RSS

Grace Street

Merry Christmas everyone! It’s cold outside, perfect weather to curl up with warm blankets and…some piping hot Korean desserts?

???????????????????????????????

Grace Street is a coffee shop in Koreatown that has a beautiful interior of luxurious couches and wooden tables. Plenty of natural light streams in from the glass enclosing in the front. Lots of people were here catching up with friends or studying. Their specialty is Korean doughnuts (ho-dduk) which they explained to me were filled with brown sugar, cinnamon and walnuts.

???????

I almost burned my mouth not realizing that the doughnut comes out really hot. It’s crispy on the outside with a ooey melty center. Yums! This was quite sweet, which was unexpected for an Asian dessert. You can also order it with ice cream, which sounds like an amazing combination.

Grace Street
17 W 32nd St (btw 5th and Broadway) New York, NY 10001

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 26, 2014 in Dessert, Korean

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop

This is totally unrelated, but has anyone else been obsessed with Serial recently? I wanted to listen to it for a while now, and finally I found some time to, on my long bus ride home. It’s excellent story telling. I am halfway through the series and grossly captivated. Highly recommend!

I can’t think of a logical transition here, so I’m just going to abruptly change topics.

There seems to be a lot of quality food courts popping up all over New York from Hudson Eats to Gotham West Market. My friend and I went to check out Gotham West Market, which was quite the commitment to make because it is so far from any semblance of a subway stop. All the way out on 11th Ave, only the bus would take you there, and waiting for the bus out in the cold is miserable business. We held true though and trekked our way to the wild wild west.

???????????????????????????????

This is not your typical suburban shopping mall food court, dominated by your Sbarro’s and Panda Express. The inspiration for Gotham West Market comes from the food markets more typically found in Europe and Asia, and I love how they’ve translated that into a version fit for New York. It’s an innovative use of public space, and I hope to see more similar business ventures springing up across the city.

???????????????????????????????

The interior was very cool and industrial, with 8 different food vendors from Blue Bottle Coffee to The Cannibal. The vendors are varied in the types of food served but all delivering food at a certain level of quality. There is plenty of seating both at tables and along the bars.

???????????????????????????????

Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop is a popular choice. Ivan Orkin is probably the only white guy to have made a name for himself in Japan for making ramen. After spending a number of years in Japan and opening up 2 wildly popular ramen shops, he came back to New York, and this Gotham West Market outpost is his first restaurant in the United States. He has since opened up the flagship Ivan Ramen in Lower East Side, which I still have to go check out.

???????????

On this particular day, Ivan was there, and we actually met him and chatted with him for a bit. He told us how the menu right now is pretty basic, and how he wants to amp it up to include more creative dishes, but he figures he’ll ease New Yorkers into it slowly. I admit that I was kind of starstruck. He also gave us recommendations and even took our order! Here, I have the shoyu ramen, made of a dashi and chicken broth. I added an egg as well. The broth is full-bodied and rich, and the rye noodles are cooked just right. I typically find all ramen to be way too salty for my taste, and though that is still the case here, this is ranking as one of my favorite shoyu ramens in the city.

????????????????

This is the vegetarian shoyu ramen, which for having a vegetarian broth, surprised me in how flavorful it was. The enoki mushrooms are a really nice touch as well that I wish were also in the regular shoyu ramen.

If you’re ever in need of a long trek to the far west side or if you find yourself out on 11th Ave for some reason, consider Gotham West Market as a food stop. Over the summer, Jeni’s Ice Cream had a stand in there as well for really expensive but amazing ice cream. Not sure if they’re still there or if it was just a pop-up, but you can tell that each vendor is serving really quality food. I don’t think you can go wrong with any choice there.

Ivan Ramen
Gotham West Market
600 11th Ave (btw 44th and 45th St) New York, NY 10036

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 23, 2014 in American, Japanese

 

Tags: , , , ,

Murray’s Cheese Bar

Since moving to NYC, I have grown to develop a terrible appreciation for 3 things that never used to be in my diet: burgers, pizza, and cheese. That just made me sound like a heart attack waiting to happen, but I promise that I maintain a pretty healthy lifestyle. Just because I like something doesn’t mean I’ll have it all the time. A cheese bar would have never sounded appealing to me 5 years ago. Now, my ears perk up, and I’m there.

I’ve bought cheese and tried the breakfast sandwiches at Murray’s Cheese before and really enjoyed the experience. Three doors down, they have an actual sit-down restaurant with a delightfully cheesy (heh heh) menu.

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

The queso fundido was so delicious. It’s made of 3 different goat cheeses along with chorizo, tomatos, and jalapenos. The degree of yumminess was grossly disproportional to the size of the appetizer. We could have easily demolished two more of these.

?????????????????????

The burger comes with a rarebit cheddar sauce that sounded amazing. Seeing the struggle of trying to decide between the burger or the mac & cheese, they were lovely enough to give us a sampling of the rarebit cheddar sauce despite not ordering the burger. The rarebit cheddar sauce is the real deal though, savory and hearty with a mustardy tang.

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Mac & blue is topped with bacon and crispy fried onions.

?????????????

I went the simplest route with the Murray’s melt – grilled cheese with a cup of tomato soup. Perfect for a cold day.

Murray’s Cheese Bar
264 Bleecker St (btw Cornelia & Morton) New York, NY 10014

 
1 Comment

Posted by on December 20, 2014 in American

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Dutch

I came for the brunch, and unexpectedly I fell in love with the ambiance: old school booths, large windows, and I’m ashamed to admit, a young, attractive, see-and-be-seen kind of crowd. The Dutch is the kind of place where you’ll run into both celebrities and hipsters, all seeking that trendy, casual watering hole. Awkwardly, on this particular morning, I think I may have also witnessed a co-worker on a date (I promptly averted my eyes and walked by pretending like I didn’t see anything because I am…just…so smooth).

