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Meat the Vegetarian

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Category Archives: Food and Drink

FnB is one of the best restaurants I have ever been to.  EVER.  And I have been to some fantastic restaurants.  Let me tell you – it was awesome.

I loved the relaxed atmosphere.  There is an open kitchen in the center of the restaurant with a bar set up around it.  Max and I ate at the “bar”; we loved it so much, we made reservations for the next night too!    Max also is a little mad I am letting this secret out – because with the way the food tastes and the friendly service, I could see this place booking up months in advance.

1) You have to get the Braised Leeks.  This dish has won awards – and may be the best thing I have ever ate.  Braised Leeks, Mozzarella, Mustard Bread Crumbs, and  a Fried Egg.  Max got this as an appetizer the first night, and I got it as my main dish the second night.  (The portions outside of NYC are usually HUGE for me.  I left stuffed even though I ordered two appetizers instead of an appetizer and an entre.)  Long story short – you MUST get this dish.

2)  Fried Green Tomatoes.  I had these as my main dish the first night, and Max had them as an appetizer the second night. They were served with greens and feta.  They knocked my socks off.

3) Falafel… Some of the best I’ve had…

4) Cheese and Nut Bread.  It came with dates and apricot compote.  The apricot compote was fantastic – I don’t even like apricots.  This is the dish I had as an appetizer the second night.  It was really yummy, and probably the smallest (still not small) dish on the menu – which meant I wasn’t too full for the leeks!

5) Roast Jidori Chicken – served with spaetzle.  Max said this was AWESOME.  It looked and smelled yummy.  But, I have no concept.

6) The Steak.  It was really big and it looked good.  But, Max had this the second night, and I was way too into my leeks to remember anything else about it.

7) The first night we were too full for dessert.  The second night we saved room (as best we could), because we kept watching the butterscotch pudding being made and then served.  It looked WAY TOO GOOD to pass up.  Butterscotch pudding, whipped cream, and a little nutmeg sprinkled on top.  Perfect ending to a perfect meal.

We paired all of this with a local wine, called Dos Cabezas.   Umm, FANTASTIC.  The winery is further south than we were, so we couldn’t make it there this time…  Next time, we HAVE to go there.  It was pretty cheap too – especially compared to NYC prices!

Bottom Line:  Get your ass to FnB.  I don’t care if you have to fly there.  If you have no other reason to go to Scottsdale, go just for FnB.

(PS – it TOTALLY makes sense that the Chef had a restaurant in NYC before moving to AZ – just sayin’.)

Interesting Links:

http://fnbrestaurant.com/

http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/10-best-restaurant-dishes-of-2010

http://www.doscabezaswinery.com/tasting-room.html

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We had another great NYE at the Greenwich Tree House!  Thanks go to JGo for organizing everything!!  This year, we seemed to keep it a little more tame…  No one blew up the toilets or vommed on the floor.  These things are always a plus.  We ushered in the New Year in style, aka I drank Bud Lites ALL night.

Eating went as such: We went to a cute little Italian place in the village for dinner – props to anyone that can remember the name or find it again!  It was yummy, and a nice base… JGo got everyone treats at the bar for a midnight snack – I didn’t even get to see what was on the table– I just saw people diving for the pigs in a blanket!! Given the time it took to consume 4 tables worth of food, I am thinking everyone loved the bar food.  After the bar, a couple of us went to Papaya Dog, one of the random ones in the village – I couldn’t eat there, so I really can’t remember.  They do have pizza, but the last time I had it, it tasted like Hot Dogs.  So, I began the New Year right – with two slices and a soda for $2.75 from the best drunk pizza place on our block…. Two Bros!

Happy 2012 Everyone!!  May this year be filled with epic adventures in Food, Travels, and Parties!!

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With another weekend of parties approaching, I thought I would reflect on last week’s parties.

Just a Few of My Mom's Santas

1) My mom’s Christmas Party.  Inspired by the depression era Christmas “parties”, my mom put together a themed Christmas Party.  I dressed as a hobo, and graciously accepted the donations to the soup/can drive.  My mom asked for donations for the local food shelters instead of hostess gifts.  She also made a ton of food (not all ’30’s themed, but still delicious) and served them on our antique platters.  She made a Ham and my brother made Eggnog Martini’s.  They had eggnog and rum in them, and the rims of the oversized martini glasses were dipped in molasses and gram cracker crumbs.  I stuck to the Rude Elf I brought back “for Max” from Bethlehem.

