Category Archives: New York City

My Good Eats Review: Dekalb Market Hall, Brooklyn, NY

Dekalb Market Hall– Brooklyn, NY

July 2017

Rating: 1 (not edible) to 5 (food heaven!): A Solid 3.5

First Impression: “unfinished”; “incomplete”; “some vendors need to get their sh*t together”…

Overall impression: some vendor(s) is amazing and some fell flat (on their faces! Cuz I will not be a returning customer… smh) and one could easily over-splurged and NOT know what you had for lunch… LOL (Total Spent – $46+!! What?!?!!)

The “Good” – definitely will return for more!
-Daigo Hand Roll Bar (loveeee! Got the Spicy Tuna/Seared Jap Beef/Snow crab w avocado) $18-20… exceptional & amazing! Would gladly spend all my $$$ here!

-Cuzins Duzins – mini donuts! Fresh made on the spot! This was so delicious, mini little drops of wonders! I got the powder sugar – I’m in love! Get it!!

The “Bad” – these vendors need to get their sh*t together!
-Taco Delicatessen & Churros Place – GO FOR THE Churros – SKIP the tacos! It was not good.  We grabbed the taco box (basically they just give you a box.. there’s no saving – all the same 2/$7, 3/$11, 4/$14… or a la carte.)  The carne asada was horrible, no flavor whatsoever, tortilla was rubbery! Very chewy.  The roast crab was fishy! Nasty! Ewww….   My Cali fam would laugh their a$$ off at this joint.   Go to Chelsea Market/ Los Tacos #1, muuuuuch better!!!

-The Churros (same operation as the Tacos place) were good, not blown away… but better than expected because it’s the same operational team w the Taco place… ugh.  (Although the so-called “churro unicorn” looked nothing like advertised… we were suckers!)

Honorable mentions:
-Wiki Wiki Pokebowl – funny story, my sister wanted Poke Bowl, went there for Wiki Wiki.
Sister: “hi, I’d like a poke bowl”…
Wiki: “sorry, we don’t have any bowls, we are waiting for delivery… not taking orders”…
Sister: “….  it’s lunch time… wow”…
Wiki: … walks away…

-Viet place – I was majorly craving a Viet Ice Coffee
Me: “Hi, I’d like a Viet Ice Coffee please…”
Viet place: ” oh yea… sorry, we ran out…”
Me: looks at time, 11:45am… “but you just opened…?”
Viet place: “yea… we don’t have the delivery yet”
Me: “wow… ok”…
Viet place: “we had a bunch yesterday!”
Me: …. well some of us were celebrating July 4th by stuffing our faces with BBQ meats! *smh*

-Nobletree – got a cold brew, the guy came through & went to the basement to bring up the giant container!! Thank you!!! So sweet! $4.50 + $1 tip, $5.50 – and I dropped that damn thing because I tripped over someone’s cart on the damn train! FML

Give it a few weeks for it to smooth out their kinks!

#Willtravelforfood

My Good Eats Review: KOI Restaurant, NYC

KOI Restaurant – NYC

June 2017

Rating: 1 (not edible) to 5 (food heaven!): A Solid 5

While I didn’t enjoy their KOI cousin at the Planet Hollywood in Vegas… this location is outstanding!

From the moment of getting “lost” at the entrance… to stuffing our faces with exceptional desserts; we had a wonderful dining & social experience.  Located inside the beautiful Bryant Park hotel, upon entering make a sharp right & look UP! (To avoid bothering the very nice gentleman manning the hotel elevator entrance or the concierge to your left! Although both parties will gladly point you to KOI).

They have a waiting/open area by the bar for you to grab a drink while your tardy parties arrive.  Check in with hostess and we were all set!  Although we would have preferred a “booth” seating but I guess a table will do.

KOI is very loud, trendy, dim lighting but not too dark, a mix of all ages and crowd (tourists & business peeps looking to dent their expense account! lol).  Service was attentive for the most part, although our server suffered a bit of short term memory loss… as in, forgotten who ordered what – required a bit of shuffling dishes… it just reflects poorly on an establishment – who should pride itself in knowing their patrons for the night.

KOI offers up quite a menu, starters – shared plates – signature sushi rolls – hot entrees and stand alone hand rolls.  We shared everything!

-Creamy Sea Bass Tempura! Holy sh*t! This was so good!! Comes tossed in a mild spicy sauce – the sea bass was indeed creamy, moist but the skin stayed crispy.. how?!?!

-Northernlight roll – this was good, but didn’t blow me away, however my friends loved it!

-Dragon roll – OK – I know what you’re thinking BUT don’t even! This Dragon roll was amazing! Deconstructed – topped with tons of flakey seasoned panko – mind blown!

-Skirt Steak – nothing special – it was a pre-cut steak… total skip (I wanted to try the miso cod – but our server recommended the steak).

-Braised Short Ribs – this was very tender and well seasoned – friends liked it very much.
-Sautéed Shrimps – this was OK.  Again, not blown away just good.

