Food, Baseball, and Randomness

April 24th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink


These detailed restaurant posts are overwhelming me, so I will highlight a few I have visited for the first time that make me happy.

One thing I have realized since moving up here is that the level of spicy that the New York restaurant can handle is way below par when comparing it to Houston. When I ask for spicy in Houston, I’m ready to grab my water. When I order spicy here, in New York, I get the normal heat…BOO!

Shanghai Cafe is great place for soup dumplings. Sometimes there’s a wait, but take a number, go walk around Chinatown for a bit and come back. Be sure to order some stuff that looks interesting and something you never had before. If not, have a friend do it for you, they ordered the sticky rice and lo mein beef which turned out very different than what I expected – very delicious.

Virgil’s Real Barbeque isn’t too bad. Their train wreck fries are a great start and my two meat combo was pretty good, even to this Houston-born-and-raised boy. I must say though, this is decent bbq for New York.

Everyone from Houston, including myself have knocked on BBQ here. C’mon one place is called Dallas BBQ, what an oxymoron! If you have BBQ in Texas, you have to go to Austin or Houston! It’s like going to a Mexican restaurant and trying to order a really good caipirinha – FOOLS!

Gemma at the Bowery Hotel was definitely cozy place after walking in the cold and windy streets. Their assorted cheeses and meats was great start. My Salmone Alla Griglia (grilled organic Scottish salmon with sauteed escarole and cannellini) was completely satisfying.

Peking Duck House was kind of far and felt even more distant walking in the rain and cold. After a long day working on a Saturday, I was ready to fix myself up with food. We had the Peking duck made three ways – regular sliced roast, soup, and something else I can’t remember. If you like duck, you must go here, plus it was pretty inexpensive.

Another Saturday Brunch
Cafe D’Alsace was a surprising find. They had a really decorated bloody mary, but after removing the lemon and lime slices, it was more manageable. It was a great day to sit outside and enjoy my hangar steak and poached eggs. I even got a side of bacon for myself. Indulgence is bliss.

Wonjo is a nice place for Korean BBQ, especially because they use wooden charcoal. They come out on two metal trays and the person bringing them out only use a pair of tongs to put them in place. I’m sure they’re pros, but it still freaks me out. They cook the meats for you and hate it when you try to flip them yourself. Drop in a few cloves of garlic and slices of jalapenos to enjoy them with an extra kick.

Shake Shack Overload
Shake Shack serves beer, too! Crazy huh? I got their Shack Stack – cheeseburger and a ‘shroom Burger topped with lettuce, tomato, and ShackSauce. I saw cheese fries, so you know I also had to have a side of that. I’m not a really big fan of really sweet stuff, so I didn’t get their shakes, but I’m told they’re really awesome.


While Joseph and his cousins were in town, we went to a baseball game. Not just any game, Astros at the Mets! We were already ahead two games and ready to sweep, but as a true Houston team, we lost the game, 1-9. At first, we went to check out the upper deck view and it’s quite amazing. In just over one inning before we decided to get out of the freezing cold, get our food and find our actual seats. It didn’t help much – we still ended up in the cold and windy area.

After finishing Round 1, we headed down to walk around and just hopped in some section that seemed quite nice and warm. It took us a little while to realize that we were in a restricted area, but we were so cold, we decided to stay. That’s when we found the jackpot: spicy italian sausage! It was nice view of the game, but seeing the Astros get crushed made me sad.

I feasted on…

  • Round 1
    • Decked out hotdog with onions, fresh jalapenos, ketchup, mustard, and even corn
    • roasted peanuts
    • beer
  • Round 2
    • hot spicy italian sausage, also decked out with onions, fresh jalapenos, ketchup, mustard, and corn
    • beer

Citi Field

Hunter Pence! Upper Deck View Perfect Sunset Standing Area in the Restricted Section View into the Command Center Italian Sausage in Restricted Section Freezing Section 420 Farewell, Citi Field

Delicious Pizza!
After the game, we made our way to a pizza place, John’s of Bleecker (they call them pies up here, I hate that). The pizza here is pretty good, but next time I’ll probably add more meats to it. After two slices for each of us, we were ready to go walk around a little more.

