Friday, April 20, 2012

New York: Williamsburg, Brooklyn - Day 3

After a day of whiskey, we were definitely gonna take it easy on Day 3. Since some of us have never been the Brooklyn, Rose offered to show us around the area so we got on the subway and got a taste of NY's hipster central, Williamsburg!

sparkling water
Before that, we went into Eataly to get some water to re-hydrate ourselves and some coffee to wake us up.

Cafe Mocha. Lavazza coffee.

Cafe Latte.

Ahrhan and her espresso.

At the Williamsburg subway station, "B" for Brooklyn.

135 N 5th St
Between Bedford Ave & Berry St
Williamsburg - North Side
Brooklyn, NY 11211

First stop, Egg for brunch. Egg is this super super super super super hipster brunch spot. REALLY hipster.

Part of the menu. Nothing looked exciting except for the Eggs Rothko. Oatmeal... plain pancakes and others make up the rest of the menu. Later confirmed by others that everything else on the menu was average besides the Rothko.

Got a lemonade... only drank half. Way too sweet.

eggs rothko
Eggs Rothko with thick brioche, then a circle is cut out in the middle, filled with an egg, then covered with melted cheddar.

cheddar & egg
Combination of buttery brioche, egg, and cheese is fantastic.

candied bacon
Candied bacon was literally strips of bacon then glazed with sugar. Worked well with the rest of the dish since I can take a "break" and have something sweet in-between.

oven roasted tomato
Oven-roasted tomato had a nice tartness to it! Great with the heaviness of cheese.

rothko with ham
Diana also got the Eggs Rothko, but with country ham and it was not as enjoyable.

country ham
Country ham was way too salty.

In the end... I didn't really understand why Egg was so popular. Maybe it is popular because they have their own farm and source other ingredients from local source so hipsters love it? Or maybe hipsters here just like bland food like grits and oatmeal... or they just like to overpay for a simple sausage & gravy.


Saint's Alp Teahouse
164 Bedford Ave
Between 7th St & 8th St
Williamsburg - North Side
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Was walking around and found a Saint's Alp!! Saint's Alp is a chain of teahouse that originated from HK. Never knew they had branched out to US, let alone NY.

milk green tea
Milk Green Tea, with less less sugar. It's actually pretty good, except expensive as hell... Essentially, the price I paid can be a large at many places, and the regular size here is smaller than the regular size anywhere else! Their large is like.. TapEx's regular.


Brooklyn Brewery
79 N 11th St
Between Berry St & Wythe Ave
Williamsburg - North Side
Brooklyn, NY 11211

brooklyn brewery
Yup, the Brooklyn Brewery is located in Brooklyn. What a surprise! :P

brooklyn brewery

Some malts.

brooklyn brewery
There's also a tasting area where you can buy tokens for $5 each and receive a cup of beer with each token. Fresh draft!

Promoting their summer ale.

beer tasting
Where you pick your beer.

Others didn't really want to drink after a full day of drinking yesterday so Audrey and I decided to split a Mary's Maple Porter! It's a draft-only seasonal from Feb-April so we were able to catch it. It's a little hoppy with strong notes of the maple and hints of caramel, chocolate, and coffee from the roasted malts and the maple syrup added to the fermentation.


When we were walking on Bedford, I saw people eating these crazy slices of pizza. I had to stop and get one as well, and turns out Vinnie's is quite popular for their crazy toppings on pizzas!

Vinnie's Pizzeria
148 Bedford Ave
Between 8th St & 9th St
Williamsburg - North Side
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Store front.

Farmer's Daughter
The Farmer's Daughter, which is topped with garlic sautéed spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, portabello mushrooms, and melted herbed goat cheese.

garlic sauteed spinach, sun-dried tomato, portobello, goat cheese
No tomato sauce. Lots and lots of spinach on the pizza. Very light. I like the thin crispy NY-style crust!

chicken & ranch
Ben's Chicken & Ranch.

Great BBQ chicken with ranch.


Part of the reason for going to Brooklyn is to check out the Brooklyn Bridge! We went on a really beautiful day and we were able to get a good view of it, as well as Manhattan.

Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory
Fulton Ferry Landing Pier
1 Water St
Brooklyn, NY 11230

Brooklyn Bridge! We didn't walk across it since we didn't have time. Maybe next time.

There's also the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory!

Line was looooong on a nice day. Would've took over 40 minutes.

