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Archive for the ‘some favorite(NYC)things’ Category

Mar-29-2010

some of our favorite(nyc)things: il corraio

when people come into the city, we are always surprised by where they want to visit or to go eat. they are equally surprised that we do not frequent those places or want to go eat there. no. i do not want to eat at ruby tuesdays , bennigans or tgifridays in times square. then they ask where we go……so here are the places we like…not the best or the cheapest or whatever category….just where we go and go on a regular basis…

lacking korean options nearby, the family got a list of choices for eats…..they chose italian or maybe they chose noodles? either way, pastas are on the agenda.

we went to a local joint in soho near theresa’s work, il corraio. it is likely an nyu favorite with an extensive menu and very fair prices. nykr’s can get crazy jaded about prices. i hear myself saying things like, not bad, only $$$ for dinner and realize that that is not a good price anywhere else in the country. but for variety, quality and homey yuminess, this somewhat hidden spot scores high.

theresa and i haven’t started dining in nyc….yet. maybe sometimes. but we mostly eat. dining is a sport. eating is a necessity. eating requires money. dining requires tons of money. maybe during my sabbatical, we’ll hit a few more upscale places. but for now, we like to eat where locals eat regularly….where middle class nykrs eat regularly.

a few soups to start…but then the pastas….with many of theresa’s family ordering seafood and shellfish options. the variety of pastas is impressive and fun to look at. i went with a simple mozzerella, tomato and basil pasta….any real italian place makes great simple pastas….all they need is fresh ingredients. another great sign for this place is the fact that they do not serve stuff you would find at the olive garden. no american italian besterd plates here.

it wasn’t korean but theresa’s family looked content. not an easy task.

we like it too.

Posted under some favorite(NYC)things
Mar-8-2010

some of our favorite(nyc)things: white castle

when people come into the city, we are always surprised by where they want to visit or to go eat. they are equally surprised that we do not frequent those places or want to go eat there. no. i do not want to eat at ruby tuesdays , bennigans or tgifridays in times square. then they ask where we go……so here are the places we like…not the best or the cheapest or whatever category….just where we go and go on a regular basis…

…or once a year…

no more than once a year, we allow ourselves a pilgrimage to white castle’s. i grew up no more than 3 or 4 blocks from the castle and mom and dad used to take us all the time as a special treat. it was also a special cheap treat. but they did get us goodies out of the love from their hearts. they just didn’t know any better about nutrition. we do…so we don’t take them all the time….but once in awhile is ok. i think it had been over two years since we had gone.

the place has gone through a few renovations since my childhood including a downsizing of their dinning room as well as a temporary partnership with church’s fried chicken. when my grandmother passed, i came early in the morning for a breakfast; for some strange comfort meal. but upon entering, i noticed that the place doesn’t have the same romance anymore. its just been too many years.

here’s our spread….a little of everything. notice for those of you who are horrified at potential child abuse, that zoe had her own food. but we got cheeseburgers, fries, onion rings, s-o-d-a-s…..even some rice and beans for dad. that’s what happens when your white castle is in the 11373, one of the most diverse neighborhoods in america.

the limp burger is actually their tasty jalapeno cheeseburger. its our sandwich of choice and we almost exclusively get this permutation.

we also featured the clam strips that night. i will steal someone’s description of fast food breaded nuggets and call them what they really are…..clam donuts. but think about that….a savory donut. mmmmmmm.

yummy! but there’s a price…and that’s why we don’t eat it all here all the time. how’s that for subtlety? its not as gross as you’ve heard it: we just feel a bit bloated after. we have great memories of the vertigo tour in chicago coming home, after a day of lining up, at toby and cassies and gorging on white castles and ramen. we haven’t done that in 5 years.

and we won’t do this until next year! zoe maybe anxious for her first taste.

Posted under some favorite(NYC)things
Mar-1-2010

some of our favorite(nyc)things: pho 32 and shabu

when people come into the city, we are always surprised by where they want to visit or to go eat. they are equally surprised that we do not frequent those places or want to go eat there. no. i do not want to eat at ruby tuesdays , bennigans or tgifridays in times square. then they ask where we go……so here are the places we like…not the best or the cheapest or whatever category….just where we go and go on a regular basis…

theresa is always complaining about pho in the city because its not like pho in maryland….either the toppings are different or insufficient or the sauces are no good or the broth is nasty…but she heard a rumor about a place that she may like. of course, it was in k-town, nyc; a place with korean sensibilities.

i’m always down for noodles in soup. and meat. so we made the trek after some shoe shopping.

reviews online are not kind but i think its part of the nyc food snob culture. they are disappointed that it is only a bowl of noodles with soup and meat. where’s my silver spoon? where’s the caviar? where’s my whole new world?

as long as you’re not expecting more than what pho is, this place is one of the most reliable, satisfying, relatively cheap eats in midtown. i ordered the large with extra meat and had a grand time. theresa thought it was good too and we will be back.

it was pho we wanted and it was pho we got. the toppings were on the thin side but that’s how korean places roll. whether they are doing their own food or other cuisine, their business model is brilliant….make the customer pay more.

we also got some decent egg rolls…..went well with the pho and helped with filling us up. c’mon….its fried goodness. or badness. either way, yummy.

we ate it all…and we were thrilled.   we’ll be back is always a good review.

so what if we are slightly easy? we’re happy.

