Tag Archives: times square

Brooklyn Diner- “The Finer Diner”

7 Aug

We take clients out to all sorts of fancy restaurants, so when we had one request a trip to Brooklyn Diner, we quizzically agreed. We can go any place in Manhattan and you want to go to a diner? A diner called Brooklyn Diner? Which is in Time Square? And has the tagline “The Finer Diner?”

Well… ok…

Brooklyn Diner is the classic Times Square establishment with such a bright neon sign that it blends right in to the rest of the block. When we entered, I realize it’s part of a family of restaurants including Redeye Grill, Tratoria Dell’Arte, and Bond 45, all of which are in the general vicinity of midtown.  Turns out, I’ve been to all of their restaurants except Brooklyn Diner, and was actually quite fond of the restaurant family.  The food at each was always reliably good, if not above par for Times Square.  All are more than any normal person would ever want to spend, but hell, it’s Times Square, so good quality food seemed fair at their price.

Back to “The Finer Diner.”  

After a bit of teasing about this pick, we found out that our client’s heard from some of their coworkers that this place was very good, and happened to have a really good lobster roll.  Well ok!

I actually wound up getting grilled cheese with split pea soup. It was a very chilly day and this hit the spot.  The bread was perfectly crisp, the cheese full of flavor and melty without being a mess, and the soup had great flavor.

DSCF8126

I shouldn’t have been so skeptical!

They put hot dogs in it too, which was a fun (and delicious) twist on ham.

DSCF8127

Everyone else went right for the lobster roll, which they all said was very good.  Even their fries and onion straws were especially crisp and tasty.

DSCF8130

I was pleasantly surprised by Brooklyn Diner.  I guess my expectations were quite low (I can be so judgmental sometimes!), but I would recommend this place to anyone in the area looking for a casual and relaxing lunch before a Broadway show.  

Total Nom Points: 7 out of 10

Aureole

19 Jul

I ate at Aureole once for a work function, but since I was presenting and keeping clients happy, the food was not on my mind. I had been meaning to go back every since and finally made it there with a fellow foodie friend. It is very centrally located in a place where you just don’t expect great restaurants: 42nd Street right off of Times Square.  

I’m pretty sure we went with the $89 prix fixe. They have a pre-Broadway prix fixe that seems like a steal for 3 courses at $55 (5-6pm).

We started with an amuse bouche that I cannot recall the exact details on.

DSCF8023

My choice to start was the chestnut papparedelle with slow roasted veal breast, wild mushrooms, and pecorino.  This tasted like the earth and I absolutely loved it.  I have a special place in my heart for chestnut, and I kind of wished there were pieces (only because I’m selfish), but it was a very good dish.

DSCF8024

We also tried the wagyu beef carpaccio with shiitake, scallions, taro root, ponzo, and lavash.  This was perfectly complimentary in flavors, with the nice richness of the meat cut but the sweetness of the ponzo and with added depth from the shiitake.  Very nice.

DSCF8026

We also tried the branzino (my favorite fish) with fennel, dandelion, red onion, cashew, and citrus.  It was all sorts of perfection.  Cooked incredibly well and balances of flavors that were just fabulous.

DSCF8030

And we tried the prime ribyeye steak with roasted root vegetables, brussels sprouts, horseradish, and natural beef jus. It was cooked just right and the horseradish was faint enough that I hardly noticed it.

DSCF8033

A palate cleanser soon arrived and it was a nice little burst of fruit to get us ready for dessert.

DSCF8035

The desserts came out and they were pieces of artwork. Sadly, I didn’t write them down, so I can only guess.

This was something chocolate (I’m going to guess a lava cake) with delicious strands of pulled sugar on top. I remember this being rich but balanced.

DSCF8039

I know I ordered something with meringue (another one of my favorite things).  I remember really enjoying the flavors of this, but missing the firm crisp of the type of meringue I enjoy so much.

DSCF8040

And then out came petit fours.  Each was delicious in their own right, but I remember thinking extra fondly of the macaron and the watermelon thing. 

DSCF8045

I was really impressed by our meal at Aureole, not only because it was just that good, but also because it’s somewhat unassuming. It’s not a place I’ve heard talked about much, yet it’s right in the heart of the theatre district (a place I live near, work near, and play near often).  If you are looking for a pre-theatre meal, I think that $55 prix fixe is a great deal!

