BLT Bar & Grill
123 Washington St, New York 10006
(At Carlisle St)
As we all know, the downtown Manhattan area around the former World Trade Center became quite desolate after 9/11. Once flourishing businesses were either destroyed, damaged, or eventually went out of business. Restaurants were one particular business that was hit hard in the area. Throughout the years several new eateries would show up here and there but their days were unfortunately numbered. For quite some time, people simply did not want to be near the affected area. Eventually the construction of the 9/11 Memorial and Freedom Tower began and I am happy to say that an incredible revitalization has been taking place here in downtown Manhattan ever since. Business are slowly but surely making a huge comeback, new construction is happening practically on every block, and most importantly the hustle and bustle of people has once again returned. I am confident that downtown Manhattan will not only return to its former glory but it will most assuredly surpass it! One such new construction has been the new downtown W Hotel and with it arrived BLT Bar & Grill. My friends and I are always searching for new lunch spots around the office so it was time to give BLT Bar & Grill a try!
Grilled Chicken Sandwich: We started things off with the Grilled Chicken Sandwich. I loved how this sandwich arrived in three sections on a small cutting board along with a pickle and fries. Served between toasted multigrain bread, this chicken was very tender and flavorful on its own but that’s just the beginning because you also get some wonderful sopressata and mozzarella cheese in this sandwich. The sopressata adds a slight peppery and garlic taste to the chicken and the mozzarella adds that mild cheesy goodness. What really made this sandwich great was the olive tapenade that was applied to each section of the sandwich. The tapenade will immediately remind of really good pesto. Together with the nuttiness and crispness of the multigrain bread, this sandwich will take you through several flavors and textures. I usually find chicken sandwich somewhat boring or lacking in the flavor department but this chicken sandwich is definitely one I would order again!
BLT Burger: Let me just say that I really enjoyed this burger. Every restaurant always seems to have their own idea of what “medium” or “well done” is supposed to be and any time I order meat or a burger in a new place I am always hoping that they get the temperature right. I ordered my burger medium and it arrived perfectly pink and medium. The beef was very tender and really juicy. The kind of juicy that runs down the length of your arm and makes a wonderful stain on your shirt which you wore to work. Taking a small sample of just the beef, I was happy to say that it was well seasoned. The gooey aged cheddar cheese was generous and distinct in flavor with just a slight sharpness. If it was up to me I would have extra sharp cheese on all of my burgers. You may also not realize how important a good bun is when it comes to burgers. Personally, I love burgers that are served on English muffins but this bun was very soft and slightly sweet and worked really well to absorb the juiciness of the beef. Lastly, I must not forget about the glorious bacon! This was some really great bacon. Really thick and double smoked, this bacon had the perfect crispiness/chewiness ratio and an excellent smokey flavor. This burger is definitely going on my downtown list of great burgers.
Scottish Salmon Burger: You can tell by the photo that you get a generous amount of salmon on this burger. Unfortunately what you cannot tell from the photo is that the salmon was completely unseasoned. I took a few bites of it just to makes sure and yes it was good quality salmon but it was completely blah. A definite salt & pepper crisis! You might think that this was the end of the salmon burger but luckily the burger came with three things that saved the day! There were red onions, some wonderful avocado, and a really nice cayenne tartar sauce. After applying some of that creamy tartar sauce things dramatically improved. Together with the red onions and avocado, this burger finally picked up some flavor! I really think this could have been an excellent salmon burger if the salmon was properly seasoned. Thank goodness for avocado and tartar sauce!
Fries and pickles: Fries and pickles were served with all of the aforementioned dishes. The fries at BLT Bar & Grill are excellent! Perfectly crispy, slightly battered, and with just the right amount of salt. As for pickles, if you love sour and salty pickles as much as I do then you will definitely love these.
It’s really great seeing downtown Manhattan coming back to life after so many years. BLT Bar & Grill is a great addition to the many new restaurants in the area. Their food is good, if somewhat pricey, but I will definitely return again for lunch when I’m craving a really good burger not to mention that I’m also curious about their dinner offerings. And yes I don’t just eat in Brooklyn!
