5 Things That New Yorkers Should Eat This Weekend

…or, at least, that THIS New Yorker will be eating.

1. The world’s best huevos rancheros

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2. Good ole fashioned Jewish chopped liver. 

3. Kale salad. A really good kale salad. 

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4. Cupcakes that make it worthwhile to change out of my pajamas. 

5. A really delicious slice of pizza. 

Look, I put kale in there, okay?

Happy eating, folks!

Delivery Diaries: Hummus Place

It’s time for another edition of Delivery Diaries.

This time, it is a simple lunch special for one from Hummus Place

For $10, I got a fresh, tasty, wholesome falafel sandwich and some slightly less healthy but still delicious fries.

Let’s take a look:

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Fries

Plentiful, obviously freshly made, and – shocker of shockers – not at all soggy. I mean, how many times have you had soggy, moist delivery fries. Gross. These are delivered so quickly that hey don’t have enough time to get soggy. They aren’t salted, which I LOVE – it’s pure potato-ey flavor. Not gourmet, but an indulgent and delicious sandwich accompaniment. 

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Falafel sandwich

A good delivery option, though nowhere near as satisfying as my favorite salad bar laden version at Maoz. The falafel does suffer a bit from sog factor, though it is well spiced with herbs and salt. The toppings are very good, and the tahini-heavy hummus is outstanding. It’s creamy and rich in a silk, olive oily, almost sweet way. It’s really superior. So is the green hot sauce, laden with cilantro and red pepper flakes -it’s no joke, so apply it sparingly unless, like me, you are a hot sauce masochist. Some pickles are all that’s missing to really bring this sandwich to the next level – that bright, acidic flavor would round this out well. Additionally, the portion is satisfying but not huge or messy, which makes this easy to eat while emailing or working.

Hummus Place is well priced and delivers well ahead of its projected delivery time. It’s not anywhere near my favorite falafel place, but for a quick lunch or dinner while working, I completely endorse it.

Mid Week Break!

Hi all!

Last night was my dear husband’s birthday. Instead of going to Shake Shack like he really wanted, I bought us a joint birthday present and took him out for an awesome sushi bar experience. However, no photographs were allowed. And there may have been 2 cocktails and a bottle of INCREDIBLE sake.

And, of course, to prepare for the meal, all I ate yesterday were 7 peanut butter Reese’s eggs, a piece of cheddar cheese, and a handful of dill and salt Triscuits.

So, I’m taking the day to nurse my hangover and eat some food that is blog worthy – I promise to be back tomorrow with more crave-worthy eats!

Delivery Diaries: Legend 72

This is a new idea where I will be posting about my takeout/order-in meals. What travels well, what arrives in a timely manner, etc.

Because there are, like, 3 months every year that I ACTUALLY never leave my house.

 So here’s Legend 72. NOT the cheapest delivery Chinese on the UWS, but it’s true to the time estimated and it’s absolutely, without a doubt, the best tasting.  20150221_192848 Cold sesame noodles

Nutty, chewy, creamy. A little ambient spice but nothing too WHAM BAM. It’s comforting and familiar but also complex and pitch perfect in its flavors.
20150221_192917 Sichuan cucumbers

The star of the meal. Tender-crisp, peeled, and served in a slightly garlicky, very verdant, thick, slick dressing. Cools you down without being bland. The perfect, fresh counterpart to an otherwise carb and fat heavy meal.  20150221_193001 Ma po tofu

This is just damn good ma po tofu. Jiggly, velvety cubes of tofu that are molten and soft but not mushy. Savory ground pork in a fiery, bubbly sauce laden with Sichuan peppercorns and red pepper flakes. A smattering of fresh chives and a spoonful of chile oil on top. This is everything I want in the winter. And it makes my nose run from its intense spice, so…booyah!

20150221_193038 Chongqing chicken

The best delivery version of this dish in the city – no question. Salty, meaty, juicy, ma la all OVER the place, and more than just a little bit of garlic. The peppers tickle your tongue with heat right before the peppercorns provide that weirdly pleasant numbing effect. It’s as close as you can get to a high without hopping on a plane to Colorado. If you are acquainted with heartburn, best to skip this. But if you, like I, love strong flavors and can handle the heat, get this in the kitchen.  20150221_193103 Juicy pork buns

Okay, so soup dumplings dont transport well. My bad. Still juicy and delicious, though the skin is woefully thick and that luscious broth was all over the container by the time it got to my home. Luckily, I just spooned it over rice and called it a day.

