What A Girl Is Really Thinking When It Comes To Food

Tertulia

tertulia

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

359 6th Avenue (between Washington St and Cornelia St) New York, NY 10014

Guess who got to go their first restaurant opening? Meee. But this post isn’t about that, because they only served appetizers and I was hungry afterwards. This is about the dinner after the restaurant opening (don’t worry, I’ll be blogging the other restaurant another time) at Tertulia.

I went with my schmoozy boozy foodie friend to the event, so I figured I’d give myself the night off and let him pick the restaurant (or I had no idea where I was, and didn’t know what restaurants were nearby…or that).

Tertulia it is. The hostess tells us there is a slight wait, but two people are eating dessert so we should be seated shortly.

“So free drinks on the house while we wait?” You can guess that was not me, because I barely have the balls to tell waiters I’m a food blogger.

She smiles and tells us no.

I decide I need water while we wait, because I have already had 3 drinks, and well frankly, there’s not much more I can handle.

We are seated rather fast, and we are handed menus.

Him: “Do you like quail eggs?”

Me: “Blech no”

Me: “Croquettes?”

Him: “No”

Shit.

I lean back against the booth, I give up, he can do it.

“I’ll just wing it.”

“Great.”

The waiter struts over.

“Can I get you two something to drink?”

“Sangria.”

“Glasses or pitcher?”

“Pitcher.”

Uh oh.

It’s late, we might as well order. Off he goes!

“We’ll get the shishito peppers.”

“Do you like prosciutto?”

“Yeah that’s fine.”

Suddenly our waiter looks extremely irritated. “I can come back.”

“No it’s fine he’s winging it.”

Final decision: shishito peppers, prosciutto, squid specialty, and brussel sprouts.

“He hated us.”

“Did he?”

We both obviously turn to look at him. I mean who doesn’t look at the person they’re talking smack about..and there this little shit is giggling and loving it up with all the other patrons!

What did we do to him?

Lucky for him we didn’t hate the food, but the prosciutto came with nothing else, and it was just a mountain of meat, which is weird. Offer us a piece of bread.

Well we know our waiter isn’t going to offer, so we ask another waitress about cheese plates, and order that with bread. This meal just got exponentially larger.

The remainder of our meal was spent focusing on our waiter.

“What do you think his name is?”

I guessed something like Walter, I’m not sure. Something absurd.

Turns out his name is Dantrice. I don’t even need to write a funny comment about that, because nothing will do it justice. My waiter’s name is DANTRICE. OF COURSE IT IS.

“He definitely does pilates.”

“No zumba.”

Visual of our waiter doing zumba is in my brain. Possibly screaming “ay ay ay ay!”

“You have nice eyes. They’re like olive green.”

“They’re blue-green.”

“Right, blue-green-olive-green.”

Yeah that’s me. ROY G BIV.

Dantrince saunters over yet again. Doesn’t even think to ask how our meal was or ask why all the squid was left on the table (because it was blechh). However he does tell us “It’s last call.”

Oof Dantrice all the things I could think to call you. You’re lucky I’m drunk and tired, and embarrassed of how little we tipped you, so I’m not going to say anything. I’m just going to go home.

sangria

Sangria

Pretty right? It was good, but everything is good after 3 drinks. Also, it’s a really bag sign if you serve bad sangria.

peppers

Pimientos De Padron: Fried Padrón peppers with lots of sea salt

You either love these or hate these, because every 1 out of 5 is supa dupa hot. Dantrice informed us that a lot of them were spicy right now. I happen to be a big fan!

brussel sprouts

Brussel Sprouts

Most tapas restaurants have brussel sprouts and they’re usually pretty legit. These were yummy. A great side, but they never should be the star of a meal.

prosciutto

Prosciutto

Here is our pile of meal. It was tasty, but who eats prosciutto like this? At least tell us first so we can order Pan Con Tomate with it. We fixed the problem though and ordered bread don’t worry.

squid

Squid Special

It looks so pretty, but it was very very chewy and served cold. I don’t know if it was on purpose or Dantrice was too busy zumba-ing in the back and forgot about us.

I am so dumb and didn’t take a picture of my FAVORITE part of the meal, the CHEESE. They described it as a texture like brie, but with more flavors. It was also served with a raisin and nut bread with a gelatin. Looking back I would have been happy with a cheese plate.

