Showing posts from May, 2012

On Barbecues

It's the unofficial start of summer 2012!
At my family BBQ, I had some coconut rum and a few Diet I made my own version of the Cuba Libre (typically rum, Coca Cola, and lime).  Let me tell you, it was deeeelicious.  It was so good that my face is perpetually Asian-flushed.

My family's BBQs are unique: we do some Chinese food and some typical barbecue, but it's always a lot of fun.  My dad got crispy pig and roast duck and cocktail shrimp; we had a lot of veggies; my aunt cooked some rice noodles and potato salad; and we grilled kebabs, garlic chicken wings, hot dogs, fish balls, shrimp, and corn.
Sometime this summer, I would very much like to recreate the barbecue chicken from Jimmy's No. 43 and/or my coworker's husband's amazing barbecue ribs. Any suggestions, you guys?

5 Boro PicNYC

Governors Island in the summertime is a great treasure of New York City.  It is situated right between Manhattan and Brooklyn and accessible by free ferries from those two boroughs.  Only open to the public in the summer, it offers bike rentals (free on Friday afternoons!) for its visitors to zip around the waterfront.  It is an oasis of greenery, cute colonial buildings, and art installations.  Also during the summer, Governors Island is the host of many food-related events so obviously we made sure we were on the first boat over there.
This weekend was the 5 Boro PicNYC (haha so clever!) on Governors Island.  The event is held in a wide open grassy lawn. Different food vendors from around the city have tented booths and distribute free food.  Because it is a pic-NYC, people plopped down on picnyc benches and picnyc blankets to enjoy their little plates of food and beer while enjoying the sun and listening to live music.  Alex and I had a ton of fun and a ton of delicious food: for …

Spartan Souvlaki

One of my favorite Greek restaurants is on the periphery of Brooklyn's Chinatown, oddly enough (8th Avenue and 69th Street).  The food is great, the prices are decent, and it's within walking distance of my office.  What more could you ask for!

I've been to Spartan Souvlaki a few times.  Previously, I've had the hamburger and cheese pie (a flaky shell filled with ricotta-like cheese; delicious and creamy).  This time, I had spanakopita and Greek salad.  The Greek salad had large chunks of tomato, slivers of raw red onion, and crumbled feta cheese, all swimming in a pool of olive oil.  For some reason, Spartan Souvlaki does everything big and their side salad portion is enormous, though you won't hear me complain about it. The spanakopita is, similarly, in the shape of a Hot Pocket, with the flaky phyllo dough wrapped around a rectangle of chopped spinach and mild cheese.  The spanakopita is more on the side of "spinachy" instead of "cheesy," bu…

HK Tea & Sushi

In my neighborhood, there is a restaurant called Hong Kong Tea & Sushi.  If you live in Brooklyn, you might know HK.  If you are Asian, you probably love HK.  If your last name is Moy, you probably have eaten a hundred times at HK.

Okay, slight exaggeration, but HK Tea & Sushi is definitely one of my favorite places to eat.  Although it's billed as a sushi restaurant, don't be surprised that all the waiters are Chinese.  Also, I only get sushi about half the time - the other times, I save my stomach for something really special.  Their sushi is good and there is a wide selection.  A maki roll (California, Boston, Alaska, Philadelphia...I'm running out of American states and cities) is, on average, $3.  Their special rolls are a bit pricier and because I am a cheap eater, I stay away from these.  They serve other kinds of fare that is typical of Japanese restaurants: tempura and teriyaki, uni and udon.  My favorite thing, though, (and possibly one of the contenders…

Punjabi Tadka

In London, there's an Indian restaurant called Humaira Tandoori that serves a buffet dinner on Saturdays for £5.99 (about $10).  Whenever anyone goes to London on holiday, I recommend Humaira and I only wish I had gone to eat there more.  We'd gotten big groups together there before for Saturday night dinners, particularly one memorable time when a big group of us already occupied one large table right in the middle of the small dining room and another group of friends came later and had to wait for the table.  Good stuff, worth the wait!

