Tag Archives: Midtown

Go Go Curry – 05.05.2011

Happy Curry de Mayo GO! GO! Curry!

Dos Toros and Hide Chan Ramen – 10.28.10

Dos Toros
137 4th Ave
(between 13th St & 14th St.)
New York, NY


Rustic store front complete with wooden counter


Inside is reminiscent of Chipotle


Carnitas soft taco


Grilled Chicken burrito before


Grilled chicken burrito after

The search for decent Mexican food in the city is one step closer to over; Dos Toros offers delicious (and so far the best) Mexi-Cali style burritos and tacos in New York.  The basic menu offers burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and plates with choice of meat filling.  Surprisingly, tortilla chips and dip are nowhere to be found.  Located a block from Union Square, Dos Toros has superb burritos and will always be a stop whenever I’m in the area.

The carnitas taco had a generous helping of slow roasted pork shoulder served on a soft corn tortilla.  A thin slice of mild white cheddar (I think) is laid on right before steaming the tortilla with toppings that are simple but tasty:  pico de gallo and choice of medium or hot salsa.  I skipped the guac (92 cents) and hot sauce as I wanted the pure pork experience. And what an experience it was:  the meat was shredded juiciness, with just the right amount of porkiness and spice.  The generous helping of pork in the taco included oh-so-good pockets of melted fat/cartilage that elevated this carnitas above all others.  You MUST order this taco.

The burrito was just as good if not better; it was too close to decide.  I am partial to chicken burritos and try them as often as I can but this one is definitely in my top 3 of all time.   You can taste real grilled char in the chicken chunks and I am guessing they used dark meat such as thighs instead of the bland and flavorless breast that is usually used.  Again, the meat was cooked to perfection and was moist and chunky.  The rice was definitely a contributing factor to the awesome burrito.  It was flavorful, light, and spiced to complement the other ingredients exactly.  A very tasty and more importantly, well-balanced burrito indeed.

Good
Judging by the carnitas and chicken burrito, everything is good!
The meat fillings rocked, best mexi-cali in Manhattan

Bad
The wait, lines can form out the front entrance

Ugly
The carnitas craving.  Make sure to order enough for yourself and others who may be salivating.

– Bru-ito

Hide Chan Ramen Factory
248 E 52nd St.
(between 3rd Ave & 2nd Ave.)
New York, NY


Unassuming entrance to 2nd floor.  Note requisite red ramen latern.


Hakata Kuro Ramen with “mayu”, $11

The varying surface in a bowl of ramen looks back at you.


Black garlic oil can be ordered separately

Hide Chan is an authentically run Japanese ramen house in the Midtown East area of Manhattan.   There is cramped table and bar seating in this narrow venue but all appearances aside, the star is the ramen.  More specifically, Hide Chan offers a pork based broth, tonkotsu, which is richer and my personal favorite.  They also offer an addition I have never heard of before:  “mayu” or roasted garlic oil which is dark black almost like used motor oil in color and consistency.

Overall the ramen was delicious; above average but not spectacular.   The broth was rich and not oily, very balanced.  The mayu topping does add to the unique appearance of a black yet edible and tasty crude oil slick in your bowl but with a surprisingly mild flavor of roasted garlic.  The mayu itself has the mouthfeel of very fine powder suspended in oil with a pleasant roasted aroma; a fine addition to any hearty ramen broth.  The noodles were cooked to perfection however I prefer the springy wavy noodle rather than the straight.  The pork charsui was a letdown however as you only get 2 thin slices of swirled pork.  As was the size of the entire dish, the portion of noodles and soup was unsatisfying.  Now if you doubled the quantities, you would have a fine contender for a top bowl of ramen.

Good
Hakata Kuro Ramen with mayu, a solid bowl of ramen with perfect pork broth and al dente noodles.
Sapporo on tap (sugoi!)

Bad
The pork topping is sparse and overall portions small for what you pay.
The pork buns, DO NOT order.

Ugly
When the craving for ramen rears its head, make sure you have a ramenya like Hide Chan nearby.