Essex


ESSEX

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

120 Essex Street (between Rivington St & Delancey St) New York, NY 10002

Let’s first start off this story by saying, I know Essex isn’t the newest restaurant in town; It’s not the most delicious…blah blah blah, so for all you people reading this, and being like “why’d she go there?” You guys can suck it, because Essex is FUN.

Sunday Funday + Drunk Brunch + Birthday = Amazingness.

I think that sums it up. The End.

Kidding, I have a lot to say.

I woke up hung-over after a Saturday night that we will just say included a 4am pit stop to the Meatball Shop, only to get up and continue drinking. I thought I would at least have a few extra hours to sleep since brunch was at 1, but no. I was woken up by the birthday girl at 10 am reminding us to be there at 1. Thanks.

I slather on make-up the best I can (I bought luminizer and I want to use it), and checked how I could subway myself (yes I’m using subway as a verb) to my destination. I give myself a peptalk: you’re broke, you’re an adult, you can do this. Get on the subway.

I made it!

I was 4th out of 6 to arrive. I’ll take it. You can’t be seated until everyone is there, and there was a wait anyway, a 20 minute wait. Don’t worry I didn’t mind the wait, because I ate the remaining 1/5 of my meatball sandwich this morning, so I was good.

We sit down, and I don’t know what I’m more excited for, the water or the mimosa.

“We need a picture of us.”

“Should we take it now?”

“Let’s wait until we have a few more drinks.”

I scan the menu, do I want sweet or savory?

“I think I want French toast,” my friend says.

“I don’t know if I want that or potato latkes.”

“Do you want to split?”

I almost punched both of them. They went in for sharesies without me. W.T.F.

“I’m having a bite of that,” I say. I get real authoritative sometimes.

The watiress comes over, and orders are put in, we all went different routes and order something different. As the waitress walks away my friend is absolutely convinced the waitress gave her a dirty look when she ordered. Maybe she did.

Ready for the brunch brigade? Scroll down to hear how it was, because you don’t go to a drunk brunch for the food, but at least this place makes pretty good food.

Potato Latkes with lox and poached eggs

French toast

Matzoh Brie with Mexican toppings

Potato Latkes

Lobster Benedict

Cheeseburger

“I have gifts for everyone,” the birthday girl announces.

Oooh gifts. Ok!

She whips out 5 dreidels and cheap blue sunglasses.

“Happy Hanukah everyone!”

“Aren’t these the give-aways you got at that charity event you went to a few days ago.”

“Yeah.”

Whatever, we’ll take anything. Everyone starts spinning their dreidels, and trying on the sunglasses.

“You only gave out 3 sunglasses. I want one.”

$5 sunglasses are the hottest thing at this table right now. Now everyone is taking what I can only describe as Gangster Jew pictures with sunglasses and holding up dreidels.

Birthday girl hates her potato latkes, but at least it’s picture time.

“It’s ok.”

“It’s fine.”

“So we all agree we want to take another.”

Before we know it our waitress has shooed us out of our seats with the check, and some of us haven’t even received the 3 drinks our brunch comes with. So what do we do?

We complain until we get more free drinks, and a birthday cake with a candle.

Our waitress/manager produces 20 carnival tickets, and tells us we can use them for free drinks at the bar.

What better way to spend your Sunday than badgering Romanian bartenders to give you  free drinks with carnival tickets, and magically whipping them out from our pockets, bags, and bra straps with such pride, like they’re $100 bills.

“Vodka soda. Here you go.”

“What should we do now?”

“Let’s go to another bar and then get dinner.”

From brunch to dinner, that’s how we do, and that’s why it’s Sunday Funday.

Bread basket

I like that they were so generous with the bread, and it gave you something to nosh on while you sipped on your drink, and waited for your food. It’s probably a preventative method of keeping patrons from getting too drunk before their meals arrive, and I like it.

The Aristocrat: potato pancake topped with house-cured salmon gravlax, salmon caviar & poached eggs

I guess I’m just a more is more person. I liked that it was a bite of everything. It doesn’t come close to my mom’s potato latkes, but it was still great. What’s brunch without lox?

