August 2012 | I just want to eat!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Chicken Galore restaurant in Union City, NJ

Jodi was having dinner with one of her friend so I decided to treat myself with some fried chicken (I love it!). I therefore ordered a combination platter from Chicken Galore in Union City.

The platter is composed of: 3 pieces of fried chicken, 2 ribs, coleslaw, onion rings and fries.
The way it came was a bit disappointing as everything was on top of each other! The ribs were buried under the fries and onions rings.
There was a delicious BBQ sauce, but unfortunately the meat was a bit tough.

The chicken however was perfect!
The meat was perfectly cooked and moist, there was a perfect amount of breading and it was not greasy. I detected some nice spices in the breading that added a nice touch to it.

The French fries were steak cut: they were not crispy but it could be attributed to the delivery that caused them to steam a bit. The coleslaw had an off taste and the onion rings were forgettable!

So, I would definitely order back the Fried Chicken from Chicken Galore: only this...

Enjoy (I did)!

 Chicken Galore on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lunch at Michael's in NYC, New York

Michael's is one of these restaurants that have been opened forever and where business people as well as celebrities like to go. Or at least people thinking that they will see celebrities go!

I went there for a lunch recently. The restaurant has a nice feel between classic and modern with its colorful paintings on the wall.
The service was courteous but a bit disorganized, although the restaurant was reasonably crowded.

In term of food, the menu offers a diversity of dishes that are at the same time simple and elaborated.
The presentation of each dish was a pleasure for the eyes: colorful and well put together. I tasted first the sashimi of hamachi (also called Japanese Amberjack or yellowtail). It was served with Pickled Jalapeño, Bell Peppers, Salmon Roe with a Yuzu Vinaigrette. I liked the finesse of the dish that had very clean flavors. My only regret was the salmon roe that I do not particularly like.

They also serve some amazing chilled shrimp, served with avocado, grapefruit, horseradish and a bit of Greek yoghurt. The shrimp were perfectly cooked and the acidity of the grapefruit as well as the avocado added a some freshness to it.

For the main dish, I went for the Seared Maine Dayboat Scallops.
They were served on a disk made of quinoa and sunflower seeds, with a rouille sauce. The colors on this dish were fantastic! The scallops were perfectly cooked with a nice sear on it. The quinoa was perfectly cooked (thank God they rinsed it thoroughly so it did not have a bitter taste). The sauce was delicious, but I could not really think about a rouille when tasting it. Overall, it was a successful dish that healthy conscious people will sure appreciate!

For dessert, they had different types of sorbet.
The raspberry sorbet was scrumptious with a nice fruity taste! I bet it was homemade! 

I could not resist to the German chocolate pyramid either.
It was served with a delicious pecan praline ice cream. The pyramid was dense and for sure was loaded with dark chocolate! Perfect for chocolate lovers!

So, it was a great lunch there: great food, spectacular plating and fantastic flavors. I understand why it has been there so long!

Enjoy (I did)!

 Michael's on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 27, 2012

Matt & Meera, American-Indian restaurant in Hoboken, NJ

I have discovered this little gem in Hoboken that replaced Kati Roll a month ago: Matt & Meera. At first, we were not sure what we would get there as the name did not really indicate anything in particular. I was not even sure it would be a restaurant! 

We went a first time and it was so good that we came back! The first time, I was lucky to meet one of the owners Chef Hari Nayak who wrote several cookbooks. He told me that the idea was to put together American and Indian cuisine, bring Indian spices and twist to American classics. In fact, the name itself is made of a common name in the US (Matt) and a common name in India (Meera): these people do not exist and only represent the fusion the Chef wanted to create.

I like the place: simple and warm with its bricks and wood.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Delicious Gelato at Eataly in NYC, New York

With the hot days we got recently, indulging in gelato was necessary! So we ended up at Eataly, this amazing Italian Marketplace I love to go to!

So we decided to try their gelato. There is always a big line, but sometimes, you have to sacrifice yourself...

Jodi got the coconut gelato in a cone.
Coconut is Jodi's favorite flavor. I tried it and it was quite good: creamy with a nice coconut taste. The cone was crunchy and filled with ice cream.

On my side, I ordered two flavors in a cup: hazelnut and salted caramel.
They put a lot of ice cream! My favorite was definitely the hazelnut one. So tasty! The salted caramel was good too: so funny to see that salted caramel is now everywhere, from crepes to ice cream!

Then, another time, I decided to try something different: watermelon sorbet and banana gelato with chocolate chips.
The banana with chocolate chip gelato was just ok. It was not as creamy as I thought and I had better banana ice cream in the past. However, I did not like at all the watermelon sorbet: it had no taste! I should have one with the hazelnut gelato!!!

Although the last try was not that great, I love Eataly's gelato! It reminded me of the gelato we got when we went to Italy few years ago: we ate amazing gelato everyday! Whether it was chocolate, hazelnut or...nutella! I remember that the gelato were huge for as much as 2 Euros ($2.6)! So, going to Italy was like going back few years back!!!

