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Archive for the ‘New York City’ Category

Australian Burger

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In all the years in New York City and all the variety of foods consumed in that time, there is really nothing that satisfies than a good hamburger. Leaving the United States, learned very quickly that a good hamburger cannot be taken for granted and it’s not as simple a concept as one would imagine in formulating a decent burger. Having enjoyed an extended vacation in 2015, stopped by one of the regular haunts, The Australian NYC – the only place to enjoy live rugby league at five in the morning.

If there’s anything as quintessentially Australian as koalas and kangaroos, it’s the way they enjoy their burgers. Two words: Beetroot and pineapple. Have had pineapple on burger before, usually places call it an “Aloha burger” or something Hawaiian, but it’s the Australians that have locked in an amazing combination of flavors with the variety of toppings. Given the other essentials – lettuce, tomato, onion – the burger can stack pretty high, but what other way is there to enjoy it?

The burger at The Australian NYC is both a classic and a new concept (depending on where you’re coming from). Must say, personally, not one to really indulge in beetroot that often, it’s usually only on hamburgers that the ingredient ever springs up. The Aussie burger is a nice contrast to the regular burger one would get at a typical pub, plus (for newbies), it has that little extra from the Aussie ingredients without getting too far into weird burger territory.

Beetroot and pineapple never worked better together.

Beetroot and pineapple never worked better together.

It also comes with some really tasty fries.

Written by Paulo Loreto

February 15, 2016 at 8:12 AM

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

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