Monday, October 5, 2015

Lunch from White Star Bar in Jersey City, NJ

Thank goodness for Grubhub because now we can order the amazing White Star chicken sandwich at home! We got one of those sandwiches for lunch along with buffalo wings as it was Sunday Funday.   The food was packaged in nice cardboard containers so it stayed warmer and less sweaty than styrofoam.  Even in take-out form the crispy chicken sandwich was amazing.  The wings were great too; great sauce and crispy despite being in a box.  Great option for comfort food.  Again, still need to have their burgers.
Buffalo wings.  Very delicious

Crispy chicken sandwich and delicious fries

Dinner at Raymi in NYC

Had a ladies dinner at Raymi, a classy Peruvian joint in Chelsea.  Food was tasty and well prepared.  Portions were a little small so no one got stupid full, which is probably a good thing because usually I feel stuffed and comatose.  We had everything family style, which was great because we go to try a lot of different things.  I don't know if the prices are necessarily worth it, which is why I've been trying unsuccessfully to go therefor Restaurant Week.  I would come back for that or maybe another night with deals, but a little pricey for what we got.
Chicharron sliders - crispy pork shoulder, sweet potato, salsa criolla and spicy mayo.  Possibly the best thing we at.  Great flavors and the pork was well cookeed 

Grilled octopus - ocopa, peanuts, red onion, baby potatoes, huacatay and brown butter.  Well cooked but I've had more memorable octopus

Ceviche clasico - corvina, lime, red onion, sweet potato, cilantro, habanero.  Nice flavored broth but again, not that memorable

Arroz con mariscos - carnaroli rice, aji amarillo, clams, mussels, octopus, squid, shrimp. Good but again suffered from not being spectacular.  Also for $28 the portion was small

Lomo Saltado - hanger steak, soy sauce, tomato, red onion, crispy fries and jasmine rice.  I take it back; this was the best thing I had.  But sadly the portion was so small we each only got like 4 bites of meat and like 5 fries. Also $24.  I probably could've eaten two of these

Brioche Bread Pudding - brown butter ice cream, toffee, raisins and almonds.  The better of the two desserts.  Very sweet but I liked it and could've eaten more

Picarones - Peruvian crispy donuts with chancaca honey.  I thought I would love this but there was something oddly bitter about the honey

Brunch at Liberty Prime Steakhouse in Jersey City, NJ

Dan and I went to Liberty Prime Steakhouse around the corner for one of the best brunches I've had, especially in JC.  They have a lot of reasonably priced steak brunch entrees and excellent, cheap drinks as well.  Looks like their normal entrees are comparable to most other steakhouses, but brunch is really a bargain and sooo good.  There are still many other things I want to try so I am super happy this is so close by.  Also excellent musical selection.  It was basically all '90s so I was karaoking while eating.
House Bloody Mary and Liberty Prime Bellini (champagne, peach schnapps and peach puree).  Both only $4.  My bellini was delicious

Filet Mignon Benedict - beef tenderloin and poached eggs served on a butter brioche and chive hollandaise. Came with avocado and home fries.  Delicious and perfectly cooked steak and eggs.  $17 seems wholly reasonable

Steel cut Irish oatmeal served with grilled bananas and brown sugar oatmeal.  Sounded intriguing, even to me who doesn't like oatmeal.  It wasn't as sweet as Dan expected or as I hoped 

Steak Sandwich - rib-eye steak crispy onion rings, sweet peppers, chipotle mayo, served with Parmesan steak fries.  The steak was delicious and perfectly cooked.  I thought the onion rings would be rings but even better they were french fried onions.  The bread was a perfect thickness and sturdiness but still not hard to eat.  The fries were sooo good.  Perfect amount of garlic and cheese.  Huge portion though so only ate maybe half

Close up of my delicious sandwich. Did I mention it was only $14?

Home-made Chili

Since it's officially chili weather Dan made an excellent batch with ground beef and chuck cubes.  Had some nice spice and tasted awesome topped with cheese (obvi) and fresh cilantro. I don't even bother trying to make it since Dan has become an expert.

Dinner from Greene Chutney in Jersey City, NJ

Looks like the fan problem was fixed as we managed to go to Greene Chutney for dinner.  It's basically Indian Chipotle as you get to pick your starch, protein, sauce, and fixins.  I went for a quinoa with chicken and paneer base topped with masala sauce.  Dan got basmati rice with lamb and paneer with tomato and onion sauce.  All the proteins were very good.  They gave HUGE portions so I felt like there was sooo much cheese, which is home-made.  I preferred the quinoa base as it tasted fluffier and absorbed sauce well.  I preferred Dan's sauce to mine though, which was good but not spicy.  Lasted for two meals so while expensive on the surface (about $10-11 a bowl depending on protein), I rarely have Chipotle leftovers so this ended up being cheap.  Great find and so close!
My bowl pre-mixing.  Quinoa with paneer, chicken, broccoli, potatoes, chickpeas, cucumbers and coriander topped with masala sauce

My bowl all mixed up.  So much food it was hard to mix!

