October 2011 | I just want to eat!

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Old German Bakery in Hoboken, NJ

It has been a while I wanted to sit in the Old German Bakery in Hoboken to sip a hot cocoa and try one of their cakes. The bakery opened in January 2011 and I think it is a good alternative to Carlo's bakery! Not that German and Italian pastries have anything in common! It might be because of the crazy lines in front of Carlo's, made of people who do not care about those who are just trying to pass through and use the sidewalk for what it is supposed to be! 

Anyway, I already tried the Old German Bakery before for a quick snack: their pretzel bread is excellent, not too salty; their almond croissant is to die for! Very buttery with a decadent almond paste in it! It has been a very long time I did not have such a good one!
So today, after a long walk in the cold, we decided to go have a hot chocolate and try one of their cakes. I am very particular when it comes to hot chocolate: I need milk, not water! Although it took them a little bit of time to prepare it, it was good. Not the best (like Angelina in Paris or Max Brenner in NYC), but good! And with milk...This was perfect for a cold day!
For the cake, we decided to try a cherry and crispy chocolate one: this might not have been the best choice and we should have probably tried a more standard cake like a black forrest or a strudel. The top part with the cherry was my favorite part. The issue I had was with the bottom part: there was something chewy! 

I will definitely go back and try a different cake (they have plenty) with my hot chocolate!

Image of Hot Cocoa and pastries at The Old German Bakery in Hoboken, NJ
Enjoy (I did)!

And remember: I just want to eat!

Old German Bakery on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The feast at Second Avenue Deli in New York!

I love eating in a deli: they have simple and hearty food that can be so good! I never knew what a deli was before coming to this country as we do not have this in France. 
Deli comes from delikatessen (German) inherited from délicatesse in French and means delicates things to eat! It is typically stores where you will buy food by their weight. In some European countries, delicatessen are fine grocery stores. New York is well known for deli and outside the big apple, some deli will even call themselves New York deli! The most famous ones in New York are: Katz's (also famous because of the movie "when Harry met Sally" - I am sure they are fed up to be reminded), Carnegie Deli and Second Avenue Deli. I would personally add Junior's.

The Second Avenue Deli opened in 1954 on the second avenue, but had to close from its original location because of a rent increase and dispute. It reopened in 2007, after a two years hiatus, right below Murray Hill and has now a second location on the Upper East Side. Its history has been marked by the dramatic murder of its owner in 1996 during a robbery and they are still offering a reward for any information that would lead to the arrest of the murderer.
The menu offers traditional deli dishes like matzo ball soup, potato pancake, chopped liver, as well as new items such as smoked fishes.

Image of Matzoh ball soup, potato pancake and pastrami sandwich at 2nd second avenue deli in NYC, New York
So, we decided to go for a nice little lunch. The restaurant was not as packed as what I thought. Maybe because of its location. This place has a nice nostalgic atmosphere with the booths and the old photos on the wall. The service was courteous and efficient, although they were ready to clear the table before we finished eating!!! What I like in deli, is that they bring you pickles and cabbage in different forms (pickled or as a slaw) at the beginning! The pickles were sour pickles, very good but also very, very salty! We tried three of their specialties:
  • The matzo ball soup: it was served with spaetzles (egg noodles from Eastern Europe), carrots and dill. The soup was good, but not as good as Junior's: the broth was not as tasty, same for the matzo ball.
  • The potato pancake with apple sauce (you can pick sour cream). It was ok. The apple sauce was not that great and the potato pancake was kind of tasteless. Once again, Junior's is the best.
  • Hot Pastrami sandwich: this was good. The meat was fatty enough and tasty. They serve it on rye bread only. I put some cabbage to add some crunchiness to the sandwich.
Image of Bosco chocolate soda at Second 2nd Avenue deli in NYC, New York
At the end of the meal, they offered us a Bosco chocolate soda shot: this was a nice touch. First time I tried and I liked it! Pretty interesting  to have a cold sparkling cocoa!

So, at the end, the food was not bad, but I definitely prefer Junior's or the incredible Pastrami Reuben at Friedman's in Chelsea Market!!!

Enjoy (I did)!

