Tag Archives: Eating out

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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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

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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. 

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. 

I Ate the Best Burger of My Life Outside in the Dead of Winter

Find this and eat it!

I celebrated my 35th birthday this weekend! My wife very kindly arranged for a hotel staycation in New York City, along with an outstanding meal. But there was one little problem. All indoor dining is closed in NYC. And it’s January.

I used my winter camping experience to my advantage, swaddling myself in a base layer, down jacket, winter coat, and a fur hat fit for Siberia. We hustled to the Upper West Side.

I was afraid we’d freeze solid, but we arrived at Bar Boulud to find a beautiful outdoor setup. They basically built a building on the sidewalk, with one side open for ventilation. That side faced the sidewalk, not the street, so no wind entered, and we were surrounded by huge heaters that kept us very comfortable. I was encouraged to see every table booked!

We both ordered the outstanding Frenchie Burger. The flavor of the beef was intense, especially for someone like me who rarely eats meat, and it was topped with unctuous pork belly and oozing melted raclette cheese. A triumph! If you’re in the New York area and like burgers, this is a must-have.

As we sipped coffee, I looked across the street to Lincoln Center, where my wife and I had enjoyed ballets and symphonies in the past. It occurred to me that being outside right now was not a hardship, but rather a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. There will be no outdoor dining next January. This beautiful structure will be taken down and never seen again. This was our one chance to enjoy this winter wonderland. And we savored it.

I encourage you to think of today’s situation as not merely negative. To be sure, many are suffering now, and we must do what we can to help. But there are also unique experiences available today that will probably never be seen again. Get out there and enjoy them! Make some memories!

Outdoor dining, even in the 28 degrees we found ourselves in on Saturday, is very doable and really quite fun. We were only slightly chilly, which was quickly overcome by hot coffee and delicious food. The fancier restaurants in particular have amazing outdoor setups that make the experience comfortable and memorable. My friend Jim* recently had a business dinner at Peter Luger Steakhouse in Brooklyn in a private little cabana and found himself entirely comfortable.

Give it a shot and make a happy memory in this unique time!

*Not his real name