Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Six Fifty Seven

I had two chicken tacos today at lunch.  They were filled with delicious well-flavored chicken, onions, cilantro and salsa verde.  (The tacos, from El Rey, pictured above.)
 
I ordered a chicken taco appetizer yesterday at dinner.
 
I got the three taco platter from Big D's on Monday for lunch.
 
I almost ordered the blackened snapper soft tacos at Pier 9 for Sunday brunch, but made a last minute decision to go with my other contender, the Chicago style lobster hot dog.
 
I thought about getting the bulgogi tacos at lunch at Bon Chon Chicken on Saturday, but decided against it since the taco was like a loose burrito the last time A ordered them.
 
Taco. Obsessed.
 
[The subject line refers to the fact that 2 of the chicken tacos and 1 chicken pastelillo cost me $6.50 at lunch today ($7 with tip).  Contrast that to my $4 taco yesterday.]

Five Thousand Steps

I walked almost five thousand steps today at lunch.  The plan was to quickly pick up lunch.  That... didn't quite happen.
 
Although this is a food blog, it's not just about the actual consumed food, but the experience.  And at lunch, part of that experience is going out and finding something to eat for lunch.  Today, that wasn't so efficient.
 
First, I headed up to 51st Street where Taim Mobile and the Kimchi Taco Truck were supposed to be.  I found Taim Mobile with the crazy line in the photo (probably because of the harissa falafel) and couldn't wait in line.  But the Kimchi Taco Truck was nowhere to be found.
 
So I headed to the next block where they had been before, while checking Twitter (which took some time, thank you slow AT&T).  Through Twitter, I found out that first the Kimchi Taco Truck had to move, and then got kicked out.  That sucks.
 
My next choice was the new Delish/Ryoshi combo that opened but that was all the way back on 44th on the east side.  I went anyway.
 
Delish was crowded but your generic midtown deli.  I headed up to the mezzanine to Ryoshi hoping to find something like Zaiya or Sunrise, but all I saw was a sitdown sushi bar.  That's the Japanese specialties section?  No thanks.
 
Last stop - the reliable El Rey del Sabor.  I love them.  They are two blocks (ONLY two blocks!) from the office.  If I had just gone there from the start, I would have had such a short lunch break (it's a busy day).  But I guess it's good that I got some exercise in since I got a pastelillo.

Four Dollar Taco

I have mentioned before that I have a taco addiction. Tonight I ordered dinner from Film Center Cafe for the first time and saw as an appetizer "taco." They described it as a hard shelled taco with meat, lettuce and sour cream. For $3.95, I wasn't sure if they meant one taco but apparently they did:


One taco and lots of lettuce. I will say that I was impressed that the hard shell of the taco was not soggy and did not crack while I was eating it despite the delivery time. (Although -- is that good? What is it made of if it doesn't get soggy? Hmm.) But the chicken mixture inside was just OK.

I guess maybe the taco costs $4 because it comes with guacamole?


I liked the guacamole; it had a lot of good flavor. That guacamole looks large but it's really in a small plastic container the size of a soy sauce dipping container. So, it's not very big. It's smaller than the Chipotle guacamole side. But guacamole is never cheap so maybe that's why one taco cost four dollars?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Apricot Nectar

I love ordering from Akdeniz, the Turkish place near my office. The food is great, they're close to the office and they're super quick with delivery. Tonight I decided to try something new - a drink they called "apricot juice" but turned out to be a Turkish brand of apricot nectar.


I really liked this. It was sweet without being too sweet, and the texture was nice and thick, but also smooth. I also liked that it came in a can. I know that sounds weird, but sometimes when you order juice for delivery, you get a coffee cup filled with cranberry juice. For $2.50, I would get this again when I order delivery.

And of course, considering my love of grocery stores when traveling, I loved the can. Maybe one day we'll get to go to Turkey and see more of this brand of nectar in the grocery store!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Chicken Chili

Since the free French food wasn't enough for lunch, I went over to the Hale and Hearty near work and picked up some soup. I was trying to decide between the Rhode Island clam chowder and the chicken chili, which I had tried once before and really liked. I tried the clam chowder but didn't like it that much. I can't pinpoint why, and it's strange since I usually love clam chowder. It wasn't bad but I just didn't like it as much as I thought I would. So, it was an easy decision - chicken chili!