The Christmas Ham

2)  Fetivus for the Rest of Us.  After my mom’s party, being that it was in the suburbs and for a  more “mature” guess list, Max and I took the 9 pm train back to the City for Cass and Jordan’s Festivus Par-tay.  The details of this party are a little hazy for me… due to the 5 pm start to my drinking.  I know I had a blast, and I blitzed up the Wall of Grievances- I am sure with misspelled words and illegible phrases.  I then switched to “water” aka Coors Light.

Here is to another weekend of Making Merry.  As a teaser – my ugly sweater this year is an ugly sweater vest.  That’s right.

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This weekend, I went to Christkindlmartkt in Bethlehem, PA.  I have gone to this market for years, but this year they moved to a different location within Bethlehem, called The Stacks.  The Stacks are part of the revitalization project of Bethlehem Steel, and I have to say, I was incredibly pleased with the progress of that the Sands and ArtsQuest have made.

The Christmas Market was more spread out this year, which was great.  We were able to see all of the vendors, both old and new favorites, without running into the other meandering patrons.  The cost for 3 people to get into the Market came to $24, but my grandmother had a coupon for $1 off per person.  I think it was worth it.  They had all sorts of artists and artisans with original work for sale, which make really great Christmas presents!  New to the market this year, and perhaps my favorite vendor of all, a woman was making hand rolled, homemade, hot, delicious pretzels.  I have never tasted anything like this!!  The pretzel was so good, I could barely take a picture before it was gone!

After an exhausting morning of shopping, my mom, grandmother, and I all plopped down at Brew Works, on the North Side.  Nan and Mom each got a burger, and I tried their new veggie burger.  Not bad for a veggie burger- it was mostly lentils.  Still, Brew Works is a great choice for a vegetarian in PA, as you are usually limited to Mozzarella Sticks (or “Fried Cheese, as some places call it) and French Fries.  But, the best part about Brew Works is the Beer.  Mom had a pumpkin ale, which was pretty awesome.  I had the Rude Elf, their Holiday Brew.  It is a really STRONG ale with nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove flavors.  I got a growler on the way out… Along with the Beer and Cheese soup for Max- it’s his favorite.

I highly recommend a day in Christmas City!!

http://www.artsquest.org/christkindlmarkt/
http://www.christmascity.org/
http://www.thebrewworks.com/bethlehem-brew-works/
http://www.thebrewworks.com/brews/seasonal-beers/rude-elfs-reserve/

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There is a new trend in parties, and I am happy to announce that Max and I jumped on the bandwagon.  The theme of the party is “fake”sgiving.  Meaning, Thanksgiving is wonderful, but there are no friends involved, because friends tend to have their own families.  Fakesgiving is a time where your faux family (aka friends) get together to celebrate a true American holiday, simply meant for overindulgence.

This year, Max prepared the majority of the fakesgiving meal, with a little help from friends, of course.  The menu included:

-Turkey
-2 types of stuffing (sausage/cornbread and a veggie one for me!)
-a trio of cranberry sauces (yes, one of them came from a can to quiet the Ocean Spray purists, but when they tasted the homemade cranberry sauce… I will just say, there is no room in anyone’s belly for any canned anything.)
-Carrots
-String Beans
-Duo of Mashed Potatoes – one traditional, and one that will make even the biggest mashed potato skeptic fall in love (it happened this year!!), the creme fresh mash.
-Mac and Cheese
-Mustard Onion Monkey Bread (I think this is my FAVORITE thing to eat ever)
-Maple Thyme Biscuits

This meal was preceded by appetizers (artichoke-cheese roll, cheese plate, chips), and then followed my dessert.  I have to admit, I have been too full for the past couple days to have tried them all, but there was:

-Pumpkin Pie
-Apple Pie (with a lattice top… very impressive)
-Pecan Pie (Thanks Cassie!)
-Pumpkin Cheesecake
-Vanilla Bread Pudding (Thanks Rrabette!)

After this food coma, we decided to continue with the theme of overcomsumption, so we moved on to booze.  We did a good old-fashioned gift swap–  in which, all of the gifts were booze.  Some how, during this swap, we ended up with TWO bottles of Hpnotiq!  Also included in the swap were wine, jameo, some really big beers, makers mark, adult chocolate milk, champagne, and some more wine.

Please forgive me if I forgot anything… My memory is a little hazy…

Oh Yeah, then we played kings with all the booze.  That is probably why there are few brown spots in my memory.

