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Archive for December 2015

Myrtle Beach Lobster Roll

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Have had lobster rolls in Connecticut and Maine, there are definitely their differences, but on vacation in Myrtle Beach, made a stop by the poolside bar at the Marriott Resort and Spa at Grande Dunes and spotted a lobster roll on the menu and am not usually one to say ‘No.’

Used to the simple set-up of clumped lobster meat on a bun, on this occasion, got a generous helping of lobster, atop some lettuce and sliced tomatoes lining the bun. It was delicious. The sandwich was heartier than the typical lobster roll and it came with a well-prepared French fries.

There are certain expectations when it comes to food from a hotel bar, the Marriott Resort and Spa at Grande Dunes exceeded them on several occasions.

Lobster Roll

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Written by Paulo Loreto

December 27, 2015 at 2:32 PM

More Than a Double Scoop

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A first visit to Myrtle Beach, hit up a few spots for shopping on one of the days and found attractions at Broadway at the Beach. Usually a sucker for ice cream, especially when it was getting a bit warm from all the walking, happened upon a location of The Fudgery. Like many fudge shops, you’re welcomed by the scent of sugary goodness of the varieties of fudge made on-site. Having been, pretty much, on a hangover from enjoying fudge between the Carolinas, the focus was on the ice cream.

Peanut butter fudge ice cream – absolutely.

Ordered a double scoop in a waffle cone and the friendly server was happy to oblige. Expecting a double scoop, the server hands over a giant cone that, clearly, includes more than two scoops – it was overwhelming. She explained their location happened to be changing suppliers and since the peanut butter fudge was pretty much at the bottom of the tub, she just emptied it out… into the cone. She said, “It may look weird,” yes, it looked weird, but even more delicious.

She caught me taking a photo of it, she says, “Yes, I did that. You can say I did that!”

The Fudgery has retail locations in 15 states.

The Fudgery has retail locations in 15 states.

Written by Paulo Loreto

December 21, 2015 at 6:59 PM

Zagat Liked it on Instagram

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On a walk back through Park Slope after enjoying lunch, felt the need for some dessert, but wasn’t sure where to go. Was pretty sure there was a bakery down one of the streets along the way back, it was just a matter of picking the right one. Crisscrossed a couple blocks and found myself along 8th Avenue, the correct street and found Ladybird Bakery – have visited a few times before, just wasn’t 100% sure of the location.

Step inside and there is a small seating area, next to an expansive display case, that greets you. Cookies, cakes, and cupcakes bombard your vision and it usually takes a couple views before deciding what would suit you for the day – there have been visits where a cake looked like a viable option. After a few walks back-and-forth before the glass display, saw these large carrot cake bars – thick-cut slabs of carrot cake, with a healthy layer of icing topping it off.

Brought it home and took a bite, the cake is moist with nuts that add a much-needed crunchy texture, then that icing – the icing melds everything together – one of those icings you could eat with a spoon.

A picture of the Carrot Cake Bar was added to Instagram (@pau_loreto) and, yes, it earned a “Like” from Zagat.

A picture of the Carrot Cake Bar was added to Instagram (@pau_loreto) and, yes, it earned a “Like” from Zagat.

Written by Paulo Loreto

December 17, 2015 at 6:11 AM

Chinatown

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One of the best things about New York City’s Chinatown is the availability of delicious and cheap eats at every corner. While it seems more and more shops offering trendy Asian-inspired treats are popping up throughout the city, selling everything from bubble tea to specialty dumplings, it’s still a different experience wandering the winding streets of lower Manhattan to find meals that can be both unique and classic.

On this particular day, stopped into one of those spots that seems to carry a similar menu as any other place in Chinatown, but still will whip up a delicious plate of whatever is ordered. Can’t really go wrong with char siu and rice, really, anything “on rice” is really good, but that roast pork that nearly every Chinese restaurant has hanging in their windows – can probably eat that for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (and probably have at some point).

Since the char siu already prepared, just waiting to be sliced, it comes very quick to the table, the rice is hot, the vegetables are getting to a nice temperature sitting between the rice and the sliced pork, and the pork is, as always, amazing – the delicious sweet glaze tops everything off.

Chinatown

While it may be nothing out of the ordinary, sometimes sitting down to one of those “on rice” meals is what hits the spot, and you’re usually only paying $4 or $6 for a hearty plate of food.

