A visit to Princeton, NJ!

image of university of Princeton, NJ

Recently, we went to Princeton for the day to visit our friends Livia and George.
image of university of Princeton, NJ

It was the perfect occasion for me to see the campus as I heard so much about it. It was beautiful with this spectacular architecture, its gardens and so much green (well, in figurative too).
image of university of Princeton, NJ

For lunch, Livia and George proposed to eat in one of their favorite places, apart from the main Street. 
image of Nassau street seafood and produce Co in Princeton, NJ

We did not go to the restaurant, Blue Point Grill, but to the store on the left, Nassau Street Seafood Produce and Co, where they had an impressive selection of seafood, from lobster, crab, clam and all sorts of fresh fish that can be cleaned to order. They also have caviar!
image of Nassau street seafood and produce Co in Princeton, NJ

Their fish tank with all these big lobsters was pretty impressive!
image of lobster at Nassau street seafood and produce Co in Princeton, NJ

There, they offer a menu going from soups, salads, sandwiches...and you can even see them preparing it, in the small kitchen behind the counter. 
image of Nassau street seafood and produce Co in Princeton, NJ

Jodi ordered a salad with fresh tuna.

image of Salad with fresh tuna at Nassau street seafood and produce Co in Princeton, NJ

The sauce was Caesar dressing. It was good, not overdressed and the fish (lots of it) tasted fresh. The only regret is that it was cooked all the way through and not pan seared with a red center. 

On my side, I ordered the lobster bisque. 
image of Lobster bisque at Nassau street seafood and produce Co in Princeton, NJ

I was surprised to see them take an already prepared and packaged soup and serve it. They made it though and it was pretty good with little chunks of lobster in it! 

Then, I decided to try their fish and chips.
image of Fish and Chips at Nassau street seafood and produce Co in Princeton, NJ

I could observe them preparing it and fry it. Made me hungrier! It was good: fresh fish well cooked, light and crispy batter that was not greasy. The fries that came with it were perfect too. 

Definitely a good choice off the Main Street!

Nassau street seafood and produce Co / Blue Point Grill

258 Nassau St
Princeton, NJ 08542

image of Small World Coffee in Princeton, NJ

Then, we went to Small World Coffee..for coffee. 
image of macchiato at Small World Coffee in Princeton, NJ

I ordered a cold macchiato that looked fantastic with the cream on top!
image of macchiato at Small World Coffee in Princeton, NJ

Jodi ordered an iced mint lemonade that was just ok, but really refreshing considering how hot it was outside! 
image of Mint lemonade at Small World Coffee in Princeton, NJ

Small World Coffee

14 Witherspoon St
Princeton, NJ 08542

Last top was at House of cupcakes. 
image of house of cupcakes in Princeton, NJ

This store is known because it won Cupcake Wars! We decided to share a red velvet. 
image of red velvet cupcake at house of cupcakes in Princeton, NJ

It was delicious: moist and tasty cake, fantastic cream cheese icing that was not too sweet. 

House Of Cupcakes

30 Witherspoon St
Princeton, NJ 08542

Needless to say that the walk around Princeton was necessary to digest all this good food! We definitely had a great time and are looking forward to go back to try some other fantastic food!

Enjoy (I did)!

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And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!

Blue Point Grill on UrbanspoonHouse of Cupcakes on UrbanspoonSmall World Coffee on Urbanspoon

Lobster roll at The Claw New York in NYC!

Image of The claw New York in Hell's Kitchen, NYC

I recently went to The Claw New York with my friend Benny, to their location in Hell's Kitchen. Their motto is "Bringing the Hamptons to NYC". I was wondering if I had to dress up for the event!!!

The place was not what I imagined: I thought I would order at the counter and then sit to eat. It was not the case: it was table service.

We decided to start with the crab beignets:
image of Crab beignets at The claw New York in Hell's Kitchen, NYC

They were disappointing to say the least! The dough was not as soft as beignets, it was dry and salty. Clearly not recommended!

Then we each got the lobster roll:
image of Lobster roll at The claw New York in Hell's Kitchen, NYC

It was supposed to be served with mayonnaise and butter: I write "supposed" because if there were some, it was very subtle. Don't get me wrong: I prefer that way so I can really taste the lobster. However, it would have been great with a bit more butter either when poaching the lobster or on the toasted potato bread. I also appreciated the fact that there was a nice amount of lobster!
image of Lobster roll at The claw New York in Hell's Kitchen, NYC

The fries were not the best, but I was pleased that they had some as otherwise I would have been hungry.

