Category Archives: Restaurant Review

GERMANY!

Probably you think Andie and I are extremely elegant foodies with refined palates and probably you think that we eat  foie gras and escargot and, probably, you are right. Except, no you aren’t. Andie and I are from Texas: we are not  refined. We like street meat, Doritos and BEER, German beer.

Both Andie and I are lucky to have found a boy  as easy to please as we are, and this weekend, one of those boys had a big birthday

This photo posted without his permission

This photo posted without his permission

To celebrate, we took this bum to Zum Schneider, an indoor Bavarian beergarden on Avenue C on that lowaiside. If you are looking for a loud, rowdy place to eat pretzels,  drink huge beers, and scream a lot, WE’VE FOUND IT.

Now, this particular night, Andie had already made me a delicious dinner of leftovers from Dinosaur Bar B-Que (another New York must) but once we got to the bar and I looked at the menu, I knew this was gonna be one of those two dinner evenings.

In an effort to not be a fat kid, I went with an Appetizer. I ordered “Schupfnudeln im Sauerkraut ” – which loosely translates to “YUM!” No, actually its, “Hand rolled, pan fried crispy potato dumplings tossed in sauerkraut”. Oh damn, my mouth just watered.

Andie’s camera sucks, so here’s a blurry picture of my Potato-Cabbage Delight:

This picture does no justice

This picture does no justice

 

The potatoes were crispy and soft at the same time , and the Sauerkraut  was DELICIOUS – salty perfection!

To wash down the sodium, I started with a big ass $7 Schneider Weisse (wheat beer) followed by a really smooth Jever Pilsener. Andie started with a Würzburger Pilsener, that she claims to have loved, followed by the Reissdorf Kölsch (lager), an Augustiner Edelstoff (the birthday boy’s favorite) andddddd a drunken bedtime. Great night – well spent with friends and beer: they go together like me and fabulosity, or Andie and fringed cowboy boots. HAHA!

Bye Bye!

Bye Bye!

Top 5 Smackdown

I have basically nothing to say about last night’s Top Chef. Well, nothing too snarky, anyway. I though it was a fantastic episode from start to finish. I loved the quickfire, especially the always deliciously nerdy Wylie Dufrense, in whose restaurant Ben and I celebrated our one year anniversary with Popcorn Soup, Waygu skirt steak, and foie gras. It was certainly the most uniquely yummy meal I’ve ever had, and I’ll never forget how nicely the staff treated us. I’m always happy to be properly waited on, particularly in New York. But I digress…

I also loved the Elimination Challenge: it was FABULOUS. It gave the chefs the chance to just cook something and cook it well. Plus, we at home got to play our own, “What would your last meal be?” game. Mine: Tex-Mex. Easy, no question. Chips and  fresh salsa, guacamole, tamales, rice and beans, I’m happy. That, or pepperoni pizza. And Mac&Cheese. Damn! Other picks I heard: fillet Mignon, ribs, and biscuits & sausage gravy. mmmmmmm

The standout last night, and for the past couple of nights was, OBVIOUSLY, Carla. 

"like this"

First she made a great looking take on “Green Eggs & Ham”, and then she rocked the Elimination Challenge with Squab and Peas…of all things! Is she fantastic or what?

I heard a bit of dissension from my Top Chef crew last night about Carla’s abilities, credentials and whether she really deserves to be in the top 4, but ultimately I think she does, and here’s why: she’s learned. Carla had all these problems stemming from her inability to focus and her tendency to do too much, but she learned, and she fixed them! She realized, “this isn’t working,” so she went another direction: good, simple, great tasting food, and guess what? It hits the mark every time!

 

I hate when the cheftestants, like Hosea, make all this fuss about “Do I go all out? Do I go traditional? Hows my facial hair?” etc. Look, its not what you do that matters, its HOW you do it, and if you don’t get that by now, then you are going to lose. Make. good. food. that’s it.

Another stand out last night: my lover Fabio who, with total class and stick-to-it-iveness, made a whole meal with only 9 fingers, and he didn’t even flaunt his handi-capability to the table of Chefs when he introduced his dish. Now THAT takes restraint, seriously!! Bravo, Fabio! You deserve 2 of those HUGE bottles of wine.

Total shit-shows: Leah, Hosea and Padma. Leah, Hosea: go away. I’m so glad Leah finally went home, it only would have been better if she’d taken Hosea with her. Hosea – you suck. You think Stefan is your only competition and I predict that that will be your undoing. And Padma, were you um… cold?

YOWZA!

YOWZA!

And maybe…um…STONED? C’mon! I get why you would partake of the herb before eating a HUGE delicious meal, but on on TV, Padma! Kids watch this show!

Best Padma line of the night: “Your two kinds of Spinach tasted like one kind of Spinach.” THANKS!

