Insatiable Girl


Posted in food, new york, restaurants by sue on July 27, 2010
188 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009
212 358 1700

Price: Cheap/Reasonable
Rating: Eh
Directions: L to 1st Ave
Reservations: Unnecessary

This place has a great brunch deal ($12 for an entree, drink, and coffee/tea, including tax), but is nothing special. The atmosphere is great and laid back, but the food was bland. I got their eggs with truffle oil, but couldn’t even taste a hint of the oil. It was just a piece of toast over an egg. I was disappointed.

It made me appreciate Paprika more actually since it’s practically the same great deal (Paprika is $12 for the amount of food, minus the tax), but the food there is just so much more flavorful.


NEW YORK: El Castillo de Jagua

Posted in new york, restaurants by sue on July 27, 2010

113 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002
212 982 6412

Price: Cheap/Reasonable
Rating: Good
Directions: JMZ to Essex, F to Delancey
Reservations: Unnecessary
Must Get: Oxtail

If you have a hard time pronouncing the name of this place, be prepared to stand out when you walk into this restaurant. Stepping inside this Spanish/mainly Dominican spot, you are immediately transported to another country. When Joe and I went, we were the only people speaking English, which is always a good sign when you want ethnic food. And this place was no exception. I’ve been craving oxtail since the day Rebecca commented on my Chinese Borscht recipe and it was easily satisfied here. The meat fell off the bone easily; the sauce was tangy, but not spicy, and perfect to pair with yellow rice. Joe got steak and onions which was marinated well, but a bit on the dry side. The flavors were definitely there though.

Something you should know before you go… When you order, the waitress asks if you want rice and beans. I said yes thinking that was my only option get that or nothing, but not the case. You can get their special plate that comes with your entree, yellow rice, a side salad, and fried plaintains. After I saw the table next to mine get their order, I felt shafted, but I guess that’s what happens when you don’t speak the language.

If I stop by again, I’d probably go for another round of their oxtail stew and get a papaya milk on the side. Yum.

(By the way, this place is named after a fortress in Cuba. It was originally a Cuban restaurant, but is now mainly Dominican.)

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BROOKLYN: Blackbird

Posted in food, new york, restaurants by sue on July 22, 2010
197 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
718 599 2707

Price: Reasonable
Rating: Good
Directions: L to 1st Ave
Reservations: Unnecessary

I read the reviews on menupages while we were waiting to order which made me a bit apprehensive. Reviewers wrote about bad service and mediocre food, but I didn’t experience any of that. The waitress was friendly and overall pretty attentive. She took away our menus after we ordered our drinks without asking if we were getting food, but she quickly made up for it after I told her about ten minutes later. Joe raved about his Mediterranean burger. I loved my mojo chicken and green chutney. This may be my potential new hood, so if that’s the case, I’ll definitely be coming back.

NEW YORK: Churrascaria Plataforma

Posted in food, new york, restaurants by sue on July 21, 2010
316 W 49th St, New York, NY 10019
212 245 0505

Price: Expensive
Rating: Great
Directions: ACE to 50th Street
Reservations: Necessary for a big group
Must Get: Meat. Lots of it.

Brazilian steakhouses are the way to go if you want lots of meat and variety. Everything I had here was delicious with the exception of their turkey wrapped in bacon. It sounds great in theory, but it was extremely salty; I ate only one bite. There’s really no point in eating/ finishing something you’re not a fan of here; every few minutes a man walks by with meat on a sword and there’s their salad bar filled with salad (duh), sushi (which was pretty decent), and random hot dishes.

It’s about $70 per person (not including drinks and dessert) after you count tax and tip, so come hungry.

NEW YORK: MoMA Terrace 5

Posted in food, new york, restaurants by sue on July 19, 2010
11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019
212 708 9400

Price: Reasonable
Rating: Good
Directions: EM to 53rd and 5th Ave
Reservations: Unnecessary

Strolling through the Museum of Modern Art is a great way to waste away an afternoon of the hot summer heat. Even though I am not a fan of modern art, I can still enjoy browsing throw the collections, especially when it also includes some of my favorite paintings by Van Gogh, Seurat, Picasso, Kandinsky, etc. etc. It also helps that the cafe on the fifth floor serves great coffee, wine, cheese, and ginger beer and overlooks its private garden.

The ricotta cheese plate pictured above was good, but I’m comparing it to the ricotta cheese plate Joe got from Le Pain Quotidien that I am still daydreaming about. I was craving sweet, but it was salty. The flatbread was fantastic though; I wish I knew where I could get some so I could have some lying around my house all the time to snack on. Yum.

