December 2011 | I just want to eat!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bonne Annee! Happy New Year!

I wish to all my readers and followers a Happy, Healthy and Foodie New Year 2012!

It is the time for resolutions and I am sure  a lot of people have in mind some sort of diet! In fact, going to work, I saw a Bing/Impulse survey that says that 41% of the respondents mentioned losing weight as their New Year resolution.
I know that I am lucky enough to be able to eat whatever I want without thinking about my weight. But food for me is not only a necessity: it is a wonderful way of sharing an experience with people I love and/or appreciate. It is also a fantastic excitement for my eyes and palate, because you eat first with your eyes, your nose and then your mouth! Last, I also favor quality over quantity.

So now, let me give you some tricks if you love food but have to be careful:

  • Drink a glass of water before your meal. It will fill you up a bit.
  • Take your time to eat and appreciate the moment if you can. Some say that it takes 15 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain you are full.
  • Know the quantity that is reasonable to eat: if the plate given to you is huge, decide how much you should eat (you can even separate it in the plate)  and take home the rest.
  • Don't snack all the time! I only snack the week end, whenever there is something yummy to try!

So in 2012, ENJOY (I did and will)! And remember: I just want to eat!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Awful food at Ollie's (New York City)!

I love chinese food and was excited to go to Ollie's near Time Square. I ordered from them once, a day I was working late at the office and I remember that it was ok, although I always consider that food delivered loses its prime taste during the time of transportation.

In the restaurant, I noticed two things:

  • First, that most of the customers were asian. This is a good sign, because it means that they were probably looking for some authentic chinese cuisine, and it was a good place for that.
  • Second, the menu is quite big. Not sure this one is a good thing because the kitchen might be all over the place and I always favor quality over quantity! It is better to have fewer dishes that are amazing than plenty of average dishes.

So we picked few specialties:
  • The shrimp dumplings: I barely tasted the shrimp. Did they use one shrimp to make 6 dumplings?
  • The vegetables dumplings: this one was good. I usually find the dough too thick, but this one was perfect.
  • The chicken pan fried noodles: I am used to the crispy noodles that get soft because of the sauce. The noodles were good, but they barely put any! Did I make a mistake and ordered off the kid's menu? The sauce was too ginger-y and the chicken bland. Not the best choice and pricey.
I guess the only things I liked there were the hot tea and the veggie dumplings! It was a good excuse to get cookies from Zaro's after that!

You can pass on that one: there are plenty of other delicious chinese restaurants in New York City!

Ollie's on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Del Frisco's steakhouse, land of the best crab cakes

I love a good steak! But once you have tried one, it kind of spoils your experience in other Steakhouses! So, the first time I went to Del Frisco's, I was skeptical. Especially after they pointed out that they are best known for their crab cakes. As far as I know, crab cakes are no red meat! I had the filet mignon. The meat was perfectly cooked, medium as I wanted it. It was presented pink in the center as the meat continued to cook in butter on the hot plate (I start to love this one!). To make sure it was cooked to perfection, the waiter asked me to cut the filet and he checked it was what I ordered. First time it happened to me.
The filet was very tender and my knife went through it without any effort. Then came the first bite: so good! This piece of meat was definitely of a high quality. 
Another time, I tried their lamb chops: perfectly cooked (if overcooked, it will be dry) and very tasty with a clean frenched bone.
Then I had to try their famous crab cakes! I was not disappointed! It was made with jumbo lump crab. Not sure how they made the crab cakes stay together, but it was clearly not by preparing them with lots of different ingredients that would have overshadowed the taste of the crab. I wanted crab and I got crab! 

Besides that, their sides are original and appetizing: lobster Mac & Cheese, King crab gnocchi or cauliflower and brie au gratin. All pretty good!

The only complaint would be their tendency to put too much pepper in their dishes! But even with that, it is one of my top choices for steak!

Enjoy (I did)!
Del Frisco's on Urbanspoon

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Doughnut Plant: the doughnut reinvented!

