What A Girl Is Really Thinking When It Comes To Food

Category Archives: Gramercy

5 napkin

5 Napkin Burger [Click the photo above to go to 5 Napkin Burger’s website]
150 East 14th Street (corner of 3rd Avenue)
New York

Being the lamest of the lame, I was really not in the mood to go out the Saturday after Thanksgiving (sometimes it’s nice), but my sister convinced me to go to dinner with her and her friend.

It really went more like:

“I don’t know if I wanna go out.”

“Come with me and Jamie to dinner. It’ll be fun.”

“K, where do you want to go?”

Fickle Pickle.

So, now that I was in for dinner, guess who gets to decide where we go? Me.

Having a food blog everyone assumes you always have a restaurant suggestion at the tip of your tongue. (every bar conversation: I have a food blog…what’s the best restaurant in the city? Shut up.) All it means is that I like to eat, and weird things happen to me when I go out to dinner. Anyway, I reached into my magic hat, and I picked out 5 Napkin Burger.

It’s reasonably priced, supposedly good fare, and considered relatively cool.

I still wore heels though and looked like a complete idiot. Everyone was casually dressed, and here I was with a collared necklace, sequin booties, and dark lipstick on (OVERDRESSED, OVERDRESSED, is all I could hear the other patrons saying in their heads).

Being that this was right after Thanksgiving, I decided let’s try the Dukan Diet again. Lets cleanse this body of mine, so I ordered two burger patties with no bun, and no fries as my dish. I love that meat is “cleansing.”

My sister and her friend however decided to split a rainbow roll. Yes, 5 Napkin Burger has both sushi and burgers, and then they each ordered a salad.

I decided to order the side of cabbage and vinegar to start, so I didn’t just watch my sister and her friend eat.

“How’s the sushi roll.”

“It’s ok. It’s like a California roll.”

“Yeah, but is it good?”

“It’s fine.”

“Would you order it again?”


So, it’s supermarket sushi. Got it.

The cabbage salad I kid you not: amazing. I know it’s weird. It’s cabbage, but it’s crunchy and acidic, and I was munching the bejeezus out of it.

Then the mains arrive (come to mama). My burgers (notice the plural) were pretty effing delicious, with caramelized onions and pickles on top (vegetable garnish is allowed on the diet).

My sister got a salad with a burger patty on top so I don’t know, but one can convince themselves that anything is healthy when there’s lettuce. She ordered the dressing on the side, but the dressing was Thousand Island dressing, and she dunked each bite into the dressing, and ordered more. She didn’t say she was on a diet, nor does she want to be.

Her friend (my friend too) got the Asian chicken salad, and as it turns out it is actual chicken salad, not a salad with chicken.

“I wish it wasn’t chicken salad,”so she was pretty disappointed not gonna lie.

Don’t worry we fixed this problem, “we’ll have an espresso brownie sundae please.”

Oh, good-bye diet. I dumped you for ice cream.

Next thing you know my sister is practically making out with the ice cream so I managed a few bites (probably eight).

“Share the sundae!”

“You gotta get in there,” she says as she digs for brownie pieces.

After 2 courses, 2 drinks, and dessert, maybe an hour has passed by, so don’t give yourself to much time if you’re going straight to the bar after.

“This went by so fast!”

“Let’s just go to a bar before we go to the open bar,” my sister’s friend says.

Oh, to be young.

“Yeah, I’m gonna go home,” I say.

Guess I did spend the Saturday night in afterall.

Vinegar Slaw

Vinegar Slaw

Vinegar Slaw: now I know this look sort of meh, and it’s just a side, but it was sooo good!! It’s a great side dish to get to avoid fries or mac N cheese.

rainbow roll

Rainbow Roll: It looks nice right? Don’t be fooled by the colorful row of fish and avocado. The rolls are thick with rice, and the sushi is not bad per say, but it’s not the freshest and best in town.

burger patties

Burger Patties: I swear, they were delicious, and filling, and they didn’t overcharge for ordering two patties. Who knew the bun would increase the cost so much, because you know I’d have to pay full price for two burgers??

Burger Salad

Burger Salad: beef, , endive, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, green beans, red onion, radishes, celery, blue cheese, pickled onions, red wine vinaigrette & 5n sauce.

