Sunday, October 30, 2011

Brooklyn Label

Really huge veggie burger made with black beans, topped with pickles, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, and guacamole with fries. From Brooklyn Label in Greenpoint (sry Kate)

I don't really like ordering the vegetarian version of things, like tofu sausage or veggie chilli or ~vegetarian fajitas~ and its really all bell peppers and rice. I need some steak in there, ok? I also avoid veggie burgers because I don't think that they are an acceptable substitute for a 1/2 patty of ground beef. And I feel like there's no in between...they either are awful or they are great, and usually I think they're awful. But today I wasn't feeling prepared for that much meat and the veggie burgers here are supposedly really good, so I gave it a chance. It was a great decision. It's enormous and dense, like it didn't crumble apart like some veggie burgers I've had. I could only eat half. My only problem with this "burger" is that there really wasn't that much guacamole, and I didn't even notice it. I hate it when restaurants include guacamole/avocado on or with your food then hardly give you any at all, as if the extra $1.50 they added to the price was really worth it. This is one of my biggest pet peeves. Like, come on, if the guacamole is spread so thin that the bun looks like it's growing mold, there's not enough on there for it to make a difference so why bother? Even Chipotle gives me more guacamole than that.

Friday, October 28, 2011


Shake Shack!!! I still think that Shake Shack is one of my favorite burgers ever.

I had more butternut squash soup with corn from the farmers market and a grilled cheese

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Mediocre sushi from Takahachi: nothing special, salmon & avocado, spicy tuna
The fish itself was fresh and good, but the rolls were weirdly warm, which I didn't like. I would go back and give it another shot if there weren't so many other sushi places around it to try.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I made risotto last night with Mel. My favorite part of making risotto is when you add the white wine and suddenly your kitchen is warm and smells like buttery wine.

Cooking in the vegetable broth

Butternut squash risotto with sweet Italian sausage and Parmesan cheese!
This came out so tasty, but it was more sausage and cheesey than squash-y, which is alright by me. I think part of the reason is that there wasn't enough squash (the one I had was a little small) and also this squash was not as flavorful. Maybe I picked a not very ripe one or something. It just wasn't very sweet at all. I haven't really cooked with butternut squash very much though... how can you tell if you've picked a good one? Next time, I'm going to smoosh the squash and stir it in, instead of putting it in as chunks.

I had left over risotto but most of the sausage was all eaten, so I put in some shrimp. Now I am out of shrimp.

Sweet potato fries with 6 kinds of dips. Clockwise: BBQ, some sort of mayonaise based dip, chipotle ketchup, honey dijon, mayo-dip again by mistake, basil pesto, and regular ketchup which I got after I took this picture. The only reason I got fries is so I could try all the dips, but the fries are also really good as well. It is the perfect mix of salty and sweet (not like kettle corn, ugh) and they are perfectly crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The best dips are the basil pesto (is that redundant or is basil pesto called pesto alla genovese?) and the mayo dip. The honey dijon is just too intense and the chipotle ketchup tastes burnt.

ALSO, here is the recipe I used for just the risotto. Then you can add butternut squash or sausage or whatever you'd like in there:
2 cups of arborio rice
5 cups of vegetable broth (I actually only had 4, so I used 1 cup of water)
1 1/2 cups of white wine
2 tablespoons of butter
1 small yellow onion (I used 1/2 a big red onion because it was all I had, but sweet yellow onions will be better, probably)
1 cup of parm cheese

1. Chop up your onion and cook it in the butter
2. While the onion is cooking, bring the vegetable broth to a simmer
3. Once the onions are soft, put in the rice and make sure it gets mixed up in the butter. Let it get toasty for like 2 minutes
4. Add the wine and let it cook until all the liquid is absorbed
5. Then add a ladle full of warm vegetable broth, cook until it is absorbed, then add more until it's all the broth is gone. If you run out of broth and it's not cooked, you can add water.
6. Once it's cooked (don't keep adding liquid if it's already cooked!!), mix in the parmesean cheese and sausage and squash and be happy

Monday, October 24, 2011


Butternut squash soup and you can see some sneaky shrimp poking out.
I'm so glad soup weather is here. The only thing missing is a blender so I can start to make my own soup, but that will happen soon. For now, I've been testing different soups (not the can or box kind) from Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. This one is the best so far. It's sweet and a little spicy and really filling. I thought shrimp and butternut squash would be weird, but I wanted to eat the rest of the shrimp I made. It turns out that it's a good combination.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

shrimp & polenta

Shrimp in a little bit of left over tomato sauce I made on polenta. Next time I'll cook my polenta with 1/2 chicken stock and 1/2 water because it was a little bland. Although, when I dont do that with grits and I just put in a little butter, and I think it's perfect. I don't really know the difference between polenta and grits though... I think that they're made from different types of corn and that grits are a little coarser (or is it the other way around?). Apparently there is a big difference between polenta and hominy grits, but I can't taste it. Maybe I would have to try them side by side to really be able to tell the difference.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bahn Mi Saigon

