From: Bareburger in Hoboken, NJ
Bareburger first opened up in Queens in 2009, and now has over 18 restaurants. The popularity of their organic and all-natural meat is clearly helping them grow into the big franchise they are today.
If you once over my page real quick, you will start to see a pattern – I clearly had a burger craving this summer! But, this one is highlighting a different kind of meat… BISON! Bison has a lot of protein with less fat than beef, plus its super tasty. My meal selection above was a “make your own” from Bareburger with aged cheddar, Canadian Bacon, and pickles. However, they have tons of specialty burgers to choose from. I think next time I am going to order the Bison (cooked medium), Gouda, and one of their special sauces.
But, can I just jump to the onion rings now? I am slightly obsessed with them. My overall obsessions in life go Dogs, Bravo, Mutz Cheese, Wine, then Onion Rings. Okay… I have different infatuations everyday but whenever there is a choice to go with a side of fries or a side of onion rings, I opt for the latter. Clearly some places have better fries than rings, and I adjust my choices accordingly.
At Bareburger, what’s great is that they have so many options. You can get the larger basket order of onion rings plus fries (or sweet fries) that comes with several of their dipping sauces (my faves are the habanero mayo, special sauce, and buttermilk ranch.) If you and your friend are not too hungry and just want a taste, the side of rings and fries is just as filling. It doesn’t come with the dipping sauces (they cost a bit extra) but you might as well get one or two to try it out.
From: Umami Burger in New York, NY
May 28th 2015 is National Burger Day and I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight Umami Burger as well as the newly renovated World Financial Center. Umami Burger was founded by CEO Adam Fleischman out on the west coast and it finally made its way to New York City (of course it found its way to New York, haven’t we all?) The establishment is currently located in three locations including Williamsburg (Brooklyn), Greenwich Village (Manhattan), and Brookfield Place (Manhattan).
Let’s talk for a second about how amazing Brookfield Place is, which is still also known as the World Financial Center. The entire space underwent a $250 million renovation in the past few years and it looks like it was worth every penny. When you walk through Brookfield Place, there’s eye-catching and unique architectural structures everywhere. It feels… grand! That’s the best way I can describe it. There’s now high-end stores as well as two food courts called Le District and Hudson Eats, which makes you feel you are at the epicenter of Big Apple life.
Getting back to Burger Day… one of Umami’s locations is in Brookfield Place at the Hudson Eats food court (located on the second floor.) The photo above is showing off Umami’s Truffle Burger. If you absolutely love the taste of truffle, this number has truffled aioli, house truffle cheese, and truffle glaze. All of their selections are delicious, but next time I think I am going to get their “Manly Burger,” which has house beer-cheddar cheese, bacon lardons, smoked-salt onion strings, Umami house ketchup, and mustard spread.
*Fun Fact: The definition of UMAMI is “a taste sensation that is meaty or savory and is produced by several amino acids and nucleotides” according to Merriam Webster.
From: Alma Restaurant in Brooklyn, NY
This place was by far the best Mexican restaurant that I have been to in awhile. I got to try several of the dishes and I was too excited to eat that I forgot to take pictures. Even the image above shows the chilaquiles AFTER I had already dug in. My mouth is still drooling as I dream about the mound of cheese that I consumed during that meal. Chilaquiles are corn tortilla strips, shredded chicken, and cheddar cheese topped with Mexican crema and ranchero sauce. Everything from the drinks to the rooftop dining to the views of the city, this place is a must if you are in Brooklyn!
From: Iron Sushi in New York, NY
Do you want a great happy hour deal in Manhattan? Check out Iron Sushi that has locations in the Upper East Side as well as the East Village. From 4-8 PM they offer most sushi rolls, select food items, and wine for $3 each. I went with a party of seven for my friend’s birthday and once 8 o’clock hit, they let us continue ordering the same specials because we were seated before it ended. I will be back just because they do that for their customers, most places will cut you off once the deal ends.
My favorite item I had was the pork dumplings, and look at the portion you get for $3? Don’t worry about judging me for ordering two of them as appetizers, I judge myself. 🙂
They were lightly fried and had a great flavor.
From: Trattoria La Sorrentina’s in North Bergen, NJ
I just can’t get enough of the food from this place. Right on Bergenline Avenue, Sorrentina’s is a place I can count on for an awesome Italian meal. It is hands down my favorite pizza place, provides the best fresh-baked bread, and I love the chicken dishes. This is the Chicken Francese and I always order it with escarole. Escarole is a leafy vegetable that is sautéed in garlic and oil, plus it is really healthy too. I am sure it is not healthy when I douse it in the delicious lemony, buttery sauce that the chicken comes with. You know what’s the best? Making a small sandwich out of the fresh baked bread with the chicken and escarole and dipping it in the sauce until it’s soaked. Of course, the chicken is good on its own since its thick, juicy, and tender.
From: Big Daddy’s Pizza and Grill in Hillsdale, NJ
I’m pretty sure all of the food groups are covered here. You’ve got your carbs, vegetable (okay, I know garlic is not the strongest veg but in my defense I did hear it’s good for your health), there’s some lean protein, and it’s complete with a sweet BBQ sauce. Hubba, Hubba!
