[yiddish] To eat like an animal, i.e., quickly, noisily, and in great quantity.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

6 Ave Tobacco & Magazine & Coffee Shop

1st time:
You walk into the news stand: to your left- a normal counter selling magazines, lotto tickets and gum, in the back- spanish food, towards your right- indian food and chaat, and in the middle: soda, tea, and beer. This place covers everything.
I went for lunch with my coworkers, many vegetarian, and we were all impressed with the quality and quantity of the indian food here. You get a soup, semi-salad (lettuce and a tomato), indian bread (kinda like roti, not as thin and delicious), rice (all of us chose the yellow version, kinda like biryani and it included raisins which I love), two type of vegetarian mush, and a dessert (a munchkin soaked in sweet syrup that really cools your mouth down after the meal). The mush options are things like lentils, cabbage, potatoes, and cauliflower. It all costs $7 and you will be stuffed. The food is surprisingly tasty; everything having different flavors.
You can also get chaat, which looks like some kind of grain with tons of toppings to pile on it. And they have fried pakoras and other fried things, but they didn't look that fresh.
We were all really pleased with our lunch, except for the guy who got the spanish food in the back. Its a fun place to take people who aren't scared of a crazy kinda sketchy food experience.

2nd visit:
They have re organized and now all food tables are on the right including a new falafel table.
Went back to try the chaat and I have to say it is a tough decision between the hot indian veggie mush or the cold chaat. There are way too many chaat options but they are all very similar variations. Fresh ingredients like cilantro and tomato mix with things like potato, chickpeas, and crunchy rice crisps and lots of spices. Its all 5 dollars. Its probably the best choice for lunch out of all the newstand options for when its warmer out. The people working the chaat counter are a little hard to communicate with, but its all part of the experience.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Convivio Restaurant: The Family Does Restaurant Week

I made a restaurant week reservation for the family here. The fam ordered some sfizi appetizers (while they were waiting for me to run from Grand Central and find the damn place {tucked into a building with a small outdoor area separating it from the street})- spectacular olives and a delicious tiny portion of risotto cakes. Convivio serves a mix of people in a classy, modern space. Our waiter was very attentive and personable. Their bread was good and hearty. Although they poured it way too quickly, we had an amazing bottle of wine, picked by the sommelier who looked about 16.
My dad's duck sausage app was really really tasty; I wish it came with more sausage pieces so I could have stolen more. The eggplant and mushrooms in my mom's sfezi mix had tons of flavor. The bread soup appetizer that my sister and I had was very good, but tasted like a soup I had made recently, so I wasn't as impressed. For a main course, I was happy with the pork shoulder and polenta. The orrechiete came with an impressive sauce. And my dad sang praises about his fish dish.
Dessert were cannolis ands ice cream that I enjoyed, even though I am not a big cannoli fan, and an ice cream espresso thing that I am sure would be delicious if you don't despise the taste of coffee as I do.
Tudor City is such a crazy little neighborhood. With the soft snow falling down over the tall buildings and courtyards, and the water in the background, it was pretty magical- at least until the windchill made us run for the car. All in all I feel that the service and ambiance was a little better than the food, though the restaurant week menu was put together well. And they gave us 2 $25 gift certificates to return... so I just might have to.

45 Tudor City Place

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Cafe Andalucia

I organized this month's office happy hour here. Normally the deals extend only briefly until 6, but they agreed to extend it until 7 for our group. The drink specials are definitely what make this place worth going to after work. Yuengling is $2.50, well drinks are $4, mojitos $6, and half pitchers of a pretty decent sangria are $10 and serve about 3 glasses. They took the time to muddle the fruit for the sangria. The bartender chick with really long hair was sweet and Guillermo and his friend were also fun to chat with. The tapas menu is a little pricey for the portions. I shared a $10 shrimp in green sauce which came with a few pieces of nice garlic bread. Though there weren't enough shrimp, they were surprisingly fresh and in a very tasty garlicy sauce. I think to get good service here you need to chat it up with the staff. They might not realize they are a dive, but its loveable if you embrace it for the divey tapas bar that it is.

533 9th Ave

Mé Bar: under the Empire State Building

For a place to go with a date and catch one drink this gets 4 stars. For a place to do real drinking or go with a group, maybe only 3. We had a low key office happy hour here, which I guess is good on occasion. The happy hour special isn't really a bargain, just a dollar or wine or something like that. The small area is pretty cute. A lot of the view is blocked by the walls but its still a great budget rooftop bar option. And it is a perfect after dinner option for a glass of wine with a date. It works for a first date or a night out with your main squeeze.