Total Nom Points: 7.5 out of 10

Total Nom Points: 7.5 out of 10

Casa Nonna: Pasta

25 Oct

 

We have gone back to Casa Nonna a few times in the months it has been open.  Afterall, it is right in our building.

This time we decided to try the pastas, and boy am I glad we did!  It is here that Nonna really shines.

First, we tried the Bucatini alla Matriciana, which is spaghetti “with a hole,” sweet onion, pancetta, and tomato.  I keep forgetting how much I enjoy bucatini.  Somehow adding that hole into the spaghetti really makes it that much better.

 

DSCF5570

 

This was delicious.  Filled with flavor, great pancetta, and sauce that just sang.

DSCF5570b

 

We also tried the Stracci di Manzo, which is “Rags” tossed with braised beef short rib and tomato.  The pasta was perfectly cooked and the braised short ribs were just perfect and delicious. Really impressive.

 

DSCF5572

 

And after such a healthy meal (ha!) we decided we had to have dessert.   We tried the Torrone Semi Freddo, which was Italian nougat, almond sponge, and chocolate crackle sauce.  I think when I heard “chocolate crackle sauce,” I figured something along the lines of magic shell.  It didn’t harden, but it did taste good.  I haven’t been overwhelmed by the desserts here.  Not to say that they aren’t good, but they aren’t GREAT either.

 

DSCF5576

 

 

Stick with the pasta

 

DSCF5577

 

The Counter

11 Oct

Right in the heart of Times Square, there is a newish Build Your Own Burger restaurant called The Counter.

At The Counter, you are given a checklist of all the burger things you could possibly want. You can select the size patty you want, the type of meat (or non-meat), the bun, etc.   They have the usual toppings but, in my opinion, you go here for the more obscure options, like grilled pineapple, fried eggs, basil mayo, dried cranberries, and black forest ham, to name a few.

DSCF5565

 

We ordered a combo of sweet potato fries and parmesan fries.  Delicious.  But how could this really not be delicious?

DSCF5567

 

I ordered the veggie burger.  I was also an idiot and forgot to ask about peppers.  There were, in fact, peppers in this, but they were mild so I only had some itching and no burns.  It was tasty enough to get through the pain.  The burger is made with full pieces of beans and corn and a good amount of rice.  I topped mine with grilled pineapple and gruyere cheese on a toasted onion roll.  It was very, very tasty.

DSCF5568

 

 

I look forward to going back to try the real burger!

As far as Times Square “fast food” goes, this place is tops and has something for everyone since you can customize so much.  It can get VERY busy during lunch time, but if you were to get a seat at the communal table, it’s worth a stop.

 

 

Junior’s Cheesecake

16 Sep

 

There are a few “chains” in New York that are either near and dear to our hearts and make us proud to say that we, as New Yorkers, lay claim (Nathan’s, Nobu, Shake Shack) and some we don’t want anyone to know we started (TGI Fridays, Sbarros, Planet Hollywood).  Junior’s is somewhere in the middle, but I would say more on the positive side.  Who doesn’t like Cheesecake?

Though I’m not sure if MGM Foxwoods as the only location out of NYC qualifies it as a chain, we’ll go with it.

A friend of mine and I decided to check out the Junior’s in Times Square.

DSCF4439

I had only had the cheesecake, so it was time to try some real food.

This place is HUGE.  And it looks somewhere between a hospital and a diner.  Everything is shiny.

DSCF4425

 

We started with a cup of matzo ball soup.  The broth was tasty and the matzo ball was dense without being TOO dense.  I prefer mine a WEE bit more crumbly, but this was a very good one.

DSCF4428

 

My partner in crime got a tongue sandwich.  It was delicious.  As good as the tongue from Katz.

DSCF4430

 

I don’t know what I as thinking, but I got the sandwich called “Something Different.”  It was brisket of beef on potato pancakes with apple sauce. Woah nilly!  This was plum-diddly-umptious!  The beef and the potato pancakes were both great ,and made for quite the awesome combo.  I’m sure it was a heart attack on a plate, but it was worth every bite.

