|Clasica Pizza - marinara sauce, fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil. Super thin and crispy.|
Sunday, August 10, 2014
Post painting some gfs and I went to Spunto for dinner. Fortunately we made it in time for happy hour and were able to take advantage of a great special - pitcher of draft beer --> free large cheese pizza! We also got a second large pizza, half veggie and half meaty. All this food and it only came out to about $16 a person. Great deal, great pizza, and great day as we got to sit outside in perfect summer weather.
Dan, the rents and I went to Tick Tock for brunch. Service was very quick today. I guess everyone went down the shore today because it wasn't crowded when we sat down. I went with a classic while Dan made a new excellent selection.
|Macho Nachos - chicken chili and chorizo with salsa, cheddar, sour cream, onions, jalapenos and guacamole. Chili was delicious as were all the toppings. So large also - everyone sruggled to finish|
|Tick Tock Chicken - grilled chicken, roasted peppers, fresh mozzarella and pesto on a roll w/waffle fries|
|My dad's Turkey Club - bacon, lettuce, tomato, and turkey w/mayo and fries|
Dan and I went to Beechwood after taking the dog to the vet in JC. We sat outside and some quality people/dog-watching. The service was pretty terrible today though. Our drinks didn't come until after our food did, utensils came out after food did, and everything just took forever in terms of service. My food was good but not exactly what I expected, though props for making eggs over easy the right away.
|Potato hash - more like potatoes, over easy eggs, and corned beef which looked like bacon. Great combo together. Just not exactly what I expected when I think of "hash" or "corned beef"|
|Huevos Rancheros - tortilla chips w/beans, fried eggs, cheese, guacamole, and sour cream. Good but messy|
Dan and I got take-out from Sushi House 21, which had 4.5 stars on Yelp. We felt bad leaving the doggie so got food to go, but it was still excellent and made me feel happy to have found one reliable take-out place near our apt. Not super cheap but the seafood was all very fresh. The ramen also was decent, esp. considering it was only $8! Would like to eat in-house and try some of the other fresh seafood options.
|Dan's Meteor Roll - spicy tuna roll w/eel, tuna, salmon, avocado on top with special sauce|
|Black Dragon Roll in the back - shrimp tempura, cucumber roll topped with eel and avocado. Red Dragon Roll in front - eel crunch w/spicy tuna on top and special sauce|
|Tonkotsu Ramen - large, tender pieces of pork, egg (a little over cooked but I guess it would be hard to transport a soft boiled egg), corn, and bamboo shoots. The broth had good flavor. The noodles weren't anything special but the pork was great|
For lunch during random training near the beach, Andrew and I went to Shaka, which had Hawaiian-inspired food, most of which was healthy. I thought I should be healthy and detox from my super rich dinner the night before. This meant that I had some food regret from my choice haha, but glad we tried it.
|Makaha Fish & Rice Bowl - mahi mahi, cilantro brown rice, hass avocado, tropical pico, toasted coconut, cilantro lime sauce|
|Bowl mixed up. The fish was a little dry and the salsa was more fruit than I expected. As in, all fruit ha. It def tasted refreshing but I think I wanted something more meaty or at least something with beans|
Dan and I went to Michelin-star restaurant Hakkasan in NYC for Restaurant Week. It was AMAZING and def worth coming back to during non RW. I don't think I've ever been to a really expensive Chinese restaurant but I def think this was worth it. Everything had so much complex flavor and the portions were well-sized. The drinks were also very unique and tasty. At one point our drink order was severely delayed, I guess because it was super busy. The waitress apologized multiple times, which was nice but not so helpful. Right before our bill came the manager came over and apologized for the delay and said he was going to comp those drinks, which was awesome bc that was approx. $30. They have a couple of other prix-fixe menu options throughout the year, which could def be worth it, or just come back and order a la carte.
|Chinese Mule - Spring 44 vodka, Hatsumago junmai sake, cilantro, ginger, lime and Fever-Tree ginger beer. Very refreshing and strong|
|Fried soft shell crab with curry leaf and chilli - the crab was so meaty and delicous. The crunchy thing on top was apparently egg yolk threads. This was a giant portion for an appetizer. Def the best thing we ate all night.|
|har gau shrimp shumai, crab dumpling, prawn andchive dumpling. def quality ingredients. Not the best dim sum I've eaten but you could tell this was carefully made|
|Jasmine tea smoked pork ribs - not part of RW but totally worth it. Fall of the bone and great smoky flavor|
|Spicy prawn with lily bulb and almond - Dan got this and thought it was great spice-wise. It was a little spicy for me but the curry flavors were excellent. I also thought it wouldn't be enough food but the prawn were in fact prawn and giantic|
|Stir-fry black pepper rib-eye beef with merlot - so delicious. Tender beef with great flavor. Only negative was it wasn't super hot when it came out. I also loved the roasted garlic cloves|
|Spring onion and egg fried rice- as the yelp reviews instructed, def choose this over regular white rice. So much flavor and also a large portion|
|(L) some drink with Cachaça and blueberries that Dan enjoyed. (R) Fernet Julep - Spring 44 bourbon, Fernet Branca amaro, ginger juice, mint and spiced port syrup|
|Vanila parfait with sorbet, strawberries, and what tasted/felt like space ice cream on top haha. Very delicious. Great textures and the right amount of sweetness|
|I took my macarons to-go. Top was raspberry and bottom mocha. The next day confirmed that I don't like french-style macarons. Only coconut macaroons. This was the only thing I didn't love|
We made a great, easy dinner of roasted chicken thighs, dill potatoes, and chipotle corn. This time the dill potatoes were sooo close to Boston Market's version because I correctly steamed the potatoes vs. boiling. Chicken was great - the skin was so crispy it was like chicarron. And of course the corn was easy and a great side.
