Hello, friends! Sorry for the somewhat erratic posting schedule lately, but the last few weeks have been spectacularly busy for me. I’ve been doing a lot of travelling (went to New York, Chicago, Charlottesville), usual summer stuff (entertaining friends, Red Sox games, patio dinners, ice cream) and also my friends and I did a POP-UP RESTAURANT for one night!
I wrote a recap on the BOSFilipino blog – the entire experience was extremely fun and satisfying but my oh my, the restaurant biz is hard. (And to think I only worked front of house for one night.) I’m probably going to stick to blogging, my media career, and eating at restaurants.
Matt and I spent five days in New York City last month and we definitely ate at a lot of restaurants. I used to tell my friends that eating out is part of my job as a food blogger and I’m just doing research and due diligence, which is true, but with my husband I don’t need to make any excuses because I found the perfect person to eat with and explore the world.
We also don’t need to dissuade each other from rooting for our favorite sports team (although we do share a love for the Celtics). I went to Yankee Stadium for the first time to catch a Red Sox-Yankees game. I proudly wore my Red Sox hat and got ribbed by a few (a lot) Yankees fans, like the hotdog vendor who (jokingly) refused to sell me a hot dog. Don’t worry, I wrestled a hot dog out of him and showed him what Boston is made of.
A couple of days later, we went to Citi Field to catch a Mets game and I have to admit that I am really impressed. Fenway Park is still my favorite, but the home of the Mets is second. Ever since Matt and I started dating, I’ve been to a few different stadiums because one of Matt’s life goals is to see a baseball game in every stadium. This year we’ve been to Fenway here in Boston, Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Dodger Stadium in LA, Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, and Citi Field in Queens.
But back to restaurant meals.
The top picture was our bagel breakfast at Baz Bagels. I really liked the cute, Palm-beach style decor there, all blush pink and palm tree printed wallpaper. The bagels were chewy and doughy, and the lox was smooth and salty.
As much as I enjoyed Baz Bagels though, when we went to Russ & Daughters, I promptly switched allegiances.
(Russ and Daughters pics by Matt)
What swayed me was the combination of cream cheese and trout roe, which I’ve never had before, much less on a bagel. I’ve been a huge fan of caviar and sour cream since I was a little girl (my parents taught me to eat well at a very early age) so it’s no surprise that I love this combo, and I can’t wait to recreate it myself. I only wished that there was a little more cream cheese – I do like a thick spread – instead of the thin smear we got. But otherwise, it was mouth-wateringly delicious!
We met up with friends and went to my favorite Pinoy restaurant: Jeepney, a Filipino gastropub in the Lower East Side.
We started at the bar with some apps: lumpia (Filipino spring rolls) and dilis (fried anchovies) and a giant serving of the Pinay Colada (rum, cream of coconut, lime juice, pineapple puree, served in an actual pineapple). We cleaned our plates and were tempted to re-order everything all over again as we moved to a table, but instead we shared a whole bunch of other dishes, family-style: longganisa (garlicky sausage), chicharon bulaklak (crispy pork chitterlings – a fancy name for intestines, ha), chicken adobo, prawns in a spicy coconut milk sauce, banana ketchup-glazed ribs, and crab rice.
Of course we saved room for dessert, and I got ube ice cream, the ice cream of my dreams.
It was a feast to remember, and we left Jeepney rubbing our bellies and smiling wide.
Speaking of ube ice cream, this is the soft serve from Soft Swerve (no relation to Swervin’ Shervin of Shahs of Sunset). I got it on a black chocolate cone. This ube ice cream is mild and leans more vanilla, but still has the unmistakeable nuttiness of my favorite Filipino dessert flavor.
And speaking of soft serve icc cream… (what? we were in NYC for five days, of course I ate ice cream multiple times! #vacationlife) this is the Salty Pimp from Big Gay Ice Cream. It’s vanilla soft serve, dulce de leche, and a sea salt dark chocolate shell. This was a simple but outstanding combination, and you might see a homemade recipe with similar flavors on this blog soon.
I normally stay at midtown when I’m in NYC but this time, Matt and I stayed at the Hotel 50 Bowery Hotel in Chinatown, which had a beautiful rooftop bar called The Crown. The hotel was walking distance to Little Italy and the Lower East Side, filled with colorful sights.
My favorite meal was our dinner at Yakitori Taisho, which reminded me of our travels to Japan. The subterranean restaurant was small and packed, and we sat elbow to elbow beside other diners at the bar. We were able to see the chefs prepare the food from our seat, which felt like a treat. We shared a big plate of yakitori (meat on skewers) and a small plate of chicken livers. I ate most of the livers because Matt just isn’t a fan of offal in general but that is my jam. I really liked the chicken thighs and chicken skin skewers, too.
The street where Yakitori Taisho in the East Village is lined with interesting little restaurants and we’d definitely like to explore more next time.
Have a great week ahead, I’ll be back soon with a new recipe! xo