Legend 72 is the greatest Chinese delivery on the UWS. Yeah, I called it. You need to order about 90 minutes before you want to eat, but they are on Seamless and they are timely. The food is beyond delicious – it’s downright craveworthy. As in, it’s better than many dine-in Chinese meals that I have eaten. It’s not cheap, but you aren’t getting frozen shrimp and mystery meat beef with broccoli here. You are getting the real deal and it’s worth every penny.

Sweatpants, the couch, and some amazing sesame noodles. What’s wrong with that?

Weekend Eats: Slush Edition

This weekend was cold, slushy, and there were, like, NO good movies out.

Did anyone else eat almost entirely crap this weekend?
20150219_105349 Cadbury Creme Egg Biscuits

Duty free shopping at Heathrow isn’t about expensive moisturizer and gargantuan sized bottles of booze for me. Nope, for me it’s about potato chips and cool candy. Oh, and the greatest cookies since the first Girl Scout came to town. Buttery shortbread topped with that wonderfully sweet Cadbury Egg creme and enrobed in thick milk chocolate. These are sweet, rich, and the perfect afternoon snack. Or breakfast. Whatevs.
20150221_092733 Dunkin Donuts

VOM! Was this place always so repulsive? Cottony, sticky, stale, tasteless balls of crapola stuffed with phosphorescent jam. UGH.  20150222_110408 Avocado toast at The Smith

Again with the avocado toast, again with The Smith. I regret nothing. This is a delicious, savory, filling breakfast is a symphony of clean tastes and textures. Crunchy, seeded bread. Smooth avocado. Creamy poached eggs. Sharp scallions and bright, vinegary frisee. A healthy dose of red pepper flakes. Sunday morning and a cup of coffee are perfect accompaniments.

72 Hours in the Middle East: Qatar Airways LHR-DOH

*This series covers a once in a lifetime trip with my dad. He is a member of an elite squad known as – no, not the Special Victim’s Unit – the Concierge Key Crew. He has flown and accrued over 12 million miles with American Airlines and, as such, he has been invited to be part of this unpublished, invite only, members’ club. You can’t buy your way in or request membership – you must fly some unpublished number of flights/miles per year in order to gain entry. He flies a certain number of qualifying miles each year to keep his outrageous perks. Every year he does a few crazy, 72 hour trips in premium cabins to  maintain his status. This time, he invited me to accompany him. This is my story.  (DUNH DUNH – SVU music).*

Now onto the best flight of my life.  I always want to get off a plane – to get to my destination ASAP and start exploring. 

But I did not want to get off of this plane. 

It was a 6.5 hour food and entertainment feast. I actually wished that it was twice as long.

Let’s just go step by step, shall we?

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Okay, here goes nothing! We were ushered to our seats and immediately plied with Armani amenity bags filled with $150 eye cream and cologne. I  applied mine immediately in such large quantities that I looked like my face was melting. 20150131_103319
The seat looks normal, but it’s really excellent. Incredibly thick and plush seating with great width and a lovely blanket.

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You can see how much room there is for just a medium haul flight. I could easily hide 5 small puppies under that ottoman. 

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Huge tv screen with a kajillion entertainment options. Those are the socks from the amenity bag. I loved them more than my college diploma.

20150131_103633 Krug! I have never had it before! Plus a rose option!? 20150131_103709
OMG STOP THE PRESSES! DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS IS? THIS IS A $2,000 bottle of Chateau d’Yquem wine – widely known as the finest Sauternes in the world. It’s the pope of dessert wines. I never dreamed that I would ever get to try a sip – this goes for as much as $90 per glass when you even can get one. I felt absolutely HIGH when I saw this on the menu. 
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Warm salted nuts, including FABULOUS Iranian pistachios. These are quite savory and meaty – unlike the insipid nuts we get at home.  20150131_105744
Arabic coffee and a date so sugary that it makes the coffee taste like dessert. This was a constant on every airline we encountered and a lovely one. Like, why can’t we include soda and popcorn as welcomes on American flights? Oh yeah, because that’s nowhere near as cool.