5n sauce is Thousand Island dressing,and my sister loved every bite of this. It’s like a deconstructed Big Mac, so I don’t think of this salad as wimpy.

Asian Chicken Salad

Asian Chicken Salad: napa cabbage, watercress, romaine, cucumbers, celery, apples, onions, scallions, peanuts, radish sprouts, creamy sesame – soy dressing & ginger vinaigrette.

Somebody show me where in that description they tell you it’s “chicken salad” and not grilled chicken. With exception to that crucial error in the menu, my sister’s friend seemed to like it, and was able to look past the chicken incident.

Espresso Brownie Sundae

Espresso Brownie Sundae with 3 spoons

Do I think the brownie was homemade? No. Do I care? No. It’s a friggen sundae. Look at those nuts sprinkled on top, and whipped cream is my favorite. It’s not exactly breaking the mold in the dessert department, but I don’t think someone goes to 5 Napkin Burger for something innovative.

Beyond Sushi [Click the photo above to go to Beyond Sushi’s website]

229 East 14th Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenue) New York, 10003

After attempting to get back on track with the gym, I figured I could try on and stay on track with food as well…I could try.

I decided to try this vegan/vegetarian sushi joint in Gramercy with my cousin. The restaurant is supa dupa small, so we figured we’d pick it up, along with some Trader Joe wine (around the corner!) and watch the Presidential Debate/Yankee game (I mean pay partial attention).

We were supposed to meet at 8, but my stomach felt that 8 was too late after the gym, and I was ready at 7:30, so I called to say I was on my way downtown and I’d meet her at the restaurant.

I brought my water bottle in the hope it would curb my appetite while we waited…eh.

I arrived first and decided to just stand on line instead of waiting outside for my cousin to arrive. Even though there is minimial seating, there is still seating, so while I waited on line to order, I watched these colorful vegetable sushi rolls get gobbled up two feet away from me. It was absolute torture.

The restaurant has pictures of the sushi rolls on the wall, and I’m pretty sure a group of diners thought I was grilling them when I was really just hardcorely staring at a piece of avocado sushi above their heads.

“We should probably get up so other people can sit,” I hear them say as they made awkward side glances at me.

This is so embarrassing. I wanted to scream, “don’t do it for me! I’m getting it to go! I’m just very hungry, and staring at sushi above your head,” but instead I buried my face into my scarf, and awkwardly turned around pretending to examine the beverages, “I’ve never seen lemonade before, what’s this?”

My cousin arrives, and we have to decide on rolls. However, she tends to ramble a bit, so we didn’t get right down to business.

“I just came from Trader Joe’s…You like rose right? I remember us drinking that last time. I was going to get this other wine that I loved, and I thought it was such a find, but when I went to get it, it was sold out, so it turns out other people like it too, so I got this one instead. I hope you like it….” I love her, but I mean you could give me grape juice and call it wine.

Rolls come in sets of 8, and even though this is common, whenever sushi comes with more than 6 pieces, I feel like I won the lottery, JACKPOTTTT!

“Should we get 2 or 3?”

“I’m so hungry!”

“I want one of these lettuce wraps. Those look good.”

“Me too, definitely one of those.”

“We could get 3 rolls and not finish them.”

“We’ll probably finish them if we get them.”

“Let’s just do it. It’s healthy anyway.”

Final decision: 3 rolls, and a lettuce wrap.

It’s our turn at the counter. They also make the sushi in front of you, so it was just a closer view of the food when we got up there.

“We will have the nutty buddy, spicy mango roll, the pickle me roll, and the green machine.”

The cashier says the green machine isn’t his favorite. Oh dear God no! Did we pick the wrong roll??

We switch out the green machine for the roll of the month, the October roll (very creative).

Waiting for the rolls were momentary torture. I heavily considered purchasing a bag of chips while we waited, but I didn’t, mostly because my cousin wasn’t into the idea, and I only wanted to do it if we were on the same page about it.

The to-go bag is placed in our hands and I’m practically racing to her apartment. As we’re maybe 20 feet from her apartment a biker almost gets run over by a cabdriver.

He starts punching the front of the cab, “hey watch where you’re going! Asshole!”

The cabdriver then pulls over, and they start screaming in each other’s faces.

I want nothing to do with this, this is just something else standing in the way of food going in my mouth. As I start walking I realize my cousin is riveted, and just staring.

“Let’s go!”