DSCF4431

 

We then ordered the Devil’s Food Cheesecake, which was layered with ganache, devil’s food chocolate cake, and, of course, cheesecake.  It had delicious chocolate chips on the outside and every bite was delicious and decadent.  Between the 2 of us, we couldn’t finish half.  

DSCF4434

 

It was mid-cheeseake that we looked up at the TVs and saw a completely atrocious site…

A workout video.

Playing in Junior’s.

Oh the humanity!

DSCF4438

 

Juniors: Worth the hype. Delicious, true to the deli concept, and awesome cheesecake.  There are a million other places to go in NYC, but if you’re looking for a quality diner-style meal before a Broadway show, you really can’t go wrong here.

Total Nom Points: 7 out of 10

 

 

The West End Grill – Hell’s Kitchen

14 Jul

 

We try to try new places in Hell’s Kitchen when they come up, so we were excited to check out West End Grill (on 8th Ave between 48th and 49th Streets). 

DSCF4576

 

 

 

It had a good modern bar look and feel.

DSCF4578

DSCF4579

 

And it was SO new that I couldn’t help but notice that even the garbage cans in the bathrooms were spotless.

DSCF4577

We told the waitress of my peppers allergy (yes… this is foreshadowing of what is to come) and were assured that the lobster tacos would be just fine.

DSCF4586

 

But as soon as Iopened it, I saw little dark green pieces… so we asked her to ask the chef about peppers. She came back and said it was fine. So I showed her the pieces of peppers, she went back into the kitchen, then proudly came out to tell us “Oh! That’s just a jalapeno! You’re fine!”  

Well hello, idiot, what is jalapenos last name?

DSCF4588

 

Soo…. it was on to the short rib spring rolls we went.  THESE were outstanding.  Rich, well cooked short rib in a crunchy spring roll shell.  Delicious. 

DSCF4593

 

Then our meals came out… Mike got a burger and fries… which was… fine.

DSCF4595

 

I got a steak with crunchy onions and mashed sweet potatoes.  Hmmm… this steak was bland, overcooked, under-seasoned, and theome. onions on top had almost no flavor.  The sweet potatoes tasted like mashed sweet potatoes… which is fine if you’re cooking at home and all… but we were not at home.

DSCF4597

Overall, this place was hardly worth writing about.  It was almost entirely average, which obviously clueless waitresses, and some damn good short rib spring rolls.

If you’re in the area, and want a good nosh, get the spring rolls… maybe a beer.  Don’t bother with the rest.

Total Nom Points: 5.5 out of 10

Total Nom Points: 5.5 out of 10

 

 

Working My Way Through the Albert Hall Tavern Menu- UPDATED 7/4/11

4 Jul

UPDATE:  Chef Bill is no longer steering the stove at Albert Hall Tavern.  It was a big loss!

 

Having a restaurant I like that has good beer and good people around the corner is a JOY.  And I’m not going to lie… FourSquare tells me I have been there 8 times.  That’s pretty impressive for only having been open for a month now! (UPDATE: I am now far past the 20 visits mark, and it has been open since January 2011.  UPDATE TWO: 36 visits as of 7/4/11)

They now have a full menu (slightly different from what is posted on MenuPages, but close) and I have had the luxury of trying many things on it.  So here is a run-down of my hits and misses:

Spinach Artichoke Dip: I really like this dip.  It has great flavor without being too greasy or heavy.   I kind of enjoyed the little sprinkle of crunch that the homemade potato chips added to this the first time we had it (it has since come without).  Had I not tried it that way originally, I probably wouldn’t think anything were missing.

Nom Points: 7 out of 10 (would be 7.5 with the chips)

DSCF3513

Roasted Cauliflower and Stilton Soup: The cauliflower soup alone would be delicious, but the stilton cheese brings it to a whole new level.

Nom Points: 8.5 out of 10

DSCF3635

New England Clam Chowder: It looks so unassuming…

DSCF3629

But look at that clam!  This was delicious and there was no skimping on the good stuff.

Total Nom Points: 7 out of 10

DSCF3638

Bibb Lettuce: This comes with braised artichokes, duck prosciutto and lemon vinaigrette with duck cracklings.

DSCF3631

Those cracklings are worth every bite and every penny.   I do wish it had some sort of soft cheese to compliment all that duck.