Dan's bowl with basmati rice, lamb, paneer, potatoes, chickpeas, red peppers, and coriander with tomato and onion sauce

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Lunch at Xi'an Famous Foods in NYC

Went to Xi'an Famous Foods with Tracy for lunch.  It was crazy crowded - lines out the door to order and lines inside to grab a seat.  Fortunately despite the chaoticness we were able to grab seats together and eat our food with enough time that I didn't feel rushed. The food definitely has serious spice.  I got through my spicy lamb cumin noodles but towards the end was feeling it.  There was LOT of chili oil and my main critique was the amount of oil they appeared to use.  But the noodles were delicious and obviously fresh.  Would love to come back; maybe to a larger location since there are several around.
N1 Spicy Cumin Lamb Hand-ripped Noodles - excellent noodles though they were so long and I had no knife.  Lamb was tasty and very tender

A2 Stir Fried Cold-Skin Noodles - Tracy got this.  The protein was gluten I think?  Interesting but I def prefer meat ha

Spicy Cucumber Salad - not spicy to me but love the flavor and was a great way to cool off my mouth

Dinner at Roman Nose in Jersey City, NJ

Dan and I went to a celebratory dinner at Roman Nose as we were dying to have the pasta/pizza after our excellent brunch.  Everything we ate was delicious and cooked to perfection.  The pizza in particular was amazing though very rich.  I loved the pasta as well.  And there are still many more dishes on the menu that I would love to try.  We managed to save room for dessert by having self control and not eating all of the savory food ha.  The dessert was definitely worth saving room for.  Glad we found our new go-to Italian spot though unfortunate that it took so long to make it there.
My Mediterranean Mule (Figenza Fig Vodka, Crabbie’s Ginger Beer, Lime Juice) and Dan's Frank's Fedora (Bulleit Bourbon, Figenza Fig Vodka, Chartreuse, Lemon Juice, Salt, Thyme).  I loved my drink.  Dan enjoyed his but it wasn't quite what he expected.  The bartenders there seem excellent as both times I've really enjoyed what I go

Bucatini all’Amatriciana - Rome’s spicy red sauce answer to carbonara, with guanciale, Sunday Sauce, onion, and a red pepper kick.  Slight spice but not too much.  This was EXCELLENT.  I loved the thickness of the guanciale and the thickness of the noodles themselves 

Meatball side - two meatballs in Sunday Sauce with fresh bread scarpetta. Great sauce and the meatballs themselves had great seasoning

Zucca pizza - Roast butternut squash, pancetta, caramelized onion, mozzarella, fontina, parmigiano, maple glaze, parsley.  Definitely worth coming just to try this.  This was also the small size and was HUGE

Nonna Memma's Cookies - two cakey, fluffy cookies served warm with powdered sugar. Super tasty but not overly sweet.

Tiramisu - housemade mascarpone cream with ladyfingers soaked in espresso and topped with cocoa. Excellent though took awhile for Dan's accompanying coffee to arrive, which made it taste even better

Dinner at City Diner in Jersey City, NJ

Dan and I wanted to go to Greene Chutney but they were surprisingly closed due to their fan being messed up.  Not exactly sure what the issue was, but good thing City Diner is so close and always open.  We both decided to get breakfast for dinner and it was delicious and less than $10 per person. I'm glad that we have this option as a kind of emergency go-to.
Dan's omelet with mushrooms, jalapeno, spinach and American cheese

My corned beef with eggs over easy.  Delicious though prefer my corned beef a little thicker cut

Close up.  Eggs were perfectly done

Dinner from Komegashi in Jersey City, NJ

We ordered ramen for pick up from Komegashi.  It only took ten minutes to be ready, which is awesome. Since we did pick up we were able to only order one bowl of ramen, which is actually a sizeable portion and we weren't super hungry so it was perfect along with dumplings.  So happy it's so close!
Miso Ramen, pork dumplings, and side salad.  All delicious, inexpensive, and quick

Brunch at Roman Nose in Jersey City, NJ

Dan and I finally made it to Roman Nose for a delicious brunch with Walker.  There were a lot of things on the menu I wanted but decided on the lemon ricota olive oil pancakes becuase I had read such great things about them, and they did not disappoint.  They were huge but thin, fluffy, and crispy all at the same time.  I also lived the hint of lemon and the butter that it came with.  The cocktails were delicious too.  I really didn't need to get the side of sausage but it was great with the pancakes.
Blood Orange Spritz - super refreshing

Frittata di casa - pancetta, potato, onion, tomato, parmigiano and parsley.  Dan really enjoyed this

My lemon ricotta olive oil pancakes with citrus mascarpone.  Possibly best pancakes I've had?