So based on the above it should be 3 stars, right? Well the dessert was sinfully epic! Seriously – my Do-Over would be “shared plates/rolls/desserts”!
Get the KOI Sundae!! Amazingly good!

#Willtravelforfood

My Good Eats Review: TOGETHER Burmese Restaurant, Brooklyn, NY

TOGETHER Burmese Restaurant – Brooklyn, NY

June 2017

Rating: 1 (not edible) to 5 (food heaven!): A Solid 5

 

I am in love with that “Mohinga”… savory, sour, crunchy goodness – just amazingly good!

Together Restaurant is nestled on a quiet block but busy street (it’s on a semi-main road with lots of traffic & delivery trucks) – however the block itself is a mix of grocery, bodega, hardware and some odd stores. With its loud red curtain blocking the interior view – passerby or potential patrons would miss it in a blink of an eye.  Although the signage of its namesake is on the top – I’ve witnessed first hand many curious ‘potential’ patrons just glanced & walked by.

Warning:  Do Not Be Turned Off By the Decor… it’s just a very homely place.  The restaurant looks a little dated, cozy space, with “American” news on one TV and cheesy karaoke music video on the other (very cute).

The staff is very nice, very sweet! The waitress/cook/server spoke little English but she understood the universal language of “pointing to the menu”.

Now the food – everything was so delicious! Something about Southeast Asian – love love love all the spices, cilantro, peanuts, lime, vermicelli, chili, fish sauce, simplicity at its best!

Mohinga “fish soup w/ rice noodle” (every Yelpers raved about it!) – GET IT! It was awesome! I cannot wait to go back for another round!

Tea Leaf salad, while it’s a little salty, it has great texture and will go well with your curry entree. Dried tea leaf with peanuts, lima bean, cabbage, onion (seasonal)

Curry Chicken w/ Paratha – which is served with a roti like bread. Yum!!!

Curry Pork Belly – spicy – very tender and not very spicy, goes well with the rice and cucumber that comes with.

Coconut Jelly, this is as good as I remembered it… most Asian household have had made this one time… it’s basically coconut milk with gelatin (like jello!)

Shwe Yin Aye – now this ones’ crazy – it’s a bowl consists of salted bread, ice cubes, coconut jelly, glutinous rice, sago in coconut milk.  My first spoonful was salty & then sweet, my tastebuds were confused. Then I tried again – it’s not bad.  I like my desserts sweet but this one’s a must try for you 1st timers!  Total bill for all this food – $45 (tip & tax) – totally worth it.

Bottom line – GO. NOW. EAT. HERE.

#Willtravelforfood

My Good Eats Review: Ginger and Lemongrass, Whitestone, NY

Ginger & Lemongrass – Whitestone, NY (Queens/Long Island border)

May 2017

Rating: 1 (not edible) to 5 (food heaven!): A Solid 5

This place is a hidden gem… and when I say “hidden” I mean freaking far…! Well for brooklynites – yes! For anyone w/o a car, impossible! It took us a good 1.5hr w/ minor traffic to get to… Whitestone, Queens… (the only time I would be jelly of my Queens peeps!)  – SO WORTH THE DRIVE!  #willtravelforfood

Ginger & Lemongrass looks misplaced, on a residential block, next to a no-name gas station… (Delta?!? What?! Idk… never heard of it before) but what a quint find!  I can only venture a guess – this used to be a 1 family home, turned to a restaurant.  The outside is unassuming, with its namesake in yellow and a few bar seats facing outside patrons through its window.

Once inside the cozy restaurant, the decor will welcome you with brightly painted mellow yellow steel chairs… and thick block tables.  Cute light fixtures and tiny pottery on the walls with self-serving utensils/chopsticks/menu/napkins – a side (bottle!) of sriracha & hoisin sauce.  The staff is very welcoming, attentive at times (we never got small plates for the spring rolls… my niece had to use double napkins on the bare table… a little germ will make you stronger, right?!?).

While Ginger & Lemongrass call themselves Viet-Thai fusion, I think their best sellers are the Viet items… actually it’s the infamous “Beef Pho w/ Marrow”… YES!!! It comes with a giant half bone “melt in your mouth” marrow!!! (Plan your visit now!).  While glancing through the menu – we knew at first sight what we were getting.

-Spring rolls (Pork version… ) although, I still prefer the traditional Vietnamese spring roll skin & filling, this one is good – too meaty for my taste, and the crispy Chinese spring roll skins was more greasy than the traditional skin.  My niece loved it!  Well she is 5… what kid doesn’t like fried anything? 😉  – $9
-2 Large Beef Pho w/ Marrow; comes with all the fixing (bean sprouts, jalapeño, cilantro, lime, basil, thinly sliced beef) – what’s different is that this broth is very rich, more than the traditional Pho, which is usually on the lighter side, it’s also a little more milky… and there are chunks of beef briskets!  I know!!?! And of course this giant bone marrow… roasted to perfection topped with a creamy well seasoned pesto…  mmm…  I literally had foodgasm.  Seriously. – $34
-2 Viet Iced-coffee w/ condensed milk – it’s the ONLY way to drink this…  – $6

Total bill $65 (tax & 20% tip included) – it’s definitely more pricey than your local Viet joint… but there’s no happy ending… LOL

Take a drive! #happyfoodhunting

My Good Eats Review: Barrel & Fare, Park Slope

Barrel and Fare – Park Slope, Brooklyn

December 2015

Rating: 1 (not edible) to 5 (food heaven!): A Solid 3.5

It’s a bit off the beaten path away from your usual Park Slope eateries but it’s definitely worth a visit. Nice place situated on the corner, bar seating and cozy decor.