Somehow Audrey went in, did her Audrey thing, convinced a guy to sell her Vanilla by the pint even though they do not that. *Bows down*

Our pint of old fashioned Vanilla! Vanilla is my favorite and you can really tell how good an ice cream shop is by their vanilla. It's easy to make but so hard to make it good.

Peeling bag the paper to reveal the vanilla ice cream!

So... how's the Vanilla? Fawking awesome. It's creamy, smooth, and it just has that texture that old fashioned ice cream is suppose to have. Good job Audrey!


After Brooklyn Bridge, we took the subway back to Manhattan, more specifically SoHo, since we wanted to do a little shopping, and that's also where one of my favorite, Uniqlo, is! Before we went though, we stopped by Rice To Riches since a few of us wanted to try it. I was never a fan of gooey desserts like rice pudding but figured... it must be popular for a reason so why not.

Rice To Riches
37 Spring St
Between Mott St & Mulberry St
New York, NY 10012

rice to riches
All the rice pudding on display.

HAHA they call toppings "Jesus Droppings." The whole shop has a bunch of these remarks throughout.

We tasted a few, but Diana and I went for the Almond Shmalmond.

All orders come in cool containers like this, but you definitely paid for it. Our "solo" size was a little over $5. You get even get one that serves 10 and they call it "moby" ahaha.

Rice To Riches logo.

the pudding
We topped ours with homemade graham crackers. The Almond Shmalmond was WAY too sweet. When we tried the little sample, it didn't taste as sweet but holy.. I took 4-5 bites and I was done. Probably used a little too much of that almond flavoring. The graham crackers were awesome though. Very buttery and a little bit salty so it helped offset the sweetness.

Somebody's Cheesecake. MUCH better. Less sugar and it really does taste like a cheesecake.

chocolate cookies & cream
Ahrhan's Chocolate and I think Cookies & Cream? Whatever... not a fan of rice pudding.

So in the end, I found out that I do not like rice pudding :P The concept and the execution of Rice To Riches is exceptional but it's just not for me.

Afterwards, we did a bit of shopping, but since it was a Sunday, most stores were closing around 8pm. With a little over 2 hours to kill, we decided to head back to the hotel and rest up before our huge dinner at 10:30pm at Momofuku Ssam Bar for the Bo Ssam!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

New York: St. Patrick's Day - Day 2

One of the big reason we chose to come to NYC on St. Patrick's weekend was because we knew St. Patrick's celebration is a big deal on the East Coast, like in NYC. I never really celebrated St. Patrick's. Sure, I wear green and maybe go out with a few friends to a bar, but that's child's play! We all bought a pub crawl pass that gives us specials at over 40+ bars all over Manhattan, which was nice since we wanted to bar hop throughout the day. Although once we got to the bars, we found out a lot of the bars were just offering their own specials throughout the day, so we didn't really need the wristbands. Still, $1-2 beer specials (small cup) and $3-4 shots of Jameson is a pretty good deal :P

So this post is essentially what I/we ate throughout the day, with a lot of Jameson in between HAHA.

I woke up pretty late thanks to partying so late. By the time I woke up, most of the others already headed out to a bar to get the day started. I didn't really leave the hotel until 12pm-ish and I wanted to eat something before joining the others, so Diana and I headed towards East Village to grab a bite and meet up with others.

Artichoke Basille's Pizza & Bakery
328 E 14th St
Between 2nd Ave & 1st Ave
East Village
New York, NY 10003

First stop, Artichoke for some bomb pizzas! Pretty small place with nowhere to sit really.

Decided to get a slice of the famous Artichoke and a slice of Margherita.

Now... usually I'm not a fan of the white sauce, but holy, this pizza is good. Thicker crust than the others, creamy white sauce with spinach & artichoke pieces.

Sprinkle some red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese!


Basil + tomato sauce + mozzarella = perfect combination.

Love the thin crust on the margherita.

Sarabeth's Bakery
75 9th Ave
Between 15th St & 16th St
Chelsea, Meatpacking District
New York, NY 10011

Needed a coffee drink to sorta pick myself up since I was still feeling the effects of jet lag a little. On the way to the bar to meet up with others, Diana and I walked into Chelsea Market and we found Sarabeth's Bakery.

I really wanted to get the preserves and jams but they were around $10 for each! In the end I settled for some chocolate cookies ($6 a can).

iced latte
Cafe Latte. Whatever milk they used... was some damn good milk.


