· August 22, 2007
Righteous Urban BBQ, also known as RUB, is a BBQ joint in Chelsea that Chris really likes (he gets their food once in while at work). I was in the mood for some good BBQ, especially after my disappointing trip to Daisy May’s, so we headed to RUB to check out their pulled pork and other offerings. The night we went, they ran out of their “burnt ends,” which sounded like a whole lot of fat, so instead, we ordered the Baron, which is a whole lot of meat:
The Baron is enough to feed a small country – it includes beef, pork, ham, pastrami, turkey, chicken, sausage and topped with a quarter rack of ribs. It also comes with two sides – we ordered baked beans and the potato salad.
Whew…what a plate-o-meat! The pulled pork was my favorite – the flavor was a little tangy and the meat had a great flavor, the complete opposite of Daisy May’s attempt to pull off pulled pork. The pork was moist, tender, and had just the right amount of zip. The brisket was a little tough and dry and the turkey, bleh, it was gross. I mean, what’s the point, anyway?
The side dishes were really tasty – the potato salad used a little pickle juice mixed with the mayo and the baked beans weren’t too sweet (I usually hate baked beans because they’re too mushy and sweet). Overall, it was pretty good BBQ!
The Baron is a great deal if you round up a group of people in the mood for a meat-filled feast. RUB BBQ is great and I’d definitely go back…after fasting for a week to maximize my eating potential.
Josh wanted to see Manhattan’s skyline from Brooklyn, so I took him over to Brooklyn (gasp!) to get a view of the city. While we were over there, we stopped by the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory for some touristy ice cream. We saw Rachel Ray feature The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory on her $40/day show because of their all natural ingredients (and it’s supposed to be cheap):
The line was really long, but we figured if Rachel Ray recommended it, it had to be YUM-OH, right? We ended up waiting in line for 30 minutes – just to freaking get inside! The place is really old fashioned and has only five or six flavors, but apparently the vanilla content is really high, so we decided to go with vanilla and chocolate chocolate chip. Our guy scooping up our ice cream:
And a shot of our ice cream:
The ice cream was good, but it tasted JUST LIKE BREYERs! Was it worth waiting for? Probably not. Was it worth $6? No, I don’t think so. It was rich and creamy, but I didn’t taste any difference between the vanilla they produced and the vanilla that comes out of the supermarket. Rachel Ray, what were you thinking?
· August 20, 2007
After reading lots of positive reviews about Goblin Market, I decided we should check it out. Chris and I have been meaning to go there for brunch, but there are so many places in NYC we still have to try! Norma’s is on the top of our list (Metrodad recommended it), but we figured we’d try Goblin Market since I wanted to show Josh around the Soho area. I was a bit surprised when we arrived on Sunday – it was COMPLETELY EMPTY! How is that possible?! Josh was a little shocked, but I figured it would be better because we’d get better service.
Josh ordered lemon ricotta buttermilk pancakes with Vermont syrup and fresh berries:
They were absolutely delicious! There’s a place that I used to go to when I was in high school/college called Aunt Sonya’s (they tore it down to build a Hilton Hotel), but they used to have the best lemon buttermilk pancakes – freshly made in small batches served with a little butter and syrup. Goblin Market’s were moist, fluffy, and had the great tangy zip from the lemon.
I ordered sourdough French toast with fresh fruit and apple butter:
WOW. The French toast was absolutely DELICIOUS! What a great idea – to use a thicker bread so it can soak up the egg but keep its shape and taste. The French toast was really chewy (in a good way, of course) and the fresh fruit and apple butter were great! There was even yellow watermelon, which is a milder/less sweet watermelon, but it was a great palate cleanser.
Chris ordered a grass-fed Angus cheeseburger:
It was a solid burger (although no Goodburger or Shake Shack burger) and the fries were good as well.
Goblin Market is a cute restaurant tucked in Soho and I think they recently changed chefs, but the brunch menu is great and it’s a place I’d put on my short lists of places to go for a nice weekend brunch.