Total Nom Points: 7.5 ouf of 10

DSCF3633

Pork Belly Tonnato: I LOVE pork belly.  I do wish, however, that our waitress had forewarned us that this was cold.  It turns out that I DO NOT like cold pork belly.  I couldn’t get over the idea that I was eating cold pork.  I wanted this to be melty fat and crispy skin, but it fell flat for me.  Not a fan.

Total Nom Points: 5 out of 10

DSCF3511

As for the entrees…

Macaroni and Cheese: Plain ol’ mac and cheese with lots of cheesy goodness… like your momma makes it.   If you like it classic (which I do) and packed with cheese flavor (which I also do), this is WORTH IT.

Total Nom Points: 7 out of 10

DSCF3652

Gnocchi: This comes with raisins, fennel, and crisp lamb sweetbreads in a smoked leek fondue.  Sweetbreads aren’t for everyone, and I can’t say I’m a fan, but once in a while they are delicious.  In this dish they worked, but I’m not sure if this is what I’d be running back for.

Total Nom Points: 6.5 out of 10

DSCF3517

Skillet Burger:  I liked this burger.  It came with a Jack Daniels (I think) dipping sauce which was awesome on the fries (which I’m pretty sure are made with duck fat and truffel).  I would have preferred if the bun was a little more delicious, but the meat had nice char and was cooked well.  I always find it hard to judge a burger, but this was above average.

Total Nom Points: 6 out of 10 (for the burger) and 8.5 out of 10 (for the fries)

DSCF3522

Fish and Chips: I would say that serving fish and chips on brown paper is dangerous because it shows grease, however, this fish was lightly fried and not at all greasy.  I wish the fries were a bit crisper, but I thought this was pretty enjoyable.

Total Nom Points: 6 out of 10

DSCF3528

Branzino: This came with lemon and garlic sauce.  It didn’t mention that it was a whole fish on the menu.  It was tasty, though the sauce was a bit strong for my tastes.  I LOVE Branzino and this was simple and delicious and let those great flavors show.

DSCF3642

But it did come with a head (much to the dismay of my eating companion that evening).

DSCF3643

And then the big problem…. WAY too many bones.  Every single bite left me carefully chewing and reaching into my mouth to take bones out.  I don’t mind a little work, but this was WAY too excessive and left me enjoying my fish a lot less than I should have. (UPDATE: Chef Bill tells me he now serves this with many less bones.  Will have to try the new version soon.)

Total Nom Points: 6 out of 10 (this probably would have been a 7 or 7.5 if not for the bone problem)

DSCF3655

Citrus and Thyme Roasted Half Chicken:  This was VERY citrusy, and the blood orange was a lovely touch.  It was quite moist but I wouldn’t say it was outstanding.  I wish the skin were crispier, but the sauce was interesting and delicious.

Total Nom Points: 6 out of 10

DSCF3648

Lamb Shank Special:  Why this isn’t on the regular menu… I do not know.  HANDS DOWN the best entree we had here (though the steak the first time around was REALLY good).  It was so tender, great sauce, hearty portion, and the mashed potatoes were FANTASTIC.   This should be a menu staple.  It’s just too good to risk not being there.

Total Nom Points: 8.5 out of 10

DSCF3616

Now onto dessert!

Hard Cider and Fig Baked Custard: This was yummy but very mild in flavor.  I don’t know if I’d go back to this, but I’m glad I tried it.

Total Nom Points: 5.5 out of 10

DSCF3622

Black Walnut Brownie: Classic style brownie.  Crispy on the outside, dense on the inside.  Tasty, especially with strawberries.

Total Nom Points: 6 out of 10

DSCF3623

Cherry Pie: This was everyone’s favorite dessert.  The crust was well flaked, inside well balanced between sweet and tart, and I would go back for more of this in a heartbeat!

Total Nom Points: 7 out of 10

DSCF3626

I had previous blogged about the tuna tartare, mussels, duck & fig rillette, the ribeye steak, and the roasted veggies.  Here is a quick recap so it’s all in one place.