And remember: I just want to eat!
2nd Ave Deli on Urbanspoon

Enjoying lunch at Second Avenue Deli in NYC!

Hot pastrami sandwich, matzo ball soup and potato pancake!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Brunch at The Turning Point in Hoboken, NJ

We went for brunch at The Turning Point in Hoboken, New Jersey. They serve breakfast, brunch and lunch. This place is always packed and we wanted to see if there was a reason for it. Their menu is quite large, with pancakes, waffles, eggs, soups, etc...We went for the banana foster waffle and the scrambled eggs. I will start with the eggs as it is straight forward: the eggs were dry!!! I do not understand how difficult it is to make good scrambled eggs! On top of that, the potatoes could have been cooked a little longer!
The waffle was good at least: it was served with a sweet dark rum sauce and they put an entire banana on it. The only mishap was that they served walnuts instead of toasted pecans as indicated on the menu. 

Considering the price, I think the Turning Point is at the same level as any Diner and I would probably go back there for their waffles and pancakes.

Enjoy (I did)!

And remember: I just want to eat! 
Turning Point on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cedric, A French Bistro in Harlem

Cedric is a 40 seats restaurant in Harlem, New York City, that opened in August 2011. The owner, Cedric Lecendre, lives in Harlem and decided to do something in and for Harlem. The restaurant is bright and modern, with a nice atmosphere (at least when I tried it for brunch!). The service was very good and attentive.

For brunch, they serve standard dishes such as French toasts or eggs (scramble, benedict). They also serve some classic French specialties like Mussels and fries or foie gras. I tried their Escargots de Bourgogne (snails): they are prepared with butter, garlic and parsley. When they brought the dish, the butter was still bubbling! Not only the snails were deliciously cooked, the sauce was addictive. We asked for more bread so we could dip the bread in it!
For entrees, we had the cheeseburger and the Croque Monsieur. The burger was amazing! The bun was good (I hate when it is a dry bun because it is the first thing you will taste when you take a bite). The meat was a thick patty, well cooked (I asked medium) and very juicy. There was enough cheese and buried under the patty, they put a sauce made of ketchup and mayonnaise. It is definitely a good place for a burger!
Unfortunately, the Croque Monsieur was not good (imagine this: I did not even finish my piece!). The bechamel sauce was cold, the bread was just ok (they could have used a better bread like Challah) and the cheese on top should have been better gratine. The appearance of the dish was not very appetizing either.

Despite the Croque Monsieur, I would go back to Cedric to try their dinner menu.

Enjoy (I did)!
Cedric French Bistro on Urbanspoon
And remember: I just want to eat!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dinner At Home!

As I mentioned in a past post, you do not need to prepare something very elaborate to have a nice dinner. Tonight was once again the proof of this. We prepared a seared salmon with a garlic and lemon sauce, a tomato salad with burrata (leftover from Eataly) and some strawberries with lemon and a hint of sugar.

Salmon is a very nutritional fish: it contains omega 3's, vitamin D, vitamin B or magnesium! Like any fish, you have to make sure you do not overcook it! I seared it in olive oil for 10 minutes, flipping it from time to time to make sure it cooks evenly. I dip it in flour before cooking so it does not stick in the pan. 
The garlic and lemon sauce is pretty easy: just mix garlic, lemon juice and vegetable oil. Adjust the quantities to your liking! Et Voila!

Last is dessert: cut the strawberries in small pieces. Add lemon juice and sugar. Let it sit for few minutes so the juice gets an amazing strawberry flavor!

Isn't that simple? I love it: it was fresh and light!

Great Bread and Cheeses from Eataly!

