Sunday, August 19, 2012

Eric Kayser comes to New York City

The 1st time I was lucky enough to try Eric Kayser's awesome bread was in Paris. Flash forward a few years and this master baker has opened his 1st United States bakery in my beloved new york city! This ode to all things baked and yummy recently opened on the Upper East Side.  I normally don't have a good reason to get up to this area, but for my main man Eric, I made an exception. He did not disappoint.

The main bakers here are from France and have studied under Eric before moving to nyc to run this first of 3 new bakeries opening in the city.  The people who work there wear these frenchy outfits, kinda cheesy, but helps with the theme.

Here is a display of some of the sweet baked goodness.

I ended up getting a sampling of some of the best baked goods I've eaten since Paris. Lets start with the croissant. Ridiculous flaky and buttery. Light as a feather, it was just incredible.

Next up, the chocolate croissant, surprisingly even more airier that the normal plain version. 

I forgot what this thing is called, but its basically the raisin bun. Creamy and gooey on the inside, crunchy with caramelized raisins on the outside.  Its the breakfast of French champions.

Next up, pistachio brioche bread. Check out that green color inside. So so grub, just fluffy and chewy goodness. The pistachios were roasted with a super strong nutty flavor. I think there were small chucks of apricot in it was well. 

Ended with a classic french baguette. wow! watch out nyc! This is by far the best piece of bread I've eaten in all my days here.

Do yourself a favor, make your way to the upper east side, fight your way through the face-lifted old ladies, and get yourself some of the best bread and baked goods in the whole U S and A.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mamoun's is nom nom

Mamoun's Falafel is the type of place you go to when you are wandering around the city at 2am, stumbling after your 6th beer. The only difference is that this middle eastern place is JUST as good sober at 2pm.  Situated in the heart of Greenwich Village, this small falafel and shawarma spot is surrounded by the craziness off the neighborhood.

The menu is small and cheap, falafel, shawarma , shish kebab, hummus, all the standard fare. You cant go wrong with anything, all under 5 bucks.  I usually go for the beef shish kebab, they grill it up right after you order it, so it comes up hot, charred and the perfect medium rare.

So if you are in the neighborhood, drunk or otherwise, please be sure to give this place a shot, Mamoun's is the shiznit.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Get baked with Melissa

Since when are cupcakes the new crack? Everywhere you go its cupcakes this and cupcakes that. "I want my wedding cake to be made out of cupcakes", and on and on.  So whats better than cupcakes then? "How about mini cupcakes! OMG! Like totally AWESOME! Like for realssssss!"

There is this tiny little spot in Soho called Baked by Melissa that is producing these mini little wonders. Its gimmicky, yes, I know, but they do look kinda cool, and actually taste incredible.

The idea is; make really interesting cupcakes with fresh ingredients,....then shrink them. I think she uses the same machine from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. 

The result is a bitesize cupcake that become as addicting as, .....well, you know.

I especially dig this chocolate peanut butter fellow below.  Smooooooth and creamy.

I think Melissa really IS putting something addictive in these little suckers, because since I've gone to this one small spot in soho, she has since expanded to 6 locations all over NYC. Mad props to your miniature crack filled cupcake empire Meliss.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Mission style Mexican at Dos Toros

Finding good Mexican food in NYC is always a challenge, but Dos Toros near union square puts out a more than decent taco and burrito. Known for their Nor Cal mission style burritos and tacos, the place looks like a mini Chipotle, but with actual backbone.

Choose from burrito, taco, quesadilla, then meat; steak, chicken, pork, toppings, blah blah.  I've had all 3, and all are fresh , juicy and delicious. Steak with guac is my fav though. The tacos are packed full and large, so 2 will usually leave you satisfied. One extra cool thing they do is melt cheese onto the tortilla before packing it with goodness. Its not the best taco in nyc, but its not the worst either, give them a shot if you are in the area, or just watching a Lakers game at the Forum.

happy grubbing,

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Shake Shack, thats it, I have nothing else to say

Shake Shack is the mecca of grub cheap burgers in NYC.  Owned by top-notch restaurant stud Danny Meyer (Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park, The Modern, Mialino Union Square Cafe, and on and on), he brought his culinary genius to the simple concept of a hamburger stand.  Even though there are multiple locations(opening one 2 blocks from my apt, :) happy time!) around NYC now, my favorite is still the OG spot situated in picturesque Madison Square Park. Nothing beats eating your meal on those flimsy metal chairs with gorgeous trees towering over you.

Usually there are some pretty long lines at this place (as you can see from the pic). They even have a webcam setup on their website pointing at the line in real-time so you can gauge your wait. fucking technology.

When ever I come here I go on fatty alert, there are so many grub things, its hard not to order the whole menu.  On this visit, I went with the chicago dog, mushroom burger, shack burger, and cheese fries.  The Chicago dog is done right, classic chi town toppings, mustard, bright relish, tomato, onions, pickle and celery salt. If you put ketchup on a chicago dog, you will be shot. and you will have deserved it.

The cheese fries...Im usually not a big fan of cheese fries, but these are pretty fantastic, I think they just work with the crinkle cut.  The cheese has the consistency of whiz, but feels slightly elevated.  The fries are always crunchy, so thats cool too.

 Ok, onto the mushroom burger, I know, I know. Sounds weak, but its far from.  So this thing is a portabella mushroon cap, sliced open, filled with a combination of cheese goodness, battered and deep fried to perfection.  Saaaay wHaT!??! The result is shockingly grub. Crunchy exteror, meaty mushroom, and the gooey-est cheesest center ever.  Oh! and the bun, how could I forget, this bun can NOT be overlooked here, its a slightly sweet potato bun that is soft and squishy, it complements the burgers like a guy trying to pick up a girl.

