Sunday, September 21, 2014

Hop Shing

My last meal in New York before I made my drive down to New Orleans was at Hop Shing. I have no idea how long this place has been opened, but I know that it has been decades and it is still one of the busiest places to get a dim sum fix. They open at 7am every morning, so this is the perfect place to hit up before a golf outing, a flight, or a long road trip. But if you do go that early (or pretty much any time of the day), be prepared to be seated at a table with a few other elderly Chinese men. These guys just hang out there and eat char siu baos and drink coffee all day. I swear. 

What you have to order:
  • baked char siu bao (pork bun)
  • beef rice rolls
  • beef ball 
... and all your usual dim sum favorites of course! 

I really don't eat here enough because I usually get dim sum at Ping's with my entire family, but this is the ideal place for a cheap and casual delicious dim sum meal. 

Hop Shing
9 Chatham Square
New York, NY

Friday, September 19, 2014

Shake Shack

So today is apparently National Burger Day? I wish I was informed because then I wouldn't have had a roast beef po-boy for lunch #nolaproblems. Maybe I'll get a burger from Phil's Grill this weekend, but for now I will just post about one of my favorite and one of the most well known burger places in the city: Shake Shack. 

It almost seems like a waste of time telling you that you have to go try Shake Shack because everyone has been and everyone knows what it is about. But let me tell you if you are going to Shake Shack and ordering a cheese/hamburger, then you're doing it all terribly wrong. Because I'm going to put this out there -- the burgers are Shake Shack are mediocre at best. If you want a burger, head uptown to JG Melon (post coming soon, I promise) or St. Mark's to Paul's

Instead, what you have to get at Shake Shack is the 'shroom burger. That's right. The most famous NYC burger chain is best at making a vegetarian burger. It's a meaty breaded portobello mushroom stuffed with melted cheese and served with tomato and a leaf of lettuce on their soft potato bun. No ketchup or sauces needed. It's got texture and hot melted stringy cheese oozing out. Why would you get anything else? Oh, and do not forget the cheese fries (they're not crinkled anymore! The blasphemy!) and a strawberry milk shake. 

I may be biased, but I grew up a few blocks away from Madison Square Park, so clearly the flagship Shake Shack is my favorite location to go. Even this many years later, there is still always an impossibly long line to the front window. It's part of the experience though, so if you have an hour to spare, you should definitely head to my hood and get some Shake Shack. 

Okay fine. Even though I am loving New Orleans, I do get a little home sick. I can't wait to head home Columbus Weekend to get some pizza, bagels, baguettes, dim sum, and shroom burgers. 

Shake Shack
Madison Square Park
New York, NY 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Olivier's, New Orleans

Today I had the best corn bread I can remember. It was served warm and soaking in honey butter. I took a bite and was completely taken aback. Why was it so delicious?? It was more sponge-like than cake-like, but that just worked perfectly with the honey butter. I hate using this word, but this was most definitely a foodgasm

I also had the barbecue shrimp with a rosemary biscuit that was delightful. Like the French, Creole cuisine really has their sauces down: savory, flavorful, and full-bodied. It went perfectly with the fragrant rosemary biscuit. The turnip greens were salty as expected, but also exactly how you would want them to taste. 

All in all this was just a good old Creole meal. The best part though was definitely how every time I asked for something, the waiter would respond, "I got you." He definitely got me with the corn bread and the unsweetened iced tea refills. 

204 Decatur Street
New Orleans, LA

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

L'Express, Montreal

Although I didn't make it on my annual Montreal trip this year, I still have fond memories from my last visit. One of my favorite restaurants I got to try in Montreal was L'Express. It's a large windowed classic French bistro with tiled floors and small chairs. 

By far the best part of the restaurant was the large jar of unlimited pickles and mustard at the table. What a dangerous combination to leave alone with diners. For appetizer I had the roasted bone marrow, which is always a personal guilty favorite. 

For main course, Michael had the steak tartar and I had quail special. I really wanted to order the steak tartar because it's a house specialty and because raw beef just makes me drool. But I'm so glad I got the quail because it was so juicy and tender. I've never had quail at a French restaurant before, and I was very impressed with the sauce and preparation. 

If you know you're going to Montreal anytime soon, be sure to make a reservation right now because it's hard to book a table. Unlimited. pickles.  

3927 Rue Saint-Denis