The Gotham West Market - part 5/5: Court Street Grocers

image of Court Street Grocers at The Gotham West Market

The last restaurant we visited at The Gotham West Market was Court Street Grocers, an outpost of the Brooklyn food shop. Smaller than the other places there, they offer a menu composed of mouth watering sandwiches, mainly for carnivores, the vegetarian options being limited, although I have no doubt that they would accommodate. 
image of Court Street Grocers at The Gotham West Market

So we sat at the counter, overlooking the small kitchen. 
image of kitchen at Court Street Grocers at The Gotham West Market

Jodi decided to order their grilled cheese sandwich. 
image of grilled cheese sandwich at Court Street Grocers at The Gotham West Market

It was made of four different cheeses (Swiss, Pecorino, mozzarella and cheddar) and tomato mayo, squeezed between two slices of brioche bread. So, if you are a cheese lover, this is definitely good stuff! I was scared at first that it was too burnt on the outside, but in fact, it was fine. As they were generous with the quantity of cheese, it was deliciously gooey, oozing from the sandwich, like a call to be eaten. 

image of grilled cheese sandwich at Court Street Grocers at The Gotham West Market

With the grilled cheese came a side of pickles:
image of pickles at Court Street Grocers at The Gotham West Market

On my side, I ordered the Italian combo:
image of Italian combo sandwich at Court Street Grocers at The Gotham West Market

It was prepared with mortadella, salami, hot copa, mozzarella, Swiss, Pecorino, arugula, red mayo, a hoagie sauce and vinaigrette. As they were out of hero bread, we went for a ciabatta. 
image of Italian combo sandwich at Court Street Grocers at The Gotham West Market

Not only it looked appetizing, but it was scrumptious, packed in flavors, each layer contributing to a great taste that made us regret it was not bigger. 

With our sandwiches, we simply ordered a coke and chips. 
image of coca cola and chips at Court Street Grocers at The Gotham West Market

This was very good: my favorite was the Italian combo that is definitely recommended. On top of that, the service was courteous and efficient. Definitely a good sandwich place to know. 

Enjoy (I did)!

Court Street Grocers Sandwich Shop on Urbanspoon

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And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!

My nephew culinary visit: day 8 / part 1: Italian sandwiches at M&P Biancamano in Hoboken, NJ

image of M&P Biancamano in Hoboken, NJ

Next stop with Valentin was M&P Biancamano in Hoboken. Why? Well, first to try a good Italian sandwich and then, because we discovered this place recently and loved it!
image of M&P Biancamano in Hoboken, NJ

First of all, it is not a restaurant, but a deli with few tables next to the entrance if you cannot wait to inhale your sandwich and shelves full of food, mainly Italian, from Pasta to Olive oil to panettone. 

image of M&P Biancamano in Hoboken, NJ

But it is in the back that the whole operation to create fantastic sandwiches takes place and you cannot miss the huge pieces of charcuterie hanging from the ceiling, promising some fresh cuts of meat!
image of charcuterie at M&P Biancamano in Hoboken, NJ

The owners, Terry and Peter were there to serve us each time, very courteous and ready to help us if were not sure what to order, making the experience enjoyable and highlighting the fact that it is a family business, a sort of neighborhood shop that makes you feel welcome.

image of charcuterie at M&P Biancamano in Hoboken, NJ

Looking at Peter slicing the meat is always a fascinating, considering how generous he is with the portions. Yes, their sandwiches are huge! The first time we did not know and ordered the one with ham, prosciutto, salami, sopressata, Swiss cheese, lettuce and tomatoes with a balsamic vinegar dressing. There was so much meat that we could not even close the sandwich and shared held for lunch and half for dinner! But this is not it: it costed us less than $18 with chips!

image of Italian sub at M&P Biancamano in Hoboken, NJ

image of Italian sub at M&P Biancamano in Hoboken, NJ

So, of course we went back there! And this time we got curious about the mozzarella that they make themselves and has been nominated "Best Mutz in Hoboken" last January, in a competition at the Elks Club. This time, we decided to order only half a sandwich, but when I saw it on the plate(s), I was wondering if it was really half; Peter confirmed!
image of Italian sub at M&P Biancamano in Hoboken, NJ

Valentin went for prosciutto, fresh mozzarella and roasted peppers:
image of Italian sub with fresh mozzarella at M&P Biancamano in Hoboken, NJ

I went for mortadella, salami and mozzarella:
image of Italian sub with fresh mozzarella at M&P Biancamano in Hoboken, NJ

For sure, the quantities were again generous, creating massive half sandwiches! Imagine that these two sandwiches with two sodas costed us $19.50!
image of Italian sub with fresh mozzarella at M&P Biancamano in Hoboken, NJ

They were delicious: soft bread (they have a crispy one that I never tried), fantastic mozzarella that was soft and smooth (as opposed to rubbery), with high quality of meat.