I liked the chicken chili but not as much as my sampling from the other visit, because I think it might be better in small doses. Chili generally is high in sodium. This comes on top of rice, but I asked them for just a little rice because I really like chili. But I think it might have benefited from more rice to soak up the chili. Instead, the only thing to soak up most of the chili was chili, and it got a little overwhelming and salty. I also should have gotten a smaller size. I guess the potatoes au gratin filled me up more than I thought it did. Of course the lack of rice and too much chili is entirely my fault, but you live, you learn.

The chili itself still has a good flavor, but I think next time I'll stick to getting it in a small size (with rice) as part of a combo instead of a large size on its own. I do still encourage you to try it though. It's a good soup.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Air France Free Lunch

Earlier this week, I heard that Air France was planning a promo to give away free food. I went for the Austrian Airlines promotion; why would I skip Air France? Unfortunately, I got my dates mixed up and thought it was yesterday, so I trekked down to the site yesterday to find that I didn't know the 23rd from the 24th. Oops. I went back again today for lunch since they were stationed just off Times Square.


There were about 15 people ahead of me in line and it was cold, but since it was all the same dish and no payments were being made, the line moved relatively quickly. I could watch them plating from the line and while waiting, they gave out entry forms for a contest to win a free trip for 2 to Paris. Of course I entered that!

When it was my turn, I was presented with a nice plate of food:


They gave out menu cards so it wasn't a surprise what they were giving out. I was sad I missed breakfast because there was a buckwheat crepe with chicken, ham and mushrooms. That sounded so good! But for lunch, the truck was offering cucumber and smoked salmon brochettes and a grilled beef filet with wine truffle sauce and potatoes au gratin. They also gave out petit fours with lunch.

I don't really eat a lot of beef, and not usually when it's prepared this way, so it wasn't a surprise to me that I found the texture to be a little tough and chewy. I ate the smaller piece of beef but when it came to the larger one, ended up just going for the sauce. The sauce had a really nice flavor, but I'm just not a red meat fan. So you should take my opinion on the beef with that caveat. It's like the guy who went on Iron Chef America when Morimoto was cooking and said he didn't eat raw fish.

The potatoes were very rich and creamy, just like potatoes au gratin should be. The smoked salmon tasted fresh and wasn't dry at all. It was like a piece of sashimi. Combined with the cucumber, it was nice and light. I'm not sure what kind of petit four was on the plate. It was ok. My favorite thing was probably the salmon.

The truck will be by Rockefeller Center tomorrow, although I'm not sure I can make it over there with my schedule. Then it makes its way south through Manhattan over the following 3 days. I really want to try the breakfast! Or the 4:30 "dinner" of smoked salmon and shrimp rondelle and French shepherd's pie. Sounds yummy.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Crisp Classic

A few months ago, Crisp introduced their burger line.  I haven't been there in quite some time, so today's lunch was my first time trying the burger.  I figured, it was my first one, why not start with the classic?  (This is in contrast to the handbag sandwich where I started with the Africa and then never wanted to go backwards to the plain "authentic" one.  I've learned my lesson.)
 
The Crisp Classic burger has a falafel patty, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, pickles, American cheese and special dressing.  At $5.25, it's not a bad price at all, and it's a lot healthier than a regular meat burger.  I liked it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Ollie's Sichuan

I was in the hospital for almost a week, and on Sunday night, finally felt recovered enough to go out for dinner. Although I had eaten some other "real" (aka non-hospital) food at home, this was the first meal outside the house since becoming sick. It felt nice to be a real person.

We went to Ollie's Sichuan, the closest Chinese restaurant to us which we really like because of their authentic Sichuan dishes, especially the fish.

We started out with the "rainbow chicken."


I think this was on the menu as "chicken with rainbow vegetables" but it's now an off-menu order. They still make it for us when we request it though. It was an odd dish originally, because the menu description never matched the actual dish. From the description, we expected shredded chicken in a white sauce with ham and vegetables. We have never gotten that, but instead it's a healthy shredded chicken with snow peas, jicama, mushrooms (often but not this time), carrots and bamboo shoots. It's a nice light dish so we keep ordering it even though it's not officially on the menu.

