Tag Archives: bacon

Peter Luger Steakhouse

15 Jan

Peter Luger is probably the most famous steak house in all of NYC, which is why I find it strange that it’s in Brooklyn. I’ve long wondered if that adds to the allure… “it must be good if people will brave the L train for it!”

I had been to Luger once before and hated to say I was underwhelmed. I mean, it was a very good meal, but I didn’t think it was better than places in NYC and didn’t think it was worth crossing the East River to eat.

But when friends from out-of-town wanted to try it, I was excited to go on a food adventure with them.

I certainly love the inside. It’s beautiful without being fancy.

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Someone suggested we try the bacon. And BOY am I glad they did. This was probably my favorite part of the whole meal. It was thick cut, perfectly cooked, a little charred on the ends. Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmmm.

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And they are famous for their tomato and onion salad. This… I do not understand. I mean I like tomatoes and onions just fine… but why is this special? 

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Though they did advise that we pour the Peter Luger Sauce (which is on every table) on it, and I will admit, it made the onions and tomatoes very tasty (and added great, but not overpowering flavor to the steaks, too).

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The steak ordering is incredibly easy from the menu. You tell them if you want steak for two, three, or four and out it comes. It’s a beautiful Porterhouse that they serve nicely carved and dish out to each person at the table.

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And you don’t get more perfectly Medium Rare than this:

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We also ordered the lamb chops so we could try some different things.  These were delicious and I’m glad we had some variation (as much as I love steak!)

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We got a side of creamed spinach, which I thought was really tasty and heavier on the spinach flavor than the cream (which I prefer).

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Mmmm… meat.

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Even though we were all totally stuffed by the end, we just had to try the ice cream sundae (which came with a chocolate cow on top).  This was heavenly.

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As was the pecan pie.  It was super pecany and not overly sweet. And don’t even get me started on that homemade schlag!

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As you leave, everyone gets some chocolate gelt to take home.  A nice little way to be reminded later of the great meal you had.

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I certainly enjoyed my meal this time more than last time, and I think the key was variation. Definitely get the bacon, try some sauce on some tomatoes and onions (why not?) and then order up some amazing steaks with some lamb chops.  Leave a wee bit of room for dessert and you’re perfect.

Do I feel the need to travel to Brooklyn for this on a regular basis? No.  I still think the novelty is good for tourists, but as a local, I’ll stick with Keen’s. (Though my arm could certainly be easily twisted to return to Peter Luger!)

Total Nom Points: 8 out of 10

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Bacon Bash 2012

23 Jun

Today, we went to the first Bacon Bash.

Overall, I think it was a reasonable attempt at a first event, however, the space got VERY crowded at some points and it was set up in a weird way. It also looked a lot like a night club (including the thumping music… which was actually kind of fun).

There were only a handful of tables with bacon tastings, and each table had a number of tastes on it. Most tastes ran out before the end of the 2.5 hour session, and they still had 2 full sessions left today!  I have to hope they had reserves for the next 2 sessions.

Everyone’s favorite bite was the black peppered bacon brittle from F. N. Puffin.

For the full album, go check out NYCNomNom’s Facebook page! I live posted from the event, so you can see all the fun as it happened.

Bacon Bash 2012: You know you want to go, and NYCNomNom has your Discount Code!

1 Jun

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I really have a love for pretty much anything and everything swine. And there is a special place in my heart for bacon. So imagine my glee when I found out that The 1st Annual Bacon Bash is upon us! It will be taking place on Saturday, June 23rd in 2 slots: 12-2:30pm and 3:30-6pm. For all the details, check out their site.  

Want to go?  Well, dear readers, if you use the code “nomnom” at checkout, you will get 20% off your tickets! (on the final screen, you can add the coupon in the top right)

See ya there!

Nom Nom Bacon Nom Nom!

Maialino

29 Dec

I have been hearing about Maialino for a long time now, and I feel like the last blogger on earth to have stopped by.  During Christmas time, I make it a point to look for reservations that I ordinarily couldn’t get at any other time of year. While tourists flood the city in the week leading up to Christmas, Christmas eve and Christmas day usually leave the city blissfully empty.  I’m not great at planning 28 days out (the point at which Maialino reservations open up) but I am quite good at looking on OpenTable.com for the following day. To my surprise, Maialino was had a reservation open for a 1:30pm brunch (linner?) on Christmas Eve.