So, here is my last post (at this time) on this fantastic place that is Eataly! We went back to get some bread and some Italian cheeses. It was Sunday and it was packed! This is really a successful concept!
For the bread, we got a classic French baguette at a reasonable price. This bread was as good as the baguettes you can buy in a boulangerie in France! We even got some left that we toasted the next day for breakfast and ate with some butter and jam. That was a great tartine!
After that came the difficult choice of cheeses. Difficult because there were so many that looked so good! We decided to try 4 of them:

  • A Talllegio (top) that is made of cow's milk: it is very cream, with a strong and tangy taste. Not too strong though.
  • A capriccio (right): goat cheese, sweet and tangy.
  • A Blu di buffala (blue cheese): made with pasteurized buffalo's milk. Its texture is semi-soft and becomes creamier at room temperature, with a very mild taste.
  • Burrata: outer shell is made of solid mozzarella and the inside is cream. I added some kosher salt and some olive oil to it. This tastes so fresh!
To eat with the cheese, we picked a pear jam! It was awesome! The sweetness of the jam will counterbalance the strong taste of the cheese. You can also try to put butter on the bread if you do not like strong cheeses!

Last, I will mention the packaging of the cheeses that was very convenient: some kind of boxes. It is better than film, especially when you try to repackage what is left!

I am now a big fan of Eataly! There are some many choices for great meals that I will probably be there often...

Enjoy (I did)!

And remember: I just want to eat!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A taste of Eataly in New York City!

Eataly is a new market place in New York dedicated to Italian food. One of the partners is Mario Batali, a great Chef with a personality larger than life! His appearances in Iron Chef America are memorable and showed his excellent knowledge of Italian cuisine. 

Eataly is a huge place where you can either eat or buy Italian products. In fact, if you go there, you do not even need to buy! Just walk in the different aisles and discover the different products, mainly coming from Italy! They have meat, fish and seafood, bread, pasta, pizza, cheeses, sauces, cookies....They also sell books and kitchenware.
So, of course, I checked the bread: they have a wide variety and are even selling a very good French baguette for a reasonable price! I even saw an Epi (bot)! Then the cheeses! There are many: from goat to cow milk. A lot of them I did not even know!

If you are not in the bread and cheeses, they have amazing looking desserts. I did not try them yet, but they look amazing! I tried a crema cannolo though: crispy puff pasty filled with vanilla bean pastry cream. I was simply delicious, especially eaten with a nice expresso from Lavazza!

There are also restaurants: sandwiches, pizza or formal places.

We decided to try the sandwiches. Boy, were they good! The first one was peck & Tallegio (smoked prosciutto and Tallegio cheese) from North Italy. Tallegio is a cow's milk cheese that is creamy, strong and tangy. Apparently it is the perfect cheese for grilled cheese. This sandwich was awesome: the smokiness of the prosciutto paired very well with the creamy and strong taste of the cheese. And that bread! It was so good and crispy!
The second sandwich was a Funghi & Tallegio sandwich: it was made with four different kinds of mushrooms sauteed in garlic and thyme. The mushrooms were cut in small pieces that made it easy to eat. The sauteed mushrooms and the cheese were a good vegetarian alternative and tasted very, very good. I was scared at first that the mushrooms would overpower the taste of the cheese, but they did not!

Eataly is definitely a place to go to! And we went back, but it is another story...

Enjoy (I did)!

And remember: I just want to eat!

Eataly on Urbanspoon

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Great Dinner at Home ! Thank you Mario Batali!

I am a big fan of Mario Batali! I discovered him on Iron Chef America on the Food Network and he blew me away! Very creative, lots of humor, extremely talented. I got the chance to try two of his restaurants: Del Posto in New York and B&B in Las Vegas and it was a great culinary experience.

We went to Eataly in New York, the new marketplace of Mario (yes, I call him Mario) and I think I was drooling in every aisle (they were moping behind me)! I'll post something soon on it! 

So, wandering around in this market, we decided to buy some products to make a nice dinner. We picked whole wheat tagliatelle and a truffles and mushrooms sauce. The pasta were freshly made. I am not a huge fan of the whole wheat pasta, but these were good! In the instructions, they said to cook them for 2 to 4 minutes. I cooked them for 8 minutes.
Then there is the sauce. Imagine that: truffles and mushrooms! It was simply delicious! It had a delicate flavor, with a very subtle hint of truffle (with the price of truffles, they are of course not put a lot in it).

Definitely worth to try!
Image of Fresh Pasta with truffle sauce at Eataly NYC, New York

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Image of Popcorn from the Kettle Corn in NYC, New York
Who does not like popcorn? Well, I am sure, like chocolate, some people don't like it! 

