The Little Beet!

Sorry folks I haven’t been on in a while. It’s been a busy past couple of months! I started Grad School (woah, right?) and I’m just getting into that summer mode! (Perks of working in Education.) But, I’m back and with a cool new (healthy!) spot to boot.


littlebeet

How far is one willing to trek to get healthy, high quality food? Well. I’m not ashamed to say that I drove 30 min to Roosevelt Field Mall just for the Little Beet. It’s worth the trip.

If you haven’t been to RF Mall in the past several months, they have revamped their entire food court into what is now called the “Dining District”. And finally I have a healthy place to eat at! It’s right smack in the middle of the food court. For $10 you can pick a Protein (chicken, steak, tofu, salmon, veggie) + a side. There’s a bunch so I won’t name them all. ($12 for protein & 2 sides, $14 for protein and 3 sides)

From visiting a few times, I’ve had the opportunity to try a bunch of their grilled vegetables which are fantastic. My favorites include:
-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with sea salt & pecorino
-Roasted Cauliflower with olive & lemon oil
-Lentils with avocado, oranges, pecans, kale & ginger
-Buckwheat Soba Noodles

As for their proteins: chicken and steak were fantastic. Make sure to ask for their spicy/smoky maple sauce (I think that’s what it is). It’s got quite the kick and really pairs well with the meal. Trying to eat healthy? You don’t have to sacrifice flavor for clean eating! Not with the Little Beet anyway.

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I Now Know Why The Chicken Crossed The Road…

chickensroad

Chicken’s Road, welcome back! Heard they had a mishap with a fire but now they’re back and in business! Which reminded me, I can’t believe I haven’t review this place yet. There aren’t many Latin American restaurants (that I know of anyway) on Long Island, so it’s great to have at least one close to home.
The place itself is small, but there’s definitely enough ample seating if you want to eat-in. I’ve only had take-out (which seems to be the norm there) but the atmosphere is nice! Everything I’ve eaten here so far has been great. They specialize in rotisserie chicken but offer plenty of other food options as well. And their prices are excellent. My usual go-to meal is the 1/4 chicken [breast + wing] which comes with two sides (there’s a lot to choose from) and a drink. All for under $10! The chicken has always been very tender and flavored nicely. As well as, they give you the “green sauce” which you can opt for spicy or mild. The spicy has QUITE the kick.

As for the sides, I mean… everything was great. I love, love, love their Maduros and sometimes will just go there for those alone. But! They also have delicious mac and cheese, arepas and rice/black beans. Also, their Pernil (pulled pork) sandwich is great – I highly recommend it.

For a casual joint, this place serves up some great LA food. The staff has always been incredibly kind and welcoming. Check this place out for sure.

Soup Dumplings

I have a confession to make. I’m new to all that is soup dumplings. Yes, you heard it right. And yes, I know exactly what you’re thinking: How on earth has she gone this far without having these foods in her life? Well thank goodness I went to Nan Xiang because let’s be real people… I was hanging on by a thread.

After a fun night filled with booze and more booze (YEE style), we headed here in search for late night bites.* Being that there was a group of us, we ordered plenty to go around.

Pork Xiao Long Bao: I see that it has certainly lived up to its expectations. This is the kind of food you want to write a song about. It’s that good, no GREAT. I’ve come to learn that there’s a true artistry to the soup dumpling. Everyone apparently had their own “technique” from the transfer to the spoon, to the actual action of eating the dumpling. It’s brilliant actually. I went the traditional route and pierced the skin and let the soup settle in the spoon before I slurped it up. The skin is delicate, the broth is savory and steaming, and the pork was scrumptious.

soup dumplingsPan Fried Dumplings: Crispy. Juicy. Flavorful. It’s all that you would want and expect.

Scallion Pancake with Sliced Beef: My second favorite item of the night. It was doughy yet crispy and not overly greasy (which a lot of scallion pancakes are).It came with hoisin sauce which was a great compliment to the dish. Thank you Ben L. for ordering this!

beef scallion pancake

This place really set the standard for all my future soup dumpling experiences. I’m officially hooked. After visiting Nan Xiang that night, I’ve been itching to come back. Anyone up for a trip?
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*If only during my college days we had Xiao Long Bao. It’s seriously a great drunken food. (Aside from the usual pizza.)

