Saturday, November 6, 2010

Look, guys! No meat!

I made this, myself. It is the first meal that I have cooked since moving to the concrete jungle where dreams are made of. Ironically, this dish has no meat and meat is the stuff of my dreams.

Last week, I did try to incorporate some veggies into my diet. My previous roommates teased me about my preference for meat -- and there you go: no meat! Granted, that experiment lasted for maybe 3 days? It was so long ago, who can remember?

-- Michelle

I'm OD'ing on Asian cuisine, I know!'s just so good!

I'd been feeling a bit under the weather this week...a non-chatty Cathy. I wandered around Central Park taking pictures of the foliage, watching street performers entertain the audience, and observing New York Marathoners.

The pretzel I bought did not do ANYTHING for me except make me gag on the copious amount of salt, so I chucked it and took the subway all the way to Chinatown. Originally, I wanted some Wonton soup but decided against it. I hadn't eaten pho in a while, so I "yelped" some restaurants and looked forward to more appealing food.

I decided to go to Nha Trang, which is close enough to the subway to not be a long journey and far away enough to let you walk through the chaotic scene that comprises Chinatown. Did I mention that a hearty bowl of pho with beef slices is only $5.00? Score! This definitely brightened up my day.

-- Michelle

You know the feeling where you're just so hungry you need to eat, no matter what kind of food it is, where you are, or how much it may cost?

This is one of those situations.

Thank goodness my friend and I were in Georgetown and had some snazzy options to choose from. We stopped at the first restaurant we saw, which happened to be a Vietnamese restaurant complete with a bar, a TV, tablecloths, and wine glasses.

I ate vermicelli noodles that could not have been more delicious, partly because it helped me recuperate from writing my midterm paper and partly because it was a legitimately good meal.

I can't help but feel that Washington, D.C. -- while it has a plethora of great Ethiopian restaurants -- is somehow lacking in authentic Asian cuisine. By authentic, I mean cheap, quickly delivered, and easily accessible. I looked for some Japanese restaurants on Yelp and found that the highly-rated ones are only accessible by bus and not the Metro. Instead, Washington, D.C. has a lot of Asian fusion restaurants. They're delicious for sure, but the amalgamation of different cuisines creates a different palate and psychological shift -- at least for me! That's why I opt out of eating at P.F. Chang's, just FYI.

Regardless of the nitpicking that I've been doing, I admit that the Vietnamese restaurant definitely feeds its customers well. The portions are huge, and the company was fantastic. We even watched a part of the World Series on the TV. All in all, it was a good experience!

-- Michelle

Brunch in Washington, D.C.

One of the cool things about the East Coast is that you can travel for a couple of hours and arrive in a completely different state. California's too big to really do that, unless you go to Vegas. That's a different story for another time.

During my weekend in the nation's capital, I met up with some good college friends...and pigged out, as usual. :)

Scion Restaurant is a really nice place to just hang out and catch up with friends. The ambience is chic and classy without being all "black-tie". Plus, the staff set up a complementary fruit bar with grapes, apples, oranges, and kiwi! We sat at a table in the patio with a good view of street traffic. We met up on Halloween, and in mid-conversation, I saw a toddler in a bumblebee outfit, wings and all. So cute!

As per usual, I ate meat. Yay! But before you judge or tease, just know that I also ate fruit AND got eggs. Unfortunately, these healthier options were overlooked because Scion served some awesome fries. Flat, round, salty and scrumptious!

-- Michelle

Burmese food with good company in Maryland!

I visited a good friend of mine over Halloween weekend. She's the adventurous type! She's been to Egypt, Syria, and is just damn smart! Anyway, her friend took us out to eat Burmese food at this place called Mandalay Restaurant & Cafe. Neither she nor I had eaten Burmese food before, and I loved it!

According to the menu, I ordered the "KyetThar PinSane/NanNanBin Hin." It had stuff I really liked...chicken, curry, basil, white rice, more chicken....

If you're ever in Maryland, check this place out!