After some walking around, we all had a craving for some cookies, so we went to Insomnia Cookies. They have the best and freshest cookies ever! I obviously had to get some milk and enjoyed my double chocolate chunk and white chocolate macadamia nut.


Giant Yellow Teddy Bear!
I saw a posting about this on Laughing Squid and went to go check it out after work. This thing is ginormous!

Along the way, a Borders was selling, literally everything for $1.99 or less, so you know I had to stop by! I bought three.

Lol, They're Not Hotcakes
Funny enough, there were a few book racks that had Glenn Beck’s book, “Broke,” fully stocked. Almost every other shelf was empty or filled with books with no relationship or had an uninteresting title and cover. I think I spent a good hour and a half here just digging around.

As much as I love my Kindle, there will never* be sales like this. The world digital everything will definitely change the model of sales. Liquidating for bankruptcy can’t occur online, that’s an idea I can wrap my brain around just yet.

*never is a strong word, maybe this will change over time…

April Food Updates, Part 1

April 9th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

This is much more manageable that what I was doing before. Enjoy!

Beauty and Essex

146 Essex Street
New York, NY 10002 (map)

Tuesday April 5, 2011
You have to walk through this little shop to get there, kinda hidden. It has a really fancy atmosphere with some really good appetizers and drinks even if you don’t get a table. The drink I definitely had a great taste and kick. The food all arrived at once and the selection from the raw menu was excellent. I need to come back here for a real dinner.

  • Sapphire 75: blue berry brown sugar, bombay sapphire, proecco, thomaso’s mix
  • Kobe Beef Carpaccio: wasabe egg yolk, crunchy wontons, sesame nori
  • Sashimi of Tuna, Tonnato Style: lemon zested olive oil, crunchy chorizo, sea salt

Beauty and Essex Menu


240 East 9th Street
New York, NY 10003 (map)

Tuesday April 5, 2011
We started off with a bottle of Kikuizumi and just ordred some edamame and chilled tofu to snack on. This place is definitely chill. It’s a basement sake bar that has a nice selection of both snacks and drinks.

Pommes Frites

123 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10003 (map)

Tuesday April 5, 2011
Ending the night with a bag of Belgian fries and their delicious Wasabi Mayo is always a plus!

Joy Curry & Tandoor

148 East 46th St # 1
New York, NY 10017 (map)

Thursday April 7, 2011
For lunch, Joseph and his coworkers went to pick up some lunch at this place near work I have never been to. When you walk in, you can smell ridiculously delicious food. I looked for something spicy and got the Chicken Vindaloo (chicken in a spicy / tangy sauce with potatoes). It’s so good and so filling!

Chicken Vindaloo

Hide-Chan Ramen

248 E 52nd St
New York, 10022 (map)

Thursday April 7, 2011
Even though this place sold mainly ramen, we just got a bunch of appetizers. Obviously, I got some Tako Wasa and decided to try something new:

  • Salted Alaska Pollack Roe flavored with chili pepper had a really interesting taste, but a little salty
  • Jyako Tamago: poached egg plus sardine was surprisingly delicious
  • The Greens & Tofu Salad was so good, we ordered two

All of Our Appetizers

March Food Updates

April 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

I think I may have to start breaking these up in to weekly updates or something. I feel bad not being able to just write about the initial smells, tastes, and feelings I get. Anyway, here’s the new list and please enjoy!

Ginza Restaurant

800 Lexington Ave (btw 61st St and 62nd St)
New York, NY 10065 (map)

Tuesday March 1, 2011
The sushi is not magnificent or anything ridiculous, but it’s so close and inexpensive. Joseph and I had a good chit chat about life over a few bottles of nigori and sushi. Good times!

Fig & Olive – Uptown

808 Lexington Ave (btw 62nd and 63rd)
New York, NY 10021 (map)

Saturday, March 5, 2011
The weather that day was so perfect. I remember walking by this place a few times, but never stopped by. I had the “South of France Poached Eggs with Salmon” – Poached eggs on toasted olive oil bread, marinated salmon, citrus ricotta, avocado, scallion. We even got a side of, well, figs and olives. They don’t go well together, I might say.