The second thing we got was eggplant.


Eggplant isn't that healthy because it soaks up so much oil, but it's tasty. This is made with garlic and scallions.

Lastly, our favorite standby at Ollie's - the fish fillets with napa cabbage in a "clay pot." That metal dish isn't really a clay pot but that's what it seems to be called on the menu.


The fish is always perfectly cooked and so flavorful. If you don't like spicy food, this probably isn't the dish for you, but you can make it a little less spicy by scraping off all the chili peppers and other red stuff. It still leaves some very tasty fish fillets. I prefer this one to the whole fish - it just has more fish and more flavor.

That's our neighborhood Chinese place - what do you like from your neighborhood Chinese place?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Jimmy Max

It's Pi Day and that means only one thing - everyone should eat pizza! We have a pizza delivery on the way but I was looking through last year's photos and I noticed that we (unintentionally, I think) got pizza last year on Pi Day too.

We were in Staten Island visiting my parents and decided to try someplace new (for us) called Jimmy Max. This Italian and pizza joint is in a strip mall in Great Kills with a grocery store, a donut place, a diner and some other places (including a Japanese place we liked which got forced out by their landlord). My parents had heard good things from people at the gym that the place was pretty good so we headed over for lunch.


We got the namesake Jimmy Max Special pizza, which consisted of mozzarella, tomato and basil.


It was a thin pizza, which I liked. I don't remember much about the crust, but I think it was good. It also had pretty good flavor.

We also got an appetizer of Mary's bruschetta garlic bread:


This was really good and we would definitely get this again. We love garlic bread and we love bruschetta, so putting them together was a great idea!

We haven't been back to Jimmy Max since then but I'm actually not sure we've gone for pizza in Staten Island again since then. I could go for some bruschetta garlic bread right now...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Stolen?

Today it rained. For hours. I didn't mind going out for lunch in the rain because it was a nice break, but not seeing the sun is really taking its toll.

I was craving Shake Shack fries for hours before I left the office. I decided to stop by on the way home because we hadn't yet picked up mint chocolate chip custard this month and hoped the line would be short enough for fries. There were about 20 people waiting for food but only 2 on line, so I decided to go for the fries. I wanted them so much. They satisfied my craving.

While I was waiting for my fries, I saw this:


What happened to Saturday? Did someone steal Saturday?! Poor chocolate peanut butter pretzel just hanging out on the wall with no day circle. It looks so sad. But seriously, what happened to Saturday's sign?!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sesame Noodles

I have a thing for Chinese sesame noodles. They remind me of when my grandparents would visit from Taiwan when I was younger. Now, I've never ever found any restaurant that could make the dish as well as either my grandmother or mother can, but that's the beauty of home cooking.

One thing I never did learn was what went into the sauce for the noodles themselves. What I gathered through taste is that some combination of sesame/peanut paste, soy sauce, chili peppers, and vinegar. I'm sure there is more to it, but I foolishly never bothered to ask.

Here in NYC, I've only tried a few sesame noodles, but my favorite so far is from Mee Noodle Shop in Hell's Kitchen. They make it the closest to what I grew up eating, but as mentioned, it's nowhere near as good as what I remember.

Sesame Noodle in the delivery box

Sesame Noodle All Mixed Up


Really what draws me to this dish is the intense sesame/peanut flavor that comes out mixed with the mild saltiness from the soy sauce. It's disappointing to me that there isn't as much flavor from Mee, but until I find something better, they curb my cravings.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mooncake Delivers

Tonight we didn't feel like cooking so we ordered from Mooncake Foods. I ordered from them last week at work and it was delicious. I was so excited that I found a new place to add to my work dinner rotation! The food was healthy and full of flavor - exactly what I'm looking for when stuck in the office.

Our first appetizer was the same one I ordered at work - the cold jicama spring rolls. The spring rolls consist of wheat paper with jicama, cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, glass noodles and mint inside. There's also a spicy red chili dip.


