Friday, March 23, 2012

Next Stop: Ireland

What we ordered:
- Crispy beer-battered cod with french fries and homemade tartar sauce

- Grilled chicken breast with roasted peppers, fresh mozzarella, and chipotle aioli served with french fries and a pickle

Worth the trip for...
- A good mix of traditional Irish fare with more typical American bar food
- Big open space with skylights, which is a nice change from the usual small, dark Irish pubs

Skip the trip for...
- Some huge portions, some small portions...hard to know what you'll end up with
- Funny-tasting Diet Coke!

145 West 45th Street
b/t 6th & 7th Avenues
Menu Pages listing

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Next Stop: Dominican Republic

What we ordered:
- Camarones a la plancha - grilled marinated shrimp with albarino wine, manchego sauce, and lentil banana rice

- Empanada trio - eggplant with goat cheese, tomato, and almonds / chicken / ropa vieja

- Lobster corn quesadilla with avocado & mango salsa and Chihuahua cheese

- Maduro relleno de bacalao - sweet plantain stuffed with salted cod

Worth the trip for...
- A really nice decor/ambience
- Pretty tasty (albeit overpriced) Dominican/Latin American food

Skip the trip for...
- The most uncomfortable/unknowledgable service I've ever experienced - this deserves some pointers for the waiters:
1 - If you don't know which empanada is which, ask your chef. Don't bring over a knife and fork with a FLASHLIGHT(!) and start cutting into my food!!!
2 - Don't shake our hands and touch our shoulders multiple times...and really, don't do it at all
3 - Don't hover over me while I sip my water waiting to refill it

Mamajuana Cafe
570 Amsterdam Avenue
b/t 87th & 88th Streets
Menu Pages listing

Monday, March 19, 2012

Next Stop: Brazil

A great way to spend a gorgeous Sunday? Hanging out in a restaurant with all the doors/windows open, live music, delicious drinks, and tasty eats.

What we ordered:
- Casquinha de siri - crabmeat baked in a scallop shell

- Mandioca frita com queijo - fried yucca sprinkled with parmesan cheese, served with
- Strawberry caipirinha - drink made with cachaça, muddled limes, sugar, and strawberry puree
- Pineapple batida - drink made with cachaça, condensed milk, and pineapple juice

Worth the trip for...
- A really lively crowd, great music, and a fun atmosphere
- Authentic Brazilian food and drinks
- Something very different than the standard Williamsburg hipster spots

Skip the trip for...
- A quiet Sunday brunch - this place is loud!
- Charging your meal on a credit card - it's cash only

Miss Favela
57 South 5th Street
@ Wythe Avenue
Menu Pages listing

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Next Stop: Israel

I had two great experiences at Gazala's on the UWS's Columbus Avenue for dinner, and I was excited to finally make it to the original location on 9th Avenue in Hell's Kitchen. Some parts lived up to my expectations, and some failed miserably.

What we ordered:
- Hummus Moudammas: hummus topped with fava beans
- Borekah lunch special: fresh-baked spinach and goat cheese borekah served with a hard boiled egg, hummus, pickles, and salad of corn and cabbage

- Chicken kebab: white meat chicken with spices, flame broiled, served with rice and salad of corn and cabbage

Worth the trip for...
- Straight-out-of-the-oven borekahs (rivals the ones I've had in Israel - possibly the best I've had in NYC), flatbreads, and desserts
- Delicious homemade hummus

Skip the trip for...
- Horribly rude service (the UWS location had wonderful service, 9th Avenue - not so much)
- Cramped, unimpressive interior (the UWS location had wonderful decor and ambience, 9th Avenue - not so much)
- Disorganized menu - not all items (including lunch specials) were listed, incorrect prices, etc.

Gazala's Place
709 Ninth Avenue
b/t 48th & 49th Streets
Menu Pages listing