Menkui Tei

63 Cooper Square
New York, NY 10003 (map)

Saturday, March 5, 2011
Since Ippudo had over an hour wait, Christina (an old friend from high school!) and I went over to this ramen place nearby. We started off with the yellowtail cheek and I never expected it to be so freaking awesome. The ramen definitely kept me a happy eater.

Pommes Frites

123 2nd Avenue (btw 7th and St. Mark’s Place)
New York, New York 10003 (map)

Saturday, March 5, 2011
Holy crap, giant french fries and some really good dipping sauces? Who knew it could survive, but one bite and you will be hooked.


557 Hudson Street (Btw W. 11th. and Perry St.)
New York, NY 10014 (map)

Saturday, March 6, 2011 (Part 1/3)
I really did not know where I ended up after taking a cab with a couple friends to this place. When we arrived, there was already about a dozen people there and already started on the unlimited bloody mary’s and sangria. They even waited for us to arrive before ordering, how nice!

Anyway, I got a Chorizo Sandwich (spicy chorizo, fried egg, salsa verde, salad, truffled hash browns). I might say, a spicy chorizo burger is freaking awesome. All it needed was bacon…so I ordered some. Too bad it came out late, but well worth it. Each piece was about a 1/8 inches thick with a crunchy outside and super fatty/juicy inside.

Caliu for Brunch

East Side Brick Oven Pizza

1159 3rd Avenue #2 (btw 67th and 68th)
New York, NY 10065 (map)

Sunday, March 6, 2011
I walk by this place everyday when going to or coming back from work. I finally dropped by and it’s not too bad.

The Blind Tiger

281 Bleecker Street (and Jones)
New York, NY 10014 (map)

Monday March 7, 2011
Alan was in town and so Joseph and I travelled all the way over to see him. Good food and good drinks – definitely coming back for the beers and crazy, but delicious food there – Chicken Liver & Bacon Pate:
chicken livers, slow roasted bacon, port reduction w/ cornichons & toasted bread and the Kick-Ass Pork Butt: slow cooked pork butt with a smear of romesco sauce, broccoli rabe, sharp provolone on rosemary

Milk & Honey

134 Eldridge Street (btw Delancy and Broome)
New York, NY 10002 (map)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
If you have a chance to get reservations, I definitely recommend you to go. Drinks are freaking awesome – you just say what you’re in the mood for and they’ll make it. I should have asked for bacon! I can’t remember much of what I’ve got, but I kind of took notes: “Sick. Refreshing cognac, lime juice, spritzer. Egg, oragnec, nutmeg, Gordon’s breakfast muddled cucumber, cholula, Tabasco, etc?”

Vanessa’s Dumpling House

118 Eldridge St (btw Grand & Broome St)
New York, NY 10002 (map)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Taking this food to go was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Although I hate taking food to go in this town, I got home and scarfed it all down and even had extra for the night after. If I can find my way back down there again, I will definitely be bringing more food to take home.

Ginza Restaurant

800 Lexington Ave (btw 61st St and 62nd St)
New York, NY 10065 (map)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Elizabeth got in town kind of late, so I took her to a familiar place what was open and not too far.


200 West 44th Street
New York, NY 10036 (map)

Thursday March 10, 2011
After watching The Book of Mormon, we all went to dinner. This place serves Italian food, family style. If you’re hungry, have a big party, and ready to be stuffed, come here. Oh, and their giant inexpensive bottle of wine is totally worth it.

Fatty Fish

406 East 64th Street (b 1st & York Avenue)
New York, NY 10065 (map)

Friday March 11, 2011
After some wandering around, we found this place nearby. It was BYOW, so even better! This is definitely a fusion place, so expect some weird combinations on their menu. I will come back here when I’m down for something interesting.

