Archive for May, 2008

Jacques Torres Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie Rivals Levain?

May 30, 2008

What or who could possibly rival Levain’s cookies? Jacques Torres, that’s who. The heralded chocolatetier is selling a dark chocolate chip cookie ($2.50) in his new shop on Amsterdam Avenue near 73rd street, just 50 feet away from Levain Bakery. I have some other delicious secrets that will maximize your enjoyment, so read on.

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Island Burgers and Shakes: Gluttony at its finest

May 30, 2008

65 varieties of flame-grilled burgers or grilled chicken sandwiches (called churascos). Sixty five! And that’s not counting your own creations. The possibilities are limitless, but once you decide on what you want, I went with a Tijuana ($9.25, pictured below), with bacon, jack, guacamole, and sauteed onions, you’re in for a heart-stopping treat. Island Burgers loses points for not serving fries, but they have a reason why and they offer 2 other potatoey snack options instead. Read on for amazing photos and the inside information.

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Carnegie John’s Chicken Kebab Sandwich

May 29, 2008

Carnegie John’s cheeseburger is delicious. It’s griddled, grilled, and griddled again before being adorned with American cheese, lettuce, and tomato and then sandwiched in a fluffy, white bun.  The Chicken Kebab sandwich ($4.50) is equally simple but not nearly as delicious.

Chunks of grilled marinated chicken tasting faintly of lemon are packed loosely into a ordinary griddled pita before being covered with shredded lettuce, two slices of tomato, sliced white onion, and a light and creamy tatziki sauce.  It was filling and cheap, both core Carnegie John values, but it didn’t hit the spot the way the cheeseburger does.

Carnegie John’s 56th St. nr. Seventh Ave. New York, NY 10106
Cash only, Open Monday through Friday, 11:30AM to 6PM

Chelsea Market: Chelsea Thai, Ronnybrook Milk Bar, Amy’s Bread, Fat Witch Brownies & a Secret Sandwich Shop

May 28, 2008

If you haven’t been to Chelsea Market, on 9th Avenue between 15th & 16th street, then its questionable whether you can be called a New Yorker. The building which houses Major League Baseball.com and the Food Network is also home to some of the best and spiciest Chicken Pad Thai I’ve ever had. And if fulfilling your sweet tooth is the goal, you can choose from brownies, cupcakes, milkshakes, gelato and more all under one roof. Naturally, there’s a secret sandwich shop in here as well, so read on to find out what you need to know.

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Frankies Spuntino 17 Clinton Street: Ambiance & Service Make the Meal

May 27, 2008

As delicious as Italian food is, I rarely crave it, letting pizza and some of NYC’s more heart-stopping offerings fill the void. Frankies Spuntino 17 Clinton Street on the LES, has been on my radar for a while, namely for its heralded meatball sandwiches on Grandaisy rosemary bread and also for the homemade cavatelli with Faicco’s hot sausage and browned sage butter. One dish excelled, the other underwhelmed, but it was the ambiance that will bring me back. Read on to find out why…

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Levain Bakery = Crazy Delicious

May 24, 2008

If you haven’t tried Levain Bakery‘s Cookies, you haven’t lived. The chocolate chip walnut is the best cookie I’ve ever had and it’s the best $3.75 you can spend in this city. If things are slow in the small shop on 74th Street off Amsterdam Avenue, ask them to toss it back in the oven for a minute, these are best when eaten warm. More delicious pics here.

Levain Bakery 167 W 74th St. off Amsterdam Ave. 212-874-6080 Closes at 7PM

Chirping Chicken: Simply Delicious

May 23, 2008

Everything about Chirping Chicken screams simplicity. From their deliciously moist charbroiled chicken basted in nothing but chicken fat, garlic and salt to their website which displays nothing but their menu, phone number, 77th Street and Amsterdam Avenue address, and the fact that they’re open until 2AM seven days a week.

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Midtown Lunch: Outdoor Eating Spots

May 23, 2008

With summer on the horizon, Midtowners should make every effort to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather at lunchtime. Here’s a list of some great public outdoor spots (and recommended nearby eateries), between Sixth and Seventh Avenue and 49th and 55th street, where you can let the sunshine wash away the workday blues.

