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Posts Tagged ‘restaurants’

Le Parker Meridien is a fancy hotel. With a fancy restaurant called Norma’s that supposedly has a fabulous brunch that I will hopefully be lucky enough one day to try for myself.

But Le Parker Meridien also has a secret divey hamburger joint inside it as well. And it’s called Burger Joint. Also, it’s not so secret anymore. The first time I tried to go it was at lunch time during the week and I walked in with my coworker and we walked right back out because the line in the lobby was HUGE.

*Also, Anthony Bourdain recently blew up the spot even more on his NYC episode of The Layover, my new favorite show.

But, when I had my family in town we wake up super early and get out the door super early which makes us the first in line for a lot of things. In fact, Burger Joint wasn’t even open yet. But eventually it was and we got inside and snagged a booth first thing.

The menu is not so huge, obviously. You’re there for the burger. The messy, messy burger:

Oh, yes. I love hamburgers. The fries were good too.

The only bummer was that they currently weren’t making shakes when we were in.

Dang, guess I’ll have to go back.

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I am so trendy. First The Standard and now The Dutch. Okay, then. Actually this post has been a long time coming.

I finally, finally went to The Dutch a few weeks ago when my roommate’s brother was in town. We tried a million things. Oysters to start, obviously. I am SO glad that I like oysters. Seriously.

Broccolli rabe and mashed potatoes. I enjoy mashed potatoes.

And now with Asian White Boy Ribs (what?). I enjoy ribs.

And the chicken that is no longer on the menu. Now there’s chicken stroganaff which I would not mind trying. This particular chicken (sorry about the color, btw) had foam with it and foam just doesn’t impress me. But the chicken itself was very good. This was one of those meals where you’re like, “Ok, I’m full now” and then you keep eating. I guess that means it was good!

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It’s fancy time!

But first… a word from our sponsor: Michigan State University.

JUST KIDDING. Obviously my university does not sponsor this blog but after the glorious win against the Michigan Wolverines this past weekend, I just have to say something. I have lots of friends that went to Michigan and most of them are great, and we’re playful about the rivalry and it’s all in good fun. But some are just nasty and I’m hoping since now we’ve beat them in football four years in a row I won’t hear a peep for awhile. Have some respect! Go green!

AND back to the topic at hand- gettin fancy!

I had seen a list of “top lobster rolls” in the country and was surprised to see a restaurant from Texas listed. So I did a little research on this place, Perla’s in Austin and decided that while in Texas, I had to go there. And also my friend Stacy had suggested we go there as well, from the positive things she had heard about the restaurant as well. So by the time I finally made it there, I had built it up pretty big in my head.

AND IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT.

Oysters, as you do. Some East Coast and some West Coast but I can’t remember for the life of me what they were besides absolutely delicious. I told the server which kinds I typically go for and he was a huge help and his suggestions were spot on.

And then you wait for the good stuff:

I have had a lot of lobster rolls in my life and dare I say *gasp* this may be the best one I’ve ever had! PERFECT. And the fries were good and we also had brussels sprouts and asparagus and my dad also loved his lobster roll and Stacy really liked her fish. So basically if you go to Austin I highly, highly recommend eating here and I highly, highly recommend getting the lobster roll. When I return, I hope to eat here again. Because it was so good! My dad and I talked about it for days. DAYS afterward.

And the place is really cute, too.

Ahhhh thinking about this again is making me think about going back to Texas immediately! Who is coming?

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I love Peels. I won’t deny it. I wrote a love letter to their brunch the other day. And on a weekend late afternoon, sometimes you don’t have to wait for a table at all! We had been walking around all day and our feet were killing us so my mom, Emily and I stopped at Peels for a little smores cupcake I saw in their bake case recently and some iced coffee and iced mochas.

Isn’t she pretty? We had to try. The whole top is a marshmallow basically.

And of course they also have really good iced coffee:

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I have been spending a lot of time in Michigan lately. I went back FOUR WEEKENDS in the past couple of a months. Normally I go back in the summer *maybe* once. But it’s been nice. So nice.