What I did not know is that popcorn originated thousands of years ago by Native Americans in North America and traces of popcorn were found from 3600 BC in New Mexico! Today, you can buy it or make it at home very easily.
I really like the caramel one and discovered the coconut popcorn by the Kettle Corn NYC. I am not a huge fan of popcorn, but I have to say that it is delicious. Kettle Corn NYC can be found in street fairs or at Bryant Park. They do have crazy flavors: Cheddar caramel, cotton candy, spicy ranch or chili lime! So much creativity! I will have to try that! If you try, let me know what you think!!!

Enjoy (I will)!

And remember: I just want to eat!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Shawarma! At The Halal Guys Food Cart in NYC, New York

Image of Lamb Gyro at The Halal Guys Food cart in NYC, New York

I already mentioned a food cart SW corner of 53rd and 6 avenue in New York.They are called the Halal Guys. They are wearing yellow sweaters, but in fact, in each corner of 53rd, either on 6th or 7th avenue, you see the same yellow sweater.

I really think you should try it.
Here are few reasons:
- I have never been sick eating there. I know that some people are scared to eat at food carts. It is true that they do not have the grades like restaurants and not all of them maintain some hygiene standards.. 
- The food is delicious. The lamb gyro is my favorite! The meat is cooked perfectly and is very tasty. It is a bit burnt, giving a nice taste to it.
- it is cheap compared to a Shawarma you would eat in a restaurant.

I also tried the rice platter, but did not really like it: the rice was too dry. Definitely the sandwich is better!
Image of Lamb rice plate at The Halal Guys Food cart in NYC, New York

The legend says that these guys are so profitable that they turned down a $1 million offer on their license! After seeing the number of people waiting in line, I am not surprised!

Try it and enjoy (I did)!

And remember: I just want to eat!
Halal Guys - 53rd and 6th (Food Cart) on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dinner is served!

Here it comes: rice, beans, plantains, ground sirloin and pork belly. Bon appetit!
Image of rice, beans, plantains, ground sirloin and pork belly

**Update** This was a great dinner! There is nothing better than a good homemade food cooked with love and passion!

Thank you Mama Vargas!

Appetizers soon ready!

Image of Empanadas

There will be empanadas!!! You remember that I just want to eat? It is so true right now !!!

Tonight is Colombian food with Mama Vargas

Image of Fried plantains

Tonight I am wearing my stretch pants as I will have some delicious homemade Colombian food cooked by my friend Diana's mom! Stay tuned!

Great Italian Food at Morandi in New York, NY

I love Italian food! That's true that for most people, Italian food is associated to pizza, pasta and risotto. There is so much more (a good veal liver...). Now, the food has to be tasty and fresh, otherwise, I can make it myself at home, especially considering that lots of supermarkets or grocery stores sell delicious fresh pasta. By the way, for those who do not know: when cooking, you do not put the pasta in the water unless it boils!!!

New York has great Italian restaurants and it is not in Little Italy that you will automatically find them. Morandi is one of them. What is interesting is that the owner, Keith McNally (very Italian), opened many restaurants that have nothing to do with Italian food, but are very popular for New Yorkers: Balthazar, Pastis, Pravda... 

I really like the atmosphere of the restaurant: spacious, warm, rustic with its wooden tables and the bricks on the wall. The service is efficient and nice. 
Image of Bread and burrata at Morandi in NYC, New York

Now, let's talk about the food: I went once for brunch and it was delicious. They have a mix between brunch standards (waffle, eggs...) and Italian specialties. This time, we went for dinner. We started with the burrata that is a cheese made of mozzarella and cream (the outer shell is made of solid mozzarella while the inside is made with mozzarella and cream - very creamy). It was served with roasted cherry tomatoes on the vine, some olive oil and a hint of balsamic vinegar. While eating it, you could feel the crystals of kosher salt. I really love the creaminess of the cheese inside: it is so refreshing.
Image of Linguine a la Vongole and spaghetti with lemon and parmesan at Morandi in NYC, New York

