Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Mangez Avec Moi, with Jim

71 West Broadway, NY, NY 10007

Rating: 4 - Just Fine
Visit #: 1
In brief: If you are expecting French food at Mangez Avec Moi, you would be incorrect. 09-30 Mangez Avec Moi
I unexpectedly had to run to an errand downtown around lunchtime and who else to call and see about grabbing a bite together than our old college chum, Jim. I let M. figure it out with him and was told to go to Mangez Avec Moi on West Broadway. Which surely I am not the first or only person to think I would be eating merguez baguette sandwiches and ended up with glass noodles instead.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Marlow & Sons

81 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Rating: 4 - Just Fine
Visit #: 1
In brief: The food is excellent at Marlow & Sons, though the lunch menu is sparser than the dinner I remember from years back. The downsides are small and expensive portions.
09-26 Marlow & Sons
The two ladies next to us were much more annoyed with their small portions than we were, but that's because we added a side of sausage to compliment the fennel salad and sunny side up eggs over potatoes. We threw down a twenty each and I felt slightly annoyed that such a light lunch was so much, though as M. points out, it was rather good.

Chocolate Russin Coffee Cake

Rating: B - Above Average
Taste #: 1
In brief: We had Rosh Hashanna dinner Wednesday night and I made a bunch of food for it including the brisket from the 2nd Ave Deli cookbook, yum. Somehow, though, my mind never gets around to dessert. Which is what guests are for. This from my sister-in-law, not really babka, but pretty similar and pretty tasty. 09-25 chocolate babka

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Trader Joe's Curried Chicken Salad

675 6th Avenue, New York, NY 10010

Rating: 2 - Super Happy
Visit #: 3
In brief: Perhaps my favorite quick lunch when Y is not in the office
09-25 Curried Chicken Salad
There's not much I can say about this that I haven't said before. It's just really good. If I were really to do it properly, I'd go grab a baguette from Maison Kayser.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


25 W 23rd St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 3
Visit #: 4
In brief: The daunting lines have dissipated, and now is a pleasant place to eat.
09-24 indikitch
Not that it was UNpleasant before, the lines in its first months of opening where too long to bear. Now it seems those days are long gone (maybe we just got there at the right time). Regardless, the food is as always consistent and remarkably good for being semi-fast chain. We tried the biryani bowl this time, just to change it up and enjoyed it. It would be nice if in the future they had some seasonal specials for a little more variety.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Maison Kayser, mini financiers

921 Broadway, NY, NY 10010

Rating: A - Excellent
Taste #: 1
In brief: I love the staff at Maison Kayser in the morning. They're all super friendly and warm, full of smiles and hot croissants straight out of the oven. This morning the bag of mini financiers, the last one, was staring at me, begging to be eaten. 09-23 mini financiers

Calexico @ Madison Sq Eats

24th St and 5th Ave, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 5 - Disappointed
Visit #: 1
In brief: We've enjoyed a Calexico burrito or two from their yellow trucks so I was not prepared for the meh tacos served at Madison Sq Eats. 09-23 Calexico @ Madison Sq Eats
M. said she wasn't expecting much but I was expecting a little more than the blandness we encountered. Afterward I was so sad about the meal that I impulsively ordered us a half dozen oysters from the Brooklyn Oyster Party, mostly because the guy was directly across from where I was sitting, just hanging out there, waiting to shuck oysters.

Zero Otto Nove

15 W. 21st St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 3 - Feeling Good
Visit #: 7
In brief: Now venturing into the land of classic good lunches, the tuna salad and Carmanuccio pizza satisfy every time. 09-22 Zero Otto Nove
M. and I get a huge kick out of the spoon and fork serving skills of all the waiters at Zero Otto Nove. They must train for weeks to be able to serve a salad while holding it in one hand and scooping up precisely half with a deft hand holding both spoon and fork cupped against one another. Watching them pick up every last morsel amuses us each and every time.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Schnipper's, with chiba

23 E. 23rd St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 3 - Feeling Good
Visit #: 5
In brief: I am in love with this sloppy joe. 09-19 Schnippers
I usually shy away from sloppy joes, not because they're sloppy but because it's hard to get the sauce right. It's sometimes too saucy, sometimes too sweet, sometimes too whatever not right. But the sloppy joe at Schnipper's is just right for me. I finish off every last morsel.