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Oh Wine Bars, you are just tiny restaurants that understand one of the most important parts of the dining experience… Booze!  Particularly, wine.  I love red wine.  And nothing complements red wine like delicious little bites of food, especially if they include cheese!  I do get a lot of funny looks ordering red wine with vegetarian food, most people would suggest white wine with “light” food.  But that is where they make their mistake, not all vegetarian food is light… white wine doesn’t stand a chance against bold cheeses/sauces/flavors!

Location: Uncorked, 322 E. 59th Street (between 1st and 2nd).  Yes, yes, it is basically under the bridge.

Price:  Surprisingly not bad for a wine bar.  The average bottle of wine was $45.  If you go during happy hour, bottles of wine are half off.

Number 1

Food:  I was with a friend who opted to go veggie for the evening, so it worked out wonderfully.  We had a bottle of tempranillo (for $24!  I love happy hour specials) to accent our three course appetizer tasting.  Appetizer 1) Porky Fig: don’t let the name fool you, this was a vegetarian dish.  Figs stuffed with creamy bleu cheese drizzle with honey– aka HEAVEN.  I totally forgot to take a picture until the last bite.  Figs happen to be one of my FAVORITES.  But, what made this dish was how the honey worked its way into the flavors. 

Number 2

Appetizer 2) Triple Creme Brie, Raspberry Puree, and Cashews.  This knocked my socks off.  I am drooling just thinking about it.  I could eat these little toasted breads covered in gooey goodness for every meal.  There were four for $13, which is kind of pricey, but wow, they were SO delicious, I would have to order them again, even though they are a little too expensive. 

Appetizer 3)  The first two were a little small, and we were still very hungry, so we went for something a little heartier, much larger, and much more filling: Uno, Dos, Tres (Olives, Havarti Cheese, and Almonds).  I am not an olive fan, so I just ate the almonds and cheese… it was soo good!  That sharp-ish flavor that havarti has just did wonderful things to the wine.

Number 3

I highly suggest this place for a happy hour appetizer date… if you are hungry, this place won’t fill you up.  But, it is definitely a great place to enjoy some wine and really delicious “Bites”, as they call them.

Website: http://www.uncorkednyc.com/

Ahhh Hoboken, we meet (or should I say MEAT) again.  This battle started out ugly and finished on a hopeful note. 

Behold, My Dinner

Location: Piri Piri, Hoboken, NJ 

Difficulty: Impossible 

   

Price: Entres were $20 – $25.  But they did come with A TON of food (chips, rice, and veggies included). 

Meat-Eater: Portuguese BBQ.  Everyone else at the table left stuffed, filled with Chicken, Ribs, Sausage, Shrimp– you name it, they had it, as long as I couldn’t eat it.  I think everyone enjoyed their food.  The consensus was that the sauce was the best part, and the meat played second fiddle. 

Veggie: Plain salad soggy fries.  Whomp Whomp Whomp.  The salad was fresh, but the fries were… yuck.  We were going out after dinner, so Max suggested and I agreed, I needed a slice of pizza… 

Location:  Benny Tudino’s, Hoboken, NJ 

Difficulty: YAY 

Price: Holy Moly, $3 for a slice of pizza bigger than my face  (Seriously, Bigger than my FACE) 

I said, Bigger than my FACE

Meat-Eater/Veggie:  AWESOME.  I had a plain slice that could have fed a small village for a week.  I certainly could not eat it all.  It was delicious pizza.  The piece I had was fresh out of the oven; the line was never less than 10 people long, so I imagine everyone’s is fresh out of the oven.  The line moved super quick.  I just took my slice to go, so I have no idea what it is like to eat inside, but I absolutely want to find out.  This was a fantastic way to prepare for…. 

Location: Zeppelin Hall, Jersey City, NJ 

Difficulty:  We went for the Biergarten, so there was no problem 

Price: $12 for a liter of GOOD beer.  

Meat-Eater/Veggie:  There was food there, no one tried it, so I can’t tell you how it was.  The beer selection was awesome.  There was something for every one (there was no bud light, but if you didn’t want to be adventurous you could have a guinness or beck’s); if you had no idea what you were doing, they would make a suggestion and let you try a sample before you ordered.  Some of the beer our group of 10 people tried: Spaten Oktoberfest, Carlsberg, Czechvar, Abita Purple Haze, Hacker-Pschorr Hefeweisen, and Hofbrau Hefeweisen.  The seating was similar to the German Biergartens with long picnic-like tables that everyone shares.    This is certainly a cool place, and worth checking out.  

"Most Deadly" Drinking a Very Big Liter of Very Good Beer

Websites:
http://piripiribbq.com/
 Benny Tudino’s doesn’t have a website, but can be found on Yelp
http://www.zeppelinhall.com/