Archive for the 'American Food' Category

22
Apr
11

Social Eatz

I was searching for a quick and casual place to eat around the Bloomingdale’s area.  I searched Yelp because I am not a huge fan of the girly places near there, such as Serendipity and Alice’s Teacup.  I came across Social Eatz which I have been seeing in the Tasting Table newsletters and has had publicity from Top Chef (which I never watched).  Since I was meeting an adventurous friend, she agreed to try this new place with me.  They don’t open for dinner until 5:30 and we were trying to make it to a Good Friday service by 6:30.  The menu is quite witty and charming.  The food was introduced to us by our server as classic American fare with an Asian twist.  Although the Yelp reviews led me to believe it was going to be hit or miss, I thoroughly enjoyed the meal.  We started with Spring Roll appetizers and before the main course they gave us scented hot towels for our hands!  We had flavored unfiltered Ginger Ale- I only recommend this if you are a huge fan of ginger.  It was quite strong.  The Hanoi Burger was very tasty and my Tilapia Tacos were delicious as well.  Flavor, texture, taste, all good.  The fries, though, [insert dramatic pause here] the fries.  Seasoned and served with a spicy cheddar and sake sauce, these shoestring fries were out of this world.  At first what attracted me to the menu was the Korean Beef Tacos.  I’m glad I didn’t order it, though, because I would have been comparing them to the ones I had in L.A. off the Kogi Truck.  That is a post for another day.   If you are on the East Side, try Social Eatz.  The food was good, the service was friendly, and we were served quickly and made it to church on time.

Spring Rolls and Ginger Ale

17
Aug
10

Shackin’ Up at Rockaway Taco with the fishes

I was introduced to Edible Queens magazine by a friend.  Now that I know it is available for free at the information desk at the Queens Center Mall, I’ll be stopping by to pick one up.  My friends who let me tag along (after I got an unexpected Saturday off) with them to the beach showed me the article entitled, “Shackin’ Up.”  A restaurateur had a vision for Far Rockaway and made it happen.  My friends had already planned on stopping by Rockaway Taco for lunch and even though we thought we would miss the crowd because we went around 2pm, it was clearly not the case when we arrived.  Was there a long line?  Yes.  Was there a 30 minute wait?  Yes.  Was there seating available?  Not really.  Was it worth the wait?  Yes, it certainly was.  Molly even said she’d go out of her way to have their fish taco.  I’d have to agree.  Everything was fresh.  The chips came straight out of the fryer.  The fish tacos were absolutely perfect in texture, taste, dressing, and size.  The cucumber salad was crisp and refreshingly dressed.  The elotes looked really good.  I tried the tofu taco but it wasn’t my favorite fusion dish.  The tofu was marinated well but I would have preferred to eat it over rice.  Oh but that fish taco…was in my dream that night!

Rockaway Taco menu

Chips and Guac, Tofu Taco, and Fish Taco

17
Aug
10

La Pequeña Colombia in Jackson Heights

After a nice unexpected call from a friend, we decided to try something in Jackson Heights.  Although Kai hails from Chinatown, he was in the mood for some Latin food.  And, he wasn’t complaining about the presence of Latin women in the restaurant and neighborhood.  He got a recommendation for La Pequeña and after checking Urban Spoon, I agreed to try it.  I had been wanting to try a new Colombian restaurant since I live in the heart of Little Colombia but I don’t have many friends who are willing to trek out to Queens just to eat.  La Pequeña had a nice variety of entrees on their menu.  I wanted to try their soup of the day but they were out.  After consulting our server about her recommendations, I basically just asked Kai, “Which mound of meat would you like to order?”  We ordered a Platos Tipicos and another steak dish.  It came with bread, salad, beans, rice, eggs, chicharron, and arepas.  I couldn’t stop from stuffing myself, the food was so good.  I need to learn how to cook rice the Colombian way.  I’m used to cooking it with water only but I believe Colombians add onion, garlic, salt, and oil to the water.  Anyone have a recipe?  Please see pictures below.

Bread Basket and Sauces

Platters of juicy, tender, delicousness- not for vegetarians!