Enjoy (I did)!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Brunch at The Cuban in Hoboken, NJ

After this exquisite dinner we had at The Cuban in Hoboken few months ago (see review by clicking here), we decided to go back, but this time for brunch! Especially since we saw that they serve a tres leches French Toast! Yes, you read well: tres leches French Toast!

So we started with the Tortilla de papa y chorizo.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Brunch at Francois Payard in Soho, NYC, New York

Francois Payard is an amazing Pastry Chef and I was looking forward to try his place in Soho! He used to have a restaurant years ago on the Upper East Side that I was lucky to try: the food was great, but the stars were the desserts! I remember that we got an incredible tasting of pastries!

So here we are in Soho, in this temple of breads and desserts! It is a small eatery where you can order some coffee, a sandwich and a dessert for a reasonable price! 

You can also buy any of the specialties they serve such as chocolate or macaroons!
They serve sandwiches, but I guess the stars of the bakery are the cakes!
They serve the classic cakes you would find in a bakery in France: eclair, strawberry tart, lemon tart...

We started with a Ham and Brie sandwich.
The bread was a traditional baguette and I can tell you that it was fantastic! This was an authentic baguette: golden and crispy outside! It was stuffed with a nice quantity of ham and brie. Delicious!

The next sandwich we tried was the croque monsieur.
 It is made of French ham and gruyere, bechamel sauce and their own white bread.
Everything was perfect! The quantity of cheese and bechamel sauce, as well as the softness of the amazing bread!

The last part of the meal was dessert!
The winner was: the lemon tart! I loved it: the shell was buttery and the lemon creme fantastic (I hate when it tastes like detergent)!

We went back the week after for a treat: we picked the strawberry pie and the gateau Lorrain.
The strawberry tart was great: first, the red color of the strawberries really popped and made the tart appetizing. Then, there was the overall taste: buttery, fruity and nutty! I loved it!
A Gateau Lorrain is made with simple ingredients: butter, flour, eggs and sugar. Some say that it is better to prepare it the day before. What is certain is that it is a cake to eat with a coffee or tea because it can be a bit dry. I would also see it eaten with a vanilla or chocolate sauce. So: good, but not a favorite!

Then, I tried the viennoiseries at their location that recently opened on 58th and Broadway.
They also have pastries, sandwiches and breads.
All their viennoiseries had this incredible butter scent that nobody can resist! The croissants were flaky and buttery. What surprised me is that the chocolate croissants shape were literally croissants with chocolate inside. So if you put a croissants and a chocolate croissant next to each other, you cannot make the difference! This is not a traditional way of making it though. Chocolate croissants are kind of square with two bars of chocolate in the middle and no chocolate or sugar on top.

The brioches were also very good, although I have a preference for the buttery treats. The sugar on top added a nice crunch, but fell most of the time on my table...

Then there were the almond croissants!
I love almond croissants: they are my favorite from all! There were fantastic! At first, I was put off by the sugar on top: typically, almond croissants do not have sugar on top! When I picked one, it was a bit heavy, making me think that there was a lot of almond paste in the middle.
And I was right! I hate when you get an almond croissant with barely no almond paste in it! This one had a lot and the taste of the almond and the butter was divine. I inhaled it!

I had a great experience at Francois Payard Bakery! It was like being in France! Of course, I could not taste everything, so I guess I have to go back...

Enjoy (I did)!

François Payard Bakery on UrbanspoonFrançois Payard Bakery on Urbanspoon

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Holey Cream: what Ice Cream Donut Sandwich in NYC, New York???

What I like in New York is that you will find all sorts of crazy culinary ideas! The last one I found is Holey Cream, an ice cream parlor located Midtown.

Holey Cream is a small place that serves of course ice cream, cupcakes, donuts cream donut sandwiches. Yes, you read correctly! This is a spin on the ice cream sandwich, where they will put three scoops of ice cream between a donut.

The way you do your ice cream donut sandwich is:
  1.  Pick three scoops of ice cream; they have flavors like cheesecake, dolce de leche, red velvet cupcake, S'Mores,...
  2. Then you pick the icing for your donut: vanilla or chocolate.
  3. Last, you choose the topping that goes from gummy bears, peanut butter cup, M&M's...

They will then prepare your sandwich!

So, here is what I picked:
  • Chocolate icing topped with sprinkles.
  • Three scoops: vanilla (I figured out it would be a good test to try a basic flavor), butterscotch praline and cookies & cream.

It is pretty exciting to see them make the ice cream sandwich. For sure, it is huge and decadent! We sat at one of the very few seats and try to eat that monstrous ice cream! First of all: you cannot pick it with your hands because of the icing and toppings on the donut. Anyway, even if you could, it would be messy! So, then, to try to eat with the poor plastic spoons they give you was a bit difficult. 

The donut was very good and tasted very fresh. The ice cream though was so so: the vanilla ice cream and the cookies & cream were lacking taste. However, the butterscotch praline was delicious! 

Pairing the ice cream with the donut was fun, but unfortunately, it fell flat because of the lack of taste of the ice cream that seemed low quality! 

Note that if you only want the donut, you can make it by choosing the icing and the toppings and skipping the ice cream...