I think The Claw New York is decent. Not the best but decent and a good alternative if you are in the area and want to eat a lobster roll. However, know that if you go with a vegetarian, they only propose a salad...or desserts!

Enjoy (I did)!
The Claw on Urbanspoon

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And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!

Dinner at The Turtle Club in Hoboken, New Jersey

Image of the Sign of the Turtle Club in Hoboken, NJ
We were looking for a new dining experience in Hoboken and the name of that place, The Turtle Club, caught our eyes (ears? or even stomach?) This is a very old place for sure and I think the owners kept the old atmosphere alive inside: lots of wood and an arch between the two main rooms. The place was very dark and we only saw the room on the right side of the restaurant. In fact, I am not sure if I should call that a restaurant or a bar with a menu...

It was a Tuesday night and there was not that many people there at the beginning; people came later. We started off with bruschetta.
Image of Bruschetta at the Turtle Club in Hoboken, NJ

For $8, you can pick three different kinds. We decided to go with: 
  • Gorgonzola and toasted garlic.
  • Tomato and basil with olive oil.
  • Goat cheese and balsamic honey glaze.
It took forever for the food to come and I do not mind if the food is exceptional, but it was not the case: this was so disappointing! The bread was barely toasted; the tomato and basil was dry. At the end, I only liked the other two because you can just spread the goat cheese or gorgonzola on a piece of bread and they would be good. No need to be a Chef to do it right!

Then, I ordered the fish tacos:
Image of Fish tacos at the Turtle Club in Hoboken, NJ

It was three tilapia tacos with a soft taco shell stuffed with corn salsa, romaine, cilantro and sour cream. On the side was a very average (and not homemade I guess) guacamole and a very dry rice and black beans. Let me start by telling you that I did not finish the dish. The fish was dry / overcooked and tasted very fishy. 

Jodi went for the ginger and soy glazed mahi mahi:
Image of Mahi Mahi at the Turtle Club in Hoboken, NJ

The mahi mahi was also dry / overcooked. Too bad because the sauce was pretty good.

So at the end of the day, it was not a great experience: the wait staff seemed overwhelmed although very courteous and attentive to our needs and I would think, based on what we got there, that the issue was the kitchen. This was really a forgettable experience and I think that they should probably stick to bar dishes instead of trying to make a food that is too elaborate. Although, one would think that fish taco are not that complicated....

Enjoy (the post)!

The Turtle Club on Urbanspoon

Horrible Fish & Chips at The Round Table in London, England

Image of Entrance of The Round Table in London, England

Over the week end we were in London, we were walking around Covent Garden, when we decided that it was time to entertain our stomachs! We decided to go to a Pub to enjoy some traditional food. We ended up at The Round Table located on St Martins Court. Nice traditional pub with a particular smell that clearly indicates that there is a lot of beer around...

So we go there and they told us that we have to order at the bar (the table next to us did not know and we had to tell them as they were wondering why nobody was taking care of them).

So I decided to order Fish & Chips. They had the traditional one made with cod and proposed a larger version called...the Cod Father!
Image of The Cod Father at The Round Table in London, England
After a long, long time, our food arrived!
The Fish & Chips I ordered was made with cod and was served with fries, peas and tartare sauce.
Image of Fish and Chips at The Round Table in London, England

This was horrible! The peas had no taste; the fries were mushy and the fish was terrible! The batter was oily and not cooked all the way through and the fish was probably frozen. The tartare sauce not only looked weird, but also tasted weird. This was disgusting!

Jodi's sandwich was not better!
Image of the Cheddar and pickle sandwich at The Round Table in London, England

It was a cheddar and pickle sandwich. The pickle overpowered the cheese. I think I only enjoyed the bread. So bad.

That was so disappointing! Next time, I will pass my way! And by the way, the table I mentioned before that did not know you had to order at the bar was still waiting for the food when we left...

Enjoy (the photos)!