For the main course, we tried two dishes:
  • Pici al Limone that are hand rolled spaghetti with lemon and parmesan: first of all the pasta were awesome. Based on the taste, I would not be surprised that they make them. The sauce was very good too with not too much lemon, but enough to taste it (too much would have tasted like dish soap).
  • Linguine alle vongole: pasta with clams,white wine and green garlic. This is my favorite. When I try a new Italian restaurant, I always try this one. It is a good test. Morandi definitely makes it perfectly. First, the clams are real clams, not from a can! There was a good quantity and they were very fresh. Second, the sauce was outstanding: I ate some of it with a spoon! It had a perfect texture (not too liquid) and the green garlic was not overpowering at all. The last part is the pasta: cooked al dente. Overall, a very, very, very good dish!
Image of Tiramisu at Morandi in NYC, New York

We finished the dinner with a Tiramisu. Unfortunately, it was not that great. The layer made with egg yolks and mascarpone did not have that much taste. Despite this, I will definitely go back to Morandi and recommend this restaurant!

Enjoy (I did)!

Morandi on Urbanspoon
And remember: I just want to eat!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Billy's Bakery in NYC, New York: incredible banana cream pie!

My wife has always been a big fan of Billy's Bakery in Manhattan for two things: cupcakes and coconut cream pie. I am not a coconut guy, but I have to say that their coconut cream pie is pretty good and they are pretty generous in portions, with very reasonable prices (we just bought two slices of banana cream pie - photo - for $9!).
Image of Banana Cream Pie at Billy's in NYC, New York

Billy's bakery has several locations, but I only know the one in Chelsea. The bakery is kind of retro with an old red formica table set (one, so it is more a grab and go). You also get to see the kitchen where all the magic happens! On top of that, from the kitchen, emanates the fantastic smell of freshly made cakes. No way you can leave without buying something yummy!

Besides, the coconut cream pie, I have tried the cheesecake, that is good, but not as good as Junior's and the banana cream pie that is delicious. In fact the banana and coconut cream pies are identical in the way they are made (I guess it is creme patissiere - a rich, thick and creamy custard made from a mixture of milk, eggs, sugar, flour and cornstarch), but one has bananas and the other one coconut (try to guess; you can do it). The banana cream pie is light and not too sweet. It is perfect with a coffee or tea.

Apparently, their pineapple upside down cake is awesome, but they did not have it this time. So I guess I found a good excuse to go back...

Image of Pineapple upside-down cake at Billy's in NYC, New York
Update on 1/22/12:
well we went back today to Billy's bakery and I tried their pineapple upside down cake: good with a very moist cake, but I would have liked more pineapple juice and flavor in the cake! Fortunately, I also had some more of the banana cream pie! I am telling you: having a food blog gives you plenty of excuses to indulge!!!

Enjoy (I did)!

And remember: I just want to eat!

Reference: www.billysbakerynyc.com

Dinner At The Elysian Cafe in Hoboken, NJ

The Elysian Cafe is one of the hot spots in Hoboken. From what I understand, the owner also owns Amanda's. It is always packed! We have tried their brunch one time and decided to try their dinner menu. I have to say that both brunch and dinner were good, with some exceptions as you will see.

Let's talk about the restaurant first: warm, very cafe-ish. They have an outdoor terrace and two main dining rooms. Each time we went, the service was nice and efficient. According to them, it is the oldest continually operated bar/restaurant: it opened in 1895 and became an ice cream salon and an hair salon during the prohibition! Today, it is a French bistro.

Concerning the food, we decided to try different appetizers to get an idea. So here is what we tried:

Image of Green salad and mussels chowder at Elysian Cafe in Hoboken, NJ New Jersey
  • Organic field greens salad with a balsamic vinaigrette: nicely dressed.
  • The soup of the day: mussels chowder. I really liked it. First of all, they bring you a plate with only mussels in it. They then pour, in front of you, the soup. I love that little show as it is surprising and playful! The soup itself was very good: the mussels were good and the cream deliciously seasoned and with a nice consistency (not too liquid).
Image of Cheese platter and Maryland crab cake at Elysian Cafe in Hoboken, NJ New Jersey

