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Bun Boy Eats NYC – bunboy

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EL COCOTERO – CHELSEA – BRUNCH

  • November 29, 2019 3:19 pm

 

Chivo en Coco – Young goat stew in a coconut and red & green pepper sauce
$20

If you’re like me (which, don’t kid yourself, you are not but you desperately wished you were) than you’ve walked by this place a dozen times and thought “I should eat here sometime!”

(Just a reminder, you are NOT me).

So, today I thought “Ok, today’s the day I eat at El Cocotero!”

Except I probably totally mispronounced it.

We arrived at opening time on a Saturday (11 am) and enjoyed a very delicious Venezuelan brunch.

I can’t really think of any other Venezuelan place this side of 125th street, so it’s definitely a neighborhood gem.

Or Jam as my autocorrect keeps trying to make me say.

Probably because I misspelled ‘Gem’ as ‘Jem’ (I’m baffled why “…and the Holograms” was not then suggested by Autocorrect).

Moving on.

The menu is massive and you’ll probably get a little overwhelmed but just know that whatever you order is probably delicious so do not fret.

HOWEVER, you certainly must order the Arepitas sampler for the table (maybe even 2, since they come as just 4 per order).

If you live in NYC, you’ve seen Arepas hocked at any type of event or street fair. They’re these fried corn cakes stuffed with cheese but they can be stuffed with anything your heart desires!

And at El Cocotero, the sampler has them stuffed with beef, chicken and various cheeses. So good.

Something else you must order are the Cachapas.

They’re these amazing sweet corn pancakes stuffed with various savory items such as slow roasted pork, Venezuelan cheeses or the Venezuelan pot roast that I ordered.

Defintely one of the best dishes I’ve EVER had.

Seriously.

(One last reminder, you are NOT and could NEVER be me).

Thanks bye!

Cachapas w/ Venezuelan pot roast
$13

Sampler Arepitas
$10.95

 

 

21 CLUB – MIDTOWN WEST – DINNER

  • November 28, 2019 5:29 am

 

The 21 Club has a long and fascinating history (I just read an abbreviated Thrillist version a few moments ago) but I won’t bother retelling it.

I’ll either end up lying or making most of it up.

The current location started as a speakeasy and restaurant in 1929 and it’s been a New York City institution ever since.

It’s great for a quick dinner before a Broadway show but I also love it during NY Restaurant Week.

For $42 you get a filling 3 course dinner, which I feel is about a 50% discount.

Which is also why I ONLY come during restaurant week.

Definitely a special occasion place (jackets required) and the ambiance and crowd are both throwbacks to a different era  when people actually WANTED to wear a suit.

I would say the food is a solid B. Not amazing but still a solid, tasty, old fashioned meal at an iconic NYC landmark.

FIASCHETTERIA PISTOIA – WEST VILLAGE – DINNER

  • November 22, 2019 2:50 pm

 

Truffle Pasta of some kind….

If you are looking for a super, duper cute little pasta place in the west village, than literally look no further (literally) than….however you pronounce the name of this place.

Let’s call it FP.

FP is impossibly tiny and charming (aka, no large groups and be prepared to wait during peak dining times), it almost feels like you’re actually in Italy and not instead at some pretentious NYC version.

They make all their own fresh pastas (also, besides some appetizers, that’s pretty much all they serve) and they do so in a glass enclosed little room in the front, where you can watch like the dirty little voyeur you are.

Prices aren’t cheap but they aren’t expensive, everything is about $20-$24 with the exception of the truffle dish above, which currently costs $32 and is WORTH IT.

Definitely a good option if I Sodi or Via Carota (the hottest two Italian eateries in the neighborhood, if not the city) are all booked up.

BURRATA E POMODORINI
(BUFFALO BURRATA WITH GRAPE TOMATO)
17

PAPPARDELLE AL RAGU’
(SLOW COOKED BEEF RAGU BOLOGNESE STYLE)
20

PICI FRESCHI CACIO E PEPE
(HAND-ROLLED SPAGHETTI, PECORINO, BLACK PEPPER)
22

TIRAMISU’
10

VICTOR’S CAFE – HELL’S KITCHEN – BRUNCH

  • November 17, 2019 2:49 pm

 

If you like your burgers so rare that your hands are covered in cow blood while trying to look dignified in a nice restaurant, then Victor’s is for you!

Granted, the burger was quite tasty and I enjoyed the addition of Manchego cheese to help cover up the taste of pure bloody carnage.

Instead of the usual fries, the burger comes with plantain chips which were perfectly thin and crispy.

We started with an order of Bartolito, which are sweet plantain croquettes stuffed with pork, black bean purée and topped with goat cheese. Quite necessary.

I had noticed that pretty much every table in the joint was ordering the Cuban Sandwich, which comes in 4 nicely displayed triangles and seemed like a substantial portion.

Always nice when an upscale restaurant decides to buck the trend and actually serve American sized portions, AKA the size of three human stomachs.