If your hand eventually goes numb or you find that you have developed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from all that scrolling you had to do on my blog in order to track down a specific review then you are in luck! There is now a new link on the right column called “CURRENT LIST OF REVIEWS”. This link will take you to a complete listing of all my restaurant reviews where you can pick and choose a specific restaurant without having to scroll through my entire blog. Enjoy!
Wow! Do you take those pictures yourself? I’m all weird abt texture so don’t do well with raw oysters but they look so appetizing in these pictures. The piece de resistance is the mint julep, from the gorgeous ice to the silver cup…ahhhh
Yes all of the photographs were taken by me and thank you for your compliment! You should give oysters a try. Start with the small ones :).
298 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn 11211
(Btwn 1st & Grand St)
A couple of months ago my friend and I stumbled upon this wonderful spot while walking around Williamsburg. Upon approaching Maison Premiere, my attention was immediately drawn to the beautiful facade which invited you to enter a different time and era. Once we stepped into the bar it was like stepping through a time machine back to the 1800’s. You see Maison Premiere was constructed with great care to recreate an Absinthe bar straight out of the late 1800’s French Quarter in New Orleans. I often speak of my love for anything old and historic and this place sure did have it all down to the finest details. From a bar with antique bottles and labels, to bartenders dressed in classy authentic garb from that time period, to a bathroom with an old drawstring toilet. Now you may think I came there for the Absinthe but that could not be farther from the truth because as it turns out I despise anything that tastes like black licorice or Anise and yes I’ve tried it numerous times. What I was there for was the oyster happy hour! I’ve been to several oyster happy hours in various places before and most of the time I was very disappointed. I came with high expectations.
Oysters: I was instantly impressed the moment I took a look at the happy hour oyster menu. The selection was fantastic! Usually oyster happy hour implies a few oysters that perhaps were fished out of the Gowanus Canal or oysters that are so tiny you need a set of tweezers to eat them. I had to control myself because I basically wanted to order every single oyster from that menu and for a buck each could you blame me! After calming down and coming to my senses, for Round 1 we decided to go with the Shooting Point Salts, the Conway Royals, the Malpeques and the Elkhorn oysters. Each and every oyster is freshly shucked outside in the gorgeous garden area so we knew these oysters were as fresh as we could possibly get them. Our oysters arrived on a lovely bed of ice and we couldn’t wait to dig into them. After applying some horseradish and a touch of cocktail sauce we systematically went through each oyster. The Shooting Point Salts were meaty, briny, and delicious. The Conway Royals had a lovely sweetness. The Malpeques have a great balance between brininess and sweetness. Last but not least were the Malpeques which were meaty, briny, and with a slight mineral quality to them. These oysters were super fresh and outstandingly delicious! There was no way we could stop now so we had to go for Round 2. This time we had some more Shooting Points, some Block Islands, and the Wild Cocktails. The Block Islands were nice and briny. I cannot recall the taste of the Wild Cocktails but what I can definitely tell you is that every single oyster was super fresh and simply delicious! It’s a good thing 7pm rolled around and happy hour came to an end because I could have easily put away a few dozen more of these beauties!
Jonah Crab: There’s no way I can pass on crab if I spot it on a menu and since I’ve never had a Jonah crab before, I figured this would be an excellent time to try one. These North Atlantic crabs are related to the Dungeness crab but are somewhat smaller. If you have ever had Stone crab then you will find that the claws of Jonah crabs are quite similar in density. The flavor is lightly sweet and very delicious but the biggest downside is that Jonah crabs are the kind of crabs that require a lot of work for a small reward. They are meaty but getting to all that tastiness requires patience. I always like to say that food tastes so much better if you work hard for it!
Alaskan King Crab: As tasty as the Jonah Crab was, my hunger for crabs was still unsatisfied. What does one do when you want large amounts of fresh crab meat without having to do a ton of work? You order some Alaskan King Crab legs of course! These crab legs were absolutely heavenly! Ridiculously fresh and so sweet and tender. None of that aftertaste of a frozen crab. I could eat these things forever but as well all know from watching The Deadliest Catch, Alaskan King crab is far from cheap.
Shrimp & Andouille Gumbo: Now I’ve never been to New Orleans (I know, shame on me!) but most of us know that gumbo is a very popular dish with roots set deep in Louisiana. This gumbo was thick and hearty. It was also very flavorful and with a great spicy kick. The tender shrimp were perfectly cooked and were a great contrast to the sweet, spicy, and smokey Andouille sausage. Definitely give this gumbo a shot!
