Best Places to Eat in NYC

New York City..how I love you. I really just love the place. I wouldn’t move there but I do love it. I think I love it so much because every time I go it’s based on food and shopping. If you let me spend the day eating and shopping it would be the best day ever for me. So basically those 5 days in NYC were the best days ever! ūüėČ

The Milk Bar

 I have always read/heard about The Milk Bar, so I decided this would be the trip I finally visited.

I enjoyed it so much I went twice. And both times it was amazing.

Birthday Cake Truffles- They were a mix between a cookie dough texture and a cake ball. I am IN love! Literally in LOVE. One of the best things I have EVER eaten…EVER!! Seriously amazing. I can not speak highly enough of these damn birthday cake truffles.

Crack Pie- Another absolutely scrumptious delicious amazing slice of heaven!! I felt like the texture was that of a lemon bar but it was a buttery, carmely, toffeey ish flavor.

Ess-a-Bagel

Bagel + Cream Cheese= YUMM-O

Bagels. I absolutely love them, especially if it’s an everything or cheese bagel or if I am feeling extra special a cheese & everything bagel. I visited Ess-a- Bagel for the first time this trip. When we arrived it was busy. We got in line and waited to order. Once I ordered the bagels I went to the register to pay, it took FOREVER. It was really annoying, as I had hot food and was just waiting to eat! It was worth the wait!

We had a Garlic Bagel with bacon, egg and cheese. It was very tasty. The bagel was like GARLIC obsessed. Coming from a garlic lover, I really think the bagel had too much garlic. I never thought I would ever say there was such a thing as too much garlic. But this was it!

We also ordered an Everything Bagel with cream cheese. It was scrumptious. We enjoyed every bite!

Morandi 

My best friend lives in New York City and I often speak to her as she is leaving work for the day. She passes an Italian restaurant on her way home that is always packed. When I last visited we decided to go. That night we had a reservation so we didn’t have to wait. The restaurant was warm and inviting. We sat towards the back.

We ordered lots of food.

Grilled Artichoke Hearts

Butternut Squash Salad

Buffalo Mozzarella

Sausage Stuffed Olive Breaded & Deep Fried

Meatballs

Polpettine alla siciliana
meatballs with pine nuts & raisins

Pici al limone
hand-rolled spaghetti with lemon & parmesan

Paccheri con rag√ļ alla napoletana
large pouch pasta with pork ragu & caciocavallo cheese

Fettuccine di castagne con gamberi e zucca
chestnut pasta with shrimp, squash & black kale

Spaghetti Bolgnese w/ Meatballs

The food was amazing at Morandi, honestly not one bad thing to say about the place. Honestly give it a go, you will not regret it!

Max Brenner Chocolate Bar

I fell in love with Max Brenner Chocolate Bar in Australia. I was there for 16 days in February and visited good ol max 14 of those days. This place is honestly AMAZING! I fell in love everytime we went.

As soon as I knew I was going to NYC I knew I would be visiting the Max Brenner in the city. We went and it was the WORST experience I have ever had. The customer service was hideous. Honestly I have never experienced anything like it. Even the manager was a joke. Coming from the business I know things happen, you run out of ingredients, mistakes are made, some staff are not the politest but seriously this place was horrible.

Luckily, I have already experienced the amazingness of Max Brenner so I did on let this affect me, compltely. I will probably never return to the NYC location. Luckily there is a location in Las Vegas that I  visited last week that was great, just like all the locations in Australia.

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

 Clinton St. Baking

Clinton St. Baking was also a first for this trip. We went for breakfast with full intentions of getting the famous blueberry pancakes. But it never happened. I will be going back to try the pancakes. The french toast we had was spectacular. I loved every bite!

Farmers Plate

photo 1

Brioche French Toast w/ Caramelized Bananas, Pecans & Maple Syrup

photo 2

 

Alice’s Tea Cup

We wanted to go to Alices Tea Cup for brunch on Saturday but when we finally got there around 1:45pm the wait was 1hr 30 minutes. It was sad but we could not wait.. We were so hungry! I made sure to grab a berry scone before we left and I am glad I did. It was one of the moistest scones I have ever had.

photo 3

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Olive Pit, Brea CA

One  my favorite places to go for lunch or dinner is definitely Olive Pit. I discovered this place about 1 1/2 ago. Once it was discovered it become a hit in my life. Olive Pit is doing something right because it is always popping in there!

