Apr
19
2010
0


Why Don’t You Eat Me: Pitza! Pitza!

balade 2

This week I’ve got yet another East Village newcomer that’s definitely worth checking out.  Balade serves traditional Lebanese cuisine in a traditional Lebanese atmosphere. I got my first taste of Lebanese food back in Memphis from a family who made amazing meat pies. I instantly fell in love and have been in search for meat pies that rival them ever since. So, when I heard about Balade, of course I had to go and check it out.

Balade

I’ve been twice for lunch and both times the place was pretty empty (I’m hoping they are busier for dinner or that my rave review will amp up their business). My first trip, I ordered the Sambousik (those meat pies I keep talking about) and the vegetarian mazmeez (hummus, tabouleh, baba ganouj, and labneh with toum) for appetizers. Raise your hands if you don’t know what half those words mean. Yup, thought so. Feel free to Google. The meat pies were good. Unfortunately, not as good as the homemade ones from childhood, but definitely worth going back for. I loved the mazmeez platter. I’m typically not a fan of tabouleh, but theirs was perfect with the lemon juice on top. The hummus and baba ganouj were both good and the labneh was great.

For the mains I ordered the Greek pitza (yes, they spell it like that and it makes me love it even more) and meat shawarma. The pitza is just a pita that they pop in the oven and remove once crispy. The Greek pitza had, as I’m sure you could guess, feta cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, green peppers, lebanese zaatar, kalamata olives, and basil. The meat shawarma had slices of beef and lamb with tomatoes, pickles, parsley, sumac and tahini sauces. The pickles on there make it even better. I know, I know. There I go again with the pickle talk.

My second trip we decided to try the kebbeh which is a mixture of beef and cracked wheat shaped into shells and filled with a combination of seasoned ground beef and diced onions. Not my fave, but the odds were stacked against it from the beginning since my boyfriend’s mom makes the same thing and they’re absolutely out of this world good.

I give Balade 4 out of 5 mouths for being the kind of place that makes me keep wanting to go back. I swear it’s not just because they have Lebanese pitza!

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See you next Munchin’ Monday!

xx,

WhyDon’tYouEatMe

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Apr
12
2010
1


Why Don’t You Eat Me: Let Me See Your Lobster Roll

baby-lobster

Summer is almost upon us, people and what does one crave during the summer (or really anytime of year)? LOBSTER ROLLS! Below I’ve compiled a list of my very favorite places in NYC to munch on these yummy rolls. So put on your lobster bib cause you’re going to get hungry!

1. Luke’s Lobster: This is the lobster roll newcomer and has made its the presence known. People are saying screw waiting in line for Caracas (another fave) and heading to Luke’s. At Luke’s, they don’t pile on the mayo, but do pile on the delicious lobster meat which gets an A+ in my book. (They also follow me on Twitter which makes me heart them. You follow me on Twitter, you get brownie (lobster?) points!).

lukes

2. Ed’s Lobster Bar: Ed’s goes a different route and does use a lot of mayo, but they also STUFF the bun chock full of delicious lobster meat. It’s mighty good and what makes it even better are the pickles that they include. What can I say? I’m a sucker for a good pickle.

eds lobster

3. Xie Xie: You might ask why I dare have an Asian restaurant on this exclusive lobster roll list, but look a little closer at the menu and you’ll find that they have an Asian Lobster Roll (and it is AWESOME). With Kewpie mayo, tarragon, and crispy shallots, they’ve created an outside-the-box lobster roll.

xiexie

4. Mermaid Inn: This is an old standby that unfortunately has been overshadowed by all the newbies. I still wanted to include it in my list, however, because it’s been a staple in my life for many years and is still a solid lobster roll even if no longer at the top of the list.

mermaid inn

5. Pearl Oyster Bar: I was taken on a date here years ago by a banker trying to make a good first impression. While the date was anything but memorable, the lobster roll made a lasting impression! I formed zero interest in my banker date, but I did form a lifelong bond with this fabulous lobster roll. Thank goodness for good food because good food can make any bad date bearable.

pearl oyster bar

Now there’s one place that I haven’t been yet, but have heard enough about to know that it should be mentioned. That place would be Mary’s Fish Camp. You may ask why I haven’t been and that’s a good question. I don’t know. It’s a fluke, but I plan on correcting this mishap ASAP.

Now go on and pick one of the above-mentioned places and eat until your lobster-roll loving heart is content! Come on.  You know you want to!

See you next Munchin’ Monday!

xx,

WhyDon’tYouEatMe

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Apr
05
2010
2


Why Don’t You Eat Me: Posted Up

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This weekend I was fortunate enough to go to Del Posto to celebrate my one year anniversary with my bf (I know, I know. I’m a lucky girl who gets fed well). I’ve been wanting to try Del Posto since it opened and was super excited that I finally got my chance to try yet another Batali restaurant. I walk in and it’s like I’ve walked into old Hollywood.  At first I was slightly overwhelmed by this massive place with it’s piano-playing and mezzanine style seating, but then I started to get into the whole atmosphere. That was until the maitre’ d  automatically assumed my bf made the reservation and ignored me (meanwhile I’m the one with the Italian last name).

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Obvi I’d done my research on this place and knew EXACTLY what I wanted.  I asked the sommelier to recommend a bottle of wine to complement what I wanted and he picked a GREAT bottle. So what did we order? To start, we ordered the lobster salad fra diavola with broccoli rabe and dried orange and the carne cruda with truffled salsa, parmigiano-reggiano and shaved porcini. I didn’t love the lobster, but the carne cruda (like a steak tartar) was pretty good (although not nearly as tasty as Locanda Verde’s).

