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Bun Boy Eats NYC – Uncategorized

THE SMITH – UPPER WEST SIDE – DINNER

  • June 2, 2017 5:26 am


Dinner is a strong word for what we ate tonight at The Smith.

It was more pre-theater drinks and apps.

Well, it may have been dinner for some folks. You know, those with human sized appetites.

No one who has eaten with me would dare suggest my apetite resembles anything human.

The Smith is a NYC chain (now in DC) with pretty decent grub so I wasn’t even going to waste my time with a blog post. However, there is one epic thing to come here for…their legendary Mac and Cheese.

There is no reinventing of the wheel here. No lobster or pulled pork or vegan situation. Not someone’s take on a mac and cheese.

Just simple, amazing, gooey wonderment.

The monstrosity is baked in a mini cast iron skillet and topped with a glorious crispy cheese blanket or roof, if you will.

We also ordered oysters (fine), spicy salmon on crispy rice (the rice was really hard to bite through) and a couple of Manhattan cocktails (decent).

If you’re here for a quick bite before seeing whatever show you paid way too much for at Lincoln Center, then either lower your expectations or resign yourself to the inevitable food coma in store for you if you go the Mac and Cheese route.

Otherwise, if you’re treating yourself with the ballet or opera, may as well hit up Bar Bouloud beforehand and give yourself a proper early bird meal.

1900 Broadway
New York, NY 10023
b/t West 64th St & 63rd St
Upper West Side
Website

MU RAMEN – LIC/QUEENS – DINNER

  • May 30, 2017 5:25 am

The server at this popular ramen joint right next to the MOMA PS1 museum building warned me about the extra large noodles in the Spicy Miso ramen dish I had ordered.

Did I listen?

No.

Did I like the noodles?

No.

Is this all my fault and I should just die?

Yes.

Was the broth amazing?

Yes!

I tried their signature Mu Ramen dish, with it’s oxtail and bone marrow broth and found it a bit to delicate (almost bland) for my tastes but my dining companion slurped up every bite!

While this place was cute and the ramen was good, I wouldn’t make a special trek for it.

Plus, they’re cash only. What’s a cash??

12-09 Jackson Ave
Long Island City, NY 11101
Hunters Point, Long Island City
(917) 868-8903
ramennyc.wix.com/popup

Tebasaki Gyoza 16
deep fried chicken wings stuffed with foie and brioche

SPICY MISO $16
red miso and pork based soup, topped with scallion, chopped pork, menma, corn, sesame and chili oil

MU RAMEN $22
oxtail and bone marrow based soup, bisket, half sour pickle, menma, cabbage and scallions

MOMA PS1 Musem

MOMA PS1 Museum

EMPELLON TAQUERIA – WEST VILLAGE – BRUNCH

  • May 26, 2017 4:56 pm

Empellon is one of those eateries that falls into the “Expensive and OK” category of NYC Mexican restaurants.

There are only two categories.

The other is “Cheap and Bad”.

Sure, I’ve yet to come across a “Expensive and Bad” Mexican restaurant, but I may have also been in the midst of a deep Margarita stupor to be thinking clearly.

Two little tacos are $16, which is kind of outrageous, even for NYC.

The two we tried, the Tempura Fish and the Lamb Barbacoa were both actually quite good.

And the guacamole, while not very spicy, was also nice.

The two “salsas” that come with the chips were more like flavorful cream sauces. Which I quite enjoyed. But salsas, they were not.

Everyone else at the table ordered Chilaquiles, which appeared to be quite uninspired. However, they were scarfed up, so they were not “bad”.

The margaritas were tasty but weak, but that could be the brunch time recipe. No one was looking to be hammered by 1 pm. It wasn’t Saturday, after all.

The thing about Mexican brunch in NYC, is that it’s kind of a no brainer. It’s never usually outrageously expensive, it’s always going to be lively (thanks to the Margs) and there isn’t usually a long wait for a table, since they don’t ever make it to Eater’s 38 essential restaurants list.