  • Cheese plate: this was a little disappointment. The cheeses were processed cheeses! Seriously: if you want to have a cheese plate on your menu, put a nice selection! It should not be that complicated!
  • The Maryland style crab cakes (so surprising!) with Chipotle aioli: these were good crab cakes! You could actually taste the crab and the aioli had a nice kick that paired well with the crab (as opposed to a lobster or seafood sauce).
Image of Double chocolate Sunday at Elysian Cafe in Hoboken, NJ New Jersey

To finish the meal and ensure a good digestion, we picked the Double Chocolate Sundae: chocolate bread pudding, vanilla ice cream, Chantilly creme, chocolate ganache, whipped cream. The empty plate at the end attested of the taste of the dish....I never had a chocolate bread pudding before and really enjoyed it (anything with chocolate is good, right?).

Now that the restaurant passed the test of the appetizers, we will probably try some more serious dishes like the seafood risotto and maybe the steak frites...I will just avoid the cheese plate!

Enjoy (I did)!

And remember: I just want to eat!
Elysian Cafe on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A French Brasserie In The Heart of New York - Brasserie Cognac

Brasserie Cognac, located near Columbus Circle in New York, serves delicious brunches! I never tried their dinner, but the brunch menu is quite good. I like the feel of the restaurant that reminds me of brasseries you can find in Paris. They in fact sat us next to the window, overlooking the street, and it was as if we were there (I am not comparing the streets of Paris with the streets of New York, just the relaxed feeling of eating outside, watching people passing by).
The Chef of the restaurant, Florian Hugo, worked under the supervision of the world renowned Alain Ducasse. I learnt that he is a direct descendant of Victor Hugo, the famous French writer of Les Miserables! Well, our food experience did not make us miserables at all!

So, for brunch, they have a prix-fixe: for a little less than $25 (in 2011), you get a drink (I got a nice belini -  Champagne with peach nectar), an appetizer and a dessert. One of their famous appetizers is the Gougeres: some warm cheese puffs served in a basket. Light and delicious. They also have a fantastic homemade chicken and duck liver mousse on toasts. Very tasty!
For entrees, their mussels mariniere (white wine, shallots, light cream, parsley) with fries are very good. The filet mignon burger is good too: well cooked (I asked medium) and moist. I wish they put more tartare sauce on it and found it overpriced when looking at the price on the menu ($18). 

The best is their Croque Monsieur! First, the way it is presented is awesome (on a cutting board, cut in stripes) and so appetizing! Then the taste: divine! Especially the cheese on top that is gratinee. It is served with a salad. 

Definitely it is a good brunch and I will probably try for dinner one day! Worth mentioning that they have a bakery next door where you can get some great croissant and pains au chocolat (chocolate croissant).

Enjoy (I did)!

And remember: I just want to eat!
Brasserie Cognac on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Portuguese Barbecue at Piri Piri (Hoboken, NJ)

I love barbecue and was very excited to go to Piri Piri! Imagine that: they have a real wood charcoal barbecue! I have to say that the only portuguese dish I know is the Bacalhau, specialty made with salted cod as the central ingredient. Apparently the tradition of portuguese barbecue dates many centuries and back then, people were using old cork trees, creating a fragrant charcoal, giving to the food a very specific taste.
As for the name, it refers to the African bird's eye chili that portuguese explorers discovers in Mozambique.  It seems that the restaurant, to this day, is shipping the chili from there to prepare their piri piri sauce!

The decor is very nice: they have a big communal table and the top of the tables is made of blue tiles, giving a rustic feel to the restaurant. One of the wall is made of bricks (very warm) and the other has plenty of photos of Portugal.

In term of food, they have a wide variety of dishes, few being vegetarian only. What I liked is that they propose half plates for their barbecue, allowing their guest to pick several dishes...That is what I did!

I first tried their signature dish: Frango de Churrasco: it is a free range chicken, butterflied and cooked in the charcoal fire pit. The restaurant says that these chicken are hormone and antibiotic free, bought in small farms where they roam free. So, the chicken was good: lean and tasty. The skin was crispy and not too fatty. The other dish was Costela de vacca or beef short ribs: The meat was good but a little bit dry. Both dishes were served with a small salad, rice (overcooked or made cooked a different way? Not for me) and fresh potato chips (very good).
For dessert, we tried the Serradura, a fresh cream and tea biscuit pudding: this was delicious. Lighter than what I though and not too sweet. Nice way to finish a meal!