Mainly, I don’t think there are a lot of mediterranean eateries in North Orange County. So, Olive Pit is filling that void. And doing a good job I might add.

I generally like to eat here because it is so tasty and to me it is a healthy meal. 90% of the time I order the Mediterranean Salad with grilled Salmon. The salad is fresh chopped romain, fresh feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers and olives (which I omit). I absolutely LOOOVE it I could eat is every day.

Olive Pit is not a table service restaurant. But is on the high side of the price range for a order and sit down¬†restaurant. If you order one of the “family” meals though it is not expensive at all. I went with my mother and sister the other day and we ordered the largest family meal. It consisted off a roasted whole chicken, 3 kabobs, and 3 small sides. We chose the Mediterranean salad, Roasted Artichoke Hearts and Basmati Rice. We also ordered a side of hummus.

Go to Olive Pit for lunch or dinner.

Steak Skewers

Roasted Artichoke Hearts

Steamed Basmati Rice w/ Tazitki Sauce

Roasted Chicken

Pita Bread

Mediterranean Salad

Hummus & Pita Bread

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Sur La Table

A¬†store filled with heavenly items. I constantly find things I didn’t know I needed but now know I NEED! There are so many cool gadgets and cute stuff. I absolutely love it. It is a dangerous store for me though! I can spend WAY too much money. Everytime I visit I always have really friendly and helpful staff ūüôā

I was in Santa Barbara a few weeks ago and picked up a few things but I wanted to go back to get some more things especially some presents for my sisters new apartment and my mom got a new oven. Well I received an email that they were having ¬†sale, needless to say I was at Sur La Table, Costa Mesa later that day ¬†ūüôā

I picked up the cutest cupcake liners, some matching aprons, oven mits, pot holders and tea to

wels, a new 9 X13 inch pan and a new BPA free plastic container. I have never used a pan from the brand Sur La Table so I am interested to see how it works.

Below are some pictures of my purchase. I think you should all go to Sur La Table like NOW and pick up on the great deals! ūüôā

PS I am so excited to take some cooking classes there!! Has anyone else?

This is a picture from my recent trip

Cupcake Liners:

Seriously all these are WAY too cute how could I say no?

Aprons, Tea Towels, Pot Holders, Oven Mits

Pans & Containers 


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The Stinking Rose

Growing up my family has a tradition of going up to LA for the day. In recent years  we have started at The Grove to get some shopping done and then head to St. James Episcopal Church for a service, ending the evening at the one and only Norms for dinner. We go about two weeks before Christmas every year. Growing up as kids we hated going down for church it felt like the service lasted all night. But by the end of the night we were rewarded with a delicious hot fudge brownie sundae.

Every time we drove to Norms on La Cienega Blvd. we drove past The Stinking Rose. I always watched the restaurant as we drove to Norms.Once I realized it was a restaurant based on garlic I knew I had to go. It has taken years but I finally went last friday night!!

My boyfriend took me there as a surprise. I had no idea. We were “lost in LA” and as soon as we turned on to La Cinega I yelled out “The Stinking Rose” and sure enough a minute or so later we pulled up. I always seem to guess were we are going. Blindfold or not! ūüėČ I am so lucky to have someone who wants to surprise me and thinks of places I love!

Anyways we had a reservation, but it appeared it was not necessary. It was a very large restaurant  We were tucked in a little table underneath a black and white tent. We sat down and were immediately given some water and garlic rolls by a server helper/busser. The waiter came over and offered us other drinks and helped us decided on an appetizer. He was very honest, which I really appreciate. Working in the restaurant business myself, I find it so helpful and wise to go with what the staff recommend.

The first thing we ate were the garlic rolls. They were good. ¬†A few tablespoons of garlic¬†definitely¬†pumped up their goodness ūüôā

We started with the Garlic Spinach Fontina Fondue. It was very tasty. Definitely needed more garlic in my opinion. But luckily the table had a container of chopped garlic on  it, so I felt free to add as much as I wanted!

The Fish N Chips were served with tons and I mean TONS of “chips”. The chips they¬†served¬†were really skinny french fries.

¬†I ordered the Petite Filet Mignon. I ordered it medium rare, the filet was a little more rare than I would have¬†preferred¬†but I did enjoy the filet none the less. ¬†The dinner came with garlic yukon mashed potatoes and creamed spinach. All the juices that were coming off of the filet mignon were fabulous! I kept soaking them up. I loved the garlic on the steak, but again it could have been more garlic-y, since I am garlic fanatic I’m probably just being too critical.

