eat. shop. love. nyc.

Solid breakfast sandwich at Zaitzeff
January 28, 2011, 11:01 am
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Zaitzeff is best known for its juicy Kobe beef burgers, but what you probably didn’t know is that they have a really delicious egg and cheese breakfast sandwich that is $4.75. It’s made with organic eggs and melted cheddar cheese, and you can request tomatoes, avocado, or bacon. I just requested Tabasco.


The bacon here is not nearly as delicious as the bacon at Frankie’s/Cafe Pedlar at 17 Clinton St. just on the other side of Houston, but the eggs are cooked much better than at Frankie’s (just cooked, not overcooked), and I like the Portuguese bun better than an English muffin or biscuit any day. On a street where you have several excellent breakfast sandwich options (Clinton St. Baking Co., Frankie’s/Cafe Pedlar), Zaitzeff is definitely one to try.

Eat: Zaitzeff (EV/LES) 18 Ave. B at 2nd St. Sun – Thu, 12 pm to 11:30 pm; Fri & Sat, 12 pm to 1:00 am. There are also locations in Financial District and Midtown.


Pho sandwich? Pho R.E.A.L.
January 14, 2011, 5:25 pm
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I heart pho. The northern Vietnamese noodle soup makes my heart go pitter patter and soothes my soul. I’d been hearing rumors of pho in sandwich form for some time. I knew this sandwich to be located at Sunny and Annie’s Deli on the corner of Ave. B and 6th St., and I’d passed the deli several times without so much as a second glance. The deli looked pretty standard, and I’m not much of a deli sandwich kind of gal so I had tucked this tidbit of knowledge away in my memory banks for a day when I might be in the mood for pho and a sandwich simultaneously.

Recently, that day came.

Admittedly, I was a little inebriated. I was starving, and we were on our way to No Malice Palace and I just had to eat something. Anything. And then we passed Sunny and Annie’s, and I knew it was meant to be.

The Pho R.E.A.L. ($6.99) is a roast beef sandwich stuffed with bean sprouts, basil, cilantro, avocado, tomato, red onion, hoisin, and sriracha sauce. It can be served hot or cold. I know, I know. Real pho doesn’t come with avocado and tomatoes, but let it go. It’s a damn good sandwich.

So good, in fact, that I could not stop thinking about it and had to have it again within the next three days. I found myself thinking about it so often that it became an unhealthy obsession. I needed to know: would it be as good sober as it was drunk?

It was.

Eat: Sunny and Annie’s (East Village) 94 Avenue B (at 6th), New York, NY 10009-6265. (212) 677-3131

Under the radar late night eats at Cibao
November 23, 2010, 12:02 pm
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MAN those rice and beans are delicious. Service blows (the two waitresses sat chatting in the corner with some friends while we stared at them for 10 minutes trying to catch their eye to get the bill), but I’ll be back anyway because Cibao is open late (ate there around 1:30 am on a Monday night), it’s cheap, and the food is actually quite good.

I was hungry, and Baohaus was closed. Dejected, I started walking home when I saw that Cibao was open. I had always been a little curious about the place – there’s always someone eating something homey and tasty-looking there – but I had been less than seduced by the lack of ambiance. But maybe that IS the ambiance.

We stopped in, asked the waitress what we should order, and she recommended that we get the chicken with rice and beans. We also ordered the stew of the day, which was okay, but for $4, I wasn’t complaining.

When the juicy, garlicky, tangy, savory, moist roast chicken came out with flavorful skin and that soft yellow rice and a huge plate of red beans, I was pleasantly surprised by how effing delicious it was. Also, it was a giant portion, and between two people, we had enough left over for another meal this morning. So it was doubly delicious, and even tasted good cold. Don’t judge me for craving cold chicken and rice and beans upon waking. Try it for yourself. The chicken was $10.50 and lasted for 4 servings. How is anyone going to complain about that?

I’ve also heard good things about the Cuban sandwich ($4.50) here – apparently the roast pork is killer. For cheap, hearty Latin food – even late at night – Cibao is a solid choice.

Eat: Cibao (LES) 72 Clinton St. at Rivington, NYC. (212) 228-0703. Open early AND open late! 6 am to 2 am daily.

Soft shell crab banh mi
June 9, 2010, 11:29 am
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I love soft shell crab. I would slap a baby (thanks, Kim) for some soft shell crab. My summertime go-to for SSC is Great NY Noodletown, but I’ve added a new SSC resto to my rotation after a chance encounter one lazy afternoon. I rarely get up to Gramercy to eat, but I had purchased a massage at Essential Spa on Groupon and found myself in the area. As my eating PIC and I began to amble downtown, we came across Bao Noodles, and we decided that we really wanted to have some noodles. We ordered our noodles, and then we saw this sign:

We decided we would get the $8.95 soft shell crab banh mi to share as our appetizer. It was the best decision we made all month.

