Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dinner at Two Boots in Jersey City, NJ

So glad to have Two Boots in JC.  This time there were tons of new pizza choices but I had to stick with my fav - the Newman, which is sopressata and sweet italian sauage on a white pie.  Dan got a slice of V is for Vegan.  We also shared some garlic knots, which were huge and awesomely garlic-y.  We also shared meatball sliders, which I had been so excited about, but they were a big letdown.  Didn't realize they were also served on garlic knots, which would have made me not order separate knots.  There was too much bread to inside, and the "meatball" was basically a tiny mashed piece of overcooked meat (what kind...unsure) and little bit of tasteless sauce and cheese.  The sliders were $6 for 3, the garlic knots $1.50 for 3.  Def get garlic knots and not these sad attempts for sliders.

V is for Vegan on left, Newman on the right

Garlic knots and marinara sauce

Meatball sliders and sauce - look how charred that meat is!  Sad :(

Dinner at Cafe Habana in NYC

Nicole and I went to Cafe Habana as it was on my list of no res places to try in NYC and we weren't tragically hungry.  However, the 40ish minute wait was sadly not worth it.  The corn was really delicious but the taquitos were so dry and nothing special.  The sincronizada was essentially a quesadilla.  Good because of the chorizo but honestly not that special.  Sad face.  At least I know now that it's not worth waiting that long for corn.

Taquitos Caseros - one filled with steak, the other roasted pork

Grilled Corn Mexican Style - served with chili powder, lime, and cotija cheese

Sincronizada Toluca - black bean ad sun dried tomato tortillas with mozzarella cheese, chorizo and avocado, covered with green tomatillo sauce

Brunch at Skinner's Loft in Jersey City, NJ

We managed to continue our brunch foray in JC, and headed to Skinner's Loft.  Fortunately no line despite not having a reservation.  Everything we had was delicious, but it was a tragic trip as I lost one of my favorite earrings :(

Dan got the lobster BLT, which was as good as ever.  I tried the steak and egg pizzetta, which was a perfect HP meal - steak, runny egg, cheese, and spinach on pizza dough.  YUM.

Cute little pail of house-made biscuits and bread.  With cuteee little jar of jam and butter

Lobster BLT on a brioche roll with shoestring fries.  The fries look amazing but really need to be thicker b/c they're not crisp enough to be chips but not thick enough to eat as fries.  You need to grab like 5 to have a decent taste.

Close-up of the BLT
Steak and egg pizzetta - filet mignon, egg-over-easy, cheddar and baby spinach

Dinner at Red Lobster in Secaucus, NJ

Hit up Red Lobster for Lobsterfest.  Damn their catchy commercials!  We got so much food for slightly over $50.  There's a coupon online for a free appetizer if you get two L-fest entrees, so we took advantage even though we saved most of it for take-out otherwise we wouldn't have made even a dent in our entrees.  We got salad and of course the unlimited cheddar bay biscuits.  These biscuits are seriously crack.  So goooood.  Nice and soft and cheesy but not too buttery.  We shared the lobster pizza for the free app.  It was a nice idea - good crunch with the crust but too salty and the lobster taste wasn't that strong b/c it was overpowered by salt.  Our entrees were much better though.  Dan got the wood grilled lobster and lobster tacos.  The tacos were delish and lobster tail of course wonderful.  I got the maine lobster & shrimp trio, which included grilled lobster tail, garlic grilled shrimp, and lobster and shrimp mac and cheese.  I got through all the lobster tail and grilled shrimp, but the mac and cheese was a little indulgent to put it mildly.  Dan called it "inappropriate."  I def took most of that home ha.

Lobster pizza
Maine lobster & shrimp trio - wild rice pilaf, garlic grilled shrimp on a plastic skewer, lobster tail, broccoli and lobster and shrimp mac and cheese with a white cheddar and bacon sauce, with parmesan crumbs.  My heart hurt with even a single bite of it haha
Wood-grilled lobster and lobster tacos

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Dinner at Park & Sixth in Jersey City, NJ

Park & Sixth recently updated their menu, cutting back some of their sandwiches and adding lots of small plates/dishes.  Fortunately they still have their burgers at dinner.  Everything we ate was amazingly delicious.  So much food that I could only make it through half my burger because the apps we got were so filling and rich.  The chicken chicarron was ridic good.  Crispy skin and some meat, plus the plaintains and green tomatillo salsa.  The taters were also very garlic-y, which we both love.  And both burgers were made of short rib, which I'm convinced is why they're so damn juicy that it melts in your mouth.  Best sandwiches in JC, hands down.

Taters - Dirty smashed potatoes, roasted garlic, butter, cream cheese and lipitor (ha)

Chicken Chicarron special app - only $5!

The Beast (aka Dan's go-to) - 1/2 lb. ground short rib, american cheese, lettuce, tomato, bacon, caramelized onion,  chipotle mayo, ketchup, and a runny fried egg.  Plus came with a giant side of old bay fries.

