Thursday, June 30, 2011

Brunch at Cafeteria (again and again)

Cafeteria has become a go-to brunch spot for me mainly because the food is consistent, there is a nice variety, the prices are reasonable, it's in a convenient location and the host once referred to my roomie as "the cute halfsie". I've written about the lovely waffle I had there before, and since then I've also tried the eggs benedict, lemon ricotta pancakes, and most recently the monterey eggs. Totally worth writing home about.

Monterey Eggs: warm cheese tortilla, black eye peas, avocado, jack cheese, cherry tomato salsa, $10. Quite a comforting and hearty dish with rich flavors and many different textures.

Fried Chicken N Waffles: buttermilk chicken, roasted garlic herb wood herbs, homestyle gravy, $16. Chicken and waffle dishes seem really strange but I found this surprisingly delightful. The fried chicken was crispy and the the waffle was as good as the last time.

Croissant Breakfast Sandwich: soft scrambled eggs, ham, white cheddar, plum tomato, avocado, $12. Another great comfort dish. I had a bite of this and the croissant was so buttery, it was absolutely perfect (along with everything else in it).

Outdoor seating available! Should definitely take advantage of that although for some reason we always seem to visit Cafeteria on rainy days.

119 7th Ave,
New York, NY 10021
Phone number: (212)414-1717
(Open 24 hours)


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Cafeteria on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sarabeth's West: Hello Chicken Ciabatta Sandwich

You know that moment when you order something very standard, do not expect it to be amazing and then you experience a most wonderful first bite that makes you want to sing out loud and snap your fingers?

Meet the chicken ciabatta sandwich with mozzarella, arugula, avocado, tomatoes, red onions, maple-mustard mayonnaise and french fries, $17. Oh my lord. Such fresh ingredients, moist and tender pieces of chicken, and onions perfectly grilled to bring out sweet and spicy flavors.

The decor reminded me of an old hotel restaurant with its print and fabric upholstery and green and white walls.

Didn't try anything else here and wouldn't ever feel obliged to...

423 Amsterdam Avenue (between 80th Street & 81st Street)
New York, NY 10024
Phone number: (212)496-6280

Other location:
1295 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10128


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Sarabeth's on Urbanspoon

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Orlando: Emeril's Tchoup Chop

I skimmed over the Zagat guide for America's Best Restaurants and found Emeril's Tchoup Chop in the Orlando section. I made a note of it and when I looked it up online, found it was right in Lowes Royal Pacific Resort, the hotel we were staying at. How very convenient.

A unique interior with a very large pond in the middle of the room.

Watermelon Brulee with Bacon. Sounds very strange, but it was definitely interesting, the top of the watermelon had been torched and therefore had a thin layer of crispiness.

Hickory Smoked Australian Lamb Shank with sweet potatoes and barbeque sauce, $22. I had one bite of this and it was tender and didn't have that game-y taste that often comes with lamb.

Mongolian Glazed Slow Roasted Pork Belly in Steamed Buns, $9. I loved the pork belly at Ippudo in New York, but this one just blew me away; it was exciting and flavorful, sweet, sour, and slightly spicy.

Next time we go back I definitely want to try the banana cream pie. We were looking forward to it but were all so full by the end of the meal we couldn't do it.

6300 Hollywood Way
Orlando, FL 32819
Phone number: (407)503-2467


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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

NYC Cocktail Week 2011

There is still a week left to take advantage of NYC Cocktail Week! Through June 29th, 17 participating bars and lounges are offering a separate menu with choices of two cocktails and an appetizer for $20.11.

A portion of the proceeds from the event support City Harvest's fight against hunger and The Museum of the American Cocktail.

Of the establishments, I'd really like to visit Pegu Club, Death & Company, and Lani Kai. For a full list and more information, visit

Image from here.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Orlando: Islands of Adventure & Universal Studios in 48 hours

This weekend was hectic but as spectacular as could be. Despite our 5 hour flight delay to Orlando on Friday night and getting a total of 3 hours of sleep, we made it to Islands of Adventure at 8am and kept busy

drinking butterbeer (tasted like cream soda but with a lovely butterscotch flavored foam on top),

roaming around Hogsmeade,

admiring Hogwarts,

getting transported between the hotel and park by boat,

and of course riding on the Forbidden Journey numerous times.