230 W 4th St
New York, NY 10014
b/t S 7th Ave & 4 St
West Village
Website

Spicy Cucumber
Pueblo Viejo Blanco, Fresh Cucumber, Jalapeño Tincture, Chile Salt
$14

¿Porqué No?
Cimarron Blanco, Fresh Pineapple, Cilantro, Serrano Tincture
$14

Guacamole With Two Salsas
(smoked cashew, salsa roja)
$15

Fish Tempura with Cabbage and Lime Mayonnaise
$16

Lamb Barbacoa with Cucumber and Salsa Borracha
$16

CHILAQUILES VERDES
with Black Beans and a Sunny Side Egg
$14

TUOME – ALPHABET CITY – DINNER

  • May 22, 2017 5:53 am

CHICKEN LIVER
[mousse, ny maple, milk bread]
$13

Tuome has been around for a while, but it’s always lingered on the peripheral of my radar.

I’m so glad I made the effort to dine here recently because it’s really a worthwhile experience. Much more so than the previous pointless sentence.

One suggestion, don’t freak out about the fried deviled eggs. I really don’t think they work. Hot deviled eggs just seem wrong. So did not finishing every bite, so keep that in mind.

The chicken liver mousse was excellent, definitely order this. The honey really brought it over the top.

The lamb was also quite special and a nice sized portion.

It’s beer/wine/sake only so don’t be fooled into ordering one of their $13 cocktails that don’t contain any actual liquor.

Sake cocktails are a big pet peeve of mine. It takes about 4.9 of them to acquire an adequate buzz. And by then you’ve gone broke.

BROCCOLI
[fermented shallot, garlic, sichuan chili]
$9

EGG
[deviled, crispy, chili]
$8

CHICKEN LIVER
[mousse, ny maple, milk bread]
$13

LAMB
[english peas, shishito, black pepper sauce]
$32

LITTLE TONG’S NOODLE – EAST VILLAGE – DINNER

  • May 19, 2017 5:49 am

The problem with Little Tong’s is that they serve rice noodles instead of egg noodles.

While the ramen-like dishes were still tasty, I kept wishing I was eating egg noodles. It was almost too distracting.

I never feel this way when I’m eating Thai noodles. I couldn’t imagine Pad Thai or Pad Kee Mao with egg noodles. All is right with the world.

But this trendy Japanese noodle house suffers from egg noodle envy.

Am I the only one that thinks this?

If not, leave your comments below.

Ha, just kidding. No one even read this blog.

The only comments I’ll be receiving are spam messages touting the benefits of Cialis and Viagra.

177 1st Ave
New York, NY 10003
b/t 11th St & 10th St
East Village
(929) 367-8664
littletong.com

Miyozakura Junmai Panda – $11

Pork Chao Shou – $6

Ghost Chicken – $7

Little Pot Mixian – $16

Mala Dan Dan Mixian – $15

TIM HO WAN – EAST VILLAGE – BRUNCH

  • May 15, 2017 5:44 am

A long wait to get inside a restaurant has never dissuaded me before.

However, if I want to not eat by myself, I actually have to consider other people’s feelings.

Aren’t other people’s feelings boring??

Well, a few months after the smoking hot dim sum spot Tim Ho Wan opened, it appears those epic lines have all but vanished.

Sure, I arrived at 9:30 am (30 minutes before opening) to find one lone woman ardently reading a bottom shelf romance novel (the naked torso on the cover looked like a precocious 8 year old had drawn it).

I eagerly got in line behind her, awaiting the swarms of people who would be showing up any minute now.

Only 10 other people lined up behind me and once we were all seated, I never saw a line form again.

Now, my philosophy on dim sum has been explained before.

It’s a stressful experience filled with mysterious food with questionable textures and tastes.

We only ordered one fried item (the only OK vegetable spring rolls) and the remaining items were squishy. Dim sum is either fried or squishy.

The highlight were the baked BBQ pork buns. Wow, were those good. Definitely the best I’ve ever had! An order comes with three sizable buns. Unless you’re feeling piggy (we were), you will only need one order per two people.

Everything else was just all right. I won’t even bother wasting words on just all right. We don’t have all day, folks.

85 4th Ave
New York, NY 10003
b/t Cooper Sq & Bowery
East Village
(212) 228-2800
timhowanusa.com

Steamed Beef Ball with Bean Curd Skin

Baked BBQ Pork Buns (3 pieces)

Deep Fried Vegetable Spring Roll (Lo Han Jai)

Steamed Dumplings in Chiu Chow Style

Steamed Bean Curd with Meat and Vegetable

LILIA – BROOKLYN/WILLIAMSBURG – DINNER

  • May 12, 2017 3:41 pm

Lilia is hot enough of a restaurant to have made it to Gwyneth Paltrow’s most recent Goop restaurant list.