Doughnuts are in this country what croissants are for France. I am not going to get excited by the regular doughnuts that one can find in the karts in the street, but if you bring me to the Doughnut Plant in New York, then I am going to start drooling! I think it goes far beyond the doughnuts at Dunkin Donuts or at Krispy Cream! 

The first time I heard about the Doughnut Plant was on "Throwdown With Bobby Flay", a great TV show to discover some hidden gems in New York. At first, the story of the owner, Mark Isreal, was touching: he spoke about his grandfather's recipe and how he decided to made doughnuts; how he made doughnuts out of a basement all night for 5 years before opening his first store. I started to feel some sympathy for the guy. Then came Bobby Flay who proposed a throw down. Mark Isreal did not want to compete and, once convinced by his friends that he should, had a poor attitude. He won with his signature doughnut: the tres leche doughnut (photo 1). We decided to try it with my wife and went to his location on Grand street. After trying the tres leche one, I understood why he won: the doughnut was de-li-cious: it was a cake type with a tres leche cream inside, all around the doughnut. I probably inhaled all the doughnuts we bought in a matter of minutes. Now, this was few years ago; I noticed that there is today less cream than before. They may have changed the recipe or lower the quantity to lower their cost. They are still good though!

With the same principle he uses for the tres leche doughnut (e.g. cream filled), he proposes some amazing banana or coconut doughnut (photo 2), but these are yeast doughnut (as opposed to cake, the yeast doughnut is more traditional). For the Holidays, he is proposing marzipan doughnuts. I tried both the yeast and the cake (photo 3) one: I prefer the cake one, although it was a bit dry.
Now, be aware that the cake doughnuts are heavier than the yeast one...Just in case you want to eat 5 of them!

Last, you can find these doughnuts at Dean & Deluca or Balducci's but I found that people working there do not always know what is what.

Enjoy (I did)!
Doughnut Plant on Urbanspoon

Friday, December 23, 2011

Ruth's Chris Steakhouse

Ruth's Chris is one of my favorite Steakhouses. This franchise, more than 45 years old and more than 100 restaurants, never disappointed me! I always had good pieces of meat (most of them are USDA prime that is the highest grade), tender and cooked to perfection. They cook their steaks in butter (how can you go wrong with that) and bring them to the table in 500 degree Fahrenheit plates, causing the meat to sizzle in the butter. What is great is that you can hear this distinctive noise while the waiters walk across the room, and I can only lookup to see what other patrons ordered. At the same time, your nose will catch this amazing smell of butter and meat. The plate is so hot that it will continue cooking your steak once on your table. That is why they will always bring it to your table slightly undercooked.
image of Filet Mignon at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in NYC, New York

My favorite is the filet mignon: you can cut it like butter; it is juicy and has a delicious taste enhanced by a bit of salt. If you like strip steak as well, I suggest the Porterhouse (strip steak and filet), but be ready for a feast!
Crab cakes at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in NYC, New York Crab cakes at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in NYC, New York
Their crab cakes are awesome: you can see the lump crab and eating them in the sizzling butter is amazing.
The only thing they are lacking for me is some originality for the sides: what they are proposing is pretty basic and none of them make you think: "I have to try that one". They do not even have a nice Mac & Cheese!

So, forget the sides and go for the meat!

Enjoy (I did)!
image of Ruth's Chris Steakhouse

And remember: I just want to eat!
Ruth's Chris Steak House on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Il Bastardo!

No, I am not insulting anybody in Italian! It is just the name of an Italian restaurant in New York City!

