Tag Archives: fries

Maine Cubed: Portland- Duckfat

17 Jul

Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and so it was that we found ourselves back in Portland for lunch on our voyage back to the airport. We were racing to an appointment to do a tasting and tour at Allagash Brewery but decided we had just enough time to squeeze in a stop at Duckfat, a sandwich shop (specializing in fries and panini) that had been recommended to me by a few different people.

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The restaurant is small with a number of high top tables and bars around the kitchen to sit.

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It has a quirky personality with tiny pictures in the window that looks into the kitchen.

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And notice the magnetic poetry on the wall in the background of the below picture.

We ordered the fries with the truffle ketchup and boy oh boy were these good.  Perfectly crisp (thanks to the duck fat, I’m sure) and why I haven’t run into about a million versions of truffle ketchup to date, I do not know… but it was delightful.

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We kept an eye on time and quickly realized it was not on our side, so the waitress packed up our sandwiches to go.  We wound up gobbling them down in the car.

Mike got the pork belly with carrot, radish, pickled onion, cilantro & thai chili mayo. I took a mayo-less nibble and it was quite nice.

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I got the duck confit with caramelized miso mayo, bok choy & sweet onion. This was sensational. The duck was so tender and seasoned just right, and that caramelized miso mayo and onion added a perfect compliment of sweetness.

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Overall, I really enjoyed Duckfat. It’s unlike any sandwich shop I’ve ever been to and we really enjoyed it. I just recommend leaving yourself more than a few minutes to eat there!

Total Nom Points: 7 out of 10

I was sad to leave Maine (as I always am) but I’m excited to say that we’ll probably be going back next month to explore wedding venues!

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Bar’rique: An awesome new addition to the West Village

21 Mar

I was with friends in the West Village and texted a coworker, Sam, who lives in the neighborhood for a recommendation on where to have dinner.  He said we should definitely try Bar’rique (on Bleecker between 6th and 7th Aves, right next to Murray’s Cheese Shop).  I checked the menu and reviews on my phone and all looked good, so off we went.

It definitely has a wine bar feel, with high tables and focus on the bar.

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They also have a small, open kitchen and we had the fortune of sitting right outside.

 

We started with some delicious, but over-priced crostini.  I got the ricotta with honey and almonds.  It was about 3 bites, and cost $4.  It was good, but I’m not sure if it was $4 for 3 bites good.

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The rest of the table also tried the truffled white beans with beets and the prosciutto with cheese, peppers and capers.

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Mike thoroughly enjoyed the prosciutto one.

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For entrees, Mike got the burger.  I was surprised to see that the pickled vegetables on top included jalapenos.  I took a piece of burger from the bottom and it was very flavorful.  Nice char.

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Mike also said the burger was fantastic, juicy, and the pickled vegetables were a great compliment.  We all enjoyed the fries.  Perfectly crispy.

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Our friend, Eden, got the Mizuna salad, which is a Japanese lettuce with cinnamon roasted pears, parmesan, candied hazelnuts, and hazelnut vinaigrette.  He really enjoyed it, and I meant to try it by completely forgot.  That combination of salad ingredients is right up my alley.

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I chose the braised short ribs. They came with honey glazed turnip and Anson Mills white grits.  I am usually not a grits fan, but whatever the Anson Mills brand is, it’s fantastic.  The turnips were just perfect and holy cow… the short ribs were holyfuckinawesomelydelicious.  They had such a great flavor, on such a great sauce, over great grits.  I was totally blown away by this dish.  An easy 9 on the Nom Scale.

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Our waitress, Sarah, was incredibly attentive and sweet.  She also informed us that this place just opened in January.

Overall, everyone walked away from this meal saying what a gem this place is.  All our food was outstanding, and even the wine we had was great.  While the crostini was over-priced for the serving size, I found the rest of the menu reasonable for the caliber of food and portions.  Not cheap by any means, but completely worth every penny.  They focus on sustainable farming and wineries and have a seasonal menu that changes with the best ingredients.  It is very obvious that there is extra care in the way this food is prepared, and I highly suggest trying this place before the rest of the world finds out.  It won’t be empty on a Saturday night for long!

Total Nom Points: 8 out of 10


Tir Na Nog

16 Aug

We met up with some family friends who were in the city from Upstate New York before a Yankees Game.  We had very little time and they were coming to Penn Station.  There aren’t a ton of great options near Penn Station, but Tir Na Nog (on 8th Ave at 33rd Street) has offered up some decent meals for me in the past. 

First up was the quiche du jour.  I can’t recall what it was, but I know it was enjoyed.

The open face steak sandwich came on Toasted Rustic Bread with Sweet Onion Jam, Melted Boursin Cheese, French Fries.  I know this was a hit and I was lucky enough to try the fries.  These were AWESOME fries! Perfectly crispy on the outside, just the right seasoning, and potato-y on the inside.

Both my dad and sister ordered the Vanilla French Toast with Maple Syrup.  My dad declared it “the best French Toast” he ever ate.  Stacey said it was good, but not that good.  I agreed with Stacey.

The burger looked tasty, too. But it was on the other side of the table so I’m not sure.

I chose the Smoked Salmon Benedict and it was DELICIOUS.  Perfectly cooked eggs, great light hollandaise, deliciously smoked salmon, and perfectly cooked potatoes.

Mmm Mmm Mmmm.

I was actually really impressed by the brunch here.  I wasn’t expecting much seeing as though it is near Penn Station and many Irish places in NYC come out with very run of the mill, bland food.  This was all the classics done right.

Total Nom Points: 7 out of 10

Popover Dreams and BLT Steak

6 Jul

I absolutely love the popovers at BLT Steak.  In fact, they are so good that I often dream about them.  They are perfectly warm, fluffy, and crispy with that amazing crackly gruyere top.  With a bit of butter and salt, they are absolutely sinful.  And huge.  When my mom wanted to come into NYC for a special birthday lunch (including a good NYC burger), I thought BLT was a great chance for me to show her a place I loved.  (I had sent her to my favorite steakhouse, Keens, earlier this year.)  It did not dissapoint.  The popovers were as delicious as ever (I am craving another one now just talking about them!)

Last time I was at BLT Steak with a publisher, the thick cut bacon was ordered and it was heavenly.  We made this our appetizer and it was absolutely delicious.  More like a really delicious, smoky piece of ham than what I would normally consider “bacon,” which is probably why I like it so much.

Then the burgers were had.  Not the best I’ve ever tasted, but juicy and meaty and the gruyere was a nice touch.  The fries were especially sensational.

Total Nom Points: 8 out of 10