Powerhouse Prime Burger - basically normal burger that you can add stuff to.  1/2 lb ground short rib, lettuce, tomato, and I added bacon and gorgonzola cheese.  It was soo amazing.  They cook their burgers perfectly.  Also came with side of old bay fries.

Close-up of my powerhouse primer burger

One order of old bay seasoned fries.  We EACH had a bowl of this ha

Dinner at 7A in NYC

Impromptu stop at 7A, one of Dan's favorite places downtown.  It's a really cheap diner with excellent and cheap food.  He ordered the lobster club and sweet potato fries.  There was SO much lobster - huge chunks in fact.  All for $12.  Definitely worth coming back.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dinner at Razza Pizza Artigianale in Jersey City, NJ

Dan and I finally tried out Razza Pizza in JC, where Bar Majestic used to be.  I loved the inside of the place.  So homey and made great use of the space that used to be one big empty blahh.  The brick oven made the place so nice and toasty.  I'm also pretty sure we met the owner.  Anyway, the food.  Everything we ate was delicious and the portions bigger than I thought.  We shared the kale caesar salad, which was sooo tasty and just the right amount to whet the appetite but not be too filling.  The dressing was perfect richness, croutons crisp, and kale nice and crunchy.  Unsure of it was cooked at all, but anyway, amazing.  The "personal" pizzas were way too big for one person but not quite enough for two.  We shared the farm pie, which was a special that day, as well as Santo.  The farm pie had fresh mozz, brussel sprouts, leeks, bacon infused olive oil, and a duck egg in the middle.  I LOVE white pizza and love egg yolks on pizza even more, so a great and smart combo.  The crust was nice and thin.  I wish there had been more oil so I could've dipped it but it was also tasty on its own.  The Santo pizza had marinara sauce, fresh mozz, sausage, shaved onion, and roasted chili oil.  It too was amazingly good.  I normally dislike onions b/c I hate the texture, but do like the flavor.  Everyone should shave their onions and I would eat it ALL the time.  The chili oil was a nice addition.  Not too spicy but just enough to notice.  Also happy that there was meat on this pie.  Both were awesome and probably equal in taste.  Depends on what kind of sauce you feel like I suppose.  Each was $15.  Drinks were also tasty.  Dan got a beer and I got some special tequila drink.  Definitely want to come back and advise everyone else to come here if you don't feel like trekking into NYC for some gourmet pizza.

Kale Caesar Salad - Tuscan kale with home-made Caesar dressing, sourdough croutons and Parmigiano Reggiano

Farm Pie (special) - fress mozz, brussel sprouts, leeks, bacon infused olive oil and duck egg

Santo - marinara sauce, fresh mozz, sausage, shaved onion and roasted chili oil

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Brunch at ABC Kitchen in NYC

Pooja, Debbie, Sejal and I went to ABC Kitchen for girls' brunch.  For some reason this time service was pretty lackluster.  Took almost 30 minutes for our table to set and for us to get seated.  And once we were seated it took awhile for food/drinks to get ordered and arrive, and even longer for the check.  The food overall though was excellent and somewhat made up for the ehh service.  We shared the maple bacon biscuits and the doughnuts.  Both were delish.  Everyone also seemed to really like their entrees.  My turkey sandwich was great.  The bread had a nice crunch and the herbed mayo wasn't too overpowering or gross, esp. considering I don't like mayo.  The bacon was a little burnt in parts but otherwise had a nice crunch.  Turkey was also tasty but not that memorable.  I had read such great things about the fries but the pieces were too tiny for my liking and I couldn't taste this alleged garlic.

Seasonal Glazed Doughnuts - lemon glazed on left and chocolate nut on right.  Both were very tasty but not worth $10 in my opinion

My house roasted turkey sandwich, applewood smoked bacon, arugula and jalapenos with fries 

Buttermilk pancakes with lemon curd - I tried this and wowww was it good.  The pancakes were perfectly fluffy and the lemon curd was amazing.  Almost seemed dessert-ish

Eggs Benedict with Flying Pigs Farm Ham with side of potatoes - Pooja said this was amazing, esp. the ham

Ricotta, Cherry Tomatoes and Basil Omelette with side of potatoes

Home-made miso-glazed tofu and garlic hoisin veggies

Decided to attempt a tasty vegetarian meal, and I must say I think I was successful.  I made a maple-miso glaze and broiled tofu slices in the oven.  I also made a garlic, hoisin, and chili sauce mix for the asparagus and mushrooms.  Overall I think Dan and I really enjoyed the food and actually didn't miss meat.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Dinner at Doh Wa in NYC

Rushabh, Pooja, and I went to Doh Wa for some yummy Korean food.  The restaurant is in the West Village and was veryyy hip and loud.  Like scream across the table loud ha.  But both the food and drinks were delish.  I highly recommend the ginger kamikaze, which had Tito's, lemon juice and home-made ginger candy.  We shared apps and felt pretty full after that, but then had a giant bowl of bibimbop to conquer.  Highly recommend the place if you're in the mood for Korean food and not near K-Town.

