Tag Archives: Dining

Classic Coffee and Cake in North Jersey

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Mocha cake

What could be more classic than coffee and cake? After a recent dinner out, my wife and I stopped at Paris Baguette in search of this venerable combo.

We found cases filled with some of the most beautiful, artistic cakes I’ve ever seen. They’re so pretty you almost don’t want to eat them.

Almost.

Tiramisu cake

We ordered a tiramisu cake and cappuccino for her and mocha cake and a small coffee for me. They were ready in no time and we sat down at the handsome marble tables, ready to feast.

The tiramisu cake was novel with a deep espresso flavor. But the star of the show was my mocha cake.

My fork sliced through the rich icing into a deliciously moist, crumbly interior. I closed my eyes as I chewed, transported to chocolate heaven.

The finely brewed coffee was a perfect counterpoint to the chocolate. We sipped and relaxed, content as could be.

As we finished up, I noticed my wife furtively eyeing the dessert case. I mean, you only live once right?

So she grabbed a scrumptious twisty donut thing whose name I don’t know, holding it triumphantly in the air like a trophy. Oh, and a mini cheese cake for the morning, too.

Who’s counting?

In addition to numerous locations across northern New Jersey, you can find Paris Baguette in New York City, Philadelphia, and numerous other locations across the country. Stop in for delicious coffee and baked goods in a relaxing atmosphere!

More on food:

Our Man in Hunan

The Best Mexican Food Is In…New Jersey?

Manhattan’s Burger Baron

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Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 and returns have been great so far.

More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get your management fees waived for 90 days

Misfits Market

My wife and I have gotten organic produce shipped to our house by Misfits for over a year. It’s never once disappointed me.

Every fruit and vegetable is super fresh and packed with flavor.

I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy!

I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $10 on your first order. 

Our Man in Hunan

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On a quiet block just south of bustling 42nd Street, my wife and I ducked into a doorway and disappeared.

This isn’t a spy novel. But it is an incredible lunch.

Hunan Manor in midtown Manhattan serves outstanding Chinese food firmly rooted in the traditions of the motherland. You’ll find American dishes like an excellent General Tso’s, but also traditional recipes like scallion pancakes.

We sat down today in the surprisingly spacious dining room and within minutes, our waiter brought my wife’s spicy hot and sour soup and my enticing spring roll. Biting down with a satisfying crunch, I could tell this torpedo of flavor was freshly fried.

A few minutes of conversation later, out came the entrees. For the lady: ginger shredded beef with peppers. For me: Hunan style shrimp in a thick, piquant sauce.

The shrimp were cooked perfectly. Their texture was springy and yielding, unlike the little overcooked stones so many restaurants pass off as shrimp.

But the missus’ beef stole the show. The char on the thin strips of flesh, coupled with the perfume of ginger and tender peppers, made for a perfect dish.

I found myself wishing for tortillas to put the beef in, fajitas style. It’s interesting to see how different cultures approach similar ingredients and put their unique stamp on them.

We both ordered off the lunch combo menu, which I highly recommend. Everything is between $9.50 and $12.50, and that includes rice and either soup or a crispy spring roll.

You’d be hard pressed to find a better deal in town!

There will be no blog tomorrow. I have an acting gig. 🙂

See you Thursday!

More on food:

Manhattan’s Burger Baron

The Best Mexican Food Is In…New Jersey?

Alphabet City’s Best Pizza

Never miss a post…subscribe!

If you found this post interesting, please share it on Twitter/Facebook/etc. using the buttons at the bottom of the page. This helps more people find the blog! 

Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Amazon Business American Express Card

You already shop on Amazon. Why not save $100?

If you’re approved for this card, you get a $100 Amazon gift card. You also get up to 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, 2% on restaurants/gas stations/cell phone bills, and 1% everywhere else.

Best of all: No fee!

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 and returns have been great so far.

More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get your management fees waived for 90 days

Misfits Market

My wife and I have gotten organic produce shipped to our house by Misfits for over a year. It’s never once disappointed me.

Every fruit and vegetable is super fresh and packed with flavor.

I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy!

I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $10 on your first order. 

Manhattan’s Burger Baron

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I’ve been going to this restaurant so often, I might have to move in and save the bus fare.

Schnipper’s in New York City is American food done right. Done with respect.

On Thursday, my wife and I rushed in for the third time in two weeks. From a mouthwatering burger to artistic salads, everything they make uses the best ingredients and technique.

I had a massive, juicy bacon cheeseburger. The meat is incredibly fresh.