Posted under some favorite(NYC)things
Oct-5-2009

some of our favorite(nyc)things: teresa’s

when people come into the city, we are always surprised by where they want to visit or to go eat. they are equally surprised that we do not frequent those places or want to go eat there. no. i do not want to eat at ruby tuesdays , bennigans or tgifridays in times square. then they ask where we go……so here are the places we like…not the best or the cheapest or whatever category….just where we go and go on a regular basis…

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we found a lot of symmetry in our labor day trip across the bridge ending in a meal at a brooklyn heights joint recommended to us by a number of people for good polish and ukrainian food. first, the unnamed place turned out to be called teresa’s. then my dad said he used to come here when he worked in brooklyn. all the pieces came together serendipitously.

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we started out with soup….one of these is the regular borscht and one of them was the special borscht. both excellent. don’t worry which to order….just make sure to order some borscht!

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many of us went with the standard winner of beef stroganoff with or without noodles. i think steph got this avocado salad that looked yummy even to carnivores.

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my mom got the roast chicken and as you can see all the meals came with sides like corn, cucumber salad, french fries or a few other choices. hearty, yummy food at non-manhattan prices! a great meal to finish off our new york loving, affirming night. hope to make it back soon.

Posted under new york eats, some favorite(NYC)things
Sep-28-2009

some of our favorite(nyc)things: brooklyn ice cream factory

when people come into the city, we are always surprised by where they want to visit or to go eat. they are equally surprised that we do not frequent those places or want to go eat there. no. i do not want to eat at ruby tuesdays , bennigans or tgifridays in times square. then they ask where we go……so here are the places we like…not the best or the cheapest or whatever category….just where we go and go on a regular basis…

being both a tourist and native favorite is a hard thing to juggle. however, being at the other end of the brooklyn bridge helps a lot. after many trek from manhattan to the dark side, they know about the pizza that’s served around the corner. but in between waiting on line and taking iconic pictures on the waterfront, they also take in some home made ice cream. i suspect in the summertime, they kill.

we went in the early fall and did not get pizza…but we still got ice cream.

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no exotic flavors but plenty of favorites: chocolate chip with chunks, butter pecan, strawberry, vanilla……

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…and all my women were happy!

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even my little one!

but she’ll have to wait til next time for a taste.

Posted under new york eats, some favorite(NYC)things
Sep-21-2009

some of our favorite(nyc)things: tim hortons

when people come into the city, we are always surprised by where they want to visit or to go eat. they are equally surprised that we do not frequent those places or want to go eat there. no. i do not want to eat at ruby tuesdays , bennigans or tgifridays in times square. then they ask where we go……so here are the places we like…not the best or the cheapest or whatever category….just where we go and go on a regular basis…

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there’s been a(mild)buzz about the donut wars in nyc because canadian import tim hortons has replaced a dozen dunkin donuts in manhattan. canadians have been enthusiastic in their welcoming and endorsement. after doing some research, we surmised that we were not going to try any of the standard stuff that all donut eateries fry up but to wait for their signature items…the ones that contain maple flavoring. not a simple thing since not all of the shops carry all of the flavors due to space limitations and they are still trying to figure out what menu will work in the city.

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we have enjoyed this particular item….its like a boston creme but with a maple glaze on top instead of chocolate. on the inside, there’s a gooey creme filling that is delightful accompanying the maple’y topping. we went through a couple of takes including one time when the lady packaged the donuts wrong and the handling paper was smushed against the maple so when we removed the wrapping, the maple was removed along with it! aboo!

but this time, i asked for something to avoid that and the lady at the counter delightfully offered me this box. i in turn ordered the last four of these.

a great fall treat!

if you look closely, you will see a glimpse of a future tim hortons fan. she is anxious to move beyond milk!

Posted under new york eats, some favorite(NYC)things
Sep-18-2009

labor day 2009: brooklyn bridge

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it ain’t fall until its labor day…and its ain’t labor day without our family excursion.

our annual family trip to a nyc tourist attraction on labor day is a tradition that we just started doing a few years ago and kept doing. we discovered that tourists evacuate the city so the spots empty out and you have these massive places to yourself.

mostly. and maybe not this location.