We went there on a Saturday night, early enough so there was not that many people at the bar or in their lounge. The restaurant was quite dark and noisy: I thought I was in a Steakhouse, and in is an Italian steakhouse! The decor is a mix between modern and rustic with its mahogany floor and brick walls. I like that feel: warm and cozy.
In term of food, you can't really tell that it is a steakhouse: looks more like a traditional Italian restaurant to me, with its antipasti (literally "before pasta"), salads, pasta and main dishes that include items from the grill. There, no filet mignon or porterhouse!
We tried:
  • Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes with citrus - mustard aioli: it was pretty decent! The mustard aioli had a nice kick.
  • Salad with Anjou Pears, arugula, tallegio cheese and walnuts. The presentation was awesome: they sliced the pear thinly and laid out the slices at the bottom of the plate. Unfortunately, the pear was not ripe enough and they were cheap on the cheese...
  • Linguine with manila clams, fresh parsley and white wine: the dish was ok. The clams were not tasty and the broth was too liquidy to give some taste to the dish. Too bad, because it is usually the dish I pick when trying an Italian restaurant for the first time!
  • Rigatoni with tomato, eggplant, basil and ricotta salata. This was pretty good. 
So, overall, the food was just ok. For the same price, I would go to Morandi and have a fantastic Italian experience!

Enjoy (I did)!
Il Bastardo on Urbanspoon

Monday, December 19, 2011

Recipe: Galette Des Rois

Galette des rois is a cake, made with puff pastry and frangipane, that originated in Catholic tradition in reference to the Three Kings. But let be honest, as any religious tradition, it became a culinary tradition starting before Christmas and ending during Mardi Gras. In France, you will either find the Galette des rois (puff pastry / frangipane) in the North part or the Gateau des rois (brioche with or without candied fruits - photo on the left) in the South. I personally, and not surprisingly, like both. It is a very playful tradition: each galette or gateau has a hidden charm or two and comes with one or two crowns (1 crown = 1 charm; and remember: this has nothing to do with Burger King!). The goal is to find the charm and be crowned King or Queen.
To make sure nobody is cheating, what you can do is ask an innocent person (if you can not find one, anybody around the table), to go under the table and name a person for whom you are cutting a slice. 
As mentioned before, this has become a culinary tradition, so the charms that were previously representing biblical characters are now representing either neutral characters (ex: a dove for peace) or contemporary characters like Harry Potter, the Smurfs, the French President and his wife, etc...
Here is how to make the Galette des rois:
- 0.38 lb / 175 g of almond flour
- 2 eggs
- 0.17 lb / 80 g of melted butter
- 0.2 lb / 90 g of sugar
- 2 puff pastry sheets

Mix the almonds, eggs, sugar and butter in a bowl.

Put the first puff pastry sheet in a pie dish. Make holes with a fork so the bottom dough does not rise.
Spread the almond mixture on top of it.
close with the second puff pastry sheet (make sure it is sealed) and make some drawings with a knife, cutting a bit the dough to avoid it to rise too much. Brush with a mix of yolk and water.
Cook for 25 minutes or until golden at 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius.

Bon appétit!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Horrible Crepe at Max Brenner in New York!

Yes: I said in the past that I was a fan of Max Brenner's hot cocoa. But I guess it is stopping there! Between the savory food that was not good at all and now the crepe I tried there, I think he should definitely stick with the hot cocoa and forget the rest! The crepe was not good at all and finished in the trash! My wife was even surprised to see me throw food! The crepe had an off taste; the chocolate in it was not good. I only liked the bananas...For close to $10, I am sure I can get bananas at Whole Food around the corner of Max Brenner! If you want crepes, avoid it and go to Bar Suzette at Chelsea Market: It is much much better!!!!

Max Brenner on Urbanspoon

Friday, December 16, 2011

Mexican sushi and Japanese tacos at Taka Taka in New York City

There are more and more restaurants proposing fusion cuisine, but it was the first time that I heard about Mexican - Japanese cuisine. That is what Taka Taka in New York City is proposing, highlighted by the sign "Japanese Cantina" above the kitchen. At first the restaurant looks like a Japanese restaurant with a conveyor belt sushi (aka Kaiten sushi). But if you pay attention, you will start noticing some Mexican touch such as the granite mortar to make guacamole!
So, for food, you have two choices: the kaiten sushi or the menu. For those who never tried Kaiten sushi, this is how it works: the kitchen prepares different sushi (no fusion at this time, the sushi were quite standard) identified by a number (Photo 1 - the description of the dish is on the table set) and put them on a conveyor belt. The color of the plate determines the price (photo 2) and once you ask for the bill, the waiter will simply add up the cost of each plate you took based on the color. It is an interesting concept and intriguing: I was constantly looking at what was passing by!