Mexican Matzo Brei

Mexican Matzo Brei: scrambled eggs with tortilla crisps, monterey jack, avocado, black beans & pico de gallo

I was originally wary of this dish, because this was like “everything but the kitchen sink” in my mind. However, it was a hodge podge of Mexican delight.

challah french toast

Challah French Toast with bananas foster sauce & fresh fruit

Totally fine dish. The banana part looks a bit yuck, but it was good. It’s a good alternative to eggs.

cheeseburger

8 oz sirloin burger with french fries

Well done fries can’t be bad! Going for brunch, but just want lunch? Burger and a bloody mary work. At least that’s what my friend did.

lobster benedict

Lobster Benedict

Probably would NOT recommend this dish. Lobster was a bit fishy. Maybe crab cake is better? If you have to think about the quality of the seafood I don’t think it’s a good idea.

crispy potato pancakes

Crispy Potato Pancakes with sautéed apples & honey cream sauce & spinach-shiitake-black bean hash

Not a pretty lookin’ dish. I’d rather get the Aristocrat if I’m going to get the potato pancakes, but I guess it borders on simple if you’re in the mood for some potato pancakes.

essex cake

Peanut Butter Cake

Tasted like pure peanut butter. It was free so ok, but ehhhh.

the ladies

the girls

Here we areeee. Look at these idiots.

5 Napkin Burger

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?”

“No.”

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.

Miss Lily’s


Miss Lily’s [click the photo above to go to Miss Lily’s website]

132 West Houston Street (corner of Sullivan street)  New York, NY 10012

I finally made plans with an old (Is it old, or was college yesterday? I don’t know) college friend for dinner. She told me I had to try Miss Lily’s, and since the food description was Caribbean, and not my usual, I was all for it.

I decided I’m a grown ass woman (eh), and I need to learn how to take the subway. You don’t even know. I managed to take the appropriate subway downtown, but once I got off, oh my dear Lord. Google maps: what are you? I don’t even bother using the navigation, because I need to see the whole area, one street at a time, I don’t think so. Maybe there’s a way to change this, but I don’t know how, and I’m already panic’d by my sheer confusion of where I am: I cannot handle technical things.

And the Lower East side, South village, whatever you are? Why do you have names? Are those cooler than numbers? I didn’t get the memo, but you’re hard to figure out. You’re not alphabetized; you’re random words: Mac Dougal? That’s not even a real word. That’s Trey’s last name.

Needless to say I went the complete wrong way, and my friend called me twice, very concerned as to what happened to me.

“Hil, are you lost?”

“I’m lost, but I am using my google maps, so I need to hang up so I can read them.”

I was approximately 20 minutes late. I’m trying to grow up. I didn’t say I was succeeding at it.

When I finally walk in, I hear my friend and the male host go, “here she is!”

Here I am.

My jacket is already half off (I get hot when I’m stressed), we sit down, sangria is ordered, and I feel better. My friend is very accommodating, which is nice, but I need help ordering.

Mandatory dish we need to order: Jerk chicken.

“Should we share it?”

“We could.”

“Or will it not fill us?”

“I don’t know. Last time I ordered the wrap, not the chicken.”

“Do you think we should get more appeteizers, or one appetizer and two entrees?”

“You need to try the chicken though.”

It’s so hard! I need to figure out the proper ordering amount. That fear of under ordering is always in the back of my mind.

Our decision is 3 appetizers, and the jerk chicken. What are the appetizers you may ask? I’ll tell you. It is a food blog, but whatever.

Jerk grilled corn, cod fish fritters, and grilled pork ribs.

Words really cannot describe the deliciousness of the corn. It was like dessert on the cob. I don’t know why coconut crushed it, but it did.

The cod fritters: fried balls. Done. Cream dipping sauce. Pretend like you don’t like it because it’s filled with fat, I don’t believe you.

The grilled pork ribs: I looked like an animal. How does one eat ribs like a lady? Oh, wait you don’t. You get drunk with your friend and eat them on a Thursday night.

“We’ll have another round of sangria please.”

Our waiter was a nice young man, and I’m pretty sure my friend and I were competing to see which one he’d like better, secretly, and for no reason. But whatever, we’re nice to the wait staff. There are worse things to compete over.

We scan the crowd with our sangria in hand, and notice there are a ton of dudes in suits.

“Why are there so many guys here? In suit? I didn’t realize this was an after work place.”

“Either did I. It’s weird. There’s a discoball on the ceiling.”

It truly made no sense to me. I didn’t know guys ate Caribbean food after work with their beer. Ok.

Jerk chicken arrives. Totally enough for two people to split, and spicy, and fabbb! I always feel weird giving chicken high marks (it’s chicken), but it was goooooood!

I get up to use the Ladies room and run into a white guy with long dreads who lets me cut him on line. This is more like it.

I return as our dessert is being placed on the table. Coconut Cake. Coconut on coconut on coconut: so good. Light and fluffy cake.