The restaurant is rustic and relatively casual.  It’s decorated in a way that makes you feel instantly at home, and the service adds to the warm welcome.

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We started with the Carciofini Fritti, which is fried artichokes with an anchovy bread sauce.  Artichokes are one of my favorite foods in the entire world, and these did not disappoint.  The anchovy sauce added a delicious salty flavor to it without overpowering the artichoke flavor.

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Full disclosure… it was at this point that our waiter took me entirely by surprise and asked me if I was a food blogger. Flustered, I blurted out that I was. I always feel bad when a restaurant knows that I’m going to be writing about them… some don’t like it and just get annoyed that I’m there… and others go out of their way to make it better since they know I’ll be writing. Maialino took the latter approach… which wound up being quite fortuitous because we tried things that we would not have otherwise.  They did send it over “on the house,” which was very, very nice of them.

Starting with what we ordered, we chose the Contadino, which had 3 of my favorite things: poached eggs, brussels sprouts, and squash (buttercup squash to be exact).

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I love brussels sprouts and can’t believe I spent so much of my life without eating them. I always prefer them halved and browned, but the leaves of the sprouts in this dish still tasted very full and had great flavor.  I don’t know how much the squash added to it in terms of flavor, but it made for a great sauce when mixed with the eggs.

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Which, by the way, were perfectly poached. Mmm mmm mmm.

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We also ordered the namesake, the Maialino pasta (Malfatti al Maialino).  I was a bit confused because the description said it was suckling pig ragu and arugula, and we saw no arugula.  UPDATE: I found out that the pasta we received was actually the Bombolotti all’Amatriciana. This was right above the Mailalino pasta on the menu, and I may have pointed since my Italian pronunciations leave something to be desired.

BUT, I have to say, the guanciale in this pasta were otherworldly.  We will have to go back and try the Malfatti al Maialino soon!

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With these 2 dishes, they nicely sent over a sample of the thick cut black pepper bacon.  This was a moment where I silently said my thanks to the food gods.  This was tender, full of flavor, and tasted exactly like heaven should taste.

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Damn was I glad we got to try this. It was our favorite part of the savory meal (and the rest of the meal was great).

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The chef, Nick Anderer, came out to greet us and make sure we were enjoying everything.  He was very kind and seemed genuinely happy to be talking with us.  We complimented him on the amazing meal and when he asked if we had room for dessert, we couldn’t say no.

He picked out some for us to try, and it’s a good thing he did, because I would probably have not ordered these items and they wound up being absolutely awesome.

We started with a duo of gelati, with salted caramel on top and stracciatella di mandorl (which was, if I remember correctly, an almond ice cream with a coffee swirl through it).  It was served with a chocolate biscotti. Both were sensational.  Strong, delicious flavors melded into a perfectly creamy cup.

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We also tried the brioche caramellato, which was a toffee glazed brioche that tasted a lot like a cinnamon roll in all the right ways.  I LOVE toffee, and this did not disappoint.

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The final item that came out was something I would NEVER have ordered (and looking back, they weren’t on the menu to order!): Zeppoles.  They came with an apple cider reduction sauce.

WOW. I wanted to drink (or bathe in) that sauce.  I wound up eating a good amount of it by the spoonful and drizzled it on both the ice cream and the brioche. It was THAT GOOD.

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And the zepoles? These were NOT your NJ Carnival Zepoles. These were airy, light, perfectly cooked warmed donuts that could rival the beignets at Cafe du Monde (one of my favorite places) any day.

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I also ordered a capuccino, which was just beautiful (and delicious).

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I was impressed. It is rare that a place lives up to the hype, but Maialino was definitely one of the best. I would love to go back for every other meal they have a menu for just to be able to try new things each time.  The service was impeccable (even before they learned my dirty secret) and we didn’t have a bad bite.  We did, however, need a pusher to roll us out when we were done.

Word to the wise: Get the bacon… and the desserts. All of them.

Total Nom Points: 8 out of 10

Strip House

4 May

Every time I have had a NYC steakhouse discussion (which happens very often actually), Strip House comes up in the top of most lists.  I had not been, so when I was treating a colleague to dinner, I was excited when he chose Strip House.  

