It's a snowy Tuesday, last day of January in NYC. We've had a mild winter, but today the brisk wind and piercing cold, combined with the snowfall is back to remind us nothing lasts forever.
Perfect day to get out of the office and enjoy a delicious lunch to lift the spirits! As I'm headed on vacation soon, I opt for something on the healthier side, despite my raging desire for nothing more than a big double cheeseburger with spicy mayonnaise and french fries. Mae Mae Cafe is a perfect combination of healthy but delicious and satisfying. As you are about to see, I couldn't be too, too healthy. After all, it is snowing out.
Located on the corner of Vandam Street and Hudson (map below), this quaint little farm-style cafe offers a light breakfast and lunch, using locally sourced ingredients. With a sort of living room/ home library vibe, it invites you in with open arms on a cold day. Although there isn't an actual fireplace, you could almost swear that there is, because of the cozy feeling the space evokes. Alas, time to eat!
Today I decided on the avocado toast, one of my favorite things to eat in general, and especially yummy here, served with a fried egg on top. And, the grilled cheese of the day: Gruyere, Roasted Tomatoes, and Pesto Grilled Cheese. Now I have to say, after getting the grilled cheese here many times, today it fell a little flat. They use a thick country-style bread that is usually perfectly toasted and buttered, and the cheese is usually overflowing out. Just the way a grilled cheese should be! But today, they seemed to have skimped out on the cheese, and under-grilled the bread, causing the sandwich to be a little soggy. Needless to say, the picture still came out beautiful, and I'll give them a hall pass this time, as I have been here several times before. Here's to hoping during my next visit, they don't fall flat again, and I fall out of love with this little cafe!
So it's been a bit since I've posted. Life has been crazy, but I want to get back on track! That being said, thought I'd start off by sharing some of my favorite finds from my recent trip to the capital of Mexico - Mexico City!
As you may or may not know, Mexico City is currently one of the most innovative gastronomic capitals of the world. So no surprise, just about anywhere I went, whether it was quickly popping into a street cafe for a bite, or a planned meal, EVERYTHING was SO delicious!
I spent most of my time in what is arguably the nicest "borough" of Mexico City, Polanco. Polanco is like the Rodeo Drive, or Fifth Avenue part of the city. So I was a little spoiled, and I can't wait to get back to Mexico City and check out the food in so many other places! But for now... here are a few of my HIGHLY recommended favorites.
Dulcinea: Quick, easy but totally gourmet, inexpensive casual cafe. Sounds like an oxymoron right? Because it is... Located in Polanquito, I stopped by this place for lunch, and was blown away by the creative menu, full of unique combinations for even the simplest dish. Price for 2 appetizers, 2 cocktails, and 2 entrees? $50 USD
Continuing on... even though I am drooling all over again thinking about the above... there is more drool to be had!
Condesa DF: Swanky hotel with gorgeous sunset rooftop views, located in the hip Condesa barrio. Perfect for grabbing evening drinks and a quick bite. From Grupo Habita, sister hotel to The Hotel Americano in NYC & Casa Fayette in Guadalajara, MX, to name a few.
As I sipped on a delectable maracuya, or passionfruit cocktail, watching the sunset overlooking Benito Juarez Airport, watching the planes come in and depart, I of course, GOT HUNGRY. The menu at Condesa was mix of everything, but I was immediately intrigued by the combinations in the Sushi Rolls.
A Sushi Roll with Spicy Tuna, Fresh Jalapeno, and Bleu Cheese Crumbles?! Is that even good? (I thought to myself). And boy, am I happy I decided to give it a try. I still dream of this Sushi Roll. I can't wait for the day that we meet again!
I could go on and on. But I'll save that for future posts, and future trips back to this magical city! I hope you enjoyed, and I promise to keep the posts coming more frequently.
Until next time fellow foodie and travel lovers!
Kopi Ramen - tucked inside the Kopi Kopi cofeeshop on West 3rd Street in Greenwich Village.
