Archive for August, 2008

East Village Italian: Great Food, Great Service & Great Atmosphere at Gnocco

August 28, 2008

Everyone always asks me for my Italian restaurant recommendation and surprisingly, I didn’t have one until I ate at Gnocco, on 10th Street between Avenues A & B. The food is delicious and affordable, the service is attentive and helpful, and the atmosphere, thanks to the backyard garden, is great for a date or dinner with the family. Read on to find out more about the best gnocchi I’ve ever had.

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NY Food Tour: Marzipan filled Pignoli Nut Cookies from Veniero’s Italian Bakery

August 27, 2008

  • What: These simple cookies are simply delicious.  A macaroon-like cookie filled with chewy almond paste and topped with crunchy pignoli (pine) nuts.  If you’re feeling bold, prepare dip the cookie in some Dulce De Leche ice cream. Unreal.
  • Website: http://www.venierospastry.com/
  • Where: 342 East 11st Street off 1st Avenue NY, NY 10003 212-674-7070
  • Inside info: Have an iced cappuccino with a scoop of espresso gelato at the cafe next to the bakery, its a great place for coffee and dessert.  If you’re taking out from the bakery, however, grab a number as soon as you can and map out your dessert plan.  Mini cheesecakes and canolis are delicious but the chocolate cake with chocolate icing and sprinkles was mediocre.

More Great Desserts Here

NY Food Tour: Nonna Maria (NYC Food Guy’s Favorite Late Night Slice) at Bleecker Street Pizza

August 23, 2008

NYC Food Guy Note: I’ve returned from my trip to California with a wealth of food to review but I’m going to keep the NY Food Tour alive to focus on providing deliciousness in a quick and efficient style.

  • What: NYC Food Guy’s favorite late night slice is also my favorite in the West Village. The Nonna Maria is covered in fresh mozz, grated grande mozz, and house-made marinara sauce before being sprinkled with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. The cornmeal covered crust takes backseat to the robust, flavorful toppings.
  • Cost: $2.75
  • Website: http://bleeckerstreetpizza.com/
  • Where: 69 7th Ave South at Bleecker Street NY, NY 10014 212-924-4466
  • Inside info: Forget Joe’s Pizza for late night slices, Bleecker Street Pizza is open until after 4AM on weekends and there’s actually room for you to sit and enjoy your slice. They also sell beer and small bottles of wine so you can keep the party going while you enjoy your slice.

NY Food Tour: Egg & Cheese on Homemade Chalah at B&H Vegetarian

August 21, 2008

NYC Food Guy Note: I’m on vacation in California so I’m sending you on a NY Food Tour to keep your stomach happy while I’m gone. Enjoy the deliciousness.

  • What: Fried egg and cheese between two slices of homemade sweet, fluffy Chalah baked daily at this vegetarian diner. It’s a great hangover helper and it’s an affordable home style breakfast which has been satisfying for over 60 years.
  • Cost: $3.25
  • Where: 127 2nd Avenue b/t 7th Street and St. Mark’s Place NY, NY 10003 212-505-8065
  • Inside Info: B&H is known for their homemade soups which are served alongside a hearty slice of chalah. Their daily sandwich/soup or entree/soup combos will leave you and your wallet feeling full, happy and healthy for around $10. I’ve heard good things about their expansive juice bar.

More Great Breakfast & Brunch Here

More Cheap Eats Here

NY Food Tour: Vanilla Slice at Tuck Shop, “The Great Aussie Bite”

August 20, 2008

NYC Food Guy Note: I’m on vacation in California so I’m sending you on a NY Food Tour to keep your stomach happy while I’m gone. Enjoy the deliciousness.

  • What: Decadent vanilla custard, with a consistency similar to banana pudding, sandwiched between two slices of pastry puff covered in vanilla icing. What more do I have to say? Despite its sloppy appearance, it remains one of the best desserts I’ve ever had.
  • Cost: $3 for a massive slice
  • Where: 68 East 1st Street b/t 1st & 2nd Avenue NY, NY 10003 212-979-5200
  • Website: http://www.tuckshopnyc.com/
  • Inside info: Tuck Shop serves Australian street food including delicious meat pies and lamingtons (pound cake with jam in the middle rolled in chocolate and coconut) until 5AM on Friday & Saturday. Pick up some Tim Tams, on the popularity level with Oreos in Australia, from the tiny grocery section. They’re the best packaged cookies I’ve ever had. Look into the Tim Tam Slam for maximum enjoyment.

Tuck Shop Full Review

More Late Night Eats

NY Food Tour: Kreuz Market Jalapeno Cheese Sausage at Hill Country

August 20, 2008

NYC Food Guy Note: I’m on vacation in California so I’m sending you on a NY Food Tour to keep your stomach happy while I’m gone. Enjoy the deliciousness.