It’s telling that even the lettuce isn’t some sad, wilted vegetable. Instead, they use crisp bib lettuce that snaps as you bite into it.

You might even be able to convince yourself the burger is health food.

My wife had a beautiful fried chicken salad. It was topped with beets, sweet corn, and housemade sourdough croutons.

A triumph!

I also heartily recommend the tuna melt. I made sourdough for years and alas, the bread in that sandwich is better than anything I ever produced. 🥲

Schnipper’s also makes an outstanding milkshake. I had sip after sip of the one my wife ordered.

For research purposes.

You’ll notice that the food takes a little longer to come than most fast food places. It’s worth it; they’re actually making your meal from scratch!

For years, I walked past Schnipper’s and smelled ambrosial odors wafting forth. Why I never stopped in until now is beyond me.

Schnipper’s has two locations in midtown Manhattan, both east and west. If you’re in the city, stop in for a reliably outstanding meal.

More on food:

The Best Mexican Food Is In…New Jersey?

Alphabet City’s Best Pizza

The Best Bakery in NYC (It’s Not Levain)

Never miss a post…subscribe!

If you found this post interesting, please share it on Twitter/Facebook/etc. using the buttons at the bottom of the page. This helps more people find the blog! 

Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Amazon Business American Express Card

You already shop on Amazon. Why not save $100?

If you’re approved for this card, you get a $100 Amazon gift card. You also get up to 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, 2% on restaurants/gas stations/cell phone bills, and 1% everywhere else.

Best of all: No fee!

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 and returns have been great so far.

More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get your management fees waived for 90 days

Misfits Market

My wife and I have gotten organic produce shipped to our house by Misfits for over a year. It’s never once disappointed me.

Every fruit and vegetable is super fresh and packed with flavor.

I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy!

I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $10 on your first order. 

Alphabet City’s Best Pizza

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Last week, my wife and I found ourselves in New York’s Alphabet City for reasons obscure. It was dinner time, and we were peckish.

As we crossed 14th street, an inviting sign came into view. It spelled out the two most beautiful words in the English language: Burrata Pizza.

We raced across the street heedlessly, moths to the neon flame.

You know we had to order the signature burrata slice. I accompanied it with a Hawaiian (no Twitter mentions, please).

The missus added a chicken slice. Nontraditional, but intriguing.

We sat outside the restaurant on a bench like true New Yorkers.

As I dug into my slice, the balls of soft burrata burst in my mouth like little water balloons of flavor. The crust was crisped to perfection.

On to the Hawaiian. The slight char on the Canadian bacon really made this pie.

Bravissimo!

One of the things I liked best about Burrata Pizza was the service. The owners are very cordial and make sure your slice comes out piping hot.

This is a joy after receiving far too many lukewarm slices at lesser pizzerias.

If you’re in lower Manhattan with a jones for a pie, I strongly recommend Burrata Pizza!

What are your favorite pizza spots? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

There will be no blog on Monday. I’ll be filming an episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel!

Have an awesome weekend and see you Tuesday! 🙂

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More on food:

A Frozen Valentine in New York

The Best Mexican Food Is In…New Jersey?

The Best Bakery in NYC (It’s Not Levain)

If you liked this post, please share it on Twitter/Facebook/etc. using the buttons at the bottom of the page. This helps more people find the blog! 

Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Amazon Business American Express Card

You already shop on Amazon. Why not save $100?

If you’re approved for this card, you get a $100 Amazon gift card. You also get up to 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, 2% on restaurants/gas stations/cell phone bills, and 1% everywhere else.

Best of all: No fee!

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 and returns have been great so far.

More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get your management fees waived for 90 days

Misfits Market

My wife and I have gotten organic produce shipped to our house by Misfits for over a year. It’s never once disappointed me.

Every fruit and vegetable is super fresh and packed with flavor.

I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy!

I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $10 on your first order. 

A Frozen Valentine in New York

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Considerate husbands begin planning Valentine’s Day months in advance.

Flowers are ordered. Reservations made. Wine chilled.

Yeah, I didn’t do any of that. 🙂

So I was left scrambling to find a dinner reservation in New York City on what is probably the busiest night of the year!

The wife and I wound up eating outside in temperatures of 23 degrees. Winter wasn’t going to keep us from the meal of our dreams!

Fortunately, the food at Bar Boulud made the cold an afterthought. I thought I’d share this amazing experience with you guys so you know where to go next year!

The appetizers:

Ora king salmon tarte with avocado, crème fraîche, and caviar. My wife being willing to give me a bite is the definition of true love.