Strip House is on 12th Street just east of 5th Ave.  There are also locations in Las Vegas, Key West, Naples (Florida), Houston, and, impressively, Livingston, NJ (In the hood where I grew up… What What!)  

I failed to get a picture of the interior, but I can pretty much summarize in 2 words: Red + Leather.  I also seem to remember burlesque-esque photos on the walls and a room filled with men, pretty much exclusively.  Oh this was definitely a boys club.

You could smell the business transactions happening in the room.

It’s not quite my vibe (I prefer the “old style” New York feel of Keens with the old pipes hanging on the ceilings), but it was lovely to look at.

We started with the Strip House Roasted Bacon which came with baby arugula and russian dressing.  The bacon was good and bacony, though I preferred the one at BLT Steak. (And is it just me, or is it somewhat strange to have this with a salad? I mean it makes sense… who doesn’t like bacon on their salad? And it’s a nice balance to have greens with the fatty bacon… but it still seemed strange to me.)

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Next up we had a rib eye…

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And a New York Strip.

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We both preferred the Strip, and the roasted garlic on the side really made it.

The char was very good, though not the best, and I found myself wanting just a little more flavor from the meat (and using more of the roasted garlic to compensate).

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For sides we ordered the Crisp Duck Fat Potatoes.  I was very excited for this, but I found it VERY disappointing. It was a dome of bland potatoes with a slightly crisped outside.  I had to really try to taste the duck fat.  Bummer.

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The other side we had was truffled creamed spinach. THIS was sensational.  My favorite part of the meal.

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For dessert, we had to try their famous 24-layer chocolate cake.  It was good, and very rich, but it fell short simply because I’m not a big cake person.  Cake to me is boring when I can have a creamy mousse or a crispy brulee.  Perhaps it’s a texture thing.  But as far as cake goes, this was certainly a good one!

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Overall, I would say Strip House is good, but not great.  It’s definitely a top steakhouse in NYC, but across the board, I’ve had better steak experiences at places like Keens, Uncle Jacks, and BLT Steak.  If given the choice, I would pick any of those over Strip House.  Not to say I wouldn’t go back.  It just wasn’t as good as the buzz.

Total Nom Points: 7 out of 10


Albert Hall Tavern- Back for Brunch

9 Mar

Yes… I am writing another post about Albert Hall Tavern.  I can’t let new meals come up and not try them!

We managed to get there to try their brunch.  I was hoping a bit for some bumped up, fancy brunch choices.  But it’s mostly just the classics here.  Here’s the menu:

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Then they have a number of items from their dinner menu.

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Mike chose to get the smoked salmon bagel, which came with capers and smoked cream cheese.  The salmon was REALLY fresh and full of flavor.

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They had no fried potatoes of any kind (bummer), so we split my second favorite hangover brunch food… a side of the bacon (extra crispy).

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I got the eggs benedict with Canadian Bacon and “tomato hollandaise.” I’m not sure what made the hollandaise tomato, but it was good.  And the ham and eggs were cooked perfectly.  I wish it were served on a potato pancake, but that’s probably just my incredible fascination with fried potatoes during brunch.

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Albert Hall Tavern is one of the very few places in the neighborhood that do all-day brunch.  It has a lot of classic items, and while I like a little more panache in my brunch, this was still a very good classic brunch menu with well cooked comfort food.  (I just wish they had damn good potatoes! Or something like The Heap from Thumbs Up Diner.  I feel like Chef Bill could do a damn good heap)

Forwarding our Food Network Sluttiness with Marc Forgione

5 Nov

Mike and I were watching The Next Iron Chef on Food Network and decided to look up Marc Forgione’s (a contestant on the show) restaurant since it’s in NYC.  We found it was in TriBeCa… and served brunch.  So we, of course, decided to schedule brunch for the next day (Sunday) since we’re such Food Network sluts.

There were many awesome sounding things on the menu, and I was especially excited to try the Eggs Benny that came with butternut squash “homefries” and crispy prosciutto.  Unfortunately, however, there were peppers in the hollandaise… so I was SOL.

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The interior was very rustic.  I loved the candle lamps above the big table in the middle.

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And they even had a mini spiral staircase.

