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TEA & SYMPATHY – WEST VILLAGE – BRUNCH

  • August 20, 2019 4:26 pm

Tea and Sympathy is this quaint little café in the West Village that seems like it doesn’t really want you to come inside.

It’s tiny and cramped and always packed with people.

You know, the kind of place where the windows are always sweating?

Whenever I walk by, I try to guess exactly how hot it is and my answers are often over 120 degrees.

On top of that, there are some intimidating rules posted hastily on the front door (dubbed “Nicky’s Rules – they’re also printed on your menu) that give off the vibe that perhaps you’re intruding somewhere you don’t belong.

Basically, even though the place is called Tea and Sympathy, you can’t just order tea.

If you do, they will have zero sympathy for you.

And so will I, because I just warned you.

But once you get passed the rules, temperature and spatial limitations, the overall experience is still charming and the food (at least what we ordered) was delicious.

They have your typical British fare (shepherd’s pie, beans on toast, bangers & mash) but I think the thing to order is the Selection of Tea Sandwiches.

For about $15 you are presented with a huge assortment of coffin shaped sandwiches and they are all winners! The usual types are included; egg salad, chicken salad and cucumber cream cheese.

I ordered the sausage roll entrée (with mash and beans, $15.95) and it was enjoyable but not as good as the tea sandwiches.

I do think no matter what you order here, you’ll walk away satisfied.

As long as you haven’t broken any of Nicky’s Rules, that is.

I mean, they’re not too bad. Just basically reminding you that the waitstaff is always right, you must order $12.50 worth of food/drink per person and remember that tipping is customary in the US.

Basically, just reminding you how to eat at a restaurant like a human.

108 Greenwich Ave
New York, NY 10011 b/t Jane St & 12th St
West Village

(212) 989-9735

 

SPANISH DINER – HUDSON YARDS

  • August 15, 2019 3:13 pm

Hudson Yards gets a lot of flack for being “not of the people”.

And that assessment is not incorrect.

This enormous mall that bulldozed it’s way into a somewhat blank section of Manhattan and created it’s own neighborhood was not built for you.

The owners know you aren’t the ones shopping at Neiman Marcus or casually dining at Thomas Keller’s insanely priced Tak Room.

But you know what makes them such kind, thoughtful folks?

They built us Poors an H&M!

See? Something for everyone!

But they also gave us the Spanish Diner.

I have to admit, I am constantly charmed by the quite contrived Mercado Little Spain. Jose Andres’ answer to Eataly.

The place reminds me of how Spain would be presented to us if Disney’s Epcot center were built today. It’s cheesy and over the top and I do very much enjoy it.

I’ve eaten at several Hudson Yards restaurants and so far Spanish Diner is the only place serving delicious food at a decent price.

Must be a fluke!

And not only that, the portions are pretty enormous!

We took home leftovers of pretty much everything.

Make sure you order the gazpacho! It’s prepared tableside and so tasty!

Big warning about the Canelones Gratinados con higado de Pato, it’s RICH AF!

Probably one of the richest dishes I’ve ever had.

It’s basically these chicken, pork and duck liver enchiladas covered in béchamel and cheese! Very tasty but maybe share it with 1 or 12 other people.

Even if those other people aren’t even sitting with you.

347 10th Ave
New York, NY 10001 b/t 30th St & 31st St    

https://www.littlespain.com/restaurant/spanish-diner/

 

 

 

 

 

ODA HOUSE – ALPHABET CITY – DINNER

  • July 11, 2019 9:55 pm

Adjaruli
Homemade meruli sulguni cheese baked in yeast dough; served with poached organic egg
$18

Most people are unfamiliar with Georgian cuisine.

Or perhaps Georgia makes them think of peaches or the heat or the town of Macon, GA which was once visited by Oprah Winfrey as it was voted the fattest city in the USA.

But Georgia is a mysterious post-Soviet country nestled between Armenia, Russia and Turkey.

