Tag Archives: Drinks

Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

When my wife and son go out of town to visit family like they did recently, my first thought is “What cocktail bar can I check out?” Since I am always at home being a good dad in the evenings when I’m not working, I find it hard to explore the cocktail scene like I used to.

I knew all about The Up & Up and it has been high on my list of spots to visit well before my son was born earlier this year. Just never made it. Now that I had the city to myself, it was time to finally stop in.

The Up & Up is a great bar. First off, it’s intimate but spacious providing a refined setting for trying classic or innovative craft cocktails. It looked as though there wouldn’t be a seat for me on a busy Saturday night, but once we started chatting, the door man and owner decided to let me stand at the service bar. Which was much appreciated since this was my rare night out.

The menu was very exciting and normally I would agonize for hours over what to order (and don’t think I didn’t). But one description kept calling my name. It was just weird enough for me. (more…)


Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

This might be a controversial post. This might even bring about some angry comments. But I’m ready for that. I don’t think anyone will have issue with the drink I will be talking about, but some may balk at the coffee shop that created it.

When I randomly peeked my head into Clever Blend, a new coffee shop in the old Gorilla space in Park Slope, I was taken by their Toasted Coconut Cold Brew. It’s funny because I was walking around feeling both tired and thirsty. I was craving both a coffee and a coconut drink at the exact same time. Clever Blend seemed to answer my very specific desire.

I didn’t realize that this coffee shop was the center of some controversy over the last few weeks. I had read about a coffee shop in Brooklyn that put up a questionable sign on their bathroom door but didn’t realize that was here until after I tried and enjoyed their unique iced coffee.

 

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Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

While some people are ringing in the New Year’s at a house party or (God forbid) huddled with millions of people in the middle of Times Square, I like to go hopping around to some of the hottest cocktail bars in the city that I have yet to visit.

You might be surprised at how many bars offer their regular menu without an overpriced prix-fixe or cover charge, Those are the ones I like to visit – where it’s business as usual.

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I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2016…

The thought of an avocado margarita might not be the most appetizing, but when its made with smoky mezcal, lime juice, cucumbers, and a spicy chile bitters, you get a complex sweet/tart/spicy/refreshing cocktail that is a real game-changer. The avocado adds a rich creaminess that ensures this balanced quaff fires on all cylinders. Price: $15
SWEETWATER SOCIAL
643 Broadway (at Bleecker Street),
Noho
(212) 253-0477
http://www.drinksweetwater.com

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2016…

2016 was a tough year. From a whirlwind political circus to the loss of many beloved celebrities to worldwide tragedies, the news was full of sad things. But there was still joy out there and as usual, I found a lot of that joy through food. And here in New York, these are the 10 dishes that gave me the most joy….

NUMBER 10: HOT DOG at FELTMAN’S OF CONEY ISLAND

A Coney Island historian named Michael Quinn bought the Feltman’s brand this year. For those that don’t know, Charles Feltman was the originally creator of the hot dog in 1867 and was the employer of the more famous Nathan’s. Pepper and garlic flavors explode with each snap of the lamb casing. The warm grilled sauerkraut and homemade apple cider vinegar mustard plus the addition of no nitrates or chemicals help put this in the running for best hot dog in the city. Price: $4

FELTMAN’S OF CONEY ISLAND
80 St. Marks Place (between First and Second Avenue),
Inside William Barnacle Tavern,
East Village
https://www.facebook.com/Feltmans-of-Coney-Island

NUMBER 9: PUEBLA DRINK WITH NO NAME at MAYAHUEL

SADLY, MAYAHUEL IS NOW CLOSED.

It’s no secret that I love Mayahuel. It’s become one of my favorite bars, visiting it often on the Craft Cocktail tour but also bringing friends who are in town by for a drink. I was looking for a smooth, chocolatey drink to pair with their excellent churros and one of the servers suggested this classic. It has no name (well, sort of) but lots of intense flavors – spicy and smoky mezcal infused with chile de arbol, a moscatel sherry infused with ancho cili, some aged rum, cacao, and mole bitters. It’s modeled after a Oaxacan mole sauce, but it’s also the perfect final sipper to a night out. Price: $15

MAYAHUEL
304 East 6th Street (between First and Second Avenue),
East Village
(212) 253-58888
mayahuelny.com

NUMBER 8: KUBANEH BREAD at TIMNA

It’s hard for me to justify paying for a basket of bread. But this is not just any basket of bread. It’s called kubaneh and is a traditional Yemenite breakfast bread with a yeasty, steamy center. It arrives in a flowerpot with accompaniments of jalapeño salsa, crushed tomatoes, and a dollop of yogurt. Each piece rips apart easily and releases aroma and steam that adds to the experience. This slightly sweet, soft and tender bread disappeared too quickly. It had the sweetness of a brioche, the softness of a popover, and the brownness of a pretzel. Imagine that lovechild. Price: $12

TIMNA
109 St. Marks Place (between First Avenue and Avenue A),
East Village
(646) 964-5181
timna.nyc

NUMBER 7: CLASSIC BURGER at SALVATION BURGER

SADLY, SALVATION BURGER IS NOW CLOSED.

After Salvation Burger finally re-opened following a debilitating fire, I finally made it up to check out April Bloomfield’s hip, swanky burger palace. I was hesitant to spend so much money for a burger and even more doubtful that it would be worth it. It well-exceeded my highest expectations. The classic burger is modelled after thin-patty fast food burgers but it’s full of meaty char and topped with a secret cheesy sauce, sweet caramlized onions, and bold tangy pickles. If McDonald’s burgers tasted this good, I would have a serious problem. Price: $17

SALVATION BURGER
230 East 51st Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenue),
Inside the Pod 51 Hotel
Midtown East
(646) 277-2900
salvationburger.com

NUMBER 6: PANDI-ICE CREAM at HOUSE OF INASAL

We’ve all probably had an ice cream sandwich, but not necessarily one quite like this. The popular Filipino street food is composed of sweet eggy pandesal bread that is toasted and liberally painted with thick halaya, which is ube (purple sweet potato) jam. Then it’s topped with a scoop of the same deep purple-colored ice cream. And finally, it’s garnished with some pinipig (crunchy rice) and young coconut. It’s sweet, warm, cold, crunchy, and absolutely luxurious.  Price: $5.50

HOUSE OF INASAL
65-14 Roosevelt Avenue (between 67th Street and 65th Place),
Woodside, Queens
(718) 429-0709
houseofinasal.com

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2016…

I love bubble tea as much as the next guy but I don’t really indulge very often because it can tend to be ovely sweet and too milky for my tastes. That’s until I discovered Boba Guys, the California import that are making their own tapioca balls and allowing you to customize everything from sweetness level to types of milk. Price Varies.
BOBA GUYS
23 Clinton Street (between Stanton and East Houston Street),
Lower East Side
bobaguys.com

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