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Peter’s Rotisserie (“Since 1969”)- Hell’s Kitchen

27 May

When Peter’s Rotisserie opened up in Hell’s Kitchen, just a few blocks away (9th Ave between 42nd and 43rd), I had no idea it was anything special.  Then I started hearing some buzzing that it was “famous” and a favorite brought over from Williamsburg (Brooklyn).  So I stopped in one night, got some chicken, and decided to see what was so special.

My conclusion: Not a thing

So when my team decided to visit there for Team Lunch, I was less than enthused.  Turns out, it’s a good thing I went back.  While I am still underwhelmed by their chicken, the rest of the food has actually been quite good, and now I keep going back.

Think of it like a bumped up Boston Market.  You pick a main, 2 sides, and a roll.  Here we have some chicken with collard greens and mashed sweet potato.  I really enjoy the sweet potatoes here.  Full of flavor.

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Then the slow roasted pork with potato salad and roasted veggies.  The pork was surprisingly tender and flavorful.  And the roasted veggies are DELISH!

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The meat loaf (with white gravy), collard greens, and potato salad.  I REALLY like the meatloaf here.

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They also have awesome pink mint lemonade that they serve in mason jars.

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Overall, I have been really impressed with Peter’s, since after all, it is a fast food place, and find myself craving it often.  I recommend going with the meat loaf, roasted veggies, sweet potatoes, pink mint lemonade, and the mac and cheese (if you want to be bad.  And by bad… I mean OH so good).  It’s a good place for dine-in, take-out, or delivery.  Man I love New York.

Total Nom Points: 6.5 out of 10

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Bon Chon Chicken

29 Nov

Welcome back from your Thanksgiving hangover!  You know what cures a hangover like none-other?  Korean Fried Chicken!

They actually opened up a BonChon on my street… and they even deliver.  VERY dangerous.   

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It came with some sides (which is typical for Korean food… surprise sides!) and I’m pretty sure it was some slaw and pickled radish.

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I also ordered a bulgogi wrap, since I’m OBSESSED with bulgogi. 

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It was good… but I prefer good ol’ fashioned bulgogi and rice.

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So of course we ordered that too!  It was good, but I prefer it from other places.  I think if you’re going to get BonChon, just stick with the fried chicken.

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Which is delicious.

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Slightly sweet, just the right amount of crisp.

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Naughty but oh so good!

Total Nom Points: 6.5 out of 10

The New Montenapo

11 Sep

I was completely blown away last time I went to Montenapo (in the NY Times building on 41st between 7th and 8th).  So much so, that I nominated it for the #4 meal of all of 2009.

They closed down for a few months when a new owner came on board.  I’m not sure what they changed, however, I was so excited that it opened back up that I ordered take out.  Very expensive take out to be exact. 

I chose the Pappardelle alla Genovese (with braised pork, beef, and veal).  It sounded great, but I was kinda bummed when I opened up the lid to find… this…

I mean, you pay $20 for pasta from a restaurant that you were blown away by last time, you expect more than this lump of goo.  And it was fine… just… fine.  Nothing even remotely interesting about it.  I still had hope for Mike’s dish…

Linguine alle Vongole e Zucchine (with littleneck clams and zucchini).  It was… fine.  Fair… Okay it was boring. 

And the side of sauteed spinach? Also… bland.   

I was beyond disappointed.  It was SO good in the restaurant before and this was just so bland.  For a $50 delivery, I expect more to begin with, but to have such a great place turn to so boring just sucks.  Maybe it was an off day… or maybe they just don’t do delivery well.  I MAY try to give them another try by dining in… but this was so uninspired I might just throw this on the “give up” list.  Bummer.

Total Nom Points: 5 out of 10

Dafni Greek Taverna Delivery

10 Mar

Trying to stay a LITTLE healthy, we ordered takeout fromDafni Greek Taverna (42nd Street between 8th and 9th Aves). 

We started with stuffed grape leaves.  They were quite delicious, though I can’t say I ever see too much difference in grape leaves. It seems everyone uses the exact same recipe.

I went with the Garides Mikrolimano Entrée which included sauteed shrimp with tomato sauce, feta, olives, over rice.  It was QUITE tasty and was plenty for two separate meals.

Mike got the Chicken Souvlaki Grilled Entrée over rice. It was quite tasty and the chicken was very well marinated.

