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Posts from the ‘field trip’ Category

A Day in Rockaway

A line item on my summer bucket list was to visit Rockaway Beach, sun myself in the sand, and sample some of the new culinary stands that have set up shop on the Rockaway Boardwalk. Between 86th Street and 108th Street on the very wide and very sunny Boardwalk, there are three new concessions hubs. As it turns out, wandering up and down the Boardwalk and stopping to sip on cool juices and to snack on Thai-inspired burgers, Venezuelan goodies, tacos, and frozen treats is really not such a bad way to spend an afternoon.

the rockaway beach boardwalk at 96th street

Here are some of my favorites:

1. Ode to the Elephant

Thai cuisine isn’t necessarily associated with beach-ready food, but Ode to the Elephant takes concession stand classics like burgers and familiar Thai dishes like summer rolls, satay skewers, and curries and transforms them into easy-to-eat and heat-friendly options. The Bangkok Burger is particularly delicious with bright yellow shards of pickled mango, a creamy Sriracha mayo, and rounds of red onion, all atop a very thick ‘home-made’ beef patty on a sesame bun.

Ode to the Elephant on Urbanspoon

2. Blue Bottle Coffee

What’s better than an iced coffee on a steamy sun-filled day at the beach? Iced coffee prepared “New Orleans Style.” Blue Bottle, one of the concessions near 108th Street, offers up a refreshing twist on the classic iced coffee by adding chicory and whole milk. The result? A richer, smoother and sweeter version of iced coffee that’s perfect to sip while staring out at the big blue Atlantic.

3. Caracas Arepas Bar

Adjacent to Blue Bottle near 108th Street, Caracas Arepas Bar is the perfect beachside stand for a late-in-the day snack. Not only do they serve classic Venezuelan treats like crispy arepas stuffed with tender meat, beans and queso, empanadas, and fried plantains, but they also offer cheap beer, Micheladas, and delicious cool Sangria for those looking to enjoy the perfect happy hour outside as the sun sets.

Caracas, Rockaway on Urbanspoon

4. Motorboat & the Big Banana

Two words: frozen. banana. Sure, Motorboat & the Big Banana is a fish-fry stand at it’s core, serving classic fish sandwiches and fish & chips, but the real reason to come here is for the decadent chocolate-dipped frozen bananas. Better than ice cream and coated in a thick layer of chocolate, these frozen bananas are the ideal frozen treat to nosh on when the sun is beating down just a little too much. My favorite? The peanut and sea salt version

5. Veggie Island

I would come here for the frozen lemonade alone. The stand offers coffee, miscellaneous breakfast items and thirst-quenching fruit smoothies, but the real star is the tart-yet-sweet frozen lemonade. Made with fresh lemons, ice, and a touch of sugar, it’s just about perfect.


A Weekend Swept Away in Chicago

Rarely do I find the time to truly escape New York City and to explore someplace new. Thus, when the opportunity arose to spend an entire 48 hours in a city completely foreign to me, I seized it with relish. And so, I spent 36 hours this past weekend eating and walking my way through ‘the Windy City,’ ‘the Second City,’ or more plainly, Chicago. Here is a taste of the marvelous things Chicago had to offer.

1. Face-numbingly Good Coffee @ Intelligentsia

At Intelligentsia, each cup of Joe, a name which seems too plebian for what Intelligentsia delivers, is brewed individually from beans ground especially for that cup. The entire process takes about five minutes, but the coffee that emerges is unparalleled. And don’t worry about it being too strong, Intelligentsia only offers medium and mild roast coffees.

Intelligentsia Coffee on Urbanspoon

2. A Lesson in How to Get a Gut @ Gino’s East

Deep-dish pizza is something of a tradition in Chicago, and Gino’s East is a classic deep-dish pizzeria in the River North neighborhood. It’s gaudy, graffiti-ed, and populated by a combination of tourists and incredibly obese locales, but the pizza itself is pretty delicious if you’re in the mood for a truly decadent treat. Picture: golden buttery crust, pounds of gooey mozzarella cheese, and layers of chunky tomato sauce, all baked together into a 3-inch tall pizza ‘pie.’