If you love oysters then you absolutely must make your way to Maison Premiere, especially for the $1 oyster happy hour which starts daily at 4pm and ends at 7pm! The oyster selection is incredible not to mention how fresh each oyster is. It is by far the best oyster happy hour that I have currently been to. If you love Absinthe and drinks that are prepared with the loving care and precision of a magical potion then you must go to Maison Premiere! The outdoor garden area is lush, green, and simply magical! It will make you feel completely secluded from the outside world while you are indulging on some of the finest and tastiest treasures from the sea.
Perhaps you’ve just completed a pub crawl and downed a dozen or so of those fine local microbrewed beers or maybe you were out with some other hungry Russians who convinced you that Vodka is part of a daily nutritious breakfast or maybe you woke up in a strange room wearing a “Furry” outfit while thinking “Maybe those 15 shots of Tequila wasn’t such a good idea.”. No matter what the case, many of us have been there in one form or another and often times we find ourselves desperately seeking that extremely junky, greasy, comfort food to soak up all that booze and help us get through the remainder of the day or night.
Personally, after an evening of intoxication I’m usually craving a really good bacon cheeseburger or sushi. What’s your post-blackout comfort/recovery food?
369 7th Ave, Brooklyn 11215
(Btwn 11th & 12th St)
I remember the news last Fall when I heard that finally there would be a place in Park Slope where one could indulge in Korean-style fried chicken. For those of you who have never had Korean fried chicken, I implore you to immediately drop your Lipitor, leave your jobs, mail your kids to Space Camp, and make your way, immediately if not sooner, to the nearest Bon Chon restaurant because you haven’t had fried chicken until you’ve had Korean fried chicken! Perfectly crisp chicken deep fried with various spices and seasonings (it has to be crack) to amazingly non-greasy perfection! Yes it’s really that good but let me not stray from the objective here. At first there were very few details regarding this new restaurant. Initially, all I knew was that the chef and owner was a popular contestant on Top Chef and that it was going to be an Asian-American fusion restaurant. By now you may probably already know that I rarely get excited by celebrity chefs and celebrities opening their own restaurants because in the end it’s all about food, not the celebrity status! After two weeks of being open I recall us finally making our way over to Talde. They did not take reservations and I was already dreading the long wait that I had read about. Sure enough once we got there our waiting time was about two hours but you know something, it was well worth it! We really did have a very tasty and enjoyable dinner. Now this was last Winter and I haven’t been back to Talde ever since but this weekend it was time to see if their brunch was as good as their dinner! We got seated immediately. Surely that was a sign of good things to come.
Bloody Mary: A great brunch should always start with a great Bloody Mary unless of course you completely despise Bloody Marys in which case you may proceed to next paragraph. If you’re still reading then you need to know that Talde makes an excellent Bloody Mary! Boldly spicy, this Bloody Mary not only has a wonderful kick to it but there is a hint of something slightly briny in it as well. Perhaps it’s from the pickled ginger which sat on the surface of the drink itself or perhaps it is some other secret ingredient since the menu indicated that the Bloody Mary was an “Asian inspired house made recipe.”. Talde’s Bloody Mary has moved into my Top Three Marys List which consists of Stone Park Cafe, James, and now Talde. My only regret was that I ordered the smaller drink instead of the larger one.
Bellini: Hard to believe but yes I’m about to rave about another drink! Now as most of you probably know a standard Bellini consists of Prosecco with peach puree but Talde’s Bellini gives the typical Bellini a swift kick in the ass! Combining Prosecco, real mango, passion fruit, raspberry, and orange juices, this Bellini is one of a kind delicious and refreshing! A perfect nectar of sweet and tart. Oddly enough I noticed an aftertaste of what seemed to resemble grapefruit even though no grapefruit was used. After you finish off a couple of large Bloody Mary’s, go for the Bellini.
