Monday, August 30, 2010

Brunch Spots: Tavern on Jane

Before moving to New York City, I never knew how serious the art of "brunching" was. In Boston, we'd often eat eggs & pancakes in the afternoon because that was when we rolled out of bed, but I never knew that brunch was considered an art form until I became a New Yorker.

When I woke up yesterday, all I could think of was how badly I wanted some eggs & a good cup of coffee. A few of my friends just moved to the West Village, so we knew that was the neighborhood we wanted to eat in. We wandered around near their apartment and stopped into Cafe Cluny, but the wait for five was 20 minutes, so we decided to keep walking. I have heard great things about Cafe Cluny though, so I intend to go back.

That was when we happened upon Tavern on Jane, a cute little spot on the corner of Jane Street & 8th Ave.
While I hadn't ever eaten there, I heard they had a great menu and I'd always wanted to try it. After checking out the brunch list, we decided there were tons of great options, and since there was no wait for the five of us, we were sold.

Upon sitting down, we were greeted with a friendly welcome from our waiter as he handed out the menus. We were all starving and knew what we wanted, so all five of us immediately ordered the Tavern Breakfast Burrito that had eggs, chorizo, peppers, onions & sour cream. The waiter brought us our basket of (warm) pastries, as well the coffee & drinks included in the $14 breakfast special. I had a grapefruit juice mimosa that was delicious, while my friends had bloody marys & regular OJ mimosas.

The coffee was good, the water glasses were kept full (the waiter even brought us our own pitcher!) and then our food came out. The burritos smelled amazing, and they tasted even better. Each meal came with home fries and a fruit salad, so after all was said and done, we each got warm croissants & muffins, coffee, an alcoholic beverage, a burrito, home fries and fruit salad for just $14. The restaurant was quite empty for a Sunday afternoon, but we were happy to have a corner to ourselves, and all five of us cleaned our plates. I will be back to Tavern on Jane for brunch again.

What are you favorite brunch spots in NYC? What is the longest you've ever had to wait for a table for brunch? Was it worth it? I look forward to hearing about your favorite places so I can try them out myself.

Let's Eat!
-The Fabulous Foodie

Friday, August 27, 2010

Adventures in Cooking: Lobster!

Don't get me wrong, I love going out to eat more than anything, but sometimes, there's nothing like some good home-cookin'. Last weekend, I went to the Jersey Shore (fist pump!) with some of my girlfriends, and on our way home my friend Lauren wanted to stop at The Point Lobster Co. to buy some fresh fish. My first thought was "I am not riding in a car with a bunch of stinky fish for an hour." But then I went inside the store.

Not only did this place have all kinds of amazing fresh fish, but the prices were very reasonable. I'm used to $13.99/lb. for Salmon in NYC, but Salmon at The Point was only $9.99/lb. As I debated what fish I could bring home to cook for dinner, I saw some amazing lobster tails for only $6 each. When I inquired about them, the guy behind the counter pointed to a bunch of 1-1/2 to 2 lb. bright red (meaning already cooked) lobsters for only $4 each!

After thinking about it for a few minutes, I decided that the already-cooked lobsters would be a great "Intro to Making Lobsters" for my boyfriend and me, especially because I am terrified of live lobsters and the thought of cooking them myself completely creeps me out. I picked up 2 large lobster with well-sized claws & 1/2-lb. of fresh scallops for dinner.

While I was on my way back to NYC from the Jersey Shore, my boyfriend went to buy some vegetables to make with the seafood, and when I got home he started making magic in the kitchen. I'd love to say that I helped make dinner, but I wasn't feeling well, and he managed to create the following menu all by himself:
-Baked Lobsters
-Pan-Seared Scallops
-Wild Rice
-Steamed Spinach
-Cherry Tomatoes with Squash and Zucchini
-Haricot Verts with Garlic and Lemon

What's your favorite kind of food to cook? Do live lobsters (or crabs) creep you out, or are you okay cooking them yourself?

The lobsters were delicious, and it was fun teaching my boyfriend how to crack them open (he's from Maryland, and his specialty is crab-cracking.) The scallops were some of the best I've ever had. I look forward to visiting The Point Lobster Co. again for more delicious, fresh fish.

Let's Eat!
-The Fabulous Foodie

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cheap Eats: The Cottage

Good Morning!

I've finally recovered from the food-and-free-wine-induced coma I put myself into last night. My boyfriend and I, joined by 4 of our friends, wanted to get together for dinner but didn't want to spend a ton of money. If you haven't yet been to The Cottage, I highly suggest you give it a try for the following reasons:

1. The Chinese food is actually good
2. The prices are incredibly reasonable (around $10-$12 for well-sized entrees)
3. The service is quick and friendly
4. You get free (although boxed) wine for the duration of your meal

Between the 6 of us, we ordered 3 egg rolls, 3 orders of pork dumplings, 1 order of edemame and 7 entrees. We probably downed about 6 carafes of boxed wine (don't judge) and we stayed at the restaurant for a good 2-1/2 hours. The staff never made a move to rush us out, which I appreciate, and they kept our water-glasses full, which is also very important to me.

As usual, I photographed the damage.
With so many over-priced restaurants in NYC, it's refreshing when you can have a good meal without paying a ton of money. The entire meal was just over $100 including tax and tip, and it was well worth it!

And on the topic of over-priced food, check out this list that EaterNY put together of 10 new over-priced dishes at NYC restaurants. If you're going to charge so much for your food, at least make sure it's good!

Looking forward to some good eating over the next few days. As always, I'll keep you posted.

Let's Eat!
-The Fabulous Foodie

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Best Nachos I've Ever Had

As I document new things I try, I'd also like to pay homage to some of my favorite foods I've had in the past. As I mentioned, I'm on the hunt for the best ______ in NYC (sushi, steak, etc.) but I'm entirely convinced that I will never find better nachos than those at the Sunset Cantina/Sunset Grill and Tap in Boston.

These nachos are the perfect combination of crunchy tri-color chips, great distribution of toppings & melty, yummy cheese. I've tried many nachos in NYC, but they pale in comparison. I liked Professor Thom's version, maybe it has something to do with the fact that it's a Boston bar, but they're still not as good as The Sunset. I'm planning a trip to Boston in September, and a visit to the Sunset is at the top of my to-do list!

Let's Eat!
-The Fabulous Foodie

Just (No) Desserts

Hi Everyone!

Welcome to my food blog. I know what you're thinking, "Everyone these days has a food blog!" This is true. However, you've come to the right place if you love food, enjoy going out to eat, are into trying new places and HATE dessert. Yes, that's right. Hate. As in, "Why save room for a little flour and sugar when I can fill up on delicious apps & entrees?"

If you're anything like me, most meals only consist of the most important 2 courses: appetizers & entrees. Dessert happens rarely, if ever, and you just can't possibly understand what all the fuss over dessert is about.

I have a feeling I know where this came from. I am incredibly lactose intolerant, and while I can still eat cheese (Thank God!) and have milk if I take Lactaid® pills, the one thing that still kills my stomach is butter. Since butter is an important ingredient in almost every (good) dessert, I simply have to rule dessert out of my meals. Over time, I think I grew to accept this, and actually stopped enjoying sweets. A lot of my friends find this sad, but I'm perfectly fine with it. Bring on the cheese plate & pasta, hold the Tiramisu!

My current food-related obsessions are: Finding great places to eat, helping friends/family choose restaurants based on their requirements and my never-ending search for the best sushi, steak, pasta & cheeseburger in NYC. Please feel free to contact me if you need a recommendation, and I look forward to sharing my food adventures with you!

Let's Eat!
-The Fabulous Foodie