Overall, I was quite surprised by this place.  When I think of food around Port Authority, nothing of much worth comes to mind.  This place was tasty, seamed fresh, and delivers.  Kind of hard to beat.  My entree was a bit pricey at $19 (Mike’s was $13.50), however, when you think that I got two full meals out of it, it’s kind of hard to argue at $9.50.

Total Nom Points: 6.5 out of 10

One year of NYC Nom Nom

9 Feb

Today marks the one year anniversary of when I officially started NYC Nom Nom.

My first blog entries were definitely a “hello cyberspace!” entry without much substance.  It was a simple list of my current favorite restaurants in NYC followed up by my recipe for the Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars that everyone loves.

My favorite eating moments of the past year were WD50 and Thanksgiving.  I also won TWO meals: one at Fishtail from Foodbuzz and the other at Landmarc from Time Warner Center’s Circle of Taste (and won a cooking class at Williams Sonoma from them too!)  I even got to eat on a completely different continent for the first time.

As for the bad… I had a casualty of bread, had an absolutely terrible meal at a diner that some people love and some people hate, had my gallbladder removed, and was nearly killed by Co.

I also really learned how to cook this year.  I managed to find a love for brussel sprouts and learned how to make pasta.  I no longer can be accused of being such a bad cook that I hermetically seal pots.  I even won my last company’s Top Chef Competition.

It has been quite an adventure for me and I have loved this little side project and hope to continue it for a long time to come.

My friends, my family, and even my mom called ME for recipes and suggestions this past year.  My Grandma even asked me for a cooking tip last weekend when we all sat down to a wonderful, homemade meal together.  My Grandma taught me a lot about food (especially baking) and really taught me not just a love for food, but a love for the traditions of food, especially surrounded by family and loved ones.  She passed away the very next day after our family meal together.  I will be forever thankful for all she taught me and for that last meal we shared together.


Grandma Litty (May 26, 1927 – February 1, 2010) enjoying a banana cream pie on a boat in Colorado- 2007.

Top 10 Noms of 2009

31 Dec

What is a New Year without a Top 10?  I have been blogging for exactly 325 days and have enjoyed every moment of it.  I love food… and I’m so happy that I have some very faithful readers who have joined me on this journey (THANK YOU!). With that said, here is my top 10 Noms from 2009:

10) Disney World stands out in my mind for a very memorable eating trip in 2009.  The dinner we had at Marrakash comes up often and I still can’t remember ever having a better sundae than the Ghiradelli one I had at Downtown Disney.

9) When Mike and I took the Culinary Walking Tour of Greenwich Village, we didn’t really know what to expect. It wound up being great for both food (we have gone back to these places a few times since then) and history. 

8) I actually wound up going to Becco twice this year (Becco 1 and Becco 2).  They are awesome for having an unlimited pasta tasting from their three pastas of the day and a pretty extensive wine list for under $25.  But their Osso Bucco is what dreams are made of.

7) Every time I go to Koi it is amazing.  It’s one of the very, very few restaurants I can go to over and over again (even multiple times in the same week).  The crispy rice is amazing and I credit the Miso Glazed Cod with having started me eating fish for the first time.

6) The short ribs at Charles were great (well… I thought so until I had #2 on this list). We first sampled them at a nice fund-raising food festival and then I won a gift certificate by bidding $60 for a $75 gift certiciate.  The braised lamb shank was exceptional and highly recommended.

5) Quality Meats had been recommended to me time and time again.  While the steak was great, but not my favorite, the corn creme brulee was so good that I dream about it.

4) Eating at Montenapo, especially on someone else’s dime so we could order multiple courses without guilt (well, except waistline guilt), was a HUGE treat.  It’s brand new and in the middle of an area that is known to wimp out on food.  The Osso Bucco was the best I’ve ever had (even though I just had a taste of someone else’s) and the desserts were sensational.  There wasn’t a bad bite in the entire meal. 

3) I have loved Keens Steakhouse since the first time I tried it, however, the bar is especially amazing and I’m so glad Lori joined me for my first time.  That potato and steak was heavenly and more restaurants should make merengue… especially if it’s that good!

2) The number two slot goes to a yet to be blogged about meal at Bottega (Michael Chiarello’s restaurant in Napa Valley).  Why was it so good? You’ll just have to read the blog to find out!

1) My birthday dinner at WD-50 was epic. It is hands down the best meal I’ve ever had.  We went whole hog and got the full tasting menu.  Each dish was a new adventure… and not just because it looked cool.  There were such wonderful flavors in everything and I really loved this place.  #1 for the year… probably lifetime #1 to date.