Chilaquiles: A traditional and popular Mexican dish, Chilaquiles are basically quartered corn tortillas which are lightly fried. Red or green salsa is then poured over the tortillas. This dish may be served with an egg as well as some chicken. Talde adds it’s own element of fusion by incorporating tofu but not just any tofu, BBQ tofu! I found the tofu to be to my favorite part of this dish. The tofu has a unique smokey flavor which slightly reminded me of Gouda. The red salsa was good but I found it a bit too tart however that was easily remedied by the fried tortilla and some of that wonderful oozing egg yolk. You get wonderful texture contrasts from the crunchy tortilla to the brittle but soft tofu and when you add that lovely egg yolk ,life for that brief single moment, becomes slightly better.
Lobster Bao: Picture your typical Maine lobster roll but forget about that New England hot dog roll and think spicy mayo. That’s Talde’s Lobster Bao! Big chunks of fresh and sweet lobster combined in a really delicious and spicy chile mayo, all piled into a folded, soft and slightly chewy, bun which you typically see used in Asian steamed porn buns. For a shellfish lover such as myself, this was a great twist on the standard New England lobster roll. The only problem is that usually just one is not enough.
Korean Chicken Wings & Waffles: Chicken and waffles! A huge THANK YOU goes out to the Soul Food gods for this fabulous invention! What a fantastic combination of sweet and savory but wait till you hear what Talde does with an already amazing dish! Earlier on you may remember me raving about Korean fried chicken. Having had dinner at Talde, I already knew that their Korean fried chicken was great but this time it was just going to be wings and with something sweet involved. There are many places that make great tasting wings but no so many that perfected the art of perfect crispiness. Besides the wonderfully sweet and spicy flavor of these wings, it is that amazing crunch that shines through above all else! You would think that wings smothered in such a such would lose their crispiness but not here! I was enjoying these wings so much that I had completely forgotten about the waffle! I thought the flavor extravaganza began and ended with the wings but man was I totally wrong. The lightly sweet waffle was slightly crisp on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. It was wonderful, especially with some of that creamy rich butter that rested on top of it but then I applied some syrup. It was then that I experienced a moment of sheer bliss. The syrup took these waffles to the OMG level! This wasn’t your typical Maple syrup. This was coconut brown butter heavenly goodness. It had just the right amount of sweetness to it. Not only that but the brown butter and coconut gave it “one of a kind flavor”. At this point the only logical thing to do was to try the chicken wings with the syrup. After all, fried chicken and honey were meant for each other so why not give this a shot! That was the best decision I had made that afternoon. The wings on their own are scrumptious but with some of that syrup on them……..WOW! Korean Fried chicken: IT’S A MUST HAVE!
Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Fried Rice: The kitchen was only moment away from closing and I wanted to try just one more dish. We all love fried rice but fried rice with egg, cheese, and sausage?! It had to be done! We placed our final order right before kitchen called it a day. The fried rice was very good. Soft, fluffy, and full of flavor with one exception. I simply could not detect any hint of cheese in this rice. The fried rice was still one of the best I’ve had but I’m positive that it could have been even better if perhaps more cheese was used or if a sharper cheese was used. However, my friend did something brilliant. He applied some of that fabulous syrup from the waffles onto the rice. The rest was rice history! Need I say more?
Brunch at Talde was great! Chef Dale Talde puts a new spin of some very classic American and Asian dishes. Two culinary backgrounds were not only harmoniously combined but combined in such a way that will leave an impression in your mind and make you want to come back for more. We walked out stuffed and more importantly we walked out happy. We will most certainly be back again for dinner but unlike last time, I will not only be armed with my hunger but with my camera as well. In the meantime I am anxiously awaiting the grand opening of Pork Slope, the latest venture from the Talde team. Check out Pork Slope!
Watty & Meg
248 Court St, Brooklyn 11201
(At Kane St)
It was Sunday morning and we were starving! We set out with the intention of having brunch at Buttermilk Channel. I was already having visions in my head of fried pork chop goodness with those insanely delicious cheddar waffles but my dreams were shattered once we arrived at Buttermilk Channel. A minimal one hour wait! Damn you Beyonce for totally blowing up that spot! We put our names on the waiting list and were told that they would call us once a table becomes available. What the hell am I supposed to do for an hour besides chewing my arm off from hunger?! What else but going for a walk to explore more new restaurants! After walking around for about 30 minutes and peeking at various menus, we stumbled upon Watty & Meg. I took one look at the menu and they had me at crayfish and lobster.