Burger time! (remember that game?) The meat here is sourced from the now famous Pat Lefrieda, I don't know the meat blend ratios are for this burger, but its insanely juicy and flavorful. They press it down on a flat top so its gets a slight crust of salty meatness.  They dont over cook the quality meat, as you can see, there is a slight pinkish hue, gorgeous.  Top that with a fine slice of american cheese, ripe tomato, crisp lettuce, some shack sauce (think thousand islands, ketchup, mayo) and you have yourself bless in your hands.

I now this is blastfemy for anyone from the west coast (like myself) to hear this, but I actually like this burger MORE than In-N-Out. I know, crazy talk. But for reals. This is a my favorite non-restaurant burger. period. exclamation point! hashtag #bestnonrestaurantburger


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sushi Yasuda is a no frills mastery of the art of sushi

Sushi Yasuda is pure sushi bliss. This Manhattan sushi mecca in Midtown East pumps out some of the freshest sushi I have ever had.  The menu and decor are super simple, its all about the fish here.

They don't have any crazy rolls with 6 ingredients, they keep it pure... one fish, some rice....bring it.

I stuck with some of the classics, blue fin tuna, eel, yellowtail, salmon and uni (sea urchin, cause I'm gangsta like that).

A few traditional rolls(eel, salmon, tuna) for good measure.  They keep it old school with the sea weed on the outside, none of that inside out weak sauce.

So the master chef here actually moved back to Japan recently to open up a sushi place back home, but have no fear, he has passed down the reins to a very talented staff.  Domo arigato.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

City Sandwich in Hells Kitchen is dang tasty

City Sandwich looks like a very unassuming sandwich shop in a very unassuming neighborhood of Manhattan. But looks can be deceiving, just like strangers on the subway. Before watching a Laker game, I decided to give this newly opened Portuguese inspired sandwich shop a try. As soon as I walked in, I was greeted with friendly smiles, and within minutes was chatting it up with the very enthusiastic owner(Michael Guerrieri).  He went on to explain his menu in detail and I could feel the love he had for his newly found shop.

The menu is easily color coded between sandwiches with meat, without meat and a special section with eggs (yummy).  Each sandwich has a name, according to the owner, these are the names of his friends that helped him along with the restaurant. I thought that was a nice personal touch.  On this trip I got to try the Todd (below), pancetta, lettuce, tomato with a honey-dijon yogurt sauce (no mayo here, all sauces are made in house). This one was like a Portuguese BLT, solid, and satisfying. I would have loved it more if it wasn't compared to the next sandwich.

Next was the Henrique, oh gosh, I looove you Henrique. This gooey sandwich consisted of Portuguese alheira-vinegear chicken sausage, steamed collard greens, grilled onions, tomato, and melted mozzarella. JIMP.

As you can see this masterpiece was one big melty stack of goodness. This is the first time I have ever had a sausage like that, it was very soft, almost like a spread after the first bite.  Besides the unique ingredients, all this stuff was sitting between a PERFECTLY crusty and soft piece of bread.

I really cant wait to go back and try the rest of the sandwiches at this place. A good, unique, affordable sandwich shop is hard to find.....I just scored one! Thanks Michael, bravo!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mmmmmm, let them eat cake!!!

Just take a look at this gorgeous cake. Mmmmm so cakey. One of the best I have ever had, home made, moist and delicious.  The best combo ever?...Magic and Kareem you say? I don't know, probably, but a close 2nd is this combo of raspberry and chocolate devils food cake.

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to meeee!

oh, its not actually my bday today, just a flashback post.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Bark Hot Dogs in the Slope

Hoooot dooooogs, get your hooooooot dooogssss here! Bark Hot Dogs in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn makes a mighty fine dog. All of their hot dogs are specialty made by Hartmann's Old World Sausage in Rochester, NY specifically designed just for Barks. Actually all their ingredients are hand picked from farms and purveyors mostly in the Northeast area.  Fresh local ingredients makes for serious grub.

Got to try a few things here, the onion rings were good...suuuuper crispy, a tad heavy, not for the faint of heart, but very satisfying.  The hot dog was the Cole Slaw dog, such a great combo. Cold brisk slaw matched against the warm dog and potato bun. The dogs have a good snap to them as well. They don't put too much mayo in the slaw either which is cool, i hate too much mayo.  But after all that, and being a 'hotdog' place, the BEST thing on the menu is the CHEESEBURGER.  Its super simple but the fresh ingredients just made it work. The bun is soft, the meat is ridiculously juicy and the homemade pickles just make it rock.

Head over to the Park Slope, push all those baby strollers out of the way and get yourself a dog(or burger). Afterwords you can check out the upscale adult toy shop Babeland which is right next door, come on now, where do you think all those strollers come from anyways.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Doughnut Plant donuts would make Homer Simpson wanna cry

My inner fat guy (and sometimes outer) loves donuts....but who doesn't right? You have to be some kinda sicko not to. When I'm not being photographed eating them, I like to head down to the lower east side of Manhattan for seriously the BEST DONUTS EVER at the Doughnut Plant.

All of their donuts are handcrafted with the freshest seasonal ingredients. They are just luscious, gooey and oh so sweet. Above I have a good sampling of some of their Fall donuts; the square one (yea, square, kinda cool) is peanut butter with jelly filling. JIMP!  Next is the smaller cake donut which was pumpkin flavored, mmmm tastes like October. 3rd was a standard glazed, simple, perfection.

I kid you not, really, hands down, these are the best donuts ever (not including dessert donuts from fancy restaurants, like from a donut store and stuff, yea, you know what I mean).