“Should I take the subway home?”

“I’ll take the subway with you so you don’t get lost.”

Relieved, “thanks!”

Jerk Grilled Corn

Jerk Grilled Corn with toasted coconut. Unreal to the max. Who knew shredded coconut could taste so yummy with corn (I guess people from the Caribbean)? I also love that it’s a little burnt.

Cod Fish Fritter

Cod Fish Fritter with Curry Dipping Sauce

Cod Fish Fritters with Curry Dipping Sauce

Just enough to have a bite, and not feel that bad about it (if you split it). Eat it alone and you’ll feel like a greaseball. It’s not the best dish to order, but it’s a good addition.

Pork Ribs

Pork Ribs

Look at those suckers! They are pretty effing delicious  Those peppers on top? SPICY. I like spicy, but if you don’t, stay far farrrrrrr away.

Jerk Chicken

Jerk Chicken: slow cooked and grilled, marinated cucumber salad

Look at that drumstick calling my name. The cucumbers help calm down whatever spice is causing your mouth to burn.  It’s a generous portion, and very yummy in the tummy.

bowl of rice

Bowl of Rice

It comes with the chicken, but hey it’s pretty good!

spicy sauce

Spicy Sauce

They warned us that it was spicy, but I’m just going to give you an additional warning: it’s spicy.

Coconut Cake

Coconut Cake

Light, fluffy cake with pieces of coconut. If that’s not a good enough description, too damn bad.

Miss Lily's crew

Here we are after the completion of our meal: happy, a little drunk, and full.

Commerce

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

80 Commerce Street New York, NY 10014

Stupid sandy has really affected my blogging and eating. If it wasn’t Ritz crackers it was Tate’s chocolate chip cookies, and if it wasn’t a snack it was mac ‘n cheese for dinner. People are suffering, but my biggest complaint was my nutritional sustenance (and no power for 5 days). So this is my version of an apology for anyone who has missed my amahzing blog posts!

So to kick off my return to GirlyFoodie I give you a delicious restaurant I got to try: Commerce.

I went with my friend after not seeing her for weeks, possibly months, on end. I was starting to feel like a nagging girlfriend: why didn’t you call me back? Why don’t you call me ever? Work is not an excuse…you get the idea.

You would think she would pay for me with the way this was going, but that is not how it went down.

She lives in midtown so she scooped me up in a cab going all the way to the West Village. It seems that after Sandy all I see are cabs with a final of of $15 and up (mother effing traffic) so I was not surprised to see this sucker ring up at $20.00 as we turned on to the  quaint little street of Commerce.

We arrive, and I’m already patting myself on the back for this restaurant pick. It has warm lighting, it’s crowded but not overcrowded, and it’s a mix of young and old, and I was able to squeeze into a spot at the bar, while we waited for our table.

“I’m so excited to try this place. I heard the bread basket alone is amazing.”

“I was hoping to skip the bread basket, but I guess not now.”

“What do you want to drink?”

“Sauvignon Blanc.”

“I think I want Rose.”

I then see the bartender pour a woman a glass of red wine and hear her say, “this one is my favorite.” I have no mind of my own.

“I’ll get that.”

A few minutes after we pay for our drinks we are seated.

“I think I want to get the red snapper.”

“I hate you. I wanted that. I’ll get something else if we can each have a bite.”

“Of course.” Thank God!

I go for the lamb meatballs with creamy polenta. It’s cold out, and I love polenta. I think it’s got the comfort food vibe.

I haven’t dined with my friend in a while (we usually order in sushi, drink wine, and then get too tired to go out, yes we do sound like we’re dating), and I am unsure what else she wants, but I don’t do just entrees…you crazy?

I offer for us to share an appetizer, but not some crap salad. I want something wild. The waitress has recommended the Hamachi, but the last thing I want is raw fish.

“How about the sweet potato tortelloni?”

“Done!”

“And maybe a side to share?”

“The waitress recommended the broccoli.”

“Ok!”

Great! 1 app, 2 entrees, and a side..and dessert.

My friend is rocking a full blown sock bun, that I still have yet to perfect.

“I like the bun. You look dressed up.”

“It’s not. It’s just that I’m lazy.”

“It looks nice and big. When I do a bun it’s small and weird.”

“I YouTube’d how to roll my hair with the sock. I like your hair”

“I learned how to curl it with a straightening iron on YouTube.”