We did however missed out on Happy Hour $1 oysters. It’s from 4 -7pm every weekday, enjoy!

Now, here’s what we stuffed our belly with: Mini Lobster rolls (it was ok – kind of disappointing as the lobster to roll ratio was not proportion, too much bread, not enough meat), over-priced oysters (the shells were very dirty, assuming someone didn’t wash them clean or just bad shucking), short rib empanada (lackluster… sort of bland, as I would expect a more flavorful to the short ribs), Lobster Risotto (tasty & rich – small portion but worth getting), Stuffed Pork Chops (delicious and savory, good portion for an entree), and Seared Salmon (kind of boring – it was forgettable and that’s never a good thing), Brussels Sprouts and Truffle Fries (underwhelmed in taste).  Service was good and attentive, then again… We were the only dining patrons for most of the night… surprisingly for the holiday rush, no one came to dinner.

The menu is simple, some of the entrees packed a powerful punch… However, there are a few miss and would be a welcome opportunity for improvement.

My Good Eats Review: OCabanon, Chelsea

OCabanon – Chelsea, NYC

December 2015

Rating: 1 (not edible) to 5 (food heaven!): A Solid 3.5

What a great find in an unexpected Chelsea area!

I was looking up places to have an early holiday lunch with coworkers nearby and stumbled here via Yelp! So thank you Yelpers!  We came with no expectations whatsoever because every time it’s a “fusion” type place, it just never ends well… This place had tapas with both French and Spanish influence on the menu… So safe to say it’s a fusion restaurant.

The decor is simple, silver metal tables with bar stool high chairs, and simple plate setting. Solo dining at the bar available or smaller tables upfront by the entrance.

We grabbed a table near the back as it was kind of chilly that day.  I actually liked the holiday touches with the miniature nut crackers at each table.

Service: slow but very nice, & at times funny! You’ll have to experience that for yourself.

Food: Beet salads (coworkers loved it! I’m not a big fan of beets… bleh ) escargot (must have!) in olive oil, butter & parsley baked to perfection, serve with crostini!

IMG_Ocabanon1

Entrees: Salmon burger w/ fries, Roast chicken w/ mash & green beans, pasta w/ shrimps, mussels, and scallops.  Coworker didn’t like the salmon burger, but the pasta dish was good. Get the roast chicken – it’s tender, moist and flavorful!  Everything about the chicken was good, including the veggie pairing of green beans, definitely mash and baby carrots.  I was so full but somehow still managed to have a shared dessert.

IMG_Ocabanon3

We ended our gluttony with a chocolate “xmas log”.  I didn’t like it but others did.  It’s a toss up!  Overall, good food, good service so I would come back and try other items.

 

My Good Eats Review: Madison Square Tavern – Midtown West, NYC

Madison Square Tavern – Midtown West, NYC

October 2015

Rating: 1 (not edible) to 5 (food heaven!): A Solid 1 (seriously not edible…)

My coworker and I walk passed this place so many times and decided to have lunch here one day.   The decor looks good, like a mature ‘bar’ place with museum-like painting on display.  Decent looking bar set up, so maybe it’s good for happy hour?

We came here for lunch and let’s just say we will probably not come back for round 2…

Food: We had the braised bacon (a big slab of pork belly meat, braised & served over beans and broccoli rabe), steak sandwich and risotto…  sounds good right? NOPE… the braised bacon was over cooked, the meat was chewy and sweet does not go well with bitter (broccoli rabe), I kept rinsing the after taste with water.  The steak sandwich was poorly constructed, lackluster in taste and flavor of any kind and left me hungry for a Mickey D’s Big Mac… yes, that bad.  OMG… how do you mess up risotto?!?!!  We were expecting a “rich, creamy, full of flavor” sensation to be served… instead we got, “watery, luke warm and bland”.   It looked like the risotto wasn’t fully cooked or maybe they rushed it or added too much stock?  It’s not thick at all… the stock was watery.  Disappointed.  We always try to finish our food and not be wasteful… but this lunch was extremely underwhelming and we just could not suffer through it.  We couldn’t wait to get the bill and leave.

Service: It started out ok – not busy so we got our orders in right away and drinks; however once our food is on the table, didn’t see the waiter much and took over 20 mins to get our bill… we just wanted to leave.  By the time we had finished our food, we kept waiting for someone to come by our table… I have no idea why no one was working the front tables.   We were just glad to exit this place.

Overall, not a cheap lunch, save your Benjamins and go elsewhere for great food!