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Potato kibbeh

Better than any I have had. Ever. It is literally better than any restaurant kibbeh I have ever enjoyed. Crispy without and gently spiced with cumin and turmeric within. It’s reminiscent of a very gently spiced samosa with a thin, crackling breading. The pomegranate alongside is an inspired touch. It’s a gentle, acidic pop of flavor against the warmth of kibbeh without being too sour.

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Chicken tikka

Straight outta yo mama’s tandoor! Tender, spiced but not spicy, juicy as all get out, and served with a thin but rich and tangy yogurt raita. I’m telling you, I haven’t ever had middle eastern food as delicious as this.  20150131_120244 And that Krug…wow. It’s the richest champagne I have ever had. Bready, buttery, filling, lush…it’s almost a meal unto itself. To be honest with you, I prefer other, lighter, fruitier champers, but I still had my fill of this good stuff! 20150131_121615 Next to that bread basket (The bread was unremarkable, but there were no fewer than THREE different types of butter and some extra virgin olive oil!) you can catch the profile of one miss KYLIE MINOGUE! Yep, she was on our flight – slept for most of it and I noticed that she has TINY feet. Yes, I’m a creeper. But me and Kylie…basically BFFs!

20150131_121951 Caviar

I mean…caviar. The most luxurious food on the planet. And with Krug…stop it. Just stop. 
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I mean, I LOVE caviar. So this was a major treat for me. Salty, briny, taut grains that pop with flavor but no bitterness. I hadn’t ever eaten an entire jar, but I really rose to the occasion. 20150131_121841
The blinis are a little thick, but I dealt.  20150131_121944
The light caviar and the round, deep Krug was a fantastic pairing. I see why this is such a classic combination – each one makes the other taste even better. 
20150131_122343 I actually wanted to cry when the mother of pearl spoon left several grains behind. 

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Sigh.  20150131_123202 Duck spring rolls with cucumber spaghetti and hoisin sauce

Delicious. Ground duck with aromatic star anise and ginger, wrapped in super crispy wrappers and served with thin strands of spring onion and cucumbers. Hoisin sauce for a sweet, tangy flavor. These didn’t last long, that’s for sure.  20150131_124005
Palate cleanser of lime and mint sorbet. Because we are FANCY. 

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Hot Arabic Mezze

From the left:

Chicken kebap: Oh sweet HEAVEN. Moist, juicy, fragrant. Tart, bright, pleasantly charred.

Warm chicken pita: It’s amazing how good chicken is when Qatar Airways makes it. Tiny warm pita with a warm chicken, bell pepper, and some sort of creamy, yogurt binding that was halfway between here and heaven. This is everything that I want every sandwich to be…ever.

Lamb kibbeh: As good as the potato, if not better. Mild, juicy, grassy but not gamey. Mixed with toothsome bulgar. Fabulous.

20150131_125854 I still haven’t eaten this yet. I don’t want the magic of this flight to end. I’m keeping it until I can fly this airline again. Or at least until tomorrow. 
20150131_153041 Flying over Egypt.

20150131_154512 The Sauternes

The best glass of wine – champagne included – that I have ever enjoyed. Thick. Amber. Tasting of grapes, raisins, walnuts, maple syrup, and even duck. Meaty but not heavy. Sweet but not sugary. Worth its price tag? Perhaps not, but it’s quite close to being worth it. This is an experience that I may never get again. I savored every moment.  20150131_164943 Mecca pointerBecause you already know where the Nordstrom’s is. 

20150131_171531 Descent into Doha. This is where my BFF Kylie woke up and ate sorbet while the rest of us had to turn in our champers glasses.

I just didn’t want this flight to end. The service was warm and professional, despite a slight language barrier. The seat is so comfy that I fell asleep for an hour and apparently snored like an elephant (Thanks, Dad). And the food was so amazing that I would be thrilled to eat it again in a restaurant. What’s the last time that you said that on a plane? The amenities were extraordinary and the wine list is out of this world. If we had finished the bottle of Sauternes, that would have paid for the flight in and of itself. I will never forget the luxury and opulence of this flight.

