(Raise The) Bar Food

Highlights from the past week…

This week’s eggnog plus coffee we brought back from Hawaii.

Sugar cookie kefir from Lifeway. Good, though not as good as I thought it would be.

Cosmic Crisp apple. It was good but hard to describe, somehow firm and juicy but not crispy?

Mountain Dew’s fruit cake soda is my new favorite mixer! Downright delicious with spiced rum.

This week’s dinners were all a) great, and b) bar food themed! We covered tacos, nachos, cheeseburgers, chicken tenders, and pickles! Taco salad. Chopped romaine / Sugar Bomb tomatoes / avocado / black beans / extra-sharp cheddar / ground turkey sauted with white onions and taco seasoning / cracked pepper / homemade ranch dressing – sour cream, lime, Crystal hot sauce, and ranch seasoning. I would have said that I don’t care about ranch dressing but this stuff was fantastic.

Pickled oven baked tofu tenders plus roasted broccoli. Sprouted extra-firm tofu / marinated in pickle juice, soy sauce, Sriracha, and garlic / dipped in a mix of flour, cornstarch, sugar, and smoked paprika – then egg – then panko bread crumbs / baked at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. So crispy.

Cheeseburger inspired nachos plus roasted green beans with ranch. Trader Joe’s dill pickle chips / extra-sharp cheddar / ground turkey sauted with garlic, ketchup, and yellow mustard / Kewpie / chopped Sugar Bomb tomato, white onion, and dill pickle.

Traditional nachos, actual bar food. I worked a 10.5 hour day on Thursday (!!, coming back from a vacation means extra work, being short-staffed near the holiday means extra work, and training an intern means things move more slowly, and all three factors converged horribly this week) so I grabbed take-out for dinner on my way home. Nachos with cheese sauce and cheddar, chicken, corn, tomatoes, peppers and onion, and zucchini.

Thankful For Family

This year I worked Thanksgiving Day but then had Friday off for a long weekend — so my parents came to visit! They loved getting to experience the cold (not many 45 degree days in St. Thomas!) and spend time with their granddog and we did a bunch of great New York exploring. Our travels included Time Square, Bryant Park, Chelsea Market, Industry City, Bushwick, Greenpoint, and Hudson!

I did not take a single dinner photo – we went to the oldest steakhouse in New York and also had outstanding meals at Kitty’s in Hudson and Glasserie in Brooklyn! – but here are a few highlights from the past week…

I managed to eat many on-theme things on Thanksgiving.

My parents and I stuck with tradition and ate Thanksgiving nachos – Trader Joe’s stuffing chips with smoked turkey, sauteed shishitos, swiss and gruyere, and cranberry sauce. Plus sauteed green beans with butter and lemon.

Plus Loryn Powell said that Fireball and banana cream rum tastes like a Cinnabon so my mom and I tried it with a maple pecan cream liquer and were quite impressed!

We were also pleased with these Tip Top mini canned cocktails.

We tried – and loved – one of the Zaro’s specialty black and white cookies – mint chocolate.

We found the Oishii omakase strawberries on sale! Fun to try but no one really preferred them to standard strawberries.

Everyone thought that Fortunes Ice Cream in Trivoli makes the best ice cream we’ve ever tried. I got persimmon and the sour cherry labne.

Broad rice noodles with tofu from Bangkok Bar in Industry City – I’ve wanted to go there for forever and now I want to go back immediately.

Great iced latte from Wycoff Starr.

Festive yogurt bowl with plain skry, frozen banana bread, brown sugar syrup, cinnamon, and sumatra mandarin.

Eat Nice

Some things from the weekend…

Yogurt bowl. Plain Greek with maple, chia, praline pecan granola, and chopped aprium.

10/10 loved this new flavor from Over Easy.

On the other hand, this is a reminder for myself to stop buying this Oreo coffee because I do not like it. It tastes like a watery Oreo with no coffee whatsoever.

This Whole Foods almond milk ice cream was pretty good but not as good as non-vegan ice cream.

A breakfast bowl cheese fry situation. Trader Joe’s seasoned fries with mozarella, soft-scrambled eggs, roasted zucchini, and chicken breakfast sausage.

Chinese take-out!

So much Chinese take-out. Bok choy and mushrooms, fried tofu, sesame noodles, and a cheeseburger egg roll.

Mostly Bowls

Highlights from the past week include…

Dark roast coffee with ube condensed milk.

A loaded yogurt bowl – plain Greek, Mid-day peanut butter chocolate square, doughnut peach, aprium, praline pecan granola.

Cosmic Crisps are my new favorite apple.

We did not enjoy this key lime sour, but I am posting a photo as a reminder to Adam and myself because it so seems like something we would like.

On the other hand, we loved the flavor profile and political stance of this Greenpoint IPA.

Typically I don’t buy vegan ice creams but these bites are pretty satisfying.