Ippudo NY

65 4th Avenue (btw 9th and 10th)
New York, NY 10003 (map)

March 12, 2011
Everyone has mentioned this place in their list for me to visit. I have passed by a couple times, but the wait was over an hour! While Elizabeth and Thu were visiting, we stopped by about thirty minutes before it opened on what turned out to be a really nice Saturday morning after a day of the disgusting rain. There were about ten people in front of us, but we all were seated very quickly.

We started off with some tea and the freaking Hirata pork buns (Steamed buns filled with your choice of pork or chicken, served with Ippudo original spicy buns sauce) arrived. They’re wrapped in a warm bun (like the from Peking duck) with what looked like mayonnaise, lettuce, and a crazy seasoned strip of pork belly.

As we were savoring the buns, a plate of the Samurai Ribs (Pork spare ribs, seasoned with soy based ‘tare’ sauce served with seven-spice chili pepper). Elizabeth tore them apart for us and the meat literally fell of the bone. I tried the side of their dipping thing, but it was not a very palatable combination. There was one bun left (they came in pairs and we ordered two) and they gave it to me. There was a couple pieces of the Samurai Rib left, so I saved some of the bun and threw in a piece of it in the middle. Instant mouth explosion, no joke. I feel bad for not sharing, but I could not help myself!

Warm, Welcoming Cup of TeaPork Hirati BunsSamurai Rib

While our emotions died down a bit for our “appetizers” (or maybe it just mine), our ramen came out to us. Mine was the special, Kumamoto Tonkotsu Ramen (salt flavored tonkotsu soup noodles, topped with chashu pork, cabbage, spinach, red pickled ginger & scallions), and it was fantastic. I even added some Chashu Pork to it but no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t finish everything! I felt so bad, but I definitely know I will be coming back.

Kumamoto Tonkotsu Ramen

Lobster Place

75 9th Ave (btw 15th and 16th)
New York, NY 10011 (map)

Saturday, March 12, 2011 (Part 2/3)
As we walked toward Hudson River, we bumped into Highline Park and roamed around there until we made our way to Chelsea Market. We initially just went there to roam, but I had to have some really fresh sushi and their special was uni – my favorite! As the chef piled on the uni, he had a hard time making sure it fit, I mean c’mon…just look at the thing!

Lunch at Lobster PlaceExtra Large Uni, Please

Crif Dogs

113 St Marks Pl
New York, NY 10009 (map)

Saturday, March 12, 2011 (Part 3/3)
This is another place many people have recommended. I didn’t really believe there could be so many ways to make a hot dog, but a bacon-wrapped on is completely fine with me, so I ordered myself a Spicy Red Neck (a house dog, bacon wrapped, with chili, cole slaw & jalapenos) and a PBR, Elizabeth ordered some other dog with cheese and onions, and Thu ordered a basket of tater tots. While were eating, someone forgot to pick up a hot dog they ordered and the ladies kept yelling out his name…Troy I think. After devouring my first hot dog, I knew I had to get another, so I came to the counter and order another with an avocado, the Chihuahua (a bacon wrapped dog covered with avocadoes & sour cream). It looked so good, I forgot to take a picture of it before eating it.

Spicy Red Neck
No Idea, but DeliciousChihuahua

Spot Dessert Bar

13 St Marks Pl (btw 2nd and 3rd)
New York, 10003 (map)

Saturday March 12, 2011
There’s always a wait here, but it’s well worth it. The desserts here are really well made and very filling.


1563 2nd Avenue (btw 81st and 82nd)
New York, NY 10028 (map)

Sunday, March 13, 2011
After Elizabeth and Thu left, I had lunch with Joseph and Yuwi. It’s definitely not like any Mexican restaurant in Houston, but it will do. It’s a fun little spot, but not necessarily a must go, but nice to visit given the atmosphere. FYI, this hot sauce definitely cranked up the heat!

Blockheads Breakfast!

JPMorgan Chase Cafe

383 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017 (map)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011
So this is a really weird place to post good food…where I work. Apparently, the cafe has a chef that makes a limited dish everyday and that day was crab cakes! I got the second to last one and it was completely worth the wait.

Crabs Cakes from the JPMC Cafe

Krolewskie Jadlo – Brooklyn

694 Manhattan Avenue
New York, NY 11222 (map)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011
After The Oatmeal book signing we hung around the area for a freaking Polish feast. Everything was great. I’m definitely coming back here even though it’s all the way in Brooklyn.

