September 29, 2009

Five Guys

I first had Five Guys in the Baltimore area (I believe they're based there?) a few summers ago, and I thought their burgers were quite delicious. Even though they're well-cooked (company policy), they're still juicy. I also enjoy the various toppings they offer, especially mustard (I'm really not a ketchup-on-my-burger kind of gal) and jalapenos. Five Guys also has free peanuts while you wait, but I'm not crazy about peanuts either. Peanut butter? Oh yes. Actual peanuts? Eh. They post a sign asking for consideration in light of the many allergic folks in the area--the one in Baltimore practically roped off the area as a 'No Peanut Zone.' I've always appreciated that this particular store is always neat and clean---the customers are also good about not scattering their peanut shells everywhere.

Five Guys came to Bay Ridge about a year or so ago, and I've stopped in a few times. My standard burger is the Little Cheeseburger (unless you're a linebacker and/or starving, the regular burger--2 patties--is just too damn much) with mustard, pickles, lettuce, raw onions, and jalapenos.

Let me tell you: this was a darn good burger. Even though it's well-cooked (I prefer my burgers cooked medium), it still has great flavor, and isn't dry at all. The tangy, salty toppings were crisp and delicious: the jalapenos were almost blindingly green, and they added a wonderful, sharp heat to the burger. The burger smelled so good it even got the attention of one Mitzi May, my stray-turned-pampered feline who normally ignores all people food (except lettuce). This time, however, she wasn't interested in the greens--she wanted the meat!

Little brother Oliver was not about to miss out on the party, either. He came up for a sample, and they were both just so darn cute and polite about it (not grabbing or begging, just looking up at me with those big old eyes) that I couldn't resist. They each got a teeny tiny bite (after I finished my meal, of course).

This burger was exactly what I wanted: tangy, salty, warm, the dose of red meat I was craving, and 5.03 with tax. Granted, not as cheap as McDonald's, but still a good deal for all that burger. I passed on the fries because I just don't think theirs are that great, and the burger was enough of a splurge, anyway. This is definitely one of my go-to spots around the neighborhood, but fortunately it's a just enough of a walk away that I don't go there too much. : )

Five Guys Burgers
8510 5th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11209
(718) 921-9380

September 28, 2009

Clinton Street Baking Company

Clinton Street Baking Company has long been on my "List," aka the ever-growing, ever-changing list of places I'd like to eat/visit in NYC. This place is famous for hour-plus long lines to get in on the weekends, though, and I'm so over that point in my life. I feel there are so many great restaurants where you DON'T have to wait that long, that I'm not about to waste my time at one like that. My friend Laura and I felt especially clever and figured we'd trick the system and show up on Monday morning. There was still a line, but we were seated within minutes.

Most of the reviews I'd read sang the praises of the pancakes, especially the blueberry ones. As I've mentioned, I'm not a huge pancakes fan. I'll eat them once or twice a year, and that's plenty for me. However, I figured it was best to follow the advice of the rave reviews and try the specialty of the house. I ordered the blueberry pancakes with Maine blueberries. They come with a side of maple butter, which as far as I can tell, is liquid crack. ;) I am not a huge fan of maple syrup, either. I like it on my pancakes, but then once I'm done eating I need it out of my face because the smell makes me a little queasy. Yeah, I'm weird. You know this already, don't look so surprised.

The pancakes did not disappoint. They have a crunchy, crispy edge with billowy fluffiness in the middle. It's spread throughout with big juicy berries, and there is a nice taste of citrus as well. They're zesty and flavorful all on their own, but they're sublime when you add the maple butter (and I used every last drop of that stuff).

Laura is on a huevos rancheros kick lately, so she got their version, which came with over easy eggs, guacamole, and what looked like a guacamole-sour cream concoction. She said hers were very good, too. I tried a slice of the chorizo and it was muy delicioso.

Normally I'd get something savory on the side: some bacon, eggs, something protein-y, but these pancakes were so big (and the serving so large) that I didn't want to crowd my stomach with any distractions!

Clinton Street Baking Company
4 Clinton Street
New York, NY 10002
(646) 602-6263

In the Mood for Mexican

I'm just about always in the mood for Mexican food. Salsa? Pico de gallo? Margaritas? Si, si, y si. The ABF & I found ourselves super super DUPER hungry Sunday after our plans for the day went a little long, and it had been about 7 hours since our last meal. I chirped that I was in the mood for Mexican, and he was definitely game. It doesn't hurt that we knew we'd have chips & salsa on that table ASA-freakin-P. We weren't that far from a standby spot: Cozymel's (which I believe is a chain), so we hopped in the car and headed that way.