Runners up:

Happy New Year Nommers!

Pho Sho

16 Nov

Yes… I do know how terrible that title is.  And I love bad jokes (I owe that to my father).

When my coworker said she was ordering from L’Annam, a Vietnamese place on 3rd Ave at 28th Street, I knew I was jumping on the trendy train and ordering Pho.  It also helped that it was a cold, rainy NYC day… so hearty soup sounded perfect.

I’ve had Pho once before, but it was at the restaurant and they served it fully prepared.  I was disappointed by it, but informed quickly that there is something about it when you are served the raw meat that you then pour the hot soup over to cook.  This order provided me with two containers… one of the fillin’s with some cooked meat and some raw meat and one container of hot soup.  It wasn’t quite as hot as it probably should have been, however, it did the job to get my meat cooked well enough that it tasted like fresh roast beef.


It was definitely good, and I loved the thai basil on top, however, I’m still not sure that I get what all the fuss is about.  I mean it’s damn good soup, but why are people so terrified of it?  Because it says oxtail?  I’ve eaten far stranger!

It’s hard to judge a restaurant purely on soup takeout, however, I will say that it I do recommend this place for Pho in the very small comparison test I’ve had.

“Fast” Food near Port Authority

11 Nov

I now live pretty close to Port Authority, which is known for having pretty bad food selections.  I have been pretty pleased with some new offerings in the area (especially Montenapo in the NY Times building).  We needed two quick meals this weekend, so I decided upon Pick-A-Pita (now on 8th Ave between 39th and 40th) and Schnippers (also in the NY Times building on the corner of 8th Ave and and 41st). 

Schnippers is a place that I have been to a few times and REALLY enjoy.  They remind me a bit of Johnny Rockets but not a chain and no singing involved.  Their burgers are great and exactly the way I like them (with lots of extra flavorful goodies on top).  I usually get the Schnippers Classic (cheese blend, carmelized onions, bacon, arugula, and Schnippers sauce) but the Hickory Bacon Blue Burger (bacon, blue cheese, crispy onions, hickory BBQ sauce, lettuce, tomato, and Schnippers sauce) always sounded good.  Luckily Mike ordered the Hickory Bacon Blue so I could stick with my Classic.  One bite of Mike’s burger, however, and I’m sold!  The blue cheese was so. good. 

The Classic:

The Hickory Bacon Blue

One of my favorite parts of Schnippers is their sweet potato fries.  They come with a maple dipping sauce and it is SO good I could eat it with a spoon.

They’re also known for having great sloppy joes.

Total Nom Points: 7.5 out of 10

Next up was Pick-A-Pita as a quick lunch before starting to install a divider in the new apartment.  Pick-A-Pita used to be through a freight elevator in a tiny little back kitchen area.  It was always VERY tasty, but there was something fun about going through the elevator to get falafel.  They moved to a new, bigger location on 8th Ave between 39th and 40th, and I stubbornly believed it lost some luster with the move and haven’t eaten there since.  Knowing my party loves falafel, I figured it was as good a time as any to see if their falafel still lived up to expectations now that it wasn’t mysterious.  Luckily, the food hasn’t changed.  The location is actually quite nice with beatiful tin ceilings and a huge mirrored wall.  Tons of open seating and a little more room to maneuver as you pick from their salads.

Both my dad and I got the falafel with hummus pita and Mike went with the Shawafel (half shawarma and half falafel).  Everyone thoroughly enjoyed our pitas.

Total Nom Points: 7 out of 10

Welcome to the Neighborhood

19 Oct

I have long been reading about the Schnitzel Truck and was quite excited when I read on the Midtown Lunch Twitter Tracker that they were in front of my new office building on only my third day, I was in. It was chilly and the line was pretty long, but it was too fortuitous to pass up.

They had run out of bread, so they only had platters left. I wound up being glad to spend the extra $2 because the beet and feta salad was GREAT. The Austrian Potato salad left something to be desired (and it didn’t help that it was so cold that it felt like it was right out of the freezer and killed the temperature of the meat… but oh well). I would up choosing pork rather than chicken and the meat itself was perfect. The breading was perfectly shnitzel-like and the flavor was great. Just wish it hadn’t been so cold by the time I got across the street and into my office.

As far as “Street Meat” goes, this is good. Even more than being good, however, it’s original! Selling schnitzel out of a truck? Can’t wait to see what they think of next!