Hint: Try to sit in the brightly light, festive indoor courtyard in the back and not the dismal throw away section in the front, that we sat at.

Grilled Red Snapper, ginger, black beans, sesame oil, Serrano chili and bok choy.
$36

 

WAYLA – LOWER EAST SIDE – DINNER

  • November 1, 2019 5:04 am

Sai Oua & Pork Belly Set – $21
Two Fried Eggs, Grilled Thai Pork Sausage, Berkshire Pork Belly, Papaya Salad, Sticky Rice

 

 

The only thing preventing me from crying in my curry about being denied access to the supposedly lovely outdoor patio (wait time was 45 minutes) was how yummy the food was!

You’re lucky, Wayla! Really lucky.

Night.

Almost.

Ruined.

When we arrived at this Lower East Side hotspot, we had a bit of trouble figuring out where to go. Wayla is located in a nondescript basement with practically zero signage (see pic below).

So, when some stranger saw my struggle and decided to instruct me where to go, I was secretly horrified.

This is my JOB, people. I should KNOW this. Get with the program, Bun Boy.

Clearly I have a serious disorder and the idea of being seen as someone who does not know where he is going or what he is doing is just ABHORRENT!

(anyway……………)

We get seated in what is basically the hallway to the ever elusive outdoor patio we proceed to order our guts out.

We start with the infamous crispy noodle wrapped meatballs (which people seemed disappointed by, on Yelp) and the Berskhire Pork appetizer.

The meatballs are simple but once dipped in the sweet chili sauce, come alive. They’re only $8 so whatever.

The Berkshire pork dish is sort of like a deconstructed lettuce wrap appetizer. Everything is nicely dressed and served cold atop a few lettuce leaves.

If you feel like it, you can unearth the soggy lettuce leaves and attempt to make yourself a lettuce wrap.

Then, you’ll give up because the damn thing is so messy and just eat the remainder like a salad.

But it’s SO tasty. The vinaigrette has a nice tart bite to it.

The chicken is your standard fried chicken but it’s that green sauce that elevates things. Not sure what the ingredients are but it has the essence of that mint cilantro sauce that Indian samosas come with.

I think I enjoyed the green curry noodles the best. They weren’t very spicy but they were packed with flavor and came as a nice sized portion.

Just an FYI, two apps and two mains for two people here is a LOT of food. Come hungry, be ready for leftovers or maybe only order one app?

(But underordering is SOOOOOO boring….)

 

***Oct 31, 2019 UPDATE*****

I came back for brunch and got to sit at the patio! WORTH IT.

 

http://WWW.WAYLANYC.COM

100 Forsyth St
New York, NY 10002

 

Wayla is located downstairs, in the basement

Khao Mung Gai Tod – $16
Thai Style Coriander Fried Chicken, chicken rice, sweet chili sauce

Moo Sarong – Crispy Noodle Wrapped Pork Meatball
$8

Yum Khor Moo Yang – Grilled Berkshire Pork, Shallots, Basil, Chilies, Bibb Lettuce Wrap
$15

Mee Pad Kang Kiao Wan Pak – Green Curry Noodles
$17

Gai Tod Hat Yai – Southern Fried Amish Chicken
$24

GOLDEN DINER – CHINATOWN – BRUNCH

  • October 31, 2019 7:08 pm

If you want a perfect little egg sandwich (and an even better Biscuits and Gravy) Golden Diner is for you!

That square patty you see above is not meat, it’s crispy potato! (you can add meat or avocado for an extra $3)

The biscuits are inexplicably filled with kale and parmesan but don’t let those trendy additions fool you, they’re some of the best biscuits I’ve ever had.

Golden Diner (opened by a Momofuku alum) is a trendy, tiny diner in a random side street in Chinatown but they serve one of the best breakfasts I’ve had in a long time.

GO!

(ok, I’m done).

https://www.goldendinerny.com/

 

 

 

MADAME VO BBQ – EAST VILLAGE – BRUNCH

  • September 20, 2019 5:08 am

Madame Vo is one of those places that annoyingly makes you put a credit card down to make a reservation.

Even for brunch!

What if I’m hungover? What if I wake up dead?? Enjoy that $25 a person, Madame. Hope ya choke on it.

Ok, where was I?

I think Madame Vo BBQ is the only Vietnamese BBQ place I’ve ever been to.

I’ve been to plenty of Korean BBQ. Lots of American BBQ. Never Vietnamese.

Their sister restaurant, Madame Vo, is your standard Vietnamese fare.

Madame Vo BBQ is ALL ABOUT THE MEAT.

Vegetarians, don’t even bother. There is literally nothing here for you.

Ok, so the food is pretty spectacular. The star of brunch is their version of chicken and waffles. Not sure what makes their fried chicken Vietnamese (I think there is fish sauce involved, but it’s not very prevalent) the waffles are made with coconut milk and whatever the hell pandan is.

(pandan is a tropical plant and you cook with the leaves that look like banana leaves)

It’s very good and unique but if you don’t order any of the BBQ meats, you’re missing out. Each table comes with a BBQ in the center (similar to at Korean BBQ joints) and the restaurant’s signature dish is the BEEF SEVEN WAYS.