For the Mexican - Japanese fusion, you then have to check the menu: each dish will have a bit of each cuisine. On the Mexican side, you will find for instance guacamole or jalapeno and on the Japanese side, yuzu sauce or wasabi mayonnaise. Here is what we had:
  • Guacamole-Tuna Tataki: diced tuna tartar with avocado, onion, cilantro, tomato and serrano chile. This was very good. I love the combination of tuna and avocado! The first time I tried was in a cafe next to the Louvre Museum in Paris. I then had it at Remi, an Italian restaurant in New York. So, nothing very particular to the Mexican-Japanese fusion for that one, although I really enjoyed this very refreshing and light dish!
  • Miss Carnitas: fried tuna carnitas in a yuzu-soy marinate with guacamole and pico de gallo in corn tortillas. Good but overpriced. The tuna was slightly overcooked.
  • Inclan: fried rice roll with hamachi, tuna, avocado and jicama with spicy sriracha mayonnaise. I liked it.The crunchiness of the rice added another dimension to the dish.
  • Tempura Helado: tempura ice cream with strawberry sauce or melted dark chocolate. We picked the chocolate. It was very good but they were kind of cheap on the chocolate!
Concerning the service, it was weird: plates arrived one by one. It started with the tacos, then the tuna tartar, then the rolls. It was not that fast and I am wondering if it was not done this way so we would try some of the Kaiten sushi...

Although the food was not as expected (I was expecting an explosion of flavors), I would probably go back to check some other dishes. They definitely have some creativity there and some of the dishes on the menu that we did not try look appetizing. 

Last, I liked their take out menu: not the traditional piece of paper as you can see below!

Enjoy (I did)!

Taka Taka on Urbanspoon

Hot cocoa at Crumbs

On a day like this, a hot cocoa is welcome! The one from Crumbs is just ok: they put milk at least and not water (hello!), ghirardelli chocolate powder (better than Swiss Miss), but could have more chocolate and be thicker...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Le Pain Quotidien!

A lot of people think that Le Pain Quotidien (The Daily Bread in English) is French: it is in fact Belgian.  I am not that chauvinistic so I would not go there to eat some great bread, croissants or pastries! 

Le Pain Quotidien is a franchise; they have restaurants all over the world: France (I had to say it!), Australia, Bahrein, India, Mexico, Russia...And of course in the US, in several locations: NYC, Philadelphia, Pasadena, Washington DC, etc...Normally, whatever you find in one location can be found in another, the same way. As if it was the Mac Donald's of bakeries! 

Le Pain Quotidien uses organic ingredients as much as possible and bakes bread and pastries every day.  Their bread is delicious: they serve different kinds, from the baguette to the rustic loaf. They also have buttery and flaky croissants that are to die for! Their restaurants have a rustic and homy feel with bricks on the walls, wooden floors and wooden tables that have an unfinished look (they are made of reclaimed wood). They all have a large communal table for those who like to listen to people's conversation...

Le Pain Quotidien is one of my favorite place for a casual brunch or lunch. Besides the bread and pastries, they have great tartines (open face sandwiches). My favorite is the one with ricotta, figs and honey! It tastes so fresh and all these ingredients pair very well together. It is also very light and the figs add a nice texture to the tartine. It is the perfect meal for a picnic in a park (you can have it to go). They also have a great cheese plate and good salads. Then, you find the traditional brunch dishes: french toasts, omelets or soups. I like the way they serve their food: tartines and plates are served on a breadboard that give a plus to the presentation. If you really like the plates, breadboards and bowls, you can buy them. On top of that, they sell jams, coffee or chocolate. 

Last, they apparently give some cooking classes! I may check this out one day!

Enjoy (I did)!
Le Pain Quotidien on Urbanspoon
Le Pain Quotidien on Urbanspoon
Le Pain Quotidien on Urbanspoon

And remember: I just want to eat!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Disappointing Almond Croissant!