The caviar was the best I’ve ever tasted, with an earthy quality a little like truffles.

Lobster Bisque. Unctuous, delicious. The little bits of lobster swimming in the soup were a nice touch.

The entrees:

Halibut with farro. When I sampled this, I marveled at the perfect, soft flakiness of the fish.

I had never had farro, but with this champagne beurre blanc sauce, I shoveled it in eagerly!

Beef duo. Braised short rib and tenderloin.

The short rib stole the show. It fell apart in my mouth, full of moist, fatty, umami flavor.

Dessert:

An assortment of ice creams for the missus: brown sugar, vanilla, and a pear sorbet.

Every Boulud restaurant has ridiculously good ice cream, made in house. The depth of cream and vanilla bean flavor made the vanilla my favorite.

A dark chocolate entremet for me. Don’t ask me what an entremet is.

All I know is this yummy chocolate mousse, along with hazelnut ice cream and some kind of little chocolate crumbly things, was amazing.

I’ve never seen hazelnut ice cream anywhere else. This needs to be in stores!

If you like Nutella, you’ll love this.


In all, outdoor dining, even in frigid temperatures, was pretty comfortable. A well-built shelter to block the wind plus patio heaters go a long way.

After a tough two years for our little blue planet, I was grateful just to sit down with someone near and dear and enjoy a good meal, both of us healthy. I hope that once this crisis recedes, I can maintain that gratitude.

How was your Valentine’s Day? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

P.S. This place also has the best burger in NYC.

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More on food:

The Best Mexican Food Is In…New Jersey?

The Best Bakery in NYC (It’s Not Levain)

New Jersey’s Jelly Donut Heaven

If you found this post interesting, please share it on Twitter/Facebook/etc. using the buttons at the bottom of the page. This helps more people find the blog! 

Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Amazon Business American Express Card

You already shop on Amazon. Why not save $100?

If you’re approved for this card, you get a $100 Amazon gift card. You also get up to 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, 2% on restaurants/gas stations/cell phone bills, and 1% everywhere else.

Best of all: No fee!

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 and returns have been great so far.

More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get your management fees waived for 90 days

Misfits Market

My wife and I have gotten organic produce shipped to our house by Misfits for over a year. It’s never once disappointed me.

Every fruit and vegetable is super fresh and packed with flavor.

I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy!

I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $10 on your first order. 

The Kings of Cuban Coffee

Last summer, as the lockdowns were lifting, my wife and I sat at a little table on bustling Bergenline Avenue. I lifted a tiny cup to my lips and tasted some of the boldest, most flavorful coffee of my life.

The place was Sweets and Cortaditos in North Bergen, NJ. It sits near the top of the lively shopping street near leafy Braddock Park.

This small shop serves the most outstanding cortaditos and cafes con leche I’ve ever had. The signature cortadito has a deep, rich flavor complemented by the smoothness of steamed milk.

It goes beautifully with a slice of creamy cheese cake or a delectable cupcake.

Originally from Belleville, Sweets and Cortaditos opened its North Bergen location in 2016. From what I can tell, it’s been an incredible success. A steady hum of customers pass in and out, dainty coffees and satisfying treats in hand.

Sitting at the outdoor tables, painted after the Cuban flag, and listening to a street festival play Cuban music made us feel like we were in Havana. At a difficult time for our neighbor Cuba, it’s wonderful to be able to enjoy a bit of their culture close to home.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

More on food and Cuba:

How to Get Internet to Cuba

The Best Mexican Food Is In…New Jersey?

New Jersey’s Jelly Donut Heaven

If you found this post interesting, please share it on Twitter/Reddit/etc. using the buttons at the bottom of the page. This helps more people find the blog! 

Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Amazon Business American Express Card

You already shop on Amazon. Why not save $100?

If you’re approved for this card, you get a $100 Amazon gift card. You also get up to 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, 2% on restaurants/gas stations/cell phone bills, and 1% everywhere else.

Best of all: No fee!

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 and returns have been good so far. More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get your management fees waived for 90 days. With their 1% management fee, this could save you $250 on a $100,000 account.

iHerb

The only place I buy vitamins and supplements. I recently placed an order and received it in less than 48 hours with free shipping! I compared the prices and they were lower than Amazon. I also love how they test a lot of the vitamins so that you know you’re getting what the label says. This isn’t always the case with supplements.

Use this link to save 5%! 

Misfits Market

My wife and I have gotten organic produce shipped to our house by Misfits for over a year. It’s never once disappointed me. Every fruit and vegetable is super fresh and packed with flavor. I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy! I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $10 on your first order. 