Penn Station to Times Square Takeout/Delivery Wrap Up

12 Oct

Midtown Lunch is a fabulous resource for eating lunch in Midtown, obviously.  Through them I have discovered my love for cart food and multiple more interesting lunch time feasts.  Unfortunately, while they are right around my current office, they don’t stretch quite so far as my apartment, which is near Penn Station.  Therefore, I put together my own wrap up that provides a smattering of the food we’ve eaten in the past few months from Penn Station up to Times Square.

I’m adjusting my Nom Points scale for this one to on a scale of 5.  1 being eating sewage, 3 being exactly what I’d expect from an order in midtown, and 5 being well above expectations.

Starting from the South and going North…

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A Seamless Web search for cheese steak (after watching the latest Man vs. Food episode I was craving) brought us to Kool Bloo.  Upon writing this I realized how far out of the jurisdiction this is, however, they deliver to Penn Station so it’s going in.  (There are 4, but I think the closest to us is on 22nd between 2nd and 3rd Ave… EAST side!  Other locations are Ave A at 12th Stree, 6th Ave at Watts St, and 2nd Ave between 38th and 39th Streets… according to MenuPages anyway).

Mike started off with cole slaw, which I thought was quite novel in this beautiful purple shade.  I actually tried it and liked it.

He followed that up with a Mr. Big Beef Burger.  (Mr. Big from Sex and The City? hmmm.) This had a friend egg, American Cheese, and bacon (with lettuce, tomato, and raw onion).  I took a bite and it was one DAMN good burger. 

I went with the cheese steak, but I didn’t go classic. It was called Sinatra’s Philly Cheese Steak which came with provolone and marinara (I added friend onions).  It was tasty but the bread just didn’t hold up.  I like the bread on my cheese steaks to have some crunch (but not enough to cut open my mouth and make a mess) and this just had none.  The steak was also just okay.  I wonder if the regular cheese steak might have been a better choice.

Overall Nom Points: 3.5 out of 5 (3 for the cheese steak, 4 for the burger)

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This is also not quite in the district, but it does deliver to the Penn Station area, so I’m including it too… A craving for Italian had us ordering from Aleo (20th between 5th and 6th).  I’m pretty sure this was a Seamless Web order (as many of our meals are at my apartment). 

The Eggplant Parmigiano Starter was quite good.  Great flavors.

I got the Half Order of Pumpkin Ravioli and was overall dissapointed.  They weren’t really all that pumpkin-y and the sauce was just really just a bit of butter and some flavor that I did not recognize and did not like.

Mike got the Half Order of Pappardelle (pancetta, sweet peas, crimini mushrooms, onions in a parmesan cream sauce) and noodles were VERY tasty.  I have a love for pappardelle and this one definitely satisfied.

Overall Nom Points: 3 out of 5

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Gardenia Deli is a very new “little bitta dis, little bitta dat” deli right near my apartment (8th Ave between 30th and 31st).  It’s one of the few clean delis on that stretch without homeless people hanging out right by the door with the toy crane machine.  We decided to try some of the hot food and found it pretty good for the type of place.  I usually expect greasy and/or flavorless and/or overcooked food but the flavors were great for a quick pick up meal.

Chicken Parm with Ziti

“BBQ Beef” and Rice (the BBQ Beef was much more like pot roast… but they named it)

Overall Nom Points: 4 out of 5

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We ordered from Sandwich Planet (9th Ave between 38th and 39th) one night when we were craving burgers.  I got the Parmagiana Hamburger, which was pretty good.  Enjoyed the bread.

Mike got the Cordon Bleu Hamburger with Guacamole which we didn’t realize came on white bread, but still were overall satisfied with it.

Overall Nom Points: 3 out of 5

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One of my absolute favorite places to grab lunch is Just Salad (we got to the one on 37th Street between 7th and Broadway, however, they also have locations in Midtown East, the Financial District, Murray Hill, and 30 Rock).  Now I’m not a huge salad fan, and will usually avoid it unless I’m feeling overly guilty about a meal the night before.  Just Salad, however, is far from being just a salad.  Their ingredients are really fresh and they have offerings that other places don’t (LIKE SQUASH!)  I get basically the same salad every time I’m there and surprisingly can eat it every day.  It consists of squash, apples, edamame, beets, barley, and pumpkin seeds with fat free raspberry dressing.  DELISH!

Chopping my salad:

My favorite salad:

A close up with their delicious bread (glad they brought it back after going whole grain for a while):

Julia’s sald that was more normal than mine.