I am so evil.

We get to the apartment and I begin unloading our food as fast as possible so I can take the pictures before we chow down. My cousin was attempting to make some brussel sprout dish before she met me, so I hear her scream something about how she’s gonna chop up some shallots and refrigerate the wine…blah blah blah. Food’s in front of me…

She walks back into the living room, and I have already divided our food up like a psycho into different containers.

“Here are yours. Here are mine.”

“Do you mind if I put the tv on?” Do people sit in a living room without the tv on? This is a foreign concept to me. I truly have no idea what she is talking about.

“Why wouldn’t you put the tv on?”

Debate is put on, after we peruse the channels, RHONJ reunion is on again. I’ve seen it a 100 times, and every time I’m riveted. I can’t stop watching.

“I don’t watch,” my cousin informs me, “but we can still watch if you want.”

The answer is yes, yes I do. I want to see Teresa point and scream. I want to stare at Melissa’s face and figure what work exactly she has gotten done, and wonder why Caroline’s cheeks sag the way they do. Yes, yes, please watch.

“Ok, maybe we’ll watch if there isn’t anything else on!”

My cousin sporadically (I hope not sporadically!) gets up to check the brussel sprouts and wine, while I try to slow my pace down on the rolls, which were amazing. I can hear her screaming from the kitchen.

“Did I tell you how I got this truffle olive oil in Croatia.”

“Yeah! You told me already!”

“Well, I wanted to get more of it…Here are the shelves I want to put up in the kitchen, because I don’t have room for anything, but we haven’t put them up yet. I hate the way it looks right now. I don’t have room.”

Straining to hear her I see a fish tank in the corner of her apartment.

“Hey, do you have fish?”

“It’s actually a frog. His name is Jerry, he’s very friendly. We originally had two but the other one just died. We’re not sure if Jerry killed him.”


The Nutty Buddy lettuce wrap was a little miracle wrapped in lettuce. “This is so good! Do you want some of the sauce.” The sauces come on the side in little tubes, which look a little medical. I’d say it’s the ugliest thing about this restaurant. It’s weird. It has no top, and just a little hole at the top where it squirts out. I am also 13 years old and see how that sentence might sound dirty, but it’s what it looks like.

My favorite roll was the pickled roll with avocado on top. One of the rolls came with a sauce that looked identical to spicy mayo, which was really toasted cayenne sauce. It doesn’t even taste like spicy mayo, and is way healthier, but it feels like a splurge, so you trick your body into thinking you’re not depriving yourself. I sort of fell for it.

We finish the food, and I’m sipping on my wine on the couch. “I sort of want frozen yogurt.”

“Should we get some? I don’t need it, but I’m not opposed to it.”

“No, I shouldn’t. I’ve been getting 16 Handles a lot lately.”

“You could get it on the way home.”

The thought of not going straight home so I could sit alone in my apartment and eat frozen yogurt sounds so sad, “No, I’m good.”

“What channel is the Yankee game on?” I did wear my Yankee shirt, Granderson, and turned it on just in time to watch him pop a ball right up in the air, while at bat. That was stupid. [Sports reference completed for the blog]

My cousin’s husband walks in just as her brussel sprout dish is completed. What timing!

“Did you bring dessert?” I ask.


“Really! What?”

“Hummus.” Ugh, he’s Israeli. Shut up.

As I get up to try some brussel sprouts my cousin starts showing me where her shelves are going to go, and shows me how she painted her entire fridge to act as a 6 foot chalkboard.

“But doesn’t it get dusty with food?”

“I don’t know, but it was so ugly before.”

“Look, I meant to write tomatoes, but I got distracted and wrote potatoes.”

Whatever, I’m doodling on your refrigerator.

“Ok! I think I need to go home.”

“Ok! Write something nice about tonight!” Ok.

Beyond Sushi (interior)

Since the restaurant is so small, I just wanted to give everyone an idea of why I didn’t eat there.

Beyond Sushi (Nutty Buddy: 8 Inch Wrap Buckwheat noodles, crushed peanuts, cilantro, jalapeño peanut butter, avocado, sesame oil, carrots, baked tofu and romaine. Served with Sweet Soy Mirin Sauce)

Look at that deliciousness! It was the first item of food I took a bite out of it, and it was hard for me to let go of it. They give you the soy sauce on the side so I continued to dab the wrap with it after I took a bite.