Dan and I went to The Counter to try a new burger joint where you can custom build your burger, in addition to ordering a pre-set burger. They also have gluten-free buns, and even more amazingly, unlimited sauces. The inside was surprisingly large and very similar to Chipotle in my mind - lots of metal and kind of sterile yet modern. For the build-your-own burger there are sooo many options, it may seem overwhelming. But fortunately they have checklists so you don't have to worry about someone writing it down wrong. Despite what the checklists say, extra sauce is free. I def would like to come back to try other combos. I didn't wanna get TOO carried away.
|Dan's burger with american cheese, kale, spicy pickles, fresh jalapenos, and fried egg on a gluten-free bun. With smoky chipotle aioli and roasted garlic aioli|
|My burger with cheddar, kale, jicama, pickled carrot and daikon with roasted garlic and sweet sriracha. Great balance of flavors and almost felt healthy w/my toppings|
|View of my veggies. All such unique choices for a burger joint|
|All the sauces! We were good and only ordered two each but there are so many more I wanna try|
Friday, August 1, 2014
To bid farewell to Elena, I trekked to Brooklyn and we hung out around Cobble Hill. Eventually we had dinner at a French restaurant that neither she nor her friend had eaten at. Her friend once tried to go to brunch but waited so long that they eventually left. They had a sign for Belgian night - mussels, fries, and a beer for $14, so we decided to give it a second chance. Unfortunately that ended up being a mistake. They had run out of mussels! And only took American Express! WTF. Also no one's food was good. Somehow their French Onion Soup was terrible, and my duck somehow was in a soup although it was def not supposed to be. I think this is the first time I've had bad French food. Lesson learned. Do not go to Provence en Boite if you are in BK.
|Traditional Onion soup, melted cheese, croutons - Elena had this and thought it was terrible. I didn't try it but I find it crazy that a French restaurant could have bad soup.|
There's at least one gluten-free place near our apt. and it's a cute cafe in Kearny. You can tell that they cook everything from scratch and it kind of feels like it's someone house. They have their baked goods in tupperware for storage. Prices are a little expensive but the sandwich we had was delicious as was the coffee. I forgot to take pics of the baked goods we got to go - two cupcakes plus chocolate chip cookies. The baked goods were kind of a let down. Cupcakes and cookies I've made were def better. But I am a great baker :) The food was good and we'd like to come back to try their home-made gf pizza.
|GF meatball and mozz panini with chips. And extra marinara dipping sauce|
|Inside of the sandwich. That extra dipping sauce was clutch. And the bread was good. I think it was Udis though, not home-made|
I went to Amma for Restaurant Week w/Karem because we both really like Indian and this RW dinner deal includes five dishes. The service was a little spotty and the place itself oddly loud, but the food was decent for the price. Unfortunately definitely not the best Indian food I've ever had, so would probably not come back. But I'm glad we tried it.
|Hara Bara Cold Soup - mixed vegetables with herbs & chef spice. Def had a kick but was a nice starter.|
|(L) Trio of Pakora - fritters of cauliflower, cottage cheese, and onion, and (R) Delhi Chaat - chickpeas, potato, yogurt, mint, and tamarind chutney. Karem was detoxing from meat this week|
|Malai Prawn - marinated with coconut milk and hung yogurt, and Chicken Pakora - spiced chicken fritters. The shrimp was tasty but couldn't really taste the marinade. The pakora just tasted like pretty bland fried chicken.|
|(L) Rice, (Front) Chana Saag - chickpeas and spinach with spices, (R) Manchurian cauliflower. Karem seemed to enjoy it and was pretty full about half-way through|
|Naan was tasty. Nice and buttery and light|
|Karem's strawberry cheesecake that she took to go|
|Mango Kulfi - mango flavored reduced milk ice cream. Not my fav. Was so frozen had the consistency of a chocolate bar|
I made some delicious quiche with broccoli, cheddar, and bacon, along with a gluten-free crust. Quiche is actually very easy to make, yet tastes so good it seems like it should take a lot of effort. Next brunch I host will be quiche-ful.
I tried my hand at pan de bono - Ecuadorian cheese bread that I first tried at Calle Ocho. Apparently it is actually gluten free because the starches are tapioca and corn masa. The texture was spot on and the cheese had good flavor, but it lacked the sweetness that the bread at Calle Ocho had. Oh well. On the bright side, my gluten-free banana pecan mini muffins came out great. I made a bunch of them for Dan and me, and a couple nut-free for the puppy. He goes crazy for them haha
|My Pan de Bono|
|Gluten-free banana pecan mini muffins|
|More mini muffins. The nutless ones were for the doggie|
Dan, my parents, and I went to Tick Tock for lunch. They had an amazing, inexpensive lunch special - soft shell crab BLT. SO delicious! I think they actually forgot the bacon, but barely noticed because the crab itself was so delicious. Dan got his usual Route 3 Traffic Jam. Delish as per usual.
|Chicken Noodle Soup|
|Soft Shell Crab BLT with fries|
|Route 3 traffic jam - fried eggs w/cheese, sausage, and hash browns|