I like these spring rolls, especially with the hot sauce, but I can only take so much of it. I ate more of it at work that day and ended up sucking on ice cubes for about half an hour afterwards. (It also made my tongue sting when I got to the mustard vinaigrette in my salad.) But the rolls are really tasty and healthy. I love finding good rolls that aren't fried. A really liked these.

Our second appetizer was the peashoot dumplings. They were basically dumplings of pea shoots and garlic.


Since they're steamed dumplings, they were pretty healthy as well. When biting into the dumpling, there isn't any filler. It's really just pea shoots and garlic. I loved that it really tasted like the vegetable itself (pea shoots are awesome) instead of covering it up or chopping it into little pieces and mixing it with filler. I appreciated that it was real and good for us to eat. But between the dumplings and the spring rolls, I think we would both vote for the spring rolls if we had to choose only one.

For our "main courses" A and I decided to go with salads (trying to be healthy). A got the lemongrass shrimp and rice noodle salad (lemongrass marinated shrimp, cherry tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, mesclun, Thai basil, cilantro, jalapenos, rice noodles, Vietnamese ginger chili dressing) and I got the grilled chicken buckwheat noodle salad (grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, mesclun, buckwheat soba noodles, ginger cilantro pesto dressing).


We both really liked our salads. I loved every bite of mine and didn't need the extra green sauce that they provided (which I used last time when I got a different salad). It was so good. The buckwheat noodles soaked up the dressing so well, and I love cilantro so I loved it. A thought his was pretty good although he didn't really taste the lemongrass in the shrimp and the jalapenos were super spicy so he didn't eat them all.

Mooncake has a lot of choices on their menu. In addition to delivery, they recently opened a new branch in Hell's Kitchen so we can go there too. Plenty of things to try!

Patatoes and Coconut

In Honokowai in West Maui, there is a farmers market which puts out free samples a few times per week. We stayed down the block from it on our first trip to Maui yet somehow never made it there. That was something we were definitely going to fix on our next visit. Once we went sampling, we had no idea how we missed going the first time when we could have walked there!

The market has fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as dips, salads, jams and the like. They also have an indoor farmers market store which is open all the time, but during the sampling, they set everything up outside in the parking lot and draw a crowd.


A loves fresh coconut juice

We tried a lot of salads and dips. There was macadamia nut pesto, onion jams, olive garlic spread, papaya seed dressing, coconut tapioca, fresh guacamole made that day, sundried tomato spread, tahini hummus, red bell pepper hummus, Chinese sesame seed dressing, mock chicken salad, bean dip, Maui onion dressing, various salsas including pineapple salsa and Maui style "patato" salad. We may have tried them all. How else do you know which one you want to buy?



We tried to keep our purchases simple since we didn't have a lot of space in the hotel and were exploring Maui's restaurants for most of our meals (part of our wedding research). We ended up getting pineapple and patato salad, in addition to the coconut which we drank from and then had them split open.


We headed across the street for a picnic. Isn't the view incredible? So relaxing. It was so nice to just sit in the sun staring out at the open water with no worries (other than figuring out the wedding...)


The pineapples were probably the best pineapples we have ever eaten. They were so sweet and juicy. So good. And the potato salad (sorry, patato salad) was really good. I happen to love potato salad, and this was one of the better ones.


We ended up at the farmers market twice during our trip and then brought a whole contingent of people with us during the wedding weekend. We love the farmers market!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cascades

Two years ago today, we arrived at one of our favorite places in the world - Maui - for the second time and the last planning trip before our paradise wedding. The weather wasn't ideal. It was nothing like what you think of when you think of Hawaii. It was cloudy, there was rain, I needed to wear a cardigan. But all that wasn't going to stop us from our plans, our appointments, trying to soak up some sun and enjoying Maui's delicious food - both old favorites and new places.

For our dinner that first night, we were tired from traveling and decided to stay in at our hotel - the awesome Hyatt Regency in Kaanapali - and went to Cascades, the hotel's sushi bar and a new place for us. From some internet research, it appears Cascades no longer exists and has been replaced by a place called Japengo (which sounds pretty good). Even though it's no longer around, I really do love doing these flashback posts and will share our experience there anyway. Since it's two years later, some of the food memories are no longer as vivid, but luckily I took notes in web album captions on this meal.