As the conversation of hair could go on forever we are distracted by the plates being passed around. The table next to us was seated ahead of us so we keep watching each platter get served next to us.

There was a point where my friend’s face was actually in our neighbor’s plate as she tried to smell the dish as it passed our table (to be fair we were seated very close).

The bread basket arrives, and it’s so pretty and warm and amazing. I start snapping photos of the bread, the butter, the pasta (very low carb meal to begin), and I see a group of older diners sitting at a round table nearby staring at me like I’m an alien.

I’m a little drunk (I ordered a second glass), so I figure I’m probably imagining this.

The main dishes arrive, and I really can’t begin to describe how delicious it was. I look at my friend and she’s not really digging into her fish.

“What’s happening here? I look crazy compared to you.”

“My stomach hurts.”

“Move past the pain. Let’s go.”

But instead I just continue to eat her meal, while she reluctantly puts her fork down in agony.

It’s time for dessert!

We have been watching the waiters carry out plates on plates of the coconut cake, so I mean let’s do it right? I get that with some tea, but sicky says she’ll never go to sleep with the tea, so she’s out.

As I’m snapping my final photographs of the cake, a lady at the round table musters up enough courage to turn around and go, “Excuse me, but why are you taking pictures of the food?”

“Oh, I’m a food blogger!” I reply.

The whole table erupts, “OHHH SHE’S A FOOD BLOGGER!”

I’m back!

Commerce (bread basket & butter)

Look at that bread all bundled up in that napkin. Each piece of bread was delightful, and yes I had a bite of each. There was one loaf of bread that had pancetta in the center when you bit into it. You had me at pancetta.

Commerce (Roasted sweet potato tortelloni with hazelnuts, pomgrante & buerre noisette)

I don’t know what buerre noisette is, so I’ll just say that outright.

This dish was a. beautiful b. interesting flavor combiniations

The sweet potato made the dish sweet, but then there was a tart flavor in the sauce. I would say that it was a very thoughtful dish.

[Please click on picture to see full photograph. Tumblr is not working properly at the moment]

Commerce (Veal meatballs with creamy polenta, creamy polenta 7 charred mushrooms)

Fab dish! If you’re ever in a bad mood and want to eat your feelings, order this. You can convince yourself it’s healthier than ordering the spaghetti carbonara.

[Please click on picture to see full photograph. Tumblr is not working properly at the moment]

Commerce (Red snapper with eggplant & bok choy in a Thai inspired herb broth)

One word: UNREAL. I could have eaten the broth alone, the fish alone, I would eat any and every single part of this dish. I can’t remember the last time I had an outstanding fish dish. Well, now I can.

Commerce (coconut cake)

Delicious way to end the meal. It tasted a bit like pound cake with coconut mixed in. Did I make it sound good? Because it was!