Our favorite sheetpan hash – roasted Japanese sweet potato, bok choy, and green onion; topped with smoked salmon candy and roasted Norwegian salmon. I also added tons of Kewpie, Sriracha, and furikake.

Big summer salads. Local lettuce, honey mustard dressing, baby tomatoes, roasted corn, baked tofu, and homemade croutons.

Best bowl of the week – sauteed cabbage, snap peas, baby tomato, and green onions, with chicken maple breakfast sausage, peanuts, Korean chili flake, Sichuan pepper salt, and a nuoc cham inspired sauce.

Tons of Roast take-out – chicken taco sandwich, fries, buffalo-style roasted potatoes – plus roasted purple cauliflower.

Supernova

Important things first – Adam and I are both off from work next week! We have a little (lobster roll-centric) road trip planned but mostly we are excited to be together multiple days in a row!

Some highlights from this week…

Coffee combo. Loved the coffee, do not recommend the milk.

Adam was away a few days doing something for his parents and I mostly adulted and cooked dinners. Mostly.

California roll bowls. Imitation crab stick, avocado, cucumber, and green onion tossed with Kewpie, Sriracha, rice vinegar, and furikake. Plus a side of seaweed.

Hot and cold tofu – silken tofu topped with a mix of green onion, chili crisp, urfa chili paste, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sugar. Plus roasted cauliflower.

Candy Chaos

I worked five days through the last weekend, which is just a normal workweek, but something about the Thursday-Monday schedule is exhausting! Hence the late post. Also all the take-out this week in lieu of cooking!

Adam and I both had the weekend nights off and we went on some great dinner dates! And did some wonderful exploring around Bushwick, aka the best street art neighborhood in New York.

Other highlights from the week included…

Wycoff Star quad iced latte, best coffee of the month.

About Time Coffee‘s Summer Breeze – cold brew with tangerine and cola.

Still very into these Barebell protein bars, the vegan ones in particular are delicious and filling.

New favorite, old favorite – Pazzaz apples are crunchy and juicy / the potato chip peanut butter cups are the best candy of all time and I eat at least one a week.

These new cola Sour Patch Kids are delicious too.

A Spring moment – lavender vodka in homemade rose lemonade.

Caffe Panna affogato special – Candy Chaos; candy-studded ice cream, chocolate ice cream, graham crunch, mini Reese’s cups, Rolos, panna, caramel, and espresso.

Dinner at Faro. I had vodka in a great housemade citrus soda with lime, lemon, and orgeat.

Roasted beets with almonds, ricotta, strawberry and vinaigrette / sourdough sesame focaccia.

Adam had pasta with rabbit (yuck) and we shared bucatini with confit chicken, basil, pecorino, and chili flakes and mafalde with braised short rib and chili pangrattato.

We had the “chocolate” for dessert – hazelnuts, chocolate cremeux, olive oil cake, dulce de leche, and cocoa crumble.

We had a wonderful dinner at Piggyback but it was too dark for photographs. The hands-down best dish was the deconstructed pho – fried rolled noodles, choy sum, soy marinated beef, and a concentrated pho broth sauce. We also had this tuna tartare with yuzu soy vinaigrette, Asian pear, and shisho.

A homemade meal! Hedgehog baked tofu with sauce and sautéed bok choy and celery.

Yes, Yes, Yes

It was a very tasty week! Adam and I had a weekday off and a few evenings together (woo-hoo!) and we made the most of them. Some of the best highlights included…

Fun things in cans. Sparkling blackberry hibiscus tea. <– this was incredibly pleasant

Tepache.

Tiramisu latte from Kore.

Treats from 10,000 Coffee. A croissant with chocolate ganache and banana.

And an Einspänner and an espresso cream latte (we added espresso to the second and were in love with both).

The least exciting but best coffee of the week was an iced latte from Kodawari.

Fresh mango! With plain skyr with honey, chia, and granola.

We spent an afternoon walking around Chinatown and buying basically everything that sounded good! Including a black sugar tea with strawberry boba.

And a fantastic bun with pineapple jelly and salted egg yolk from Kamboat Bakery.

Lunch at Deluxe Green Bo. I got soup with seaweed and egg custard.

And rice cakes with veggies.

Great chicken salad melts with roasted baby cauliflower and Japanese potato chips.

Even better roast beef melts with roasted brussel sprouts and green beans.

Yes, yes, yes to dinner at NoNoNo.

We ordered a bunch of things and our favorites were – assorted charred mushrooms.

Chawanmusi, steamed egg custard with shrimp, snow crab, and salmon roe.

Black sesame panna cotta with salted whipped cream / raindrop pudding with soy bean powder and kuromitsu sauce.

Best meal of the week/month/year was Taiwanese from 886. These fried fish cakes were a spicy, delicious standout.

Crispy silken tofu with shredded radish.

Black pepper beef.

Pea shoots.