Tuna Tartare:  Delicious but WAY too peppery (and a little heavy on the capers).  Distracted from the delicate flavors of the tuna and quail egg.  A narrow miss of what would have been a great dish. Total Nom Points: 6.5 out of 10

Steamed Mussels: AMAZING.  This is the #1 dish to order when you are there.  The black garlic and charred rosemary in the sauce means that if anyone tries to take that bowl away before you get a chance to soak it all up with crusty bread, cut off their hand.  Total Nom Points: 9 out of 10

Duck & Fig Rillette: I appreciated how good this was, but I wouldn’t say it’s high on my list of favorites.  The fig and duck were perfect compliments, but the more I eat it, the more I realized I’m just not a rillette/pate kinda gal.  Total Nom Points: 6.5 out of 10

Ribeye Steak: The steak itself had great char and was delicious, however, what really made this dish stand out was the 3 sauces you could dip into.  The au poivre sauce was especially delicious. Total Nom Points: 7.5 out of 10

Barrel Roasted Winter Vegetables: I’m not sure what magic barrel they used, but it brought out all the great flavors of these veggies. Total Nom Points: 7.5 out of 10

I have also tried the bone marrow, which is really delicious served with beets and deviled beef.  Highly recommended.  Total Nom Points: 7.5 out of 10

So what would my perfect meal be at Albert Hall Tavern from the items I have tried?  Mussels, Cauliflower Soup, Bibb Salad, and the Lamb Shank.

_______________________________________

UPDATE:

I have since tried many more dishes on the menu.  Here are some highlights:

Suckling Pig: This was cooked to perfection.  Crispy skin, fantastic mashed potatoes, and those vegetables were something special!  Highly recommended.

Total Nom Points: 8 out of 10

 DSCF3774

Shepherd’s Pie: This was packed with flavor and the mashed potatoes on the top were very well crisped and flavored.

Total Nom Points: 7 out of 10

DSCF3787

The inside was a treat that was certainly based in tradition but with bumped up flavor.  Delicious! And very filling.

DSCF3792

Scallops:  These came with braised endive celery root puree and tomato citrus vinaigrette.  I LOVED the puree and was very glad to have a semi-healthy side where most people would normally have served buttery potatoes.  The scallops were juicy, flavorful, and seared very well.  I’ve had this dish 2 times since.

Total Nom Points: 7.5 out of 10

DSCF4175

Bangers and Mash: This is a very new item on the menu and we actually had the first plate served.  (Go us!)  It was sensational.  The caramelized shallots on top and the sauce were fantastic.  And the bangers (English Sausage) were so filled with flavor and so fresh that we couldn’t stop talking about them.  The potatoes were great (and I don’t even like mashed potatoes!)  I would add this to the ideal menu here.  One of my faves!

Total Nom Points: 8.5 out of 10

DSCF4256

Potato and Leek Tart: This wound up being much BIGGER than we anticipated.  The flavors were great and the greens on top made it taste fresh.  A very nice vegetarian option.

Total Nom Points: 6.5 out of 10

DSCF4282

And Chef Bill informed me that he had been making tweaks to the dessert menu.  His tweaks have all put dessert in the right direction.  Everything I have tasted recently has been a huge improvement over the desserts prior (which were fine, but average).  In fact, we enjoyed the new tiramisu so much, that this is all that was left of it… 

Total Nom Points: 7 out of 10

DSCF4381

(Hopefully I’ll have a new picture to replace that with soon)

Upon discussing desserts, Chef Bill very kindly brought out a brand new dessert for us to try, on the house, that wasn’t on the menu. Passion Fruit Custard.  This was sensational.  The custard itself was great, but both my dinner guest and I RAVED about how the whipped cream was perfect.   Yum!

Total Nom Points: 8 out of 10

DSCF4385

_______________________________________

7/4/11 UPDATE:
Brunch- French Toast with Lemon Marscapone: This was very well cooked and the fresh fruit on the side was a great touch.  I like when my french toast has a bit of crips on the outside and then a fully saturated, but not soggy, inside.  This was exactly that.

Total Nom Points: 7 out of 10

DSCF4369

Brunch- Full English Breakfast:  This was a FULL plate with fried eggs, bacon, blood sausage, grilled tomatoes, fried mushrooms, and toast.  The grilled tomato was shockingly good, and it’s hard to beat blood sausage.  This is a hearty, good meal.