Written by Paulo Loreto

December 13, 2015 at 4:57 AM

Shrimp Burger

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The Monday after Thanksgiving, got back to Park Slope, Brooklyn from Toms River, New Jersey with giant suitcase in tow and some twist ankle ligaments. After getting everything tucked away, needed to grab lunch and with limited mobility, close proximity was a necessity. Hobbled over to Krupa Grocery, a fairly new establishment, with a healthy beer selection and a menu featuring all-day breakfast and various lunch offerings from sandwiches to salads – it was pretty easy making a selection.

My eyes were immediately drawn to the Panko Crusted Shrimp Burger. The menu lists the ingredients as black tiger shrimp, seaweed salad, Korean pickles, and kewpie mayonnaise – it was a lovely setup for what arrived – a delicious treat.

Shrimp Burger

The sandwich was big. The ingredients were stacked high and the shrimp patty was massive and that first bite was an amazing mix of flavors from the crunchy shrimp and pickles to the uniquely-flavored seaweed salad. Paired with fried fingerlings – definitely a welcome change to the typical French fries or onion rings – from beginning to end the meal was fantastic.

Written by Paulo Loreto

December 11, 2015 at 6:03 AM

Dominique Ansel Kitchen

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After taking the world by storm with his cronut, have been hearing the name Dominique Ansel attached to every single delectable pastry on the internet – in particular, instagram; anytime somebody has a Dominique Ansel-related post on IG, guaranteed it makes one want to eat their phone.

On this trip to New York City, finally, an opportunity to visit one of his locations became a priority. Especially after catching an episode of “Unique Sweets” where a review of several of his pastries at Dominique Ansel Kitchen were featured. After meeting a friend for lunch in New Jersey, the first stop back in the city was Dominique Ansel Kitchen.

Just walking by the façade, was a bit thrown being eye-level with a pair of legs, the interior seating includes risers with pillows where diners could go about three steps up as they enjoy their pastries. Upon entering, turned to the left and saw piles of pastries, a large display case, and a hanging menu with pictures of each dish – as put on Facebook, “the hardest decisions ever made in life.”

One of the first things on the ‘must try’ list is the 48-hour Tea-rimisu. One of the treats featured on “Unique Sweets,” as the name suggests, it’s not the typical tiramisu and even just basing it on looks, it was an eye-catcher. The ‘ladyfingers’ are actually homemade biscuits that are soaked in black tea and lemon syrup for two days – hence, the name “48-hours.” The tea-rimisu layers are topped with cocoa powder and a stripe of black tea leaves, digging your spoon in to take in each flavor, it is a mix of floral and sweet, adding in the soaked biscuits – it’s an incredible experience.

Tea-rimisu

Of course, it couldn’t just be one dessert – but even just ordering two items, it was an overwhelming in flavors and deliciousness. Also picked up an Ultimate S’more, as described on Twitter, “this is how a little kid feels eating a standard-sized smore.” It was huge. Started with a fork, picked at the marshmallow, ganache, and chocolate shards and consumed it breaking off pieces of the speculoos cookie “crackers” – amazing. After tackling a corner, was able to actually pick it up and eat it normally – with hands – and that is where the feeling of a child kicked in – the s’more NEEDED two hands, crumbs falling all over the plate, and stickiness galore – it was absolutely the feeling of a child at joy.

Ultimate Smore

Also discovered, with the holiday season upon us, there is nothing that lets the holiday spirit kick in than perky Christmas music playing as one digs into a giant s’more.

Written by Paulo Loreto

December 5, 2015 at 7:35 AM

Chocolate Pistachio Cake

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As the cycle goes, enjoy a drink or two, fill up after a couple courses at dinner, and get ready to go, then, the dessert menu arrives. Actually, the server asks if the dessert menu is of any interest, claim to just “take a look,” and, then, end up ordering something despite being completely stuffed.

This time around, at Hugo & Sons, in Brooklyn’s Park Slope, it was the flourless chocolate pistachio cake that raised eyebrows. Paired with an orange mascarpone cream, it was an amazing – and perfect – selection to end the evening. Given that it’s a flourless cake, it was very rich, but the mascarpone and pistachio served as a good contrast and balanced the overall taste and texture.

While the rest of meal was just as fantastic, a visit would still be worth it just for the cake.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Written by Paulo Loreto

December 4, 2015 at 8:43 PM