Photos by Jacob Romoser
Vegetarian Special
In a feeble attempt to curb my pizza craving I figured I'd post some pics from a recent lunch trip to Colicchio & Sons The Lot on Tap at The Highline.

Nearly every day from 11 a.m. until who knows when the city's best food trucks come to sell pizza, tacos, lobster rolls, ice cream sandwiches--you name it and they've probably got it.

Eddie's Pizza is a regular at The Lot and they've got a "bar" size pie that is just right for lunch with a few slices leftover for dinner.
Buffalo Chicken
Eddie's Vegetarian Special was light, crisp and fresh. The dough was just thick enough that you get a nice crunch, but not too thick that it overpowers the rest of the flavors. Peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach and broccoli came together in a sweet pizza symphony that left me fully satisfied without feeling overly full or like I just downed a bucket of grease.

The Buffalo Chicken was just as light and satisfying, although I would have enjoyed a side of ranch.

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Milkshake
BareBurger isn't just a burger joint for milkshake and meat enthusiasts, it's an organic haven of all natural cheeses and free-range, grass-fed meats. This is no hippy-dippy dive. The place was so busy when a group of friends and I stopped through, we opted for an outside table just so we could slurp up pre-dinner milkshakes.

The restaurant's chocolate and peanut butter milkshake is made with organic ice cream and milk, and you better believe you can taste the difference. I decided I was just going to take a few bites from my boyfriend. Bad idea.

Rich, creamy and bursting with flavor, I had to refrain from snatching it away and downing the whole thing before he could even blink. It was just like a Reese's cup, except better, and not full of processed garbage.
Pesto Red Pepper Burger
My favorite part about BareBurger is the interchangeable menu. It gives meat suggestions and a plethora of sauces that'll make your head spin. First, choose meats like elk, lamb, bison or ostrich and what type of bun you'd like (whole wheat, brioche). From there, let your imagination run wild.

I opted for the Pesto Red Pepper Burger, a creation of smoked mozzarella, roasted red peppers, baby spinach, cajun spiced chicken and BareBurger pesto mayo. Together the cajun spiced chicken and mozzarella added a nice smokiness to the dish, while the pesto mayo was a perfect, moist touch.

BareBurger special sauce, spicy chipotle mayo, peppercorn steak sauce, chipotle ketchup, curry ketchup.
Of course you can't have a burger without onion rings and French fries. The platter of dipping sauces that came with it were amazing. It was extra fun to try and guess which was which and identify the flavor nuances. The chipotle ketchup added a nice kick to a classic favorite, while the special sauce was a slam dunk with the crunchy onion rings.
Onion Rings & Fries
I didn't try any of the other burgers that were ordered, but by the end of the meal none of us had anything left on our plates. The fries, sauces, milkshakes and onion rings were even picked clean.

Next time, I'd like to sit inside, and I promise to order my own milkshake.

Ribs from Baker's Ribs - Dallas, TX
Sorry for the long absence. Getting settled in New York has taken far longer than I anticipated.  Finding furniture, moving my junk and stuffing my face at cool venues has made life a little hectic (okay, a lot hectic).

When I saw a flyer for the Big Apple BBQ Festival I knew this little piece of southern comfort was calling my name. I'm not one of those people that craves juicy, delicious, meaty ribs. I don't covet coleslaw, and I'm not a BBQ sauce connoisseur. I am, however, a fan of delicious food made with a little extra TLC.

As the weekend approached, so did the rain. I was determined not to let a torrential downpour ruin my plans. I pulled on my galoshes, grabbed an umbrella and hit the streets to see what this BBQ festival was really all about.
No caption necessary. They're finger lickin' good!
My first stop was Baker's Ribs. Now, I wish I could tell you I had a very strategic plan for where to stop and what to eat. Baker's had the shortest line that was moving quickly, and it had ribs. By the luck of the BBQ gods I found a winner. The ribs were tender and smoked to perfection. The meat was almost too good to degrade by putting sauce on top. Just a smidge of BBQ was all it took to bring out the dry rub seasoning and delicious flavor.
Pork shoulder from Blackjack BBQ - Charleston, SC
I was so enamored with those ribs, I wanted more BBQ and I wanted it immediately. Next on the list was pulled pork shoulder from Blackjack Barbecue. The line was a little bit longer, but I thought that meant it'd be worth the wait. Wrong. Although the BBQ sauce itself had great flavor, the meat was dry and the coleslaw was bland. Sorry Blackjack, I'm not a fan.
Blue Smoke Dessert & Bake Shop - New York, NY
I know I probably should have tried Blue Smoke's ribs instead of its dessert, but I'm a sucker for blueberry crumble. Make it a la mode and I'm a goner. After just one blueberry-filled bite I swear I melted into the pavement. Gooey, creamy, crunchy--all of the varying textures kept my mouth guessing. Not too sweet or rich, I had to refrain from going back for seconds.
Photos by Jacob Romoser
Crispy Artichokes
I was in search of a restaurant below the radar, ready to explode as the new "it" place to be, yet still down-to-earth enough you didn't have to go to culinary school to read the menu.