Concerning the service, it was a bit slow and later, the restaurant got packed: it got worse! Fortunately, they give you some delicious bread (I could not stop eating it), olives and pickles while you wait for your dishes.

I would probably go back to Piri Piri to try some of their traditional dishes, as well as the paella (the table next to us ordered it and it looked amazing!).

Enjoy (I did)!

And remember: I just want to eat!
Piri Piri Portuguese Barbecue on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mac Donald's to serve Baguette in France - The Mac Baguette?

Update 5/7/2012 - full review of the Mc Baguette by clicking here!

As incredible as it sounds, Mac Donald's is catering to its clients in France and will be selling baguette (traditional French bread) for breakfast (with butter and jam), as well as planning to have baguette sandwiches on its menu for several weeks starting April 18th in its 1200+ locations!
The burger will be made of Charolais beef meat (famous and prime quality), French-made Emmental cheese and mustard.
Opened at the end of the 70's in France, the franchised restaurant had to adapt to the French culture and introduce a different spin to its food (the Mc Cantal is a good example, Cantal being a famous French cheese). 

Now, why do they go that far? Simple: according to the Gira Council Cabinet, French people eat nine times more sandwiches than burgers and 60% of these sandwiches are made with baguettes! The bread will apparently be provided by The Holder Group, owner of Ladurée stores and Paul Bakeries (great sandwiches!). So, my fellow compatriots, are you ready for the Mac Baguette?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Tacos at The Taco Truck (Hoboken, NJ)

The Taco Truck is a good example of a food truck that succeeded. Imagine that: they started with a truck and now they have a storefront. Trucks are really becoming popular. When you go in the City, you see so many different trucks: tacos, cupcakes, sweets, dumplings, pyrogies, pizza....Soon, you will find: dentists, doctors, opticians...

So, let's go back to the Taco Truck: the adventure started in 2009, when two friends, inspired by their experience in Mexico and California decided to create their own spin on food shop (taqueria) and food truck locally. The Taco Truck was born and became popular quickly. Their truck goes either to Hoboken, Jersey City and to the Highline Mondays and Sundays! If you are in Hoboken, you can also go to their restaurant close to the path. Important to keep in mind that their food is all natural and prepared right away, a la minute: you cannot miss the freshness of the ingredients! 

I have tried several of their tacos. My favorite is the Pescado or fish taco (photo 1 below): crispy catfish, red cabbage, pico de gallo, Mexican tartar sauce and chipotle salsa. The crispiness of the catfish, the crunchiness of the cabbage and the different layers of flavors create an incredible experience. On top of that, if like me you add guacamole and cheese, you are in Heaven!
Of course, they have other good tacos:
  • if you want to eat vegetarian, the Hongos (mixed mushrooms, seasonal vegetables and epazote with lime-pickled onions and chipotle salsa - photo 2 below) is perfect. As I mentioned before, the ingredients are fresh and you will really feel it in this taco.
  • Pollo Asado (guajillo marinated grilled chicken with lime-pickled onions and roasted red salsa).
There are some that I did not really like, such as the Barbacoa de Costilla (pasilla braised shredded beef with onions, cilantro and roasted red salsa). The day I tried it, the meat was dry. Might have been a bad day! 

If you are not into tacos, they also have salads, soups, sides or great Tortas (mexican sandwiches that are toasted). The Hongos, similar to the taco is great. 

When we went, they had a special: Aguacate Tostado Tacos (fried avocado, black beans, sesame seeds, pickled onions and tortillas fritas with sesame ancho crema - photo 3 above). I never had fried avocado and I have to say it was dam good! They really have a way of creating the perfect pairing of ingredients!

Definitely, The Taco Truck makes great tacos. The drawback is that it will be your reference and will spoil any other taco experience you may have...Too bad! Or maybe too good!!!

Enjoy (I did)!

And remember: I just want to eat!
The Taco Truck on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 7, 2011

We went back to Bar Suzette (New York, NY)!