  • What: The star at Hill Country’s carnivore castle is the Jalapeno Cheese pork sausage shipped from Kreuz Market in Lockhart, Texas. The best sausage NYC Food Guy has ever had, it’s smoky, garlicky and filled with spicy chopped jalapeno and bits of cheddar which ooze out when hot.
  • Cost: $6.50 for 1 ($6 for regular sausage), Pricey but worth it
  • Where: 20 West 26th Street b/t Broadway and 6th Avenue NY, NY 10010 212-255-4544
  • Website: http://www.hillcountryny.com/home.php
  • Inside info: Bring some sausage home to use in your eggs or just snack on with crackers. Prime Rib and the special short ribs are not to be missed. Hill Country serves a special late night menu (PDF link) until 1AM Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

NY Food Tour: Bacon Cheeseburger with Crispy Onions at Goodburger

August 19, 2008

NYC Food Guy Note: I’m on vacation in California so I’m sending you on a NY Food Tour to keep your stomach happy while I’m gone. Enjoy the deliciousness.

  • What: While the beef is almost as delicious as Burger Joint‘s, Goodburger offers all the toppings you wish the Burger Joint had. Thanks to Lil NYC Food Guy, I discovered the pleasure of a char-grilled cheeseburger (white & yellow cheddar standard), cooked to order, and covered in crisp bacon and sweet, crispy onions. The toasted bun and shoestring fries are standard, letting the burger take center stage.
  • Cost: $9.00 (Cheeseburger $6.75, Bacon $1.75, Crispy Onions $.50)
  • Where: 4 Locations in Manhattan
  • Website: http://goodburgerny.com/
  • Inside info: The bacon and onions were plentiful but tasted pre-cooked.

NY Food Tour: Roast Pork Sesame Pancake at Vanessa’s Dumplings

August 19, 2008

NYC Food Guy Note: I’m on vacation in California so I’m sending you on a NY Food Tour to keep your stomach happy while I’m gone. Enjoy the deliciousness.

  • What: Tender, fatty roast pork stewed in its own juices then chopped and covered in lettuce, cilantro, sliced carrot and cucumber and wedged between two halves of a crisp, greasy sesame pancake (similar to scallion pancakes though less flaky). This messy sandwich provides a wonderful confluence of flavor and texture. Add some standard hot sauce (not Sirracha despite the refilled bottles) for extra bite. The vegetable sesame pancake is equally delicious.
  • Cost: $2.99
  • Where: 220 East 14th Street near 3rd Avenue NY, NY 10003
  • Inside info: Combine a sesame pancake with an order of fried pork dumplings ($2.00) and you’ve got a great meal for just over $5.00. Both the fried pork dumplings and steamed vegetable dumplings are reliably delicious. Bite a little hole in the top of each dumpling then squirt in soy sauce for maximum enjoyment. Unfortunately, Vanessa’s can’t satisfy late night urges, they close at 10PM.

NY Food Tour: Best Fries in the City (Especially Late Night) at Ziggiz

August 16, 2008

NYC Food Guy Note: I’m on vacation in California so I’m sending you on a NY Food Tour to keep your stomach happy while I’m gone. Enjoy the deliciousness.

  • What: Forget Pommes Frites, Ziggiz serves Manhattan’s best and biggest order of fries for a mere $2.16! Thin, crisp and double-fried, these fries are even better after a night on the town. You can get an overflowing order of addictive and delicious fries until 3AM Thursday and 5AM Friday and Saturday.
  • Cost: $2.16!!!!
  • Where: 333 3rd Avenue near 25th Street NY, NY 10010 212-683-3663
  • Inside info: All the other food at Ziggiz is standard grease pit fare, including their namesake burgers, cheese steaks and burritos. Quesadillas and burritos come with onions in them so make sure to speak up if you don’t want them. Stick with the fried stuff here (mozzarella sticks and chicken fingers) and you can’t go wrong.

Manhattan’s Best Fries Here

More Pics of Food at Ziggiz Here

More Late Night Eats Here

More Cheap Eats Here

NY Food Tour: Cheap & Authentic Late Night Mexican Food at La Esquina

August 15, 2008
NYC Food Guy Note: I’m on vacation in California so I’m sending you on a NY Food Tour to keep your stomach happy while I’m gone. Enjoy the deliciousness.

What to Eat:

Quesadilla Simple ($5.00) filled with salty, stringy queso oaxaca and fresh pico de gallo. Delicious even without the side of salsa verde. Best quesadilla Lil’ NYC Food Guy has ever had. Thanks to Mark Lewis for recommendation.