Round Table on Urbanspoon

Fish & Chips at Seashell on Lisson Grove in London, England

Image of Entrance of Seashell on Lisson Grove in London, England

If there was one dish I had to try in England, it was Fish & Chips. You can get some good ones in pubs in New York, but it is not the same! As I mentioned in the post to introduce the trip (My trip to Europe), although I went several times to London before coming to the US, I first tried this dish at...Epcot in Disney Florida! So we looked up on the internet for the best Fish & Chips places. We wanted first to go to the Golden Hind that was listed number 1 on one of the websites, but, believe or not, it was closed on Saturdays for lunch!!! We could not believe it! Why would you be closed for lunch on Saturdays??? So, as we were trying to find our way to the Imperial War Museum, we asked a very nice person in the street if she knew a good Fish & Chips place. She told us to go to Lisson Grove street and then ask people for a known place there. 
So, here we go, walking towards Lisson Grove street. When we arrived, we asked a guy at a bus stop if he knew a well known Fish & Chips place. He indicated Seashell on Lisson Grove. So that is how we ended up there.
Image of Dining room of Seashell on Lisson Grove in London, England

It was a clean place with a modern decor: for sure, you would not go there for the ambience! By the way, you remember the guy at the bus stop who told us that this was the known place for Fish & Chips? We saw him walking in the restaurant few minutes after  and I caught him on the camera! We probably asked the owner! That was pretty funny!

So we looked at the menu and there were proposing a dozen of different ways to have the Fish & Chips: the traditional with cod, with salmon, filet of sole or even langoustines! I decided to go for the traditional one.

Image of Fish and Chips at Seashell on Lisson Grove in London, England

The food took time to come, although the restaurant was not that crowded. But when it came, I did not regret it! The piece of fish was big! It tasted very fresh and was flaky, cooked all the way through. The batter was crispy and not greasy at all. I appreciated the fact that there was no bone in it! It was a delicious dish! The fries though were not that great: too soft and undercooked.

Jodi went for a salad.
Image of the House salad at Seashell on Lisson Grove in London, England

It was nice and simple.

The Fish & Chips was delicious, although a bit pricey and I would have preferred a place with more character!

Enjoy (I did)!

And remember: I just want to Eat!

Seashell 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)!

Urban lobster shack food truck in NYC, New York

If you tell French people that you are eating a lobster in a piece of bread, they will think you are crazy! Not me! Since I discovered lobster rolls, I love it! Not all of them though: I hate when they smother the whole lobster with tons of mayonnaise, to a point where you do not even taste this divine ingredient!

I think the first time I tried it was in Boston, at Faneuil Hall. Since then, I have tried it in many forms, such as the Lobster roll benedict at Anthony David's in Hoboken, NJ.

Then, last year, I went to the Food Truck Festival at South Street Seaport and tasted a succulent Connecticut style lobster roll (poached in butter!!!) from The Red Hook Lobster Pound (see the related post: Food Truck Festival at South Street Seaport (NYC) on August 20th!).

Then, I noticed this red truck on the corner of 52nd and 6th in New York: Urban Lobster Shack. With a name like this, there is no question what it is about! They have in fact a brick and mortar restaurant Midtown, as well as one in the Financial District. I spoke with the Chef who told me that they started couple of month ago with the truck. The menu is defined everyday, based on her mood. For instance, the second time I went, I did not see the different dishes made with crab: she was not in the mood for it!

So, I tried several of their rolls.

The traditional ("Our famous lobster roll").

This was my first. At first, I was surprised by the size of it as the roll is a tiny hot dog roll. For $13, it was a bit small. But the taste was amazing: the lobster was perfectly cooked, tasty, perfectly seasoned, with a nice buttery taste (the roll is toasted and buttered). 

Then I tried the Chef's scampi lobster roll.

Good too, but too much garlic! It for sure protected me from vampires for a month. However, it was filled with lobster! Yum!

The last one was the Chef's creation: Asian Lobster Roll:

It was served with celery, a wasabi soy sauce topped with sesame seeds. I like the originality and the taste of the dish. But the traditional one is my favorite!

I like the fact that they propose many different types of Lobster Rolls and wish they serve more often crab rolls as an alternative...But $13 / $14 seems a bit overpriced, although the rolls are filled with the lobster. I would eat again there, but not everyday!

Enjoy (I did)!

Urban Lobster Shack on Urbanspoon Urban Lobster Shack on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review: The Clam Broth House (Hoboken, NJ) - CLOSED

Updated on 3/18/12 - The Clam Broth House CLOSED!
I am not sure I am that surprised considering how the food was when I went there! See the original post below!

Original post 10/1/11:
So we went to The Clam House in Hoboken. Or shall I call it The Cr*p Broth House based on the experience I got??? It was bad, bad bad: service, food and noise level! 

