Insatiable Girl

NEW YORK: A Street Cart on 11th and 1st Ave

Posted in Uncategorized by sue on June 18, 2010

It’s my fault. I assumed this place would be amazing just because it sits across the street from an Islamic center; I was so wrong. It’s probably the worst chicken and rice I have ever had which is saying a lot because I have tried many, many places. The French fries should have been a sign that it may not be authentic halal, but surprisingly the French fries were the best things on this plate. The chicken was dry, the white sauce was bland, the lettuce was wilting. I would never come back here again. I need to find a decent spot near my place.

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Steamed Spareribs in Black Bean Sauce

Posted in cooking, food by sue on June 11, 2010

One of the best dishes my mom makes is also one of my favorite dishes when I get dim sum– steamed spareribs in black bean sauce. Everyone I know loves this dish, so I thought I would share this recipe. It’s surprisingly simple; you can easily make this at home if you follow my steps.

First, you have to buy the spareribs. I highly recommend going to Chinatown or 99 Ranch, if you’re lucky enough to have one near you, to buy them. The ones pictured here were bought from Fresh Direct and were a bit too big for my liking. Plus, when you buy them at a Chinese place, they’ll cut them up into pieces for you. I had to do that myself with the Fresh Direct ones. It’s not that big of a deal, but why add the extra hassle if you don’t need to, right? Other ingredients needed for this recipe are: dry black beans (which you can also buy in any Chinese supermarket), jalapenos, vinegar, salt, pepper, and cornstarch.

Anyway, now that your spareribs are cut into pieces (and hopefully thawed), add some salt and pepper and mix. Then add some cornstarch to the meat and mix some more.

Let the meat sit while you boil a big pot of water.  Once the water begins to boil, add the meat and then some vinegar.  I add a good hearty amount, probably 2-3 seconds of pouring.  Make sure you stir occasionally so that the meat doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.  When it begins to boil again, pour the water out and rinse the meat in cold water.  You should lightly scrub the meat with your fingers, there might be some small chunks of blood.  (Gross I know, but that’s what happens!)

Then take the dry black beans (if you live near me, I can give you some as I have a LOT in my fridge!) and sliced jalapenos and mix them into the spareribs.  Be careful of the jalapenos if you can’t handle the spice!  As for the black beans, the more you add, the saltier it gets.  If they are pretty big pieces of spareribs like the ones pictured above, one black bean per sparerib would probably be good.  If they are small pieces like the ones you get at dim sum, maybe one black bean per every 3-4 pieces would be good.   I just kind of eyeball it as I do with most of my cooking.

Now, it’s ready to be steamed and eaten!  I steam the spareribs by putting a small plate on the bottom of a big pot, filling the pot with about an inch or so of water, putting the bowl filled with spareribs inside the pot on top of the plate, and then covering the pot.  (Let me know if that doesn’t make sense.) I start by putting the pot on high heat until it boils, then I move it to small to medium heat for 45-60 minutes.

Ta-da!  It’s ready to eat!

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NEW YORK: Luzzo’s

Posted in food, new york, restaurants by sue on June 10, 2010

211 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003
212 473 7447

Price: Reasonable/Cheap
Rating: Decent/Good
Directions: L to 1st Ave
Reservations: Unnecessary
Must Get:

Decent pizza, but definitely not the best I had. We ordered number 11– can’t remember the name, but it had mozzarella, ricotta, sausage, olives, and a tiny, tiny bit of basil. It was really oily; so oily that the toppings actually slid right off the pizza. The dough came out soggy… I just was not impressed. Unless I was desperately craving pizza and couldn’t find a taxi to take me to lombardis/harrys, i’ll probably never step foot in here again. The bruschetta wasn’t even that great and how can you screw that up?? Disappointed, it had such great reviews.

On the other hand, the couple next to us ordered lasagna as we were leaving and it looked damn good. Maybe if I was craving some pasta…

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WASHINGTON DC: Capital City Brewing Co

Posted in Uncategorized by sue on June 6, 2010

Once again, sorry there isn’t a better photo of the food, but i still refuse to bring a camera to a restaurant and bust out the flash or like some other food bloggers out there, bring it out to the dumpster to take a picture! That’s just not going to happen on this blog.