Quinoa, Kale & Avocado Salad: Being constantly on the lookout for a good salad and having a deep love for avocados, it was only natural that my eyes would notice this salad on the menu. The salad arrived in a rather interesting presentation. It was segregated into three parts: the kale, the quinoa, and the avocado. I wasn’t exactly sure how to eat this thing so I started out by trying each part individually. The kale had a nice light vinaigrette dressing to it. It had a pleasantly refreshing typical vinaigrette flavor but it was nothing out of the ordinary. I then proceeded to the avocado which pretty much resembled guacamole. It was well seasoned with just the right amount of salt, it was creamy, and it was simple and tasty. Finally I made my way over to the quinoa. Unfortunately the quinoa was as plain as you can possibly get. Bland and flavorless. I normally love quinoa but whenever I prepare quinoa at home, I will usually use a chicken, beef, or vegetable stock in order to give it some flavor. It was clear that this quinoa was made with plain water. The few strips of mango that were on top of the quinoa and the shaved almonds helped a tiny bit but overall the quinoa was completely blah. Not being overly thrilled with this salad, I decided to try something. I combined the the kale, the quinoa, and the avocado. The result was definitely more flavorful but it was still nothing to write home about. This is a great salad if you’re looking for something with very healthy ingredients however it greatly lacks in the flavor department so I cannot really recommend it.
Wild Mushrooms & Goat Cheese Omelet: My friend is a huge fan of mushrooms and cheese but then again so am I. It was this particular dish that drew her in. I watched her take the first bite and moments later I could tell that she wasn’t very thrilled so of course I had to give it my own taste test for confirmation. The omelet itself was ok but once again nothing really spectacular. I found that it not only had a very small amount of mushrooms but a very small amount of goat cheese as well. A more generous amount of these ingredients, in my opinion, would have increased the flavor of this omelet. The omelet was served with Gruyere au gratin potatoes which I found to be the tastiest part of the dish. The Gruyere cheese flavor was well pronounced along with a nice hint of rosemary, making the potatoes creamy and tasty. It was around this time that we received a phone call from Buttermilk Channel letting us know that our table was ready. I was ready to throw down some cash and make a run for Buttermilk Channel but we were too far and I felt compelled to give Matty & Weg a fair review.
Lobster, Corn & Crayfish Fritter: After I got over my heartache of having to decline Buttermilk Channel, my dish had arrived. I saw large chunks of lobster which is always a site that makes me happy. The lobster was definitely very fresh, very tender, slightly sweet and just delicious but it was the fritter itself that totally threw me off course. The fritter contained corn as well as the crayfish but it’s flavor simply did not work for me. It was way too sweet, almost dessert sweet. The corn that was inside the fritter only served to make it even more sweet. On top of the fritter was a warm curried tomato salad with free but the curry flavor seemed like a huge contrast when compared to the fritter. One moment I felt like I was eating dessert and then the next I was eating something savory. As for the crayfish, it completely got lost in the sweet flavor of the fritter. I had to separate the lobster chunks from everything else in order to really appreciate the lobster itself. I don’t think that the crayfish served any purpose on this dish because if you were not told it was there then you would never know of its existence. I hate to say it but the only thing I really enjoyed was the lobster.
French Fries: You could have stuck these French into the previous quinoa salad because they were ridiculously salty! I’ve never had to brush off salt from fries before. On top of everything else, they were over-fried to the point that I could have probably stabbed someone with them. Thumbs down on the fries!
Espresso Bean Panna Cotta: After having read some of my previous reviews, you probably realize by now that I always have dessert and sometimes I actually hope that perhaps the dessert can save the meal. Since I love espresso and I love a good panna cotta I decided that this would be my last ditch effort to have something really good at Watty & Meg. Redemption at last! The panna cotta was served in a coffee mug, topped with fresh whipped cream, and something that reminded me of corn flakes. The panna cotta itself was smooth as silk with a nice coffee flavor. I would have preferred a more pronounced coffee taste but it was still good. The cream on top was unsweetened which worked very well with the sweetness of the custard and the crunchy flakes added a nice texture contrast. Along with a great latte, this dessert was surprisingly great and I would definitely recommend it.