So, to celebrate our graduation, several of us decided to relive those dinners and have a meal at Punjabi Tadka up on the northern edge of Hell's Kitchen.  We had heard great reviews of the place, which was truthfully just a small dingy restaurant with plastic cups and Styrofoam plates.  Somehow our cheerful spirit and the magic of Indian food made up for the ambiance.
Punjabi Tadka has a dinner "buffet" special that's $8 fo…

Luzzo's & Da Mikele

On my birthday weekend, Alex and I were going to have a quiet, peaceful dinner at Luzzo's, a brick oven pizza place near Alphabet City.  The place was small and people waiting for tables were squashed all around the entrance.  The hostess said we could sit downstairs, so we headed down a rickety staircase but when we entered the dining area in the basement, a bunch of people sitting at a long table shouted "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" and hoisted gifts and iPhones in the air.  I gasped, froze for a few moments, and then turned around and started sobbing, happy tears of course.  There are videos of this on people's iPhones embarrassing!

I was a little bit too aflutter to really remember what we ate, but between our group of 8 people, we split 4 pizzas.  Thinking back on it now, I literally don't remember what we ate, but I do remember it was good.  The pizza was a bit soggy after a while because we all started swapping slices/fourths of pie.  Good deal.


On Mondays, Alex, his dad, and I join in a food club of sorts, tasting different cuisines around the city at the awkward time between lunch and dinner.  This past week, after a failed attempt at a couple of other places, we headed to Greenpoint, Brooklyn, for Polish food.  I'm a Brooklyn gal, born and raised, but I have to admit that I'm pretty terrible when it comes to Brooklyn geography: there are so many neighborhoods that I know of, but have never visited.  So, we drove into Greenpoint for this place that the Jagendorfs have visited before but really liked, Karczma.
When we stepped into the restaurant, I couldn't help but chuckle.  It looked like I stepped back in time about 100 years, into a log cabin in some rural village in Poland.  The walls were covered in wood panels.  There was a little well in the middle of the restaurant for little kids to throw coins in.  The walls were decorated with wooden sleds and crafts.  The waitstaff waltzed around in traditional garb…

The Chip Shop

Alex and I studied abroad in London in 2010.  In my opinion, it was the best semester of my entire academic career (wistful moment of nostalgia...).  British food is infamous for being pretty terrible, but I found it to actually be quite diverse, particularly if you are interested in trying new things like Indian and Portuguese-style peri-peri.  Then, of course, there are the characteristic favorites of traditional British cuisine: fish and chips, bangers and mash, tea and scones....

We found a place in Park Slope, Brooklyn, that promises to serve up the best British traditional food west of the Atlantic. The Chip Shop is a small restaurant completely decked out from window to kitchen, floor to ceiling, with posters and photographs and framed newspaper clippings of British...things.  Everything! Posters of the Beatles, photos of Her Majesty, Tube signs, currency....  The menu also promises all sorts of British things.  Speaking of the menu, they have some good "recession" sp…

Two E Bar/Lounge at The Pierre

Newsflash: I had caviar for the first time today!
Alex and I had an amazing afternoon tea at the Two E Bar/Lounge at The Pierre Hotel. Alex found an amazing Groupon deal ($110 value!) and we wanted to celebrate both our graduations!
The Pierre is a hotel that sort of smacks you in the face with a sense of swankiness and fancy-pants-ness as soon as the doorman ushers you inside the revolving doors.  I was tingling with excitement when we turned the corner into the Two E Bar/Lounge just off the lobby.  The lounge has these funny square columns with color-changing lights that illuminate their black stony sides.  That seemed a bit out of place next to the rest of the decor: classy, minimalist, and fairly monochrome.  We sat on a couch in a quiet corner and proceeded to extend our pinkies.  (Then we realized that the place wasn't necessarily super fancy because people were in shorts and jeans...). Alex ordered The Pierre Blend tea (black tea with bergamot and vanilla notes) and I had …