Sort of like a sampler platter of meat. All the meats.

We ordered two of those meats, a la carte. The lemongrass marinated short rib roll is heavenly and stuffed with slices of onion.

The Berkshire Pork Meatball is equally divine. I love how the meats are moist and perfectly seasoned. No need to panic about the location of some sort of dipping sauce.

Tell me one single food item that cannot be improved by a dipping sauce??

www.madamevobbq.com

Short Rib Bone Marrow Spring Roll – $16
Served with Truffle-Hoisin Sauce

 

Nem Nuong – $16
Roast Berkshire Pork Meatball topped w/ Scallion Oil and Crushed Peanuts

Bo Lui – $16
Lemongrass Marinated Short Rib Roll w/ White Onion topped in Scallion Oil

Vietnamese Chicken and Waffles – $20
Pandan and Coconut Milk Waffles w/ Condensed Milk and fish sauce marinated Vietnamese Fried Chicken

OXOMOCO – GREENPOINT/BROOKLYN – BRUNCH

  • August 30, 2019 5:34 am

Don’t ask me to pronounce the name of this restaurant.

I said don’t!

However you pronounce it, Oxomoco is worth the hype.

We showed up on a Saturday at peak brunch hour (around noon?) and while it was crowded, we were able to snag a table with no wait. I mean, we had to be gone by 1 pm to accommodate someone’s reservation.

I took this to mean “you are revolting and we don’t like you.”

But we were starving, so FINE!

(I read stories of several hour waits, so this was a relief).

We started with cocktails, naturally. My frozen watermelon margarita was excellent, not too sweet. The Bloody Maria was horseradish heavy, which I love.

The burger is only served at Brunch and so of course, I had to have it.

If it’s exclusive and overpriced, it has to be mine!

The burger, if you count the egg, is $22 bucks. Not the most expensive burger out there, but not exactly cheap.

But it’s perfection. Drenched in a mild enchilada sauce, this dish is presented to you stabbed to the heart with a big steak knife. The Enchilada sauce has the appearance of fresh blood.

My problem with theme burgers is that the dozens of accoutrements distract from your standard burger flavors.

If you’re craving a burger, you don’t order a burrito.

What Oxomoco does is merely enhance rather than overwhelm. At the heart of it, it’s still a burger and a damn good one.

When I looked around, I was not-so-secretly envious of everyone’s Bacon Burrito.

Once you get past the unnecessary garnish of pretty but pointless greenery, you get a very tasty, egg heavy breakfast burrito with hints of potato and bacon.

Many eateries will try to cram a ton of distractions into a breakfast burrito when what actually distinguishes this meal as breakfast is often hard to find.

Often you’ll encounter a meat and potato burrito with egg filling in the blanks.

The decor at Oxomoco is also gorgeous in that famous reclaimed everything Brooklyn way, definitely come there to impress someone (or yourself).

128 Greenpoint Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11222

oxomoconyc.com

Bacon Burrito – $18

Hamburguesa Pambazo – $19 ($23 w/ Egg)

 

 

PASTIS – MEATPACKING – BRUNCH

  • August 26, 2019 6:04 pm

Some food trends bore me to tears.

Others, I’m all here for.

Speaking of which, I’m 100% here for the simple, fast food take on gourmet burgers that are popping up everywhere.

Gone (hopefully) are the days of the boring enormous steakhouse burger.

There was a forgettable bun, a 10 inch tall flavorless patty of unnecessarily artisan meats, a thick slimy slice of tomato and a scant amount of pretentious cheese.

Basically, too many toppings that rendered actually eating this bland monstrosity with your hands impossible.

Perhaps this all started with the West Village’s Happy Endings bar with their faux In and Out Cheeseburger (which I did not care for)?

Then The Spaniard came out with a simple, cheesy cheeseburger of my very wettest dreams.

And then Chicago’s famed Au Cheval came to town with their legendary cheeseburger and it was all over.

Now it was time for the copycats.

Who are more than welcomed!

Keith McNally’s restaurants are all the same.

Gorgeous French Bistros.

All with, I think, the exact same menu. And the same moody antique yellow vibes and vintage Paris décor.

Boogie but still a touch casual. Always sporting a quite dense tourist population (Balthazar, Minetta Tavern).

Pastis (of Sex and the City fame) closed right before I moved to NYC, back in 2014.

I had always heard rumblings of it’s eventual return. Like an aging actress who had spent the past few years doing Hallmark movies but had a big indie film ready to explode upon the festival circuit.

And just this summer, that indie film came out.

And it was poignant.

I’m only going to comment on the burger. Because it was truly delicious.

And totally riding the simple, just cheese/meat/special sauce fast food train that has firmly arrived in New York City.

It was perfection (as were the fries).

May this train never leave.

 

52 Gansevoort St
New York, NY 10014 b/t Washington St & Greenwich St
West Village

pastisnyc.com

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