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The most tips on Four Square were about the “Suck You Sliders” made with suckling pig.  They warned us they had peppers in the rub, however, I decided to risk it and Mike and I split them.

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The meat inside was perfectly tender and delicious with a bit of crackling still on it.  It was definitely spicy (especially, surprisingly, in the pickles and on the potatoes!) but it was worth the pain.  Hurts so good.

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Mike went with “The Sandwich,” which was buckwheat pancakes as bread with crispy bacon and a sunny side up egg in the middle.

The pancakes looked very weird. (Were they cut out with those weird rough edges?) They were a bit dry and bland as well.  Disappointing.

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But the bacon was fantastic.  Thick cut and crispy.

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I went with the bacon, egg, and cheese (which came with a parmesan popover)… even though I had to trade out the bacon for the sausage since the bacon had peppers.  But I’m glad I did because this was probably the best sausage I have ever had.  It was sweet and savory all at the same time.  Tasted incredibly fresh.

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The eggs were soft scrambled and mixed with sun dried tomatoes.  Well cooked but lacking in flavor.

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And the popover just threw me for a loop.  I LOVE popovers.  And I mean LOVE them. Really really love them.  Did I mention I love popovers?  (And yes, while I really do love them, that was mostly an excuse to link to 4 other blog postings where I talk about how much I love popovers.)

These popovers, however, were too eggy and COLD.  COLD!  The flavors of everything were so good but there is no excuse for a cold popover.  Shame.

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Oddly, when we asked for a dessert menu, we were told they don’t have one!  Seemed like a huge missed opportunity to sell more to current customers… but what can you do? I was disappointed, however, because I read good things about their pumpkin pie and it WAS Halloween and all.  Oh well.

Overall, I think this place was fantastic for flavor, and average for execution.  I was surprised that the popover was cold and dull, the buckwheat pancakes were dry and dull, and the eggs themselves were kind of… dull.  But for the bacon, sausage, and sliders, I would definitely go back and try this place for dinner.

Total Nom Points: 6.5 out of 10

My Birthday Dinner- Home Cooked by Mike

29 Oct

I’m still catching up on posts from far too long ago.  I cannot believe that it has already been more than 2 months since this meal.  So today I wanted to show off the incredible dinner that Mike made me for my birthday.

He started with a duo of scallops.  One was wrapped in bacon and the other was with avocado.

And the bacon was CRISPY.  Just the way I like it. 🙂  Both were great.

For the main course, Mike made pork with a mushroom wine sauce and our new classic brussels sprouts with pancetta.

The pork was delicious.

And the brussels sprouts were as delicious as ever.

I thought he had already outdone himself, and then he uncovered this beauty!

Graham cracker crust, whipped cream, strawberries, and graham cracker crumbs.

DELICIOUS!!!

Thanks again, Mike.  You are a fantastic boyfriend and a fantastic chef!

IHOP

18 Oct

A trip to visit my good friend Debbie in Jersey would be incomplete without a visit to some large chain restaurant for a meal.  This trip, it was IHOP.  

I haven’t been to an IHOP in years… and what I remember liking most was their flavored syrups.  Seeing as though I was about 14… I think my tastes have changed some.  But… I was up for trying it.  I also forgot that IHOP is now more than just pancakes…

Debbie ordered the chicken fingers and fries.  They were decent for fast food.

Mike went with an omelet.  I remember there were also pancakes on the table, but it’s foggy where they came in.

I chose the 2 poached eggs + hashbrowns + bacon.  I just had 1 request: “burn the bacon.”  I like my bacon super crispy.  There is nothing groser to me than whimpy bacon.  Blech!

Luckily, we had a great waitress who recognized immediately that my bacon wasn’t crispy and sent it right back.  Bravo waitress!

I was concerned about the eggs, however.  They were pretty much sitting in water.  Now I know it’s not easy to fish out a poached egg from the pot of boiling water, but at a restaurant, I’d expect them to do a little bit of draining.  

So I just fished them out myself and set my bowl of water to the side.  They weren’t bad.  I wish they were more runny, but since it was IHOP, I was happy that they were runny at all.

And then… my bacon reappeared.  And it was crispy.  And I was happy.

For a chain, IHOP isn’t terrible.  I’d much prefer a cosy diner, but this was just fine.