– Chief Ramen Officer

Afghan Kebab House #1 – 03.12.09

Afghan Kebab House #1
764 9th Ave. (between 51st and 52nd St.)
New York, New York


Eggplant boorani and spicy chicken wings


Clockwise from top left:  vegetarian spinach, combo kebab, combo kebab w/ lamb kofta, and combo kebab


Baklava

From the outside, Afghan Kebab House No. 1 (AKHNO) looks like your standard kebab take out place.  However, step inside and you will feel like you stepped into a dimly lit tent in Afghanistan.  The dark lighting, narrow space, and murmuring conversation only add to the charm of AKHNO and you feel as if you’re tucked in an unknown restaurant at a bazaar in Afghanistan.

Eggplant dip and spicy chicken wings were our starters.  The eggplant was very nice with the Afghan bread.  Surprisingly the wings were decent with just enough spice and juicy.

The mixed grill sounded too delectable to pass up so almost all of us ordered it.  I made the mod to substitue the beef kofta with lamb, something you should so as well.  So how was it?  The grilled chicken was cooked very well, not dry at all and perfectly spiced including a hint of cinnamon.  Possibly the best tasting and cooked chicken kebab I’ve ever had.  (Paradise Kebab in Lake Hiawatha comes very close tho).  The lamb kebab was not as good:  too chewy and the marinade had way too much vinegar.  Delicate lamb flavor did not come through which is too bad since Afghan places usually nail this item.  The lamb kufta kebab was good, really good.  Perfect herb and spice blend cooked well.  If you’ve never had kufta or are afraid of lamb, definitely try it.  Think of meatballs shaped into hotdog form but flavored with fresh herbs and spices; essentially an asian meatloaf.  Afghan cuisine has some particularly flavorful rice, pulao.  It shouldn’t be yellow or greasy or powerful; the long grain flavor should shine through.  It did at AKHNO, HOWEVER, it was missing the qorma!  I know, I am just as surprised as you are right now.  Qorma is what separates the Afghans from the Kazakhstanis, Pakistanis, Indians, Uzbekis, etc.  All joking aside, qorma is cooked rice with julienne carrot, raisins, and slivered almonds.  Even if you don’t like these things, some food magic happens when you combine all these ingredients and devour with your kebabs.  Just try it and ask for it!

Good
What else but kebabs.  Order a few and share.
Cozy dim atmosphere will hide the yogurt sauce that dribbled on your chin.

Bad
The lamb kebab that evening, might have been a fluke.

Ugly
After eating kufta, your breath will be kickin for a few hours.

-bru


Happy eaters


More happy eaters


How the place actually looks…

City Burger – 01.14.08

City Burger
1410 Broadway
212.997.7770

cityburgerny.com

Kangste’s Review

“Smack dab in the heart of manhatten, City Burger satisfies the hungery and weary.”
On to the review:

Food:

Black Label Burger
8.85/10
Their signature burger, why even go here if you don’t try it?
The meat is dry aged with a blend of “black label” cow.  I got it with the works (minus pickles).
I thought they added too much mustard, too little mayo and ketchup.  YOu have to request
to have them cut the burger in half.  The burger was very good. I would have liked it
if they toasted the bread.  A little on the small side.

Grilled Cheese
Surprisngly, tasty! Toasted, buttered bread, double stacked cheese.
8/10

Cookies & Cream Shake
8.5/10
If you really want to try to kill your heart, get this shake with your burger. I could only finish about 25%
before I started to feel my heart clogged with grease, fat and oil.

French Fries
4/10
Do NOT get the fries here. Considering that it’s NYC – very dissapointing, I would place these french
fries in the same category as burger king fries (not a compliment)

Sweet Potato French Fries
8.2/10
If you want to get fries, get the sweet potato fries.

Onion Rings
7/10
Not bad, a little on the oily side though.

Overal Food:
For taste, I would give this place a solid 8.2/10.
Just remember …do..not… get…the…fries

Decor
4/10
You wouldn’t come here for the ambiance, so kinda irrelevant.

Service
N/A
not a server with a waitress place.  Sit down benches limited.

Value
5/10
For burgers and fries, a little on the pricey side.