Anyway, I’m satisfied with the final four, and I’m excited to see what happens in New Orleans. Preview: GAIL RETURNS, Fabio expresses his new found love for the Sex Pistols, and Carla meets a hair straightener. GOOD TIMES! 

Poll:

Dissapointment of a Lifetime: Mesa Grill

There are very fews things I like better than comming home around 11 on a Saturday night (yes, I’m boring) getting into my PJs (and slovenly) laying on the couch (not to mention lazy!) and turning on the TV to see watch my 2nd favorite (may be moving to first favorite anyday now) food show: IRON CHEF: AMERICA!

The Chairman!

The Chairman!

Everyone has their favorite Iron Chef, mine has always been Bobby Flay: a man with a love for Southwestern Cuisine is a man after my own heart! With EVERYTHING Bobby makes I take one look at it and go, “OOO -Jalepeno crusted Swodfish with saffron herb oil – THAT’S what I want to eat!” So, when restaurant week rolled around this year, I got mad excited when Ben, being the good boyfriend that he is, got us reservations at Bobby’s restuarant, Mesa Grill. I’d been DYING to try this place, y’all! BIG NIGHT!! So excited!!

SO how was it? Well, let me try and sum it up in a word or two.

How ’bout… yuck?

Or maybe …ick? or blech! Or maybe even, “GOOD GOD!”

It was bad, y’all. Like, real bad. Like – Ben ordered a steak medium and it came out burned on the outside and pink on the inside. And I ordered a $21 Cornmeal Encrusted Chille Relleno and, while it was ok, it was maybe 5 bites and came with no side dish. The salad we split was literaly hearts of romain with creamy garlic dressing and 3 croutons…like, If I wanted a pretty good, heavy ceasar salad, I woulda made a reservation  at La Madeleine. Honestly, we didn’t even stay for dessert it was so bad. Really, I’ve had yummier meals at Chili’s. MMMMM, Chili’s.

Luckily we saved the night with a trip to the Momofuku Milk Bar on 13th and 2nd Ave where we split a peiece of candy bar pie. DDDDDDDDDDlish! I will be going back for the “Crack Pie,” if anyone wants to make a date.

Moral of the story – Bobby Flay = BAD! I am strictly a Batali supporter from now on.

DC Celebs that Aren’t Obama

So the Grocery Hags took a lil trip to DC this weekend to have a reunion with their two favorite people. There was shopping, cooking, and of course eating, involved.

Once such eating adventure took us to a burger joint near the Eastern Market. Maybe you know the chef of Good Stuff Eatery?

Complete with Hat

Complete with Hat

Yep – Spike from TC4!!!! He was manning the grill where there was a special Inauguration weekend menu. I clearly had the Obama burger – with red onion marmalade, horseradish mayo, and blue cheese (red, white and blue – GET IT?!?! Not gonna lie…I didn’t at first). It was delish. And Allie enjoyed her Turkey Burger. Plus, fries come with dipping sauces other than ketchup / mustard – Allie loved the Old Bay mayo but I prefered the Chipotle one. Anyone who knows me knows my love of dip – they are key.

I gained a little more respect for Spike (I wasn’t a fan of his last season) while at this restaurant. I loved that he was there, manning the grill, posing for pictures (by our star-struck yet doesn’t really love TC friend), and wearing funny hats. And it’s a family owned place – his adorable father owns the restaurant and spends his days upstairs finding empty tables, cleaning up and generally being a happy camper. After we polished off everything on the table, we chatted with him a bit. Papa Mendelsohn was so proud of Spike and was thrilled when he decided to become a chef. However, Spike apparently didn’t tell the fam he was going to be on Top Chef until AFTER filming. Scandal?

UH OH! Breaking News!

tomuhoh

 Tom Colicchio has gotta be shaking in his apron this morning after reading this from NYTimes.com this morning:

 Tom Colicchio, the celebrity restaurateur and judge on Bravo’s popular “Top Chef” television show,was sued in Federal court on Thursday by a former waitress who accused the company of misappropriating employee tips, withholding some overtime pay and sometimes failing to pay minimum wage. Mr. Colicchio’s restaurants — including Craft, Craftbar and Craftsteak — were also named in the lawsuit, shown below.

In the lawsuit, the waitress, Nessa Rapone, who used to work at the bustling, moderately priced Craftbar restaurant at 900 Broadway between 19th and 20th Streets, asserted that the company improperly shared employee tips with supervisors, did not keep proper time records and illegally retaliated by firing her when she protested…

The lawsuit asserted that the alleged unlawful conduct was “pursuant to a corporate policy or practice of minimizing labor costs and denying employees compensation by knowingly violating” federal and state wage and hour laws.”

 

Tom, I’m ashamed! Although not that surprised. My buddy Angu Pagu worked at Craft for a [short] time, and he did not enjoy it one. bit. Maybe his disdain was due to actions such as the ones hi-lited in this law suit.

For shame, Colicchio, for shame!

-Allie

PS: Thanks to Benny for the tip!