So'Krep is an interesting place. Located few steps from Grenoble city center or from the city art museum, it looks like a fast food place from outside, especially because of the bright colors of the chairs and facade. But it is in fact a fairly good crêperie, serving two kinds: the galette made with buckwheat and the crepes made with regular flour.
I love finding small places that provide not only good food, but also an outstanding service. That's the way I feel about La Petite Idée, a small restaurant that serves classic French dishes. I was excited to go there, having checked their menu the day before and already knowing what I would order. When we arrived, the restaurant was packed (we had a reservation), and emptied little by little, people going back to work.
Meet the cats from Néko Café, a cat bar located in Grenoble city center. It was our first time in such place and we love it (we have a cat at home named Whitney, so yes, we love cats). Going there requires a minimum of precautions. First, there are two doors that separate the café from the street, a sort of safe measure to avoid an escape.
Junior's has a new location and I could not resist to go there few days after their opening! I love Junior's and I am glad they opened other locations, not only in New York in fact as they opened at Boca Raton in Florida. So, the new location on 49th street and Broadway is quite big, looking more modern that its sister a couple of blocks away, with the feel of a modern deli, keeping the vibrant orange theme omnipresent.
This week, I was invited at Uncle Jack's, the famous steakhouse from TV personality William Degel who was a steakhouse owner before going on TV rather than just investing in a restaurant thinking that your name solely will bring patrons. Lots of celebrities who invest in the restaurant industry have no clue what the day to day of a restaurant is; it is not the case with William Degel who is fully immersed in the process, even sometimes hand picking the meat from his purveyors who are mainly in Omaha, Nebraska, probably less now that he is busy with his career and multiple restaurants. I went to their location Midtown West that opened back in 2004 and it was not the first time as it was one of the first steakhouse I reviewed after starting my blog in 2011.
Jodi had a pop up show in Long Island City, right across from the LIC Flea and Food Market. As we finished setting up her paintings and were looking for a place to eat, I proposed to go there. It was really my first time in this area and I was really impressed by the neighborhood, especially the river bank with its huge Pepsi Co. sign that you can see from the East side of Manhattan.
Each time we come back from Europe, there is one meal I want to have: burger! And we decided to go to Birch Hoboken, a place that opened two months ago. With a concept similar to Black Tap Burger, I was really curious to see how they would measure up and I was not disappointed: the food at Birch Hoboken is way better than Black Tap. The burgers are tastier and better cooked (I asked for medium and I got a juicy medium patty) and the milkshakes are not a big mess.
Opened June 1st by veteran restaurateurs Salim Rahman (Tajmahal, Bay Leaf, Tikka Indian Grill) and Amin Ruhel (Tripti, Dipali), Mumbai Masala Indian Grill is a new eatery in the Hamilton Heights and Sugar Hill areas of New York City. I am always excited to try new restaurants, even more when they just opened and our visit at Mumbai Masala Indian Grill did not disappoint us.
This week, was in a way BBQ week: before going to the Big Apple BBQ Block Party, I was in fact invited to a wonderful evening at the Grilling University by McCormick where I learned a lot about grilling technics. If you cook, whether you have a grill or not, you probably stumbled upon products from McCormick and you might have some in your kitchen. Well, I do.
Today I feasted at the Big Apple BBQ Block Party at Madison Square Park, an annual celebration of BBQ. Yes, if you are vegetarian, no need to bother: this is not for you as choices are extremely limited. The Big Apple BBQ Block Party is for meat lovers and it features a bunch of places from all over the country, from Alabama to Texas. We went during lunch time and was quite crowded, full of people excited like me to try some amazing food or simply look at some of the spectacular smokers there.
For her birthday, Jodi wanted to go for Mexican food. I asked some of my colleagues who suggested some places. The problem with these: they did not have guacamole! So, I finally found Habanero Blues on Opentable. When we arrived, I realized that we passed so many times in front of it, but the crowd was a bit of a deterrent...Fortunately, on a Monday night, it was not a problem: the place was not that crowded and kind of quiet, until approximately 8pm when the music started (or at least started to be more noticeable) and people started to arrive.
It has been a while since we wanted to go to Mexicue and decided to have dinner there on a Monday night, right before traveling to Europe, our fridge being empty. I like the concept that is a fusion between Mexican cuisine and BBQ, hence the name. I think it is a great idea and, for sure, they seem to have mastered it, proposing lots of interesting dishes, from tacos to sliders that include classic BBQ items such as pulled pork or smoked brisket.
Meaning "King of the village", Badshah Modern Indian is the latest venture of Abishek Sharma (who gave us Surya) and Executive Chef Charles Mani aka Chef Charlie that I met as he was going from table to table to inquire about the food. He told me that he cooks fresh ingredients found at the farmers' Market and proposes a menu that will change from time to time so it does not bore his diners, as well as himself, keeping only classics that people expect to see on the menu.
There is a new business in Hoboken and I am glad it is not another barber shop or nail salon! No, this time it is a coffee shop: Bluestone Lane Coffee. Importing the concept from Australia, you would wonder what this place has that is so different and unique. Well, it would not be the first coffee shop opening around here, Bwè being one for instance. No, but there are few things that I like about it. First is their coffee that varies from visit to visit. It is a single origin coffee that they source from the Rainforest Alliance that visits farms and certifies them for sustainability on three pillars of social, environmental and economic responsibility.
For my birthday, we went to the restaurant of my choice and I picked Cut by Wolfgang Puck, located in TriBeCa. Nice place, big and trendy, I soon regretted my choice, the noise level being high, the music in the background not helping. It was also pretty dark, that is not something I would ever understand as I always think that you eat first with your eyes. At some point we could have had more light when my menu started to burn after being pushed on top of the candle, as I was taking photos of the gougeres (cheese puffs) and bread sticks...
Porter Collins, the new venue of Anthony and Liz Pino who gave us Anthony David's and Bin 14, opened just 2 months ago in an area that is developing. It is true that the North part of Hoboken needs more restaurants and Porter Collins is for sure a good addition, serving cocktails as well as a modern American menu. We went there early on a Saturday evening, still suffering from jet lag from our trip to France.
Interesting how things can be coincidental: I ended up at Thai Sliders in Chelsea the day my friend Benny told me about this place, although he was referring to their location in the Financial District. The restaurant itself is nice, not big, but with a sense of space probably coming from the high ceiling that is garnished with some metal sheets that gives the place a sort of authentic feel.
Times Square is not the best area to get great food, lots of restaurants focusing more on foot traffic than anything else, not caring if people would have a good time and great food, so they would come back. But there are exceptions and Tony's di Napoli is one of them. We often go to this family style Italian restaurant when people visit: the food is good and prices are quite reasonable. The last time we went was with our friends, the Yates, who came visiting.