Thursday, September 18, 2014


676 6th Ave, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 3 - Feeling Good
Visit #: 5
In brief: The french fries here are a delight. Paired with a hot bowl of steamed mussels and a warm September afternoon, just perfect. 09-18 Markt
I was actually craving beef carpaccio, because sometimes I want that tanginess, but then got too lazy walking by Markt. The doors were wide open to the exterior and a bright sun was pouring in. I sat right inside the entry, content to let the voices around me murmur as I read a book and picked mussels out of their black shells.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Madison Sq Eats

24th St and 5th Ave, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 4 - Just Fine
Visit #: 1
In brief: I got the beef bulgogi bibimbap, which was perfectly fine but I should have listened to my instinctual craving for chicken wings.
09-17 Mad Sq Eats
I'll say it's because it was late and I had been cranking away on all morning so when I finally looked up, it was already 2pm and I was hungry. It was actually the rice that ruined this dish for me. It just wasn't correctly cooked and I could taste that in every bite.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Via Emilia

47 E. 21st St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 3 - Feeling Good
Visit #: 3
In brief: The pasta is always fresh at Via Emilia.
09-16 Via Emilia
I was already looking forward to a piping hot plate of tagliatelle al ragu at Via Emilia when I left the office to go to the dentist to get stitches taken out. It was every bit as hot and tasty as I imagined it would be.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Homemade chocolate chip cookies

The problem with baking at home is I always forget how much butter is needed. The 5-year old wanted to make chocolate chip cookies but I only had enough butter for a half batch. Since we used the Tate's recipe, even half a batch was plenty to feel happily satiated at snack time this weekend.
09-15 cookies


8 W. 18th St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 2 - Super Happy
Visit #: 9
In brief: There can be a wait for a table at Ootoya, but not if you're dining solo at the bar.
09-15 Ootoya
I had a conversation with the fellow next to me at the bar counter at Ootoya today. He wanted to explain the woman who had stopped on her way out. She stopped, I could hear her just behind me, to talk to him and chat for a little. He explained that she ate lunch at Ootoya every day and since he started going several times a week, they had become less than friends, more than acquaintances. They chatted about their weekend plans, about how Montauk has really changed and where off the highway she was located.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Joseph Leonard, with Gordon and Tia

170 Waverly Pl, NY, 10014

Rating: 3 - Feeling Good
Visit #: 1
In brief: The vibe was not overwhelmingly welcoming, but the food quite good.
09-11 Joseph Leonard
It took us awhile this time to settle on a place to meet for lunch off the 1/9 line. Joseph Leonard is small enough that 4 people are not easily accommodated and we ended up at the bar. Something about the energy at lunch that made me feel a little unwelcome, but the food made up for the lack of warm vibes. We all wanted to try the fried chicken sandwich but it was the egg sandwich and burger that we enjoyed more. The hashbrowns looked amaaazing but sadly lacking in flavor, so much that I didn't have more than a bite or two.

