Pig Squared

Highlights from the weekend…

We went in to Manhattan early Saturday morning to check out the SNL line.  <– never going to happen, people had been camped out for at least 24 hours  On the plus side, we got to check out the leftover Easter decorations in Rockefeller Plaza.

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We spent the day with a Buffalo friend who is living in the city for a year for fellowship.  We took him to two of our favorite porcine named restaurants and on a long walk from Lower East Side to Tribeca and back.

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Pig Bleeker for lunch.  Smoked fried chicken sandwich with mayo, mustard sauce, hot sauce, and pickles, plus the crispiest fries.

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Pig and Khao for dinner.  I ordered the half hainanese duck, which came with duck fat fried rice which is apparently my favorite thing.

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We had birthday cake croissants at Union Fare.  Can sprinkle dust be a part of my everyday life?

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We had a variety of cinematic favorite tributes this weekend.  90’s throwback snacks while we watched Empire Records on Rex Manning Day!

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And a Thackery Binx inspired Daiquiri Binx cocktail – apple cinnamon infused white rum, simple syrup, fresh lime, egg white.

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Eggcellent dinners using up our Easter leftovers.

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Egg salad – with mayo, dijon, smoked paprika, and red and yellow bell pepper.  Plus roasted broccoli.  We scooped the salad with Trader Joe’s honey butter potato chips which was pretty fantastic.

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Salad salad with a mango kombucha.

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Romaine / cilantro salad dressing / blue cheese / smoked almonds / fried tofu / hard-boiled eggs.

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Have a great week!

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Best Babka In Brooklyn

Best bites from the weekend…

Best chocolate babka in Brooklyn, probably the world, at Oneg Bakery.  It was so chewy!  Yet crumbly and crisp too.  And the chocolate was basically brownie batter!  We were absolutely smitten and I ate too much and made myself sick.

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Vanilla iced latte at the adorable Hearts Coffee in Bushwick.

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Brunch at Meadowsweet.  My iced Oslo espresso had sugar, milk, and bourbon in it.

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And I had a beyond fantastic bowl of duck pastrami hash with parsley salsa verde and poached eggs.

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Snack attack.  La Columbe canned coffee and a cheesecake cup.

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Fruity yogurt bowl, with citrus yogurt, sumo mandarin, and pomegranate.

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Leftover breakfast casserole with the dregs of my veggie drawer.

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Snazzy pasta bowls.  Whole wheat spaghetti / brown butter and lemon / peas, green onions, and sun-dried tomatoes / crab meat.

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Fresh On The Blog

Gotta love a three day weekend!  I don’t work today (hence the late post) and my plans include the dog, my bed, and The Office, the end.

My Friday, Saturday, Sunday were all pretty great too.  Friday, Adam drove me into work so we had before-work breakfast date and after-work dinner date (plus we basically consider the time driving in the car to be a date too!).  Saturday, I met up with girlfriends for brunch and discovered that Bayside, Queens – which is about 10 minutes from my house – is actually kind of great.  And Sunday, we had friends in from out of town and we got to show them the magic of Grand Central Whispering Gallery; plus the magic of coffee from Cafe Grumpy!

highlights…

Apertif.  I had a croque canard sandwich with duck rillettes, apple, brie, and béchamel.

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F.O.B.  A newish Filipino spot in Cobble Hill people have been (rightly) raving about.

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We got so much good food!  Corn bibingka – rice cake with farmers cheese, kesong puti, and coconut butter.

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Overnight chicken adobo and pechay – sautéed Chinese cabbage with chili and garlic.

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And Halo Halo – shaved ice with nata de coco, red beans, tapioca, mango, jackfruit, and ube ice cream!

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French Workshop.  We split something with white chocolate mousse, and hazelnuts, and milk chocolate ganache but there were about a million other things that looked good too.

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Joyce Bakeshop.  We’ve decided that we don’t love their coffee, but their kouign amann is my all-time favorite pastry.  Seriously, I like it more than filled croissants from Union Fair and cronuts from Dominique Ansel, and that bar is set pretty damn high.

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Kame Ramen in Nomad.  I had spicy chicken miso with sesame oil and a soft boiled egg.

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I did manage to cook one meal at home – loaded baked potato casserole / shredded chicken with bbq sauce / spinach salad with pomegranate, marcona almonds, and Trader Joe’s cilantro salad dressing.

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Have a great week!

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Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, And Eggplant, Oh My!

Goodness me, did we fit in some fantastic eating this weekend!  Three restaurant stops that were three of our best meals in NYC to date.  I spent the past three days giddy and full.