If you recall our visit at Chelsea Market, we ended up trying a delicious butter and sugar crepe. I could not forget that experience and could still remember the way they made it: they first put the slob of butter on the crepe, let it sit few seconds so it starts melting and then spread out the butter all over the crepe. After that, they add the sugar. Your first bite is incredible! You taste the crepe, then the butter and then the sugar: it is divine! So good that you need another bite, until you reach the end, at the bottom of the crepe, full of butter and sugar. It will be a last explosion of flavors, so delicious that you will want another one. At least I do....

So, I needed to go back to try some salty crepes, as well as the banana and nutella one (they have a big jar of nutella next to the crepe maker).
So, we tried:

  • Ricotta, figs and honey: I tried this combination in a sandwich once at Le Pain Quotidien! These ingredients pair very well together and it is very refreshing.
  • Apple and Brie: they are very generous on the brie and apple! This was awesome! I loved the crunchiness of the apple and the creaminess of the brie.
  • Banana and Nutella: ok, for this one, I was disappointed! Not enough nutella! You have to put more! When you take a bite, you have to have some nutella on the corner of your mouth!!!
Needless to say that we also got a butter and sugar one....

This is very good and more appetizing than the creperie you find at the street fair with their nasty samples! Try it: you will not regret it and will want to know fairly quickly how to make crepes!

Enjoy (I did)!

And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!
Bar Suzette on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Today is Dussehra - Happy Holiday!

Today is Dusserha, a popular Hindu festival also known as Vijayadashmi ('Vijay' meaning 'victory' and 'Dashmi meaning 'tenth day'). It celebrates the day Lord Rama killed the demon-king, Ravana and rescued his abducted wife Sita. So it is the victory of Good against Evil.

So, you are probably wondering what it has to do with my stomach? Well, one of my co-workers who is Indian and knows that I love Indian food brought me, as a surprise, an Indian lunch composed of a vegetarian byriani (rice dish), crackers and sweets. I was very touched by this gesture! The food, cooked by his wife, was simply delicious! The byriani had a nice kick and I could not believe that the crackers were homemade! I will try to get the recipe for you...and for me!

So, Happy Holiday to all my Indian friends, co worker and readers! With this awesome lunch, I felt I was celebrating with you!

And remember: I Just Want To Eat!

Restaurant Review: Bombay West (Hoboken, NJ)

I guess that now you understand that I like Indian food. So here is another experience that could have been great. It was food wise but not in term of service. What I really like with Bombay West is that they serve Thali, that is a selection of different dishes, served in small bowls on a round tray. I had my first Thali in India: it was my very first all vegetarian meal (yes, that's possible) and was all you can eat. I remember that I was drinking Chaas that is a buttermilk drink slightly more liquid than a lassi. It was delicious and I wanted more! In fact I had more as, remember, it was all you can eat!!! 

So I was very excited when I saw the menu of Bombay Palace: different Thali where you pick one entree (vegetarian or chicken or shrimp for instance) and they bring you a Poori that is a fried bread, three appetizers and a dessert. All of this for less than $20. One time, I had the bad idea to ask for a naan bread instead of a poori as I prefer the nan. They did not seem to like it...I finally got a chapati (flatbread). So, I went few times and all the time the same pattern: 

  • The manager is not nice with the staff: who do you think you are? Gordon Ramsey? She should also be more welcoming as you have the impression that you are bothering her!
  • The food takes a long time. I am wondering if they are not shipping it from India!
Fortunately, the food is good! They always serve you a papadum that is a kind of cracker. Good way to make you wait for your food! Their dahl is delicious, the chicken tikka masala very creamy and flavorful, the Chanaa masala perfect, the naan very good. In term of dessert, the rice pudding is ok; however, the gulab jamun are awesome! So, food good, but the whole experience is spoiled by the bad service! Too bad! 

So if you go to Bombay West, keep in mind that the food is good and imagine you are watching Hell's Kitchen!

Enjoy (I did)!
Bombay West on Urbanspoon
Restaurant Information

* Restaurant Name
Bombay West
* Overall
* Neighborhood / Cuisine
New Jersey / Indian
* Street Address
832 Washington St., Hoboken, NJ 07030
* Phone
(201) 653-0011