Kimchi Pajun - kimchi scallion pancake.  Nicely fried and great scallion-y flavor.  

Jap Chae - sauteed sweet potato glass noodles with vegetable in sesame.  A little greasy but def delicious.  Excellent even without meat.

Ban chan 

More ban chan

Classic bibimbop with beef - seven-seasoned vegetables over rice, topped with a fried egg.  Delish but way too large for me to finish.  A rare occasion.

Bibimbop all mixed up.  Love the chili sauce.
Rushabh's jalapeno chicken.  Didn't get to try it but both he and Pooja raved about it

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Brunch at Bistro La Source in Jersey City, NJ

So this week is Hudson Restaurant Week, and at Bistro La Source they had a three course prix-fixe menu for $15.  Dan and I haven't been to Bistro La Source in almost a year.  Not really for any reason but just don't really "crave" Bistro food too often.  But being there and having such a great meal reminded me I need to come back for Mussels Monday sometime soon.  Anyway, Dan actually didn't order from the RW menu because he was craving more brunch-y food, but it turned out well b/c he helped me conquer my food, which would've been too much for just me.  We were seated though between two families with infant kids and a smelly older lady, so that kind of marred our overall dining experience.  Also the service was slow despite it not being too crowded.  The food quality makes up for  it though in my opinion.

My first course - charcuterie with various meats, candied walnuts, bread, and pickled winter root veggies.  Meat and bread were great.  I liked the walnuts a lot.  Dan enjoyed the veggies a lot.  Pickled veggies is not really my thing but it was interesting to try.
2nd Course - Steak au poivre sandwich with fries.  The sandwich had an interesting mushroom gravy that was a little too rich for me, but Dan loved it.  The fries were perfectly crisp.

Poached Eggs Norwegian with smoked salmon, hollandaise and home fries.  This was deliciousss.  Dan ordered this but I got to try it and I would def order this myself in the future, which I haven't ever said about any type of benedict-y dish.

Also got apple crumble with gelato but took it to go because we were too aggravated by the surrounding company. 

Brunch at Satis Bistro in Jersey City, NJ

Satis Bistro in JC has some great reviews on Yelp, and recently got a great review in the New York Times, so decided to hit it up for brunch.  The place was really cute, high ceilings and lots of latin on the chalkboards.  Our waiter was a little weird - kind of a mix of blase and he wanted to kill us.  The food overall was a little disappointing considering the rave reviews.  I enjoyed what I ate but it wasn't the best brunch I've had by far.  Most of the food was severely underseasoned, which I guess is better than being too salty but I'm not sure why they were so sting with salt.  Still, I would like to come back for dinner to see if there is more to the place.

Poached Eggs with crispy pancetta and basil hollandaise served on foccacia crostini - Dan got this.    He enjoyed it though the pancetta was way overcooked.  It was almost the consistency of bad turkey bacon.  There was a little too much basil in the sauce for my taste.

Side of sweet potato home fries - we felt like we had to order this since we'd never seen this on a menu.  This was def lacking in salt.  Once we added salt and pepper though it was pretty tasty.

Shredded beef brisket and Yukon Gold Potato Hash, two fried eggs, and Harissa - Everything was delicious but the brisket was a little stringy.  Like it took effort to chew.  The harissa was a nice compliment though and overall I enjoyed it.

Another view of my meaty breakfast

Pain Au Chocolat for dessert.  Because why not.  No kidding when I say this was maybe 10% chocolate inside.  There were like four random bites with chocolate.  WTF.  I mean the croissant itself was good.  Nicely buttered and flaky but I wanted some chocolate.

Dessert at La Churreria in NYC

Finally made it to La Churreria for churros post-dinner at Gyu-Kaku.  The place is tiny and had tiles and decor very similar to San Gines in Madrid.  Also we ordered Churros for two - 12 churros and large pot of hot chocolate and I swear it was too much for three people.  It was close to what I remembered in Madrid.  Definitely the closest I've experienced at any place in the United States.  To be honest though I'm not sure how this place stays in business b/c we took up one of their three tables for like an hour and our dish only cost $10.  So everyone should go there while it's still up and running!

Dinner at Gyu-Kaku in NYC

Risheen, Elena and I went to the Gyu-Kaku by St. Mark's Place.  Somehow I still got mildly lost walking there even though I had passed this location just a few weeks ago.  Anywayy everything we had again was great.  I love sharing and cooking but was so hungry I wouldn't have minded if everything was already cooked.  Overall we didn't spend too much either, like $25 per person without tip.

Seaweed Salad - great.  Can't really mess this up.

Kobe beef garlic fried rice with bacon - prob my fav thing to eat here

Sweet potato tempura - something about this is very surprising.  Maybe it's just the sweetness, but in a good way.

Shots of the tempura and raw zucchini and pork belly

Raw veggie platter plus raw kalbi behind it

Kobe rice and skirt steak

Rice, zucchini and kalbi.  Delish