I toyed with the idea of garlic ice cream but I just couldn’t do it. I love both dessert and garlic but some things are not made to be together. So for dessert we ended with the ¬†Strawberry Sundae- homemade kustard ice cream, strawberry coulis and whipped cream. It was larger than life, but nothing special. The fresh strawberry sauce was very nice. But otherwise it was just a basic ice cream sundae.

The service was good. The actual waiter we saw only a couple times. But there were plenty more staff running out our drinks and food.

I really enjoyed my dinner and look forward to going back one day.

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Tiramisu Cake- Costco

 

I was strolling the aisles of Costco, which may I say is not a smart idea, when I came across this cake. It was on special as well, which I can never resist!

I was SOOO excited to try it. I absolutely LOVE tiramisu. My favorite of all time is from Roman Cucina. Anyways I had mixed thoughts about how good this would be. Costco usually puts out really good products but I also have really high standards for tiramisu.

I was anxious to take a bite so as soon as I got home I did!

I was pleasantly surprised. The cake was good and moist. It could have been moister but it was good enough. I enjoyed the coffee flavor. Although there was no liquor :/ I always like that addition. ūüėČ

Obviously I think a homemade tiramisu is better. But on short notice/laziness this is a GREAT option. I would definitely bring it to a party or dinner get together.

 

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Cajun Kitchen, Santa Barbara

I recently went on a girls weekend to Santa Barbara, CA. It was marvelous. We relaxed, we went out and danced, we ate lots of food, went shopping and did a bit of drinking as well ūüėČ

The trip came to an end Sunday morning at Cajun Kitchen. I was a bit skeptical because I can not handle any spiciness at all. I fully admit I am PATHETIC when it comes to hot/spicy food.

We walked in at about 830AM, luckily we beat the morning rush. We sat down at a booth towards the back. It was an old fashioned diner type place. All the staff were friendly enough.They had a large menu but we narrowed it down quickly as we were HUNGRY! I was on the verge of HANGRY! But let’s be honest I always am ūüėČ

We ordered. The beignets were very tasty with the caramel and cooked strawberries and bananas.This was by far my favorite item we had. For my main breakfast I ordered the Ranchers Omelette which was eggs, tomatoes, bacon, cheddar cheese and avocado. The omelette was the perfect combination for me. And I’m kind of obsessed with tomatoes, so I enjoyed that the omelette was bursting at the seams with tomatoes. The hash browns were fine, nothing to write home about. The same goes for the French Toast. It got the job done but I have definitely had better.

The beignets are definitely the reason I will return. Check out Cajun Kitchen next time you are in the Santa Barbra area. They also have locations in Ventura, Lompoc, Carpenteria and Goleta all in California.

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Lemonade, West Hollywood Review

Lemonade, West Hollywood CA

One thursday a few weeks ago, I took the day off to spend in LA with one of my best friends Courtney. We were strolling around West Hollywood and decided  it was time for some lunch at Lemonade. Courtney heard good reviews. We walked down the street to  Lemonade.

When we arrived it was obvious. The building was a light green with yellow writing and yellow umbrellas on the patio. It was surrounded by bushes with yellow flowers. We walked in to a busy lunch place. They are famous for their “marketplace” a bunch of fresh salads ranging from tomato avocado salad to a kale and mushroom or even salmon and basmati rice.

I ordered the tomato avocado, lime and pine nuts salad. It was MARVELOUS! I loved every single bit.

I also ordered a salmon and basmati rice salad. It was good, probably wouldn’t order it again.

For the marketplace you can order the salad with a protein land or sea. I had the curry chicken. It was okay. It wasn’t bad by any means. But it was not good either. It was dry.

For dessert we got a chocolate chip cookie and a red velvet cupcake. Courtney heard that the cupcakes were good. I don’t know if I got a bad batch because it was not good at all. It was dry and crumbly. The frosting was good. I didn’t even eat half of it and it was a mini size cupcake. The chocolate chip cookie on the other hand was YUMM-O!! It was such a buttery cookie. It was crispy on the outside and nice and chewy on the inside. It reminded me of the Chocolate Chipper from Panera Bread but a better version.

I will definitely be returning to Lemonade.