After eating the pizzas and meeting up with the others at a bar, they wanted a bite so we headed towards Chelsea Market for some more grubbing. Of course, started off my St. Patrick's with a few shots of Jameson and Irish Car Bombs before we left!

The Lobster Place
Chelsea Market
75 9th Ave
Chelsea, Meatpacking District
New York, NY 10011

the lobster place
First stop, The Lobster Place! Jimmy & Vicky were meeting us here.

Had to get something so went to the soup section!

scallop & bacon chowder
Scallop & Bacon Chowder. Wow, this was good. Smoky thanks to the bacon and creamy. Also I like how there's actual chunks of scallops!

Jimmy, Ben, and I decided to share this monster lobster. A 5-pounder, somewhere around $25-30 (market price).

Huge claws! Fresh steamed!

Glorious tail meat!

killing it
Three of us devouring the lobster haha. Yes, we are all wearing matching jackets haha. Saw these jackets on sale for $15!

Jacques Torres Chocolate
Chelsea Market
75 9th Ave
New York, NY 10011
Chelsea, Meatpacking District

jacques torres
Next, went to Jacque Torres Chocolate for some dessert. So who is Jacques Torres? Well he is a celebrated pastry chef, as well as numerous appearances on Food Network, in competition or on his own show. Also he's the youngest chef to receive the Meilleur Ouvrier de France award!

chocolate chip
Actually it's not just a normal chocolate chip cookie. It's a big chocolate chip cookie that's layered with chocolate! Now... how the hell does that work? Well it looks like a normal chocolate chip cookie from its appearance, and doesn't look like it is anything special except for its size. However, once you take a bite and took a look at the cookie, you actually see that within the cookie there are different layers of chocolate in the chocolate chip cookie. The layers aren't the same size as the cookie itself but more like chocolate chips that's smashed or melted into the dough at strategic points so that every bite you get their smooth and decadent chocolate!

Ninth Street Espresso
75 9th Ave
Between 15th St & 16th St
Chelsea, Meatpacking District
New York, NY 10011

ninth street espreso
After the cookie... I really needed a coffee and the alcohol I drank earlier was starting to wear off so I wanted to wake myself up! Stopped by Ninth Street Espresso to get an espresso.

espresso macchiato
Espresso Macchiato. Very good. Ninth Street is actually awarded a 28 by Zagat! 28 is pretty high for any establishment. They use beans sourced from Brazil. Much higher tannin than the espresso I had from Eataly. I love how there's espresso bars sprinkled around NYC!


After Chelsea Market, people separated into different groups. Some were getting tired from drinking earlier and took a nap while a few went off to meet with a few friends. The rest of us decided to continue this St. Patrick's celebration around the Theater District and met up with others later. When we met up with Ahrhan and Rose, we were grabbing dinner in Hell's Kitchen at this Thai restaurant called Olieng.

Olieng Thai
644 10th Ave
Between 45th St & 46th St
Hell's Kitchen, Midtown West
New York, NY 1003

shrimp roll
Ordered the Koong Kabok to start with. It is essentially deep-fried shrimp & ground chicken wrapped with rice papers, then served with sweet & sour sauce. It looked interesting on the menu because of its cone shaped but it's aiite. We didn't care too much for the sauce since it's the typical sweet & sour.

pad kee mow
The Pad Kee Mow wasn't spicy enough for me, but you can definitely taste the flavor from the hot wok. What I meant is that sometimes when dishes are wokked, you can taste that the dish is cooked with a burner with high BTU.

pad thai
Pad Thai wasn't overly sweet like some Thai joints, which is good since sometimes it can taste too artificial with all the "orange" sauce used. (Sorry for the bad picture.. was not sober :P)

fried rice
Red Ocean Fried Rice. Thai spicy See-Ra-Sha sauce fried rice with shrimp, onion, scallion, tomato & egg. Expected it to be a little saltier.

thai iced tea
Thai Iced Tea.

The Thai restaurant can only be called "average" compared to LA but according to Jimmy, it is definitely one of the better ones in NYC. Afterwards, headed out to a few more bars, partied some more, and went back to 53rd & 6th Halal Cart for some more chicken & rice.

How was my first real St. Patrick's celebration? I will say, no more Jameson for me for awhile... way too much this past St. Patrick's :P