1/2 of a bbq pork bahn mi (I think) from Bahn Mi Saigon in Little Italy (MAYBE??? Chinatown?? I still haven't figured out wheres what in that part of Manhattan). This sandwich is so cheap, $4.50 for a whole (I shared)!! And so good.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

roast beef sandwich

I didn't wake up in time to make my lunch, so I went to this weird, gubby pub on 19th & 7th Ave. I saw 1 homeless guy, 1 old lady alcoholic who drank 5 glasses of wine while I was there, 12 senior citizens that I'm pretty sure came on a group bus, and a cop. I sort of liked it in there. I had a roast beef sandwich with grilled onions and cheese and steak fries. It was bad, but also delicious. I mean, who doesn't love greasy bar food? This picture is really bad because it was really dark down there.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

pad thai

Vegetarian pad thai from Laut in the Flatiron/Union Square. This place is actually a Malaysian restaurant, but they have some Thai food as well and I really wanted pad thai and this was the closest thing when I googled "pad thai + flatiron."

I was trying to not eat out at all this week and bring my lunch to work, but I ate that an hour into my internship. Then I had to go out in the muggy haze/rain (hey Seattle weather) and carry back this package of plexiglass that was almost too big for my arm span. It wouldn't have been so bad, but since when did people stop understanding that "excuse me, please" means "get the hell out of my way"? So I decided I would calm myself down by putting food in my face. This was okay. It tasted good but it was sort of too soft and majorly skimpy on the tofu. This place is supposed to be really even has a Michelin star, which I thought was weird. Maybe I ordered the wrong thing (it was still good). I'll try it again sometime and maybe it will be better. Everyone else at the restaurant seemed to really be into their food.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

my tuna sandwich

I tried to make my own tuna sandwich with mustard and eggs and avocados. It was good. I'm too hungry to write more.

Monday, October 17, 2011

bklyn larder

I have been dying to go to Bklyn Larder forever, and I finally went with Melissa today. Happiest birthday to one of my favorite food buddies!!!

Melissa's ham & gruyere sandwich

My tuna and anchovy sandwich. I love tuna sandwiches, but I've had so many gross ones that are overloaded with mayo or dripping with mysterious fishy things. This one is definitely great (not the greatest I've had though). It's got capers (good!!) and anchovies in it with sliced hard boiled eggs on top. Instead of mayo, it has a generous amount of olive oil to keep it moist. And that's the kind of drippy sandwich I don't mind. I thought it was a little bit expensive for its size, but I feel like sandwiches in New York cost a lot of money for some reason. I used to think of sandwiches as a cheap meal, but not really any more.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I know berry season is over, but fall fruit, like apples and pears, make me itchy unless I cut off the skin or cook them. And I really wanted berries in my salad, which also has walnuts, avocados, and goat cheese. This is a summer salad I guess, and I'm getting really ready for fall food. Today was such a beautiful fall day and now I'm baking cinnamon rolls (not the real kind though) so my apartment will feel warm and cozy. When I go back to Seattle for Thanksgiving, I'm going to bring back a blender and mandolin slicer so I can make soup and slice squash.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Whole wheat baguette with lox, avocado, and an over easy egg

Polenta with mushroom, roasted bell pepper with gorgonzola

Friday, October 14, 2011

dinner again

I know I'm not all about having the most HQ pictures, but this one looks so dumb, with the plate hanging off the edge and everything. Oh well. This was my dinner: garlic chicken sausage, a salad, boiled potatoes, and corn. I got all the vegetables at the Union Square Greenmarket. I only went there to buy lettuce, and then I lost control. Then I went to Whole Foods and got the sausage and berries because they aren't in season and therefore not sold at the farmers market. I guess the right thing to do would have been to just not buy them at all, but I want what I want when I want it and I am not mature enough to keep it under control. I bought chicken sausage because I felt like it would be better for me than pork, but it just doesn't taste as good. Maybe the other kind I got will taste better.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

better late than never

Too late for too many words. Goat cheese salad from Medina's Cafe...Mezclun mix, walnuts, tomatoes, potatoes, goat cheese, goddess dressing

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

2 dinners

My dinner yesterday: portobello mushroom and left over steak sandwich with tomato, arugula, and goat cheese. I didn't really like it, but I think that I did a bad job of putting it together. I was so hurried and hungry and it came out dry and tasteless.