The Little Uglyduckling

Uglyduckling is the newest addition to the many adorable shops and eateries along Smith St. This street is a favorite of mine — so naturally when searching for a nice place to grab a drink/grub after a crazy week at work, my friend and I wandered into Cobble Hill.

inside-uglyduckling

Only 2 weeks old, the Uglyduckling offers a diverse selection of American /Gastropub cuisine as well as a nice wall of craft beers on tap. It has a cool, hip vibe with the mismatch wooden panels on the wall, giant tv screens, vintage lighting and chalkboard artwork to name a few. There’s not a whole lot of seating but for the size of the place, they definitely utilize what space they have. We decided on sitting at the bar for dinner… and much to my surprise, they have bag hooks! Ladies (or gentlemen) your wishes have been granted. But in all seriousness, its a small but important perk.

I thought to myself, “what to choose, what to choose” when glancing at the beers along the wall. And then my eyes fell upon the Left Handed Brewing Co. NITRO MILK STOUT. I’ve been searching for this beer for the LONGEST time. So glad it’s at a bar nearby! And might I mentioned it was perfectly poured and delicious. As for the menu, very interesting items. I ended up choosing the Chicken and Waffles ($16). I was intrigued at the combination of the classic dish but with a side of spicy aioli. The buttermilk waffle was fluffy and equally crispy as the corn-flake crusted chicken. The spicy aioli was a nice touch, although I’m not sure if everyone would like that combination of flavors. But all in all, my dish was great. I would definitely order it again.

chickenwaffles-uglyduckling

tap-uglyducklingNot only was the food tasty, but the staff was personable and welcoming. Most of the staff are from Ireland so I immediately struck up a few conversations about my good ol’ days studying abroad in Limerick. Made for some great banter. Next time… my eyes are on the Pork Belly & Quail Egg Burger. Wishing the staff of Uglyduckling the best of luck! I’ll be visiting again very soon.

P.S. They’re creating a brunch menu and a happy hour which should be finalized within a week or so. So keep your eyes peeled.

166 Smith St

Brooklyn, NY 11201

b/t Wyckoff St & Warren St in Cobble Hill

uglyduckling-bk.com

SkyIce-Ice Baby!

PC: Yelp

PC: Yelp

Where else can you get ice cream in flavors like: Durian, Black Sesame Seaweed, White Miso and Almond & Thai Tea? One word my friends: SkyIce.

What an adorable part of Park Slope! My college friend suggested this place and when I looked at the menu as well as the reviews, I was pretty excited to check this eatery out. At a glance, SkyIce is undoubtedly cozy, casual and a decent size. During the warmer weather they open up the windows and you can people watch to your hearts content. The decor is very charming with their wooden benches and tables, hardwood floors and exposed brick. We sat down right away and glanced at the menu…. It was selective but covered all the basics of a Thai establishment.

I ordered the Spicy Noodle (extra spicy of course) with chicken. It was just the right amount of heat. As well as with the addition of egg, bell pepper, onion and carrot balanced out the dish pretty well. (For $9.75- good portion too.)

PC: Yelp

PC: Yelp

drunken noodle-skyice

Spicy Noodle With Chicken

Yes the dinner was good but what we REALLY came for was that “ice, ice baby!”* I have to say, choosing two flavors was a difficult feat. However, I rose above and made my mind: Thai Tea and White Miso Almond. I tried a safe and a unsafe flavor. Luckily I loved both. The Thai Tea tasted like the drink itself in ice cream form. I could eat that every day, for real. As for the White Miso Almond… totally unexpected combination of flavors, but they WORKED. And well I might add. If you’re feeling a bit risky, go for that one. I was tempted to convince my friend to go for the sampler, but we were too full. Next time, we’ll just go straight for the ice cream.

SkyIce may be advertise sweet and savory, but in a battle between the both… I think the sweet takes the gold in this case. Can’t wait to come back on a nice hot summer day.

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*Stuck in my head the ENTIRE time I wrote this review. Damn you Vanilla Ice.

Spice It Up!

 

 

 

 

Curry Puffs Dumplings-Pure Thai

Sorry it’s been a while folks! Been super busy with work and made my way towards Boston this past weekend. But here’s a post for ya! Thanks for reading!

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Spicy foods and I have a love-love relationship. They keep things interesting. They know how to add “spice to your life”. They know how to keep their “cool” and let’s face it… they’re hot.