Beyond Sushi

Octoberroll (top): 8 Pieces Black Rice, Roasted Kabocha Squash, Avocado & Baby Arugula, Charred Carrot, Mint & Lemon Zest Topping (Charred LIVE). Topped with Roasted Harissa- Pumpkin Seed Purée.

Spicy Mango roll (bottom): 8 pieces Black Rice – Avocado – Mango – Cucumber – Spicy Veggie. Served with Toasted Cayenne Sauce.)

They were both great! The Spicy mango sort of looks like tuna for some weird reason. I’m also immune to spicy foods so I didn’t think it was that spicy.

Beyond Sushi (Pickle Me: 8 pieces Six Grain Rice – Gobo – Carrot – Pickled Daikon – Avocado. Served withCarrot Ginger Sauce)

I loved it! The pickled veggies were crunchy and salty, and the avocado was sweet and creamy. So good!

My cousin’s awesome chalkboard fridge. This is what I did when I finished all my food, the debate got boring, and the Yankees sucked ass.

Please note that it says potato/tomato and also looks like the Paragraph symbol when editing papers.


Novita [Click the photo above to go to Novita’s website]

102 East 22nd Street New York, NY 10010

After an incredibly rough weekend of celebrating my 22 year old sister’s birthday, it was time for me to continue celebrating with a big ass birthday dinner at Novita. I had already tried to keep up with her drinking, and now I had to try and keep up with her eating. Being a big sister is hard!

My mom originally told me that she didn’t care what time dinner was, because neither her or my sister had work the next day (my dad really doesn’t get a say either way), so I made the reservation for 7, figuring that was a normal time to eat dinner. Despite my mother claiming it was “up to me” she still called three times on Sunday to tell me she wanted to go to dinner earlier than originally planned.  6:30 it is (totally up to me).

I ask to get picked up due to the rain, and I wanted a free ride anyway, so they obliged.

“We’ll be there in 5 minutes.”


3 minutes later…

“We’re here.”


Just as I’m putting on my leather jacket, my phone starts ringing, it’s my sister.

“We’re here.”


I hop in the car to see three other people in leather jackets.

We get to the restaurant, I give them my name, and the host clicks my name on the computer monitor, and begins to scope out a table. Maybe two minutes have gone by…

“What’s the problem?” my mom asks.

He seats us at a table in the middle of the dining area. I have yet to sit at a table a host seats us at with my mother. We always move at least once.

She makes a face, and I know this isn’t working. He offers us another table, but I see that it’s in the corner by the servers, so we’re going to get a permanent breeze by the wait staff swooshing by.

“No, I don’t like that table,” I say (it’s my turn!)

“She doesn’t like this table!” My mom says, as if she did not disapprove of the first option. I’m the difficult one.

The host sees what’s happening here, and offers us a table for 4 against the wall, but not in the corner. Well played.

We sit down, and I immediately smell truffle oil.

“I smell truffle.”

“Yes,” the waitress says, “it’s our pasta special.”

Why did my sister even look at the menu? That was a done deal. My dad offers to get that pasta as an appetizer so we can all share. He then proceeds to cough up a lung. He has a cold. No thanks.

My sister is sitting next to him, gives me a weird look and goes, “but I want it as my main.”

I think I’ll be getting pasta as well, and say that I want the pesto.

“Those are the two best pastas on the menu,” my dad announces. What shall he do?

“Well, you can’t get them, because we are. Get something else.” It hubris in our family to get duplicate orders: how will we get a taste of everyone’s dishes if we all get the same thing???

As my dad contemplates pastas, my mom says she wants salmon, but the pesto I want looks good a well.

“I’ll split the pesto with you if you get a different fish.”

“Which one?”

“The sea bass.”



We haven’t really decided on appetizers with exception to my mom who is getting grilled calamari stuffed with shrimp, and sliced like medallions. We listen to the specials, and I hear the word zucchini flowers, which I remember reading as a recommended dish. We order one round for the table, and the waitress asks if we’re ready to order everything.

My sister out of nowhere screams, “I’m not ready! I feel pressure! Stop rushing me!”

Need I remind you that she is already getting spaghetti with truffle (sauce? Truffles? I don’t know the correct way of phrasing it), so she could just order a simple appetizer, but apparently I’m an ass hole and rude for rushing the birthday girl, so the waitress leaves us, so we can all concentrate on the momentous decision ahead of us.