Peking Duck House

Peking Duck House [Click the photo above to go to Peking Duck House’s website]236 East 53rd Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenue) New York, NY 10022I know everyone is all health conscious now, but I still love Chinese food. I’m sorry I’m not sorry. So after my friend told me she had tried Peking Duck House and liked it I was like, lets go! So, off we went!I considered taking the subway (swear I really did) but I was like “ehhhh I’m running late, I’ll take a cab.” As I’m driving up 3rd avenue I see all these barracks lined up, hmm wonder what that’s for, whatever. There’s a little traffic, I’ll just get out a few blocks away. I don’t think anything of it (I’m an idiot).My friend was already seated at a table for 5, which I thought was odd since it was just the two of us, and our other friend was meeting us later but not eating (FOMO). I was originally going to sit across from her, but then it seemed like there was an ocean between us, so I musical chair’d my way around so I was next to her.The specialty at this restaurant is the duck (makes sense given the name of the restaurant), so you can order a whole duck for $50. I mean I just want to preface this meal by saying a duck is not a large animal, and it’s not that much meat. I am already defending how much I ate at this meal.So the duck was a given.We figure we’ll get a soup each, and an appetizer to split, since it is just the two of us eating. There are actually not that many appetizers to choose from so we go with basic steamed shrimp dumplings. So that’s two hot & sour soups, dumplings, and a duck.“Are we sure she’s not going to want to eat with us?”“She said she brought leftovers with her at work.”“There is no way she’s not going to eat anything.”“I’ll double-check and text her before we order.”Do you want to eat here?YesWell that changes everything! So now we have to figure out a meal for 3, and also hold off on the ordering until she arrives, and the waiters were really pressuring us for some unknown reason. The restaurant had maybe 3 other parties present.Ok so duck divided by 3 is like nothing right? I mean that’s the math that made sense to us.“She said she wants beef and broccoli.”“I think that’s a little heavy with duck.”“Maybe chicken or shrimp?”“How about shrimp?”“Ok, but if we get the shrimp, maybe a different appetizer?”“Wanna be crazy and get the pork dumplings?”“Ok!”“Is that enough? The duck, the soup, shrimp, and dumplings (that’s two dumplings per person).”“I don’t know.”“The more food we order, the more I blog.”The waiter comes over, and we put in our order.“Do you want the dumplings steamed or pan fried.”Pause.“Fried.”….“Is that all?”“And sesame noodles!” Game time decision.We finished our soup before our friend arrives, and I start diving into the crunchy noodles they put on our table. I cannot remember the last time I had these (ok maybe I can but not at a restaurant, just when I get it for delivery). I miss it.“I thought you brought leftovers.”“I brought leftover pad thai.”“When did you eat it that you’re so hungry now.”“Well the plan was I’d eat lunch before work (her job starts at noon) and then I’d eat the pad thai later around 6.”“So what time did you eat it?”“3.”The waiter serves us the sesame noodles and dumplings, and he gives me a weird look as I begin snapping paparazzi photos of our meal.After I take a picture of the noodles, the waiter starts mixing the sauce and the noodles together in front of us. He then looks at my friend with his tongs full of noodles and says something I can’t understand.I assume he offered to serve us. I have vivid memories of my mom telling the waiter, “please don’t serve me. I’ll serve myself.”And I hear my friend go, “I’m good with tea and water.”Is she not going to eat sesame noodles now that we ordered a meal large enough to serve an army?“You don’t want him to give you?” I ask.The waiter looks confused and then serves all of us.He walks away and my friend goes, “he asked me if I wanted something to drink.”Awk-ward.“Will you come look at the apartment I’m moving into after dinner? I am meeting the previous owner to buy furniture from her.” my friend asks me.“But you’re so far away.”“I’ll charge the cab to my mom’s credit card.” That is tempting.“Yeah, but what about the cab back, you’re so far uptown?”“It’s your only chance to see it.” Apparently this is my only invite ever to an apartment she hasn’t even moved into yet.“I’ll think about it.”The duck is wheeled out on a table and it is on the opposite end of where I am sitting. I get up, which is harder than you think, because I wore my tight jeans, and run around the oversize dining table to take a picture of a duck (it was my exercise for the day). I again get weird stares from the waiters as I snap photos of the duck.This time the waiter serves us on purpose, because the duck gets mixed with sauce, scallions, and cucumbers in a pancake. I considered taking a picture of the waiter carving up the duck and serving it, but I didn’t want to risk another dirty look.The shrimp is then also placed on the table with a heaping plate of white rice. We may or may not have over ordered.As we all suffer to try and imitate the waiter’s technique with our next pancake my friend tells us how her dog is currently in the hospital.“He had a tumor on his spleen.”“How big was it?”“The size of a golfball.”“But he’s such a small dog.” (he’s a Yorkshire Terroir)“Surgery is very expensive for dogs.”“Yeah, we had the option of surgery for Snowy when he went blind, but we decided not to do it.” (Snowy is a 16 year old bijon who hasn’t been able to see the light of day since ’05)“That’s a little mean.”“Well he was gonna go blind again anyway.”“I don’t think Snowy felt that way.”I start noshing on a cucumber (who was I kidding? I just ate an entire animal), and my friend starts eating whatever is left of the duck, which is the crispy skin.She takes a bite and goes, “Ooh yeah, look at that skin.” It looked like she was about to make love to the crispy duck skin.“That’s going in the blog.”We eventually get the check, and another waiter comes over to take the credit card and cash, but he seems pissed that he’ll have to do some math. He puts his glasses on, takes the check, comes back, but instead of leaving he just stands there.“Thank you, thank you,” he says with a thick accent, and goes to grab the bill before I have even signed mine.“Wait, I didn’t sign mine yet.”“Thank you, thank you.”Jesus, alright. I sign it and have to throw it at him so he won’t walk away without it.“Thank you.” Alright already we get it!I opt out of seeing my friend’s apartment, because I just want to get home, but no mother effing dice. As soon as I get in the cab, we completely stop moving. I am now sitting in a cab directly next to Turtle Bay Bar listening to bar music and drunk people.Maybe I should have paid better attention to what’s going on, because Obama is in town, and there is now a 20 car procession blocking off Second Avenue for an unknown period of time.I hear a drunk girl introduce herself to a group of guys, “hi I’m Lisa.”Eff this, I now owe this cabdriver $6 and we have not moved an inch. I guess I’m taking the subway. Thank you President Obama, thank you!
Peking Duck House [Click the photo above to go to Peking Duck House’s website]236 East 53rd Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenue) New York, NY 10022I know everyone is all health conscious now, but I still love Chinese food. I’m sorry I’m not sorry. So after my friend told me she had tried Peking Duck House and liked it I was like, lets go! So, off we went!I considered taking the subway (swear I really did) but I was like “ehhhh I’m running late, I’ll take a cab.” As I’m driving up 3rd avenue I see all these barracks lined up, hmm wonder what that’s for, whatever. There’s a little traffic, I’ll just get out a few blocks away. I don’t think anything of it (I’m an idiot).My friend was already seated at a table for 5, which I thought was odd since it was just the two of us, and our other friend was meeting us later but not eating (FOMO). I was originally going to sit across from her, but then it seemed like there was an ocean between us, so I musical chair’d my way around so I was next to her.The specialty at this restaurant is the duck (makes sense given the name of the restaurant), so you can order a whole duck for $50. I mean I just want to preface this meal by saying a duck is not a large animal, and it’s not that much meat. I am already defending how much I ate at this meal.So the duck was a given.We figure we’ll get a soup each, and an appetizer to split, since it is just the two of us eating. There are actually not that many appetizers to choose from so we go with basic steamed shrimp dumplings. So that’s two hot & sour soups, dumplings, and a duck.“Are we sure she’s not going to want to eat with us?”“She said she brought leftovers with her at work.”“There is no way she’s not going to eat anything.”“I’ll double-check and text her before we order.”