Total Nom Points: 6.5 out of 10

FDSCF4366

“David’s” Chicken Liver Mousse: This came with cornichons and country bread and whole grain mustard.  I’m sure this scared a lot of people off, but live mousse topped with salty fat, spread on crunchy bread… yeah, in my opinion it doesn’t get much better than that.  And it doesn’t get much better than this version.

Total Nom Points: 8 out of 10

DSCF4623

Golden Watermelon: This was a pickled, yellow watermelon with goat cheese and bin the summer.  asil oil.  This was so light and refreshing.  Very nice if you want a small bite for summer.

Total Nom Points: 6 out of 10

DSCF4626

Lamb Roast:  This came with a mint basil sauce over asparagus.  It was bursting with flavor and the sauce on top was a perfect compliment for the lamb.  I can’t say it’s what I expected from a “roast” but it was delicious.

Total Nom Points: 6.5 out of 10

DSCF4628

Scallop Crudo: New to the menu for summer, the scallop crudo with meyer lemon and herbs is refreshing, delicious, and as fresh as can be.  Yum.

Total Nom Points: 7 out of 10

DSCF4631

Hamachi Crudo: One day they were out of scallop crudo, but they had hamachi crudo.  This was even more summary, topped with beautiful, edible flowers and the perfect amount of citrus.  Double Yum!

Total Nom Points: 7 .5 out of 10

DSCF4783

Soft Shell Crab: These very lightly fried softshell crabs are on top of jicama and carrot salad (shredded and mixed with a mild sauce of mustard, ketchup, and vinegar… which tasted MUCH better than it sounded) and wrapped in fresh cucumber.  This mixed so well together, with the bite of the salad (and slight spice) nicely complimenting the rich textures of the soft shell crab and then slightly cooled and refreshed by the cucumber.  Fantastic.

Total Nom Points: 8.5 out of 10

DSCF4935

Oysters:  I would be remiss if I never mentioned the oysters.  We get these often and they are always fresh with great flavor.  One of my alltime favorite summer bites.

DSCF4787

Roasted Peaches: A new dessert on the menu. these peaches are perfectly roasted with an amarreto sauce and marscapone.  Delicately sweet and the roasting perfectly pulled out the flavor in the peaches.  We really enjoyed this.

Total Nom Points: 7.5 out of 10

DSCF4788

Tuesday Treats- Episode 1

26 Apr

On select Tuesdays, I’ll be posting “Tuesday Treats” which includes a few quick tidbits, links, and tips that I found interesting in the last few days about (what else?) Nomming.

Here is today’s first installment!

Some cool deals for food in NYC that sounded great (click on the links below to get more information and purchase the deals):

Some buzz and blogs around the food world that I found interesting:
  • Daniel Boulud doesn’t have gas for his new NYC restaurant, but the show must go on!  I love Boulud’s restaurants, and I love that he can weather the hiccups that would normally whither any business owner.
  • A friend recently recommended I visit a food blog, and it has a design that makes me very envious: http://www.immaculateinfatuation.com/
  • Another food themed blog that I have been enjoying lately is The Way We Ate, which posts photos of ads and recipe pictures that were in Gourmet Magazine from decades past.  This week is from 1942!
Happy Nomming!

Albert Hall Tavern- A new, fantastic arrival

7 Jan

There are VERY few places that I dine at and then run right home to blog about.  In fact, this may very well be the first time (I left this place 15 minutes ago).  Albert Hall Tavern is located at 508 9th Ave (between 38th and 39th Streets).  Their site (www.alberthalltavern.com) isn’t yet live (which is hardly surprisingly, since they have been open less than ONE WEEK).  Their phone number is 646-490-4803, however, if you want to get in touch.

I live in a neighborhood that isn’t well known for go-to dining establishments.  Sure, there are delicious places in Times Square, and there are a number of Hell’s Kitchen restaurants that are go-to, but the area on 9th Avenue near Port Authority isn’t exactly known as a mecca for cuisine.

So when Mike and I noticed that a new tavern was opening up in a space that was recently a short lived velvet rope night club (non-sensical for this area), we checked out the menu.  It looked great.  Some really delicious sounding dishes (bone marrow, short rib ravioli, a Thursday special just called “pig”) and a nice looking inside (that we could see when we peered through the window) made us both say to each other, “we need to try this place.” (They opened on New Year’s Eve.)