17 W 32nd St

The Australian

Had last month's office happy hour here. They were mostly accommodating of our large group. Even though I had given them a head count they didn't provide quite enough tables, but we made do. They also only had one bartender on staff, but she worked fast, had a cute aussie accent, and the manager came out to apologize and thank us for coming. They have very good happy hour specials, with $6 fosters oil cans, $4 beer, $5 wine, and $6 cocktails. I am in love with the gin gin drink, it is perfect. I tried the salt n pepper calamari. The happy hour portion is only $5. It was actually very well prepared and not overly breaded, I was impressed. The loaded nachos were also a favorite of the group. Definitely a good happy hour spot.

20 W 38th St

El Sabroso

This place was totally gushed about on and I was so excited to check it out. I love the idea of eating lunch in a hallway next to a freight elevator. The place serves Ecuadorian food with Peruvian specialties on Fridays. Its typical things like roast chicken with rice and beans, etc all for around $6. There is one table with chairs or you can sit at the counter. There was a steady stream of customers.
I had high hopes... but I wasn't really impressed with the food. I wish I could say I was. I took a bunch of coworkers and they all liked their lunches, so maybe I ordered wrong. I had what I thought was going to be a chicken stew, but was actually stewed chicken. The rice and beans were tasty. The empanada was really bad. I am willing to give it another shot though... oh and it smelled a little like pee in there.

265 W 37th St

Chef Yu: Singapore Sling?

Great for lunch or happy hour in a nice space if you are in the area. The design makes the place feel swankier than it is when you consider the good deals they have, and there is nothing wrong with that.

The happy hour is a sweet ass deal, and great for a group if you can get there kinda early. Its from 4-7 with drinks at $3.50 and $4. They have a long list of old-school drinks you don't see around much anymore, like a singapore sling. Some drinks are weaker than others, however, and some come in very small glasses.

I've also taken some of my coworkers there for lunch. Reservations were necessary- we had a group of 10. The service was really fast. We all got decent lunches; the lunch specials come with rice, salad, mini spring rolls and your entree for about $7.
The restaurant claims that their food is more authentic than it actually is, butttt its still enjoyable and it is a good value

520 8th Ave


The combination of the crispy fried cutlet and savory pork-based curry sauce tastes so right. It is a filling dinner or lunch at a reasonably price, especially with the free topping coupons- which would make it $5 for the smallest size, big enough to fill me up. I like the pickled red thing a lot- fukujinzuke. You can order the curry sauce and put it on whatever you desire (your own chicken cutlets, over rice, on your boyfriend, etc.), its a little pricey though at 10 for a quart. They always have specials enticing people to come in, but the wait is never too long. And the wacky decor pumps you up even if you don't love baseball or speak japanese.

273 W 38th St

Kati Roll Company

I was on my way to the gorgeous public library and passed Kati Roll which I had heard so much about. Do I stop and get one, even though that means sneaking food into the library? Yes, clearly I do. I got one chicken roll and it was ready pretty fast and nobody was ahead of me (around 5:30pm) I wasn't expecting to go crazy over it like everyone in the reviews I have read- but that was silly of me. It really is that good. The flavoring is perfect, how is it so good? and why is it not closer to my office?

49 W 39th St

Perfect Team Corporation Restaurant

This 2nd floor dim sum spot shines with its attentive service and excellent quality. Its also very inexpensive. A good way to judge a dim sum place is how well they make their shu mai, and theirs was truly exceptional. However, what they had in quality, they were lacking in variety. The ladies did not bring around very many different dim sum carts. I am quite jealous of the reviewers who mentioned snails being served. Perhaps it was a slow day; it was not a weekend.

13659 37th Ave

Kyedong Fried Chicken

I love coming here for a take out order (ready in 20 minutes) which gives me some time to head across the street to Han Yan Market to pick up fresh kimchee and exploit the sample ladies.

The smell of the chicken on the ride back home is unbearable and guilty of causing excessive salivation.
I love the soy garlic chicken, I dont think the spicy is as good.
It comes with a soda and pickled turnips.
This chicken does not even need to be piping hot and fresh to be good, in fact I enjoy the cold leftovers the next morning.
Its juicy and packed w flavor.

The little restaurant has cheap and good beers on tap, they sell sojou and eventually, when the machine ever works, they will serve frozen yogurt(plain and green tea). What more could you need?

150-54 Northern Blvd

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

123 Burger Shot Beer

5 stars ***** The $1 sliders are extremely delicious and over 9,000 times better than White Castle (which I recently tried for the first time)
2 stars ** The $2 shots are not strong at all, but whatever, they are 2 dollars
4 stars **** The $3 come in smaller-ish glasses but are still worth it bc they serve decent beer
3 stars *** The little boy shorts that the waitresses wear can sometimes be cute, and other times not so flattering
4 stars**** The awesome fries, sweet potato or waffle

Weeknights, when you can get decent service and a table, are usually more fun. No hat policy is very annoying. There is one bathroom upstairs, but two downstairs. People dress up, people dress down- its all good. They serve beer columns but the overall value is not worth it when compared to the $3 beer, worth it if very large quantities of beer at one time amuse you.

738 10th Ave