Horrible puns aside, I’ve been meaning to hit up Pure Thai Cookhouse for quite some time now. Luckily a few friends of mine were up for a authentic Thai experience. Inside looks as what they like to call a “shophouse”. With wood paneling, industrial decor and a modern flair… this place is right up my alley. It’s also built with a vertically oriented layout. How they fit so much seating in such little space?* I’ll never know.

We arrived at about 6pm on a Friday and were lucky enough to get the last seat right in the front. They brought us a nice sized carafe of water and kept our glasses full. And I now know why. I ended up ordering the Wok Basil with Chicken. Now I see that you can customize your spice level and I’ve never eaten there before… I’ll settle on medium**. That way I can gauge for next time whether to amp it up or not. All I can say is, wow. The ground chicken and string beans were a killer. I think that chili garlic puree and holy basil sauce did a number on me. The only thing to tame the heat was that jasmine rice. Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious and I’d order it again. But no 3 stars for me. I’ll stick to a happy 2.

Spicy Wok Chicken-Pure Thai
We also ordered:
-The Chicken Curry Puffs: super flaky/crispy with a moist center. (With sweet potato, onion and a cucumber relish.)

-Steamed Veggie Dumplings:My favorite app. From the looks of it, I had no idea how it was going to taste as well as texture-wise. The peanut flavor was strong which I enjoyed. Pillow-y and flavorful bites.

I received a fairly amount of hype for PTC and was happily surprised to see that it’s completely justified and warranted here. Service was great and we didn’t feel rushed despite the incoming crowds. I appreciated the atmosphere that transported me across the world and the bold flavors that took my taste buds there as well.

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*Welcome to the magic and glory that is NYC.
**As mentioned in my tip, if medium was so true to level… then I wonder what “hot” is.

766 9th Ave
New YorkNY 10019

 

b/t 51st St & 52nd St in Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown West, Theater District

(212) 581-0999

purethaicookhouse.com

Brick Oven Bread? Homemade Hummus? YES Please!

I must admit, I’m new to the world of Middle Eastern/Mediterranean cuisine. Being that it was heading towards the last days of Restaurant Week, I wanted to venture into something new. When looking at the price fixe menu, theirs immediately caught my eye. With such a diverse assortment of foods, I was all in.

My friend and I kinda made last-minute plans to dine, so the only reservations we could get were at the bar. I usually don’t like eating at the bar since it tends to be very crowded and I had no idea how big or small the inside of Taboon was going to be. When I stepped inside I was pleased to find it was not only spacious but beautifully decorated. Low lighting, clean accents and a rustic feeling. And that oven! You could just smell the aroma of fire-roasted foods waiting to be eaten. As for our seating arrangements– probably the best dining experience I’ve ever had at the bar. Our bartender was on point. He was attentive, friendly, talkative, and just an all around awesome guy. (And might I add good-looking too.)

Now onto the food:
Bread-Taboon-Their signature, known-for flatbread cooked in the taboon oven was ridiculously delicious. One bite and you’ll be transported to your food happy place. It was well seasoned, crispy and buttery. As well as it came with a trio of dips–homemade hummus, tzaziki and baba ghanoush. They were all silky, earthy and creamy.

-(Appetizer) Creamy Yukon Potato and Asparagus Soup: Very creamy & savory and just hit the spot with all this cold weather happening lately.
Chicken Taboon-Taboon
-(Entree) Chicken Taboon: Organic free-rang chicken breast with cured lemon, Israeli couscous, broccoli rabe, pearl onion confit and all topped with a panzanella salad. This dish was very refreshing, light and refined. The chicken was tender, juicy as well as flavorful. All around it was a great dish.

Silan-Taboon

-(Dessert) Silan*: I saw so many outstanding comments about this dish and had to try it. Decadent vanilla ice cream with puffed rice cereal, date honey, caramelized pistachios and shredded halva. I have no idea how this was thought up but thank you to whoever did.

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*Alright. Let’s just say I was in a beauty pageant, and they asked me what would make the world a better place. You’d think world peace right?? NOPE. SILAN. Silan is what should make the world go round.

773 10th Ave
New York
New York, NY 10019
b/t 53rd St & 52nd St in Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown West
(212) 713-0271
taboononline.com