Sanford’s Cobb Salad

November 29, 2011

April 30th, 2011.  Sanford’s in Astoria

sanford's restaurant

sanford's restaurant

  Another late night eating binge.  I picked up a Cobb Salad at Sanford’s and brought it home so I could eat it while reading a book on my bed. 

  I absolutely love cobb salads because it’s chock full of delicious meaty protiens!  This one has grilled chicken, smoked ham, bacon, rouqefort cheese, sliced egg, avocado and their signature balsamic vinaigrette.  Mmmmmm~~~!!  So delicious   The addition of avocado lends a delicious creaminess, the strength of the cheese doesn’t overpower the salad in general, the dressing ties everything together perfectly and everything is just so tasty!  Happy

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Gyu-Kaku – East Village

November 8, 2011

 

March 31st, 2011. Gyu-Kaku – East Village

 

gyu-kaku - east village

gyu-kaku - east village

 

 

 

 

  Co-worker, Min Obba ALWAYS talks about Gyu-Kaku in the East Village so of course I had to check it out!  I love everything izakaya and had been craving it for so long…I needed my fix!  Plus I really wanted to go explore East Village..so this afternoon was a two-fer!

 

gyu-kaku - east village

gyu-kaku - east village

 

 

 

 

 

  I played it smart and went in during happy hour to ensure maximum value.  Hey, it never hurts   Oh, my camera died as soon as I stepped in…so i had to use my phone to take pictures…Sorry about the quality for this post

 

gyu-kaku - east village

gyu-kaku - east village

 

 

 

  Unfortunately, my camera died as soon as I walked into the restaurant..so I had to take pictures with my Samsung Galaxy S (Vibrant).  While the photos aren’t terrible there is noticeable difference in quality.  Not to mention the very dim lighting didn’t help..!

 

gyu-kaku - east village

gyu-kaku - east village

 

 

 

 

  Bistro Harami Hangar Steak:  Loved the marinade.  Sweet, savory goodness!  But I found the meat to be too small so it kept getting stuck on the grill…!

 

gyu-kaku - east village

gyu-kaku - east village

 

 

 

  Spicy Tuna Volcano.  I really wanted to like this..but it’s basically deep fried balls of rice with spicy tuna on top with some cute rice cracker dots.  The rice was just not good.  And these were too big to eat in one bite…I just didn’t like it…  

 

gyu-kaku - east village

gyu-kaku - east village

 

 

 

 

  Hot Oil Seared Salmon in Citrus Sauce.  I liked this one!  The citrus sauce gave a good balance to the rich flavor and texture of the salmon.  It was a fun dish~!  

 

gyu-kaku - east village

gyu-kaku - east village

 

 

 

 

  Kalbi Ramen: So my waiter recommended this one since I said I wanted something with soup…but I wasn’t really impressed.  It was over-salty and pretty greasy.  

 

gyu-kaku - east village

gyu-kaku - east village

 

 

 

  Is it bad that all throughout the meal dessert was what I was really looking forward to?  I just KNEW I had to get the S’mores.  I mean, come on…I love that ooey-gooey, chocolatey goodness on a graham cracker!  It was a challange actually getting it done, but once it was….. Mmmmm~~~ yummy!

 

gyu-kaku - east village

gyu-kaku - east village

 

 

  Service was excellent.  The waiter was super kind, explanatory, and was not afraid to give recommendations.  Considering I was eating alone I think I ate quite a lot!  I tried a good variety for a great price and left feeling very full and wanting a nap  ;D

Arepas Cafe – Astoria, NY

November 2, 2011

March 29th, 2011. Arepas Cafe

arepas cafe (astoria)

arepas cafe (astoria)

 

 

 

  Aaron insisted that I had to try Arepas.  There’s this place called Arepas Cafe in Astoria that’s known for it and he swore it was good last time he checked, so we went on a wild goose hunt looking for it!

