February is here and it’s the annual Hot Chocolate Festival at City Bakery! Check out the calendar and indulge in a rotating menu of delicious liquid chocolate.
2015 was another food-filled year. Below are three of the best and worst of 2015. If you’re looking for that place to try in 2016 or more importantly, that place to avoid, this is a good starting point to help point you in the right direction.
The football season officially kicked off last night and that means it’s time for wings, nachos and beer. Everyone has their favorite sports bar (check out Lansdowne Road), but if you’re looking to scope out somewhere different, check out Slate‘s new “Undefeated Sundays.” From how Slate’s describing it, this is going to be an interesting combination of football, brunch, bar food and live music from some of NYC’s top DJs. The menu at the very least looks really good.
This all kicks off on Sunday, September 13th starting at noon so if you go, let me know how it is!
I highly recommend the pretzel croissant from City Bakery. Combine a New York City pretzel with a buttery croissant and voila. Go there. Now.
Have you heard of Burger and Lobster? If you’re in New York City and love lobster, you need to check it out. The chefs here have it easy since there are only three items on the menu. For $20 you can choose from a lobster, lobster roll or burger. Literally, that’s it. And don’t worry, Burger and Lobster isn’t one of those places that skimps on portions. No matter what you choose, you’ll have a healthy portion of seafood or meat coming your way. Order a drink and for $30 you have yourself quite a nice dinner.
Oxido – 18 West 23rd Street, Manhattan, New York
Watch out Chipotle! Oxido opens today in the Flatiron District and it’s the latest fast casual restaurant in New York City featuring authentic flavors of modern Mexican cuisine.
I checked it out last night during the pre-opening festivities and dare I say this place has fresher and more flavorful ingredients than Chipotle, with a few additions outside Chipotle’s wheelhouse.
Pictures of some of the delicious food are below. I highly recommend the grass-fed grilled garlic steak and queso sauce. Order off the secret menu and get the “Make it Dirty” nachos. You can’t go wrong.
If you aren’t convinced yet, during today’s grand opening 1/2 of all proceeds will benefit Food Bank For New York City! Don’t miss it!
It’s February and that means it’s time for City Bakery’s Hot Chocolate Festival and Clinton Street Baking Company’s Pancake Month! These are some of my favorite annual food events are are well worth the trip to both places.
Every February, City Bakery announces its calendar of hot chocolate flavors. Each day throughout the month City Bakery features a new flavor of hot chocolate, ranging from lemon hot chocolate to rum raisin to banana peel. And this isn’t your cheap Swiss Miss hot chocolate. This is the real deal – thick, liquid chocolate gold.
Pancake Month at Clinton Street Baking Company is the place to be as well. Get there early though because lines stretch out the door on both weeknights and weekends. The wait is well worth it for some delicious pancakes and great variety of flavors.
Blue Smoke – 116 East 27th Street, Manhattan, New York
Credited as the founder of New York City’s barbecue movement, Blue Smoke is a combination of hardcore barbecue and culinary artfulness. I’d previously been to Jazz Standard, Blue Smoke’s basement-level jazz club serving up delicious barbecue and soulful sounds. On this trip, I gave the upstairs restaurant a try and left a happy man.
The menu at Blue Smoke takes you along a barbecue-filled path – with ribs, brisket, pulled pork, smoked chicken and sausage populating the menu.
The beef brisket comes with your choice of lean or marbled meat, and mashed potatoes topped with crispy onions. Word of advice, go with the marbled brisket. The ring of fat adds a huge burst of flavor. This brisket was out of this world amazing. It literally dissolved in my mouth, no chewing necessary. Incredible flavor. The only downside was the portion size. I would have preferred some more meat for the $20 price.
The pulled pork sandwich was also good, although it didn’t come close to the brisket. It definitely is better than the pulled pork at Blue Smoke’s outlet shop at Citi Field. There was a solid amount of meat here and it was doused in a vinegar barbecue sauce.
The sweet potato wedges with maple dip were enormous. We literally must have had two full potatoes cut up on our plate. They had a generous sprinkling of course salt on the skin. The maple dip appeared to be mayo-based and had a hint of maple flavor. I had thought the dip would be straight up maple syrup and would have preferred that instead.
The best way to close out a meal? With toothpicks and Wet-Naps. Blue Smoke graciously brought these out with our check and it was a really nice touch.
Blue Smoke has my vote for some of the best beef brisket around. Melt in your mouth deliciousness is what I’m talking about. Prices may be a little expensive for what you get, but that’s one of the only downfalls here. I’d definitely go back for some great barbecue around Madison Square Park.
Restaurant: Melt Shop – 601 Lexington Avenue & 55 West 26th Street, Manhattan, New York
Depending on who you ask, the best grilled cheese in New York City can be found in a number of restaurants across the five boroughs. I mean, who isn’t a fan of melted cheese in between two pieces of bread slathered with butter?
Searching for that mind-blowing grilled cheese, the other day my Dad and I gave Melt Shop a try to see if lived up to the hype I’d heard about.
I’d heard so much about the tater tots I had to order them. They were a little cold, but overall, not bad. I liked the sprinkling of cheese on top of them that helped make these fried potatoes a little more interesting. I easily ate through the majority of these, and quickly.
I then moved on to the Truffle Melt. Havarti, arugula, and cracked black pepper is drizzled with truffle oil, all on toasty sourdough bread. The Truffle Melt grilled cheese was delicious. The proportion of cheese to bread was just right and the sourdough gave this sandwich a nice taste that normal white bread would have left empty. The stretchy havarti cheese was fully melted throughout and I could clearly taste the truffle oil. Best part, the arugula made me feel like I was actually getting some ‘greens’ in my sandwich so I felt better about all that cheese and butter-soaked bread.
Melt Shop was the perfect stop for a weekend lunch. The Lexington Avenue location was empty on a Saturday afternoon since it mainly caters to the workweek lunch rush. My Dad and I had plenty of room to kick back, relax and enjoy some delicious grilled cheeses. Next time I’m in the area and craving something inexpensive, unhealthy and completely satisfying, you better better believe I’ll be paying Melt Shop another visit.