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Archive for January 2016

Autumn Treat

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Upon visiting New Jersey, it was an immediate dash to getting shopping done to pack supplies for a box to send back to the Philippines. Visiting a warehouse store, picked up a good number of items that would be useful back home, on that last stop before the cash register, a box of cider donuts was added to the cart. Automatically, that brought back memories of apple picking with friends – a pretty remarkable tale – along with everything that makes autumn in the northeast something special.

Getting to enjoy the donut, paired with a cup of tea, it was everything one would expect. Sweet and delicious, the donut was rich, without being heavy, and coated with a light sugary powder that helped completely the experience.

Donuts can be found all over the place, in a variety of flavors, but there’s something that makes the cider donut so special. Perhaps the sentimental value of the season, the warm memories they seem to bring out in people, or just the plain great taste of them that usually isn’t imitated at any other time of the year. Definitely something unique to the northeast and something residents are very lucky to enjoy during that time of the year.

Cider Donut

Written by Paulo Loreto

January 23, 2016 at 10:32 AM

The Fitz

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Wandering somewhere in between where Midtown ends and Lenox Hill begins, as usual, it was a time for scoping out a place for lunch. Had the phone out to geolocate myself and walked passed multitudes of markers showing spots for a meal. Walked by PJ Clarke’s, been there a couple times, and it seemed like the peak of lunch rush – barely able to step inside. Immediately, left and the journey continued. Stumbled across the menu for The Fitz restaurant, housed within The Fitzpatrick Hotel, and they offered an overall decent-looking menu, was a couple blocks over and decided to give it a try.

Walked in (by this time, peak lunch was probably over) and the main seating area was filled with people having tea and coffee. Continued walking towards the back and found a full bar, equipped with bar counter seating along with high-top tables along the other side of the room. Took a seat at the bar and admired the beautifully designed bar area; dark wood, modern-looking taps, with lit-up bottles along the back wall.

By that time, after the search for lunch, needed some kind of burger or sandwich and zeroed in on the New York Steak Sandwich. Upon arrival, the sandwich was one on the beautiful side, a generous size, with plenty of steak making its appearance upon first glance. That first bite, it was on the chewier side, but nonetheless delicious; the combination of a firm steak with hearty bread made it one you had to take a good bite out of. Definitely a satisfying lunch and the steak fries that were paired with the sandwich; hot, fresh, and everything one loves about french fries.

The Fitz

Would probably consider this place for a Happy Hour.

Written by Paulo Loreto

January 13, 2016 at 7:34 AM

Visiting the Good Batch in Clinton Hill

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Heard about a place in Brooklyn that made stroopwafels; beyond that, heard they made stroopwafel ice cream sandwiches. Stroopwafels, the incredible waffle cookies made in Holland, super thin cookies with a heaping pile of caramel to glue the entire thing together. Pre-packed and bought at Schiphol airport they’re delicious, imagine them fresh and made in-house.

Arrived in the early afternoon and stepped inside. A clean interior with a wide display case, started with baked goods like scones and breads, moving down to the ice cream section. Not noticing the stroopwafel anywhere, asked if they had them available. On this day, they did not have them ready, was simply told, “later.” Buzzkill.

Had been thinking about a stroopwafel ice cream sandwich for, just about, the previous 24 hours, just to arrive too early. Took a gaze back at the ice cream sandwiches for a replacement, and honed in on the toffee vanilla ice cream sandwich. It was delicious. The cookie was soft and sweet from the toffee – even left a bit of stickiness on the fingertips, and the ice cream was great.

The Toffee Vanilla Ice Cream sandwich.

The Toffee Vanilla Ice Cream sandwich.

Mid-treat, a few other customers walked in and took coffee orders to go, while biting through the ice cream sandwich, overheard somebody ordering a hot chocolate – along with a discussion of peppermint hot chocolate; it became a necessary follow-up. Having, pretty much, made myself at home at the bench next to the window, got a peppermint hot chocolate once the ice cream was full enjoyed and it was a fantastic chaser.

A Peppermint Hot Chocolate for a misty NYC afternoon.

A Peppermint Hot Chocolate for a misty NYC afternoon.

While the visit to The Good Batch started as disappointment, there are heaps of treats the place offers to satisfy any craving one might have.

The Big Reade

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On an early Sunday afternoon, wandering lower Manhattan to meet a friend for lunch, hoping for some decent pub food. Walked down Reade Street and stopped at the Reade Street Pub, the only customers – probably the first customers, the place likely just opened a few minutes prior. After perusing the healthy beer menu (accompanied with decent prices), looked through the food menu and zeroed in on the burger selections.

The Big Reade, described as two 5oz. patties, American cheese, lettuce, onion, tomato, and what grabbed the attention was the addition of a chipotle sauce. Before the burger arrived, imagined a traditional burger, one stacked high with ingredients and two patties; arriving at the table, it was not what was expected. The burger was, essentially, split into two open-faced sandwiches. Not sure the exact way it was supposed to be enjoyed – did attempt to make it one burger and it was difficult.

In the end, went with eating one patty with the lettuce and one patty as a traditional burger – one “Atkins”-esque and the other like a slider. Tasty stuff, very satisfied but it must be said, the chipotle sauce was smoky. Understood, chipotle is known for a smoky flavor, but the abundance piled on top of each patty was breathtaking. Did have to take a bit off after the sauce was having an effect, but, ultimately, it was good pub food.

Big Reade

Written by Paulo Loreto

January 3, 2016 at 10:54 PM