So I was a bit disappointed: this is the type of place you would go to just to try, but would not go back...

Enjoy (the post...)!

 Holey Cream Donuts on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 17, 2012

Jane restaurant in Greenwich Village, NYC, New York

It has been a while that we wanted to try Jane in Soho. Each time we passed by on the weekend, it was packed with a long wait outside, so I was figuring that there was probably a reason, hopefully food related!

We went on a Saturday evening, not too late to make sure we would be able to eat there! I thought that it was a small restaurant: it is in fact of a good size with another room downstairs! Modern, but cozy. At first, the restaurant was empty, but when we left, dinners started to come!

We decided to go for a light dinner as the day was filled with food! We started off with handmade burrata served with roasted tomatoes and ciabatta bread.

Burrata is an Italian cheese made of mozzarella and cream: the outer shell is "hard" and the inside is cream.
It was succulent: the burrata was to die for especially eaten with olive oil and the roasted cherry tomatoes! It tasted very fresh and was a perfect appetizer to start our meal!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Free Cone Day at Dylan's Candy Bar in NYC, New York

I do not know if you know the show Face Off on Syfy, but it is a great show where make up artists compete against each other. To celebrate the return of Face Off on August 21st, they are hosting a free cone day event at Dylan's Candy Bar.

Saturday August 18th 2012
Dylan's Candy Bar
1011 3rd avenue
New York, New York, 10021
from 12am to 4pm

Enjoy !

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fleur D'oranger, Miniature Patisserie - online business

One of my colleagues brought to work some patisseries from Fleur D'oranger, an online business that a French Pastry Chef recently started. These pastries are miniature size so it was perfect for a little tasting...

First of all, there were madeleines. 
Madeleines are specialty cookies from the North-East of France. They can be found in many bakeries or supermarket in New York City (not all of good quality though!) and are recognizable by their shell like shape. The batter is made of genoise batter and has a delicious buttery taste. The ones presented to me were of different kind: plain, nutella and lemon cream. My first was the nutella one: I could not resist to try as I love nutella! The madeleine seemed to have been stuffed with that scrumptious chocolate hazelnut cream after been cooked. The buttery taste of the madeleine paired extremely well with the sweetness of the nutella. It was definitely a hit!
Then, I tried the one with lemon cream filling: very good! You could really taste the fact that it was freshly made!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Wichcraft, sandwiches by Tom Collcchio in NYC, New York

Jodi and I wanted to go to the Joshua Gallery on 11th and 28th to see the exhibit of Shawn Baber - Memoirs: the tattooed portraits series. So I went on the internet to see what was around for lunch and found Wichcraft, the casual sandwich restaurant that Tom Colicchio opened in 2003 with partners Sisha Ortuzar and Jeffrey Zurofsky. There are several locations in New York, San Francisco and Las Vegas. The one in New York, closed to the gallery, was called "The Tunnel". I understood why when we found it!

At first, we were not sure if the place was already opened or still opened as that part on 11th does not have that many restaurants. The address pointed out to a large building, an ancient warehouse.
When we entered the building, we understood why it was called "The Tunnel"!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

International Food Truck and Beer Festival on Sunday August 12 in NYC, New York

Following the Food Truck festival last Saturday, here is The International Food Truck and Beer Festival, tomorrow at South Street Seaport from 12pm to 9pm!

Participants seem to be the same as last week: Chinese Mirch, Schnitzle & Things, Mexico Blvd...But on top of that, there is beer...

So if you missed last week, do not miss tomorrow! I might be there....

Check out my post on the Food Truck Festival to see what I tried by clicking here!

The Palm in Philadelphia, PA

How many times do you have to try a restaurant before having a definite opinion about the food they serve? This is a good question for which I do not have the answer after my experience with The Palm. Imagine this: I first tried The Palm located Midtown New York for lunch, during restaurant week. It was not good at all: the quality of the meat was poor and they bathed the steak with a wine sauce that was not that great...The second time was in Vegas. We ordered the filet mignon: disappointing again! 
So, why did we end up at The Palm in Philadelphia? Simply because it was raining!!!

The restaurant had a warm atmosphere with its booths and leather seats. The service was efficient and very courteous.

Now, let's talk about food! Jodi ordered the filet mignon.
 It was a delicious 9 ounces piece of meat, that was at the perfect temperature. The meat was tender and juicy.

I ordered the boneless ribeye.
This was a big piece of steak: 18 ounces! The meat was incredibly good with a nice charr on each sides. It was tender and juicy too! No need to tell you that I finished it! We ordered a bearnaise sauce to eat with the steaks: it was fantastic. 

As sides, we picked the goat cheese whipped mashed potatoes and the roasted brussels sprouts.
The mashed potatoes were awesome! This is the first time I try a goat cheese one. It was delicious and light. They could have put some more cheese though! 
They were roasted with lemon brown butter. It was just ok for me. I prefer the brussels sprouts more cooked.

Although I did not really enjoy the brussels sprouts, I had a phenomenal dinner! But had no room for dessert unfortunately!!! I will have to go back...

Enjoy (I did)!

Palm on Urbanspoon