Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Fall 2010 Coffee & Beer Bender

Over the past few months, I've been on a journey.  With my Hipstamatic-loaded iphone warm and ready to shoot, I went on a wonderful bender filled with lots of food and drinks.  This is a small photo record of some of my accomplishments. (Click image for larger view)



































Monday, October 11, 2010

Arlo & Esme - East Village - Brioche French Toast

Oddly enough, I found my next brunch spot during a heavy night of drinking.(sorry mom)  Arlo and Esme is an amazing night spot in the East Village, but is also known for great coffee.  After my night out, I decided to go back the next morning to try their coffee.  Much to my surprise, I found out they had a brunch menu too!

Before we dive into the food, I have to discuss the coffee (see photo) We're looking at a large cup, a creative presentation (jack-o-lantern?!), and the most important part... IT WAS AMAZING. This latte was probably the best I've had in NYC, so feel free to watch for me on any given morning (I'm the unshaven, shaggy-haired, hippy-lookin guy, who is probably rambling about how good the coffee is.)

While the menu is pretty slim (about 6 dishes),everything sounded pretty amazing. It took a while, but I finally decided to go with the Brioche French Toast, with a side of scrambled eggs.

French toast is not a food I normally eat. It tends to be way too sweet for me and I feel awful afterward. Well, I am mid-meal right now (yes, I'm blogging and eating**) and I am loving this. (maybe I'm just happy because my second latte just arrived) caramelized bananas, a little powdered sugar and maple syrup over perfectly cooked Brioche (crispy & flakey, warm). A lot of breads really lose their texture after "being frenched"(ha), but I gotta say, Brioche really knows how to hold it together.

Sorry mom, I love you, but that white bread french toast I grew up with may not cut it anymore. Arlo & Esme has set the bar high with this dish. Dont believe me? Come check it out for yourself. Oh, & did I mention it only cost 8 dollars???!

**Not a live broadcast.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Delicatessen - Soho - Low Country Grits

Delicatessen is just a few short blocks from my apartment, is almost always busy, and I generally avoid it because of that.  I'm a little stupid about lines (I don't do them).  However, this weekend something amazing was in the air, so I decided to walk in and take a seat at the bar.

One glance at the menu, not even giving my bartender Victor (better known as "Vegas") a chance to get my drink order, I saw my next meal...the Low Country Grits.

Delicatessen's Low Country Grits are simple and extremely tasty. They are made up of a base of grits, topped with cheddar cheese, bacon, and a fried egg, all piled into a bowl (add hot sauce for added awesomeness). I will say that the presentation did leave a little to be desired, but to be honest, the food didn't last long enough for me to care.  The only real mistake they made was serving it with a fork, but not a spoon.  (So I used my hands, sue me)

As I'm sure I've mentioned (and if not, I will to a fault) I am a NYC transplant from NW Florida/North Carolina.  I love me some southern food, and grits fall into that category.  It's one of those foods that you don't find often in NYC, and when you do, they are generally lacking.  That is not the case with Delicatessen, these were some of the best grits I've ever eaten.

This amazing bowl of southern goodness comes in at 10 bucks, and worth every penny. Throw in a coffee, and a couple of Vegas' signature bloody marys (that kid can make a drink with some BITE) and it really makes for a great brunch.

All in all, this place is a must.

A side note, as you can tell by the dates on these blogs, I've been seriously neglecting The Lower Eats Side! Good news is, I have lots of meals backblogged (get it?), so expect a nice set of updates in the coming weeks.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

FISH - West Village - 6 Blue Point Oyster Special & Seafood Gumbo

FISH has been one of my favorite NYC restaurants for about a year now.  I wandered in randomly last May and had one of the best blackened catfish poboys of my life.  I grew up in a small town in Florida  on the Gulf, so seafood is one of my favorite food categories.  I'm not talking fancy-schmancy seafood. FISH has GREAT, old-fashioned, seafood shanty cooking.  One step into this restaurant and you no longer feel like you are in NYC.

While the whole menu is great, what gets a lot of people in here is their deal on oysters.  They offer an amazing deal, 6 Blue Point Oysters plus a glass of wine or a PBR for eight dollars.  With that price you will see many people walk in here and get several rounds.  Considering beer & wine is rarely seen for less than six dollars, everyone walks away happy.  The dish comes very simply presented with some lemon, aioli, and a tartar sauce.  However, MY favorite way to eat an oyster, is with a little dab of Tabasco.  (Yes, two blogs in a row where I proved my manliness by eating spicy food)  The point is, Oysters + drinks = cheap good meal (and a good time).  Nothing more to say about that deal.

I, however, cannot survive on oysters alone.  I decided to get a bowl of seafood gumbo (not pictured) because I can rarely pass up a good bowl of gumbo.

Let's take a second to talk about my standards for a good gumbo:

1. It needs a suitable amount of fish, shrimp, mussels and whatever other seafood that is included. Come on, it's SEAFOOD gumbo.
2. Okra, onion, celery, and bell peppers are a necessity. Anything else can be deemed overkill.
3. It's gotta have a little kick to it.  (Thrice now)

FISH's gumbo has almost everything I could ask for, and it tastes fantastic.  However, it's missing that key fourth need, rice.  While rice brings nothing to the table flavor-wise, it does bring the most important thing to me, texture.  Without rice, seafood gumbo, to me, is just a heavy soup or a light stew.  FISH also happens to be the only restaurant in the city that doesn't carry white rice, so I couldn't even get it on the side.

Anyways, rice-less qualities aside, FISH is a great spot.  If you're in the West Village on Bleecker, and you are looking for a seafood fix, this is your place.

UPDATE: I found a picture on my phone of the amazing catfish po-boy!