This might look rustic, but there is no better place for such good sandwiches! I am now officially a big fan of M&P Biancamano!

Enjoy (I did)!

M & P Biancamano on Urbanspoon

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And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!

Nanoosh Mediterranean Cuisine in Greenwich Village, NYC, New York

Image of Nanoosh Mediterranean Cuisine in Greenwich Village, NYC, New York

Still looking for cheap places near Union Square, we ended up at Nanoosh, a restaurant serving Mediterranean food. The place was packed so we imagined that there was a reason for it. The dining room was pretty big with high ceilings adding to the impression of volume. They sat us at the communal wooden table. 

The menu is supposed to be on the healthy side, featuring salads (Greek, greens, tabbouleh, quinoa...), hummus plates (with falafel, chicken, beef...), wraps or for an even healthier version, bowls, that are in a way or to simplify this post, a different version of the salads or hummus plates they propose. 

We decided to go for hummus plates. The hummus can be plain (original) or made with roasted red peppers. It is made daily with fresh organic chickpeas. 

Jodi decided to go for the falafel hummus plate. 
Image of falafel hummus plate at Nanoosh Mediterranean Cuisine in Greenwich Village, NYC, New York

And I ordered the chicken hummus plate.
Image of chicken hummus plate at Nanoosh Mediterranean Cuisine in Greenwich Village, NYC, New York

With the hummus plates, they brought us some pita (we picked whole grain):
Image of Pita at Nanoosh Mediterranean Cuisine in Greenwich Village, NYC, New York

The presentation was beautiful and very appetizing. They laid out the hummus in the bottom and then added the different ingredients. We added some toppings such as cucumber, tomatoes and olives, but I have to say that I was surprised that they charged us for it ($1 each), especially as it was not a big quantity they put and it definitely contributed to make the dishes pricey compared to other similar restaurants like Mamoun's falafel or Taim!
In term of taste, it was disappointing: the falafel, that were baked (therefore healthier than their fried version) were missing some crunch and texture. The hummus was just ok, not as tasty as I would have liked. The chicken was good at well as the olives!

I also ordered a mint iced tea:
Image of Mint iced tea at Nanoosh Mediterranean Cuisine in Greenwich Village, NYC, New York

I guess the mint part refers to the couple of mint leaves that were added to the iced tea. Unfortunately, there were not enough to give that wonderful refreshing taste to the drink. 

When we finished our dinner, we felt that something was missing and that our dinner was incomplete. For sure it was not dessert as they only proposed rice pudding or a chocolate dessert...

To conclude: average food and pricey considering the much cheaper choices in the city! I definitely prefer Mamoun's falafel or Taim over Nanoosh!

Enjoy (...)!

Nanoosh on Urbanspoon

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And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!

Steak Sandwich at Black Bear Bar in Hoboken, New Jersey

Image of Black Bear Bar and Grill in Hoboken, New Jersey NJ
I went to Black Bear for their burger a long time ago and while discussing about it with a friend, he mentioned the steak sandwich that they serve. I did not need more information to be convinced that I had to try it!

So we went there for lunch. The place is a popular bar, located on Washington Street in Hoboken, with two stories and several rooms. What was interesting is the part of the wall that has all these hot sauces:
Image of Black Bear Bar and Grill in Hoboken, New Jersey NJ
I did not know there are so many different one!

Anyway, I was there for the sandwich, not the decor or ambiance...I ordered the steak sandwich medium.
Image of Steak sandwich at Black Bear Bar and Grill in Hoboken, New Jersey NJ
The steak sandwich is slice steak, caramelized onions and sauteed mushrooms. This thing was huge and had an amazing smell that opened my appetite! Only problem was how to eat it as, as you can see on the photo, there was a lot of meat on the bread. I succeeded to close the sandwich and had a divine first bite! The bread was very soft and, as it had been toasted, a bit crispy, adding some texture to the dish. The steak was very good: tender and juicy. Unfortunately, there was too much garlic...This sandwich was definitely packed with flavors from the onions, mushroom and steak! If they lower the quantity or even eliminate the garlic, it will be a must have!