The first thing to arrive was a basket of soft rolls with butter. I usually will eat bread without butter (healthier) - unless the butter is flavored or something special. In this case, it was caramelized Maui onion butter. How can I say no to caramelized Maui onion butter? First, it's onions and I love onions. Second, it's caramelized onions and I love caramelized onions even more. Third, it's Maui caramelized onions and (a) we're in Maui and (b) Maui onions are good. I probably don't have to tell you that the butter was good.

I don't think I got any drinks but A tried one from the Maui Brewing Company:


We don't remember much about it right now though since it's been so long, and much beer has been had since then.

For appetizer, we got the pupu platter:


The pupu platter consisted of coconut crusted black tiger prawns (usually served with orange-horseradish marmalade), crab cake with taro chips (usually served with banana-chili sauce), sweet Maui onion rings (usually served with grilled tomato aioli), lobster-mango summer roll with thai basil (usually served with Thai peanut sauce) and bbq baby back ribs with guava glaze and asian slaw. I don't remember which sauces they gave us with the pupu platter, but it definitely wasn't all of them.

The pupu platter was OK. If we were to go back (and we can't since it's closed), we wouldn't choose this again because it was very filling and a little heavy (and we ordered sushi in addition to the pupu platter). I think it's made to be shared by more than 2 people. It was also predominantly fried food, unlike the nice, clean flavors we love about Maui. I think it says something when the thing we remember most about it two years later was its heaviness.

We got 3 sushi rolls (which, after the pupu platter, was way too much). The rolls were (Asian style, from right to left in the photo) the SWAT roll, the blackened ahi roll and the bambucha roll.


The S.W.A.T. roll had spicy tuna, avocado and cucumber inside, and was topped with fresh salmon, sesame seed and green onions. The blackened ahi roll had crab, avocado and cucumber inside, and on the outside, was topped with blackened ahi, sweet Maui onion and wasabi flavored tobiko, finished with garlic ponzu and a spicy dynamite sauce. The third roll, the bambucha roll, had shrimp tempura, avocado, cucumber and cream cheese inside, and was topped with eel, avocado, macadamia nuts and unagi sauce.

Generally the rolls were good. But my least favorite was the bambucha roll. It was on the heavy side between the cream cheese and mac nuts and we were so full. I suppose this would be good if you like cream cheese rolls and/or love mac nuts, but I could have done without it.

We liked our meal at Cascades, but I'm sure some of that was due to being on vacation and finally being able to let go and destress. Some of the sushi was good, parts of the pupu platter were good, the bread and butter were great, but other parts of the meal were just really heavy and not what we're looking for when going to Maui. We also have our favorite sushi place - Sansei - which we have gone to twice on each Maui trip, so it would take a lot to displace that in our rotation. But it was a nice first meal of the trip and a nice welcome back to Maui.

Scan It

When I was younger, I used to think it would be fun to work as a grocery store checkout person. I'm a grocery store dork. I enjoyed the bag your own lines and then, when technology progressed even further, the self checkout lines. It seems that at the Stop and Shop near my parents, they have moved on to the next step in DIY grocery shopping - scanning and bagging as you move about the store.

Remarkably we spent 5-10 minutes discussing this in the car that day before going grocery shopping - talking about how it worked, risks for the store in employing the technology, the honor system, etc. My biggest concern was for the store. What was to stop someone from just picking up a product, bagging it and not paying for it? Like a pack of gum? It's so small that no one would notice and how do they know if you've scanned it? (I would never do it but with shoplifting happening so often in the country, I wouldn't be surprised if people did.) I had read about this technology previously but they talked about weighted carts or something like that, but these were the same old carts. If someone had to go through and check the list against everything in the cart, it might take longer than if you went through a regular checkout. It was an enjoyable discussion.

But there was no way we weren't going to try it out.


The scanners were located in the front of the store. You scan your store discount card and then one of the scanners lights up. It's just like the wedding registry scanners which are so much fun. But here you can't just point and click on everything and fix up the list later, because it's not a wish list, it's real shopping.