30
Jul
10

JP’s in City Island

To be perfectly honest, I hadn’t even heard of City Island in the Bronx.  We were actually trying to get to the Chart House in Weehawken for a combined birthday celebration (one of whom was turning 50!) but it just seemed like too much of a project to get there after work without a car.  Since Molly had her car in Queens, she took us to JP’s for seafood.  We drove past a restaurant with a giant neon lobster over it and Molly said, “We’re not going to that one, we’re going to another place.  You might think it is a little dive-y but I really like it.”  We walked in and Air Supply was playing over the loudspeaker.  As the evening progressed we went through love songs of the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s.  I thought it a bit strange while I was there but afterwards I was really missing the love songs.  The service was friendly and courteous.  The food was overall pretty good.  My ribs were excellent, fall-off-the-bone tender.  The steamers were fresh and the fried seafood platter was gigantic.  The fried soft shell crab and the shrimp are worth returning for.

Since Molly had been there a few days before, she had chatted with the owner.  She found out that the music was actually coming from a satellite radio station called “The Love.”  The owner was very nice and gave us all souvenir T Shirts to take with us!

Although I could understand why Molly thought we would think the place was a dive with the booths and life size pirate and giant helm, I had a thoroughly good time at JP’s.

23
Jul
10

Frankie and Johnny’s

So Molly and I got all dolled up for speed dating and then the event got cancelled.  We did, however, get to spend time with Frankie and Johnny.  Frankie and Johnny’s Steakhouse is on 37th Street between 5th and 6th Ave.  There are two levels with the bar on the bottom level.  Molly and I each ordered a Caesar Salad and shared a dish call Steak Bits that was not on the menu.  They also brought us a beautiful bread basket.  The Caesar Salad was very fresh and the dressing was nice and light.  The steak bits were served on toasts and were perfectly done medium rare.  No steak sauce needed.  Seriously delicious.  We also stopped by The Strand rooftop for a great view of the Empire State Building.  It’s really ok that speed dating was cancelled.  Instead of meeting beefy hunks, we ate bits of steak.


10
Jun
10

Malcolm Gladwell was Right About Ketchup!

I was reading What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell.  All of the articles in it were fascinating but the one about ketchup was something I recently experienced when I bought the “No Salt Added” version of Heinz.  The article can be found here on Gladwell dot com.  He starts with the question, “Mustard now comes in dozens of varieties.  Why has ketchup stayed the same?”  In short, he begins by writing about the rise of Grey Poupon and makes his way into the history of ketchup and the market research that ketchup has managed to defy.  Gladwell writes, “The taste of Heinz’s ketchup began at the tip of the tongue, where our receptors for sweet and salty first appear, moved along the sides, where sour notes seem the strongest, then hit the back of the tongue, for umami and bitter, in one long crescendo.  How many things in the supermarket run the sensory spectrum like this?”  All this to say that I tried to be a bit healthier by buying the “No Salt Added” version of Heinz but I was disappointed.  It’s just not the same.  You should read the research that helped get us 36 varieties of Ragú spaghetti sauce.  It’s very interesting.  At least now I know why I don’t like anything that’s not Heinz (the original formula)!  Click here to Splat a friend!

30
Apr
10

Speed Dating at Popburger

I managed to get a friend, Molly, to sign up for speed dating with me.  We signed up for Speed Dating for Christians since faith is a priority for us in our search for potential dates that hopefully lead us to our mates.  I’m debating which part was juicier- the hamburgers or the dates?  We signed up through NY Easy Dates and the event was held at upstairs lounge in Popburger on E. 58th Street, just below the Fifth Avenue Apple Store.  I think that the burgers gave me more satisfaction than the 12 men that I had 6 minutes each with.  If you’ve never participated in speed dating, the women are seated at individual tables and the men rotate around the room and have 6 minutes to talk with each girl.  The facilitator rang her gong at each interval, as she had left her bell at the previous speed dating event.  The fries were battered and addictive.  The sliders were delicious.  Cooked to perfection, they were juicy and tasty.  The buns were nice, hearty and flavorful as well.  We were served the hamburgers and the portobello sliders.  Both were excellent.

As for the dating part, here’s a snippet from the evening:

Molly: So what church do you go to?

Speed Dater: I go to St. Patrick’s.

Molly: Oh, how do you like Father Dolan?

Speed Dater: Who?

While Molly and I left the event feeling somewhat discouraged, I actually did my due diligence and went to the website to choose my matches.  NY Easy Dates only releases or email address if both parties mutually choose each other on the website.  I  ended up with one match!  Now if I can just bring myself to email the guy…

Hmmm, at any rate, I will definitely return to Popburger for a bite sometime.




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