Honey Crostinis

Fennel, Celery Root & Parsley with Sliced Red Onion, Lemon & Pecorino  $13.00

Fennel, Celery Root & Parsley with Sliced Red Onion, Lemon & Pecorino $13.00

Cavatelli with Italian Sausage

Cavatelli with Italian Sausage

MISS LILLY’S 7A – EAST VILLAGE – DINNER

  • September 19, 2016 5:42 am

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Miss Lilly’s is a lively, Caribbean restaurant in the East Village that serves a really mean Jerk Ramen.

Be warned, prices here are high. Shockingly high for the east village and the super casual vibe.

The food is really tasty, the service is friendly, so it’s all worth it. Maybe not your go-to Jerk Shack, but also not the worst “special occasion but don’t feel like Italian” eatery you could choose.

109 Avenue A
New York, NY 10009
b/t 7th St & 6th St
East Village, Alphabet City
(212) 812-1482
7a.misslilys.com/home

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JERK CORN | $7 jerk mayo, toasted coconut

JERK CORN | $7
jerk mayo, toasted coconut

MAC & CHEESE PIE - $6

MAC & CHEESE PIE – $6

Jerk Chicken - with mango chutney, cucumber escovitch - $24

Jerk Chicken – with mango chutney, cucumber escovitch – $24

Jerk Ramen - $16

Jerk Ramen – $16

LE CIRQUE – MIDTOWN EAST – LUNCH

  • September 16, 2016 5:42 am

Restaurant Week!

Restaurant Week!

Well, Le Cirque, you’ve put up a great fight but it’s time to pack up your knives and go.

Le Cirque opened up in 1974 and, while you can tell they’ve attempted to stay relevant, they’re more like a once popular band that continues to release new albums. No one wants to hear that shit. It’s time to retire and maybe go play a few state fairs or casinos when you can no longer afford the rent on your North Hollywood studio apartment.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE old restaurants. I’m all for classic deli’s and diners or old school Italian joints staying open for all eternity. I love it when places have been slinging pastrami since 1903! Never clean those grills!

But snooty, upscale eateries that charge too much for boring food? Sorry, not interested. These kinds of places were huge in the 80’s when everyone was high on cocaine and no one really had an appetite anyways. Who cares what the food tasted like?!

Now, the food at Le Cirque wasn’t awful. I actually ate every bite. But it was just SO BORING. I feel like these recipes were originally created during a time when salt and pepper were the only seasonings available. It does seem like some new chef had come in and tried to modernize the menu, thrown a few trendy ingredients our way. But it didn’t help.

And the worst part? Both the chicken and the salmon were overcooked. If meat is perfectly cooked, you don’t need a lot of seasoning. But this was not the case.

We arrived for lunch during NYC’s Restaurant Week.

Restaurant Week is sneaky. It’s basically a way for restaurants to serve their most uninteresting menu items for maybe $1.50 less than the original price. You don’t want dessert? Too bad, you’re getting it and you’re also probably paying full price for it. The deals during restaurant week are seldom a good deal, at all.

I am glad I got to check out Le Cirque, as it is and has been quite the institution. And the place was still packed with tourists and corporate diners. But I would much rather go see Debbie Gibson or Chicago at the Mohegan Sun Casino than ever return here.

151 E 58th St
New York, NY 10022
b/t Lexington Ave & 3rd Ave
Midtown East
(212) 644-0202
lecirque.com

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Cucumber Basil Smash Hendrick's gin, lime juice, fresh cucumber, fresh basil leaves, ginger liqueur, and a dash of elderflower syrup

Cucumber Basil Smash
Hendrick’s gin, lime juice, fresh cucumber, fresh basil leaves, ginger liqueur, and a dash of elderflower syrup

Corn Soup Fresh‎ herbs breadcrumb, crispy speck

Corn Soup
Fresh‎ herbs breadcrumb, crispy speck

Mozzarella Di Buffalo Gazpacho dressing, julienne of cucumber and pickled red onion

Mozzarella Di Buffalo
Gazpacho dressing, julienne of cucumber and pickled red onion

Salmon Green pea mash, orange and champagne dressing

Salmon
Green pea mash, orange and champagne dressing

Chicken Breast Broccoli purée, wild mushrooms ragu, n’duja sauce

Chicken Breast
Broccoli purée, wild mushrooms ragu, n’duja sauce

Le Cirque Creme Brulee

Le Cirque Creme Brulee

Fondant Cake With caramelized banana, toffee powder and vanilla ice cream

Fondant Cake
With caramelized banana, toffee powder and vanilla ice cream

MEME MEDITERRANEAN – WEST VILLAGE – BRUNCH

  • September 14, 2016 5:42 am

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Meme is a lovely, casual Mediterranean eatery that serves a really tasty hummus and falafel platter.

Snaggle ordered the heavier Shakshuka breakfast with eggs and merguez sausage, which he gobbled up happily.

But I was in the mood for your more stereotypical Middle Eastern fare. Basically a big ass platter of hummus and I didn’t care what else.

I love hummus (or hommus, as dumb people spell it). But Hummus and I broke up for a good 5 years, thanks to overdoing it on the Trader Joe’s stuff.

There is nothing like real, restaurant hummus. What’s the difference between that and the TJ’s stuff?