I know how it works at Italian restaurants- first, you order an antipasti, then a primi, and then a secondi. More often than not I’m more there for the pasta and less for the meat or fish so I stop at the primi. So, I opted for the tasting of three pastas. The waiter asked if we’re sure that will be enough (I thought it would), but my poor boyfriend was guilted into ordering the roasted lamb rack with tail ragu (which he later regretted and admitted that I was right :::ahem as always:::). The three pastas I chose for the tasting were spaghetti with dungeness crab, sliced jalapeno and minced scallion, Lidia’s spicy calamaretti with fruti di mare alla marinara, and orecchiette with lamb neck sausage, cherry peppers, and  broccoli rabe. Both the spaghetti and orecchiette were good, but I really enjoyed the calamaretti. The pasta, seafood, and marinara sauce were all perfect together.

By this point I’m stuffed, but alas, we still have the roasted “guilt” lamb on it’s way. The lamb probably would have been quite good had I not been so stuffed that I couldn’t enjoy it

Last but not least, the waiter brought out a small dessert tasting. It was good, but not amazing (again when I’m that stuffed I need dessert to be insanely good for me to continue stuffing my face).

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Del Posto was definitely an “experience.” Unfortunately, I think they’ve made this place more about the experience and less about the food. Don’t get me wrong, the pastas were great and I’d like to be shoving some of that calarmaretti in my face right now, but all in all I’d only give Del Posto 3 out of 5 mouths.

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Give me good food not glitz and glamour please! Or give me both. Batali, I love you but I’m heading back to Babbo or Lupa next time!

See you next Munchin’ Monday!

xx,

WhyDon’tYouEatMe

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Mar
29
2010
1


Why Don’t You Eat Me: We All Live in a Yellow Submarine

sub2

Let me tell you: It’s about time something new and notable opened up in my neighborhood! I constantly complain about how I can’t find a decent thing to eat in Murray Hill and Wednesday was my lucky day because No. 7 Sub opened in the Ace Hotel on 29th and Broadway. The owners first opened up a No. 7 Sub in Fort Greene in Brooklyn and have just branched out into Manhattan (thank you , because I don’t do much  :::cough cough::: any traveling to BK).

No. 7 Sub has been getting quite a bit of press, so I obviously had to investigate. I  heard that they ran out of bread on opening day (oh the horror!), so I made sure to get there in adequate time. I ended up arriving around 12:30 and there was a small line out the door.  It gave me plenty of time to look over the option and figure out what I was going to try.

sub1

I opted for the roast beef with romaine, pickled blueberries, doenjang, and smoked gouda. I know, people! Enough with the roast beef already, right? I can’t say no to a sandwich with pickled blueberries! I also ordered their homemade hibiscus ginger ale (I regret that decision). The roast beef sandwich was pretty tasty. I’d definitely order it again at some point. The hibiscus ginger ale was not my cup of tea, however. Oh well. Can’t win ‘em all.

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There are quite a few other subs that I want to try as well such as the ceviche with cucumber, red onion, avocado, fried hominy,   and leche de tigre mayo (whatever that may be??), the ham with pineapple, maraschino cherries, potato salad, and american cheese, and also the imitation lobster thermidor with capers, potato chips, and swiss cheese. As you can see, this isn’t your typical sub shop which is why I was excited to try it out.

sub3

All in all my sandwich was good. Not great. I definitely wouldn’t throw my boyfriend out of bed for an opportunity to eat one of these sandwiches, but I will definitely be back to try some of the others. It’s a good lunch spot for people that work in the neighborhood and don’t mind spending $9 on a sandwich.

I’d give No. 7 Sub 3 out of 5 mouths for being a solid sub joint with creative, outside the box subs.

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See you next Munchin’ Monday!

xx,

WhyDon’tYouEatMe

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Mar
21
2010
1


Why Don’t You Eat Me: Wee, Wee, Wee All the Way Home

This Little Piggy

This week this little piggy didn’t go to the market, but this little piggy did have one heck of a sandwich. About six weeks ago the owners of Artichoke Basille opened This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef and I’ve been dying to try it ever since I caught wind of it. So, this little piggy set out on an epic journey from Murray Hill to my favorite ‘hood in Manhattan, the East Village, in order to finally try one of their roast beef sandwiches.

I walk in and the owner is behind the counter serving the sandwiches to customers himself (love it). I checked out the menu and saw that I had three options: “This Way” (roast beef au jus on an egg roll with Cheez Whiz), “That Way” (roast beef with mozzarella, onions, and gravy on half a hero), and “The Other Thing” which had pastrami versus roast beef. I OBVIOUSLY opted for the “This Way” with a side of fries. How could I not go for the one with Cheez Whiz on it? I mean, really, people.

This Way

I must admit that I am glad that I set out on this  journey for roast beef while I was nursing my St. Patty’s Day hangover because it is most definitely great hangover food. This is a mighty tasty sandwich with or without a hangover. It definitely hit the spot. I have to also admit that I’m very glad that I walked 1.5 miles to get there and 1.5 miles back because this little piggy felt like she needed to hit the gym afterwards.  Although, I may or may not have made a stop at Momofuku Milk Bar for a cookie on my way back… I have no willpower, I know.

Fries

If you’re not in the mood for their awesome hand cut fries then they also have homemade macaroni salad and homemade potato salad which I will definitely make a point to try upon my next visit.

This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef made me miss the East Village even more than usual and is definitely a place I will stop in again when this little piggy is in need of a little roast beef comfort.

All in all I give This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef 4 out of 5 mouths for being melt in your mouth tasty and for making me crave a roast beef sandwich even without a hangover.

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See you next Munchin’ Monday!

xx,

WhyDon’tYouEatMe

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