I am somewhat torn about Watty & Meg because after brunch I did some further research and noticed that they had very good reviews regarding their dinners. Would I come back here for brunch? I don’t know but if I did come back I would definitely skip on the items I reviewed, minus the panna cotta and latte of course. This might be one of those spots that I recommend to people to drop in for some dessert and coffee but so far there just wasn’t anything outstanding about the food. Perhaps dinner is totally different. Don’t be surprised if I end up at Watty & Meg eventually to give dinner a shot!
Maybe it’s time to let someone else cook for me…those “wings” sound great and I love how you described this restaurant’s principles and ingredients!
Thank you! Use of organic and natural ingredients is one of the many things I appreciate about Park Slope restaurants.
The V Spot
156 5th Ave, Brooklyn NY11217
(Btwn Douglass & Degraw St)
People are often surprised to hear that I really enjoy good vegetarian/vegan cuisine every now and then. After a couple of rich meals, such as the ones you have seen here on this blog, I definitely prefer to eat something a little less fatty and a lot more healthy. I am by no means a vegetarian and will never be one but for all of you carnivores out there, believe it or not but vegetarian food can not only be healthy but quite tasty as well. I think the key to really enjoying vegetarian fare is not to go in expecting something to feel and taste exactly like meat. Although many places, including The V Spot, do an amazing job of imitating the textures and flavors of certain meats, a picky eater would more than likely pick up on the subtle differences. For years I used to think that vegetarian bacon was not only impossible but ridiculous, that is until I actually tried some. I was pretty amazed!
Maduros: Typically maduros are ripe sweet plantains that are fried in large amounts of oil or butter. Sometimes sugar is also added to increase caramelization and sweetness. Although they can be very delicious and make a great side dish to many Latin American meals, they are not something I would recommend if you just came out of a triple bypass. On that note, I am quite certain that the maduros at The V Spot are a lot more healthier. Once we got our order I immediately noticed that these maduros were not oily or greasy at all. Perhaps they were baked? The maduros on their own were sweet and delicious however I did miss that sweet crispy crust from a typically fried maduro. What really made these maduros stand out was the coconut curry sauce. You get a really unique flavor from the combined sweetness of the maduros, the coconut, and the curry. If it was up to me, I would serve this sauce with maduros everywhere!
Buffalo Chicken: Ok so maybe they didn’t look very much like buffalo wings. Actually, when we were served this appetizer it looked more like mini chicken drumsticks. Now I cannot say with certainty what The V Spot used to make this buffalo chicken but usually seitan or tempeh is involved when it comes to faux chicken. The chicken had a great crispy crust and you would be surprised about the texture because it came pretty damn close to actual chicken. If you close your eyes you could probably believe it’s chicken except for the slight chewiness. I always like to try something initially without any sauce to get an idea of its true flavor and this buffalo chicken was really flavorful even without the buffalo sauce. The buffalo sauce added a nice amount of spice and tasted like your typical buffalo sauce. I then proceeded to try the chicken with the “blue cheese” dip. Clearly it’s not real blue cheese but the flavor definitely comes pretty close to the real thing. I just wish the dip was thicker and creamy because it seemed somewhat watery. In any case, the buffalo chicken made a great appetizer without having the actual guilt from consuming a bucket of real chicken wings!
Sesame Seitan: I guess if I were to compare this dish to something then I would probably say it resembled beef teriyaki. The sauteed seitan had a great texture! It was tender and in my mind I immediately associated it with beef. The onions, broccoli, and scallions were crisp and flavorful. Overall this dish was very flavorful but at the same time I thought that it was extremely too sweet. That sweetness came from the agave sesame sauce. Luckily the soft and fluffy quinoa helped in reduce the sweetness but I would have preferred it if they went easy on the agave sauce. The sweetness seemed to dominate this dish.
V Spot Burrito: This is one of my personal favorites at The V Spot because it so closely resembles an authentic burrito. You have your guacamole, brown rice, black beans, vegan sour cream, and salsa but the real magical ingredient is the vegan carne molida. Carne molida translates to “ground meat” which is usually beef or pork. Obviously The V Spot did not harm any animals in the making of this burrito but I was really impressed over how close their vegan carne molida resembled actual ground beef, both in texture and in taste. The burrito was very flavorful but if you want even more flavor then order it with some vegan cheese!