  When in Rome you drink what the Romans drink, so I had a traditional Venezuelan drink, Chicha, a homemade sweet and thick drink made out of rice and cinnamon.  Eh, it was alright with a mild kinda taste.  Not really refreshing, though.

arepas cafe (astoria)

arepas cafe (astoria)

 

 

  The Mini Platter: Taquenos (deep fried white cheese wrapped in wheat flour dough), Mini Cachapas (sweet fresh corn pancakes with Venezuelan melted cheese), Mini Empanadas and Yuca Fries

  Everything was actually really delicious, and I’m not just saying that because I love bite-sized food and dip!  The cheeses were sort of sweet and even though most of the items were deep fried it wasn’t super oily.  It was so much fin mixing and matching with the different dips, too!  

arepas cafe (astoria)

arepas cafe (astoria)

  Arepa time~!!  I had the “Mi Amor“: Venezuelan roast pork with yellow cheddar cheese.  It’s really a very simple item.  A pita like vessel, some shredded pork and some shredded cheese.  The simplicity of it is what makes this particular dish.  Nothing gets in the way.  On the other hand, I felt the pork was underseasoned.  But I still enjoyed my first arepa!

Pret-a-Manger – Midtown

November 2, 2011

March 25th, 2011. Pret-a-Manger on Park and E 32nd

pret-a-manger (midtown)

pret-a-manger (midtown)

 

  A perfectly beautiful morning!  I arrived in Midtown a little early so I was able to grab a light breakfast of Chocolate Croissant and a  Latte at Pret-a-Manger on Park Avenue and E 32nd Street.  Happy me~

March 5th, 2011.  Sugar Cafe on Housten & Allen (LES)

sugar cafe (les)

sugar cafe (les)

 

 

Sugar Cafe is a place of significance to me.  I have a sweet memory or two of this place. It’s literally a little corner cafe, most of it being exposed to the street when they open it up in the summer.  It’s a small space, but that’s what makes it cozy.

sugar cafe (les)

sugar cafe (les)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Smoked Turkey and Brie Cheese with Green Apple and Honey Mustard on Ciabatta.  The bread was the perfect balance of chewy an soft, the melding of flavors from the smoky turkey, the crisp and juicy apples, the sweet honey mustard and yummy cheese..Mmmmmmmm great sandwich!!

March 3rd, 2011.  A Date With Manhattan 

alice's tea cup

alice's tea cup

While exploring the Upper East Side I decided I needed to squeeze in a tea time break at Alice’s Tea Cup! OMG, OMG, SO ADORABLE!! It’s kind of like a cross between Alice in Wonderland & Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Everything is so, so cute; from the decor to the teaware to the little bird sitting atop your teapot’s spout with a sponge so the tea doesn’t drip! Ah..what a lovely, lovely place ❤

alice's tea cup

alice's tea cup

 

 

 

Service was excellent.  The kind young gentleman gave me as much time as I needed to decide, was polite and didn’t rush me as I sipped on my tea and nibbled on my scones while reading my book.

alice's tea cup

alice's tea cup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The tea menu is very extensive, but I finally managed to decide on the Rose Tea Melange: Organic white teas, roses, lavender, botanicals and peppermint.

alice's tea cup

alice's tea cup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I got the Ham & Chive Scone and a Raspberry Orange Scone. both were wonderfully delicious and the clotted cream and jam that came with them was also tasty!

alice's tea cup

alice's tea cup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was the perfect mid-day snack and it helped assuage the slight chill that had started to creep up.

March 1st, 2011.  Cookie and Milk 

sanford's restaurant

sanford's restaurant

 

 

Even dessert at Sanford’s is a great experience
Cookie & Milk: warm, home-baked chocolate chip cookie with vanilla ice cream on top served with a side of whipped cream and a “shot” of milk 😉

 

A totally playful dessert and so delicious, too!  The cookie was thick and warm with just the right amount of crumble and the whipped cream was the perfect finishing touch to make the whole thing just enjoyable!

Baohaus – LES

October 24, 2011

February 24th, 2011. I  Baohaus

baohaus - les

baohaus - les

 

Baohaus Baohaus Baohaus!!!
I’d heard about this place via  “food in mouth”, a smart, sarcastic, hilarious and incredibly delicious food blog by an NYCer. Let me say this off the bat: I Love Bao. What can you not love about a pillowy soft bite-sized bun that’s filled with delicious meat, sauce and fresh green aromatics? it’s just a recipe for love… ♥

baohaus - les

baohaus - les

 

It’s quite tiny inside with pictures of the family’s history. The employees are not family members..but still dedicated to making my stomache happy with some well made baos! The best part are the gangster tunes rockin out from the little mini stereo…rocking out to “Gangsta’s Paradise” while eating my baos!!!