And these are disco fries from Main Street Diner and Dogs in Harrisville, Mi. They don’t have a website so I’m not linking to it. It’s a tiny little place right by the lake (Lake Huron) and I was there two weekends ago when they were having a parade. A parade! There was a fire truck and there was Ronald McDonald (seriously) and a girl in a crown sitting in the back of a car. Maybe some boy scouts. Clowns throwing candy. I watched this all from inside the restaurant, eating my disco fries. That were so good. My sister Emily and I weren’t getting them until the people next to us did and then we were like, “Yeah… we’re gonna need those.” And they were amazing. Loved the gravy. My uncle Marc was like, “You need to come up to Toronto, they put gravy on everything.” Well maybe I will!

And there is my Emily Boo.

Since the place is called “Diner and Dogs” OBVIOUSLY we were ordering some hot dogs. They had all kinds of fancy ones. I got a BLT dog that was wrapped in bacon with lettuce and tomato and Emily got a deep fried hot dog with baked beans.

And here’s the outside for you so you can get a complete visual:

Another little fun fact about this place is that the following weekend (aka this past weekend) I was driving by this street and I got pulled over by a cop. Yes. BUT he let me go – did you know if you have an out of state license they have to take it from you and staple it to the ticket because out of state people don’t pay their tickets? Yeah. So I was luuuucky because I would not have been able to get back to New York and I also wouldn’t have been able to go out after my friends’ wedding that I came into town for. So thank you, Mr. Officer. Also – my sister Emily got pulled over in the same car the very next day and she was not so lucky.

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Well, unless you live under a rock in the middle of Timbuktu, you probably are aware there was this thing called “Hurricane Irene” everyone in New York City was preparing for this past weekend. It ended up slowing down to just a tropical storm, but when we thought it was going to destroy the city, Mayor Bloomberg shut down the subway system and instructed people to prepare for the worst. And people did. Stocked up on flashlights, batteries, candles and nonperishable food items, filled bathtubs with water, etc. I went to Trader Joes Saturday morning before they closed early and picked up some things myself – just in case.

The subway being shut down was the worst part of it. Restaurants and stores had to close simply because their staff couldn’t get in or they wouldn’t be able to get home. You couldn’t travel anywhere because you weren’t sure if you could get back. You were grounded to your neighborhood. But luckily, there were a few places still open for brunch –like Bar Tabac in Cobble Hill. I’ve been there before for the hamburger, but this time I got myself some french toast when I met up with my friend Donny. Life was all good.

Afterward, I made sure to stock up on wine and chocolate chip cookies on my way home. I mean, I had to be prepared.

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When I took this picture, I couldn’t tell if it was appealing or not. Maybe it’s the way the sauce was dumped on the crab cake made me think of icing on a cinnamon roll, but I was a little skeptical at first. But you know, then I took a bite and all was good. Crab cakes. They’re good. Especially on vacation.

While in North Carolina (which is now being evacuated, yey) we went out to dinner at Sharky’s. And apparently we were destined to dine alone:

Welcome to someone’s garage. Seriously, I promise we were at a restaurant with actual tables and chairs but since we had nine people in our party, the only room for us was, like I said, in someone’s garage. I mean it looks like it, doesn’t it? At least there was a glow up shark thingy.

Here’s some more food stuffs from Sharky’s:

A little surf and turf, for ya? Who doesn’t like shrimp and steak?

After dinner, we took a walk through the actual dining room and outside to the back patio on the water where I took this gem:

Look at those tans! I’d say I’m keeping it up but there’s this thing called a hurricane that people are freaking out about all over town here in New York. I really don’t think much will happen besides heavy rain and maybe some flooding but I know for sure I won’t be getting any sun.

Oh, and the best part about the crab cakes is that they were pretty big – big enough for each of us to take one home. So at 10:30 p.m. later that evening, Michelle calls over from the kitchen, “Anyone want a crab cake?” On vacation, indeed.

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