You know how sometimes you're really hungry and you're not in the mood to take a chance on a new spot? That was us last night. We've been to Cozymel's plenty, and ABF was going there long before he met me. It's now a semi-regular contender in our dining out schedule. We sat down and got a brimming bowl of their salsa, which is chock full of tomato flavor, a healthy heaping of garlic, and a generous portion of cilantro. It's NOT spicy, but that's okay. I wasn't too picky tonight. ;)

I wasn't driving, so I also ordered an Agave cocktail. It said it contained tequila, lime juice, and agave syrup (instead of the chemical-y sour mix). I thought it sounded like a nice alternative to my beloved margarita, but it was INCREDIBLY sweet. It tasted like sugar water--this needed a hefty helping of tart lime juice.

I ordered the roasted pork entree--a new dish for me. It comes with freshly made, fluffy tortillas on the side, but I didn't even bother with them. The pork was downright succulent, with a hefty punch of garlic, a tang of salt, and a delicious overall flavor. Even the rice, which I normally ignore, was scrum-diddly-umptious. The only meh part: the black beans, which were too hard, not cooked enough for my tastes. Still, the pork? YUM. It also came with a tomatillo sauce (loooove tomatillos!) that had a decent amount of heat.

ABF got the enchilada platter with 2 chicken enchiladas in a creamy poblano pepper sauce and one beef enchilada with ancho chile sauce. The chicken ones were okay (the sauce was SUPER yummy, though) but the beef was REALLY good, sauce and meat were both really delicious.

By meal's end, we were full but not overstuffed, and once again happy with our super-quick, super-tasty Mexican meal. Ole! Next time I'll have to try one of their frozen margaritas (I'm more of a rocks w/salt girl, but hey, in the interest of fair and balanced drinking, I'll do it)--they have quite a number of them on tap (or on swirl? On slush?)

Cozymel's Mexican Grill
1177 Corporate Drive
Westbury, NY 11590
(516) 222-7010

September 24, 2009


Welcome, everyone! I noticed yesterday a slew of new visitors--bookmark me and come back, y'all! I found a new favorite food site the other day:! You can submit photos of your food with captions and links to your blog. 2 of my 4 submissions were accepted AND posted yesterday!

I sent them:

My hilariously sliced Canadian bacon from Fresh Direct (yes, that is exactly how they arrived).

My gorgeous Sangre de Lobo margarita from Park Slope, Brooklyn's Lobo restaurant.

My blueberry pie/blueberry ice cream combo from ABF's & my 2008 trip to Maine (my very first post on this blog!)

And my eggplant rollatini shot from one of my favorite restaurants, Bay Ridge's Areo.

Right now, the bacon and the rita are posted on the opening page at Swing by and check it out--but be warned: this site will make you hungry!

September 19, 2009

Quick Chicken Favorite

One of my favorite quick meals to make is easy chicken parm in tin foil. I was all set to make that tonight when I realized, shockingly, I ran out of tin foil! I can't remember the last time that happened, but I'd used the last paltry square to wrap up the leftovers of my Trader Joe's pizza. As I was saying...there goes the no-clean up recipe.

Instead I went stove-top, browning the chicken on both sides while roasting some sweet potato (1 small one, diced into 1-inch pieces) in the oven.

I tossed the sweet potato in salt, freshly-cracked pepper and olive oil, then threw in a few whole cardomom pods just to see how that might work. For the last 5 minutes of the potatoes cooking (about 15 min total), I put the chicken in a favorite dish of mine, picked up a few months ago at IKEA for 2.99. It can double as a serving dish or a baking dish. I set it on a bed of Hunt's tomato sauce (gasp! from a can--and super) that was leftover from a previous meal, then topped it with some of the mozzarella left over from Pizza Night (yay, leftover ingredients!), sprinkled some dried basil (what I had on hand), and let it all melt together into deliciousness.

This dish took MAYBE 20 minutes to make, and was delicious, tasty, and reasonably healthy! The cardamom was a nice touch--giving a sweet aroma to the potatoes, enhancing their flavor without actually adding sugar. Sure, not as good as the standard Chicken-Kinda-Parm in a packet, but close enough!