As mentioned in a prior post, Freshdirect has some very good chocolate croissant. They are also selling almond croissants, that are croissants filled with some almond paste and with something made of almonds, if not almonds, on top. I was very excited to try their almond croissant! What a disappointment! First of all, during the transport, all the almonds fell off! Then, the amount of almond paste is ridiculous! You can only taste it in the middle of the croissant! I think I understand now, why it is called "Almond croissant" without a "s" at the end of almond!!!

I think I will stick to the croissants and chocolate croissant and go to the Old German Bakery in Hoboken next time I want an almond one!

Enjoy (without almond, I did)!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Recipe: Macarons

Macarons start to be popular in the USA: you can find them in stores like La Maison Du Chocolat, Macaron Cafe or Bisous, Ciao. I even found some (not so good), in the Korean Food Gallery 32 on 32nd street! They are not to confuse with the coconut macaroons commonly found here. I have tried them with jam as a filling and one time, my sister made them with creme fraiche and smoked salmon. I thought it was an original idea! 

Here is an easy recipe:

For 12 macarons:
- 1 cup of ground almonds (I used almonds slivers).
- 1 cup confectioner sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/5 cup granulated sugar

Sift the almonds and the confectioner sugar. Mix them together.
Whip the egg whites on medium speed. When it becomes a foam, add 20 drops of food coloring. Increase the speed to high and add gradually the granulated sugar. Continue to whip until the eggs are firm and shiny (photo 1).
Once the egg whites are ready, incorporate little by little the almond / sugar mixture prepared earlier.
Put the mixture in a piping bag and create 1 inch circles on a parchment paper (photo 2).
Rest for an hour.
Cook in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes. Once cooked, put them on a cooling rack. When cool, use a knife or a spatula to remove from the parchment.

For the filling, I used:
- cream cheese and smoked salmon.
- gorgonzola and sour cream.

Just create small sandwiches!

The mix between salt and sweet is great but remember that these are still cookies before eating 20 of them!

Bon appétit!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Recipe: chocolate truffles!

Chocolate truffles are the perfect treats for the Holidays! It is easy to make and, if well done, delicious!

Here is a simple recipe!

Image of Chocolate truffles recipe
For 24 truffles:
- 0.5 lb (250 g) of dark chocolate semi-sweet
- 0.25 lb (125g) of unsalted butter
- a packet of vanilla sugar
- 0.2 lb (100 g) of confectioner sugar
- 2 yolks
- cocoa powder and shredded coconut for the decoration

Melt the chocolate (cut in small pieces) in a double boiler (see below). Incorporate little by little the butter. Once the butter is fully melted and well incorporated to the chocolate, remove the bowl from the stove. 
Add the sugar, vanilla sugar and yolks. Stir until completely integrated with the chocolate.
Put the bowl in the fridge for one hour.

After an hour, remove the bowl from the fridge. With your hands (be prepared for a weird texture!), make little balls of chocolate. Once formed, dip them in the cocoa powder or in the shredded coconut. Once all the truffles are formed, put them back in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours so they become hard. Et voila!

Image of Chocolate truffles recipe
Double boiler: also called "bain marie", this technic prevents from burning ingredients and is used to make delicate sauces or melt chocolate. It consists in putting a bowl (where the ingredients will go) in a pot of water brought to a boil.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Brunch at 3 Forty Grill in Hoboken, NJ

We were looking for a place for brunch in Hoboken: something new with an appealing menu. After looking at different alternatives, I saw the menu of the 3 Forty Grill restaurant. I just needed to see that they had Truffled Eggs Benedict to be convinced that it was the place to go!
I did not think the restaurant was the way it was: the dining area is separated from the bar and has stunning views of the New York skyline. Tables are not right next to the others that is something I appreciate: I do not need to listen to people's conversation nor do they have to listen to mine! The service was courteous and efficient.
So of course, I picked the Truffled Eggs Benedict made with prosciutto di parma (from parma if you have any doubt) and a black truffle hollandaise sauce. It was also served with a salad and hash brown that were great: well cooked, no greasy with some burn part that I loved! As soon as they brought the dish, I could smell the truffles! I tasted it too! This dish is amazing! If you like eggs benedict and also like truffles, you have to try it! It was earthy and savory. 
We also had the salmon platter served with a bagel, cream cheese and 2 boiled eggs. The presentation was very appetizing and there was a lot of smoked salmon on the plate! I loved the presentation!

