Friday, May 27, 2011

Oh Bresaola

Bresaola is an Italian cured beef salami which I bought at Gaia. It's from the north of Italy where my family is from, so I eat it a lot there in the summers at the beach. It's the perfect thing on a hot day or night. It's nice and light and has a wonderful taste. Here I topped it with fresh wild arugula, parmigiano-reggiano, fresh squeezed lemon and olive oil. This is my favourite olive oil right now, from Buon Italia in Chelsea Market. So so good.

A Taste of Italy in the LES

Gaia is this adorable new Italian café hidden just below the street right on Houston. It remains so far farely under the radar because it's easy to miss. It has just a few tables where a few local italian-americans who live in the area were enjoying their lunches. The menu consists mostly of delicious-looking panini's and a few salads. In addition, they seem to have a daily special pasta and salad on the menu board as well. They bake all their bread fresh there. I popped in just to take a look and ended up buying some sliced meats. The owner, Gaia, is from Milano and has a lovely selection of cold cuts and cheese. I picked up a quarter lb of mortadella and bresaola. She also gave me some freshly baked bread out of the oven for free. I can hardly wait to go back and try their special salads which looked fantastic.

Gaia Italian Café
251 East Houston (nr Norfolk)
New York, NY

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mexican Bakery Still Holds Strong

The breakfast burrito at Mexican Bakery is one of the few things I really crave. All their food is good, I especially love their shrimp tacos. But as for breakfast, their steak breakfast burrito is pretty awesome. It's the perfect mix of black beans, sliced steak, cheese and egg. I even dream of the texture and taste. I also love the random mix of people in their too. The delivery boy hates me because I love to order it Saturday mornings and eat it in bed. I call and he always makes me wait till 1pm when they officially start delivery, so I call at 1:01! This time we went and ate it there.

Downtown Mexican Bakery
69 1st Ave
New York, NY
(212) 254-1757

Blessed Balls

Summer time for me means bubble tea! Growing up in Vancouver, where bubble tea is just a part of everyday life, it's nostalgic for me to drink cold tea and chew on those ever-so-yummy tapioca pearls. It was a lovely evening strolling through Chinatown sipping a refreshing lychee green bubble tea. There's nothing better.

237 Grand St (btwn Bowery & Chrystie St)
New York, NY

Get Fresh

The weather is finally turning here in New York and summer is almost here! This called for a celebration, so after our weekly tennis lesson my girl Erika and I toasted the new season with a lovely dinner and a nice glass of white vino! I have one of the most amazing salads ever at Westville in Chelsea and she enjoyed their super tasty hot dogs! We all know how great Westville is with their fresh market vegetables and their awesome burger and dogs.... well pretty much the whole menu is solid. But this salad was quite spectacular. It was your basic caprese salad but the secret ingredient was pickled ramps and red onion (which were somehow sweet) It was super refreshing and the perfect thing for my post-cleanse tummy. I tried to recreate it at home without much success.

Westville Chelsea
246 West 18th Street
New York, NY
(212) 924-2223

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Spring Cleaning

That's right, I am not eating. Food is my entire life so this have been really hard. And I have never denied myself of food, EVER! So this is a big deal for me.

After a very long winter, I finally decided to do a cleanse. It's been an interesting experience, or experiment. Cleanses are all the rage this year I feel like more than ever. People want to detox, reboot, get skinny. I wanted to do something that would help me feel rejuvenated and off to a fresh start. There were some great deals recently on both on Refinery and on Groupon. I am doing a 3-day Deep Love Cleanse from Organic Avenue.
I figured since the bottles were cute I'd be more likely to drink them. Not so much. It's a 3-day regimented program of nothing but juices and liquids. (7 bottles/day) I've never been much of a juicer and the whole experience of eating and texture of solid foods is what I live for! That being said there's something empowering about forcing myself to do something like this. And best of all, I feel great! I have a lot of energy and my skin feels soft and younger somehow.

The interesting part of the experiment is that it's made me really conscious of what people are eating around me. The first night all I dreamt of food, in all shapes and forms... everything from my favourite foods to anything and everything I could get my hands on. It was wonderful and awful all at the same time. I woke up feeling like I had cheated on the cleanse. No doubt that I was probably chewing in my sleep. I can't wait to get a chewy breakfast burrito in my mouth again! I think I will appreciate food even more after this experience. I'm on Day 3 and still going strong. And I don't feel hungry. It's wild considering I am ALWAYS hungry. Tomorrow I start eating again. I can't wait!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Turn Up the Heat

I have officially NEVER had Sri Lankan food, until last Tuesday. I loved it! It's unlike anything I've ever tasted. The flavours are so unique. It's often compared to South Indian food because they also uses a lot of coconut but it's way spicier! I've read that it's some of the spiciest cuisines in the world. Our server told us that their mild is a medium in Indian food. So we got everything mild except for the fish curry, which she made medium by default. And it was spicy enough for us. But I'm thinking to move up to "medium" level next time! She was amazing because she took care of us once she knew it was our first time there and eating Sri Lankan food. She gave us a nice sampling of great dishes to share.

We started with some great appetizers, these fried patties and fish balls. We did the whole meal vegetarian and fish because Ama doesn't eat meat and it was fantastic. We then had 3 vegetables with rice, fish curry, this insane Dahl dish which was lentils stewed in coconut milk. That was one of our favourites! The other huge hit was this dish called Kotthu Roti. It was kind of the pad thai of Sri Lankan food we were calling it. They say its a Sri Lankan road-side speciality prepared from doughy pancakes shredded and stir fried with vegetables, onions and egg. I could eat it every day! For dessert we had the fried bananas and ice cream it was delicious! It's byob so we grabbed this great spanish white wine next door at this cute wine shop next door. It went perfectly with the food.

The food and experience was great. The place is small and dark so you feel like you've stepped out of busy New York and into a calm and cozy place. It would be hard to go there with more than 4 people. I can't wait to go back or get take-away (no delivery) because it's right in my hood.

91 1st Avenue (btwn 5th + 6th St)
New York, NY
(212) 614-9333

I Spy on Thigh

Northern Spy Co. is yummy and nice and bright for brunch. Although we waited longer than usual this time it was relaxing by their open window as we sipped on lovely gruner cocktails and bloody mary's. I always go for the same dish, the kale salad with 2 fried eggs on top, it's amazing! (or the polenta and eggs in winter) But this chicken and egg sandwich has always caught my eye :) And boy is it's nice! It's a poached egg, over a super juicy piece of crispy chicken thigh (organic no doubt) with chimichurri sauce. I loved it! And the bun was nice a squishy. Don't forgot to have a biscuit there too, their biscuits are the bomb. Boom!

Northern Spy Co.
511 East 12th Street
New York, NY