Feb 20 Share

Otto’s Tacos

Otto's Tacos

 I’m officially hooked on House of Cards.  I’ve been trying to finish this post for the past couple of days, but kept getting sidetracked by watching  just one more episode.  Asheley is totally not a fan of the show, which means that when she is at work, I frantically try to watch as many episodes as I can possible pack in.

A smooth, seamless transition to something else I’m obsessed with lately.

Otto’s Tacos.  There are few joys on this planet more substantial and perfect than the taco.  And even in a city full of places slinging out these irresitible bundles of bliss, Otto’s Tacos just may be one of my favorites.  Actually, it is.  It is one of my favorites.  It’s earned that coveted spot.

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Feb 13 Share

A.B. Biagi Gelato

nyc gelato

 Gelato.  There’s a new player in town.  Welcome A.B. Biagi and his incredible gelato to NYC’s Nolita neighborhood.

I was lucky enough to travel to Italy with my family right after graduating from undergrad.  Sorrento.  Rome.  Florence.  Venice.  Some little towns in between.  We saw it all.  And it was all phenomenal.

I was much (MUCH) less into the whole food scene back then.  What do you mean you don’t have Penne alla Vodka in Italy?!  Yea.  I had no clue.

Everything we ate, of course, was nothing short of amazing.  I can’t wait to go back, now that I actually have some sort of food education and passion for eating.

I can remember eating gelato pretty much every day, any chance I got.  It was like nothing I ever experienced… so much better than anything I ever tasted back home.

The good news is that I don’t need to travel across the Atlantic to get my gelato fix.  It’s right here in my own backyard.  Well, figurative backyard.

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Feb 07 Share

Sugar Sweet Sunshine, Puddin’, and PopBar

nyc sweets

Three places to get some seriously delicious sweet treats in NYC.  Cupcakes, pudding, and gelato on a stick.  What else could a guy want? 

I have a tremendous sweet tooth, as my gut can surely attest.  The good news is that my waistline is slowly waning.  The bad news is that trying to eat healthier means a whole lot less dessert.  Goodbye my after-lunch sweet fix.  So long my post-dinner 4th meal dessert.

Once in awhile I’ll still splurge and slowly devour a little piece of dark chocolate (Asheley will eat about a half a bar while I’m still trying to nurse and savor my one little self-allotted morsel).

So if I can’t currently indulge in all the desserts that occupy my dreams at night, at the very least I can look back at some of the NYC sweets that I recently grazed upon back before Operation Stop Being A Fatty commenced.

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Jan 22 Share

Lower East Side’s Taquitoria

Taquitoria

Run by three Restaurant Marc Forgione alums, this Lower East Side eatery serves up amazing taquitos filled with top-notch, high quality ingredients.

Can I tell you about one of my favorite new spots in the Lower East Side.  It’s a gem.

Raise your hand if you’ve heard of Iron Chef Marc Forgione?  Raise your hand if you actually raised your hand to a computer screen? (gotcha again, didn’t I?).  Anyway, he’s responsible for bringing together the all-star team behind Taquitoria.  All fine-dining restaurant vets that met at Restaurant Marc Forgione, Barry, Matthew, and Brad joined forces to serve taquitos to the masses.

You know I’m a sucker for any type of food remotely resembling Mexican/Tex-Mex cuisine, especially when it’s handheld and doesn’t require utensils.  And I’m also a sucker for the Lower East Side.  I love that neighborhood.  Put them together, and well, I think I’m in love.

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Jan 15 Share

Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop at Gotham West Market

Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop NYC

One of the most anticipated openings of the year, Ivan Orkin’s Ramen Slurp Shop in the new Gotham West Market delivers big on creativity and flavor.

Ramen is to Japan like pizza is to New York.  Iconic food.

New Yorkers are highly critical of their pizza, just as the Japanese are to their ramen.

Would you expect a pizzeria opened up by a nice born and bred Japanese fellow to succeed here in New York?  Probably not.

So when Ivan Orkin, a self-described “Jewish kid from Long Island”, decided to open up shop in Japan, his dream of ramen stardom seemed destined to fail.  But it ended up anything but.  Chef Orkin’s ramen quickly gained a cult following in Japan, and his first outpost back here in the states was one of the most highly anticipated restaurant openings of the year.

How did it stack up?

Let’s just say I’ve been there 4 times within the span of 3 weeks.  I’m in love.  It’s all I can think about.  I’m officially hashtag obsessed (by the way, did you see the Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake hashtag skit.  If not, you need to watch it immediately).