The scanner had more than just scanning, it also gave a short list of items on sale that you could flip through:


You can scan items (and remove them if you make a mistake). It also keeps a running total of your bill which is really helpful if you're trying to stick to a budget.

In order to make the scanner work with produce, they added weigh your own stations that printed labels for you to scan:


We saw this at a Wegmans in Jersey last summer and it was super exciting. (I told you I am a grocery store geek. Can't you tell from all the grocery store posts?)

Here's A scanning our asparagus:


And here's me, super giddy over using the fun scanner:


Considering the rough weekend I had in other ways (unexpectedly getting sick), this was a high point of the weekend. It was nice to be excited and happy about something!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Arepas

I love arepas. I tried my first real arepa about nine years ago over spring break in Miami. It was so good. So good that later, in law school, I bought the Goya masarepa flour and tried to make my own. Here in NYC, we love Caracas for arepas, but they are always so crowded!

What are arepas? For those not familiar, arepas are cornmeal patties, sometimes with cheese, that are common in Colombia and Venezuela. Every one that I've had seems to be a little bit different.


This arepa is from a restaurant that opened up in our neighborhood last year (I think, in the fall) - Farmers Rotisserie. The menus call it Farmers Rotisseria a la Brasa. It's a Colombian place with fabulous rotisserie chicken and all around good food. Last time we went there, we got rotisserie chicken and tried empanadas for appetizers. This time, I suggested we go for the arepa con queso.


It was so good. The cheese was a nice addition and the corn patty was crispy. We would definitely get this again (and wanted a second as soon as we finished the first!). We recommend a visit to Farmers generally for solid good flavorful food, and if you're there, we recommend trying the arepa!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

More Salads

A wrote a great post on Dafni and the salad he got for dinner. Guess what I got for dinner?


Yes, the same salad.

A and I had been looking at this on the menu yesterday and tonight he told me how delicious it was. I couldn't help it - it was healthier than the drunken noodle I was thinking of getting and it sounded so good.

It was really good. I like their Greek salad a little better for the crumbled feta (as opposed to feta blocks) and because there are fewer olives (I really need to acquire a taste for olives). But the eggplant spread here was delicious, and who can go wrong with more dolmades? So, it's a toss-up.

I ordered an appetizer of beets too, but this salad was so filling that I didn't eat more than one beet (with garlic spread, of course!) and that was just because I wanted to see how good it was (very good).

So, like A said, go to Dafni. Really good (and affordable) salads! So good that I had salad twice today.

Dafni Greek Taverna

It's been a while since I posted (as usual), but I'll try to do better about this. M just seems so much more disciplined than I when it comes to relating the meals of her and our lives.

Such as it is, I come today to write on my dinner tonight. M is stuck in the office so she ended up ordering her dinner there. I, because we have no food in the house, also ordered dinner. Tonight's takeout, Dafni Greek Taverna.

M and I have eaten at Dafni a few times before, but we always forget about it since it's on the not as nice side of 42nd St, across from Port Authority. We really should go more often since they have excellent salads, and the food is very healthy if you center around those salads. Granted, being the gluttons that we are, we tend not to center around their large salads, we merely supplement our massive, shared dinner with a giant salad on the side to "make things healthier".

This brings me back to my dinner tonight. In an effort to lose weight, M and I have begun attempting to eat healthier. Granted, we destroy any and all hope of this by continuing our monthly plan to try every daily custard flavor offering from Shake Shack, but we at least put up a good fight some of the time.

Mesanatolitiki (Mideastern) Salad
Dolmades, eggplant spread, cucumbers, feta, red onions, tomato, olives

The picture doesn't really do this much justice. Overall, this salad was massive. Component-wise, it's really just a Greek Salad with a giant glob of babaganoush next to it and about 6 dolmades on top of it. Still, the babaganoush was very flavorful. You could really taste the roasting on the eggplant. The dolmades were uneven in how filled they were, but they were all very tasty.

Pita bread

What Greek meal would be complete without some warm, sliced pita? M and I really love the pita served at Dafni because it's always warm, and it feels and taste like it's fresh baked. We've been places in NYC that served pre-made pita that was sliced and warmed while wrapped in plastic wrap. Honestly, that's pretty sad for a Greek restaurant to do that. However, I digress. Dafni certainly does not do this. Warm, soft, and perfect for scooping up tons of the aforementioned babaganoush.