A shit ton of tahini and olive oil, probably!

Restaurant hummus could probably kill certain humans with heart conditions, and I’m fine with that. It’s just so damn good and worth the grisly death.

581 Hudson St
New York, NY 10014
b/t 11th St & Bank St
West Village
(646) 692-8450
memeonhudson.com

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Rose Sangria - $8

Rose Sangria – $8

Bloody Mary - $8

Bloody Mary – $8

HUMMUS with falafel, tahini, pita 10

HUMMUS with falafel, tahini, pita 10

FRIED ARTICHOKE with shaved manchego, baby greens, two sauces 12

FRIED ARTICHOKE with shaved manchego, baby greens, two sauces 12

SHAKSHUKA MOROCCAN BREAKFAST three eggs baked with tomato, onion, pepper, spices, tahini, pita 14 add merguez sausage 5

SHAKSHUKA MOROCCAN BREAKFAST
three eggs baked with tomato, onion, pepper, spices, tahini, pita 14 add merguez sausage 5

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BUN BOY EATS PETALUMA, CALIFORNIA

  • September 12, 2016 5:33 am

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A few months ago, I went to visit my dear old friends Sid and Nancy in Petaluma, CA who had just recently had a baby.

If you have read any of my Bun Boy Eats LA blog posts, you’ll recognize Nancy of “Sid and Nancy”, whom I had dined out with often in LA. Nancy and I used to spend our days lounging by the ghetto apartment pool and our nights painting the town blood red. Then Sid came along and ruined everything. Just kidding, Sid. (No, I’m not. Don’t tell Sid I just said that).

But now Sid and Nancy have settled into family mode like a boss. Or like, bosses.

Petaluma is a pretty town in Northern California and they’ve lived there for a few years now. It’s peaceful and quiet and right near the Redwoods, some great breweries and some amazing food.

We started with a little stroll in the Redwoods with little Levi in tow. Levi is not the baby’s real name, because I don’t want any of you sickos trying to kidnap her because of her extreme cuteness. I have to protect my writing subjects.

We had a fantastic burger and nacho filled lunch at this brewery and Sid and I snuck off for a brewery tour at Lagunitas. We were lucky and snagged the best seats in the house, two super comfy old recliners from about 125 years ago. Everyone not seated in those two seats were chumps, straight up.

We also visited the Sonoma County State Fair where I enjoyed a corn dog the length of a baseball bat and ate all but one small bite. Because I have some dignity.

One of Sid and Nancy’s relatives had won about 98 blue ribbons in various local competitions so we walked around viewing her various accomplishments. This is also when Sid tried to feed poor baby Levi to a vicious yellow snake behind Nancy’s back, but she narrowly escaped with her little life. Nancy later called CPS on him.

Sid’s brother D cooked us some amazing ribs and we had a fun BBQ at their house before enjoying a brief dance party, bringing up memories from our LA days. Levi is a party machine, and she ran circles around us on the dance floor. Flynn, their cute dog, needed a little work on his dance moves. But he gets an A for effort!

Our final amazing meal before I caught my shuttle to the airport was at Della Fattoria, an truly amazing bakery.

Not only did I bring home one of their famous Rosemary Meyer Lemon bread loaves but I got to experience one of, if not THE best biscuits and gravy of my life. If you’re anywhere near the area and you don’t visit Della Fattoria, you’re an a**hole. Even baby Levi would agree.

Thanks so much Sid and Nancy for having me, had such a great time!! I promise I won’t wait so long the next time!

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LOCANDA VERDE – TRIBECA – BRUNCH

  • September 9, 2016 5:07 am

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Pancakes are the perfect way to destroy the rest of your day.

Food coma, sugar crash and a long ass nap are the only things in your future. If you want to be productive, avoid those disks of diabetes and order yo-self some egg whites!

Since we had no interest in being productive (we had already gone kayaking on the Hudson River) we thought “To hell with it” and not only ordered the pancakes but also ordered the ricotta and burnt orange toast. Not only were we not planning on being productive, we might not even survive the afternoon!

That being said, both items were absolutely fantastic. Definitely worth ruining one’s day over.

The ricotta featured a pool of truffle thyme honey in the center and some yummy toast to spread it on. We ran out of toast, so make sure to be generous with your portions, so the same traumatic event doesn’t happen to you.

The pancakes are definitely my second favorite in all of NYC. The best being the lemon ricotta pancakes at Lafayette.

Locanda’s are filled with fresh blueberries and topped with a nice dollop of lemon curd. When life gives you lemons, make lemon curd, obvi.

Locanda Verde is on the pricier side (what restaurant in Tribeca isn’t?) but is certainly worth the splurge.

377 Greenwich St
New York, NY 10013
b/t Moore St & Franklin St
TriBeCa
(212) 925-3797
locandaverdenyc.com

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Complimentary Caramelized Onion Foccacia

Complimentary Caramelized Onion Foccacia

Smoked Bacon - $8

Smoked Bacon – $8

Sheep’s Milk Ricotta truffle honey & burnt orange toast - $16.5

Sheep’s Milk Ricotta truffle honey & burnt orange toast – $16.5

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes blueberries & meyer lemon curd  - $18

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes blueberries & meyer lemon curd – $18

Free Kayaking on the Hudson River

Free Kayaking on the Hudson River