Friday, December 7, 2012

Wahoo's Fish Tacos

Well folks, as you read this I am probably on my way to LA!  I'm taking a quick trip to visit a friend and I'll be sure to eat all the West Coast goodies.  For those of you looking to get a bit of your own West Coast grub in NYC, head on over to Wahoo's Fish Taco.

As you walk into Wahoo's Fish Taco, you'll see that it has a super casual, relaxed, surf-themed vibe - reflective of its California roots!

Casual surf-themed interior of Wahoo's Fish Taco

Fun bar area

If you happen to come during Happy Hour (goes until 7pm), you'll score some great drink deals on select cocktails and beers.  And they come out hugeeeeeee:

Happy Hour margaritas and sangrias

More interested in the food?  Then walk towards the ordering counters at the back - you'll see the menus along the wall there.  You'll be happy to note that almost everything on the menu is $10 and under!  Place your order first and then take a seat at a table of your choice with your number if you are staying to eat.  Someone will bring out your food to you.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


As a child of NYU, I can't help but have a soft spot for the Thai food at Spice (and those shrimp fritters...).  But there's a new rival in town!  Ngam has opened in the East Village and I'm obsessed!

When you walk in, you'll notice a modern feel with exposed piping, brick walls, wooden tables, and an open kitchen on the right.  More often than not, you'll also see the chef and owner Chef Hong making her magic in the kitchen as you walk by towards the dining room. 

Inside of Ngam with an adorable baby picture of Chef Hong on the wall
I love an open kitchen!
Ngam really sets itself above other Thai restaurants by offering a really unique and inventive menu.  In addition to the noodle and curry dishes that are staples in traditional Thai restaurants, Ngam also offers special creations such as Lamb "massaman" Roti Potpie, Lobster Dumplings, and Thai Oyster Shots.  Take a look at their full menus here.

I've been to Ngam several times now, as well as ordered take-out even more times.  My definite favorites have been:
Peek Gai Tod” Brother Chai’s Chicken Wings: amazing marinade with just a touch of the chili sauce glaze.  Served on a piece of wood so it was cool to look at as well!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Cafe Habana

After 10 years of living in NYC, I've finally made it to Cafe Habana and have tasted its Mexican Grilled CornHoly smokes....I've been missing out!

Located on a corner in SoHo / Nolita, it looks like an unmarked diner on the outside.  On the inside, it still looks like a tiny (but packed!) diner.  Definitely tiny, so be prepared to wait.  We arrived around 1:45pm and it was a half hour wait.  As we left around 3:30pm, the hostess was still quoting a 40 minute wait for interested parties.

Outside of Cafe Habana
Inside of Cafe Habana - tiny, packed, yet so festive lol
We came for brunch, so I was torn between ordering a brunchy egg item or a "regular" item. The corn, however, was a must and definitely happening.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dirt Candy

I'm a pretty picky eater but when it comes to vegetarian restaurants, I'm all in!  Sadly, usually Piggy KL is my only volunteer to accompany me to a meatless establishment.  But on this trip to Dirt Candy, we were both so glad to have tried it! 

Dirt Candy is run by Amanda Cohen, a vegetarian chef who competed with Morimoto on Iron Chef!  Its a tiny restaurant in the East Village (only 18 seats available), definitely make a reservation before coming and keep an eye out for the restaurant otherwise you may walk right past!

Front of Dirt Candy- keep an eye out or you may just walk right past!
Its a pretty small menu with each item named after the primary vegetable ingredient (note: the menu changes seasonally based upon the current vegetable offerings).  Although small, each offering sounded so appetizing! 

Dirt Candy's menu - each item is named after the primary vegetable in the dish

Monday, November 26, 2012


After watching Pitch Perfect last week (which I loooooved btw!!), my friend and I decided that we were in the mood for some margaritas.  The East Village has some excellent choices for tacos so we stopped by Tepito for some taco and margarita goodies.

Tepito (ignore the scaffolding...)
Inside, it's a colorful blue and red themed space with wood tables and chairs.  The first room you walk into has high bar style tables and the second room on the side offers the traditional tables.   

First order of business: scope out the margarita options!  Dining compadre decided on the Mexican Mojito (with muddled pineapple, tequila, mint, and fresh lime juice) and I couldn't resist the call of the Clasica Agave margarita (with tequila, fresh lime juice, and agave nectar).  The drinks were nicely presented and actually pretty large in size!  They tasted pretty good, but sadly were not very strong (was there any tequila??).

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Brunch: Le Bateau Ivre

I was meeting a friend for Sunday brunch a couple weeks back, but the caveat was that we had to meet in Midtown East - she had to go to work afterwards (boo!) so preferred to meet near her office.  With a little help from Yelp, we settled on Le Bateau Ivre.