Now, I'm not too sure if you're supposed to mix all of the components together and eat, but I found it very enjoyable to eat the babaganoush with the pita, eat the dolmades, and then wrap it all up by eating the actual salad-y portion of the salad. I sprinkled in some olives here and there, and soon enough I was stuffed full of tasty salad (and accompaniments).

Greek Yogurt with Walnuts and Honey

I'm sorry, did I say I was stuffed full? No, I must have been mistaken because I still had this wonderful tin of Greek yogurt waiting for me. Two things many people know about me: 1) I like Greek yogurt 2) I love honey.

So, if this tin seems slightly more honey-laden than most you may have seen, that's because I added more of my own honey on top. After polishing off this tasty dessert, now I can say I was quite stuffed.

Overall, Dafni Greek Taverna is a definite gem hidden amongst the dark section of 42nd St across from Port Authority. A block removed from the glitz and glamor of the main 42nd St drag, and, consequently, just outside of the Times Square buzz, Dafni offers great Greek food and a rich warm atmosphere.

More Burgers

Look what I found!

Well, I found it in a Serious Eats post, but anyway. Look familiar? Burgermeester! We loved their burgers and wish we could go back!

National Pancake Day

According to IHOP, today is National Pancake Day. So, happy National Pancake Day! In honor of the holiday, I think it's time to finally get back to trip blogging and make the next post about Pancakes! Amsterdam, a spot we love (and which, if we went once more during our trip, I would have become mayor on foursquare). It's been almost 6 months since our trip and we're still not done! Conveniently, Pancakes! Amsterdam also happens to be the next post in the trip recaps, so it's perfect. Go enjoy some pancakes! I don't have any planned for today but I really could go for some poffertjes.

Edited to add: I wrote this at work before I stayed late working. Pancakes! Amsterdam will be the next post I write from home. I can't wait!

Big D's Grub Truck

I was on my way to Freshii for a healthy salad today when I stopped at the crosswalk at 40th and 6th and saw this in front of me.


A truck I had never tried before! Well, that got my attention. The name sounded vaguely familiar from blogs but I couldn't remember who they were since I hadn't tried it before and didn't know they were even in midtown. The name - Big D's Grub Truck - didn't give many clues as to what they offered but I was intrigued.

I passed by the truck and saw "tacos" and "bulgogi" and my pace slowed. I think I actually slowly walked past the truck and then walked back to take another look once I had begun processing. Have I mentioned that I love tacos? Stopping to take a look was a no-brainer... especially since I had gone out wearing only my fleece thinking it would be warm and was starting to feel the chill.


The menu at the truck is centered around 2 things - tacos and grinders (their version of the banh mi). They also have sides of fries and dumplings.

They told me about a special they were having at the truck today - buy a chicken grinder and get curry puffs for free. Nice promo; that sealed the deal. I love trying something new, and today there was a bonus! There were 2 chicken grinders on the menu and I decided on the spicy chicken. It's advertised as the favorite!


The first box I opened contained the curry puffs. I was expecting curry puffs like the ones at Thai restaurants and these reminded me of the samosas I used to buy at Costco for New Years Eve (that's not a bad thing). They were filled with chicken and potato, and were little bites of delicious flavor. The curry wasn't that strong, but it was still pretty good.


Then I moved on to the grinder.


My first thought was, that's a lot of bread! (I had planned to go for a salad to avoid bread.... oops.) My second thought was that this reminded me of a torta.

The spicy chicken is basically chicken soaked in sriracha mayo. I love sriracha mayo and this was nice and spicy. (If you were thinking spicy chicken - like the Korean red sauce type of spicy chicken - it's not that. If you don't like sriracha mayo, maybe try a different one.) It comes topped with lots of daikon radish, carrots, a slice or 2 of cucumber and cilantro. Like a banh mi.


It was filling and satisfying. I would definitely go back to the truck. Maybe next time I'll try the tacos. It looks like they're trying out midtown on Mondays, so there's another truck to add to the list!


Doesn't this look delicious?