Eating my way through NYC – Day 4

Day 4 was filled with tons of eats! Prepare yourself and your belly…

Starting in East Village!

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We put our names down at Clinton Street Baking Company and headed to Boba Guys! They’re SF based and recently opened shop in NYC. Please come to Seattle.

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Blueberry pancakes are a top choice here. Oh so fluffy and their warm maple butter on top really makes it. Gosh this was scrumptious.

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Of course we also had to get the fried chicken and waffle. Their chicken wasn’t dry at pretty juicy. Also topped with warm maple butter. Droooool. I can see why this place is worth the wait.

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We made reservations at Mission Chinese. I would describe this place as hipster Chinese. I’m not sure if it was the things we ordered, but sadly I did not dig it. The decor is pretty retro – with pink napkins, dragon wall displays, and Buddha statues. This first dish was thrice cooked bacon and rice cakes. WHOA SPICY. Like tongue numbing spicy. I think I would have enjoyed this if it weren’t so spicy.

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No this is not a soup. This was my drink! Chili oil, coconut milk and gin. Frankly it was not my cup of tea :/

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Dumplings on the house! Pot stickers with a nice crunchy outside. To be honest, probably my favorite of the dishes we tried.

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Salt cod fried rice. Interesting with the chips – I can see that they’re trying to add texture to the dish. A little too salty though :/ Overall, I don’t really understand get the dishes but maybe we ordered all the wrong things. Service was totally fine. Maybe I’m just too used to the traditional Chinese styles and it was a little too hip for me.

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Of course we had to cap the night with some ice cream. This was at Ice and Vice. This is the classic milk money with a blue corn cone. Yes super fancy schmancy cones. Too many flavors and cones to choose from. Would come back!

 

Easter brunch at Ma’Ono!

I’ve been to Ma’Ono before they became Ma’Ono and was excited to return for brunch (they were formerly known as Spring Hill). We tried making reservations but it was completely full, but they had open bar seating. There were 5 of us and it seated 8 so we tried for that. We arrived a little earlier before they opened (9:30a) just to ensure we’d get seated. This restaurant is located in West Seattle just down the street of the infamous Bakery Nouveau.

Atmosphere: The first thing I noticed were the pretty light fixtures in the middle of the restaurant. They have a ton of tables, good for large and small parties with booths along the side. There were 2 or 3 large tables that were for sharing or larger groups. We sat at the bar which was at the corner and had seating for 4 on each side.

Pricing: Brunch items were on average ~$13. They’re known for their bottomless mimosas for $12!

Service: The bartender was always there so service was quite fast if we needed anything.

Food:
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Fatty saimin – everything I could ever want in my saimin. Soft boiled eggs, fish cakes, nori, cabbage, BACON, and pulled pork. Delicious flavor!! Not too salty either. This is a really big portion and you will definitely be full by the end of this dish. I just wish there was a little more broth.

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Pork loin ham benedict – I thought overall this was an okay dish! Everything was done well technique wise – poached eggs were runny, nice hollandaise sauce, crisp english muffin, flavorful potatoes, smokey ham. However, I was just not wowed with it. I mean it was good! Don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t mind blowing.

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Apple malasadas with vanilla cream and cinnamon sugar. This was definitely a wow! Chunks of apples were inside the donuts and the flavors were all there. I would highly recommend trying this if you come.

Overall: To be honest, it was a little difficult trying to pick a more traditional breakfast dish. I resorted to the saimin (as my back up) because I wasn’t really feeling the other items. I’m not sure how good they are, but I feel like they could add more breakfast items to their menu. However, I was still really happy with the saimin because it was that good. They are known for their fried chicken, so I would definitely try that next time. (Reservations are recommended!)

Ma'ono Fried Chicken & Whisky on Urbanspoon

Best french toast EVER.

This is my third time at Geraldine’s Counter and I am still very happy every time I visit. They have the BEST french toast I’ve ever had. It’s so unique to other ones I’ve had and it really is top notch. This cute diner is located in Columbia city, about 10 minutes south of the International District.

Atmosphere: Their restaurant is on a corner and so the room is kind of split between two sections. There’s a counter for seating as well. Lots of tables! They display a lot of local art on their walls and I really enjoyed it because it brings back childhood memories of watching Totoro and other Studio Ghibli films. Lots of natural light from all of the windows. They use a lot of colorful plates and cups so it adds a lot of character and brightness to the restaurant.

Pricing: Pretty average brunch pricing. Dishes range from $8-$11. They also serve lunch and dinner, but you really come here for the brunch/breakfast.

Service: Everyone I’ve had is super friendly and helpful

Food:
This post will consist of my two of my brunch visits!
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This was the Slammin’. Choice of sausage patty, chicken sausage, or bacon with 2 eggs of choice and pancakes (or sub for french toast for $1. Of course I did that!) I wanted a nice balance between my sweet and savory. They rotate their french toast toppings and this day’s were caramelized peaches.

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My BF ordered the corned beef hash *squash, beef, potatoes, green peppers, celery, and onions) with english muffin. I haven’t had much corned beef hash in my day but this was really good! There was a lot of meat and the squash and peppers really made the dish much more balanced with these lighter flavors. I know the potatoes and meat can make it heavy but it was really well balanced. I would highly recommend this if you don’t get the french toast.