Sesame noodles.

Two Kinds Of Cola Cocktails

I worked all weekend but we still managed to make/go out for some amazing food in the evenings! It was so cold Sunday night that we refused to walk more than a few blocks but Saturday we had a great time wandering around the Lower East Side and across the Williamsburg Bridge. Highlights include…

A fantastic latte with a giant iced cube from Kodawari.

A vegan chocolate chip sandwich cookie from formerly Babycakes.

I made a frozen rum and coke. This was actually the best frozen cocktail I’ve ever had, the texture was perfection. I blended golden rum, amaretto, key lime juice, and frozen coke ice cubes.

We made hedgehog tofu aka crispy pull-apart baked tofu. With this sauce and sautéed celery and bok choy.

Dinner on the Lower East Side. We did veggies/appetizers at one stop and entrees at another! First Fat Choy for baby bok choy and rice rolls with charred scallion, black vinegar, and Chinese broccoli. <– the rice rolls were the best thing we have eaten so far in 2022!

Then Bronson’s Burgers. I went with cheddar, pickles, and crispy onions.

And we got a toasted marshmallow shake.

Dinner at Chela in Park Slope. I quite liked the food and was head over heels for the cocktails. Like the Cosita – mezcal, tequila reposado, guava, grapefruit, lemon, and a spicy rim.

And the Mojito De Mata with white rum, fresh tamarind, lime, saline solution, and burlesque bitters. All mojitos should have tamarind, apparently. We also tried a Movie Night with buttered popcorn fat washed rum, homemade cola syrup, and fresh lime and a margarita with fresh passionfruit!

I got a salad for dinner — watermelon, baby arugula, onions, jicama, queso fresco, peanuts, cilantro vinaigrette, and beef barbacoa.

And we got fantastic churros for dessert.

Super Cups

This weekend I – – Did not watch the Super Bowl. Wore an insane amount of red and pink in preparation for today’s holiday. Worked all three days but managed to have crazy good dinners and a date night with Adam. Highlights included…

Two things I adore and eat all of the time but don’t share often because it feels repetitious (on very separate ends of the snacking spectrum!) – Sparkling matcha.

Reese’s potato chip (and pretzel!) peanut butter cups.

Caramel matcha latte with oat milk from a super cute spot in Williamsburg.

BBQ chicken bowls. Sweet potato fries // sautéed collard greens with butter and lemon // chicken breast and red onion cooked in the crock pot, shredded, tossed with bbq sauce, then baked in the oven.

Roasted sheet-pan hash. Pesto chicken sausage, sweet potato, Japanese sweet potato, zucchini, fennel, and sweet onion; topped with pesto. <– this was 11/10 and I really want to make a Super Bowl joke about it

Date Night at Nami Nori. We were thrilled that they had Something and Nothing seltzer and I loved my Cherry Bomb cocktail – cremant sparkling wine, cherry sage cordial, and soju.

We started with furikake fries with mentaiko mayo.

And for my five temaki (a style of hand rolls) I chose: tuna poke with crispy shallots // crispy tofu chimichurri with micro cilantro // crunchy spicy crab // salmon with cucumber // spicy tuna.

Chestnut, Coquito, Eggnog, Mint

This post includes highlights back through last weekend; it was Adam’s birthday and I didn’t want to waste his time blogging. We had a wonderful weekend including great weather for two days of long walks in Brooklyn, lots of delicious meals, a trip to Sundays in Brooklyn’s Snow Days in Brooklyn winter pop up (which included egg nog soft serve and a Dark and Snowy cocktail, among other things), and a drive-through holiday light show.

Highlights…

Breakfast at Ursula. We split a pine needle mocha(!!).

And a cream cheese frosting stuffed cinnamon roll(!!!).

And I had a sandwich with scrambled egg, cheddar, and green chile on housemade brioche.

Chestnut and vanilla iced latte from Nerd Be Cool.

A Christmas yogurt bowl – Trader Joe’s eggnog Greek yogurt with kiwi, pomegranate, and granola.

See also – plain Greek yogurt with honey, cinnamon, granola, kiwi, pomegranate, and fresh mandarin.

We went to Oddfellows for a scoop of coquito ice cream.

And Brooklyn Cupcake for a coquito cupcake. Plus flan and guava cheese, since it was a birthday!

We really loved this chocolate mint sparkling water.

Trader Joe’s Thai tea mini ice cream mochi.

These chip-stuffed Reese’s cups were just as good as I thought they would be! Completely worth the months of gas station stops to search for them.

We were also pretty pleased with these Dove truffles.

I ate an obscene amount of take-out this week but here were two really good “homemade” dinners. Chili cheese fries plus roasted romanesco.

Cold silken tofu with chili oil (I used urfa pepper paste with garlic oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, white sugar, and scallions) plus sautéed eggplant, bok choy, and red bell pepper with ginger and peanuts.