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Jan 04 Share

Clinton St. Baking Company, City Bakery, and The Donut Pub

NYC sweets

Three of NYC’s classic and extremely popular places to grab a sweet treat, including some of the best pancakes, cookies, hot chocolate, and donuts in the city.

Sometimes I’m really excited to write a post intro.  It comes naturally.  I have something specific to share.  A story.  An anecdote.  A memory.

Today, I’ve got nothing.  Asheley’s at work.  I’m trapped inside from the blizzard currently happening outside.  Just me, the take-out Thai food I picked up yesterday in preparation for said blizzard, and a never-ending stream of pretty crappy movies playing in the background while I think about what to write.

So let’s just talk about the food.  It’s better that way.  And hopefully by next time, I’ll have something more eloquent, or at least interesting, to share :)

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Dec 29 Share

Motorino Pizzeria, Tacos Morelos, Japadog, The Nugget Spot, and Dos Toros

east village food nyc

A photo review of five popular East Village restaurants in New York City, including authentic wood-fired pizza at Motorino Pizzeria, tacos at Dos Toros and Tacos Morelos, a plethera of nuggets at The Nugget Spot, and eccentric Japanese-inspired hot dogs at Japadog.

Having a week and a half off from work is a beautiful thing.  It’s one of the many perks of being a teacher.  I always have grand plans for my time off.  I’ll get together with friends and family.  I’ll cook and photograph like crazy.  I’ll catch up on all those posts I’ve been wanting to write.  I’ll go into the city and try new places.  I’ll do this.  I’ll do that.  It’ll be great!

As we all know too well, time off seems to fly by.  You blink and it’s gone.  All those things you wanted to do… not done.  But hey, those movies in your Netflix queue got watched and that batch of cookies were polished off.  Oops.  Priorities :)

But I actually did get to go into the city a few times so far this Christmas break to try a few new places.  And there are always new restaurants to try!

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Dec 20 Share

All Biscuits All Day at Empire Biscuit

Empire Biscuit

In a country where more and bigger is often celebrated (have you seen the menu at The Cheesecake Factory lately), I’m totally down with micro-focused restaurants.   Do one product…really well.  Forget the 22-page menu and just focus on perfecting that one thing.  Become known for that one morsel of goodness.  Become legendary at your micro-focused craft.

Empire Biscuit.  I want to like you.  I really do.  Biscuits are delicious.  And when you hear about a new restaurant that’s solely centered on the art of biscuit goodness, you get excited.

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Dec 17 Share

Black Label Burger at Minetta Tavern

black label burger nyc

A look at one of the greatest burgers available in all of Manhattan.  The one, the only, $28 Black Label Burger at Greenwich Village’s Minetta Tavern.

If you are into the whole NYC dining scene at all, this is nothing new or revolutionary.  People have been raving about the Black Label Burger at Greenwich Village’s Minetta Tavern for years now.  But for one lame reason or another, I joined the party late.

I knew about the burger.  I dreamt about the day we would meet.

And finally, the day came.

There are meals that are easily forgotten.  Enjoyable, but not remembered.  But then, once in a while, there are those rare moments that you take a bite and instantly realize this is a moment you will cherish always.  A taste that will linger in your memory for your entire life.  And that’s exactly what will happen at your first Black Label Burger experience.

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Dec 10 Share

First Look: Iron Chef Morimoto’s Bisutoro

Bisutoro NYC

A first look at the food and atmosphere at Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s new TriBeCa restaurant, Bisutoro.

I miss my wife.  We kind of work opposite schedules as of late.  My week is full of after-school concerts and meetings, teaching private lessons during the evening, and spending a couple nights at the church for a photography community group I co-lead with Tyler and helping out with our middle school youth group.  Weekends are typically wide open.  Asheley pretty much has the exact opposite schedule.

We get to spend a few hours a week together, maybe even get to eat a meal together once or twice.  Other than that, it’s me kissing her goodbye as I leave early for work and she is trying to get some sleep after working a late shift at the hospital.  Oh, and texting.  That’s how we communicate the vital info to each other since who knows if we’ll remember to tell the other the next time we’re actually face to face.

Sometimes the whole opposite schedule thing is nice.  I get to develop recipes, photograph, and blog without feeling like I’m neglecting Asheley.  But honestly, I miss my wife.  So when she purposely asked for a weekend off a few weeks ago, we made it a point to just spend the entire time together.  It was amazing.

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