A coworker from the project I’m currently staffed on recommended La Palapa (specifically in the East Village) for me to take my friends for a Saturday night dinner. My friend, Josh, is in the city for the week and I’ve been taking him around to all of my favorite restaurants – Shake Shack, Pearl Oyster Bar, John’s Pizzeria, Seoul Garden, Big Wong’s – but I wanted to try some Mexican food and since I haven’t really experienced any good Mexican food in New York, I thought I’d go off a recommendation. Kevin, my friend, recommended La Palapa and used to be a regular when he lived in the city. Since he raved about the place, I made a reservation for Saturday night. He also recommended a bunch of dishes, so I knew exactly what to order (and what to tell everyone else to order!).
For an appetizer, we ordered chalupas – one for everyone at the table! The chalupas were really delicious; the crunchiness of the chalupas with the creamy guacamole, salty black beans, and cheese was like a party in my mouth! Too bad they were so tiny!
The Chalupas and all their glory (cornmeal that was shaped into little boats and then deep fried), homemade sausage, guacamole, black beans, queso fresco and cream):
Another shot of the chalupas:
Chris and I decided to order one soup and one main course (Kevin recommended so many things and they all sounded so delicious that I had to figure out how to eat EVERYTHING on my first visit!). Chris’ soup was a semi-spicy soup with chick peas and beef in a zesty broth accompanied by avocado, radishes, oregano and fresh lime:
The soup was good, but not something that I’d order again. It was a little salty, but the radishes offset the saltiness.
I ordered chicken enchiladas with a red mole sauce (the mole is supposed to be GREAT at La Palapas). I’ve never had mole sauce so I really don’t know what it SHOULD taste like, but I liked the semi-bitter/sweet taste. My chicken enchiladas in a rich red mole, homemade queso fresco, cream and sweet onion:
The dish was a little too bitter at first and I wondered if I liked it or not. After a couple bites, I realized that I liked it a LOT, ESPECIALLY the mole sauce. Then I realized I ate it too fast and I got a really bad headache from eating the mole. Maybe I was allergic to it?
Tim actually went to the same restaurant the night before and ordered the special from the night (and made Josh order it). Instead of getting a main course, Tim just ordered some steak tacos. Tim’s tacos:
Since he didn’t share, I can’t really say if they were good or bad, but I think he enjoyed them.
Josh ordered the special (because Tim forced him to…seriously). Josh’s enchiladas in a rich mole sauce (different from our mole sauce):
Josh really hated the dish and I thought the mole sauce tasted like it was burnt. My mole sauce was burnt and bitter, but it was sweeter (there was a mixture of orange juice and chocolate). Josh’s mole sauce didn’t have any sweetness to complement the bitterness and he ended up really disliking the dish. I felt really bad since it was his first night in New York and he had a terrible eating experience, but he liked the chalupas and we took him to Pinkberry afterwards, which he enjoyed, so I guess the night wasn’t a total bust.
I would go back to La Palapa for a girls night out, a date night, or a fun night with friends. It seemed like a very fun place to go with people after work for margaritas or a quick bite to eat. Their prices were a little steep for Mexican food, but their portions were large (large enough for two to share). Next time, I would try the skirt steak – I hear it’s great!
Crazy Bananas is located right outside K-town and is a small frozen yogurt store that was around BEFORE Pinkberry. It’s a cute shop that has plain frozen yogurt with fruit. Their prices are less than Pinkberry (6oz was $3.50 + $1.00 for three fruit toppings).
When we walked in, the store manager asked if it was our first time. We said yes and he immediately gave us two samples of his yogurt. We liked it and decided to order a small with three fruits (we just had a huge dinner at Gahm Ni Oak). The proud store manager:
Our small frozen yogurt:
The yogurt was pretty similar to Pinkberry’s, although it wasn’t as tart/tangy. One of the selling points of Crazy Bananas is that it’s not as sweet at Pinkberry (there aren’t as many calories – Pinkberry has around 40 grams of sugar per 8ounces). The more you eat the yogurt, the more it tastes like Pinkberry.
The dessert shop wasn’t crowded, so I was looking around at the decor and I saw THIS:
Apparently, they’re good luck wooden phalluses! They’re supposed to bring luck and prosperity to their owners (I don’t think it’s working so well for Crazy Bananas since there was absolutely no one there).
I liked Crazy Bananas a lot and especially liked that they weren’t stingy on their portions like the Pinkberry on the Upper East Side and the Pinkberry in K-town. I hope their good luck wooden phalluses start working!