Not all vegetarian restaurants are created equally! Often times people will think that just because a restaurant is vegetarian that it must be healthy. Not true! Some places will use artificial ingredients and all sorts of other strange cosmic elements in order to enhance the flavors of their food. Other places may decide to use large amount of sugar, salt, or MSG. Have you ever taken a look at the ingredient list on some of those vegetarian burgers or vegetarian bacon?! You’ll need a Ph.D in chemistry in order to figure out what you just ate. Not so at The V Spot! The V Spot takes great pride in offering its customers the most freshest or organic ingredients without any kind of artificial fillers or flavor enhancers. If you’re looking for a healthy alternative after a weekend of mass gluttony or you simply want to wet your feet in vegetarian cuisine then you should definitely give The V Spot a try! It’s not very often that one can walk away feeling good after scarfing down some buffalo chicken and a burrito.
P.S. Try their breakfast. I love their vegan pancakes!
Right Fork Diner
12 Mattakesett Way
Edgartown, Massachusetts 02539
Believe it or not but I actually do have one more passion that is somewhat greater than just stuffing my face! Since childhood, I have always been fascinated by airplanes and aviation. At one point in time I was even aiming for it to be my career. That never panned out but I am still, super slowly but surely, pursuing my private pilot’s license. I would probably have my license much sooner if it wasn’t for my second passion: food and eating! This past Saturday was one of those weekends where I get to combine the best of both worlds which is flying and eating!
A good friend of mine owns a Cirrus SR-22 which is an amazing aircraft. I am always very excited and grateful when he invites me on one of his flights and the flight this weekend was to Martha’s Vineyard. I love Martha’s Vineyard for its beautiful historic homes, its food, its beaches but most of all it’s nostalgic Katama Airfield. This beautiful grass strip airfield really takes you back in time to the days of barnstormers and the days when aviation was still young. Katama Airfield also has one other wonderful thing and that would most definitely have to be the Right Fork Diner. C’mon you didn’t actually think I wasn’t going to talk about food eventually now did you?!
Crab Cake Sandwich: Martha’s Vineyard is known for its excellent seafood and I am a huge seafood lover so you do the math! I was torn between the scallops or the Crab Cake Sandwich. I’m glad I went with the Crab Cake Sandwich! Fresh lumps of crabmeat that you can actually see as opposed to those awful frozen crabcakes which look like they pureed in a blender and then molded into the shape of a patty. This crab meat was fresh and lightly sweet with a touch of lemon garlic aioli to give a slight creamy tartness to the crab meat. Packed inside a fresh and soft brioche bun lettuce and tomato, this sandwich is sure to please! Personally I would have preferred this crabcake with only half of the brioche bun or even no bun at all in order to fully take in that fresh crab meat flavor. I will tell you one thing however, there is nothing like sitting outside in the sun by an old airfield, watching vintage airplanes takeoff and land while enjoying some great food. The simplest of pleasures.
Should you ever be in Martha’s Vineyard then I highly recommend you pay a visit to Katama Airfield for a trip back in time to simpler days gone by. Get yourself a bite to eat at the Right Fork Diner and then finally take a ride in one of their awesome biplanes! Then again for some of you perhaps it would be wiser to eat after the ride in the biplane.
655 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn 11238
(At Prospect Pl)
It’s been way too long since I’ve had any Indian cuisine. Luckily, my friend was armed with a wide assortment of Groupons and one of them just happened to be for India Place. When I finally met my friend at the restaurant, I noticed that we were the only customers there initially. It’s funny how we instantly tend to draw conclusions about a restaurant we’ve never been to simply because there’s few people or no people seated. Over the years I’ve learned that occupancy is not always the best indicator of food quality. There have been numerous times when I found myself eating terrible food at places that were jammed with people. Clearly they must have all been delusional or brainwashed.