Jodi ordered a Hoboken Cobb salad.
Image of Cobb salad at Black Bear Bar and Grill in Hoboken, New Jersey NJ
She asked without meat and ended up paying the full price by the way...The salad was good though with lots of blue cheese...

Although too garlic-y, the steak sandwich was worth it! If I had to go again, I would probably ask them  one with no garlic as I am not planning to be victim of a vampire attack...

Enjoy (I did)!

Black Bear Bar on Urbanspoon

Salads at Pita Grill in Hoboken, NJ

After a week end full of food, we decided to have a salad at Pita Grill in Hoboken. Pita Grill is a chain that you can find in lots of places. The concept is healthy Mediterranean food.

We started off with a fresh squeezed orange juice.
This was a real fresh squeezed OJ, not a watered down one and for $3, there was a nice quantity of it!

For the salads, Jodi had the Goat cheese salad.
It is composed of mesclun greens, golden raisins and roasted walnuts tossed with a lemon honey vinaigrette. Served with grilled pita, topped with Goat cheese and caramelized onions. This is one of my favorites, especially the pita with caramelized onions and goat cheese! The sweetness of the onions completes so well the tartness of the cheese. Definitely to try!

On my side, I got a Pita Grill salad.
It is made of grilled chicken and basil-rubbed eggplant over mesclun greens, dried cranberries, crumbled Feta and with a roasted red pepper vinaigrette. That was delicious and fresh! The chicken was perfectly cooked: moist with a nice burnt taste on the charred areas. The vinaigrette was very light and subtle. I finished my plate!

So definitely, this is the place to go for a healthy lunch! I will try to remember the day I go to another food marathon...

Enjoy (I did)!

Pita Grill of Hoboken on Urbanspoon

Philippo's in Clark, NJ

Last time, we grab some sandwiches at Philippo's Pizza in Clark, NJ. I love Italian sandwiches: I find it a very comforting food. What is important for me in an Italian sandwich is a soft bread and lots of cheese!

It is the second time we tried food there. This time, we went with an all parmigiana menu: eggplant parmigiana and chicken parmigiana subs.

The subs are huge!
Imagine that what you are seeing on the photo is half a eggplant parmigiana sandwich on a regular plate! And it only costs $8.50!

I loved it: great taste and not greasy at all! They were very generous with the amount of eggplant.
The chicken parmigiana sub was also big and loaded with cheese. It was good, but the chicken was cut too thin so its taste did not always go through.

For this second try, this was again very good, at a very reasonable price. Definitely a good place to go to if you crave Italian subs, cold or hot!

Enjoy (I did)!

Philippo's Pizza on Urbanspoon

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

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"!

It was like a large tunnel with large metal beams. Like the building, the walls were made of bricks. There were very few stores and gallery opened and wichcraft was close to the very end of it.

The place is small, but there are tables outside to sit. The service was courteous and very quick. The menu offers sandwiches, salads and soups, as well as cookies for dessert.

We decided to start with the Aged Gruyere sandwich.
It was like a grilled cheese sandwich. I did not really like it because you could barely taste the aged gruyere (I think they should have put more of it): it was overpowered by the roasted onions that were like caramelized onions; there was too much of it and it was therefore way too sweet.

The second sandwich we tried was the heritage smoked ham.
This sandwich was fantastic! The bread, a cranberry pecan bread, was delicious. The sandwich contained poached pears, aged gruyere and dijon mustard besides the ham.
Contrary to the aged gruyere sandwich, they put a lot of ham. What was great was the addition of the poached pears that added some sweetness to counterbalance the saltiness of the ham. This was a great sandwich!

With the sandwiches, we got potato chips (not homemade unfortunately) and a delicious lemonade.
Although I did not like one of the sandwiches, I really enjoyed the experience at Wichcraft and recommends it! If you go, get the Heritage Smoked Ham sandwich: it is amazing!

Enjoy (I did)!