September 18, 2009

Of Cupcakes & Kugel...

My friend and coworker MK (**Update! She just launched her own food blog--go visit right now!) brought in lemon cupcakes today, in keeping with the citrus-themed posts I've started of late! It was sweet, yummy, and going....



She also shared a bit of the Kugel she made for her family (in celebration of the Jewish New Year!) She made several types: a Jerusalem Kugel with mushrooms and onions and chopped fresh basil; a brown rice kugel with cinnamon, fresh dates, and brown sugar, and the Smitten Kitchen version. I tried the brown sugar and the SK versions... YUM! The brown rice kugel (pictured first below) is moist and delicious--and the Smitten Kitchen version (bottom pic) is incredible. I can understand the family history behind that recipe now!
Thanks for the sweet bit of sunshine, MK!

September 17, 2009

Lemon & Olive Chicken

I've had this recipe kicking around for a while, ripped from the pages of one of my favorite magazines, Real Simple (which I like even more than Martha these days shhh!!) I had all the ingredients on hand, so I threw it together in a hot minute tonight.

All you need: chicken, green olives, shallots, wine, and seasonings. I had a bottle of wine that Yoga Jen brought to my Recession Recipes party a while back, plus some olives left over from that party. I always have shallots on hand, and I just picked up a bag of frozen chicken from Trader Joe's (such a deal at 6.99 a bag!). While I thawed the chicken, I mixed together the seasonings (cumin, salt, pepper, lemon zest). Zesting always gives me an excuse to trot out one of my favorite kitchen tools: my microplane!!!

Did you notice the little pieces of chicken? Those are the segments of rib meat that come attached to the breast. I snapped those off and left off the breading--Mitzi and Ollie enjoyed their own little chicken snacks tonight, too (sans wine, olive, etc). Once you've browned the chicken pieces, you remove them (and I got to use another new tool--I finally got TONGS at Williams-Sonoma this weekend...ALSO on sale!) and sauté the shallots, add the olives, wine & lemon juice, and bring to a boil. Let me tell you: this smells AWESOME! Then you bring back the chicken and let it simmer for a few minutes to cook through all the way. You're supposed to cover it for a few minutes--this is where some drama happened. I picked up my lid for the pot, and the handle came off, sending the heavy glass lid down to the ground, shattering one of my favorite bowls (which I'd put down as a water dish for the cats). This made me very, very, very, very, exceedingly sad. :( I actually let my head hang for a moment..but then I had to get back to cooking. Can't let the shallots burn!)

I let everything simmer for about 4 minutes on low to medium heat, then served myself up a plate. It was just me tonight for dinner, so I have extra tomorrow for lunch! And I'm so glad I do! The chicken was tender and flavorful, the lemon and the wine give it a tart glaze that's just a touch sweet, and the olives lend a natural saltiness. It has acid, it has sweetness, it has a major yum factor. I highly recommend it. Try it and you, too, will probably be adding this to your rotating recipe file!

September 16, 2009

Pizza Night

ABF and I were in Trader Joe's 2 weekends ago and their 99 cent pizza dough caught my eye. All you have to do is roll it out, add toppings, and bake! I had everything at home.. I thought..until I discovered I had no cheese. It took me another week or so to get the mozzarella.

I rolled out the dough to form an almost-circle, then placed it into my new Williams-Sonoma pan (the ABF & I each picked up one for 7.50 last weekend at the Outlet!), which I was excited to use. I wasn't completely convinced the dough wouldn't sag through the holes in the pan, but I decided to give it a shot anyway.

I sliced thin pieces of fresh, salted mozzarella, raw sliced white onion, sliced bell peppers (a food I used to hate but which I now love), and then another layer of roughly grated mozzarella.

Popped it into a 425 degree oven for about 8 minutes, and was quite pleased with how it looked so far...but how would it taste? I used my super-duper Shun Santoku knife to cut the pizza, and heard the tell-tale crunch of the veggies when I sliced through them. I had two slices for dinner, and they were quite tasty! The crust wasn't crunchy, but it wasn't soggy, either. I wonder if par-baking the crust would make it crisp up more next time? Or baking at an even higher temp for less time?

I had two more slices for lunch today, and it reheated nicely! The only change I would make would be to pile even MORE veggies on there.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...