The waitress comes back. I have decided on the funghi misti salad (salad with mushrooms), my dad gets a salad with artichokes and decides on a spinach fettucini with Bolognese, and my sister still hasn’t decided, and asks the waitress to repeat the specials again.

“Blah blah blah blah, and a burrata cheese.” This is how I can assume my sister heard the waitress.

“I’ll get the burrata cheese.”

After ordering burrata cheese and spaghetti, my sister goes on to tell the rest of us that she’s lost weight, and her pants are big on her. I meanwhile already feel guilty for the pesto sauce that I haven’t eaten yet, while my sister’s face is pure joy. Not an ounce of guilt for the carbtastic dairy induced coma she’ll be in later.

The appetizers arrive, and they’re large portions for appetizers. I’m pleasantly surprised to find that the mushrooms are warm on the bed of lettuce.

My sister goes to town on the burrata; my mom scoops up the medallions, and my dad is upset with his “large” salad, and offers me a mushroom off his plate (you do know I ordered a salad with the word funghi in the name right?).

Mains arrive, and my phone freezes causing sheer panic in my heart. My family will never wait for me to take a picture of their food with this delay. In my haste I forgot to take a picture of pasta with pesto, and it still brings a tear to my eye.

Everyone starts scooping portions off their plates, and putting on each other’s bread plate or in sections on their entrée dish. I barely touch the sea bass, and nosh on a cooked artichoke my mom tossed on my plate, but I got to keep the pesto plate so my plate is extra saucy from my mom removing her portion of the pasta, I dig right in.

Ugh, I’m full, so let’s get dessert. What shall we get?

Not one of us like the same type of dessert, but we can all agree on tiramisu.

“It’s going to have a lot of liquor in it. That’s how it is at Italian restaurants,” my mom says (that is incorrect).

I see a crepe cake on the menu, and my mom and I decide that two desserts are ok.

“I don’t want that,” my dad says, but he has his tiramisu so he can pipe down.

“Guys don’t like crepes. All girls like crepes,” I say.

“That’s true. Guys don’t eat crepes or quiches,” my dad says.

“Why not quiches?”

“It’s for chicks.” K.

Both desserts arrive, and of course the tiramisu comes with a candle, and we awkwardly sing “happy birthday” to my sister.

The crepe cake was delicious, and I wish I could keep a bite of it always in my back pocket. I really do love crepes. The tiramisu was yummy as well, but it was not spectacular.

I get my ride home, we take a family picture in our matching jackets, and off I go to watch Real Housewives of New Jersey Reunion.

“I wonder what she’ll write about,” I hear my mom say.

Novita (zucchini flower: stuffed with goat cheese and prosciutto)

SO SO SO SO good! It’s deep fried, but somehow you manage to convince yourself it’s not so bad for you, because it doesn’t taste heavy at all even with cheese melted inside!

My dad originally wanted “a bite” but didn’t get a bite with cheese, so he ended up a taking a whole flower.

Novita (burrata cheese)

My sister’s favorite. She gave me a few bites of it. they serve you balsamic vinegar on the side, and my sister was so excited to eat it, she forgot to put the dressing on!

Also, please note the text message I received after dinner in reference to her meal.

Novita (grilled calamari stuffed with shrimp medallions)

This was a specialty appetizer. It looks so elegant. My mom was in love with this, and was so thrilled with her choice. I split a medallion with my sister. the squid was a bit chewy, but it wasn’t greasy, and a light option.

Novita (insalata di carciofini: baby artichoke with mushrooms and parmigiano shavings)

Large portion of salad. I did not try it, but it seems pretty legit. Sorry that’s all the info I have on it.

Novita (funghi misti: grilled portobello, shiitake and oyster mushrooms with parmigiano shavings)

Pretty large salad for an appetizer! If you want to eat a light dinner, you could get this without the cheese, and I think you’d be pretty satisfied, but when is salad ever as good as spaghetti?

Novita (branzino con carciofi: pan-roasted sea bass with artichokes)

Cooked perfectly from the few bites I had since I was too busy scarfing down pasta!