Dinner tonight: salad with tomatoes, avocados, artichoke hearts, olives and salmon, plus corn
This sort of looks like a mess because it put the salad in a tupperware and shook it all up so the dressing would get on everything. I always end up over dressing my salads because when I pour it on, it doesn't distribute evenly. This sort of worked better but I should start measuring things instead of eye balling them. Anyway, this was all really good and filling. I was impressed that I got full without having to eat any starch. I'm such a carb-hound.

**I have just been informed that corn is a starch. :(**

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Num Pang

I was going to wait until tomorrow to post this picture, but I'm too excited to wait to share about this sandwich I got from Num Pang, on the corner of 12 & University Pl. It's hard to find it if you're not looking very hard because its a hole-in the wall, really. I only noticed it because there was a long line. Num Pang is actually a Cambodian sandwich place, I don't know if this really counts as Bahn Mi, but whatever, it was a Southeast Asian sandwich and that's what I have been dying for. It's been a long time since I've had a sandwich this good and I wish I hadn't been eating it alone. It would have been nice to have somebody to freak out about it with, but instead I just had to sit silently at a counter with 4 lawyers who were freaking out to each other about how good the sandwiches were.

5 spice pork belly sandwich with pickled Asian pear, cucumbers, carrots, cilantro, and house made chilli mayonnaise ($7.75). The pork belly comes in one slab and it was so meltingly soft but crispy, I could have cried. The Asian pear was also a great addition because it's sweet and sour and crunchiness helped to balance out the fatty pork. Although when I ate a piece that fell out of my sandwich by itself, it was so sour, a few tears came out. The mayonnaise is also very good, but I'm not sure that I noticed the chilli in it. The bread is also different than Bahn Mi bread, a little more solid, I guess. It was incredibly messy to eat, but I had no problem licking the sandwich remnants that made their way onto my hands. I have no shame. This was so delicious, and I think I'm going to go back tomorrow and try the pulled pork or catfish sandwich. It's a little more expensive than what I wanted/expected to pay, but it's definitely worth it.
Avocado and tomato and lox and tomato on Eli's Health Bread. This is the first time I've tried Eli's bread and I bought it at Fairway. I tried really hard to avoid bread, and by tried really hard, I meant I spent a few minutes in the store staring at the loaves of bread, willing myself not to buy one. But since I can't stay away from it, I thought I would try a healthier route, and it's really really good. It's whole grains mixed with sunflower, sesame, and flax seeds and it's very thick and hearty. I like the crunch that comes from it without even having to toast it. Also, those are actually salmon "end bits" because it was cheaper than buying the real packages of lox. Tastes just as good to me.

Monday, October 10, 2011

I had all these vegetables that were going to go bad soon, so I decided to make fried rice, but then I put sort of thew it all together on top of a pile of rice instead. Pork chops marinated in a ginger-sesame soy sauce whatever, asparagus, and shittake mushrooms. I wasn't really thinking about it when I did it but it tasted alright.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

yom kippur and something else

Melissa invited me over to break fast with her family yesterday for Yom Kippur. I hope that I am welcomed into this home for every Jewish holiday.

I could only eat 1 bagel but I piled on the fish.

Can you tell that I used "Instagram" on my iPhone to take this picture? I think it looks sort of stupid. I mean, it's cool, I guess and looks nice in a weird way, but it doesn't go with my blog. At least I tried it. This salad = spinach, strawberries, avocado, goat cheese, and walnuts

ALSO, I just read the "Guide to Hamburger Styles" on Serious Eats and that was really helpful and fun to read. You should read it too! Now I finally can describe how a burger from Paul's is better than one from a steak house, and why I prefer the one from Paul's. I wish that I was better at articulating my feelings about food and eating beyond "Ugh, this is so good." But that's hard when I'm in a constantly comatose from eating too much or thinking of food.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I would never survive as a vegetarian or on a raw diet (tried that for like 1 hour, didn't work). Yep, I made steak again because I still had this one from when I went to Costco last time. I was a little nervous because it was frozen and I was worried I would make it too dry, but no!!! It was so juicy and perfectly cooked and the best steak I have ever made.

What it looked like on the inside.

I finished that whole thing in one sitting. It took a little over an hour for me to do it. I got about half way through and felt really full, but it just tasted so good I didn't want to stop. Then I got about 3/4 of the way done, and didn't think I could go on but then I was nervous that eating this reheated would not taste as good or even in a sandwich. So I persevered. I had about 4 bites left and almost gave up, but then I realized I didn't come this far to give up. Then I finished it. That is called dedication and determination, and to any future employers who are reading this, this is why you should hire me. I am committed and also running out of money to buy steaks.

Friday, October 7, 2011

grilled cheeZe

Grilled cheese made with goat cheese brie (that's one kind of cheese, not goat cheese and brie) and avocado. Plus orange juice because this was my breakfast.