Soft, chewy, crusty bread filled with deep fried soft shell crab, cucumber, pickled carrots and daikon radish, and a whole lot of cilantro served with fish sauce and hot sauce on the side. Heaven. Continue reading

Taste of 7th Street was SO worth it

I finally got the chance to try some of places on 7th St. that have been on my to-eat list for quite some time: Caracas Arepa Bar, Luke’s Lobster, and Porchetta. I was already familiar with Butter Lane’s delicious little cupcakes and Xoom smoothies were new to me. For just $18 each, I bought tickets to the Taste of 7th St. food festival and it was worth every single penny.

We started off on a slushy Saturday afternoon at Porchetta, where they seemed to have the mass service thing down to a science. The line moved quickly and we got our snack size porchetta sandwiches almost immediately. We ate them outside while we waited in line for Luke’s Lobster, and Michele, an Italian native, told us that porchetta (pronounced porKETta), a savory, slow cooked, moist and fatty pork roast, is typical street fare in Italy. According to Wikipedia, the body of the pig is gutted, deboned, arranged carefully with layers of stuffing, meat, fat, and skin, then rolled, spitted, and roasted, traditionally over wood. Porchetta is usually heavily seasoned with garlic, rosemary, oregano, fennel, and or other herbs. The porchetta sandwich at Porchetta NYC was pretty oregano heavy and stuffed between crusty Italian bread. I’d take this street food over hot dogs and halal carts any day.

We finished our porchetta sandwiches and made it to the counter of Luke’s Lobster, where we were handed snack size lobster roll of cool, lightly seasoned knuckle and claw lobster meat (no fillers!) stuffed inside a warm, buttered slice of toasted bread. Phenomenal. The lobster was perfectly succulent, and while two of our crew prefer warm lobster, we all thoroughly enjoyed the rolls. It was definitely the highlight of the food crawl! Easily the best lobster roll I’ve ever had: succulent, lobster-y, and unadulterated, just the way I like it.

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Baohaus should have a topping station
February 22, 2010, 1:27 pm
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The beef was meaty.

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Gorge yourself at Taste of 7th St. foodfest Feb 27-28 for $18

I’ve been meaning to try some of the most raved-about places on 7th St. in the East Village (Caracas Arepa Bar, Luke’s Lobster, Porchetta, Butter Lane – this one I know well and love, Xoom), but somehow I just haven’t gotten around to getting myself out there. Thanks to the good folks over at Scoop St., I now have the chance to try them all for just $18. Buy advance discounted tickets here through the weekend only.

The scoop features nearly half-off the best signature menu items of 7th Street’s constellation of culinary delight! A mere $18 with this Scoop St. exclusive gets you $35 worth of the following sweets and savories at a discount that’s the chance of a lifetime (with an added bonus of $1 off beers from select bars!)

First, Caracas Arepa Bar’s authentic Venezuelan pocket sandwiches, considered the Latin sloppy Joe, will have you dreaming of the Carribean coast. This scoop gets you one De Pabellón arepa! Tucked inside these golden, soft-pocket corn arepas, is a magical world where you can build a pyramid of deliciousness– starting with a base of black beans, white salty cheese and building up to flavor-infused shredded beef and layered sweet plantains!

Next, get a lobster roll at Luke’s Lobster! With the minimalist mentality of a true Maine lobsterman, only the sweet knuckles and claws lie atop these grilled buns and embellishments strictly include a squirt of mayo and a pinch of celery salt. The sheer simplicity at the lobster shack is its forte, and these irresistible rolls are considered the “Holy Grail of crustacean cuisine.”

Thirdly, devour one of Porchetta’s mouthwatering pork sandwiches, where you will feel like you’ve wandered into the finer food stalls and butcher shops of Rome! With a plethora of different textures, you can opt for the moist, fine grained loin meat or the chewy, fatty type that melts in your mouth.

Fourthly, get two cupcakes at Butter Lane, made with pure ingredients like real vanilla beans, pure cocoa, rich darkchocolate, and fresh fruit that will fill your tummy with yumminess! Butter Lane’s treats prove that the homestyle wholesomeness from your mother’s kitchen can be found in New York’s urban jungle. Sink your teeth into delectable frosting flavor classics like key lime or blueberry or, for the more eclectic tastes, flavors like cream-cheese or grapefruit ginger frosting. Continue reading