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why do we do this each year? to affirm our love for the city? to affirm our love for each other? to affirm our calling to the city? to affirm our calling to each other? because its fun? because its silly and stupid? just because?

the traditions that we inherit, the traditions that we create and that we choose to carry on define us in conscious and subconscious ways. it might be all these reasons…and others that we have not brought to the surface yet.

normally, we go to the tourist site…..top of the rock, empire state building…..closer to dusk and watch the sunset. i think i insist on doing this to symbolically transition from the hot summer to the cool magical fall. we missed doing that last year at the statue of liberty…but we got to do that this time around as we headed into brooklyn.

love of family, love of city and calling affirmed. thanks, tourists, for your loot and booty; especially you european tourists with your valuable cash reserves.  you may leave now. see you again next year, somewhere in the city.

we finish the day with the annual ancestor picture. with our new addition.

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see you next year! my first family tourist site was a blast!

Posted under labor day, new york, some favorite(NYC)things, tsangs
Sep-14-2009

some of our favorite(nyc)things: bouchon bakery

when people come into the city, we are always surprised by where they want to visit or to go eat. they are equally surprised that we do not frequent those places or want to go eat there. no. i do not want to eat at ruby tuesdays , bennigans or tgifridays in times square. then they ask where we go……so here are the places we like…not the best or the cheapest or whatever category….just where we go and go on a regular basis…

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our boy leonard on one of his last business trips to the city from la comes over to meet zoe…and then its off to breakfast and we go to one of his favorites.

mine too.

its a little bit of luxury in the city for us commoners : we can dabble in some french flavors while paying decent prices. i often take my mom here for mommy/son dates so that i can treat her right. another episode of her not believing how much things are! but me reassuring her that it is only once in awhile.

but for my high roller friend, leonard with per diem….we try to meet here as often as he is in town.

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its simple stuff for breakfast, coffee, ham, cheese, croissant or hard baguette, pickles and of course macarons…this i believe was blueberry cheesecake. definitely a summer special…but all the macarons are good and tasty. theresa’s favorite dessert in the city.

over this meal, we shoot the breeze, catch up on our marriages, our daughters, our cities, u2, tickets, the future.

looking forward to the next visit.

Posted under some favorite(NYC)things
Aug-24-2009

some of our favorite(nyc)things: the other kfc

when people come into the city, we are always surprised by where they want to visit or to go eat. they are equally surprised that we do not frequent those places or want to go eat there. no. i do not want to eat at ruby tuesdays , bennigans or tgifridays in times square. then they ask where we go……so here are the places we like…not the best or the cheapest or whatever category….just where we go and go on a regular basis…

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when i offered to get kentucky fried chicken to satisfy my wife’s fried bird cravings, she frowned and declined. i reasoned that kentucky was on our way home. she blurted out…i don’t like kentucky fried chicken; i like ghetto fried chicken!

as in the fried chicken right by our abode…the other kfc. the knockoff that sells fried chicken not to suburban minivan megamall moms but to the local common person in my neighborhood. like theresa.

theresa’s family has owned several eating joints that catered to the hood; influencing her tastes.

so off i went to kennedy fried chicken. kenny chau also loves this place.

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though nyc has banned all trans fat frying, i have my suspicions. i got some big chicken pieces and of course, the money food….chicken wings. i must admit, they do taste like you fried them yourself….in a good way. meaning its like home cooked chicken. not my home….but a friend’s home. of a certain ethnicity.

pc police ruin all the fun.

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she does not need 11 original spices for her chicken. theresa mixes ketchup and hot sauce and she is good to go.

and happy.

Posted under some favorite(NYC)things
Aug-17-2009

some of our favorite(nyc)things: the steakhouse at the 74th street fairway’s

when people come into the city, we are always surprised by where they want to visit or to go eat. they are equally surprised that we do not frequent those places or want to go eat there. no. i do not want to eat at ruby tuesdays , bennigans or tgifridays in times square. then they ask where we go……so here are the places we like…not the best or the cheapest or whatever category….just where we go and go on a regular basis…

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we went back to our favorite casual dining steakhouse in the city. its for those who want a good chunk of cow without having to go through the fanfare and hassle of other places. the prices are pretty decent too.

what we love about it is its quirky location….its right in the supermarket. you can see the vitamin dept. just beyond the outskirts of the dining area in this pic. its on the second floor of this busy and popular fairways.

and you don’t have to get steak….grandma got the salmon here.

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theresa’s mom got the linguine with clams. her dad got meat but a hanger steak.

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i got my favorite cut….the ribeye with fries. i like my meat with a little take which is probably why prime rib never won me over.

we got seated, served and fed right away and had a solid family meal. we would have been in and out but theresa’s dad ate slowly holding zoe the whole time.

Posted under some favorite(NYC)things