Monday, April 20, 2015

Oxido

18 W 23rd St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 4 - Just Fine
Visit #: 2
In brief: Oxido hit the ground running and hasn't looked back. 04-20 Oxido
And to address the long lines, they now offer pick-up, skip the line, service. I like that they respond to what's happening in the store. Though today on this terribly disgusting wet rainy Monday, there was no line at all. I think everyone was hibernating, and rightly so. M. and I had a meeting downtown so we stopped by on our way back, but even without any detours and umbrellas in hand, we arrived back to the office pretty damp.

Balthazar Bakery, apple galette

80 Spring St, NY, NY 10012

Rating: B - Above Average
Visit #: 2 
In brief: Unable to resist the allure of being in our old hood, we go a little out of our way to pick up dessert from Balthazar. 04-17 apple galette
The apple galette is always a reliable thing, but in this case it could have used a little more tartness or even a pinch of salt for contrast. Enjoyable nontheless.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Genuine Superette, with Gordon

191 Grand St, NY, NY 10013

Rating: 3 - Feeling Good
Visit #: 1
In brief: Newly opened downtown location to Gotham West Market's Genuine Roadside, this cute corner spot, Genuine Superette, features a fresh, California menu vibe. 04-17 Genuine Superette
Of course we couldn't decide on any one thing so we split the acclaimed Paul Liebrandt's fish and chips, a super duper stack burger and the buttermilk fried chicken sandwich. We piled on two orders of fries and a cucumber salad to boot. The surprise was not the perfectly done fish and chips, nor was it the buttermilk fried chicken we adored at Genuine Roadside, but the very tasty burger stack of charred meat. Yum yum. There are no tomatoes or lettuce to distract you from the meat, but rather sweet pickles that offer just the right amount of contrast.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Essen, cookies

60 Madison Ave, NY, NY 10010

Rating: C - Average
Visit #: 1
In brief: After scraping the bottom of our wallets to pay for street meat lunch, we stopped at Essen for something bubbly to counter the grease. There we also eked out $5 worth of things in order to make the credit card minimum. Which is how we ended up with this odd assortment of cookies that taste nothing like what you would expect. I can't even explain what that means except that M. had first taste and said precisely that to me too. 04-16 cookies

Lenny's

16 W. 23d St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 2 - Super Happy
Visit #: 11
In brief: Seriously if we did not love the Italian combo from Lenny's so much, we probably would never go. My Upper East Side site meeting ran late this morning so I called M. to place the order for pick up. Even so, it wasn't ready by the time I got there.
04-16 Lenny's. Which also means I had to deal with the jostling crowd, the frenetic counter with order numbers arriving, being called out and no Italian combo in sight. Still that sandwich is a damn fine one and one we'll keep going back for.

Maison Kayser, almond croissant

921 Broadway, NY, NY 10010

Rating: B - Above Average
Visit #: 1 
In brief: We had a surprise visiter bearing treats from Maison Kayser yesterday, a regular almond croissant and a chocolate almond croissant. They looked like dense heavy sweet things but were not really that dense at all. 04-15 almond choc croissant

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Halal Cart

28th St, south side at Madison Ave, NY, NY

Rating: 3 - Feeling Good
Visit #: 1
In brief: M. did some yelp poking around into the best street meat Halal cart in the 'hood and came up with the one at 28th St and Madison. Since it was absolutely the perfect spring day, as evidenced by the crowds at the park, we took a stroll to check it out. 04-15 Halal Cart Lamb Gyro
Thank goodness a lamb gyro runs no more than $4, because as I go to order, M. says, oh uh, I forgot my wallet. I check my wallet to find $7 and one more dollar worth of coins. We barely eked out lunch today! What makes the lamb gyro so unique at this particular Halal Cart is the variety of vegetables they throw in the mix. It's light on the meat, but that's balanced by a discovery of cucumbers, carrots, some chopped jalapeno's in the mix of salad and tomatoes. A thoroughly enjoyable and completely messy lunch, especially in the bright sun we had today.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Croissant Donut from Paris Baguette

