Kick Ass Kosher and Gluten Free

I know a thing or two about gluten free. My husband has Celiacs Disease (CD), so it's not an option for him to have anything with flour. CD is not an allergy. There is no magic pill or supplement he can take to make bread, cookies, pies, cakes, etc. tolerable. It is a complete lifestyle change to eat gluten free and those with CD have no choice in the matter.
So, while he lives with it every day, I don't, but I still feel as though we should both be eating the same things when we dine together as a family.
When I saw that Manischewitz made egg noodles and gluten free cakes - I was skeptical but pretty excited about it! I have a slew of gf items to try out the next few days!
We made lamb sausage with the gluten free noodles tonight and WOW! Again, I have had my share of gluten free pasta. Some good, but most not so good. Manischewitz really makes a kick-ass gluten free egg noodle. Kosher, of course, too! Even if you don't need gluten free for health or dietary reasons, give them a try!!
I'll keep you posted on the cakes and other goodies when I prepare them. I was so happy about how this dish turned out, I had to post this. :)

Pearls of Wisdom in NYC

A mere few years ago, I never heard of bubble tea.
Now, I can't get enough of it.
Well, I *can*... I guess should rephrase that to, "now I'd like to consume more bubble tea than is humanly possible."
If you can't make it to Chinatown or K-town for this unique beverage, there are a few others around the city. Here are 2 of my personal B.T. staples due to their location:
Kung Fu Bubble Tea on 10th Street btw 1st and 2nd Ave
-or-
Coco Bubble Tea on 45th St at Lexington (next to Rickshaw)
My fave is either just green tea with the tapioca pearls or taro milk tea (half sugar).
If you have a favorite, let me know which one and where! I'm always on the look out for more bubble tea bliss!

No Pie on My Face

UPDATE October 24, 2012:
I've been here now 3 times. EACH time I have ordered a different item. I also refuse to pay $4.95 for iced tea or give them any money for their overpriced drinks. In fact, I refuse to go there EVER now. That means NO money of mine will enter one of their cash registers from this point forward. Quite frankly, neither should yours!
As cute as their logo is, the food is awful and has CONSISTENTLY given me an honest-to-God stomach ache after consuming their products. AVOID AVOID AVOID.
Sorry, Pie Face. You're not welcome in my life anymore.

Original post:
I entered Pie Face on 34th and 3rd with great hopes. There's been a lot of hype about this Australian chain hitting the Big Apple.
I had a mixed sampling, as this seems like a cute bakery with great potential. I ordered a savory BBQ pulled pork pie, a mini pumpkin pie and a flour-less chocolate dessert. I also ordered a drink.
What it boiled down to:
I left with being overcharged for an iced tea ($4.95?!), a super sugary pumpkin tart and a bad stomach ache about an hour later. :(

Found My Zen Place

It isn't about the atmosphere, it's about finding a good, quick bite while out and about.
I had heard a lot about Zen Palate in the past, but know what high rents knocked it out of some locations in the city, permanently.
So I guess they have a new home in Murray Hill (3rd Ave btw 34th and 35th)- and God knows we need better restaurants with more choices in this section of Manhattan!
Without a doubt: They are a welcome addition to the neighborhood!!
What I found: solid and very good vegetarian dishes. The Zen burger with yam fries was quite tasty, although I think I'll order curry next time! The tofu was marinated to have a great texture (like real chicken but much more flavorful).
Meal was fast and affordable. They still have a grand opening sign out front. Worth checking out and take advantage of their special pricing.

What's in a Name?

Just curious to know from anyone who might read this:
What do you think of the term, "foodie"?
I personally do not like it, but it is what people quickly referred to me when I would discuss wine and cuisine with them. "Oh! You must be one of those foodies!" they'd say. I would look a little bewildered, because I didn't know that a love of food had a name associated with it.
So I named my blog... But I question that choice. A lot. Isn't there something more clever? More appropriate yet witty?
I'm searching for something more "me" - so of you have any thoughts, I'm listening.
Thanks,
~v

Service or Quality

What is more important to you? Having a high level of service or getting a fantastic meal?
Can you even compare? Is it fair to even try?
Even a so-called hole in the wall or a dive bar can have impeccable service with a spectacular meal.
But is there a distinction between the two?
A place near my apartment had friendly service but the food was sub-par. Desi-Shack is just one of those places that I'm not sure they will survive until next month.
Then there are places like Crif Dogs or even Shake Shack where people line up to be treated in a rush... But the food is legit and albeit kinda' unhealthy.
I'm confused. It's also a tad late, and I'm trying to keep my 30-day daily bit challenge going. I could use a weigh in here, though. What do you find more important -or are they equal? Does it even matter?

