Thursday, April 23, 2015

Izakaya Nomad

13 W. 26th St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 5 - Disappointed
Visit #: 2
In brief: The food itself is fine, pretty good even, a welcome lunch spot in the neighborhood. But the service was still pretty frustrating, despite it not suffering from last time's catastrophe.
04-23 Izakaya Nomad
Last time, aside from the spotty service, they ran out of rice. We knew that couldn't happen twice and we were happy to have an asian eatery in the area so off we went. Luckily they were not out of rice this time, but still they were understaffed, and the servers that were there, well they just don't seem that experienced. We got apologized to, practically with each time they came to serve us, and I don't think that's a good thing. When I, Miss Patience with a capital P had to go to the server station myself to go ask for tonkatsu sauce (which I knew came with the dish) so that I could start eating my food while it was warm, you know it's pretty bad. Unless they improve their staff, it will remain to be the kind of place that you will have to just prepare yourself to be frustrated when you go.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Donut Pub

203 W. 14th St, NY, NY 10011

Rating: A - Excellent
Visit #: too many to count
In brief: Nothing makes us happier than a fresh donut from Donut Pub. Except maybe kimchi and gummy bears. 04-22 donuts

Lamarca Express

161 E. 22nd St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 4 - Just Fine
Visit #: 1
In brief: It's rare to find a place for lunch under $10 up here in the twenties, but Lamarca manages to do it for $7.60. 04-22 La Marca
And it's customizable! Pick your own sauce, pick your own pasta. We were kindly informed which were the popular ones, that people like to combine sauces, and that salads and soups were available too. A couple minutes later, presto! Hot pasta to order. The sauces are similar enough that you can mix the bolognese and the arrabbiata for something in-between. For under ten dollars and practically instantaneous gratification, the over cooked pasta can almost be over looked.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Maison Kayser, strawberry tart

921 Broadway, NY, NY 10010

Rating: A - Excellent
Visit #: 2
In brief: After the density of lunch, we wanted light and airy for dessert. Maison Kayser more than delivered with this beautiful strawberry tart, perfect in every single way. 04-21 strawberry tart

Burger & Lobster

39 W. 19th St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 4 - Just Fine
Visit #: 1
In brief: Not really sure how this London based mini-chain, Burger & Lobster, is going to do here in the States, but they certainly have enough space to house lots of happy hour type festivities. 04-21 Burger & Lobster
You would think that a three item, verbal menu, would incite no confusion. You choose between (1) burger, (2) lobster roll or (3) lobster. Each option is $20 and comes with the same salad and fries. That did not stop the girls next to us from having a long rambling conversation with the waiter about what to order and whether or not they could change this to that. We had the lobster rolls. The bread is buttered, which we like, but denser than feels appropriate for the lightness of a lobster roll. The fries are good, but like the space, a little on the boring side. The entire experience could benefit from a couple more years of patina and dirt.

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.