A Polish FEAST!

Joe’s Ginger

25 Pell Street (btw Mott and Bowery)
New York, NY 10013 (map)

Saturday, March 19, 2011
Soup dumplings are awesome. Although this place had horrible service, the food was great! Portions were small, but the quality was good. I most likely won’t be coming back, but it was well worth the try.

Great Food, Horrible Service

Caffe Palermo

148 Mulberry Street
New York, NY 10013 (map)

Saturday, March 19, 2011
After lunch, this was the perfect place for dessert. The cannolis herea ginormous!

And for Dessert: Cannoli

The Coffee Shop

29 Union Square West
New York, NY 10003 (map)

Saturday, March 19, 2011
While waiting for our table, we wandered around and ended up here for a bit. We only had a couple drinks here, but it’s definitely an interesting place to go.

Max Brenner

841 Broadway (btw 13th and 14th Street)
New York, NY 10003 (map)

Saturday, March 19, 2011
I finally met up with Ashley for dinner and the Brenner Burger here was just ridiculously made. The only thing missing from the additional toppings was a fried egg.


122 East 7th Street (btw Avenue A and 1st Avenue)
New York, NY 10009 (map)

Sunday, March 20, 2011
We came here for just a bottle of wine, but I really should come back for the ceviche!

I'm Definitely Coming Back Here


110 East 7th Street (btw Avenue A and 1st Avenue)
New York, NY 10009 (map)

Sunday, March 20, 2011
We decided to come here for dinner and the scored and roasted pork definitely hit the spot! I’m coming back here to try the sandwich.

Scored Pork Skin, Slow Cooked

The Bourgeois Pig

111 East 7th Street (btw Avenue A and 1st Avenue)
New York, NY 10009 (map)

Sunday, March 20, 2011
This is quite a fancy little place, perfect for a date or just some good wine with a friend.

Zum Schneider Restaurant & Biergarten

107 Ave C (btw 7th and 8th Street)
New York, NY 10009 (map)

Thursday March 24, 2011
This place is magnificent. They have great beer, great pretzels and an awesome atmosphere. Malvin, you’ll be proud of this place!

Yogurt Cup

12020 Fm 1960 Rd W
Houston, TX 77065 (map)

Saturday March 26, 2011
This place recently just opened up and I happened to be in Houston. I literally walked over to it since it was just outside my brother’s neighborhood. It was quite refreshing to walk into this place, not just because of the tempurature, but mainly the entire layout. If you go, you must try the Euro Tart – it is unbelievable!

Tan Tan Restaurant

6816 Ranchester Drive
Houston, TX 77036 (map)

Friday March 25, 2011
I took a trip home to surprise my parents, have a crawfish boil, and have some of that good old Houston food again. New York’s Vietnamese and Mexican food have NOTHING on Houston!

Hell yes, Hotpot in HoustonOMFG, Ca Kho To

Taqueria Ruby

10039 Huffmeister Rd
Houston, TX 77095 (map)

Sunday March 27, 2011
I’ve been here before, but surprisingly this place has gotten quite popular. Their tacos are so freaking delicious and the horchata is something I need to learn to make. Definitely a place to visit when on the northwest side of Houston.

Cart food in Houston?!

East Side Brick Oven Pizza

1159 3rd Avenue #2 (btw 67th and 68th)
New York, NY 10065 (map)

Tuesday March 29, 2011
This is just a quick and easy place to get a pizza or calzone.

JPMorgan Chase Cafe

383 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017 (map)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Yet again, the cafe brings more good food!

Yet Another Lunch at the JPMC Cafe

China Fun

1221 2nd Ave (E 64th St)
New York, NY 10065 (map)

Thursday March 31, 2011
After getting home from work, I decided to just walk around and actually stop by a place nearby that I have never been before. I ended up here and expecting only enough for one meal, but got enough for three meals, what a deal! I will definitely be coming back here when I’m in a rush for some quick Chinese food.

Where am I?

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