6 West 32nd Street, New York, NY 10001

Rating: C - Average
In brief: It is amazing how many imposter versions of the Cronut can be found in this world! They sell it in the 7Eleven in Taiwan! Since the basic concept of this pastry is so tasty, I'm sure there are some good ones out there. This one could have been pretty good, but it was soo greasy, like I don't know how you could make a fried pastry so greasy (no draining?) greasy. So on that front, it failed.
04-14 croissant donut

Kunjip

32 West 32nd Street, New York, NY 10001

Rating: 4 - Just Fine
Visit #: 6
In brief: Welcome back Kunjip! We were super happy to find the new location open and bustling with customers.
04-14 Kunjip
But as for the food, I think we were underwhelmed. The banchan selection is always pretty spot on and plentiful but never too much. The hot stone bibimbap which disappointed us last visit, continued to, so we won't be ordering that again. Last time we thought it was a fluke but this time too it was bland in the exact same way, so it's the way it is. The gochujang certainly adds depth to the dish, but it doesn't add flavor in it of itself. The seafood pajeong was also just okay, the one at BCD was far superior. It's not like we are going to stop going there though - we will just have to adjust our ordering. Personally, I can't wait until it gets warmer so I can order the nang myun.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Commons Chelsea

128 7th St, NY, NY 10011

Rating: 3 - Feeling Good
Visit #: 1
In brief: Tiny seating has put the Commons Chelsea off our radar for a while, but now that it's warm and bulky coats can be consigned to storage, we stopped by for avocado toast because it's precisely what M. was craving for lunch. 04-14 The Commons
I have been wanting an intense caesar salad dressing for awhile now, something garlicky and not too creamy, and that's precisely what the kale caesar salad is like at the Commons. The chicken fell on the bland pale white side but the rosemary croutons quite made up for that.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Kokum

106 Lexington Ave, NY, NY 10016

Rating: 3 - Feeling Good
Visit #: 3
In brief: I know you won't blame us for ordering in from Kokum today because WTF NEVERENDING WINTER. 04-09 Kokum
The excellent dishes from Kokum go a long way to making me feel happier though. Today we had the chicken tikka masala and the lamb madras, both quite good in their own ways. One of the things I love about Indian food, and who knows if this is even the proper way to eat it (is there a proper way?) is putting little bits of everything on a plate and having all the tastes in there at once.

Doughnut Plant, doughseeds

220 W. 23rd St, NY, NY 10011

Rating: A - Excellent
Visit #: 3
In brief: The cream filled strawberry doughseed from Doughnut Plant is a valiant attempt at deliciousness, but nothing beats the caramelized glaze of the creme brulee doughseed.
04-08 doughnuts

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

El Valle

450 E. 149th St, Bronx, NY 10455

Rating: 1 - Wonderful
Visit #: 1
In brief: I don't know what the yelpers have against the Mott Haven location of El Valle but M. and I were in ecstasy over the $6.50 lunch combo. You gotta love a place where they ask if you want a soda, I nod yes, and they bring me Pepsi. Because here soda means Pepsi. 04-08 El Valle
It could have been because this April chilliness was making us cranky with cold, but when the waitress set down plates of gorgeously charred chicken, a pile of white rice and a small cup of beans, we sighed in happiness. The chicken was even better than imaginable with the vinaigrette sauce that came on the side. M. and I wolfed, inhaled, devoured lunch and left on a blissful cloud of satiation.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Zero Otto Nove

15 W 21st St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 3 - Feeling Good
Visit #: 10
In brief: We always love lunch at that hidden gem, Zero Otto Nove04-07 Zero Otto Nove
We briefly entertained trying something new, especially because the woman two tables over had the most delicious looking small meatballs over polenta. In the end we stuck to the usual because we were too lazy to be more interesting.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

KoFoo

67 W. 23rd St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 3 - Feeling Good
Visit #: 5
In brief: The bibimbap is consistently good at this little cramped joint in the back of a deli.
04-02 Ko Foo
With Koreatown nearby, but not quite nearby enough, and the lack of Asian food options (at least compared to our last office near Chinatown) this place is one of our saviors. It's really unfortunate that it's not a proper restaurant, the atmosphere is less than desirable and lends itself to takeout.
I can't say for everything on their menu, but their bibimbap is way above average and keeps us happy.