Monday, March 30, 2009

super blog update

Ok so we have been absolutely awful at keeping up with this thing, so here are lots of brief updates.

First - my current favorite restaurant is Izumi. LOVE THIS PLACE. I've been there three times(including with a part of 9 for my birthday) and have really been wowed every time. The fish is fresh and lovely and their specialty rolls are creative and satisfying. I am a big fan of the Izumi roll. The tuna sashimi has been great too. Also every time I have been there we have had a special rock shrimp appetizer that I have enjoyed, and I hate shrimp as a rule. The first time it came out compliments of the chef due to a little seating snafu that we really weren't upset about anyway, and it was served in a sauce that reminded me of something that would be on chicken wings. The second and third time it was in a wasabi aioli, totally delicious. I can't wait until they open up the windows and begin seating outside.

Lucky 13 - Brunch - French toast with blueberry compote and honey butter with a side of scrambled eggs. The french toast was actually really yum, I liked the batter they used. Decent bloody mary and a $3 mimosa. I realized this place is a lot more charming at night as a bar, the atmosphere of the 'dining room' still needs a little TLC.

Cantina - A while back I had an unfortunate visit to Cantina involving dry boring tamales and syrupy raspberry margaritas. Today I was pleased to see the corn on the cob back on the specials board, also had some crab ceviche with peanuts, and chicken burrito, which was the size of a small baby and was the only meal I needed all day. Also, its not on the menu but if you ask they will make you a bloody mary, good enough to order a second at least.

Standard Tap - Did anyone know there was another secret dining room off to the side of the back room upstairs? Had brunch here with mommy and friends and I don't know how I have been eating here for years and have never seen it. I always end up with the salmon bagel platter. Except why are they stingy, two halves of a bagel calls for at least two tomato slices. We made my mom ask for bloody marys by the pitcher, and were denied.

1601 - I keep trying this place. Its so close to home I want to love it. The former back dining room now houses a pool table. And on a Sunday evening everyone there except for your supperclub bloggers was glued to the tv watching Family Guy. Mixed feelings, but since its only a ten minute walk, I'll keep trying.

''Hot Bagels" - I think the actual name of this place is Philadelphia Bagel Co, but since the sign says Hot Bagels, I'll stay with that. Bagels are great and they will give you freezer bags so you can stock up. So far I've tried the lox spread and the veggie cream cheese. The coffee won't kill you, but if you could get it somewhere else, you should. I've been here maybe a half dozen times and always have the same girl help me, and for some reason I find myself feeling a little sorry for her which results in overtipping. But the more I think about it, she might just have weepy eyeliner that makes her look a little sad. They have lots of salads you can get on a bagel too, I want to try the tuna and the whitefish soon.

Marra's - Went here with my mom and my sister on a Saturday night, and they were a little grouchy about us not having a reservation, insisted it was going to be a while, then seated us in about 5 minutes. They have cheap carafes of even cheaper wine and baskets of crusty bread and butter. We split a small pizza as an appetizer - we went in for pasta but the people next to us had tons of pizzas at their table and it made us want some too. I had simple cheese ravioli. My sister had something crazy involving crabmeat stuck to shrimp over pasta, and my mom had all kinds of seafood over a mountain of spaghetti. We were supposed to go out drinking after this but instead we had to go home and change into sweatpants immediately.

There are more updates, but I have to sleep!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Pub and Kitchen


I don't know what all the hype is about. The place is a little cute and our drinks were a little good, but something is missing here. The bartender was some bro dude who didn't seem very interested in serving us, and when /// asked for a greyhound, he said "what?", and /// had to explain that it was simply grapefruit and vodka. We laughed amongst ourselves about the fact that this classic cocktail was missing from his repertoire. We did order two bar snacks, marinated olives and whitefish 'mop rolls', which was like a little open face whitefish salad sandwich. Both of these were tasty and at $3 each priced right. We were really looking for a place where we could park at the bar all night and this simply wasn't it. (One thing we did love? The logo - super cute!)

Wawa Ciabatta Melt

Loves it.
Bonus points for being available 24 hours a day.
Thanks Wawa.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Oscar's is back in my life. Two visits in 36 hours. Huge beers for $3.25. The best cheese fries in the city. Take that Geno's. Strange deep fried pierogies. And crunchy-and-not-too-greasy onion rings. Yum. The onion rings will no doubt give you indigestion for hours, but one Pepcid AC followed by a margarita mixed with club soda seemed to resolve that problem immediately. I don't know how I forgot that Oscar's is by far the best dive in the city. Bonus points for serving everything on paper plates with plastic forks, and nothing on the menu over $6. Although I would love to know what happened to the homeless man who used to work there!
Update: I made a third visit and went for actual food. I ordered a tuna salad sandwich and when asked what kind of bread I wanted I said wheat, but I think the question was pointless because it seems only white was available. And also there was no tuna salad. So I had chicken salad on wonder bread with no lettuce or tomato and another order of those cheese fries, and although I ordered the fries my sandwich still came with chips. The food here reminds me a lot of a school lunch, but in a really charming comforting way. I also switched from my usual giant lager to giant Long Island iced tea, 23 oz of booze for $9. Oscar's is SO back.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Twee Grows In Brooklyn