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Los Arroyos, Santa Barbra

It was Saturday Night in Santa Barbra. We were 4 girls on a weekend away. We wanted some good ol’mexican food. We heard that Los Arroyos was good from my friend’s sister and when on Yelp it had some good reviews. So we gave it a go!

We walked in and were expecting a sit down restaurant. But it was more casual. Order, sit down, and someone brings your food to you. The staff was really friendly and attentive. Especially as it was not a sit down and order restaurant. I was really craving Flautas but since they didn’t have that on the menu I ordered the Carnitas Chimichanga. Basically a big Flauta. We ordered some chips and guacamole to start. It was a good portion for the price and was tasty! But not to spicy for me ūüôā When the Chimichanga came out it was a good size and served with a dollop of sour cream and guacamole on top of it. Two of my favorite things ever! I definitely ate it with a knife and fork. It was nice and flavourful. I didn’t finish it all, we all walked out so full. Later on we got Cold Stone, what a nice treat!

Next time I am in SB I will probably grab some lunch at Los Arroyos¬†ūüôā

 

If you are in Santa Barbra, Camarillo or Montecito check out Los Arroyos.

 

 

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Andersens Danish Bakery & Restaurant, Santa Barbara

¬†Andersen’s Danish Bakery & Restaurant, Santa Barbara CA

Spending the weekend in Santa Barbara was wonderful. Time with my girls is always treasured. We had some good lunch but something was missing. You guessed it Dessert. As I am sure you can tell I insist on dessert after every meal. Well we were strolling along State Street  I decided to yelp, and found Andersens. It was only a few blocks ahead of us so we decided to head towards it. It was so perfect. There is a patio out front, where we ended up sitting. We walked inside and started to look at everything in the glass case. So many things looked appealing. As we were ooohing and ahhing at all the choices a waiter asked us if we wanted to sit down and he would bring us a tray of their best sellers to choose.

We sat down outside and the waiter promptly appeared with a large tray with about 15 desserts on. He named each one and thoroughly described it. It was wonderful. We decided on four desserts. The chocolate cake, eclair, strawberry tort and a pear tart.

Wow the chocolate cake was SOO chocolatey and I loved every single bit.

The eclair was scrumptious it had a layer of raspberry on the bottom which I wasn’t too keen on. But the fresh pastry and fresh cream were out of this world.

The strawberry tort had a cookie crust and strawberries, cream and chocolate. Does that not sound like heaven? Well it was heaven until one of my friends decided to eat it all ūüėČ

The pear tart was very nice, not my favorite but still very tasty.

 

 

 

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Bari Bari Japanese Steak House

Bari Bari Japanese Steak House

Last Friday night I went out to dinner with my parents. For the past few years they have walked past this restaurant and always said “we have to try that place” but never got around to it. Well friday night was the night. We arrived around 6:45pm. When we walked in the restaurant was full but there appeared to be no one waiting. We were told a wait time of 15-20 minutes. We were happy to wait and looked at a menu in the meantime. As we were waiting the lobby area started filling up some people agreeing to wait 45 minutes to 1 hour. From all of my experience in the restaurant business I knew that this was a good sign.

We got seated in about 15 minutes. We were sat at a teppan grill with another group of 6 next to us. The waitress came over and took our orders promptly. Before we knew it we were being handed a small salad with homemade ginger dressing (that was to die for so yummy) and a soup. Then our chef came over to “work” the teppan grill. He was wonderful, included everyone and made it a fun, friendly and enjoyable experience. He even chopped up some of the cooked egg and had everyone catch a small piece in their mouth. Sadly I was the only one who did not catch the egg ūüôĀ Typical of me though! ūüôā

He first cooked the veggies, then the rice, and finally the meat. The food was fabulous so flavorful. I ordered half chicken half filet mignon. I ordered the filet medium rare. I was a bit skeptical when he chopped the filet into small pieces that it would end up being over cooked. I was wrong it was so juicy and wonderfully flavored.

The only down side to this experience was that before anyone at the table had time to finish even half of their dinner there were to go boxes and checks left on the table. Looking back on the whole dinning experience the servers seemed very pushy- they wanted to get us in and out quick. And as a waitress I realize that the more tables the more money you make and you have people waiting but there is a way to go about it and be respectful to your paying customers. And the decor could be updated.

Here are a few pictures. If you are in the area I really would suggest going it was so tasty and a fun experience ūüôā Unfortunately it looks as if there is no website but just google Bari Bari Japanese Steak House Yorba Linda, CA

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