Monday, March 23, 2009

Num Pang

Num Pang is a new Cambrodian sandwich shop that jsut opened on 12th St. between 5th Ave. and University Pl. It's a spin-off from Malaysian restaurant Kampuchea on the lower east side. I ordered their sole vegetarian sandwich, a scrumptious grilled cauliflower and eggplant that is a spiritual cousin to banh mi. Moderately spicy (and the spice level can be increased with the little pods of Sriracha they'll give you for hot sauce), tender eggplant, slightly chewier on the cauliflower, and good, warm sandwich bread (though perhaps this is the sandwich's weak point all said and done) -- this sandwich is a clear winner.

Stars: 4/5

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Cream is a relatively high-end Mexican restaurant in Chelsea, on w 17th st. between 6th and 7th. I loved the look inside, especially its bathrooms, which had a natural motif -- pebbles were layered in the washbasin, and the water drained into them, and pebbles were also embedded into the bathroom floor.

I ordered a vegetarian "royale" platter (as opposed to the regular veg. platter, which came with fewer things), which came with a bunch of things:

* yuca fries - which were thick and garlicky and tasty, though perhaps a touch undercooked
* a truffle empanada, quite tasty, although the empanada was baked rather than fried - this is not my preference usually
* black beans and rice - both quite good though not standout. The rice was not the usual red Mexican rice.
* grilled vegetables - good
* a potato enchilada - this was excellent, small and fat and tasty

Overal the foods had a set of earthy tastes and textures, and were accompanied by a small "shot" of an extremely spicy and tasty salsa.

Well that's all I remember. I think the food as a whole was good, although perhaps expensive for what it was. I personally am much more excited by the thought of a more traditional Mexican restaurant with awesome guacamole and salsa than I am by this kind of fusion high-end Mexican, so I don't think it's on my list of revisits, but it's good to know that the cuisine is being pushed.

Stars: 4/5

Zero Otto Nove

Arthur Ave is of course the "Little Italy" of the Bronx, if you will, and unlike Little Italy, it still retains a relatively untouristy character. Small, active Italian grocery stores and old-school restaurants line the streets. Zero Otto Nove departs a little from this ideal, at least in its interior, which is a beautiful, high-ceilinged space backed by a fresco of a picturesque Italian town.

ZON is an Italian place known for its pizza, and the pizza is what we tried there. I had a margherita, while friends tried a quattro formaggio and a caprese (this latter had arugula, among other things). The crust was was wonderful, perfectly in-between chewiness and crispness, and the sauce and cheese were delicious and fresh. The cheese was from the highly-renowned mozzarella maker Casa Della Mozzarella. All in all, this was a highly recommended pizzeria, and properly so.

Stars: 5/5

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Keep checking My Favorite Restaurants

Keep checking my favorite restaurant list, since I update it more often than I post new posts to the blog :-). Today I compiled a list of eleven guaranteed blow-your-mind NYC food experiences...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop

Eisenberg's is a jewish deli and a veritable institution. Its sits on 5th Ave. between 22nd and 23rd, and a friendly guy mans the place and infuses it with his attitude - jokey and casual. I ordered an egg salad sandwich, a chocolate egg cream, and onion rings (a gluttonous meal!). The egg salad was creamy and simple, pure in its eggy tastes and perfect smooth texture. The bread was good but could have been better. The onion rings were also tasty, and I especially liked the fact that the onion inside was cooked such that biting into the ring I didn't drag the whole onion out. The onion took well to the bite, in other words. The chocolate egg cream was excellent, with a great balance between chocolate, milk, and seltzer. Finally, a chocolate chip cookie with a hint of espresso made a great dessert. Its medium-size and dense texture reminded me a little bit of my favorite chocolate chip cookie -- the one at Chocolate Bar.

Stars: 4/5