Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Going Out!

The other day was a good lunch day! My boss sent me an outlook appointment for a place that just said "D&D". I was confused, but since the appointment spanned lunch time and my boss is a foodie like myself, I clicked accept.

At 12:30, we strolled the 2 blocks to 979 third avenue. After winding down a few hallways, an elevator ride to the 14th floor and more hallways, we arrived at this place called Astra. Think upscale cafeteria. Three specials (which apparently go fast) were printed on a sheet of paper in an acrylic frame. Tattered paper copies of their daily menu were also on the table near the entrance. Place your order, pay (tip included) and they give you a number that you display at the table of your choice for servers to bring you your food.

Nice view, comfortable, elegant ambiance, comfortable chairs. So far, so good? But would the food stack up? YES.

My flank steak was well seasoned and tender. It was overcooked to medium-well when I ordered medium. Not a big deal for me. The sour cream sauce next to it was adorned with capers and red peppers. A tasty accent. And the salad, though it had a few too many red onions for a business lunch, was topped with a good Dijon vinaigrette and freshly grilled and chopped bread as croutons. A great touch.

My boss's burger was also very good according to him. The brioche bun was apparently very good (all their bread is) and the beef delicious. A third coworker got a grilled ham and cheese he enjoyed. Both sandwiches were served with fries that I believe they described as good McDonald's fries. I can rock with that!

So I had a good lunch, and best of was free! :-)

Brick Lane in Midtown!

So they opened a Brick Lane Curry House on 53rd between 2nd and 3rd 2 blocks from my office! I've eaten at the original several times and the food is great. They also have the hottest curry and food I've ever tasted-the ridiculously hot phaal. While I wasn't even able to finish even a side platter, Emily from serious eats did. I wish I was there to see it...

Anyway, I wanted to actually feel my tastebids this afternoon, so I opted for the saag paneer. A lunch special meal is $10.84 with tax and is more than filling. And if you're wondering, the phaal isn't as hot as the original. But give them some time. They just opened...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Breakfast Club

"Breakfast Club" at my office has taken on a life of its own. The setup is one person each Friday brings breakfast for the whole office (about 25 people). Over the course of a cycle, everyone gets their turn to wow the office with their culinary creativity.

As time had progressed, "Breakfast Club" has fostered a healthy competition among its participants. We've had a range of food from McDonald's (that was me!) to make-your-own breakfast burritos to homemade muffins and cakes.

But Friday, my coworker Lee Ann came up with one of the greatest Breakfast Club meals ever. She brought New Jersey to the city - make your own pork roll (or Taylor's ham if you prefer), egg and cheese sandwiches!! On hard rolls!!!!! New Jersey natives in the office from the 973, the 732 and down to the 609 were elated. And we schooled everyone on how to do it, including adding the salt, pepper and ketchup (and in my case hot sauce). Lee Ann even s
et up instructions for the rookies.

The finished product was not only beautiful, but delicious. It was definitely a banner day for Breakfast Club. I'm glad I don't have to follow that performance!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Hungry Commuter

Most people who know me know that I like to eat.

I bring my stomach with me everywhere I go. And that includes work. As a commuter living in NJ and working in midtown Manhattan, I have a plethora of eating options. Cuisines, quality and cost options are huge.

So how do you navigate it all?

I just let my stomach guide me to good food that isn't crazy expensive and tastes good. I will share my food love with you. It could be a cart, a restaurant or a lunch that I made at home (bringing food from home doesn't have to be bad!)

I'm excited to start this journey and continuing to share my passion for food with you.