Just opened in December by young owner Grace Moon Lauren, Kopi Ramen is one of the most delicious Ramen restaurants I've ever been to. You can tell the food is made with love, and the menu is creative, setting it apart from the rest of the Ramen restaurant world!
Upon walking in you will notice a wall hand-painted by the owner Grace! She also is the mastermind behind the simple yet delicious and fun menu. Appetizers include Charred Edamame with Yuzu Salt, Chicken Wing Gyoza (yes, chicken WING), and my personal favorite, the Miso Marinated Pork Belly Seaweed Wraps. All pictured below.
My mouth was already watering after shredding through the appetizers, and the main feature, the Ramen itself just took at all to the perfect next level. Pictured above, the Shio Ramen, was my favorite. This Ramen, based in Chicken Broth, comes with tender, juicy pieces of Chicken Breast, and most rewarding, Crackling Chicken Skin! We all know how delicious crispy chicken skin is, don't pretend it doesn't make you want jump into this bowl of ramen right now.
Kopi Ramen will be open noon to midnight DAILY. That's right, no lunch to dinner dead hour where the kitchen closes, and a full menu straight until MIDNIGHT, regardless the day of the week. Definitely recommend this spot for a DELICIOUS winter meal. Say hi to Grace! Tell her feLIZfoodie sent you! :)
Umami Burger. If you follow feLIZfoodie on instagram you will have noticed that burgers are a staple item in the feLIZfoodie diet. We can't go a few days without having one.
That being said, it's surprising it took us so long to get to Umami Burger. This burger chain, originally from the West Coast opened in New York a few years back. It falls under the category of what I would consider fancy fast food. The burgers range from $9-$13 dollars, but boast gourmet-like toppings such as truffle and the above pictured thick-cut bacon.
The most popular burgers here are the Sunnyside pictured above, the Truffle Burger pictured below and the classic Umami. Umami, pronounced oooooo-mami, is Japanese for a "pleasant savory taste". And I would say these burgers are just that. If you haven't checked it out, it's worth a try. I plan to head back to try other burger options. But out of the Sunnyside, Truffle and Umami - I say the Sunnyside is by far the best. Don't forget to add bacon!
NYC during Christmas time is possibly one of the most magical places to be... If you can never mind the influx of tourists, and let the Holiday spirit take you!
So, where to go for a fully immersive experience? We all know the typical destinations, Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park Holiday pop-up etc. But where can you go to feel like you're eating inside of a Christmas Tree, or drinking in Santa's workshop? We rounded up our favorites below!
My all-time favorite? If you can manage to remember to make a reservation before December, or have the patience to wait in a long line/are lucky enough to sneak into the bar on an off-night, hands down it is Rolf's on 18th and 3rd Avenue!
Pictured above is the French Onion Soup amidst the Rolf's decor! I also ate the Jaeger Schnitzel, in Paprika Mushroom Sauce, Vegetable & Spätzle, which I would also recommend! While Rolf's probably has the most extensive decorations, all of my recommendations below feature Seasonal Holiday inspired cocktails, (think egg nog, mulled wines, candy cane concoctions etc.) and enough feLIZ holiday decor to put a smile even on The Grinch's face! :)
Check them out! Let me know what you think!
Rolf's German Restaurant, 281 Third Avenue, rolfsnyc.com
Lillie's Union Square, 13 East 17th Street, unionsquare.lilliesnyc.com
Miracle on Ninth Street/Mace, 649 East Ninth St, macenewyork.com
Sippin' Santa's Surf Shack, 13 First Avenue (at First Street), boilermakernyc.com
Looking for a classic brunch spot for you and your girls? You and your significant other? You and your family?
No matter the crowd, you can't go wrong with Sarabeth's. The brunch bakery/restaurant has sprawling locations from the UWS, to Central Park down to the most recent opening on Park Avenue South.
