Chipotle haters finally have a place to congregate and flip the proverbial bird to the taco man: Tres Carnes. We were told the Times dubbed it Chipotle's younger brother with a handlebar mustache, but we beg to differ. This place is the anti-Chipotle. It's the leather-pants-and-Timberlands wearing, punk-rock-and-rap-listening half-sister of Chipotle that attends art school and tags whatever surface she can find. That handlebar mustache? Totally ironic.
Our hats off go to Tres Carnes genius branding tool that has customers coming back for more: the weekly smoke. Every Wednesday an exotic cut of meat is served in a taco, and according to the PR team, the line goes out the door. There's nothing these guys won't serve up, from antelope (we were shocked to learn it was locally sourced) to the beef tongue tacos we tried last night (trust us, they were delicious). A significant customer base just shows up for their weekly smoke like a groupie showing up to a show.
By now, you've probably been offended by Alison Gold's parody-style, teen-boppy song "I Love Chinese Food". A recent lunch hosted by the Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs in a ballroom at The Plaza Hotel, left us humming an embarassing tune along the lines of "I love Korean food..."
When many people think Korean food, they think kimchi, a pickled cabbage condiment that can be spicy and acidic. Though the fermented flavor turns some off, there are plenty of other notable dishes in Korean cuisine that can suit any palate. From crispy pajeon vegetable pancakes to galbi jjiim short rips to a bowl of savory rice and vegetable bimbimbap or japchae, the traditional Korean glass noodles with vegetables, each staple of Korean cuisine resembles a dish from other cultures, yet still has its own flavors and textures.
Are you going mad for chicken? Don’t just wing it and settle for regular fried chicken. If you’re going to satisfy your craving, you might as well go all out and experience one of the best fried chickens the city has to offer.
Mad For Chicken houses the famous Korean fried chicken, which is crispier and less greasy in comparison to other fried chicken out there.
Our friends had been egging us on to try the chicken. So on a Saturday night, while the air was crisp and chilly, we arrived at the Flushing location for dinner and waited 20 minutes to be seated. We took that as a good sign. When there’s a line, the food is most certainly divine. Besides, 20 minutes is a pretty standard waiting time for restaurants in New York.
While no one would argue that this city lacks variety in its restaurant offerings, the frequent complaint of out-of-towners is that eating fresh food here is prohibitively expensive. Truthfully, eating fresh and healthy meals in Manhattan does often feel like a painfully intense investment, so sometimes you have to do a more thorough investigation to find the best deals. Greenpoint Kitchen, a small neighborhood eatery with fresh delicious food and refreshing drinks at reasonable prices, provides a delightful alternative to the pricey Manhattan spots that specialize in similarly unprocessed food. Just 15 minutes away from Times Square in tranquil Sunnyside, Queens, Greenpoint Kitchen’s calm, casual atmosphere and positive energy are definitely a welcome change of pace.
The neighborhood around 29th and Park Avenue--recently dubbed the NoMad district--has transformed from a veritable social desert to a thriving, growing community within the course of the last eight years, which has led to exciting new social and culinary developments popping up left and right. Tavern 29, which opened a little over a year ago across the street from the Gansvoort Park Avenue Hotel, is one of the best among those developments. Housed in a converted 19th century townhouse, Tavern 29 takes advantage of its unique set up to offer a distinctive bar and restaurant experience...or, rather, three distinctive bar and restaurant experiences. Tavern 29 boasts three separate floors, each of which has been designed with its own atmosphere in mind.
Last night, Joonbug was invited to Zengo's Test Kitchen: from Peru to Malaysia. Once per quarter, Chef Richard Sandoval and his team explore the cuisines of one Latin American and one Asian country in depth and create an innovative menu that combines the two in surprising ways. This quarter's countries were Peru and Malaysia, and the guests were served a set menu of two cocktails, three appetizers, an entree, and dessert. The food was served family-style, and with the press seated in clusters at tables in a designated section, the evening felt like a dinner party. The atmosphere, though sleek and upscale, has an undercurrent of warmth that fosters good conversation to pair with the delicous food. You can sit at the bar, get a table with a large group, or esconce yourself with a date in a booth.
One of the best things about Chelsea Market, aside from the incredible variety of high-quality vendors, is that some of those vendors occasionally give out free samples. There’s one in particular whose free samples effortlessly achieve their purpose of drawing the customer into the restaurant itself.
When you inevitably stop outside Rana Pastificio & Cucina, you may well find yourself loitering around the free samples like you’re at Costco, waiting for the servers to bring out more fresh pasta or house-made bread. It’s only a matter of time before you wander inside the restaurant itself, especially if you’re lucky enough to have tried the unbelievably sinful and delicious chocolate ravioli.
Koreatown may be small, but it is home to some of the best Korean cuisines in the city. Take Kunjip Korean Restaurant, for instance. Tucked between neon signs, its brown canopy roof protrudes over the sidewalk, making it easy to spot. Kunjip is almost always crowded, and you know what they say about busy restaurants: the bigger the crowd, the better the food.
Don’t be surprised if you have to wait 20 to 30 minutes to be seated, especially during lunch or dinner time. The waiters will usher you to the back of the restaurant to wait, while they scurry around writing orders and passing dishes. It’s a madhouse in there.
If the weather of late is any indication, it’s time, once again, to start embracing the great indoors. Fortunately New York has plenty of cozy bars and lounges to keep you warm and buzzed in the many months until the sun starts to emit heat again. If warmth is what you’re after, head over to Klimat Lounge, a sultry East Village bistro and wine bar with an Eastern European edge.
There is something thoroughly relaxing about stepping into this laid-back lounge with its dim lighting, beautiful wooden tables, and intriguing beer and wine selection. Those who are ready to jump into the full Eastern European experience can choose from 14 different draft beers from The Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Germany, and Belgium. Make sure to accompany your beer with one of Klimat’s Polish small plates. There’s nothing kitchy or forced about these cultural delicacies: the Red Borscht, a traditional beet soup with vegetables and served with warm bread, puts boring old chicken noodle soup to shame. Whether or not you thought you liked beets before, this deeply satisfying dish deserves the popularity it enjoys in many countries. Other Polish classics such as Kielbasa and four different flavors of Polish Pierogi are also available as Small Plates.
The leaves are falling, the days are getting shorter, and the weather's cooling down. As much as we hate to see it go, summer is officially out the door, and fall has arrived. The good news is that fall means pumpkin season, and ample opportunity to get stoked about creative, delicious pumpkin food and drink.
Pumpkin is one of America's favorite fall foods and U.S. farmers grow 1.5 billion pounds of it a year. There's good reason for the pumpkin's popularity: pumpkins are super versatile, and can be prepared pretty much any way you can think of. Whether baked into a pie, tossed into a stir fry, or brewed into beer, pumpkin is a champion of tasting good. It's also good for you: low in calories, fat, and sodium, but high in fiber and protein, pumpkins are great sources of Vitamin A, Vitamin B, potassium, and iron. So now that you've got proof of how awesome pumpkins are (as if you needed it), check out some of the best places to go pumpkin crazy in the city this fall.