-- Michelle

The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear

Ramen that's worth waiting a whole hour for

Justin and Phil took me to this Ramen restaurant that Justin had been raving about for...maybe 2 or 3 weeks. Of course, other people also heard good things about this restaurant whose name I can no longer remember. I would like to think that the reason I can't remember the name is because we went to eat there on a Saturday night and had to wait a whole hour to get in. The wait was longer than the meal, but the meal was worth it.

I had been craving noodle soup. In college, I loved digging into a bowl of soupy noodles at Asahi Ramen. This place suffices.

So for one whole hour, we bummed around the vicinity of Columbus Circle talking about anything and everything. We occasionally glanced at the wait staff, hoping we'd get to finally get inside the restaurant. Maybe getting into The Ivy is just as hard? J/K...

When they finally called us, I could understand why we waited so long. The restaurant is reputable, BUT it's possibly the size of my room. I took five steps from the street to the interior, and I made myself at home on the barstool. This restaurant is so tiny that people put their belongings above their heads, on this net, as if we're all about to go on some Disney ride. The chefs were literally flambe-ing things in front of our eyes! Very cool.

-- Michelle

New York pizza

It's about time I did a post about pizza in New York. Once, I saw this episode of "Man vs. Food" on the Travel Channel that devoted a whole hour to pizza. People in New York and Chicago squared off on which city produced better pizza. It's hard to compare; Chicago has deep-dish. New York has thin-crust. Whatever!

I think the important elements of a winning pizza involve a crispy crust and hella cheese. That's right; HELLA cheese. Not just a smidgen of cheese. A helluva lot of cheese.

Thanks to Nora and Trevor, I've found my go-to pizza place that's conveniently located near campus. This hole-in-the-wall shop is called Koronet Pizza. I like this place so much I'm dragging other friends to it and insisting they try the jumbo.

If you ever get a chance, go to Koronet and get a jumbo slice. Sit there and eat it until you're finished. It doesn't taste the same after you pack it into a ginormous box and cart it home. Believe me; I've tried. Inclement weather does strange things to yummy pizza, you know what I mean? Just enjoy it while the cheese oozes off the paper plate and onto your fingers. Better yet, watch the grease seep through the plate and onto the table top before you take a bite. ;)

-- Michelle

Wedding food is always impeccable.

Okay, so it's a little hard to see exactly what I'm eating. Blame it on the quality of the camera-phone and the lighting at the venue.

Regardless, it's my favorite! Prime rib (medium rare) drenched in au jus with risotto! Goodness, that risotto had butter up the ------. It made me feel a little queasy, but that's why there's meat to go along with it! Meat cures all (except for stomach rolls...I'm learning the hard way).

At least New York's a good walking city. I can walk around, get some exercise, grab something tasty to eat, and the cycle just perpetuates itself.

-- Michelle

I went to New Jersey. Deal with it.

What's in New Jersey, you ask? Pretty trees with leaves that change color...and Coach House Restaurant & Diner. It's a really comfy, family-style restaurant (that I went to with my family). They have really good breakfast and brunch. I think a lot of East-coasters love their bagels, and Coach House definitely takes advantage of this.

I stocked up on my carbs (thank you to the cheese bagel) and my protein (thank you to the scrambled eggs)!

This would have been a great meal in itself, but I also attended a cousin's wedding that evening in Long Island and basically gained a hell of a stomach (coming up next)!

-- Michelle

Amy Ruth's in Harlem, New York

This restaurant serves delicious fried chicken! And sides. The Zagat-rated restaurant has a variety of cool names on the menu, such as "The President Barack Obama". The image on this blog post is of honey fried chicken, corn, and mac n' cheese. The portions are ginormous. I really regret having eaten lunch because Amy Ruth's is the kind of restaurant where I should have skipped it.

If you have been to L.A. and eaten at Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles, you'll LOVE Amy Ruth's! Thanks so much to LiAnn, Justin, and Phil for recommending this place. :)

-- Michelle