New Jersey’s Jelly Donut Heaven

I just had a jelly donut. And it changed everything.

You guys are going to start thinking I work for them. I don’t. But I could be persuaded for enough free donuts.

Francesca’s Bakery has locations in Clifton and Pequannock and also pops up at farmer’s markets across New York City. It was at a farmer’s market in midtown that I first encountered their scrumptious baked goods.

As you bite into their jelly donut, your mouth enters a cloud of cinnamon sugar. The outside is crisp and sweet. The inside: pillowy, soft and moist.

When you reach the jelly, you’ll find an intense flavor of fresh strawberries. And don’t worry, they don’t skimp on the jelly.

Other fine offerings from Francesca’s

With Hanukkah coming up, I can’t think of a better place to get the traditional jelly donut. I may be a gentile, but something tells me I’ll be scarfing a few anyway.

Have a great weekend everyone!

More on food:

NJ’s Best Apple Cider Donut

The Best Mexican Food Is In…New Jersey?

The Best Bakery in NYC (It’s Not Levain)

If you found this post interesting, please share it on Twitter/Reddit/etc. using the buttons at the bottom of the page. This helps more people find the blog! 

Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Amazon Business American Express Card

You already shop on Amazon. Why not save $100?

If you’re approved for this card, you get a $100 Amazon gift card. You also get up to 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, 2% on restaurants/gas stations/cell phone bills, and 1% everywhere else.

Best of all: No fee!

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 and returns have been good so far. More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get your management fees waived for 90 days. With their 1% management fee, this could save you $250 on a $100,000 account.

iHerb

The only place I buy vitamins and supplements. I recently placed an order and received it in less than 48 hours with free shipping! I compared the prices and they were lower than Amazon. I also love how they test a lot of the vitamins so that you know you’re getting what the label says. This isn’t always the case with supplements.

Use this link to save 5%! 

Misfits Market

My wife and I have gotten organic produce shipped to our house by Misfits for over a year. It’s never once disappointed me. Every fruit and vegetable is super fresh and packed with flavor. I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy! I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $10 on your first order. 

NYC’s Best Chinese Noodles

A wiry young man takes a small baton of dough from a tub. He flattens it and gives it a little stretch. Then, he quickly yanks it out to a length of several feet and dramatically slaps it back down. Whack, whack!

This is Very Fresh Noodles in New York City. Found inside the cavernous Chelsea Market, it’s served chewy, hand pulled noodles to drooling patrons since 2016.

I visited last Friday with my wife. I pretended to pore over the menu, but I knew what my stomach really needed: La Mei Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup.

The bowl was soon in front of me, steaming and filled to the brim. Just picking up the noodles with your chopsticks will whet your appetite. They’re thick, luscious, and glistening from the broth.

I greedily shoveled them into my mouth. The texture and flavor were perfect. The soup was aromatic and spicy, tasting of star anise. The beef is rich, incredibly tender, and falls apart in your mouth. At first I looked for extra chili oil, but soon realized I didn’t need it. These spices have a delayed reaction!

Very Fresh Noodles also has a scorching Dan Dan Mian and numerous vegetarian dishes, including the toothsome mock duck my wife ordered. There is counter seating inside and lots more comfortable seats along the sidewalk, some covered.

I’ve never had better Chinese noodles. If you’re in the area, give it a try!

Have a great Labor Day weekend everyone!

More on food:

The Best Bakery in NYC (It’s Not Levain)

The Best Mexican Food Is In…New Jersey?

NJ’s Best Apple Cider Donut

If you found this post interesting, please share it on Twitter/Reddit/etc. using the buttons at the bottom of the page. This helps more people find the blog! 

Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Amazon Business American Express Card

You already shop on Amazon. Why not save $100?

If you’re approved for this card, you get a $100 Amazon gift card. You also get up to 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, 2% on restaurants/gas stations/cell phone bills, and 1% everywhere else.

Best of all: No fee!

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 and returns have been good so far. More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get your management fees waived for 90 days. With their 1% management fee, this could save you $250 on a $100,000 account.

iHerb

The only place I buy vitamins and supplements. I recently placed an order and received it in less than 48 hours with free shipping! I compared the prices and they were lower than Amazon. I also love how they test a lot of the vitamins so that you know you’re getting what the label says. This isn’t always the case with supplements.

Use this link to save 5%! 

Misfits Market

My wife and I have gotten organic produce shipped to our house by Misfits for over a year. It’s never once disappointed me. Every fruit and vegetable is super fresh and packed with flavor. I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy! I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $10 on your first order.