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BXL: Rather Have a Beer

May 22, 2008

Unfortunately, this $15 bacon cheeseburger is not as good as it looks. It’s from BXL, a Belgian bar on 43rd St. b/t 6th & 7th Avenue, and while it looks damn tasty, a lot of credit is due the the perfectly crisp bacon. It’s fire-grilled, though you couldn’t really taste it, and comes on a bready toasted white bun which was ordinary but not an impediment. Life With Food & Drink, who joined me along with her brother Dirty Dave, recommended the fries, which looked amazing on other people’s tables, but suffered from not being served piping hot.

On Sundays and Mondays $17 gets you a Stella Artois and ALL YOU CAN EAT MUSSELS (they offer 6 varieties). Buyer beware, Anthony Bourdain says Sunday & Monday are the worst days to eat restaurant seafood. Service was great, very patient, but I’d sooner return for one of their 12 rotating Belgian beers than for a burger.

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Lenny’s G3 Hero: One Serious Sandwich

May 20, 2008

Lenny’s G3 is defined as “Grilled Roast Beef with crispy bacon, melted American cheese, grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and A-1 Steak Sauce.” I’m not an A-1 fan so I replace it with Russian Dressing and there you have my go to sandwich at Lenny’s. The Smoked Chicken Deluxe is also delicious, but it lacks the textural deliciousness provided by the crispy bacon. This sandwich is best when the time between creation and eating is at a minimum. See all Lenny’s locations here.

Belly Delly Deli: Guide the Counter Guys to a Great Sandwich

May 19, 2008

Belly Delly Deli’s sandwich menu is great in concept but the counter guys seem to be lost when it comes to preparing them as they’re listed. You’re there for a good sandwich so in a friendly manner, guide the counter guys in the right direction (e.g. when they try to slip your cheese covered turkey into the microwave to melt it, ask them to toss it on the grill) and you’re guaranteed to get a stacked sandwich.

Take my American Club ($7.95). I added some bacon and Russian dressing to the Turkey, Roast Beef, lettuce, and tomato and after suggesting the griddle for all of the melting and bacon cooking, I was very pleased with the results. Read on to see the final product.

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Bella Napoli’s Grandma Slice is their best slice

May 19, 2008

If you’re looking for consistency at Bella Napoli, the slice joint/restaurant on 49th St. b/t 6th & 7th Avenue, in addition to their best ratio of cheese to sauce to crust, look no further than their Grandma Slice ($3 slice/$22 pie). It combines Bella Napoli’s best balance of cheese and sauce, in this case a garlicky yet sweet marinara, in addition to providing the least obtrusive and tastiest crust of any of their slices. Whereas the regular slice has too much end crust and the Sicilian has too much crust in general, the Grandma is thin, crispy, and takes a backseat to the fresh basil and marinara/cheese combo.

Bella Napoli 150 W 49th Street b/t 6th & 7th Avenue New York, NY 10019 (212) 719-2819

good: Weekend-Only Banana Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast

May 16, 2008

Is your mouth watering yet? If there weren’t so many great brunch spots on my to do list I wouldn’t feel guilty going back to good for their deliciously sweet and decadent Banana Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast ($12.75).

Ah the woes of NYC Food Guy. What makes this dish even harder to pass up is that it’s only available for brunch two days a week: Saturday from 11AM to 3:30PM and Sunday from 10AM to 4PM. If you have a curious mind, you’re probably wondering how this dish breaks down and how rich it really is. Read on for those answers and a look at some crispy home fries, airy toasted almond pancakes, and a great way to upgrade the already delicious Pepper Jack & Bacon Club.

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West Village Sandwiches: Faicco’s Italian Hero & Crosby Connection’s Crosby Special

May 16, 2008

There are few things more satisfying than excellent sandwiches. On nearly opposite ends of the West Village you’ll find the model Italian hero ($10) at Faicco’s Pork Store and a suped up, nearly perfect meatball hero ($6) at Crosby Connection inside the Parisi Bakery.

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