Looking for a variety of waffle and pancake options, like lemon ricotta with blackberries, or perhaps coconut mango with pineapple? Or maybe you are in the mood for some deviled eggs, a kale and asparagus frittata, or a crab cake benedict? Look no further, Sarabeth's has it all.
And an added perk - unlimited brunch cocktails for just $20! A steal in the city that never sleeps..
Here are some yummy pictures from my brunch at Sarabeth's today. Have you been to Sarabeth's? What'd you think?
Would love to hear from you!
Today I wanted to share with you some of my favorite foodie discoveries and scenic pictures from my most recent trip down to Miami, Florida!
I get to escape the Concrete Jungle (NYC) and slip down to Miami for some tropical sunshine and beachside eats once every couple months. My last trip I chose to concentrate my foodie escapades on some of the newest restaurant openings, including: Tom Colicchio's BeachCraft at the new 1 Hotel & Residences South Beach, Jean-George's Matador Room at the Edition Hotel South Beach, & the new casual Mexican hotspot/speakeasy Coyo Taco in the Wynwood Arts District.
I loved everything about this spot! With both in and outdoor seating, a fresh seafood centric savory menu, and a friendly and attentive waitstaff, they checked off all my boxes. The outdoor seating is beside their stunning pool, with beach sand and airy white couches by the bar area, or traditional seating with umbrellas a few feet away. I chose to lounge on the comfy couch, sip rose, and enjoy one of the most delicious Seafood Ceviche's I have ever had! Even the chips for the ceviche were individually seasoned and made in-house. I can't wait to get back to this spot.
Similar to BeachCraft, a restaurant from a prestigious chef, but a totally different feel. Matador Room features both in and outdoor seating (overlooking the hotel's pool), and a menu mostly Spanish-based with dashes of other Latin influence. Here I absolutely died for their Grilled Octopus appetizer. It was perfectly spicy and crispy, and beautifully presented. I also highly recommend the Hanger Steak, and you can never go wrong with the house-cured Charcuterie. Definitely worth repeating!
If you follow my Instagram account, you know I can't go long without digging into some authentic Mexican food. Coyo Taco certainly did not disappoint! Not only was the food a treat, but a fun destination as it is located in the Wynwood Art District of Miami. Spend some time taking a look at some of the famous Graffiti walls, then pop in here for a Pacifico and mouthwatering tacos. One of my favorite things about this spot was the variety of tacos that they offered. Here you can find all of your traditional Mexican tacos: Carnitas, Al Pastor, Cochinita etc.. BUT, you can also find some fun original ideas of theirs, such as: Pastor de Pollo, Pulpo, Quinoa, & Carnitas de Pato! What's more? Come on the later end, and sneak through the kitchen to find a hidden bar! Bon appetit & salud!
Please enjoy all of my pictures below! I love to hear from my readers, so please feel free to comment or reach out to me via email!
Pulperia: A Spanish American grocery store or bodega, often also functioning as a neighborhood drinking establishment for locals to gather.
La Pulperia in NYC opened last year in 2 locations - Upper East Side & Hell's Kitchen. This past week I had the pleasure of visiting the UES location, and, I must say, the name is quite humble compared to the beauty of the space! Upon walking in and being quickly greeted by the welcoming Maitre D', it was apparent the name is synonomous to the type of atmosphere the restaurant is looking to create: your welcoming neighborhood spot, to relax and enjoy some good food and drinks. The decor, however, is much more than just your neighborhood bodega.
The restaurant, designed by Andres Gomez, (Red Rooster, Whitehall, SoCo), is decorated with hand-painted tiles imported from Mexico and Brazilian beach wood, giving it a beachy yet refined look and feel. An ample bar surrounded by tables fills the front space, while the back room is flooded with natural sunlight from a large skylight. As I am a huge fan of skylights, especially in a city like New York where finding restaurants with natural sunlight can be somewhat challenging, I sat in the back space.