If you are brunching here on Sunday, you'll be treated to a live Jazz band with your meal!  Love how it changes the atmosphere!  Sadly the space was kind of small and our table was very close to the band - next time I'm going to sit farther away and maybe I'll be able to chat more with my dining compadres lol

Live jazz band with Sunday Brunch!
View from our table
They offer a brunch prix fixe - for $19.95 you get a brunch drink, coffee or tea, and a brunch entree of your choice.  While it was a little more than my usual brunch prices, this isn't too bad for Midtown East.  And who doesn't love a drink with brunch!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hummus Kitchen

Ahh with Thanksgiving fast approaching, I already can feel the impending gluttony of the upcoming holiday season.  Of course I won't let that stop me from eating out (I know, I have issues...) but I guess I should try to make some healthier choices! 

A friend recently suggested Hummus Kitchen and I thought why not, lets give it a try!

Hummus Kitchen - Kips Bay location
With a couple locations around the city, on this occasion I visited their Kips Bay location.  When you walk in, you'll see simple wood tables and chairs and exposed brick wall.  The lighting is bright and I can clearly read the menu (the way i prefer it!) and this spot is perfect for a casual weeknight dinner!

Inside of Hummus Kitchen
Looking at the menu, its a pretty simple menu offering standard Mediterranean/Middle Eastern fare. I like that its a simple menu yet offers a good variety of everything. 

Front of the menu - appetizers
Back of menu - entrees

Friday, November 16, 2012

Wafels & Dinges

Friday, unsurprisingly, is a favorite day of the week for many people, but at my office its an even more exciting day: the Wafels & Dinges truck is on our corner!  Yippeeeeeee!!!

Wafel & Dinges truck outside!!

While the truck does offer some savory waffle options (pulled pork wafel, chili con corne etc), my team and I really love stopping for for a little post-lunch sweet treat!

Take a look at their menu which is located above the truck:

Menu above the truck
Close-up of the menu
Each wafel order comes with your first dinges (toppings) free with each additional for an extra $1 and scoop of ice cream for $2.  Here are your dinges / topping choices:

Dinges (toppings)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Park Avenue Tavern

I've worked in Midtown East near Grand Central for many many many years now, so it's pretty embarrassing for me to admit that I actually don't know many good places for lunch in the area!  Lucky for me, a former coworker who relocated to LA last year (VL come backkkkkk!) stopped by the office for a quick visit.  No better excuse than this to go out for lunch!  It was raining cats and dogs out so we went right across the street to Park Avenue Tavern!

When you walk in, you'll see a big bar in the middle of the room and booths/tables throughout.  There is also a room in the back so the place is pretty big and can accommodate a decent crowd for lunch. 

Big square bar area in the middle of the space
Booths!  It may be the Jersey girl in me,but I looooove booths!!
Looking at the menu, I love that there is a pretty big menu available for lunch. While I love all the Japanese options in the Midtown East area, its great to find a place with classic American offerings at reasonable prices.  Sometimes you just get a hankering for a great salad, burger, chicken...

Monday, November 12, 2012

Brunch: The Barrel

I stopped by The Barrel in the East Village for brunch on Saturday and was very excited to see that there was no wait!  Wohoo!!
Inside of The Barrel
I liked the inside of the restaurant - calming feel with lots of wood, some greenery, and curved decorations.  I guess it was meant to mimic the inside of a barrel?

Looking at the menu, there is a brunch menu for $12.95 which includes a brunch entree and a drink - what a steal!  There's also a lot to choose from on the brunch menu so that makes it exciting for me.  I'm usually an egg gal for brunch but lately I've been feeling more lunch hehe

Brunch menu
Lunch menu
The brunch menu includes your traditional items as well as Barrel specific creations such as the Galette.  My dining compadres and I ordered a pretty good variety to share:

Galette Breton Complet - buckwheat crepe, gruyere cheese, eggs, arugula, smoked ham

Friday, November 2, 2012

How is everyone post-Sandy?


Piggy KL is prepping food to bring down to the Bowery Mission right now and she's one of my hero's today for it!  For those of you who can, please join her in Hurricane recovery efforts (more info here for the Bowery Mission, here for Citymeals on Whels, and here for other ways to help).

Piggy KL's PBJ sandwiches for the Bower Mission (pic from Mr. Piggy KL!)


Hello Piggy friends!  Its now day 4/5 of power outage and loss of cell phone reception in my hood.  That cheese I bought as my storm "prep"?  Now in the garbage, along with the rest of the contents in my fridge and freezer sadness.  And that popcorn?  Still sitting in its wrapper as I have no power for my microwave lol.  But it's really not as bad as it could be - for once I'm grateful to have a 2nd floor apt as there is only one flight of stairs to climb (which I do normally, just not in complete darkness) and I have running (cold) water!  Very important especially when nature calls...