This post was technically a friend referral but now I must try this myself. Although I have not yet tasted this magnificent creation, I think it is safe to say this looks quite yummy. How can you go wrong when your sandwich bread is a garlic knot? Plus, word on the street is that they serve several types of stuffed garlic knot sliders.
I think we can all agree, that’s good looking slider.
From: Ferrara’s Bakery and Cafe in New York, NY
Ferrara’s is a family-owned business since 1892 and just for that I think it is something special. If you are getting dinner in the Chinatown/Little Italy area of New York City, I would highly recommend stopping by Ferrara’s to pick up some pignoli cookies. As a side note, I am a big movie buff so if you have ever seen the classic Moonstruck (featuring Cher and Nicolas Cage), you will see Cher pull up in a parking lot and Ferrara’s is featured in the back. #FunFactOfTheDay
Whether you like movies, Cher, or Italian cuisine, I would definitely stick to pignoli cookies. Pignoli cookies are a delicacy if you enjoy light, almond-flavored treats. The outside is nice and crispy but my favorite part is the soft almond paste that you find on the inside.
From: Rella’s Italian Tavern in Brielle, NJ
Do you love lemon, butter, and white wine? Clearly the answer is yes to all three, but when you combine those ingredients you get a trifecta of taste and it’s called francaise sauce. I am definitely a chicken francaise fan, but there’s something even more delectable. Artichoke francaise! I guess you have to enjoy the taste of artichokes, I personally do in my antipasto. However, I would argue that these are so tasty that it will make you into an artichoke groupie.
Each piece of artichoke is lightly battered, fried and doused in the lemon, butter, white wine sauce that I mentioned above. If you love Italian food you will know one of the best parts of a dish like this is being able to dip your bread in the sauce when the meal is complete. It’s like two meals in one.
You can find these at Rella’s, which is a tavern in Brielle (located next to Manasquan.) What this means for all of you beach-goers who like to go “DTS” as soon as Memorial Day hits, is that you now have a great place to go. We got a bunch of apps with our drinks at the bar area and we were good to go. What I loved about Rella’s was the neighborhood feel. It’s just a good new spot to check out where “everybody knows your name!”
From: Quality Italian in New York, NY
This might be a bold statement but I think this is my favorite post yet. If I could give out awards, this one would have won for “Highest Yum Factor” of 2014. I am particularly biased because I love chicken parmigiana and pizza, so when those two get married they make the ultimate power couple. Our eyes want to believe it’s a typical pizza, but don’t let the round shape fool you – there’s an entire layer of chicken nestling beneath a mound of melted cheese, sauce, and crunchy breadcrumbs. Let’s start with Quality Italian in general before I get into the cheesy, scrumptious details.
QI is a two-story restaurant in mid-town Manhattan that serves Italian-American cuisine. The decor and atmosphere is intimate, rustic, and so New York. It’s a wonderful place to bring a date for a special occasion or have your food-obsessed family (ahem! like mine) enjoy a delicious meal during the holiday season. I just say holiday season because I am coming back to this same spot to get this same dish with them as soon as possible. I also plan to try out their sister restaurant Quality Meats.
This place lives up to its name as every food item is of the highest quality. We clearly ordered the “Chicken Parmigiana for Two” that we read about thoroughly (as all of us do) on Yelp. It seemed to be one of their signature dishes that not only appeared to taste good but was just such a dining spectacle that you had to experience it for yourself. It came to our table and the guests around us were asking why we were gushing about it and taking pictures… not with each other… but with our meal. When we explained that it was no ordinary pie, they asked, “well, how does it taste?” The only response we could utter was “AWESOME!” The chicken is juicy, tender, and about one-inch thick. It is surrounded by crunchy, crispy breadcrumbs and melted cheese. The sauce itself was NOT overpowering, which I love about a good chicken parm. I want it to be about the chicken and the natural flavors, and don’t need a heavy sauce to obstruct my enjoyment of the first two.
We also tried the side of creamed kale carbonara which was mouthwatering. Even the complimentary bread they give you in the beginning is unbelievable. It’s doughy and has a hint of garlic as it’s (again) not too overpowering. When they give you the olive oil I always sprinkle some salt and pepper in it and then dip that into my bread. With everything we ate, I didn’t feel guilty. I felt that I just genuinely got a wonderful meal made with fresh ingredients, and as we all know, that’s hard to come by these days.
From: Nice Matin in New York, NY
Brunch is delightful. You get to fill up on a ginormous meal without feeling as guilty because you can spend the day walking it off. I also want to pretend I give breakfast and lunch an equal opportunity but I know I always show up for some cheese-filled eggs with a side of crunchy bacon.
This restaurant is in the Upper West Side of Manhattan and I’d highly recommend you checking it out for a lovely Saturday or Sunday brunch. What’s pictured above is their Croque Madame. It’s basically bread that has melted Gruyere cheese all over with a fried egg on top and Black Forest ham in the center. I paired it with a side of creamy polenta. The creamy polenta has a rich flavor of Parmesan cheese and lives up to its name.. It’s quite creamy. Everything from here was just so enjoyable.
Fun fact: Chef Andy D’Amico actually was inspired by his visit to Nice, France which is how they came up with the menu selections.