That may or may not make you want to come here.

Keep in mind, however, that if it’s good enough for ole Paltrow to whip out her passport and get her organic butt to Brooklyn, you know it’s gotta be good. Or at least, popular.

I was prepared for another overhyped let down (a la Brooklyn’s other uber hot eatery, Olmstead) but I was definitely bummed upon the realization that I was not going to be able to trash this place. Damnit.

The menu is substantial and we only ordered 4 items (our server must have thought we were homeless) so there is plenty of the menu yet to explore.

The menu mostly consists of veggie side dishes and lots of pasta.

I would say you can’t go wrong no matter what you order, however make sure you get that grilled bass dish. Definitely the standout, this perfectly cooked fish was smothered in a salsa verde and placed atop a perfectly smashed potato.

What more could you want?

Make sure you start with those Cacio e Pepe fritters.

Every restaurant is making something cacio e Pepe these days (Hearth serves Cacio e Pepe grits and Momofuku Nishi makes a version of Cacio e Pepe using puréed chickpeas) but who doesn’t love black pepper and cheese?? It’s a bandwagon I’m perfectly fine with every chef leaping on.

Reservations are nearly impossible to make online. Phone reservations open 30 days in advance while the online systems is only 28 days, so by the time you wake your ass up at 6:00 am, those old grandmas who still use a telephone have already snatched up the good spots.

Which is funny because grandmas love to eat at 5:30 pm and those are the only availabilities you’ll find online.

However, the space is large and it does appear they leave a substantial amount open for walk-ins.

567 Union Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Williamsburg – North Side
(718) 576-3095
lilianewyork.com

Cacio e Pepe Fritelle

Grilled Scallops, Walnuts, Yoghurt, Marjoram

Sheeps Milk Cheese Filled Agnolotti, Saffron, Dried Tomato, Honey

Black Bass, Salsa Verde, Coal Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes

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JOE ALLEN – THEATER DISTRICT – DINNER

  • May 6, 2017 6:50 pm

As much as I’m trying to get out of the habit of using the obnoxious and omnipresent “AF”, the menu at Joe Allen can be described in no other way but as Random AF.

They serve escargot and chicken wings and some thai stew and a lobster roll and Monday is their Mexican night! What??

Joe Allen has been around since 1965 and seems intent on having a little something for the pickiest tourist. Because that’s all who’s going there. Tourists before or after a show, who might want a taco and escargot and if they can’t get both dishes at the same place, to Yelp they shall go!

While the food at Joe Allen is intensely uninspired, it wasn’t bad. In fact, my meatloaf (which NEVER cooled down, btw) and mashed potatoes were quite tasty!

As was the beet salad, thanks to the crunchy granola situation added to the mix.

And the bread basket was solid.

The place is homey, with a touch of classic, old school, dark wood/exposed brick New York with a smattering of slightly trashy diner vibe mixed to help make the underdressed jorts wearing Minnesotan feel at home before he rushes off to see Jersey Boys.

When it came to the wine, our server clearly instructed us that “We open the bottle but you guys are in charge of pouring” so we knew the quality of service might not blow us away. But everyone was friendly and attentive, so no over all complaints besides the 8 passive aggressive ones I’ve already made.

326 W 46th St
New York, NY 10036
b/t 9th Ave & 8th Ave
Theater District, Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown West
(212) 581-6464
joeallenrestaurant.com

Roasted Beet Salad
$14
cara cara orange, arugula, goat cheese, candied almonds, citrus vinaigrette

Roasted Brussels Sprouts (BORING)
$9

Pan-Roasted Sea Scallops
$29
warm couscous, peas, beurre blanc

Meatloaf
$20
mashed potatoes, gravy, spinach

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake
$11
walnuts, vanilla ice cream, hot fudge

ONE IF BY LAND, TWO IF BY SEA – WEST VILLAGE – DINNER

  • April 28, 2017 5:59 am

One If By Land (don’t make me type the rest) is always voted (by who, I have no idea) as NYC’s most romantic restaurant.