I was thrilled to go: first because I LOVE seafood. Second, because when it reopened in Hoboken earlier this year, there have been a lot of buzz. The restaurant originally opened in 1899 and catered to dock workers. Apparently, the restaurant's floor was full of shells. Interesting enough, it was forbidden to women until the 70's. The restaurant closed in 2003. New owners decided to reopen it this year, taking advantage of the status of landmark of the old restaurant.

I looked at the menu the day before and already decided on trying several appetizers instead of having an entree. I could already smell their specialty: the clam chowder! So we showed up to the restaurant and I was surprised to see that it was not that crowded for a Friday night. They apparently have a jazz band on Fridays. Good idea, but unfortunately very loud! When I have dinner and there is a band, I like to enjoy the music and the conversation!
Then, the service was bad: the food took forever to come (remember that it was no crowded) and the waiter keep disappearing! When the food came, I was thinking: I hope it is worth it and at first sight, it looked very appetizing! Well it was not...We tried:

  • New England Clam Chowder: homemade, one of their specialties. The cream was good although a little too liquid for clam chowder. In the bottom, there were a lot of clams. Unfortunately, they were too chewy.
  • Clams oreganata (gratinees): few clams were a little tough. Not bad besides that.
  • Crab cakes (of course): it was served with Chipotle aioli. At first, when splitting the crab cakes, I was pleased to see the jumbo lump crab. But it was totally bland!!! And the aioli was so spicy! So sad!
  • East Coast Halibut with Crispy potato pancake, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, capers. The crispy potato pancake was very good. Unfortunately, the fish was overcooked, so dry!

So, imagine: after all of that, the only things I liked were the bread and the potato pancake!!! They should probably change their menu and name to stick to these 2 items! The Potato Pancake House....

Not worth it....
Clam Broth House on Urbanspoon

A Trip To Milwaukee - Part 11: Barnacle Buds

So here comes the last meal to review after this memorable trip to Milwaukee. There was definitely some good eatin' there!

Barnacle Buds is a seafood restaurant in the Bay view area that has a fantastic outdoor deck with an amazing view. I do not think I would have found this place without being invited there and a GPS is definitely necessary to find them, as it is in the middle of an industrial area, a good hour walk from downtown Milwaukee. Even with that, it was packed and, Boy!, there was some ambiance there! Especially with this singer / guitar player who was having a shot of whiskey after each song and had table participate to the show. 

Food wise, they serve different types of seafood: oysters, mussels, crab cakes... They also serve burgers, wings...I went for the crab cake benedict. The crab cake was good: you could really taste the crab. However, I was disappointed by the poached eggs: they were overcooked. How can you overcook that ! What is interesting is that I was not the only one who had an overcooked egg. So maybe they prefer doing it this way... That was a big disappointment because the beauty of an egg benedict is when you break the yolk and it falls on the other ingredients of the dish, as if it was a sauce in addition to the Hollandaise (that was very good). And then you dip the crab cakes and muffin in the yolk and sauce, bringing an explosion of flavors to your palate! The dish was served with two hash brown very crispy, but kind of greasy.

I saw some other of their dishes and they looked appetizing (mussels and fries, oysters, wings), with a very simple and rustic presentation. If you like a Bloody Mary, theirs looked good with a pickle in it!

Despite the eggs, I would go back and would go for the oysters and mussels! I would also go back for the crab cakes but not benedict...

Enjoy (I did)! 

Barnacle Bud's on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review: Pacific Grill (New York, NY)

Yes, I know: a lot of restaurants in South Street Seaport are not good and for tourists who do not know better. This time, I was one of them...We wanted to go to South Street Seaport to have a taste of Soul Daddy, the winner of The Next Great American Restaurant. Unfortunately, the restaurant closed after a little over a month. So we looked around and, as I was in the mood for seafood, we ended up at Pacific Grill. This restaurant opened in 2004. Let first see how they explain their opening on their website:
"[...] Pacific Grill swept into town like a tsunami wave from the Asian Pacific and put a spin on seafood classics".
Let me tell you: the tsunami and the spin must have been so strong that it messed up the kitchen! Their lobster bisque was passable and I had better with Freshdirect! The crab cakes were disgusting! The tomato and mozzarella sandwich was bland! It was not a good experience and I will not even give them a second chance!

Enjoy...but somewhere else!!!

Pacific Grill on Urbanspoon