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Dinner Tonight

Posted in Uncategorized by sue on July 19, 2010

Joe made me minced lamb and mash tonight. Delicious. I had two bowls! If you want his recipe, let me know and I’ll try to wrangle it out of him or you’ll just have to ask him yourself.

(We also had salad on the side made by yours truly. Thankyouverymuch.)

NEW YORK: Destination Bar

Posted in new york, restaurants by sue on July 17, 2010
211 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009
212 388 9844

Price: Reasonable
Rating: Good
Directions: L to 1st Ave
Reservations: Unnecessary
Must Get: Jalapeño bacon benedict tacos

Destination Bar is not a place I would normally stop by for food, but this morning I was starving and the aroma of bacon was flowing into the street… How could I pass it up? Their cheeseburger eggs (pictured above) and jalapeño bacon benedict tacos were both really good. They weren’t that filling, but at $8 each I couldn’t have expected too much. It’s worth trying if you live in the neighborhood, but nothing to go out of your way for. Plus, the seats and tables are kind of awkward for a meal.

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NEW YORK: Frying Pan

Posted in food, new york, restaurants by sue on July 17, 2010
205 12th Avenue, New York, NY 10001
212 989 6363

Price: Reasonable
Rating: Good atmosphere, bad food
Directions: CE to 23rd Street, but I suggest taking a cab
Reservations: Unnecessary
Must Get: White sangria

Looks are deceiving. This burger was one of the worst ones I’ve had in a while. It was dry and flavorless. The garlic fries weren’t even that garlicky! But I know, I know… This place isn’t known for their burgers; it’s known for its decor, location, atmosphere, and of course alcohol. That being said, I would love to come back here at night to try their seafood dishes…

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NEW YORK: Suenos

Posted in food, new york, restaurants by sue on July 14, 2010
311 W 17th Street, New York, NY 10011
212 243 1333

Price: Reasonable
Rating: Good
Directions: L to 8th Avenue, ACE to 14th Street
Reservations: Necessary for a big group
Must Get: Cornbread and black bean sauce

I’ve been hearing about this place for the past four years from my former boss who lives across the street the restaurant. Their salsa and guacamole were great, as well as their surprise appetizer of cornbread and black bean sauce with creme fraiche. Their duck confit tacos and corn on the cob were not hits for me though. The duck was too sweet for my palate though my boss Ann loved them and raved about them to Chef Sue Torres who actually came out to talk to us later. The corn just does not stand a chance compared to the corn at cafe habana. I had a bite of my co-worker’s chicken enchiladas with mole sauce and loved it though I am not usually a fan of mole.

I would definitely come back and try their other dishes. What sealed the deal for me was Chef Sue Torres coming out to ask us how everything was. More chefs should do that.

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Beef Noodle Soup

Posted in cooking, food by sue on July 13, 2010

Taiwanese folks are so proud of their beef noodle soup (牛肉麵) there’s a competition in Taipei over who makes the best one.   I think my mom’s beef noodle soup is off the charts.  It’s been over six months since I last had it, so I decided to make it tonight for dinner and share the recipe with you folks.

First off, you need beef (I use ribeye steak), green onion, anise, black pepper balls, salt, ginger, garlic, chili bean sauce, olive oil, water, and rice wine… which I was out of, so I used rum in this recipe.  Slice 4 or 5 pieces of ginger, peel 4 or 5 cloves of garlic, tie one whole green onion, and dice the beef into cubes.

Heat some olive oil in a big pot and then add the chili bean sauce.  This is not the chili bean sauce that my mom uses back in LA, but it was the best one we could find here in New York.  The chili bean sauce makes a HUGE difference in this recipe.  If it’s not a good sauce, this is not going to be a good recipe.  I’d say this one is alright, whatever my mom gets back at home though is the best.  (I’ll try to find out what it is for you the next time I go home… if I remember.)  I used 2 to 3 tablespoons of this sauce and it still wasn’t spicy at the end, but it does the trick.

Stir the chili bean sauce until it becomes really fragrant and looks grainy.

Then add in the garlic and ginger pieces.  Stir some more.

After you really begin to smell that, add in your beef and stir until all the beef edges are cooked.

Add a bit of rice wine to the edges of the pot.  (Or in this case, rum!)  Why the edges?  Don’t ask me, that’s what my mom does!  You only need a bit, but if you are like me and dump in too much liquor, all you have to do is cook it for longer.

Then add in as much water as you want, 1 or 2 anises, 8 to 10 black pepper balls, and your green onion stick.

Let it all come to a boil and then put it on medium hot for 30 minutes.  If you use tougher pieces of beef or bigger chunks of beef, you have to add more time for this recipe.  The longer you cook it, the softer/more tender the beef will get.

Salt to taste and remove the wilted green onion.  Then add noodles, cilantro, veggies, whatever you want… Ta da!  It’s done.