Naan: Not only is good naan an essential part of any great Indian restaurant but it’s also a must-have for sopping up those incredibly rich curries and sauces. India Place had several types of naan which included ground lamb, coconut & spices, cheese, and finally garlic. Being the gluttons that we are we of course ordered a combination of all four. The naan arrived stacked and piping hot with a wonderful aroma of garlic. The dough was nicely soft and chewy and really tasted great just on its own. Of the four naans that we ordered, my favorites were the garlic naan and the lamb naan because each their flavors stood out distinctly. For some reason I could not really taste the cheese in the cheese naan nor the coconut in the coconut naan. Overall though the naan was great and I knew it would come in handy for the rest of the food which we had ordered.
Chicken Liver: Yes I know many people cringe at the mere mention of liver! However, I have always loved liver of all sorts such as chicken liver, lamb liver, or fish liver. I’m sure there are plenty of other animals who’s livers I have yet to try but I will get there eventually. If I did not tell you this was liver and if you didn’t really notice the texture, I don’t think you would have recognized it as such because although it was delicious, it lacked that distinct liver flavor that most people dread. This was probably due to the very rich curry sauce that it came in. The sauce was thick, sweet, spicy, and definitely delicious. It definitely subdued that typical liver taste. The liver was served with poori (unleavened Indian bread) which resembled a children’s balloon sitting on my plate but tear off a piece of that poori and scoop up some of that liver and sauce because it is just yummy and actually much better than what I was expecting. This chicken liver was definitely a great appetizer which we devoured in no time!
Goan Salmon Curry and Goan Shrimp Curry: Why am I mentioning two entrees in one description here? It’s because I realized later on that my friend and I had essentially ordered the same dish with the exception of one being with salmon and the other being with shrimp. The menu does mention another Shrimp Curry but I am pretty sure that we ordered the Goan version of each dish. In any case, they were both great! The Goan Salmon Curry contained large chunks of very tender salmon in a richly thick coconut curry sauce made with sautéed onions, lime juice, and various other spices. The overall flavor was very rich, sweet, and not spicy so if you’re looking for a dish with a lot of spicy heat, this is not it. We made good use of all that naan we ordered. Dip that naan into the sauce or stuff a piece of that naan with some salmon or shrimp…..Mmmmmmm! My friend thought that the shrimps were slightly overcooked but I thought they were fine. Both dishes were very heavy and very filling plus with all of that naan and basmati rice we were really stuffed to the gills! It’s too bad that we ordered two seafood dishes in an identical sauce but that’s what happens when you’re starving and not paying close attention. I would definitely recommend either dish. The sauce alone is perfect for combining with the rice and for dipping the naan.
Rice Pudding: We were so stuffed that we had no intentions of ordering dessert (Shocking I know!) but that still did not stop the waiter from bringing over some rice pudding which was on the house. Honestly, I am almost 99% certain that the rice pudding came from a can of Jello Rice Pudding and then had some coconut flakes added to it but no matter because it was free and gracious.
India Place turned out to be much better than we had anticipated. The lack of a crowd really did not matter because the food spoke for itself. Our dinner was delicious and satisfying! A return visit will definitely be necessary in the future in order to further explore their comprehensive menu.
I’ve eaten at my fair share of so called “trendy” restaurants. Often I find myself leaving from such places not only with disappointment and an unsatisfied hunger but with an empty wallet as well. It would seem that the majority of my great meals came from the everyday non-trendy spots. Don’t get wrong, there are definitely trendy places that serve some incredible fare but overall I am usually disappointed with such restaurants. Friends will often tell me things like “Have you been to Robert De Niro’s new restaurant?” or something similar to that effect. Just because Robert De Niro or some other celebrity opened a restaurant does not guarantee that the food will knock your socks off! Furthermore, unless Robert De Niro is literally standing in the kitchen wearing a chef’s hat and apron, I am not that excited. If I am going to pay the amount of money that these type of restaurants usually cost then I most definitely want not just good food but amazing food! I guess what I really want is a lasting impression and hopefully food that’s not served on gigantic white dishes containing portions for which you’ll need a microscope to see. Am I wrong for having grand expectations from places that charge exuberant prices and have insane waiting lists? I don’t think so.
What are your thoughts?
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JellyFish from Japan! I’m not sure I’d eat something alive AFTER seeing it move. I’m more adventurous now, so not sure where my line is now.
I’ve had jellyfish as well and find it to be totally tasteless unless it’s really well seasoned or in some kind of tasty sauce.