'wichcraft on Urbanspoon

Salumeria, Amazing hoagie, in Philadelphia, PA

This year again, we went to the Reading Terminal Market and ended up at Salumeria, an Italian deli that serves cheeses and delicious sandwiches.

But we went back for the hoagies (or sub / Italian sandwich). We ordered the Italian Hoagie.
On the photo above, you see only half of this foot long sandwich, made with salad, provolone, ham, mortadella, capricola and salami.
That was a fantastic sandwich: delicious bread and divine meats! What else to ask? If you are in the Reading Terminal Market, stop there: you will not regret it!

Enjoy (I did)!

  Salumeria on Urbanspoon

The Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia, PA

You cannot go to Philadelphia without visiting the Reading Terminal Market! This place has some incredible food! Not all the food is good, but they have some little gems there!

I love going to this kind of places where there are so many different merchants that you do not know where to go and what to eat! They serve: meat, fish, vegetables, ice cream, pastries... And then, you can eat French (crepes!), Thai, Italian, Middle Eastern...
Each time we went to Philly, we stopped there!

The variety of food is so amazing that just walking around will make you discover some incredible vendors such as Wan's seafood!
Their stand look amazing and fresh!
I saw these huge Wild Shrimp! Trust me, these, simply grilled on a BBQ must be fantastic!

There is also an Amish owned traditional deli, called The Riehl Deli.
Not only do they have a wide variety of cheeses, they have tons of meats!
But what caught my eyes was clearly on the sweet side...

First were the Termini Brothers with their Italian cookies!
And decadent cakes!
Then, the custom made Chocolate by Mueller:
They seem to have some amazing creation like the chocolate brain....
Pretty funny!

There is also the phenomenal Flying Monkey!
Look at that! If I did not have to go to the Franklin Fountain later on, I would have had some of their cakes!
They looked incredible!

So definitely, the Reading Terminal Market is the place to go for some surprising and decadent food! I will stop there next time again for sure! By the way, it is there that we found Salumeria, an authentic Italian hoagies joint!

If you go, before leaving, do not forget to make a donation to Philbert, the pig in the center of the market! It goes to charity for children of the community!

Enjoy (I did)!

Pat's vs. Tony Luke's Cheesesteak in Philadephia, PA

I love Philadelphia: great city close to New York, with a fantastic food scene! Imagine that it is where there is the original Morimoto restaurant, where Marc Vetri has his amazing venue (review to come)! I will also mention the Reading Terminal Market, Sabrina's or Honey's for brunch!

But for sure, you cannot go to Philly without trying a Philly Cheesesteak! Now, there are many, many places serving this delicious sandwich, but not all of them are great. I remember that way back, we went to Philly with Jodi and a friend of mine from France, Malika. We found this amazing place close to the university that served us an amazing cheesesteak. It was not a popular joint and dinners were mainly students. Too bad that at that time I did not have the blog: no photo and no address! I then tried Geno's: this was fabulous! I remember the delicious bread and this incredibly tender meat. Then last year, we went to Geno's main competitor: Pat's King of Steaks.

Although the cheesesteak looked amazing, it was not good at all: not enough cheese when ordering something else than cheese whiz (provolone for instance), the meat was tough and the bread just ok. It left a sensation of dryness that was very disappointing!

This year, we went to Tony Luke's, thanks to the show Man vs Food (I always check where Adam goes). To be honest, I thought that Geno's was in fact Tony Luke's!!! But when we arrived there, after a 1h30 walk in a terrible heat, I realized it was not that! So, anyway, we ordered two foot long cheesesteaks. 

The first cheesesteak was with cheese whiz.
The second one with provolone.
Note that the color of the photo can be a bit greenish because of the lighting where we were sitting. 

So, let me tell you: this was amazing! I inhale mine and got part of Jodi's cheesesteak (no choice: it is solely for the blog - and yes: I am fully dedicated). First of all, not only were they generous on the meat portion, but it tasted amazingly good! It was made of ribeye and was tender, juicy and cooked to perfection. The bread was perfect too, very soft. Last but not least was the cheese: nice amount! It was the first time I tried cheese whiz and found that it was it was pretty good with the steak!

So definitely a good joint! A bit far from the center, but worth the trip!

Enjoy (I did)!

Tony Luke's on UrbanspoonPat's King of Steaks on Urbanspoon