Conclusion:
If you’re in midtown and are craving either a burger or a shake,
forget Mccy Dies (aka McDonalds) and check out this place.

Tip: order online before hitting up this joint and save 10%
http://store5.geomerx.com/cityburger1410bwy/index.cfm?fuseaction=storepage&customPageID=2

Scale:
10 – so good makes u want to cry/fart at the same time
9.5-9.9999 – superb. incredible. mouth watering
9.1-9.49 – really really really good.
8-9 – excellent
7.6- 8 – above avg
7 – 7.5 – average
6 – below average
5 – why even consider trying it?
1-4 – the feeling of being pooped on by a pigeon while walking in the city
0 – 1 – taking your finger, scooping the pigeon poop of your head, and eating it


—-

Bru’s burger bemusing:

City Burger is a no-frills fast food type burger experience with one exception that lets it stand out from other burger joints:  their Black Label burger.  Concocted of a proprietary blend of premium dry aged beef that is only available at City Burger, this burger takes  you on a one-way flight to flavor country.

To get the proper burger expereince, I ordered the standard hamburger cooked medium ($6) with the “works” (LTO, mayo, mustard, ketchup and pickles), the Black Label hamburger ($11) cooked medium (no toppings, just burger and bun), and the onion rings ($4).  Let me first say, the burgers were cooked perfectly to order.  Medium has plenty of pink inside that is just slightly cooked, as it should be.  The two burgers were identical in portion size and buns, and differed only in the patty.  But what a huge difference that was.  The standard hamburger was tasty with juicy patty and fresh toppings.  The buns were nicely toasted on the patty side (a difference one can notice only when eating burger within 5 minutes of it being made) and though the bun itself was a little bland, it maintained the right burger to bun ratio.  It was a solid hamburger and by itself would make City Burger a better than your average burger place;  unless, that is, you try yourself the Black Label.


Hamburger with the works


Black Label and nothing else

From the first juicy bite, I knew this was no ordinary patty of ground up cow.  A rich almost buttery flavor of beef invaded my palate while I savored every dense morsel.  Each tender bite was juicer and more flavorful than the next and I flinched twice at my burger to make sure what I was eating:  it looked like a hamburger but tasted like a fantastic steak.  My only fault with the Black Label, if it can be considered one, is that I wish it were bigger.

Good
Black Label Burger, order it cooked medium or less and with no toppings for the full experience
Onion rings and Sweet Potato Fries
Decor is clean and functional but nothing to write home about
The chocolate shake: thick and sweetness with depth

Bad
Not much room for large groups (stool seating)
The french fries, don’t get them.
$11 for a burger does not make burgernomics sense (until you try it)

Ugly
Getting the worst seat in the place means you’ll have to move every time the restroom door is opened

Go Go Curry – 05.05.08

273 West 38th Street
New York, NY 10018
Tel:212-730-5555

Go! Go! Curry!


Line out the door with Yankees bouncer


Nothing like curry on your birthday


All this for 5 bananas, pesos, bones, clams, bills…


All combos are $5 except for Grand Slam Curry

First the bad:
– I don’t think I saw a bathroom.
– Their unadorned worship of Matsui is downright creepy.
I bet if Matsui would allow it, the owner would
have no problem licking Matui’s toe-jam clean. After a double header.
– Not many seats available (then again, this is nyc)
– No visible garbage can, so people left their dishes there when finished.
– The sausage dish came with only 3 sausages.

Now the good:
– Value: 10/10
Eat club’s first perfect rating. No where in the city will you find
a greater deal than what we got (as long as you skip the sausage, and shrimp dish).
Since it was the one year anniversary celebration, all dishes on their menu was $5, regardless of size.
On the other 364 days of the year, the value is still superb (9/10)
– Speed of service – our food came out wicked quick.

Recommendations
– The size portions only equate to the amount of rice given with each dish.
– katsu curry 8/10
aka breaded, fried pieces of pork
phenomenal, especially if you consider how much you get
– chicken curry 7/10
hit or miss. with white meat, it’s very easy to overcook and overdry the pieces of chicken flesh.
– curry + rice + lettuce 7.5/10
after the consumption of meat, you will inevitably have leftover rice, curry and lettuce.
when you combine all 3, i was surprised how tasty this concoction was.