It was definitely a good brunch and I will certainly go back there to either eat again the eggs or try another specialty! 

Enjoy (I did)!

3 Forty Grill on Urbanspoon
And remember: I just want to eat!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cupcakes at Sweet in Hoboken, NJ

When I came in this country, I did not know what cupcakes were. They are still today a novelty in France; not surprising considering the number of pastries we have there! I could spend weeks eating every cake in patisseries! But cupcakes are fun: you could imagine so many variations of it! I love watching, for instance, Cupcake Wars on the Food Network: they have to be so creative. Imagine that: they have to make cupcakes with ingredients like avocado!

The first time I had a cupcake in New York, it was not good: sweet and too much cake: you need a good ratio cake / frosting! A little more than 1/3 frosting, 2/3 cake is perfect (although I would go with 2/3 frosting and 1/3 cake...). I then had a second one at Crumbs and still did not like it. Same issue with the frosting / cake ratio. Finally, I tried Sweet. I remember: we were having a wine and cheese party at our place and a friend of us, Kristen, brought this small box that contained several lovely mini cupcakes. Everybody was ecstatic when eating them. So I could not resist to my curiosity and picked a red velvet one: it was a revelation! The cake was moist and delicious and the frosting amazing (cream cheese frosting). Thanks to my good manners, I did not shank anybody that day so I could have a second one!

We then became regulars. My favorites are the red velvet and the banana one. They also have one with chocolate ganache and marshmallow. I just wish they had some special cupcakes more often. My big regret is the Nutella cupcake: I tried it once, but they never made it again. They said they would do it again in the winter! So I have a personal message for Sweet: please make the nutella ones on a regular basis!

So, if you do not like cupcake or are not sure, go to Sweet in Hoboken: it may change your mind! 

Enjoy (I did)!

And remember: I just want to eat!
Sweet on Urbanspoon
Restaurant Information

* Restaurant Name
* Overall
* Neighborhood / Cuisine
New Jersey / American New / Desserts
* Street Address
343 Garden St., Hoboken, NJ 07030
* Phone
(201) 420-0111

Monday, December 5, 2011

Recipe: Italian Mac and Cheese!

Mac & Cheese are close to the pasta gratin we know in France, but the way I learnt to make gratin was different: it was one layer of macaroni, one layer of cream fraiche, one layer of cheese, repeated few times. 
Mac & Cheese are good when well prepared, unfortunately, a lot of restaurants are using either already prepared ones or make it with processed cheese! There are two places were I had memorable Mac & Cheese: The Old Homestead Steakhouse in New York with their amazing Truffle Mac & Cheese and Dino and Harry's in Hoboken. It is in the latter that I had Italian Mac & Cheese, that is creamy Mac & Cheese but with orzo for pasta. So I tried to re create it at home. Below is the recipe:

For 4 servings:

- 8 oz orzo
- 0.25 lb of aged gruyere or comte
- 0.25 lb of sharp cheddar 

For the bechamel:
- 6 table spoons of butter
- 1/5 cup of flour
- 1 pint of whole milk
- salt and pepper

Cook the orzo in boiling water with oil and salt. Cook them al dente. Once done, strain them.

Prepare the bechamel sauce: in a pan, low heat, melt the butter. Add salt and pepper. Incorporate the flour and then the milk until obtaining a creamy sauce.

Incorporate the grated cheese in the bechamel sauce and then put the orzo in the pan and stir until the sauce is all over the pasta. Put the pasta in a dish that can go in the over (ramequins are good for individual serving) and gratine in the oven (broil). Et voila!