Side of salsiccia - pan fried fennel pork sausage.  Great herby flavor that went well with my pancakes.  A lot leftover though

Crispelle - Italian doughnut fritters.  Tasty but I had so much sweetness from my pancakes that I only had one

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Dinner from Sawadee in Jersey City, NJ

Debbie and I ordered dinner from Sawadee and again, the food was super quick, delicious, and inexpensive.  We were both hungry so managed to eat most of it but still had a little bit of leftovers that I ate another night.  We tried a few new things and I'm glad to know that their fried wings travel well. Definitely good for when you're feeling the need for something greasy :)
Lots of delicious food

Fried pork dumpings and roti.  The dumplings are awesome! Not greasy but so tasty

Roti with dipping sauce.  This was okay.  Not necessarily something I would order again unless maybe I got curry

Crispy salt and pepper wings.  A little heat but nothing unmanageable.  Super well fried and delicious

Pad See Eow with shrimp.  Always reliable 

Lunch at John's Pizzeria in Jersey City, NJ

Dan and I took puppy for lunch at John's Pizzeria, which started out in NYC and has various locations in NYC.  Fortunately there is also one within walking distance of our apt.  Great food but took quite awhile for it to arrive.  I guess it was busy and/or I was very hungry, but while the food was good, I think my overall experience was so ehhh because of the service that I'd rather get pizza at other places (i.e. Razza or Porta or Roman Nose).  Maybe we'll go back at a last crowded time.
Fried Ravioli - super large and dense. Delicious but very filling. Great sauce

"Small" Bacon and Vodka sauce pizza.  Tasty and legit thick pieces of bacon on it. Was very filling though and hard to get through after the ravioli

"Personal" shrimp fra diavolo pizza on homemade arrabiata sauce.  Tasty but the shrimp pizza Porta was still fresh in my mind so it was an unfair comparison 

Lunch from Queen Pizza in Newark, NJ

Queen Pizza is literally attached to my building so don't need to go outside if you don't have to.  It's good when it's raining or when I'm super busy and don't have time to walk around.  The sandwiches are also quite large so lasts me for two meals.  One sandwich is kind of expensive for lunch but almost every other lunch spot in Newark is like that, so at least I can drag it out for two meals.  I've combined two different kinds of sandwiches in one post. Great flavors, ingredients, and portions.
The Raymond Boulevard - chicken with fresh broccoli rabe and fresh mozzarella and garlic bread.  Was delicious though thought the bread could've been MORE garlick-y

The Broad Street -  chicken with roast peppers, fresh mozarella, and pesto.  Didn't know about the pesto but was glad it was on there otherwise might've been dry

Lunch at Short Grain in Jersey City, NJ

Finally a decent place in JC to get banh mi.  Short Grain has a small menu and not a lot of banh mi options, but their pork belly one is always on point.  A little pricy for lunch but the portion is big.  Unfortunately doesn't seem to reheat well but great to eat fresh.
Close up of the pork belly banh mi

So good that we both ordered it

Dinner at Teppan in Jersey City, NJ

Dan and I went to Teppan in JC for some cheap sushi.  The place is very modern inside. They have regular seating, hibachi, and bar.  We sat at the bar because I read on Yelp they have a cheaper sushi menu where some pieces are as low as $1 and rolls like $4.  We ordered a ton of food and the whole meal was so cheap.  Afterwards I realized the waitress had forgotten to include some of our order on the bill, but I think even had she done so it would have been very cheap.  The fish all tasted fresh to me and I was definitely full after but not grossly so.  Would like to come back to try some of their Japanese entrees like tonkatsu and maybe even the hibachi.
Three rolls and lots of individual sushi pieces.. Salmon, tuna, fatty tuna, yellowtail.  Everything you want

Lunch at Elway's in Denver, CO

While waiting for our trip home, we stopped at Elway's (as in John) Bar in the Denver airport for lunch and to watch various football games.  We both got burgers that were delicious and well seasoned and veryyy large.  A little pricy but I guess considering they had all the games we wanted on, it was worth it.  They also didn't mind us sitting there for a long time even though we were done eating, so can't complain too much.
Dan's breakfast burger w/egg and homemade chips

My bacon cheeseburger with fries