Conclusion:
-If you set the right expectations, you will not be dissapointed.
-Come on the 5th, 15th, 25th of every month (another matsui reference) coupon for free topping
– after uh.. matsui hits a home run, the next day, the entire menu is discounted.. 55 cents.

-Kangste


(Freeze frame at 0:13)

Afterwards came Red Mango and then street meat at 53rd and 6th…HALAL!

Red Mango, mochi mango and captain crunch (drool)

Men Kui Tei – 04.22.08

Men Kui Tei
60 W 56th St
(between 5th Ave & Avenue Of The Americas)
New York, NY 10019
(212) 757-1642


No name in site, maybe written in Japanese?


Pork Miso Ramen


So close you can smell it


Tonkotsu Ramen Soup


Gyoza aka Fried Dumplings


Springiness

Eatclub went back to its roots tonight and visited yet another NYC ramen spot. It was an EPIC night but more on that later. Men kui tei did not disappoint with its take on Japanese fast food noodle soup. The place is tight and cramped and you will bump elbows with your neighbor as you slurp soup and gnaw noodles. Like most ramen joints, service is quick and efficient with fast turnover for tables. For even faster service, opt for counter seating.

Order the gyoza; unlike other places that use the packaged frozen kind, MKT has dumplings that taste homemade and fresh. Being a Naruto fan, I tend to order pork miso ramens and the one at MKT was quite tasty. Miso ramen lacks the subtleties of shoyu or shio ramen so all I am impressed by is miso-ness. Pork was average and thankfully was not overcooked and tough though it could be a little more fatty. The ramen noodles itself were some of the BEST I ever had. Toothy, springy, and plentiful, it definitely sets itself apart from other ramenyas. I have decided once and for all I do not like straight ramen noodles. After tasting the intern’s tonkotsu ramen, I was surprised to say that the pork bone broth was much more exciting and rewarding.

Good
Great gyoza
Miso ramen slightly above average.
Ramen noodles were bomb dilly.
Fast service, standard pricing, and large ramen portion.

Bad
The dry mouth ramen thirst after eating. Too much MSG perhaps?

Ugly
That awful yellow Larmen awning that doesn’t even mention the name Men Kui Tei

Time lapse of ramen consumption

Epic evening!  Ramen, then korean style frozen yogurt at the trendy Pinkberry, Korean “deli” at Woorijip and finally Halal Street Meat at 53rd and 6th.  Is this how ramen clubbing will be done from now on?  I hope so…


Pinkberry 34th Street Manhattan


Pinkberry with Captain Crunch, Banana, and Mango


K-town Klassic


53rd and 6th!


The end of a long evening of eat clubbing…

Arabelle – 01.29.08

Arabelle Restaurant
37 East 64th Street at Madison Ave.
New York, New York
212-606-4647
www.arabellerestaurant.com

Tuesday January 29th at 9pm sharp!

Google Maps

Subway Map

FIRST COURSE

Salad of Baby Greens
Celery Root Julienne, Red Wine Poached Pears
Herb Goat Cheese Crouton, Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Cardamom Dusted Scallops
Parsnip Puree, Sautéed Snow Peas, Coconut Curry Sauce

Butternut Squash Soup
Maine Crab Meat, Toasted Chestnuts, Truffle Crème

SECOND COURSE

Braised Beef Short Ribs
Caramelized Pearl Onion, Sautéed Wild Mushroom
Truffle Scented Whipped Potatoes
Guinness Sauce

Roasted Chatham Cod
Asparagus, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Herb Whipped Potatoes
Lobster Emulsion

Provencal Shrimp Risotto
Piquello Pepper, Roasted Artichoke, Parmagiano Reggianno
White Wine Butter Sauce

DESSERT

Passion Fruit Cheesecake
Meyer Lemon Anglaise, Mixed Berries

Warm Pecan and White Chocolate Tart
Spiced Orange Ice Cream
Lingonberry Coulis 

-bru