While I’ve never been, after tasting so many delicious dishes, I desperately want to go!

Because of it’s location, Georgian food is like a tasty mashup of Russian, Mediterranean and even a little Asian (the dumplings totally look like Chinese soup dumplings!)

Oda House has a casual, nondescript vibe featuring slightly higher prices than you might want to pay based on the décor.

But trust me, it’s worth it.

We started with two things that Georgian cuisine is “famous” for.

The cheese bread and the dumplings.

You may have seen those enormous eyeball shaped bread bowls before, filled with cheese, butter and eggs. (or you not have, sorry that you’re so sheltered).

Well, at Oda House, they’re expensive ($18) and NECESSARY! So rich and decadent and comforting. You won’t be able to pronounce the name of the type of cheese they use, but I promise it’s not weird.

The Trio of spreads was also overpriced ($17) and they don’t give you any bread to eat it with. In fact, they acted like we were a bit out of line for even asking if it came with bread. I would NOT recommend this (although we did enjoy eating it with bits of leftover cheese bread).

The dumplings are a no brainer, get them.

For $8, you get one cheese (pretty good) one mushroom (very good) and one mashed potato and dill (SO SO SO GOOD!).

We decided to share one entre, so we got the Tsitsila Rachulad (which I have now nicknamed the Phylicia Rashad) which is basically a Cornish game hen with a life altering blackberry, cilantro and garlic sauce.

The dish is presented to you looking like a bloody crime scene with all that crimson sauce and you will never be happier to dust for fingerprints (with your mouth) that sauce is so good.

Also, I’m going to think about a better “bloody crime scene” joke, not sure if that one really landed.

Stay tuned!

Oh! Our waitress let us try her odd but slightly addicting and shockingly green Georgian Tarragon soda (see pic below),

 

 

76 Ave B
New York, NY 10009 Alphabet City, East Village

(212) 353-3838

http://odahouse.com

Khinkali with cheese/ mushrooms/ potatoes (vegan)
$8

Pkhali Trio (gluten free, vegan)
Eggplant, spinach, leek with ground walnuts, fresh herbs & Georgian spices;garnished with pomegranate seeds
$17

Tsitsila Rachulad (gluten free)
Organic grass-fed Cornish hen oven roasted, served with blackberry, cilantro & garlic sauce and Georgian bread
$24

KENKA – EAST VILLAGE – DINNER

  • July 11, 2019 8:54 pm

OK.

I only came to Kenka because it was featured on Broad City.

Also, I love Broad City.

Also, this was last year.

Also, I do not remember the food.

Also, I DO remember it was fun! (Hence, why 90% of the photos are blurry central).

 

25 St Marks Pl
New York, NY 10003 b/t Cooper Sq & Astor Pl
East Village

(212) 254-6363

http://kenkanewyork.mybistro.online/

 

JUNGLE BIRD – CHELSEA – DRINKS

  • May 26, 2019 5:11 pm

Jungle Bird is a new cocktail bar that Chelsea desperately needed.

We don’t get a lot of fun drinkeries around these parts! With a few exceptions, have to choose between boring uninspired restaurants or dive bars.

While not Tiki, this tropical themed bar is lively (aka, loud for us oldies) and serves some super tasty semi-tiki drinks.

Such as their signature Jungle Bird, pictured above. It’s not too sweet and not too sour and hopefully you’ll have not too many (they also come in a punch bowl!)

Don’t forget snacks!

The rice balls were incredible and even though the Banh Mi’s baguette was a bit lacking, the flavors were spot on.

Jungle Bird is a perfect place for a drink/snack before starting your evening but seeing as the vibe is so friendly and casual, I wouldn’t fault you if you stayed the entire night!

http://Www.junglebirdnyc.com

 

TAK ROOM – HUDSON YARDS – DINNER

  • May 2, 2019 7:26 pm

Just like all Thomas Keller restaurants, this place looks and feels….”special”.