So tonight, when my coworkers wanted to go out for happy hour, I suggested we try the new place. When we walked in, it seemed a little fancy, but with a great draft beer selection and some good rock music (the kind you just love to sing along to) playing. 

We quickly noticed that they had an interesting selection of beers, most of which we couldn’t pronounce, but sounded promising.  Our bartender (Brian, I think) mentioned that he appreciated our selections and quickly poured us our taps.  We all tried our beers and made various “wow” type sound.  We all mentioned how much we were each enjoying our various selections, however, one stood out;  Adam chose a German wheat beer, Weihenstephan.  Turns out, it’s the oldest brewery in the world (nearly 1,000 years old!) We all wound up ending with this beer and enjoying it thoroughly.

We also asked for the bone marrow appetizer, which included beets and braised beef.  (SOLD!)  It came and we all managed to give the bones extra scrapes, and commented on how delicious the braised beef was.  It was heavenly.   From start to finish.

Marrow

We struck up a conversation with our bartender about visiting the south (where he’s from) and I think we were all taken aback by how “at home” we immediately felt in this place.

One of the managers came up to us soon after and brought us artichoke dip, compliments of the chef.

Archie dip

We were immediately impressed by the (obviously) homemade potato chips on top.  While we all wanted to dip them, they were too fragile, so they acted as a perfect crunchy topping as we ate this with our forks. 

I was thoroughly impressed.  As someone that LOVES artichokes and has eaten artichoke dip in many restaurants, I was really intrigued at how fresh the artichokes were, how unique this dip was, and how it didn’t have any of that mealy texture that is so popular in artichoke dip.  I’m not sure there was spinach in this.  It just tasted like fresh artichokes and cheese.

FAN. tastic.

We wound up chatting with the manager and the owner, and found out the future plans include making the back into a “game room” where they plan to serve whole suckling pigs to private parties.  They plan on making brunch a big deal in the next few weeks and plan on being open for lunch soon. 

I was so impressed by this place.  Fantastic beer selection, the food we tried was unique and delicious, and the staff was so hospitable and friendly.  It’s the kind of place I can see finally becoming my neighborhood go-to. 

They have shrimp by the pound where you can get a whole meal for about $10.  And we were advised to try their oysters.

When Mike got home from work, I actually debated turning right around and going back for dinner.

I’m sure I will be back soon.

Go. Now. Before the secret is out.

 

 

 

Pop-Tarts World Pop-In

14 Oct

I heard some buzz about Pop-Tarts World opening up in Times Square, so when Mike and I had some time to kill on my birthday before seeing Million Dollar Quartet on Broadway (which was AMAZING btw), we decided to take a peak.

It’s their one and only location and it’s on 42nd street between 6th Ave and Broadway.

They had some cute features, including an on-site t-shirt maker.

And the “Varietizer,” which allowed you to customize the individual flavors in your box of Pop-Tarts.

And then… there’s the menu.

It is quite the collection of oddities as dreamed up by the “chefs.”  And everything looked cavity-inducingly delicious in the display.

They even make sandwiches… in case you need a “lunch” option.

We went for variety and started with the “sushi.”  It was a “fruity sushi roll” (similar to a fruit roll up) stuffed with ground up pop tarts (Frosted Raspberry, Frosted Blueberry, and Frosted Wild Berry).  It was WAAAAAY too sweet for me.  But it was a funny thing to eat… especially on my birthday.

Mike chose the granola bar for his “entree.”  This included a “wholesome bar” of oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, chocolate chips, dried cherries, and a splash of honey with chunks of Pop-Tarts Frosted Cherry and Pop-Tarts Frosted Chocolate Fudge.  Now if every granola bar tasted like this, I would eat granola bars all day.

My choice was the “Sticky Cinna Munchies.”  This was “warm and cozy” cinnamon roll bites with chunks of Pop-Tarts Frosted Cinnamon Roll smeared with cream cheese icing.  Now I couldn’t taste a bit of Pop-Tarts (even though the cinnamon roll variety is one of my faves) but I can tell you… this may be worth joining the obesity epidemic for. 

Mmmm Mmmmm Mmmmmmmmm