baohaus - les

baohaus - les

 

 

CHAIRMAN BAO: Braised slow and low using all natural Berkshire Pork Belly.  Served with: Crushed peanut, cilantro, Haus Relish, and Taiwanese red sugar.  The fatty pork belly was just rich enough to give that really delicious flavor without being super oily and all the ingredients together was like a symphony.

baohaus - les

baohaus - les

 

HAUS BAO TM: Signature all natural Hanger Steak Bao as seen on
Food Network’s Ultimate Recipe Showdown (March 2010).  Served with: Crushed peanut, cilantro, Haus Relish, and Taiwanese red sugar.  Ugh!!  So delicious!  Tender fall apart steak, sauce was perfection and with the crushed peanuts, fresh chopped cilantro and tangy relish it was perfection 😀

baohaus - les

baohaus - les

 

 

 

 

 

Because I loved it so much one more gratuitous photo of the 2 baos with the common Taiwanese staple beverage, Apple Sidra 🙂

Pio Pio 8 – Midtown West

October 24, 2011

February 22nd, 2011.  Pio Pio Revisited

pio pio 8 - midtown west

pio pio 8 - midtown west

 

 

 

So~~~~ hungry!!  Aaron and I headed over to Pio Pio for some dinner.  Last time I was here I had only tried the ceviche and completely fell in love with the place. I knew I wanted to try other items from their menu so it was decided I’d do a revisit 

I said I can’t drink a lot of alcohol… so the bartender made me a special drink.

pio pio 8 - midtown west

pio pio 8 - midtown west

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Pisco Sour. The beauty is in the egg white foam on top…the whole drink is sooooooo creamy, slightly sweet and a delight to drink.

pio pio 8 - midtown west

pio pio 8 - midtown west

 

 

 

 

  Arroz Chaufa…Mmmmmmmmmmm fried rice goodness!
Apparantly there is a lot of Chinese influence in Peru because of the huge Chinese immigrant population there. This fried rice is proof that even in Peru, Chinese food is irresistable!  Perfectly cooked rice, perfect seasoning, and all the ingredients complimented each other.  Not bland at all.

pio pio 8 - midtown west

pio pio 8 - midtown west

 

 

It seems that Avocado Salad can be found just about anywhere here in New York.  This was nothing special, just an assortment of fresh vegetables, but the avocado was ripe and gave a wonderful creamy texture that brought everything together.

pio pio 8 - midtown west

pio pio 8 - midtown west

 

 

 

It was strongly recommended that I try the Lomo Saltado: tender beef sautee with onions, tomatoes in a soy sauce served with fries.  I didn’t really have high expectations for it…but Dear LORD!  It blew my mind!  Super tender beef, translucent sweet onions, and even the tomato was great.  We did end up eating nearly everything.  It was just that good!

 

 

 

 

Pio Pio definitely delivered again.  I love the place even more now!

February 19th, 2011.  Sanford’s Restaurant 

sanford's restaurant

sanford's restaurant

 

Another wonderful place I found to eat in my new neighborhood is Stanfords.  It’s a mid-range trendy restaurant masquerading as a 24 hour diner . It’s like an upscale diner what with the dim dinner lighting and amazing stuff on the menu such as yellowfin tuna tartare and gourmet burgers 😉

sanford's restaurant

sanford's restaurant

 

 

Since finding this place I’ve become such a regular!!!  They serve my favorite tea brand (r)evolution (which is difficult to find on the market!), an assortment of artisan breadstuff to munch on and have such amazing service!  I’m literally here nearly every day….!

sanford's restaurant

sanford's restaurant

 

 

 

   The Bistro Burger:  melted pepper jack cheese over a moist, juicy beef patty cooked to order (medium), with applewood bacon, caramelized onions and cajun aioli.  The bun is perfectly soft with a hint of crispiness and the burger is just out of this world!  Amazing flavors and satisfaction with every bite.

sanford's restaurant

sanford's restaurant

 

 

 

 

Spinach Artichoke Dip served with whole wheat tortillas.  I thoguht the dip could have been warmer.  But I loved that it had a nice amount of artichokes   And I liked that the chips were actual deep-fried tortillas.

 

 

Sanfords always delivers and I can’t wait to try more stuff!