Maison Kayser, with DK

921 Broadway, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 3 - Feeling Good
Visit #: 2
In brief: Surprisingly good chicken club makes us want to go back and back again.
09-10 Maison Kayser
It'd been a while since we caught up with DK, and as a treat he said to pick any lunch spot nearby. And even though you can find me almost every morning picking up a croissant for breakfast at Maison Kayser, we haven't been back for lunch since the hectic days of its opening. We split the poulet club, melon and jambon serrano and a salmon tartine. All perfectly nice with the chicken club a cut above the rest. DK told us about ukelele lessons that he took over the summer, which had me itching to try.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Homes Kitchen

22 E. 21st, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 4 - Just Fine
Visit #: 11
In brief: I try to space out our Homes Kitchen visits because I know there will be a gray rainy day where a bowl of white rice will make it all better.
09-09 Homes Kitchen
Lately I've taken to commenting about the green beans to the young fellow who comes to take our check away. Not because he asks, but because I feel like telling him that today the green beans were better than last time but a little too garlicky. We asked if maybe there was someone new cooking in the kitchen today and he said it wasn't the person, it was the wok. There are 5 woks working back there and the flavors might vary depending on which one we get. Maybe next time we'll try requesting a non-garlicky wok, or a really well seasoned one and see what happens.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Pret a Manger

655 6th Ave, NY, NY 10011

Rating: A - Excellent
Taste #: 6
In brief: The harvest cookie at Pret hits the spot for an afternoon pick me up. It's more snack than dessert, but all that chewy goodness goes down easily. 09-08 harvest cookie

Old Town

45 E. 18th St, NY, NY 10003

Rating: 2 - Super Happy
Visit #: 10
In brief: Hold your horses, we discover the chili at Old Town and are blown away.
09-08 Old Town Bar
We've tried a handful of accompaniments to the perfection of the hot dogs and french fries at Old Town but it was only today that we have found THE ONE. It was the unexpectedly cool day with the air conditioning still blasting everywhere, that drove us to order each a small cup of chili before the main attraction. And wow was that chili good, spicy enough to say BAM but not so spicy you couldn't finish off the bowl. I'm excited about winter and this new winning combination.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Cafe Serai

150 W. 17th St, NY, NY 10011

Rating: B - Above Average
Taste #: 1
In brief: Though too sweet and too full of milky chocolate chips, the chocolate chip cookie at Cafe Serai was strangely compelling. In a Mrs. Field's kind of way. But better.
09-04 cookie


23 E. 23rd St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 3 - Feeling Good
Visit #: 4
In brief: The now reliable combination of crispy chicken filet sandwich with sloppy joe continues to bring satisfaction to our lunching experience.
09-05 Schnipper's

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Cafe Serai at Rubin Museum

150 W. 17th St, NY, NY 10011

Rating: 3 - Feeling Good
Visit #: 1
In brief: No more expensive than the myriad of Italian restaurants in the surrounding neighborhoods, Cafe Serai is a nice alternative to pasta for lunch.
09-04 Rubin Museum Cafe
Cafe Serai, located in the Rubin Museum, is a welcome respite from the usual lunch fare. We tried the chicken curry momo's, very nice, and split a plate of curried beef. It was a light lunch both in terms of size and the delicacy of flavoring. A happy lunch for us, and one we plan on returning to.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

L&W Oyster Co., with Hong

254 5th Ave, NY, NY 10001

Rating: 3 - Feeling Good
Visit #: 3
In brief: Sad not to find the brussels sprout salad from last time on the menu, but pretty happy about the selection of oysters and the yummy tacos.
09-03 L&W Oyster Company
Refrigeration and globalization makes the traditional oyster season (months with the letter R) a little useless but I can't help want oysters more than usual as soon as it turns to September. The service was much much better at L&W Oyster Company today and while the asparagus salad was no replacement for the delicious brussels sprout one we had last time, the tacos were a good find. I have a feeling we'll be back for the tacos. I know we're going back for more oysters.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


20 E. 17th St, NY, NY 10003

Rating: 3 - Feeling Good
Visit #: 6
In brief: We are not the only ones we love the brown rice and salmon skin bowl at Ennju, I heard multiple orders being called out all through lunch.
09-02 Ennju
Ennju in the winter is hectic but Ennju in the summer is easy peasy. Maybe more people eat lunch outside in the sweet summer we've been having, I don't know what it is actually, but I like Ennju in the summer.