The menu from Chef/Owners Carlos Barros & Victor Medina, is a mix of staple Latin American dishes infused with Italian & Spanish influences. Some very original looking dishes immediately popped off the menu, such as "El Salmon Brulee". This dish was one of my favorites. A Verlassa Salmon Tartar, topped with a Cream Cheese topping Brulee'd to a crisp, finished with ginger leche de tigre and fresh strawberries. If that hasn't already peaked your interest, I'll let this picture do the talking...
Where to go from there? The robust menu can satisfy almost anything you may be craving with a particular focus on seafood. From ceviches to a full raw bar and staple South American fish dishes like Moqueta Mixta (Brazilian Seafood Stew). That being said, I also enjoyed one of the most delicious Hanger Steaks I have ever had in the city here! Like I said, this place has it all!
Don't just take my word for it, check it out yourself! Below some more pictures of the wonderful food and drinks I enjoyed, as well as maps detailing where to find each of the restaurants. Heading in to check it out? Let them know feLIZfoodie sent you, and I would love to hear what you thought of it!
PS - Just click on any of the pictures below to enlarge
Everything about Vic's atmosphere makes for a beautiful and inviting dining space.
This weekend I had the opportunity to check this spot out during the day, which despite missing out on what I hear is one delicious dinner menu, allowed me to revel in the serenity of the space flooded by natural sunlight, bouncing off it's exposed brick walls, clean white and wood-themed interior decoration.
Simply walking into this space is a treat!
The latest by restauranteur Vicki Freeman (co-owner of sister restaurants Hundred Acres & Cookshop), in the former Five Points space, is as delicious as it is aesthetically pleasing. Generous portion sizes are an added treat here, and brunch menu staples we all loved from the former Five Points restaurant, such as the Baked Eggs dishes, reappear and infuse the Vic's menu!
I will be sure to get back for dinner, but until then, let your mouth water over these delicious brunch dishes pictured below.
feLIZfoodie thumbs up!
Poached Eggs with Crispy Pork & Braised Short Rib over Polenta with Pecorino
Baked Eggs with Roasted Tomatoes, Spicy Red Chillies & Creamy Ricotta
In a city like NYC, where the dining options seem to be endless, it can be hard to establish a true favorite! But in this post, and future series of "favorite" posts, I will share by food type some of my go-to restaurants that I enjoy frequenting, time and time again!
So... let's talk about GREEK FOOD! My favorite? PYLOS! On 7th street between 1st ave & Ave A!
Why PYLOS? When establishing favorites in NYC, vicinity to home is a foremost factor none of us will ever neglect, and Pylos is in fact conveniently walking distance from where I live. So, if you live downtown and on the east side, this should be on your list. Pylos serves authentic Greek cuisine, in a beautiful space that makes you feel like you stepped into the Mediterranean coast. The entire ceiling is elegantly lined with delicate clay pots and the overall decorative theme feels airy, light, crisp and oceanic. Whether you are arriving late night, or looking for somewhere to eat during that awkward hour between brunch and dinner on the weekends, Pylos is there to help!
What to order? Check out the following... And if my word isn't enough, refer to the pictures below =)
Have you been to Pylos? What did you think? Email me your feedback and/or pictures at email@example.com!
Hola FEliz Readers! Last night I had the chance I visit one of the hottest new openings in NYC this month - Root & Bone restaurant on 3rd Street and Avenue B. The main attraction: Fried Chicken.
While the menu boasts an array of creative and colorful accompanying dishes, the Fried Chicken here is the focus. The waitstaff was pleasantly inviting, especially for a NYC hotspot, and took the time to explain the 2-day process used to prep the chicken for cooking! While it was hard to gather all the details with the delicious chicken sitting right in front of me, the point was made - this wasn't just any old fried chicken.
Wait times and reservations can be a challenge with this spot, but try heading in on the early or late side and grabbing a seat by the bar. You don't want to miss this deliciousness in your belly!!
Definitely a feLIZfoodie recommendation! Check out their signature Fried Chicken, Green Tomato, Cheddar Cheese, Waffle Sandwich below!