Location: 65 4th ave. (btw 9th & 10th)
Cost: Ramen costs vary – $14 Akamaru Modern
The cure for this horrid winter weather is to warm up with a hot soup in any possible occasion. It may come in the form of 2nd Ave deli’s matzo ball soup, BCD’s tofu soup, Noodletown’s wonton soup, but my personal favorite has to be Ippudo’s Akamaru Ramen. It’s too bad so many other New Yorkers feel the same way because on my last trip I got there at 9pm & had to wait an hour to get seats…crazy. The only thing that kept me waiting was the thought of slurping the majestic broth from that bright red bowl and having a good conversation with friend over a Sapporo draft.
Having tried some of the other Ramens and the horrendous appetizer (photo below), I would feel confident saying that the Akamaru is the sure bet and safe bet if you’re trying to decide which ramen to get. Akamaru Modern ramen has so much flavor that I literally have to finish every drop from the bowl. The other reason I feel like I have to get this ramen each time is that its different from the typical traditional ramen from other ramen joints. Not quite a miso broth, nor a shio but, a bit salty with a nice touch of spiciness.
Now that I have it out of system and out of my soup rotation, I can wait a while to return to the madness that is Ippudo…maybe when the weather gets warmer.
Blue Hill at Stone Barns doesn’t fit into the mold of the Silverspork ethos in terms of price. BUT, Since this restaurant was on Top Chef last season and one food blog quotes as “The most important restaurant in America” , I’d figure at least to share the pictures from my fancy pants food experience. Basically we drove to a farm in upstate NY, we had an amazing 7 course meal made from the extensive home grown produce list…and we were happy, & then we drove back through the snow storm back to NYC. The End.
Location: 116 East 16th Street (Btw Park Ave & Irving Pl.)
Price: $13 for burger & beer combo
So the quest for perfect burger never seems to stop in this crazy city. Seems like there’s a new great burger waiting to come out every other month to reign supreme. Although I have yet to claim my personal thoughts on the best burger in the city and yet still many more burger to try (Luger’s, Bill’s, Little Owl, etc etc) I had to knock off one place on my list: Irving Mill. I heard about their Monday $13 burger & beer combo a while back and was waiting to go on a particularly miserable Monday to cheer me up. The restaurant is very nice on the inside with dim lights, nice interior finishes, & ample seating everywhere. There is bar seating which is bonus for quick bite and the bar had a nice selection of draft beer for our combo. Mike, they have Palm Ale. I got the mother’s milk stout beer which was like a “better” Guinness.
When the burger came out, I was particularly distraught by the small size of the burger but, the patty did look fairly thick. I was warned that their burgers come out a littler rarer than what you order but, I still stuck with medium. The burger in its first bite was delightful flavor that I expect in any quality burger and was quite juicy. The flavors were not too heavy and not too overpowering but, just right for the burger that it is. The potato roll bun was simple but, perfect to bring out the subtle flavors of the burger… a great choice. The fries were nothing to celebrate over but, it did get the job done. Overall, a great package, nice meal for the price, & considering Irving Mill’s proximity to my apartment, its going to make my Mondays something to look forward to.
Location: 2880 Broadway (on 112th St)
Curb your enthusiasm has been one of the best seasons of television EVER mainly, because they’ve incorporated the Seinfeld reunion right into the show. It’s been brilliant and has brought back many random everyday Seinfeld references and nostalgia yada yada yada and it used to be my favorite show. So when Mike asked if wanted to check out Monk’s Cafe (a.k.a. The diner from Seinfeld) for dinner I was ecstatic. I should’ve said “Giddyup!” …darn.
First off, the diner is called Tom’s Restaurant and secondly besides the outside neon lights shimmering “Restaurant” (of course with the broken “U”) and the rest of the exterior, there is no resemblance to the actual restaurant in the show. If it wasn’t for the Seinfeld cast photos on the interior wall, it would’ve felt like any other diner.
I ordered western omelet and it came with French fries…not that there was anything wrong with that but, it was first time I received French fries with an omelet…Pretaaaay pretaaaay strange. The food sucked really it did and I think Mike with his soup, tuna sandwich, & pound cake would agree. I guess I could’ve tried the other 100 items on the menu but, I had a presumption that nothing on that menu really stands out. As George would say, they should really stuff their sorries in a sack for that awful food…okay tolerably awful food…for some reason I guess I was expecting more? As a Seinfeld fan, now I can say I’ve been there but, not planning to go back and stick to my Lyric diner.
2 Locations: 135 Ludlow Street (LES) & 112 Macdougal Street (Greenwich village)
Price: Varies (Famous crepe $10)
Thinking back on my Paris trip a few years back, I don’t remember having many foods that were memorable. Maybe I just didn’t go to the right spots back then or maybe I didn’t quite develop a foodie palette or craving to try all the best foods the French had to offer. Regardless, I do remember some of the very simple eating memories…the home made dinner at friend’s place with cheap wine and coke mix, eating freshly baked baguettes with nutella in the mornings, and crepes. I might sound crazy but, crepes just seemed like the most versatile food you can find there. You can go to a street vendor and get a crepe and walk around eating it, nice breakfast/brunch sit down place & get a crepe, after dinner get a dessert crepe, & after a night of going out you could get a crepe to satisfy your hunger.
In NYC, it was nice to see a crepe place in the middle of LES on Ludlow run by a wonderful French woman (I think?) to satisfy the daily hungers for every aspect of New York life. You could order a crepe that contains anything from variety of fruits/nutella to smoke turkey & bacon from early morning to late night (8am – 3am). We had a “Famous Crepe” which had strawberries, banana, whipped cream, nutella, and ice cream which was perfect after a LES dinner. Definitely going back and trying the Brie with pears & walnuts crepe.
Location: 1424 Avenue J, Brooklyn, NY
Price: $5 for slice, $25 for plain pie, $35 specialty
It sometimes upsets me that it’s so difficult to find a good slice of pizza in the land of pizzas, pies, & slices of NYC. You see a pizza joint on almost every other corner from the Joe Schmoe spots to relatively better pizza joints but, nothing special. BROOKLYN is where you have to go for legendary pizza & if there ever was a legendary Pizza maker it would have to Dom DeMarco of Di Fara Pizza.
Anyone remotely interested in good pizza knows about this famed spot in Midwood, South Brooklyn where Dom has been making pizza for over 30 years…and ONLY him. It sucks that the price of a slice rose to an astounding $5!! For me, if I take a trip that far for pizza, I don’t only get one slice…I always get a whole pie. There is something special about watching him make the pizza and eating the freshly baked pizza that maybe makes the pizza eating experience extra special. Whatever it is, the combination of fresh ingredients, the imported spices, and his life experience at making that pizza definitely deliver to satisfy that “pizza hunger.” I have not tasted pizza anywhere like his in Manhattan but, I’ve only had one better pizza in NYC…in Brooklyn of course. I’ll let you all know that place when my next pizza craving comes along…