Highlights…

First things first – they can’t all be winners.  Both of these products seemed like things I would flip for so it felt like I should put out a PSA that I was not a fan.  The protein krispie treat tasted stale and horrible and the drink was more peanut than caramel.  Plus I’ve decided that the new Starbucks blonde espresso is not for me because I like the roasty flavor of the traditional espresso.

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I do recommend this salted caramel cold brew that I drank with skim milk.

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I am also a fan of toasted turkey and cheese sandwiches on brioche buns.  With kettle chips and roasted green beans.

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Now the stuff that knocked my socks off – Joyce Bakeshop.  We got baked goods with our coffees on a whim and the kouign-amann ended up being the single-best pastry I’ve ever had.

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Dinner at LIC Market.  We ate on the beautifully verdant back patio and our scenery was lovely but the lighting was terrible.  Fries with raclette to start.

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With a gose.

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I ordered two veggie sides as my entree.  Brussel sprouts with soy, sweet chili, and garlic and eggplant with lemon aioli.  The eggplant was one of my favorite dishes of the past five years, which is really saying something because we’ve had some exceptional eggplant dishes lately.

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Brown butter pecan cake with a sherry chocolate sauce.

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Dinner at Olmstead.  Another stunning interior + terrible photo lighting situation.

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My cocktail was not great – the only item we didn’t swoon over – but Adam’s fig sherry with vanilla and bitters was pretty delicious.

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The menu is set up for sharing so we got to try a bunch of things.  <– We actually felt like they encouraged us to order a little too much because we ended up having to take leftovers home.  Duck liver mousse (with honey drizzled on top!) with garlic crostini and pickled cauliflower.

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Beer-battered delicata squash rings with green tomato and a spice crust.

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Sweet potato and uni dumplings.

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Cauliflower okonomiyaki with yuzukoshō mayo and spicy hazelnuts.

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I had trout with creamed brussel sprouts and shaved chestnuts as my entree.  Adam’s succulent tamarind lacquered lamb is lurking in the background.

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We ordered the “peanut butter and jello” for dessert because how could you see that and not??!  It was strawberry mousse with strawberry jello and peanut butter powder.  It was ridiculous and amazing and I literally giggled every time I took a bite.

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Olmstead, LIC Market, and Joyce Bakeshop, we will be back!

Best Ever Iced Coffee

I survived the less-than-zero-degree weather!  My first winter in Buffalo I bought myself a pair of (children’s!) Sorrel snow-boots and they remain the single most essential item in my closet.

I worked Friday, Saturday, Sunday, so my weekend eats weren’t all that exciting.  Work was busy-busy so I mostly ate quick, snacky things.  The highlights…

Iced coffee with a crispy Pacific Rose apple.

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This New Orleans-style cold brew with sweetened condensed milk is officially my favorite coffee combo of all time.  I love Grady’s in general and this was perfectly spiced so with the SCM it was insanely delicious.

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Sooooo much hot chocolate.

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A giant smoothie I shared with Adam – plain Greek yogurt, frozen soursop, mango, and grapes.

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Toasted onion bagel with jalopeño-cheddar cream cheese.  I ended up scraping off part of my mountain of cream cheese like some kind of tourist.

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Watermelon / Sriracha chicken bar / vanilla crispy square.

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Maple salmon bar / TJ’s dried chokanan mango / TJ’s seed & bean medley.

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The first two nights of dinner I was thanking past Emily for leaving me yummy leftovers.  Hot wing pasta.

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Hot dish.  With ketchup and Sriracha on top.

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And Sunday night I finally got around to cooking the meal I had planned for the first night of Hannukah!

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I had kind of a bad foodie/good foodie thing going on – my latkes were from a box but my matzoh brie was fried in duck fat.

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I sprinkle sugar on mine because that’s how I grew up eating it.  And that’s a blob of labne on my latkes that I wished was sour cream.   Plus we had roasted broccoli with sumac.

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I am off of work today! and we are going somewhere fun for lunch!!

A Merry Little Christmas

Merry Christmas to all my readers who celebrate!  I am actually at work today, but Adam and I had a great weekend making merry.

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We pretended it wasn’t raining and took a long walk around Manhattan and over the Brooklyn Bridge.

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I was very excited to check out the holiday decorations at Chelsea Market and the Oculus and Brookfield Place.

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Best bites highlights…

Nobletree eggnog cappuccino.

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I also bought a fancy Ronnybrook eggnog and dumped it over ice with a triple shot of espresso, so good.

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We had yet to stand in the Dominique Ansel line to try a cronut but when I read this month’s flavor I knew it was time – eggnog caramel!