Next up: Doha airport. And by that I mean the most stunning airport that I have ever seen.

The Craziest 72 Hours of My Life

I’m posting this from an airplane flying over the Middle East, so please excuse the brevity and poor formatting. I’ll be back tomorrow with tales of some of the craziest, most surreal, most enlightening, and most sleep deprived moments of my life. For now, here’s a teaser:
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So much champagne and from Bollinger to Krug, it was all top of the line.
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The Burj Al Arab…the world’s only 7 star hotel with a lobby that makes “Shahs of Sunset” look understated and low rent.

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I mean, this is how people get hooked on becoming frequent flyer aficionados. Forget buying a house – screw your credit, get a ton of credit cards with mileage bonuses, and make flying on Qatar Airways happen.

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A Dubai dessert too pretty to eat…almost.

Return tomorrow for the play by play of these wild and wacky 72 hours.

A Little Weekend Jaunt to…

Dubai! Yes, it’s true – I’m accompanying my dad on a mile-burning run to Dubai. That means that in 72 hours, I will be flying from NYC-London-Qatar-Dubai-Abu Dhabi-NYC.

I’m only leaving the airport twice, for a total of about 30 hours on the ground.

We are taking one flight that is 14 hours…straight.

We are going straight from flight to flight in most cases.

This is…insane.

He loves it.

I’m scared.

Now is the time to follow me on instagram. I will be photographing every crazy step of this short and crazy journey.

I promise to check in Monday – at which point I will already be on my way home from Dubai.

Pray for my jet lag!

#Blizzardof2015 – No Snow, Lotsa Food

Apparently, I’m not a muggle. 

The “ixnaystormiarmus” spell that I cast rendered Juno all but powerless in NYC. The streets were clear all day yesterday. 

But, don’t worry – adult snow day still proceeded as scheduled. 

No vegetables were consumed in the making of this day. 

20150126_191331 Patty melts

Medium rare burgers topped with melted cheddar cheese and sauteed onions. Served on toasted rye bread with mayonnaise and mustard. So simple and so good. Just be sure to get a fattier blend (80/20 should work) than I did for ultimate tender, juicy burger heaven.  20150127_102354 Makeshift French toast

My husband’s specialty. He makes last minute French toast without drying out the bread or using any cinnamon (because we are always out of it). He makes a simple batter with eggs, milk, and honey. Then, after letting the challah (gotta be challah) soak for a few minutes, he fries it gently in a pan. The magic touch comes when he sprinkles sugar on each side of bread JUST before he puts it into the pan and then does the other side just before he flips it. This gives the toast a crunchy, bruleed top that is dynamite with sweet-tart boysenberry syrup. 

20150127_194526 Macaroni and cheese from Fred’s

Good! Not mind blowing, but we were so excited that we could get delivery that we totally eschewed the $100 worth of groceries that I stuffed into our fridge “just in case.” 20150127_202601 Cookie dough

I’m an adult. I pay taxes. And if I want to, I’ll eat cookie dough. No salmonella (yet). 

Come back tomorrow for your regularly scheduled programming.

5 Foodie Things That Have Happened to Me Since #Blizzardof2015 Was Announced

20150126_084718 1. I saw one grown man, well dressed and supposedly well bred, shout at another one. “SERIOUSLY, F*&^% you,” for taking the last organic chicken at the Chelsea Whole Foods. At 9 am. In front of other people.

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2. The shelves of the stores looked like this by 10 am.

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3. I took this home on the subway. THE SUBWAY. Luckily, I found a seat because everyone smart did their shopping yesterday.

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4. I stocked up on important things like Panetta, imported chocolate with sea salt, and 2 kinds of cookie dough mix. I forgot to get toilet paper, batteries, or flashlights. I’m absolutely not going back out again. Crossing fingers.

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5. I ate this for an early lunch. A little bland, but the texture is good and the sea salt on top is shockingly crunchy and effective in enhancing the caramel’s sugar.

Stay warm out there! And, oh, west coast…I have never hated you more.