So, I am back in Brooklyn for a couple of days in order to celebrate a friend's birthday. I must admit I have been excited to visit old favorite bars and restaurants (Diner, Marlow and Sons, the Cobb Salads at Lodge and Teddy's) and to experience the new ones I have been reading about. Really, the only thing I actually love about Brooklyn is the dining and bar scene. Such options!

But I must admit that everything here is so...just so. The cutesy, old timey, farmhouse chic aesthetic becomes a little cloying after a while. While the abundance of new restaurants is a blessing for us consumers, resulting in constant one-upping on quality and price and experience, it also means one-upping on twee.

Today, for instance, I spent the afternoon in Clinton Hill, a charming and diverse neighborhood where Rosie Perez once watched me play tennis! The polar opposite of Williamsburg. Families and black people live here. Hipsters are scarce. But, we walked into a new charmer named LOU LOU for brunch and are immediately greeted by a skinny beauty with scruff on his face and jeans painted on.

The walls are a perfectly faded blue barn wood. Our water glasses are small jam jars. Nothing matches, but it all looks lovely together. Did I mention this place is called Lou Lou? Cute. Cute. And more cute. "Uggh" I think at first. South Philadelphia will certainly change a perspective. But then I look at the menu and see only solid gems. And then I take another look at my server and think I want to marry him. And then they present us with a complimentary round of mimosas in honor of Obama. WTF? Brooklyn is la la land. I order the skate sandwich with applewood smoked bacon (is there any other kind anymore?) and housemade tartar sauce and give in to Lou Lou.

The sandwich is super tasty. The sweet and salt of the skate perfectly balanced by the creamy tartar and smoky bacon. The roll is perfect. Joel's Monte Cristo sandwich is huge, delicious and not greasy. Maggie's Omelette is perfectly fluffy. The portions are actually big and the bill is pretty small. The coffee was the only downside to this meal. Watery and tasteless. Note to Lou Lou: if you are going to do everything right, you have to do right by the coffee!

We went for a walk in the snow covered park afterwards. Children were sledding. Beautiful people were laughing and jogging. It felt a little like magic. I hated myself for loving this so much. Next weekend I will have to do with the certain charm of trash-lined streets and a Royal bloody and burger.See full size image
See full size imageSee full size imageSee full size image


This posting is about two weeks overdue, but I can't let it go. And if I already talked to you in great detail about my experience at Distrito, feel free to skip this one. I went with a friend the the weekend after New Year's. I was shocked that on a weekend night we walked in around 8 and were seated immediately. With all the hype surrounding this place, I didn't think it would be so simple, but the place was kind of dead.
I was totally won over by the decor - its like a big pink party, lots of color, and marquee signs over the bar with some of the drinks. We started off with cocktails, I had a passion fruit margarita and my friend had a grapefruit. Both were tasty, and nice and strong. They brought out some seasoned nuts; I picked at them but really they were a little hot for me. I don't really like spicy.
So then for the food. We ordered the guacamole with crab meat, the caesar salad, kobe beef tacos, esquites, and a chicken enchilada. Everything was delicious. The crab meat was for real in the guac, and the chips they came with were thick and crispy. The salad was good, a little more dressing than I would like, but good. I just started eating a few bites of red meat now and then, and I only want it super rare. My friend had the tacos before and highly recommended them, and I agreed. The meat was rich and tasty and there were tiny french fries on top for a little crunch. The enchilada and the esquites were my favorites. The enchilada was in a smoky red sauce with just a little heat, and the esquites was like a corn and cheese parfait. Like that corn on the cob they served all summer at Cantina, but cut off the cob and with a little more of the queso fresco. I think it was only $5, and Imight insist on getting it on all of my future visits.
We had a second round of cocktails, and I decided to try the house margarita to see how it was. I love margaritas but bad ones give me terrible heartburn. This was decent.
We were too full for dessert, but when they brought the check there were little sugar coated jellies for each of us that were just the perfect thing. When we got up to leave we realized we were some of the last people in there, and Iwas impressed that the server didn't try to rush us out of there. We went upstairs to use the bathroom and snoop around a little, and also tried to win a Mexican wrestler toy from the crane machine (we didn't win), and left totally satisfied and a little tipsy.