Carne Enchilada Taco ($3.00) grilled achiote rubbed pork, cilantro, onions, pineapple, salsa verde. The perfect combo of spicy (tender pork & tangy salsa verde) and sweet (chunks of fresh pineapple).

Papa, Nopales Y Chorizo Taco ($3.50) chorizo sausage, potatoes, cactus, salsa verde. More of a textural adventure with combo of spicy chorizo, starchy potato and crisp yet bland (like cabbage) shredded cactus. Better with a squeeze of lime.

  • What: Informal, Affordable & Authentic Mexican Taqueria open until 2AM nightly.
  • Where: 106 Kenmare Street b/t Lafayette St. & Cleveland Place NY, NY 10012 Delivery:646-613-1333
  • Website: http://www.esquinanyc.com/
  • Inside info: The taqueria is a front for the “secret” Mexican restaurant downstairs. You can only reach it by reservation or knowing someone at the door. It’s a scene but it’s also a great date spot.

More Tacos & Mexican Food Here

More Late Night Eats Here

NY Food Tour: Chocolate Chip Cookie Vanilla Gelato Sandwich at Milk & Cookies

August 15, 2008

NYC Food Guy Note: I’m on vacation in California so I’m sending you on a NY Food Tour to keep your stomach happy while I’m gone. Enjoy the deliciousness.

Above: Jumpin Joe (Chocolate Chip cookie with Chocolate Chip Espresso Gelato)

From left to right: Cocoa Monster, Grasshopper, Jumpin Joe
  • What: This small bakery sandwiches Il Laboratoria del Gelato’s flavorful gelato between cookies baked fresh on premises. Use their menu or create your own. You can always opt for the freshest cookie but my favorite, warm or cool, is the classic chocolate chip with the simple vanilla gelato.
  • Cost: $4.88+ tax per ice cream cookie sandwich (Hey, it’s New York)
  • Where: 19 Commerce Street near 7th Avenue South NY, NY 10014 (212) 243-1640
  • Website: http://www.milkandcookiesbakery.com/
  • Inside info: Steer clear of the Grasshopper, featuring a Chocolate Mint Cookie with Fresh Mint Gelato, it tasted like tooth paste. On a more positive note, the director of the French Culinary Institute owns Milk & Cookies so you can feel confident in any of the decadent baked goods that line the counter.

More of NYC Food Guy’s Favorite Desserts Here

NY Food Tour: Classic Italian Hero at Faicco’s Pork Store

August 14, 2008
NYC Food Guy Note: I’m on vacation in California so I’m sending you on a NY Food Tour to keep your stomach happy while I’m gone. Enjoy the deliciousness.

  • What: Forget artisan breads and fancy olive oils, Faicco’s, an old school butcher shop, wedges prosciutto, ham cappy, your choice of hot or sweet soppresseta (go with hot), fresh mozzarella, your choice of roasted red peppers or sun dried tomatoes, lettuce, tomato, oil and vinegar, and salt and pepper in the middle of a traditional seeded hero roll. Simple, satisfying, fresh, and delicious
  • Cost: $10
  • Where: 260 Bleecker Street b/t 6th & 7th Avenue NY, NY 10014 212-243-1974
  • Inside info: Snack on some store-made fresh mozz mozzarella sticks, potato croquettes ($0.75), rice balls ($0.75) or fried priscuitto balls ($1) while you’re waiting for your sandwich to be made. Faicco’s also makes delicious pork and chicken sausages so pick some up and bring them home.

More Delicious Sandwiches Here

NY Food Tour: What to Eat While NYC Food Guy’s on Vacation

August 13, 2008

Some might say I’ve been on vacation since July, and by the number of posts I’ve written, they’re right. But now I’m actually in California, traveling down the coast from San Francisco to San Diego. So I’m sending you on a delicious NY Food tour to keep you busy while I’m gone. Stay Tuned for the posts titled “NY Food Tour” and enjoy.

Crif Dogs: Cheap Late Night Eats on Another Level

August 2, 2008

Bacon wrapped deep fried hot dogs with all the toppings your imagination can conjure. Crif Dogs, on St Mark’s near Avenue A, is the cheap late night eats (open till 2AM Thursday, 4AM Friday & Saturday) spot that dreams are made of.

Above you’re looking at the Good Morning ($4.50), a bacon wrapped deep fried dog resting on top of a slice of American cheese and a fried egg and a bacon wrapped deep fried dog covered in melted cheddar, chili and jalapenos ($6.23), a creation of Lil’ NYC Food Guy aka my brother.

The Good Morning is awesome although the Chihuahua is still my favorite. Read on for more madness.

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