Do you want to eat here?

Yes

Well that changes everything! So now we have to figure out a meal for 3, and also hold off on the ordering until she arrives, and the waiters were really pressuring us for some unknown reason. The restaurant had maybe 3 other parties present.

Ok so duck divided by 3 is like nothing right? I mean that’s the math that made sense to us.

“She said she wants beef and broccoli.”

“I think that’s a little heavy with duck.”

“Maybe chicken or shrimp?”

“How about shrimp?”

“Ok, but if we get the shrimp, maybe a different appetizer?”

“Wanna be crazy and get the pork dumplings?”

“Ok!”

“Is that enough? The duck, the soup, shrimp, and dumplings (that’s two dumplings per person).”

“I don’t know.”

“The more food we order, the more I blog.”

The waiter comes over, and we put in our order.

“Do you want the dumplings steamed or pan fried.”

Pause.

“Fried.”

….

“Is that all?”

“And sesame noodles!” Game time decision.

We finished our soup before our friend arrives, and I start diving into the crunchy noodles they put on our table. I cannot remember the last time I had these (ok maybe I can but not at a restaurant, just when I get it for delivery). I miss it.

“I thought you brought leftovers.”

“I brought leftover pad thai.”

“When did you eat it that you’re so hungry now.”

“Well the plan was I’d eat lunch before work (her job starts at noon) and then I’d eat the pad thai later around 6.”

“So what time did you eat it?”

“3.”

The waiter serves us the sesame noodles and dumplings, and he gives me a weird look as I begin snapping paparazzi photos of our meal.

After I take a picture of the noodles, the waiter starts mixing the sauce and the noodles together in front of us. He then looks at my friend with his tongs full of noodles and says something I can’t understand.

I assume he offered to serve us. I have vivid memories of my mom telling the waiter, “please don’t serve me. I’ll serve myself.”

And I hear my friend go, “I’m good with tea and water.”

Is she not going to eat sesame noodles now that we ordered a meal large enough to serve an army?

“You don’t want him to give you?” I ask.

The waiter looks confused and then serves all of us.

He walks away and my friend goes, “he asked me if I wanted something to drink.”

Awk-ward.

“Will you come look at the apartment I’m moving into after dinner? I am meeting the previous owner to buy furniture from her.” my friend asks me.

“But you’re so far away.”

“I’ll charge the cab to my mom’s credit card.” That is tempting.

“Yeah, but what about the cab back, you’re so far uptown?”

“It’s your only chance to see it.” Apparently this is my only invite ever to an apartment she hasn’t even moved into yet.

“I’ll think about it.”

The duck is wheeled out on a table and it is on the opposite end of where I am sitting. I get up, which is harder than you think, because I wore my tight jeans, and run around the oversize dining table to take a picture of a duck (it was my exercise for the day). I again get weird stares from the waiters as I snap photos of the duck.

This time the waiter serves us on purpose, because the duck gets mixed with sauce, scallions, and cucumbers in a pancake. I considered taking a picture of the waiter carving up the duck and serving it, but I didn’t want to risk another dirty look.

The shrimp is then also placed on the table with a heaping plate of white rice. We may or may not have over ordered.

As we all suffer to try and imitate the waiter’s technique with our next pancake my friend tells us how her dog is currently in the hospital.

“He had a tumor on his spleen.”

“How big was it?”

“The size of a golfball.”

“But he’s such a small dog.” (he’s a Yorkshire Terroir)

“Surgery is very expensive for dogs.”

“Yeah, we had the option of surgery for Snowy when he went blind, but we decided not to do it.” (Snowy is a 16 year old bijon who hasn’t been able to see the light of day since ’05)

“That’s a little mean.”

“Well he was gonna go blind again anyway.”

“I don’t think Snowy felt that way.”

I start noshing on a cucumber (who was I kidding? I just ate an entire animal), and my friend starts eating whatever is left of the duck, which is the crispy skin.

She takes a bite and goes, “Ooh yeah, look at that skin.” It looked like she was about to make love to the crispy duck skin.

“That’s going in the blog.”

We eventually get the check, and another waiter comes over to take the credit card and cash, but he seems pissed that he’ll have to do some math. He puts his glasses on, takes the check, comes back, but instead of leaving he just stands there.

“Thank you, thank you,” he says with a thick accent, and goes to grab the bill before I have even signed mine.

“Wait, I didn’t sign mine yet.”

“Thank you, thank you.”

Jesus, alright. I sign it and have to throw it at him so he won’t walk away without it.

“Thank you.” Alright already we get it!

I opt out of seeing my friend’s apartment, because I just want to get home, but no mother effing dice. As soon as I get in the cab, we completely stop moving. I am now sitting in a cab directly next to Turtle Bay Bar listening to bar music and drunk people.

Maybe I should have paid better attention to what’s going on, because Obama is in town, and there is now a 20 car procession blocking off Second Avenue for an unknown period of time.

I hear a drunk girl introduce herself to a group of guys, “hi I’m Lisa.”

Eff this, I now owe this cabdriver $6 and we have not moved an inch. I guess I’m taking the subway. Thank you President Obama, thank you!

Peking Duck House (cabbage)

This comes complimentary when you are seated. This is what I noshed on while we waited for my friend to arrive. She seemed to really want beef and broccoli if you can’t tell.

I think sometimes this comes over pickled with a funny taste, but this one didn’t! I kept eating it, because no one else at the table would, and because I liked it.

Peking Duck House (hot and sour soup)

Good way to start the meal off. They say that it’s healthier to fill up on soup in the beginning of the meal, because it helps you portion out the rest of your meal. Well I was definitely full.

Peking Duck House (crunchy noodles with spicy mustard and duck sauce)

I love these! I feel like Chinese restaurants get stingy sometimes with duck sauce, but not this time! This also just reminds me of going to dinner on Sundays with my family so it has a special place in my heart.

Peking Duck House (pan fried pork dumplings)

Some of the best dumplings I have ever had! They were absolutely delicious!

Peking Duck House (sesame noodles)

This is the sesame noodle cold appetizer how it served to you. The waiter then mixes the sauce and noodles together in front of you. It’s a classic Chinese dish, and it’s well prepared dish.

Peking Duck House (peking duck)

Here it is! The main event! This is how it is served to you.

Peking Duck House (duck) just

This is how the duck was served on the table after it was sliced in front of us. It looks like quite the spread right?

Peking Duck House (duck) just

This is how the duck was served on the table after it was sliced in front of us. It looks like quite the spread right?

Peking Duck House (duck)

Here is our lovely wrapped up pancake. The waiter did a lovely job. It was delicious, tender meat, crunchy cucumbers, scallions. It’s just so good!

Peking Duck House (white rice & shrimp with garlic sauce)

This was not the standout of the meal, however very good!

Peking Duck House

This is my completely understandable reaction to having to sit through traffic, not move, and then have to walk to the subway to then wait 10 minutes for the subway to arrive, just to get home from dinner on a Thursday night.

Whenever I eat dessert:


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