Novita (pasta with truffles)

This was a special so I am unable to give you a detailed description of the pasta, but it was unreal. Some people are “over” the truffle craze, but they’re idiots. This had just the right amount where it was not overpowering. My sister did not leave one noodle!

Novita (spinach fettuccine with kobe beef bolognese)

A little before and after action on this one. This was really great! I despise when pasta is overcooked, and this was not: it was cooked perfectly!

Novita (mille foglie: 20 crepes layered with a light creamy custard)

A-mah-zing! What’s better than 1 crepe? 20 crepes.

Novita: tiramisu, sister

Here is the tiramisu, and the birthday girl! Delicious! And not too much liquor in it…at all!

Here we are in our matching leather jackets! Took the doorman 20 minutes to figure out how to work my sister’s camera…was it worth the wait? I think maybe.

PETE’S TAVERN [Click the photo above to go to Pete’s Tavern’s website]

129 East 18th Street (on the corner of Irving) New York, NY 10003

As all group dinners with girls are, this one was a process: after a 6 part group email, a few side gchat sessions, and possibly two private texting sessions (all about where to go for dinner), we eventually decided on Pete’s Tavern in Gramercy.

The only way I can think of to describe this place is just straight up old school. It’s dark and pub-like, with quality food, and pictures of the celebrities that have walked through its doors, and oh yeah, it was on Sex & the City.

I usually have an opinion about where we’re eating, and being the pretentious person that I am, I would have preferred to eat at a trendier place, and not a spot my dad or grandpa would be into going to, but this time I kept my opinion to myself.

Because this idiot (that’s me) is on a diet, the Dukan Diet. Yes I am! After hearing all my friends talk about the diet and then watching them shed the pounds, I figured I had to try this thing out since “it’s so easy.” I know what you’re thinking, why would you start a diet when the summer is ending…well let me tell you!

I don’t know about you, but I beast on the weekends in the summer. Either I’m away or I’m hungover or I’m away AND hungover (“I’m away!” “I need bacon” “it’s whole wheat it’s fine” “it’s ok it’s scooped”), and I see no reason to watch what I shove in my mouth even if I’m in a bikini while I’m eating it. I think it doesn’t count, but it does. And I give myself a serious period of recovery before I start being a human again after these weekends, so my gym time has been limited…SO DUKAN!

Dukan diet has no portion control which I’m fully down with, and it’s ALL protein, so I really couldn’t complain about Pete’s Tavern knowing full well I could order a steak and be in my diet guidelines (I’m also allowed diet soda and coffee. It’s absurd).

I obviously arrive first as my friends are not timely people, plopped down, ordered a glass of wine (whatever I can cheat with alcohol), decided on the kobe beef burger (with no bun and no garnish), and possibly a side of vegetables (which I was finally allowed to eat after completing the “attack phase”…order the book if you’re confused) and waited for them to arrive.

I tell the waiter I want something dry, and he tells me he doesn’t know much about alcohol (lie to me).  He throws a full glass of wine down on the table.

I taste it, cringe, and go, “It’s good. Thanks!”

The other three eventually arrive, and one looks particularly peeved.

“I’ve been setting up my classroom all week.” Her hair is back in a ponytail. She has no make-up on, no heels on, and her face screams misery. She’s clearly not going anywhere after this dinner. (I mentally cross her name off my list of people going out tonight).

As I am not a teacher, and have not had a full summer off, my sympathy is minimal.

“What is this diet you’re on?”

“I’m essentially starving my body of all sugars, but I can eat as much steak as I want.”

My friends peruse the menu as our wacky waiter asks if anyone wants something to drink. He is speaking super-fast, and almost looks like he’s running around the restaurant when he zooms past our table.

He returns with wine for one friend, no alcohol for the sad teacher in the corner, and the house ale for my other friend, which he describes as a medium beer.

“So what’s it taste like?”

“It’s not light, and it’s not dark.”

“Can you relate it to another beer.”

“It’s in the middle.”

“Ok whatever I’ll get that.”

It just tastes like beer is all I know.

They end up ordering a hamburger with sweet potato fries, pasta WITH chicken added (I guess she’s hungry?), and a cheeseburger with fries.

As the waiter sprints off we begin our conversation.

“I can’t believe you guys went to a male strip club.”

We did. Magic Mike in the flesh (pun intended). It’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever done, and I highly recommend it.

“Why did you go?”