(The reason for those quotes = none.)

There’s an anticipation in the air, like the coming of spring or the first few minutes of a new episode of “Game of Thrones”.

Of course, that anticipation often manifests itself in the form of free food!

I don’t care what you give me, if it’s free. Found it lurking in the back of the fridge? Fine!

In this case, it was breadsticks and crudité at the beginning and then a much appreciated bucket of caramel corn at the end.

Spoiler Alert, the bucket was half filled with tissue!

If you’re like me, upon discovery of this, you are going to fly into an instant rage until you recall that you never ordered it in the first place.

But all this free grub comes at a cost.

This shit’s expensive.

Now, I eat out a lot. I know how much nice restaurants usually overcharge.

Tak Room, however, takes it up a notch.

The apps are maybe a few bucks more than comparable spots but those entrees tack on a hefty $20 more than they should.

The Lamb Chops are $75.

The Filet Mignon is $85.

But the deviled eggs are only $3 each!! Whaa?…..

But was it worth it, you ask??

Yes! Second best steak I’ve ever had.

But only for a special occasion. Which is really the only reason people should go to a Thomas Keller (French Laundry, Per Se, Bouchon) restaurant.

In conclusion, nothing I’m telling you is news.

Kindly disregard everything I’ve just said.

20 Hudson Yards
Fl 5
New York, NY 10001 Chelsea, Midtown West       

 

 

AU CHEVAL DINER – CHINATOWN – DINNER

  • March 19, 2019 8:59 pm

Pretty much all of America agrees that Au Cheval makes the best burger in the USA.

But does Bun Boy think so??

Yeah….I guess he does.

As much as I despise jumping on bandwagons or being a sheep, I must agree with the general consensus that this is the best burger I, personally, have ever had.

I’m not sure what the issue is with some critics of the new NYC location.

Maybe they don’t think something as simple as a burger is worth a 3 hour wait?

Sorry but as someone who’s been to the original Chicago location three times, I must say that there is sort of a badge of honor about making an entire evening out of the maybe 10 minutes it will take you to scarf this puppy down.

The deal is the same in NYC as it is with Chicago.

Come early (the NYC location opens for dinner at 5 pm) get in line to put your name down (our wait just to put our name down was about 45 minutes) and then they text you when your table is ready (on a Saturday evening, our table was ready exactly 3.5 hours later).

In the meantime you can be boring and old and just go home and take a nap or you can go out to a few bars and drink the time away.

That’s what we did!

Then you really feel like you’ve earned a juicy, simple and perfect burger. And it’s the perfect soak up the booze meal for your drunk ass.

You can also just come for lunch and probably not wait too long at all.

But what fun is that??

A few notes.

The regular burger comes with two patties. The Double comes with three. Go figure.

Both the fried chicken and bologna sandwiches are both delicious and worth ordering.

The NYC location has a downstairs bar where you can have a drink while you wait and maybe follow our lead and take about 17 very subtle photos of Bobby Flay who’s seated right behind you. Don’t worry, he won’t suspect a thing because you are at an expert at this.

33 Cortlandt Alley
New York, NY 10013 b/t Walker St & Canal St
Chinatown

Www.auchevaldiner.com

Downstairs Bar – Bobby Flay not included

The amazing fried chicken, you MUST order this.

 

JOE & PAT’S

  • January 7, 2019 10:10 pm

Tri-Pie – Tomato, Vodka Sauce, Pesto

Insanely thin crust on a pizza is a rare but beautiful thing.

I really don’t know why more pizzerias don’t attempt it.

You can eat a whole friggin’ pie without really any guilt or stomach distention. It’s a glorious way to feel gluttonous without wanting to pierce your stomach with a fire poker to alleviate the painful bloating.

I’m almost positive Henry VIII would have beheaded far less queens if he had access to some thin crust.

We ordered the Tri-Pie, which is a combo of tomato, vodka and pesto sauces. no other toppings except some mozzarella. The flavors were subtle but still quite tasty.