I am now utterly exhausted, slightly sunburnt and attempting to re-read the Harry Potter series. Good night.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios!

Happy Friday! This weekend I'm heading to Orlando to wander around Hogsmeade, take a ride through the Forbidden Journey, drink butterbeer, and basically act like a giddy 10 year old.

Are there any restaurants I should definitely check out that are in or near Universal Studios?

Image via

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Yummy Shabu Shabu at Shabu-Tatsu

I love shabu shabu/hot pot. A combination of meats, sauces, and soup... it really doesn't get much better than that. I brought my family to Shabu-Tatsu when they were visiting because I figured my grandma would get sick of eating western food. Bad idea though, throughout the entire meal she complained that the restaurant wasn't as good as Orange Shabu Shabu in Taiwan. Well, of course not! But Shabu-Tatsu is pretty darn good for New York.

I usually love the salads at Japanese restaurants because of the sesame dressings. This salad dressing had too much ginger and no sesame in it.

Eel bib bim bap $13. This came in a stone bowl, and the server mixed it up and divided it into four bowls for us. There was so much eel in this and there were quite a few crispy rice parts due to the stone pot... so delicious.

Rib-Eye Beef set $24. The set includes assorted vegetables (shitake mushroom, tofu, cabbage, etc), salad, dipping sauces, rice, and ice cream.

Prime Rib-Eye Beef set $26. Noticeably more tender than the regular rib-eye. For $2 more, go for this one!

Peanut sauce on the left, soy sauce with spring onions and garlic on the right. I like to dip the meats and vegetables in both.

Pork Gyoza $6. There is a lot of garlic in these.

Red bean and green tea ice cream (included in the sets). I'm not really a fan of red bean anything, but I loved the green tea ice cream. Very strong tea flavor and not too creamy.

216 East 10th Street (between 2nd Ave & 1st Ave)
New York, NY 10003
Phone number: (212)477-2972
*Reservations only taken for 4 or more. Definitely try to reserve ahead of time because there are only around 10 tables on the main floor. There's also a ground floor but I'm not sure how many it seats.

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Shabu-Tatsu Downtown on Urbanspoon

Monday, June 13, 2011

San Francisco: Oyster Heaven at Hog Island Oyster Co.

Where to even begin... Hog Island Oyster Co. was one of the best best meals we had during our San Fran trip. The restaurant is located inside the Ferry Building, and while walking through to look for the restaurant, I couldn't help but get distracted by the numerous stores selling pastries, chocolates, breads, cheeses, and much more. I could probably spend two full days here exploring and tasting things.

There are many stands in front of the Ferry Building selling jewelry, handmade goods, and fruits.

I definitely did not spend enough time inside.

We waited in line for 45 minutes on a Saturday at 12:30pm. By the time we sat down, the line had doubled.

Bar seating. You could watch the chefs schucking oysters behind the bar.

Outdoor tables where we sat.

12 Hog Island Sweetwater (pacific) oysters $27. Half crab $12. The oysters were sweet, briny, and truly incredible. We ordered another 12 after we polished these off.

Steamers $14. Manila clams, beans, and chorizo cooked with garlic and a white wine broth. This dish had a light broth with a simple but great combination of flavors.

Oyster Stew $12. Oysters, butter and cream. There were lots of oysters in the stew, but the broth was too rich for my liking.

Clam Chowder $14. Not your typical creamy clam chowder, but just as good and probably slightly healthier. Manila clams with vegetables, bacon, potatoes and cream. All clam chowders should have this many clams swimming in them!

Grilled Cheese Sandwich with gruyere and fromage blanc $12. Definitely the most memorable grilled cheese sandwich I've ever had. The bread was so fresh and the cheese was strong.

Beautiful view of the bay bridge from where we sat.

Hog Island Oyster Co. has 4 locations, all listed on their website.

1 Ferry Building #11A
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone number: (415)391-7117

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