Thursday, February 26, 2015

Pret a Manger

655 6th Ave, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 4 - Just Fine
Visit #: 24
In brief: Pret a Manger asked us to try out their new hot pot lunches, part of Pret's Hot Food Menu and I have to say, in this endless winter, it's a welcome request. 02-25 Pret a Manger
The new hot pots at Pret are not like pot pies, which is somehow what I was thinking. They're a more substantial lunch than a soup, which is nice if you're craving something hot but also quick and easy. We tried a Korean BBQ and cauliflower curry, which came over a red rice or dark grain of some sort. Pretty enjoyable for $8 and no wait time whatsoever. We were particularly partial to the cauliflower curry, we'd get that again.

Empire Cake

112 Eighth Ave, NY, NY 10011

Rating: A - Excellent
Visit #: 1
In brief: Empire Cake is quite possibly the most underrated bakery of American cakes. This wee slice of Liliko'i (passion fruit) cake you see below was like a small bit of heaven. 02-24 cake
We have never had anything at Empire Cake that wasn't delicious. Or rather, everything we have ever had at Empire Cake has been pretty much perfect. Their cakes are not overly sweet with moist cake centers and amazingly balanced flavors. In this case the tartness of the passion fruit was offset by the coconut cream frosting in a way that you were almost obligated to have a bite with a little bit of it all.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Koa

12 W. 21st St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 2 - Super Happy
Visit #: 1
In brief: Desperation leads to desperate measures in which we were amply rewarded today. 02-24 KOA
Terakawa Ramen closed down a couple weeks ago. Shocking because the place was always packed. We were desolate today, searching randomly on yelp and google for anywhere at all to have a hot bowl of ramen. Koa has not crossed our radar before. The interior is huge and has a clubby vibe and it bills itself as serving"modern chinese Cuisine". Not a place you would expect to find classic Chashu ramen, much less good Chashu ramen. But it was all that and more. The $14 lunch set consists of a delightful salad, a spring roll and a simple bowl of chashu, ramen and bamboo shoots. Perfect, perfect, perfect. Don't let the inefficient service or the fancy decor turn you off. It's absolutely worth a try in a neighborhood that serves up very little in the way of good Asian food.

Monday, February 23, 2015

tbsp at Spoon

17 W 20th St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: A - Excellent
Visit #: 2
In brief: Hurrah we snagged the last piece of coffee cake at Tbsp today! We had a brief moment of worry because it was the last piece and looked rather forlorn for it, but no fear. The cake is as moist and delicious as it was the first time. 02-23 coffee cake

Rainbow Falafel

26 E. 17th St, NY, NY 10003

Rating: 4 - Just Fine
Visit #: 3
In brief: There have been sadly one too many eat-in-the-office lunches around here lately. Trekking through rain and snow for a lunch out is not that bad, but it's the bitter chill that makes us want to stay in next to the hissing steam radiators. 02-14 Rainbow Falafel

homemade chocolate chip cookies

Rating: A - Excellent
Visit #: 2
In brief: The last time I made chocolate chip cookies from the Tate's recipe I don't think I used salted butter. I probably used whatever butter was in the fridge. This time I happened to have salted butter and what a difference it made! Even though the recipe already calls for salt, that little extra amount catapults the cookies into another realm of deliciousness. I always make half a batch with chocolate chips and one without.
02-14 faux tates

Friday, February 20, 2015

Lenny's

16 W. 23rd St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 2 - Super Happy
Visit #: 10
In brief: It's totally inane to crave a cold deli sandwich on a day when temps are below freezing. 02-20 Lennys
But I just couldn't persuade my taste buds otherwise. So I ordered in to the office while M. ran home on an errand and then I sat there and shivered like a loon, devouring the deliciousness of Lenny's Italian combo.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Hill Country Chicken

1123 Broadway, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 3 - Feeling Good
Visit #: 8
In brief: Chicken Tenders were tender and delicious today
02-12 Hill Country Chicken
Perhaps it was because I went in will little expectation, today's chicken fingers were pretty tasty. They look like they could be dry, but were surprisingly moist and juicy.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Homes Kitchen

22 E. 21st St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 2 - Super Happy
Visit #: 16
In brief: Homes is reliable but sometimes they are better than usual and sometimes less so. Today was better than usual.
02-11 Home's Kitchen
When their sauteed string beans are good, they are REALLY good - as good as we've had anywhere and today they were right on. We also had a third diner with us, so we didn't have to choose two out of our three favorite dishes. Just all around good lunch today, Yay!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

petit gourmand

Maison Kayser Flatiron, 921 Broadway, NY, NY 10010

02-10 petite gourmand
Another lovely pastry from Maison Kayser, we couldn't take our eye off this one. All three were good, but we were smitten with the blackberry one on the right. The little choux pastry was filled with a delicately scented blackberry (I presume) pastry cream. The raspberry tart was our second favorite.

Han Bat Delivery

53 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10016

Rating: 3 - Feeling Good
Visit #: 3
In brief: We were in a time crunch today, and with Seamless delivery, we realized thar being close-ish to Koreatown is a real advantage!
02-10 Han Bat
With the sudden and tragic closing of one of our favorite Korean restaurants, we weren't sure where to satisfy our craving for sul long tang. I saw someone post on Facebook that Han Bat was the place, and they weren't wrong! It's very very similar to Gahm Mi Oak's, similar enough that we won't really have to miss it, though their kimchi was as much the draw for me. I will forever miss that. RIP

Monday, February 9, 2015

strawberry tart

921 Broadway, NY, NY 10010

02-09 strawberry tart
We love a good strawberry tart, definitely one of our favorite desserts if it's done well. Well, it's not often that we find one we like (this Petrossian one used to be our gold standard but it sadly hasn't been the same of late), but this one was a winner. They must not have them all the time because I don't remember us ever being tempted to try this.

Zero Otto Nove

15 W. 21st St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 3 - Feeling Good
Visit #: 9
In brief: Pizza was good as ever maybe even better than usual. Our waiter wasn't the usual pro at handling his serving utensils
02-09 Zero Otto Nove
The one thing we have come to really appreciate here is the old school waiter service, definitely a little too formal for a place of this sort. When we get served our favorite tuna salad served on a large leaf of romaine, the waiter expertly handles his serving spoon and fork in one hand while holding the plate in the other and transfer the salad in one swoop onto our plates. Today's guy needed a lot of practice. A LOT. It was oh so very painful watching, we just wanted to snatch the plate away from him butchering our salad. Alas he needs the practice, or else he'll never get better.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Republic

37 Union Sq West, NY, NY 10003

Rating: 4-Just Fine
Visit #: 4
In brief: We both wanted to order something else, but it was just too cold not to get soup noodles
02-06 Republic
I tried the wonton noodle soup today for the first time and wondered why I hadn't ordered it before. The broth was a bit on the too sweet side, but aside from that, I found it refreshing and it's a nice change to have glass noodles in your noodle soup. This one might become my new go-to dish here.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Dough

14 W. 19th St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: A - Excellent
In brief: M. got me all salivating earlier today with this picture of a "Doughka" from Dough, apparently a cross between a babka and doughnut dough. Right?! How can one resist. But neither of us actually read the post and so neither of us saw that they're only for special order for Friday and the weekend. Sad were we. That is until we had this tropical currant doughnut instead. 02-05 tropical currant doughnut