So, Capital City Brew… The best thing I had tonight was their southwest keg roll appetizers. I love the combination of corn, black beans, and chicken with sweet chili sauce. And, of course, it didn’t hurt that this dish was fried. Their hummus was alright, nothing special, but I did not like their overly doughy pita bread. It was just a strange consistency for pita bread. Their ahi tuna salad entree was just fairly decent as well. The ahi tuna was sliced a bit too thickly and was overall pretty bland. It’s no surprise they have to toss the salad with dressing normally to give it some flavor. I got the dressing on the side and I have to say it just wasn’t very tasty. More cilantro and green onion could have been added with them finally chopped.

While it wasn’t a bad meal, I just don’t see myself coming back here. There’s plenty of other restaurants to explore in the area nearby, there’s no reason to go back to a place that’s just mediocre.

WASHINGTON DC: La Tasca

Posted in Uncategorized by sue on June 5, 2010

Great tapas overall, some were definitely better than others. Dishes that stick out in my mind from the last hour or so are their potatoes, sauteed mushrooms, beef with mashed potatoes and blue cheese, and their fried chicken. Their garlic shrimp, fried calamari, and vegetarian paella were decent, but could have done with more flavor. Their salmon and asparagus plates were horrible however.

Overall, I would still recommend going. (Its a good place to go on a saturday night when you arent willing to wait at other restaurants. Luckily, this place is huge.) Their tasting menu is a good way to start. And although it says it’s a decent amount for two people, it helped feed the five that were at our table.

WASHINGTON DC: Asian Spice

Posted in Uncategorized by sue on June 4, 2010

Though I hate the name of this place, I have to say, it’s not bad. I got their salmon lover platter which consisted of 3 pieces of salmon sashimi, 3 pieces of salmon nigiri, and a salmon avocado roll. All for just $17, not including tax and tip. For the price and quality, I think it’s a pretty good deal. I would definitely go back there again to get some sashimi.

No pictures because I’m slightly intoxicated and it was too dark inside.

NEW YORK: Pinisi

Posted in Uncategorized by sue on June 3, 2010

128 E 4th Street, New York, NY 10003
212 614 9079

Price: Not sure
Rating: Good
Directions: FV to 2nd Ave
Reservations: Unnecessary
Must Get: red velvet cupcakes!

I’m not a huge sweets fan, but sometimes I do my fair share of indulging. My good friend, Ally, bought me SIX cupcakes from Pinisi last night and since I’m home today not moving and I just ate one and a half of them! My original plan was just to eat half of a cupcake, but the first piece (coconut) wasn’t that good so I decided to try their red velvet, but after eating just half of it, I kept wanting to finish the rest. Their red velvet cupcake is probably the best red velvet cake I’ve had and according to other Yelpers, probably the best one in the city! Thanks Ally!

NEW YORK: Xie Xie

Posted in food, new york, restaurants by sue on June 1, 2010

645A 9th Avenue, New York City, NY 10036
212 265 2975

Price: Cheap/Reasonable
Rating: Great
Directions: ACE to 42nd St
Reservations: You don’t need them
Must Get: Fish Chaca La Vong Sandwich with extra Sriracha sauce

I was a bit hesitant at first to try this place, just because of the name… Who names a place thank you??? (Xie xie means thank you in Mandarin Chinese for all you non-Mandarin folks out there.) But I’m glad I finally decided to give this place a shot. The midtown lunch blog said this place had too much mayo, but so far, my two sandwiches have been just right and I am not a huge fan of sauce. Maybe I went in on off days or maybe I’m just lucky? Their chicken and fish sandwiches are good; I prefer the latter, but I guess it really depends what you are in the mood for. The fish could use a lot more hot sauce though. One thing I would change about this place is the side dishes– lay’s potato chips should not be offered as a side dish when a restaurant does not serve burgers and/or has been opened for almost one year. That just doesn’t cut it for me. People have been raving about their ice cream sandwich, but that’s not a side dish to me! And for someone who isn’t a huge sweets person, that doesn’t sound all that appealing. Oh well, guess I’ll just have to keep getting just their sandwiches.

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BROOKLYN: Water Street

Posted in food, new york, restaurants by sue on June 1, 2010

66 Water Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
718 625 9352

Price: Reasonable
Rating: Good
Directions: F to York, AC to High, or walk the Brooklyn Bridge
Reservations: You don’t need them
Must Get: Chipotle Mayo

This place is good, but it’s honestly nothing special outside its location and chipotle mayo. However, the chipotle mayo was so good Joe asked to take some home! This restaurant is so close to the Brooklyn Bridge Park, I know I’ll be back here multiple times before the summer is over.

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