While it’s definitely up there, I don’t know if I would consider it the MOST romantic. The service is so prompt, you’d never have a chance to make out before you were rudely interrupted by someone bringing you your food. The nerve!

The restaurant is housed in Aaron Burr’s carriage house, built in 1767. Aaron Burr is the man who shot and killed Alexander Hamilton. That’s all I got for you folks. You’re probably fast asleep, anyway.

The cheapest meal option is 3 courses for $100 bucks.

Definitely overpriced, but this is special occasion restaurant so you don’t feel as bad that you’re being taken advantage of.

Also, each course is quite sizable, so it’s not the type of tiny two-biters that you’d get at one of NYC’s other tasting menu eateries.

Except for dessert, dessert was tiny.

Which was fine by us, since we were nicely stuffed by then.

The complimentary dinner rolls brought out seemed extremely boring but once we added a healthy amount of butter, they were much appreciated.

For the first course, we ordered a pasta and duck confit dish, which was really nice and almost too large of a portion.

The Foie Gras dish was also a bit too large but it was promptly gobbled up.

For our mains, we had the Veal Chop (for $10 extra) and it was massive and tasty. And also a cruel order on our part, the poor baby veal. We’re such assholes.

Their signature dish is the Beef Wellington. A perfect sized cut of steak (filet, I think?) wrapped in pastry and baked. SO good. This is highly recommended, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Our desserts were decontrusted versions of carrot cake and tres leches cake. Basically, someone gave a normal slice of cake and a scoop of ice cream to a 3 year old and told them to make art out of it.

The cocktails were superb: tasty, boozy and not skimpy. I almost thing it would be a great place for drinks at the bar, if the whole “most romantic restaurant” thing didn’t make you feel so bad for eating alone.

BTW, the coat check is mandatory. So if your jacket was covering a gross looking stain or maybe you just peed your pants, you’ll be forced to do the walk of shame past less disgusting people celebrating an anniversary. And you just ruined everything for them. Thanks for that, jerk.

17 Barrow St
New York, NY 10014
b/t S 7th Ave & 4th St
West Village
(212) 228-0822
oneifbyland.com

Built in 1767 – Once owned by Aaron Burr.

Hand Pulled Pasta w/ Duck Confit, yellow foot mushrooms, butternut squash, truffle.

Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras – Meyer Lemon linzer tart, hazelnut brittle, beurre noisette aoili

Beef Wellington – Mushroom duxelle, seasonal vegetables, beurre rouge.

Roasted Veal Chop – German fingerling potato salad, apple smoked bacon, whole grain mustard sauce.

Tres Leches
Vanilla sponge, dolce cream, vanilla mousse,
peach compote, dolce gelato

Ginger Carrot Cake
Dolce cremeux, cream cheese icing, carrot sauce,
cream cheese sorbet, crystalized pineapple

JOANNE TRATTORIA – UPPER WEST SIDE – DINNER

  • April 24, 2017 5:58 am

Joanne’s Spaghetti and Meatballs

Joanne’s is a somewhat tacky looking Italian eatery on the UWS that is more famous for being owned by Lady Gaga’s parents.

However, the decor is not why everyone is coming here. They’re coming here for Gaga. Hint: she won’t be there.

The crowd looked to be 2% locals and 103% tourists (is my math right?) but after trying the food, I’m actually shocked.

THE FOOD WAS REALLY GOOD!

The meatballs were super flavorful and garlicky, the pasta was perfectly cooked and portions were ample.

The drinks were very tasty, a few of their names inspired by Lada Gaga herself.

While there are a ton of good Italian restaurants in the city, there aren’t an equal amount of casual and friendly spots where you don’t have to make a reservation a month in advance.

If I lived closer, I would definitely add this place in my rotation of no-brainer spots to get my grub on.

I can’t believe I got through this entire post without one single Gaga pun. What is wrong with me? Guess I’m off my game. My love game. That’s a Gaga song, right?

70 W 68th St
New York, NY 10023
b/t W Central Park & Columbus Ave
Upper West Side
(212) 721-0068
joannenyc.com

Joanne’s Meatballs – $9

Pasta Bolognese

White Truffle Alfredo

Red Velvet Cake