Original Gino's East on Urbanspoon

3. New York-Quality Fine Dining @ Graham Elliot

A by-product of living in New York full-time now is believing that no other city can possibly produce the same level of high-quality gourmet cuisine. Boston and Philadelphia, while playing host to vibrant dining scenes, can’t hold a candle to New York’s culinary prowess. However, my 10-course meal at Graham Elliot convinced me that Chicago is serious about serious cuisine. Although the service ranged from leisurely at its best to painfully slow at its worst, the small bites emerging from the kitchen were genius. Highlights include:

– popcorn doused in truffle butter, black pepper and parmesan instead of the bread course

– wagyu tartare with delicate pomme frites and jalapeno oil

– caesar salad deconstructed with a brioche “twinkie” and a white anchovy

– perfectly-cooked Jamaican fried chicken with dirty rice, hidden country pate, and fried okra

– a grape soda spritzer

– a fresh strawberry and basil dessert with creamy fromage blanc

graham elliot on Urbanspoon

4. Haute Cocktails @ The Hubbard Inn

A love for ambitious and schmancy cocktails isn’t only in New York. The Hubbard Inn, though significantly more spacious than the cocktail dens that bloom in every corner of Manhattan almost overnight, produces spot-on Old-Fashioneds, Hemingways, and Moscow Mules, has savory bar snacks to nibble on, and a beautiful vintage-inspired space in which to enjoy both.

The bar at the Hubbard Inn



Hubbard Inn on Urbanspoon

5. Pork-centric Brunch @ The Publican

The Publican was founded to focus on the holy trinity of beer, pork, and oysters. It’s immensely hard for a place not to ROCK when high-quality artisan beer flows freely and bacon comes to the table 2 inches thick. The brunch here was excellent: red-wine poached eggs, pork rinds inspired by Cheetos, soft zucchini bread on a bed of fluffy ricotta, and chicken-fried steak. It might not be good for the waistline or blood pressure, but it’s great for putting everyone in an unshakeable good mood.

Publican on Urbanspoon


This is an email I just got from Urban Daddy and maybe you did too:

We’re going to throw something out there and see if it sticks.
Tuesday nights. Unlimited champagne. Sabered open for you. In a bathtub on wheels. By a midget dressed as a pirate.

Let’s just let that marinate for a minute.

Welcome to Champagne Tuesdays at Superdive, a new bastion of cultural elitism and intellectual camaraderie, debuting tomorrow in your favorite beer-scented pit of depravity in the East Village. If ordering a keg to your table, doing a keg-stand on said keg, or generally gallivanting about in the Wild Wild West of dive bars just was too tame for you, here’s your chance to let your hair down a little more. Twenty bucks and an appetite for champagne and destruction gets you all the bubbly you can drink, and, yes, that champagne will be sabered and served to you by a little person named Nick wearing a pirate outfit.

At this point, you might be asking yourself why a tiny pirate wielding a tiny saber meant to chop the top off of a champagne bottle is manning a mobile bathtub full of bubbly bottles. And you also might be asking yourself why you would be purchasing champagne from this tiny Jack Sparrow. Well, because it’s Tuesday.

Does this sound too good to be true? It does to me. I pretty much did a backflip after reading this.

I’m tagging this as field trip, and a group of us must go.

How to Spend a Beautiful Late Summer Evening…

Six Mile Creek Winemaker Dinner
Ithaca, N.Y.

Six Mile Creek Vineyard will host its annual winemaker’s dinner with guest chef Sean O’Brien, formerly of Willow restaurant of Ithaca, N.Y. The four-course meal will feature local and seasonal ingredients and will be paired with the winery’s wines (including a new release or a preview of a wine). Owner Roger Battistella will lead the evening with winemaker Paul King. Call 607-272-9463 to RSVP;

WHEN Aug. 9, 6:30 p.m.
WHERE 1551 Slaterville Rd., Ithaca, N.Y.

Pizza Pilgrimage

After checking out this interactive feature on the Dining & Food section, I have decided to initiate a New York pizza piligrimage. I want to hit all these spots this summer.

Cheap, delicious, satisfying.

Check it out!

Vineyard Field Trip

I will be organizing a ‘field trip’ to this Long Island vineyard later in the summer! Let me know if you’re into the idea!