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Crispy, chewy, gooey; they were totally fantastic and worth the wait.  Eggnog caramel may be my new favorite thing.

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Lunch at Kobrick Coffee.  I had a grilled cheese with swiss, shallots, and horseradish maple mustard.

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Plus a Strong Island Iced Tea – gin, tequila, rum, triple sec, cynar, Hella cola tonic, lime juice, and soda.  The little coffee cup was Adam’s cortadito – a crazy delicious cross between a cortado and a Cuban coffee.

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Holiday flavors jelly beans – eggnog, pumpkin pie, cranberry, hot chocolate, and peppermint.

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Harpoon Winter Warmer.  The pink drinks were my attempt at making a peppermint marshmallow vodka that did NOT work.

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Rice and Gold for dinner for a whole jerk roasted duck.  Wrapped up with jerk-hoisin sauce, pickled cucumbers, and moo shu pancakes.

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We also had cured salmon crudo with onion ash, myoga, jalapeno, and maple bourbon soy sauce.

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Charred eggplant with Chinese yogurt, scallion, and crispy shallot that was one of the best dishes I ate this year.

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A Bondi Kelly – white rum, luxardo maraschino, lime, and charred pineapple.

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And a citrus salad dessert special with cardamom labne and yuzu nata de coco.

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We brought home our leftover duck to put on nachos which was the best idea ever.

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And our Christmas Eve dinner was snowflake pasta with pesto, red bell pepper, baby kale, and turkey pepperoni.

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May your day be bright.

Miracle On 9th Street

New York City is the best place on Earth and that is doubly true around holidays!  Adam and I had a lovely weekend with lots of walking and we explored Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan and saw and ate all sorts of fun holiday and city things.

Like lights in the Lower East Side.

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And wild swans in Sheepshead Bay.

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Coffees, specialty cocktails, pizza rolls, and other fantastic eats…

Mace’s Miracle Christmas Cocktail Pop-up is officially my new favorite holiday activity!  I wish I had taken pictures inside because it was freaking magical.

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The specialty cocktails were so fun!  I had a Not Even a Mouse – pumpkin spice infused rye whiskey, Budweiser-marshmallow syrup, pumpkin puree, egg, and a marshmallow mouse.

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And a Snowball Old Fashioned – gingerbread bourbon, sugar, and pecan bitters.

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Iced latte love.  Brooklyn Roasting Company.

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Orso.

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Yogurt bowl win.  Plain Greek yogurt with maple jelly and vanilla bean powder with golden kiwi and granola on top.

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Ice & Vice double scoop that was truly the best ice cream Adam or I have ever eaten.  TBT – earl grey, dark chocolate, and speculoos chip and PSL – pecan, sorghum, and latte toffee.

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The Nog at Sugar Sweet Sunshine, pumpkin cake layered with eggnog pudding and whipped cream.

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Luda’s Dumplings.

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We shared shrimp and loaded potato with garlic sour cream and mushrooms on top.

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Brunch at Butter & Scotch, aka the restaurant that’s decorated like the inside of my heart.

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I had biscuits with mushroom gravy and an egg on top.

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The NameShake.

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Birthday cake slice (the leftovers were still moist 24 hours+ later, fyi) and a Unicorn Treat – a brown butter cookie drenched in sprinkles!

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The space was adorable, the music was wonderful, and as we were rolling ourselves to the door the waitress brought us a chocolate chip cookie to go since we had been so excited about everything.

Dinner at Thursday Kitchen.

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You have to get a light-up booze-filled capri sun!  I went with strawberry.

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The menu is tapas style so we got to taste a lot.  Everything was so interesting, and perfectly spiced.  Pan-seared plantains with Korean chimichurri, honey ricotta, roasted pistachio, dried cranberry, and crispy plantain crumble.

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Duck confit empanada with dill crème fraiche, cumin, and pickles.

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Gnocchi with Korean chili pepper sauce, garlic aioli, parmesan, and crispy seaweed.

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My homemade dinners weren’t bad either.  I made vegetarian “rice” and beans casserole.

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Riced cauliflower / pinquito beans / onion and bell peppers (yellow, orange, and green) baked in evoo / red enchilada sauce / sour cream / shredded cheese.  I topped my bowl with more sour cream and some Cholula sauce plus beet and goat cheese cassava chips.

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An epic take on cheeseburgers and fries.

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Roasted green beans and butternut squash.

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Cheeseburger roll ups!  Crescent roll dough / ground turkey sautéed with chopped onion and pickle relish / mayo and ketchup / shredded cheese / brushed with garlic butter.

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Happy 1st week of December!