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My first visit to Geraldine’s. This is the complete order of their french toast. I’m not even completely sure what kind of bread they use, but it’s crispy and not overly crispy where it hurts to eat but a nice “crunch”! It’s all about the experience on this dish because I can’t even describe how unique and good it is. Caramelized apples for this topping!

IMG_5566Biscuits and gravy! There was a TON of sausage in the gravy 🙂 Good overall dish and they do it well. Nothing wowed me but it was still good.

Overall:
I hope by the end of this entry you will be dying to try the french toast. I hear the chicken fried steak is another popular breakfast dish. I would expect a wait during weekends just FYI. This place is big but not that big. I might try their lunch or dinner items sometime, but I am always tempted to just get the french toast since breakfast is served all day. Happy brunching!

Geraldine's Counter on Urbanspoon

Get your grub on!

Grub in upper Queen Anne is a great place for brunch AND dinner! This blog post will be a combination of both my visits. It’s located right off of Queen Anne Ave at one of the busiest intersections in the area.

Atmosphere: They have some outdoor seating as well as a community table (it’s actually a pool table if I’m not mistaken). Casual decor with some antiques here and there. Not an extremely large restaurant, but a pretty good size. They also have a small bar area.

Pricing: Average brunch prices of $10-$15 for main entrees. Dinner ranges from as low as $10 to as pricy as $25.

Service: Pretty standard service. They were attentive and nice to us.

Food:

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House made biscuit! Probably one of the biggest biscuits I’ve ever had. This was a side order btw.

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BLAT – Bacon, lettuce, avocado, and tomato! The bacon was cooked to the right amount of crispiness without being like a potato chip. It also came with a light salad. It was nice that it wasn’t overdressed.

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This is called the “Grubbin,” with three mini pancakes, crispy fried pork belly, and 2 eggs over easy. The pork belly was probably one of the best I’ve had. I’ve had quite a lot of pork belly in my life and this has to be top 5.

And… here’s dinner!

IMG_26931/2 Buttermilk chicken with skillet mac and cheese and sauteed kale. I definitely had leftovers of this dish. Everything about this was so great!

IMG_2696Grilled portobello mushroom with creamy polenta, tomato basil sauce, smoked chili oil, and roasted vegetables. I’m a HUGE mushroom fan and this was spectacular. I wish there was a little bit more to this to make it a little more filling though.

Overall: Both brunch and dinner were solid meals. They do some plays on traditional American dishes and make it their own. I don’t think they rotate their menu every week, but it seems seasonal. Everything tasted pretty delightful and I was certainly very full after both meals. I would say this is a very safe restaurant to go to if you’re in the area! Everything looked great on the menu. I am sure you can’t go wrong with anything you order. 🙂

Grub on Urbanspoon

Cheeky cheeky cheeky

Cheeky Cafe is located in International District and is a great find for some brunch, lunch, or dinner! It’s far away enough from ID that there’s plenty of free parking around the area, but close enough to still be in ID. This post will be a 2 in 1, brunch and dinner.

Atmosphere: Upon walking in, we were greeted by a server who told us to sit anywhere. This place has a nice cafe feel with puzzles, games, and cards in the corner and plenty of kids art decorated along the walls. It has a very family oriented vibe with bright colors.

Pricing: Reasonably priced for everything. I would say on the cheaper end of things. Brunch ranged from $6-$10 per dish and lunch/dinner ranged $6-$12.

Service: Both servers I’ve had are quite friendly and smiley. They were very polite and left a positive impression on me.

Food:
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Cheeky pancakes! Green tea pancakes with two eggs and two slices of bacon. The green tea pancakes weren’t too overwhelming and had a nice flavor to the pancakes.

IMG_3537 Breakfast sandwich – english muffin, scrambled eggs, cheddar, bacon served with sweet potato fries (loved that they serve this instead of regular fries!). You can sub a tortilla for the english muffin for no charge. This was a really great wholesome sandwich. Simple, but everything was cooked just right.

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Dinner! Spicy mac and cheese – this had a Korean kick to it. They added kim chi! I can’t handle too much spice, but this was not overly spicy. Very creamy. I prefer mac and cheese that has some burnt parts to it that make it crunchy, but that’s just my taste!

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Balsamic mushrooms – marinated mushrooms that have been deep fried served with roasted pepper and caramelized onion dipping sauce. It’s even gluten free. I thought it was a little heavy after eating a whole skewer, but it’s all like that with deep fried food.

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I’ve been looking for a place that serves okonomiyaki and I have finally found one! This is a Japanese dish of savory pancake batter with shredded cabbage, slices of beef, with shaved bonito and Kiyomi’s special sauce. I’m used to having noodles with my okonomiyaki. I wish they had that with their dish!

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Grandma Kam’s dumplings – This is a family recipe that has a crispy, deep fried outer coating with a mochi like interior that is filled with peas, carrots, kohlrabi, onions, pork, chinese sausage, and dried shrimp. Apparently, the cook is particular about these and thought these were a little overdone so they comped this dish for us. I thought this was super nice of them and shows how much care they put into making their food. This reminds me of a dish at dim sum called “footballs,” because of its similar outer texture.

Overall: I think this is a great cafe that’s welcoming to everyone. Their style of asian-fusion with many types of asian styles is unique, but at an affordable price. They incorporate Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiian, etc cuisine. It’s a casual place with good pricing and parking. I’d definitely recommend this place to everyone for some good cheaper eats!

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