I will miss this place when I leave my company (this is my last week).

Overall Nom Points: 5 out of 5

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Baja Fresh(Broadway between 40th and 41st) just opened up across the street from my current office.  On the first day they gave away $2 burritos for lunch and pretty much everyone that worked late that day went there.  I returned the following day to find a line out the door and had the same problem the following day.  One late night at the office, I stopped in around 8pm and found hardly any line at all.  I debated with the guy behind the counter for a while on what I could and couldn’t eat (peppers allergy) and surprisingly all the meats were safe but they had no rice option without peppers.  (Damn! I love rice!)  So I got the burrito with lettuce, tomato, guac, sour cream, cheese, and pork.  By the time I got home (10 blocks away) it was very cold.  I heated it up in the oven for a few minutes and was glad for melty cheese.  It was VERY tasty (the pork especially), however, it needed rice. 


Overall Nom Points: 4 out of 5

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Cart food (AKA Street Meat) is a relatively new love of mine.  I was terrified after a bad cart food experience that shall not be discussed, however, some coworkers convinced me that there were awards for cart vendors and the winner (2 years ago) had to be tried. 

Kwik Meal(South West corner of 45th street at 6th Ave) did turn my opinion around.  I had their lamb over rice (comes with an amazing white sauce, a small green salad with what seems like italian dressing) which contains REAL lamb (not gyro pieces like most).  The combination of mixing the meal, rice, white sauce, and salad is fantastic. 


In the past year or so, the Biryiani Cart(has gotten a lot of buzz (taking home the People’s Choice Award both last year and this year).  I tried to go a few months ago, but after standing online for quite some time was told that I was in line on the spicy side and I had to go over to the cart next door (run by the same people) for anything without peppers.  This cart, while having no line, also didn’t have a non-spicy version of what the cart was famous for (Biryani Chicken) nor eggs which top their meals (and that I was looking forward to).  My lamb over rice that resembled my Kwik Meal purchase but with yellow rice was just so-so and not even worth writing about.  Their Biryani Chicken, however, looked incredible and is a favorite among many of my coworkers.  I only wish I knew what it tasted like.


Overall Nom Points:
Kwik Meal #1- 5 out of 5
Biriyani Cart- 2 out of 5 for their regular (non-spicy) food

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There are a few other places I enjoyed in the area that I didn’t get pictures of.

Cafe Zaiya(main location on 41st between 5th and Madison and on the top floor of Kinokuniya Book Store on 6th Ave between 40th and 41st, opposite Bryant Park.  Also one in the East Village at 69 Cooper Square).  I wish I had a picture of this place.  The main location we went to first is a bit of a treasure find.  It’s hard to navigate, busy, and labeled terribly.  But it’s tons of fun.  It’s hard to determine exactly what you’re eating, but it’s delicious.  I usually get the beef bowl (which is similar to Korean Bulgogi over rice) and it’s probably one of my favorite meals.  It’s fun to go to the upstairs cafe in the bookstore, however, they have less selection. 5 out of 5

Pret A Manger (corner of 38th and Broadway, amongst many other locations in the city): A standby chain I’ve always enjoyed.  Very fresh food that you can pick up and leave with very quickly.  A bit pricey, but still tasty.  I hear their swedish meatball hot sandwich is great (I can’t try it due to the spicy sauce), however, I usually went with the balsamic chicken or one of the salads. 3 out of 5

Pad Thai (8th Avenue between 30th and 31st Streets).  It’s a simple, unassuming restaurant on my way home, but it’s dependably good and pretty inexpensive.  They don’t do much that’s fancy, but if I want some good, non-greasy, quick Thai near my apartment, this is my go-to.  They deliver to my apartment in less than 10 minutes and the delivery man is always very friendly. 4 out of 5

Then there is the infamous, Cafe Duke, on the corner of 41st and Broadway.  It was right next to my office, and seems to be a place that everyone that works in Times Square knows about.  It’s the place everyone goes for lunch their first few weeks on the job, then gets sick of… even though they have EVERYTHING.  Their salads are decent and their made-to-order asian noodle area and their flat bread sandwiches are the highlights.  With that said, I think everyone has their own story or knows someone who has a story of a time they got sick off Duke’s food.  I do not personally recommend the sushi… but I still go back for the other items.  Their yogurt parfaits are especially delicious for breakfast. 2 out of 5

Overall, Penn Station and Times Square aren’t exactly highlights of the culinary world, however, there are some hidden gems in the area.  What are your favorites?