3 pictures for 3 days

Except that title is a lie since I ate all of this in one day, but I feel bad for missing 2 days of food blogging. Can I update it from my iPhone? I would if I knew how.

I went back to Eissenberg's. Thursday's special is the Meatloaf sandwich. I got that plus potato salad plus extra gravy and pickles. You can also get a meatloaf platter. The sandwich is just some meatloaf shoved between some bread, but I guess that is what a sandwich is anyway. I'm just used to sandwiches having like more than 2 ingredients and extra frills, but this place doesn't make sandwiches like that. That's what makes it good though.. I think it's the sort of food that I would use the word "honest" to describe. Anyway, this sandwich was great. I just poured some gravy onto it and went to town. I probably looked pretty gross sitting at the counter alone with gravy running down my face. The potato salad was not good though. It was just weirdly vingeary and choked me with the mayonaise. Gag

Pho from Nam Son
This was fine, but I think I have had lots of better pho in Seattle. I probably just haven't found a good place here yet though.

What are these called in Japanese? They are little fried balls with octopus bits and..I don't even know. It seemed like some savory pancake batter but with a more solid consistency. I'm guessing on top is some kewpie mayonaise and dried fish flakes. Real good, I would eat a bucket

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I guess I have been posting lots of food from the past, and I don't know if that is food blog cheating, but I don't have anything to show for today!

When I was in Rome, we all made Easter dinner, and it was wonderful and happy. All I can remember is that it was delicious and there was so much food and wine and then my memory goes fuzzy. I can't believe that this was so long ago (but not really) and now I'm not even in college anymore. Bummer


Monday, October 3, 2011

Golden Mall

Went to the Golden Mall after the book fair at PS1. I can't stay away from this place, it's too good. Except I have been ordering the same thing a lot, and I think that next time I go, I'm going to have to try something else. I've just been afraid of some of the non-English menus, especially since they assume that I can speak Chinese and it's embarrassing. I don't even know if it's in Mandarin or Cantonese or what region this food comes from. I have really neglected learning about the Chinese half of me. Oops

Scallion pancakes in the street! I watched this lady pull a hair off of one of them, yup. Then I'm pretty sure that's the one she gave me, but it got cooked so I'm not that grossed out, or at least I'm not going to think about it anymore. These are different that Korean scallion pancakes. They are a lot more doughy and chewy and they fold them up and you eat them like fair food.

The noodle guy pulling noodles

Roast duck pulled noodles
I have always ordered the oxtail noodles, but Mel and Matt ordered this and it made me wish I had too. I don't know if they use different broth or if the broth just picks the flavors of the duck, but it is good. The broth is still light, but it tasted a little heavier or something. felt like I was drinking duck and not a duck broth... I don't know if that makes sense but it's the only way I can think of describing it. They said that the duck had a lot of bones though. I didn't try any of the actual duck myself

My oxtail noodles
It wasn't as good as the last times I've had it, but still great anyway, especially since it was cold outside. I put in the smallest drop of the chilli oil or whatever, and totally underestimated how spicy it was. It burns.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Grits, corn beef hash and two eggs over easy (plus toast and so much butter)
This is from John's Coffee Donut Shop on the corner of Hall & Myrtle. It was so so crowded, and the cooks were moving so fast, I couldn't stop watching them. Anyway, it's just simple diner food. Like the kind that maybe comes out of a box and is really greasy, but it doesn't really matter because it's Sunday morning and you only have $5 in your pocket. And sometimes it's the kind of food that you want. Plus they are super nice and speedy. The grits were a little clumpy and the corn beef hash was a little soggy, but the eggs were cooked super perfect just how I like them. Obviously this isn't what you want if you are looking for a "nice" breakfast, but if you're hungry and not a snobby eater, whatever man, it's good.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

2 pizza day

Oops, I missed a day of blogging and consequently my blog views have dropped like flies! It's really unsatisfying to see that. I like instant gratification. I left home then didn't come back all day, so I had pizza twice. One was good and cheap the other was bad and overpriced. Oh well.

Good pizza: "The Newman" from this pizza chain called Two Boots on Bleecker St. It has sausage and sopresatta on a while pizza. They have lots of weird specialty pizzas here.

I don't even know what this mess of a pizza is and I also don't know how I ended up at this restaurant in Little Italy or why we were there, I think it was my fault. This also probably explains why I still ate more than half of the pizza even though I was very critical of it. Judging by this picture, it has arugula, pecorino romano, and sausage, which all sounds great put when it tasted like it was on top of a heated up frozen pizza, but maybe like 1.5 steps up from that. I mean I eat frozen pizza and I like it, but not if I have to pay whatever I paid for this. But that's what I get for not eating anything but that 1 pizza slice all day and hoping that would be enough to keep me going through the night. I am such a messy eater sometimes too. I remember having a hard time with this one.