My trusty flashlight - no batteries needed!  You just twist the bottom piece for power. 
This has been key in all of this weeks evening activities thats for sure. 
I got a call from Con Ed today saying that power will be restored by tomorrow so I'm keeping my piggy fingers crossed!  In the meantime, I've been staying parked in my office in Midtown and keeping all my electronic goodies and gadgets powered up.  For piggy snacks, its been mostly take-out eaten in front of the tv in my office kitchen but hey, I'm not picky and I love the chance to explore more of the Midtown area! 

As I await my power to return, here's a snap of Piggy KL and me cheers-ing to surviving Sandy at our first meal after the storm (excuse the hot mess - we just walked 40+ blocks carrying all my essentials for the next couple days...). 

Let me know how you are all faring!  I hope you are all safe and keeping warm.  Until next week...

Piggy KK

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Hello Piggy Friends!  I hope you all managed to weather Hurricane Sandy!  Turns out, I should have invested more into my Hurricane stockpile (cheese doesn't do too well when you loose power and a working fridge).  Alas...I do not look forward to tossing everything out from my freezer and fridge.  With power not expected to be restored for another couple days, Piggy KL and I have walked up to her place in midtown and now I have hot showers, hot food, and power! 

For now, here's an entry from calmer days...


I've been exploring the West Village a bit more recently and on one of my walks I passed by Fedora. Located on a cute street in the heart of the West Village, I couldn't resist coming in and giving this place a try!

Fedora in the West Village
It's a small restaurant, so I definitely recommend calling to make a reservation before making the walk over for dinner.  There is a long wooden bar on the left and a row of tables on the right.  Space was definitely tight, and my two dining compadres and I had to squeeze into a two person table (which they just turning sideways to make wider).  TIGHT.

Dining area, before the rush
In an attempt to loosen up, I of course perused the cocktail list and went with the Songbird (there's St. Germain in it how can I resist?!). 

Cocktail menu
I love drinks that come in this classic glass
Looking at the menu, it has a pretty limited selection so make sure to take a look before you commit to coming. 

Monday, October 29, 2012


Hurricane Irene Sandy is rolling through NYC right about now...what did you do to prepare for Frankenstorm?  Since I couldn't even get into any of the three grocery stores in the Union Square area yesterday, I'm making do with some popcorn and diet ginger ale from Duane Reade and a huge ball of fresh mozzarella cheese from East Village Cheese Shop.
My rations for the hurricane: popcorn, ginger ale, and a big ball of fresh mozz
I couldn't resist having one last meal, though, so last night I stopped by Whitehall in the West Village for a Hurricane Welcome dinner!

Front of Whitehall - look for "No. 19" on the awning

The name is not prominently displayed in the front of the restaurant so if you are a bit lost, look for "No. 19" on the awning.  The front room has a long bar area on the left and tables on the right side of the room.  If you keep walking to the back, there is another dining area with exposed brick walls.  Both areas are warmly lit and feature chalkboards detailing the specials of the day.

Front area of Whitehall
Back dining area
Love the large chalkboards listing the day's spec
As I take my seat, first order of business is the take a look at the cocktail list.  I looooove a great cocktail!  And when they come, they are served in huge glasses!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween 2012 Pumpkin!

It's pumpkin season again! Per my annual tradition, I decided to carve a pumpkin this year.  Luckily this year it was pretty easy to find a pumpkin - I just went to my local Whole Foods!

I always love roasting pumpkin seeds after carving my pumpkin.  This year was a disappointment though.  Sadly the pumpkin I picked barely had any seeds.  Any tips on how to pick a seedy pumpkin?

Here is my pumpkin this year - a witch's brew pumpkin!  Spooky isn't it?  I followed the steps outlined in my Pumpkin Carving Tutorial here.

Pumpkin carving - Witch's Brew Pumpkin

To create some different shading for the 'smoke', I thinned out the pumpkin meat from the outside.  If you remove the orange outer skin, it lets more of the light form the candle through, allowing for the appearance of a different shade.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Brunch: The Seahorse Tavern

I have had my eye on The Seahorse Tavern for a couple weeks now and finally had the chance to check it out for brunch recently.

The Seahorse Tavern on the Upper East Side
Located on the upper east side, this little seafood eatery was perfect for a low-key casual brunch. I loved the brick wall and simply decorated space!  Had a bit of a 'New England seafood restaurant by the sea' feel hehe.

Looking at the brunch menu, most of the items have a seafood twist to it which makes me super happy.  Even better?  You get a drink with your meal yayyyyyy!  While it's not a big menu, there is a pretty good variety including egg dishes, sandwiches, salads, and a burger.  Definitely something for everyone!