???????????????????????????????

I loved that we got the corner table here. Sometimes, when sitting across the table from people when dining out, the table feels so enormously big, and I am always straining to hear the conversation. I like corner tables. Restaurants should make more of them.

???????????????????????????????

Biscuits are my downfall, so of course, I had to try the honey butter biscuits. Glazed with a thin swish of honey, these biscuits were flaky and delightful.

???????????????????????????????

Barrio tripe is one of the more exotic dishes on the menu with tripe, beans, avocado, pico de gallo, sunny side up eggs, and a handful of Fritos.The first bite was bursting with flavor with a touch of heat. I do have to say though that it got to be too much to finish the entire entree. Too much of one taste.

???????????????????????????????

Cheddar biscuits with poached eggs, ham, and tomatoes, which I tried a bite of, and it was really good, better than my barrio tripe. Maybe I should’ve ordered the fried chicken that everyone talks about. I’ll save that for next time.

The Dutch
131 Sullivan St (btw Prince and Houston) New York, NY 10012

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 17, 2014 in American

 

Tags: , , , ,

Momofuku Milk Bar

After swearing that I would not participate in SantaCon this year after the miserable time we had last year, I eventually gave into temptation and still ventured out to the land of drunken Santas. I had a lot of fun with friends both new and old, but I think I will always prefer dessert over alcohol. Here are some cookies from Momofuku Milk Bar. Enjoy!

DSC00461

Blueberry & cream cookie

???????????

I actually really like the corn cookie. The name sounds weird, but it’s like cornbread’s cousin, and cornbread is delicious.

Momofuku Milk Bar
Multiple locations

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 14, 2014 in Dessert

 

Tags: , , , ,

Zhu Ji’s Eats

I discovered a new gem at Flushing’s Golden Shopping Mall. The mall itself is already a gem, so I guess I just discovered a gem inside a gem – sweet potato noodles!

The Golden Shopping Mall is a 2 floor “mall” (which is in quotes because it’s just houses a bunch of random Chinese vendors so not exactly your quintessential suburban mall) with the basement floor completely dedicated to food. It’s unadorned, dingy, and kind of sketchy, which is why I love it.

???????????????????????????????

You go down these super suspect steps to the glorious underbelly of Flushing…

???????????????????????????????

…and you are welcomed by this sight of so much good, authentic food. Check out some of these side dishes.

???????????????????????????????

Continue down this pathway to the end, and where that little white sign is marks the spot of today’s post – Zhu Ji’s Eats.

???????????????????????????????

They serve a lot of different noodles and dumplings, and I found out that they make a special type of noodle from sweet potatoes. How intriguing.

?????

I ordered mine with pork bone, and they brought me not just this bowl of piping hot noodles but also a plate, a plastic glove, and a straw. It’s so ridiculously thoughtful, I almost started laughing.

???????????????????????????????

Those tools are for tackling this giant pork bone. At home, I will be completely uncivilized and just dig in with my hands and end up with oil and soup all over my hands and face. Yes, I know. Very attractive. Here in public, I did really appreciate having a glove to not get my hands dirty and a straw for the bone marrow. The sweet potato noodles are springy and chewy, really great consistency.

DSC00428

Upstairs, on the ground floor of the Golden Mall (right next to the sketchy staircase) is one of my other favorite stalls, Tian Jin stuffed pancakes, and I just couldn’t leave this post without touching on this place. They have all kinds of on-the-go eats from congee to crullers to steamed buns to traditional Northern Chinese pancakes.

???????????????????????????????

I highly recommend the 牛肉卷饼 beef crepe where they wrap roast beef inside this giant chinese style egg and scallion crepe. Trust me, try it! It’s amazing.

Golden Shopping Mall
41-28 Main St. Flushing, NY 11355

 
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 12, 2014 in Chinese

 

Tags: , , , ,

Melt Shop

Ever since starting work this week, the weather has been horrendous – either pouring, flooding rain or in today’s case, snow. I’ve been too lazy to cook since coming back from vacation, so lunches have been a quick dash to the Chipotle or Potbelly next door to avoid any additional time outdoors. It made me miss the lunching adventures we used to go on, such as a trip long ago for some grilled cheese sandwiches at Melt Shop.

???????????????????????????????

Ahhhh…back when it was warm, and we had the luxury of eating outside.

???????????????????????????????

DSC00130

Here we have the 3 cheese – gruyere, havarti, goat cheese & roasted tomatoes on sourdough. It’s too bad my closeup didn’t focus correctly and came out blurry. I admit I get my cheeses confused, and I couldn’t taste the difference of having all these different cheeses in here compared to just one. It was just…very cheesy.

???????????????????????????????

This one is call the dirty – pepperjack and muenster cheese with caramelized onions, pickled jalapeños, sliced tomato, and crunchy potato chips. The crunchy potato chips remind me of my grandparents who used to always put potato chips in their sandwiches (I have no idea why…they just thought it was the most logical thing to do). I used to scoff at them for not eating chips the right way, but this surprisingly seemed to work.

???????????????????????????????

Parmesan tater tots are the best things ever though. I come back to the Melt Shop over and over again more for the tater tots than for the grilled cheese. Hot and crispy, with just the right amount of parmesan sprinkled on. I really like tater tots. I really really really like tater tots.

Melt Shop
Multiple Locations; 601 Lexington Ave (btw 53rd and 54th) New York, NY 10022

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 10, 2014 in American

 

Tags: , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 908 other followers

%d bloggers like this: