June 28, 2012

Chivito de Oro: Uruguayan Food Adventure

I had attempted to checkout Chivito de Oro about a month ago but it was too crowded so I put it on my very long list of restaurants to visit.  This week I happened to be in Jackson Heights so I figure I could take advantage of the opportunity and taste some Uruguayan food. 

Bread with Uruguayan Sauces
To start with, I was served bread with two sauces.  The bread was nice and warm, crusty on the outside and super light and airy in the inside.  I spread the two sauces on it.  The green sauce was very similar to Argentinian chimichurri sauce, with parsley, oregano, garlic, olive oil and vinegar.  The second sauce was more similar to Mexican pico de gallo but with a lot more vinegar.  They were both pretty good.
Tomate Relleno (Stuffed Tomato)
For my appetizer, I had the stuffed tomato.  This appetizer was so beautifully presented.  The tomato was stuffed with chicken salad, peas and carrots.  I've had all sorts of stuffed veggies before, but usually stuffed with rice and ground beef.  This was such a nice change especially for a hot day, it was refreshing.

Chivito de Plato
I asked someone at the restaurant what was the most traditional Uruguayan dish and she said Chivito de Plato, so I decided to try it.  I wish I would've read what it was on the menu prior to ordering, because this was way too much food for me.  While I enjoy eating and tasting different foods, I'm very petite and I usually don't eat dishes that are this loaded.  But, since this is part of the adventure I owed it to myself to at least try it.  The dish  is made with steak, ham, bacon, mayo, cheese topped with two eggs.  As if that's not enough, it's served with french fries, potato salad and vegetables.  I took a few bites and it was okay, but I couldn't continue eating because I was absolutely stuffed. 

There were a couple of desserts on the menu that seemed pretty tempting; unfortunately I did not have any room for it.  Maybe next time.  Until next time, Buen Provecho!

Chivito de Oro
8402 37th Avenue
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
Phone: 718.424.0600
Closest Subway Stop: 82nd Street/Jackson Heights (7)

June 24, 2012

Torrejas de Oliva

Torrejas de Oliva
I was at Coppelia for brunch earlier today and my friend and I shared the Torrejas de Oliva.  This has to be one of the most unique desserts I've had in a while.  It's a bread pudding; it looks like a Cuban bread pudding but torrejas is the Spanish name for french toast so I'm not sure about the makeup of this dessert.  Regardless of the origins, this is dessert has many flavors.  The bread pudding itself reminded me of the filling found in Italian Sfogliatelles (similar consistence with the citrus scent).  The top of the dessert is caramelized like flan and sprinkled with salt.  The blackberries were a little tart, however when combine with the whip cream and the bread pudding it was all perfect.  A perplexing and exciting explosion of flavors.  I've gone to Coppelia many times, I wish I would've tried this sooner, but I'm glad I did so today.  Until next time, Buen Provecho!

207 West 14th Street (at 7th Avenue)
New York, NY 10011
Phone: 212.858.5001
Closest Subway Stop: 14th St & 7th Ave (1,2,3); Also 14th St & 8th or 6th Ave (L)

June 23, 2012

Nomad: Algerian Food Adventure

It was a hot in New York this week.  When it's hot I tend to eat light, mostly salads, fruits and smoothies.  But after eating salads for a few days I wanted something different, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to check out Nomad.  I've had Nomad on my list of places to check out for quite some time, I'm glad I finally did.  I wasn't sure if this restaurant was a combination of Tunisian/Algerian food, but when I asked someone at the restaurant they said it was mostly Algerian so I figure I'll credit this post to Algeria (Country #51).

I asked for recommendations and the first the server recommended their $3 sangria happy hour special.  My thought, sure bring it on!  I can always enjoy a glass of sangria.  For the appetizer I had the Beef Bourek.  These are wafer thin crispy rolls filled with ground beef.  The beef was slightly spicy.  There was a dipping sauce that tasted like mayo mixed with spices.  These were quite tasty, reminded me of Mexican flautas, but on a lighter side.