“We walked by it, and this one thought it’d be fun to go,” I say pointing to my ale drinking friend.

“It’s amazing they make you feel great.” (she got a lapdance, which was worth watching)

“They made me feel weird.”

“We got drunk.”

“I high-fived one while they were giving a lapdance.”

“I want to go for my bachelorette party.”

“We should go every week,” says the ale drinker.

“No, we shouldn’t.”

I see our waiter doing an Olympic like run towards us with our food, and I see my non bun burger has onion rings, and I sadly lift them up and move them to the corner 😦

The kobe burger was delicious, and my friends loved their burgers. My friend got the spaghetti ala Pete, which has tomato, garlic, basil extra virgin olive oil, and oh yeah, chicken.

As the busboy is cleaning up our table, he spills water over the teacher’s Iphone. Bad idea.

We all fear for the worst that the busboy is going to have to pay for a new phone, but thank goodness it still works.

We split the check, and as we’re leaving, my friend has pulled up the Hunkamania schedule for the upcoming weeks.

“Guys, mark it down.”

Pete’s Tavern (side of grilled vegetables)

Veggies are allowed in the second phase of my diet (score for me) so this was my big splurge (I know I sound like a freak, but who doesn’t sound like a freak when they’re dieting). I was pretty pleased with myself.

Pete’s Tavern (spaghetti a la Pete’s: tomato, garlic, basil, extra virgin olive oil)

Pasta with basic classy ingredients is hard to say no to! My friend added chicken. I don’t personally love chicken mixed with pasta (maybe clams?), but if a girl wants some protein, do what you gotta do.

Pete’s Tavern (hamburger with sweet potato fries)

That just looks amazing! The bun, the fries, it’s a shame my diet prohibits me from eating this. I love myself. I hate myself.

Pete’s Tavern (cheesburger with fries, pickle and cole slaw)

My friend approved of her burger. Pete’s Tavern’s reputation remains in tact.

Pete’s Tavern (kobe beef hamburger, no bun, onion rings)

I sadly removed the onion rings, but it was delicious! I asked for it medium, and I thought it tasted rich and velvety (is that a good description?) I don’t know if it the level of fat qualifies for the Dukan Diet I kan (get it) do what I want.

Barbounia [Click the photo above to go to Barbounia’s website]

250 Park Ave S #1 New York, NY 10003

Weekend Brunch! What girl does not love brunch, and being that I live in Murray Hill (stop judging me fellow New Yorkers), finding a decent brunch spot is near to impossible, especially since my friends never want to go very far. Since I was able to drag them to L’express before I figured I could force them to try the restaurant across the street, Barbounia, and thank gaaaad for Barbounia.

For 1, they have a drinking special (boom). $18 for unlimited mimosas and bellinis. One mimosa is $12, so it is a deal in my book.

Not to mention there were men there, MEN AT BRUNCH. Unless there’s a big screen television, beer and tater tots, it is hard to get a man to brunch. Barbounia somehow managed to make that happen.

Crowded? Drinking Special? There must be a wait. The brunch gods were shining down on me that Saturday, because we were seated right away (next to a group of drunk girls but we were seated: i’ll take it).

And the food did not disappoint. I picked up the menu about 3 times before I decided on the crab benedict with truffle oil (yes, truffle oil), and it was delicious. I did not leave one morsel on my plate.

My friend got the burger, and she cleaned her plate as well. I also want to point out that while I am an adventurous eater, my fellow diner is not. Caesar salad wraps are her go to choice, and Barbounia managed to please both of us.

Overall it was an enjoyable experience, except while we were paying our bill, the manager asked if we would be willing to move to the bar so they could seat a larger party (back off buddy). He’s lucky I finished my mimosa so we just paid and left.

Barbounia (burger)

Here is the burger my friend ordered. She was sick and coughing up a lung, so I was too scared to take a bite, but I really wanted to sneak a few fries (if it’s not on my plate it’s like it never happened).

Barbounia (crab benedict)

Here is my crab benedict that I went to town on. I haven’t met a dish with truffle oil I did not like, and if you do not like truffle oil…i’m judging you, harshly.

Barbounia. (bloody mary and mimosa)

I got the mimosa, and my friend got the bloody mary. She has never met a bloody mary she did not like, and this one fell under that umbrella. I sipped my mimosa like a lady, of course.

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