Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Brunch at Momofoku Ma Peche in NYC

Dan and I finally made it to one of the Momofuku restaurants for a regular (i.e. not prix-fixed) meal.  Ma Peche actually lets you make reservations for more than 4 people, which is great.  The location is kind of weird - in a hotel, and the decor also was kind of sterile in my opinion w/a hint of peach color ha.  But the food was pretty amazing, though I was full after the ramen, which was problematic given that the was the second of four dishes we ordered lol.  The rice cakes were ridiculously hot, especially re-heated the next day.  Like I could barely eat any of it hot.  Oh well.  Dan enjoyed it at least.

Pork buns!  with hoisin, cucumber and scallions.  Amazing as always.  Melt-in-your-mouth meat.  Dan said he thought it was better than Momofuku noodle bar.  To me it was the same.

(Left) calamansi soda, and (right) Arnold Palmer.  Both amazing.   Props to Ma Peche for having calamansi, which is usually only found at Filipino restaurants.  It's a lemon-lime hybrid. My arnold palmer had jasmine iced tea, which added a nice floral note.

Duck Ramen w/duck confit and bean sprouts.  Very tasty and nice flavor of broth, but also very rich and mildly thick.

Spicy roasted rice cakes w/pork ragu, water spinach and tofu.  Topped w/some fried onions. So tasty but really hot.  The rice cakes were very filling as well, kind of gnocchi-like but rice instead of potato.

Jerk chicken wings w/brown sugar, all spice, and smoked olive oil.  My fav new thing I tried but unfortunately the last dish served so I was already full and it was also temperature-wise very hot so hard to eat given my food-coma condition. 

Home-made gluten-free spaghetti w/shrimp, asparagus and mushrooms

Made some gluten-free pasta w/shrimp, asparagus, and mushrooms in tomato basil sauce.  I think I overcrowded the pasta because the noodles were kind of gummy, but the rest of the ingredients tasted great haha.  I used the TJ's African Smoke seasoning on the shrimp, which added a nice pop of flavor

Lunch at Crazy Fire Mongolian Grill in Fayetteville, NC + semi-home-made churros

For Thanksgiving weekend went down to NC to visit the bro and fam.  We went to this Mongolian restaurant where you pick all your proteins, veggies and sauces and the cooks cook the food at some communal giant round grill.  The first time I severely undersauced, so made up for it w/my second plate.  I like the idea of being able to pick everything but they should advise re: the saucing so that there's adequate flavor.  My fav proteins were the dark chicken, pork, and lamb.  They had basically everything you could want protein-wise minus fresh fish.  They did have shrimp, scallops, and calamari though, which was a nice surprise.

Also, we found frozen Goya churros in the supermarket, so of course I made us get them.  Awesome alternative to the fresh kind that we didn't get at the circus a few weeks ago.

First plate had beef, shrimp, chicken, pork, scallops, calamari and veggies w/white rice

Second plate had lamb, pork, and chicken w/fried rice

Churros with cinnamon sugar sprinkled on them yummy

Lunch at Panera in West Orange, NJ

Post-Hunger Games we were really hungry (sorry for being so punny) and Panera was the closest place to us, so we decided to go there.  A good choice also for a cold cold day b/c their soup is great.  Dan got his usual Thai shrimp salad and I got tomato soup and fancy grilled cheese w/fontina cheese.  Yes, I am a classy child.

Chilled shrimp soba salad

1/2 soup 1/2 sandwich combo - tomato soup w/fontina grilled cheese

Brunch at Thirty Acres in Jersey City, NJ

My first trip to Thirty Acres in a long time, and brought a JC friend who had never been.  JC is really quickly becoming a foodie town. A quick google search and you can see that Thirty Acres is the leader in the foodie revolution.  The restaurant opens at noon on the weekends and I thought getting there around 12:40ish we'd have to wait, but fortunately no wait at all.  It was a difficult decision trying to figure out what to get, though in the end I was pretty pleased and only slightly regretful that I didn't order something meatier haha.  Still, a great meal and not so expensive compared to the dinner pricing.

French Toast - Nate Dogg's bread, whipped mascarpone, apples - my friend really enjoyed this.  Looked awesome

Side of bacon.  Certainly not skimpy

Smoked Artic Char Club - my choice.  Bacon, lettuce, fried lemons and spicy mayo w/side of Nate Dogg's potato salad.  I wish the bread hadn't been so crusty because it was a little hard to bite into it since it was so tall (club, duh) but it was very tasty.  With the mayo in the sandwich and mayo in that potato salad, a little too much mayo for me.  But still I could appreciate the good flavor

Semi-home-made shrimp pesto bow-ties

Dan and I tried some really great pesto at the supermarket a few weeks ago and ended up buying a container of Ranna pesto.  Dan sauteed shrimp, spinach, and frozen peas to add some color and much needed veggies and protein to the pasta, and we had one quick, delicious meal.