For my entree I had the Couscous Royal.  I usually eat couscous in salads, so this was different for me.  This is a hearty dish, loaded with lots of protein.  The dish has couscous at the bottom and it's served with lamb, chicken, merguez, zucchini, carrots, pumpkin, potatoes and chick peas, with broth served on the side.  The lamb was very tender, the merguez sausage was very flavorful, the chicken was a little dry but still had good flavorful.  I really enjoyed all the vegetables (minus the chick peas, those little suckers freak me out since I was a kid).
Couscous Royal
 I wish I had room for dessert, but this was a lot of food.  I'll have to come back and taste the merguez sandwich, maybe leave a little room for dessert.  Until next time, Buen Provecho!

78 East 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10003
Phone: 212.253.5410
Closest Subway Stop: 2nd Ave (F)

June 11, 2012

Pars: Persian Food Adventure

This will be a quick one, but I managed to squeeze a food adventure in my busy weekend so I wanted to share with you.  I stopped by Pars for a Persian food adventure.
Kuku Sabzi
To start off with, I tasted the Kuku Sabzi.  The description on the menu was pan fried patties with chopped parsley, dill, coriander and eggs.  I expected more  of a turnover filled with these ingredients, instead what I got was an omelet slice.  It reminded me of the omelets served at Spanish tapas bars (of course those usually have potatoes not herbs).  Dill seemed to be the strongest flavor. It was very different from what I expected but I liked it.

For my entree I had Koobideh with Basmati rice.  These are skewers made of ground beef and lamb mixed with spices.  The meat was very juicy, they had great onion flavor (which I happen to like).  This is definitely a lot of meat!  I've had Basmati rice many times before, my favorite part is the saffron rice on the top. 

This was an incredibly filling meal.  I wish I had room for dessert, but it'll have to wait.  Until next time, Buen Provecho!

Pars Grill House & Bar
249 West 26th Street
New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212.929.9860
Closest Subway Stop: 23rd Street & 8th Avenue (C, E)

June 3, 2012

Café Sabarsky: Austrian Food Adventure

I've been meaning to make my way to the Upper East Side to visit the Museum Mile.  I finally got around to doing so this weekend and took advantage of the opportunity to visit Café Sabarsky.  This place is known for very long waits,  however a table was available within 15 minutes.  This café is incredibly charming, very much what I imagine a Viennese café to be.
Wiener Schnitzel with Potato-Cucumber Salad & Lingonberries
I started off with the Wiener Schnitzel served with a potato-cucumber salad and lingonberries.  The veal was thinly pound, the breading was perfectly crusty (not greasy at all).  This was not a new dish for me, so I knew what to expect.  However, it was great to taste it with the lingonberries and the potato-cucumber salad.  The lingonberries were quite tart.  The potato-cucumber salad was really interesting: it didn't feel heavy like traditional potato salads.  The pickled cucumbers had a very refreshing taste and I thought I tasted dill in there, there was definitely some spice to it.  This is probably one of those dishes I'll try to recreate at home.
Sachetorte & Milchkaffee
For dessert, I had the famous Sachetorte and Milchkaffee (cafe latte).  The Sachetorte is a very dense dark chocolate cake with a thick chocolate icing on the top and on the side.  It also has apricot jam, however I only tasted this in the wider end of the cake slice (which was fine with me, as it was too sweet for my taste).  I expected this cake to be incredibly dry, but it actually wasn't.  The chocolate cake was really rich, but the best part of the cake for me was the icing on the top.  I could have had a cake made just of icing, it was sooooo good.  The latte, was a regular latte nothing memorable about it...but then again I was enjoying the chocolate too much to think of anything else.

I'm so glad I finally made it to this part of Manhattan, this was a scrumptious food adventure.  Until next time, Buen Provecho!

Café Sabarsky
1048 Fifth Avenue (at 86th Street)
New York, NY
Phone: 212.288.0665
Closest Subway Stop: 86th Street/Lexington Avenue (4,5,6)