Everyday - A Little Sumthin' Sumthin'....

Tasteless, Not Worthy of ANYONE's TIME or Precious Money.
After waiting 2 hours for food delivery -of quite possibly, one of the world's worse chains (as in, I would place this craphole below McDonald's), I've decided that I need to post at LEAST one little tiny bit each day.
While I may not be able to provide a full-run-down type review, at least it's something on a regular basis.
Like many bloggers, I feel as though I don't post enough. However, with technology allowing me to post on specific times and days, just with a quick scheduling button, you never know if I just posted this, or wrote it the day/week/hour before! So it works, all around.
Most importantly, I want fresh content. Just like my food - I don't want anything that is stale.
So.... with that in mind, I'm going to try this out, at least for the next 30 days, to post about a food experience. If that works, I'll keep up the efforts. Let me know what you think.
Oh! And today, my food experience was downright, filthy awful. I was completely ripped off by this place - so much that I should report a crime.
So I beseech you:
AVOID BONCHON.





New & Notable in Nolita: Ken & Cook

Ken and Cook
I love trying out new restaurants -especially since I am guilty of going to some favorites a bit too often. It is so easy to go to an old "stand by" instead of seeking out something different at times.
So when I put "Ken & Cook" on the list to review, I went open-minded to Nolita - however, there was a bit of an expectation. After all, the place has touted Jean Georges alum...
Arriving to the location, I already knew that I was in a place that was trendy and had a nightlife vibe -you could just feel it, even so I was there for the first seating of the evening.
I saw a youthful crowd, but they weren't pretentious or overly annoying. It was actually a mix of hipsters with soccer moms/dads all mingling in the welcoming space. Plus, I was seated by the sidewalk and I could people watch. Nothing like watching a little NYC freak show while dining. It works.
Just like the menu.
For starters, I selected squid salad. The yogurt was fresh and the squid was tender and sweet. One small item of note: there were extra spicy-hot peppers that literally brought tears to my eyes -and a lot of water was needed to wash down the heat. I would have liked a warning NOT to consume them - or better yet, they should have been removed from the dish before serving. Seriously a delicious dish, just AVOID the peppers. It's not worth losing your taste buds, because there are some other items you should definitely try.
Squid Salad - Do you see the hidden peppers?!
For example, the mussels and steak tartar - two very good (separate) dishes that are flavorful, and not overwhelming. They are both found on many menus in NYC, and Ken and Cook do adequate justice to them.
Two seafood entrees worthy of your time: the monkfish and the black bass. In my review notes, I wrote, "Monkfish - wow! I don't like fennel, but I LOVE this dish!!!" (I took a photo, but lighting made it really awful to look at, so I'm not using it - especially when this dish is incredible and truly a not-to-miss item.)
The bass, likewise, had delicate micro-greens and these tiny, delicious clams. The expression, "Yum yum!!" was written down in my notes. Seems like a theme.
Overall, what I enjoyed most about Ken and Cook was that that dishes were not overly complex, yet there was a distinctive quality to savor and truly enjoy.
Black Bass - YUM!
What I missed was an opportunity to try the much-talked-about chocolate cake that so many other reviewers mentioned. I ended up with berries in marscapone -which was gratifying with the honey citrus - it just wasn't... well... chocolate!
Many MANY thanks to our waiter, Marcus! He'll help you with the menu and the extensive wine list with a smile.
Also, a big thank you to David Gonzalez for making the evening a memorable one and encouraging a prompt return. I will be back! Soon! (Just get the cake ready, ok? And call me to let me know it's back!)

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