Not as yummy as Rubirosa’s vodka pizza, but close. And with an even thinner crust, somehow.

A few things to note.

The meatballs are nice but nothing really stands out about them. They could use some fresh herbs.

They charge $2 to add shaved parmesan to several dishes, which seems like a rip off. If you’re ordering a pizza, just note they’ll give you some free pre-grated parm.

Also, the pizzas are quite pricey for being so damn thin – many of the large 16′ pies are near the $30 mark.

Joe and Pat’s original location is in Staten Island, so maybe they had to recoup some of the sticker shock from their new East Village rental.

But think of it like this, $15 per person for one’s fill of a delicious meal isn’t exactly breaking the bank. Just stop comparing it to what you’d spend for a shame ridden night of Red Barron and a pint of Haagen Dazs rum raisin (yes, I’m projecting).

168 1st Ave
New York, NY 10009 b/t 11th St & 10th St
East Village

(212) 677-4992

Meatballs with ricotta – $12

In case you don’t believe how thin this pizza was….

KISH-KASH

  • January 3, 2019 9:59 pm


Chicken Tagine
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
$15
olives, three lemon sauce

 

I have the sneaking suspicion that Kish Kash won’t be around very long.

And for no good reason!

I loved it.

The décor is elegant yet casual, the food is vibrant and rewarding and it wasn’t overpriced.

I do think it’s greatest strength will also be it’s downfall.

The menu is quite minimal – Kish Kash specializes in house-made (have you noticed that expression has all but vanished from NYC menus??) couscous dishes.

Not exactly something your average diner seeks out to soothe their aching hangover.

Also, there aren’t really more than 10 things on the menu.

While there is a vegetarian couscous option, there isn’t exactly an omelet or avocado toast to appease those hangry and slightly less than woke friends of yours.

That being said, the couccous is the star of the show. It’s the smallest I’ve ever seen, like beige snow. It’s glorious and a perfect compliment to the lemon and olive accented chicken tagine or the tomatoey meatballs.

Just ditch those annoying friends and come enjoy a meal that’s bursting with flavor before this place inevitably closes in like 6 months or whenever their lease runs out.

 

455 Hudson St
New York, NY 10014 b/t Morton St & Barrow St
West Village

(646) 609-5298


Cauliflower
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
$12
pickled raisins, pine nuts, tahini


Mafrum
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
$14
spiced ground beef, tomato


Chraime
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
$19
spicy fish

 

 

FRENCHETTE – SOHO – BRUNCH

  • December 8, 2018 5:58 pm

Pork Schnitzel – $34

I have been trying to score a dinner reservation at Frenchette since it opened many months ago.

My lazy way of trying to check out a new, hard to get into restaurant is to wait until they start serving brunch.

And just like many upscale, better-known-for-dinner eateries, Frenchette was completely dead at brunch.

Even when we left around noon on a Saturday, there were only 2 other dining parties there.

Bad for the restaurant, good for me.

At dinner time, I want a little ambiance. I want people to gawk at, fashion to envy and I don’t even mind not being able to hear myself think.

Brunch is a different story.

I want silence. I want a humanless environment.

No one in the restaurant but me and a team of bored, hungover servers?

Deal me in!

At brunch, I’m here for the food. I’m here for the very tasty Pork Schnitzel with huckleberries and German potatoes.

I’m here for that desert-dry looking maple donut that was fantastic.

I’m here for the yummy sausage on pretzel roll and super thin and crispy waffle chips.

The food at Frenchette was much better than some of the lukewarm reviews I’ve read. But I’m thankful for those reviews.

They help ensure a post-apocalypse setting for me to inhale my food in peace.

Life after people?

Fine. As long as there’s schnitzel.

Www.frenchettenyc.com

Maple Glazed Donut – $6

Rose Piscin

Boudin Blanc on Pretzel Roll – $19