Now, one thing you can do it to put some truffle oil (1/8 cup) with the butter when preparing the bechamel sauce! You will then have some delicious Truffle Mac & Cheese!

Bon Appétit!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Japanese food in Korea Town, New York City

We went back to the Food Gallery 32 in New York City. I love this place! Some people may think its white walls and furniture remind of a hospital; I just think it has a modern look and offers any foodie who enjoys asian food a good alternative at a very reasonable price. 

This time, we decided to go for Japanese and went to O-De-Ppang. Bad choice! I got shrimp fried rice (not bad and not greasy), spicy tuna rice balls called Onigiri (bland canned tuna...) and veggie teppan-yaki (better forget it). The only thing I truly appreciated was the miso soup! It was cheap but not enough of an excuse!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Perfect day for a hot cocoa!

Bring it on Max Brenner!!!!
Best hot cocoa in NYC!

Macarons pas tres bons

After the so so lunch we had, we decided to go on the third floor of the Food Gallery 32 in NYC, to check for some sweets. The only appetizing sweets were macaroons. I asked for a cookies and cream one and they did not have it. Then banana...and they did not have it! Finally they told me what they had and we ended up with strawberry and a vanilla one. They were very gummy and not good. There are days like that....

I just wanted to eat!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Back from Vermont!

Although back few days ago, I wanted to do a recap of the food I had in Vermont. I had quite different choices and made sure that my stomach was part of the trip....

Cheese Fondue:
I am going to start with the cheese fondue: we bought at the supermarket a pre-packaged Swiss fondue. Making fondue is not difficult, but the pre-packaged ones are pretty decent and even better than the fondue I had one time at the restaurant The Melting Pot in Hoboken (way too much garlic)! You just need a fondue pot, put the fondue mix in it, heat it and enjoy! Of course, you need bread to dip in the cheese: I either have some old hard bread or some fresh bread. If you do not have a pot, you can use a pan, but need to eat quicker as the cheese has to be well melted. The legend says that you should not drink water during the meal otherwise it will be like plaster in your stomach! I am wondering if it is not to make people drink more wine (white of course and dry)!

The Whip Bar and Grill at the Green Mountain Inn:
I was surprised by the quality of the meal! This place looks like a casual restaurant, but their menu is pretty elaborate and I had an excellent dinner there! The Gorgonzola crusted filet mignon was delicious; I was surprised considering the fact that it was not a steakhouse. The truffle scented mash potatoes were amazing too! I hate when they announce that there is truffle and you cannot taste it! This time I did! Then I got the duck: I love any type of poultry and duck is no exception. The difficulty is not to overcook it: it was perfectly done! I also had a butternut squash and cider soup that was very good. Not as good as the one I had at Art Smith's restaurant in Washington, Art and Soul, that was served with gingerbread and creme fraiche (type of sour cream).

Ben & Jerry's:
Now that I went to the Ben & Jerry's factory, I have a different perception: I did not know that they were promoting fair trade (and that they are from Vermont)! 
The factory tour was only worth it for the sample at the end (Milk and Chocolate - excellent!): the factory was not running and you do not walk on the floor so you are losing some information there. I then tried the Jimmy Fallon creation: Late Night Snack that is vanilla ice cream, fudge covered potato chips and a salty caramel swirl. I love the sweet and salty taste. The ice cream is more on the sweet side, but it is fine: after all it is an ice cream!

The Hourglass Lounge at the Stowe Resort:
We went for a quick snack and I had a burger. The meat was tasty, moist and perfectly cooked. The fries were kind of crispy, nothing worth to remember. 

Mac Donald's and Burger King:
Do you really want me to do a recap on that? Only few words: I would eat there only when necessary! The meat was tasteless! Once you have tried a good burger, you cannot go back to this!

I had other great food: the fruits, snow and maple syrup, as well as the Thanksgiving dinner (shall I say feast?) with our friends are memorable. 

I hope you too had a good time with friends and Family around a good dinner!

I just wanted to eat!