Then I found Tenpenny.

As I stepped inside The Gotham Hotel on 46th Street, I was immediately immersed in warmth. The kind of warmth you can only get from tables reminiscent of cutting boards, bookshelves that belong in a basement library and red walls filled with knickknacks, bottles and exposed brick.
Full plate of Crispy Artichokes
With the option of snack-size bites and full-on appetizers it was hard to choose which would go best with my featured barbera d'alba wine. I'm a huge fan of anything with artichokes, and Chef Christopher Cipollon's crispy twist piqued my interest.

Served over a lemon aioli with hickory-smoked trout roe, the Crispy Artichokes have ruined me forever. Never again will I be satisfied with anything else. To my surprise, the inside of the artichoke was creamy and rich, while the roe added a playful pop when I chewed. The aioli was perfect for keeping the artichoke from tasting too dry. 
Porchetta Ravioli
Ordering an entree was easy, Jake and I tend to have the same taste in pasta and couldn't wait to swap bites back and forth. His Porchetta Ravioli blew me away.

Salvatore smoked ricotta, broccoli rabe, poached egg and crusty bread were a flavorgasm like I've never experienced. All of the different textures joined together in a sweet symphony of flavors, with a pleasing spicy aftertaste.
Potato Gnocchi
Gnocchi is my favorite type of pasta. Normally I like it plain with pesto, but this dressed up Potato Gnocchi was smooth, buttery and slightly sweet. The butter-poached lobster, frothed sweet corn and fava beans made an almost soup like sauce for the delicate, soft gnocchi. The frothed sweet corn was light and airy, while the lobster added a needed hearty balance to the dish.

I can't wait to go back for lunch. The Truffled Steak Hoagie and Pork Belly 'Tots are calling my name.    
On my first night as an official Astoria resident it was hard to choose where I wanted dinner. The dozens of restaurants on my block alone were filled with seemingly happy patrons. How was a girl to decide? The second I saw the red flower outside Watawa, however, I knew I'd found the sushi jackpot.

With bright red walls and zen-like decor, I relaxed into my seat hoping Watawa lived up to my Gainesville favorite, Bento. I love you Bento, but I think I've found a new love in Watawa's sushi rolls.
Edamame & Shumai
It's been my personal opinion that a restaurant's Edamame says a lot about them. If it's undercooked, not salty enough or just plain gross, I find the sushi isn't all that great either. Fortunately, Watawa's edamame was cooked well and its Shumai, or Japanese steamed shrimp dumplings, were even better.

The presentation was delicate yet fun and the sauce added a nice sweetness to the dumplings. The dumplings weren't what I expected, with an almost cake-like texture and juicy shrimp center I wanted far more than five of them.
Dynamite Roll
Jake played it safe with a Dynamite Roll, spicy tuna topped with crunchy, spicy crabmeat. The texture of the crunchy tempura flakes went well with the soft tuna center. I was lucky he even shared a few bites before devouring the rest.
Irine Roll
After traveling all day, I was absolutely famished. The Irine Roll with blackened tuna, asparagus and avocado, topped with yellowtail, eel, tuna and salmon, plus wasabi mayo, spicy mayo and eel sauce hit the spot. I loved the colorful, over-the-top presentation.

All of the fish was extremely fresh and the flavors went surprisingly well together. The crisp asparagus paired well with the creamy avocado, while the wasabi mayo added a nice heat to the dish.

After practically licking my plate clean, I took a to-go menu. You better believe I fully intend to become a frequent customer.

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