Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Smorgasburg in Brooklyn


I hope everyone is doing alright after Hurricane Sandy. Luckily I only lost power for a couple of hours and no damage to the property. 

I have been lacking in blogging in October, it has been a horribly stressful month, but I hope to bounce back in November. 

The other weekend when I was in Brooklyn, Carrie, Luke and I stopped by this awesome outdoor market called Smorgasburg in Williamsburg on Saturdays and this past fall it was also on the Dumbo waterfront on Sundays (which is the location we went to).

It's a food lovers haven.

Porchetta : I had heard about this place so when I saw it at this market I had to give it a try. It was delicious.
 Choncho's Tacos: Carrie and I split two tacos, Carnitas & Marco Pollo (spicy chicken). They were both pretty good, but I have come to realize I really do not like corn tortillas.
 Bombay Sandwich Co. The food here looked amazing but all we got was a Mango Mint Lemonade. Delicious.
People's Pops: I got a lemon shaved ice. DELISHH. The lemon was not a processed, overly sweet type flavor. You could tell fresh lemons went into it and it was amazing. Not only an amazing shaved ice, but the guy working at the stand was the nicest person I came across that day. 
C & L also split an ice cream from some shop that was pretty tasty, cookies & cream. 
My favorites of the day were definitely the lemonade and the shaved ice. The other food was really good, I can't wait to go back!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Momofuku Milk Bar in East Village

On a past trip to NYC I stopped by Momofuku Milk Bar, another famed Momofuku restaurant (I have also been to the Noodle Bar). They are known for an array of desserts so I had to try a few things.

The Cereal Milk Soft Serve was really good. I have never been one to drink my milk after finishing my cereal (I know it's wasteful, but I only pour a little milk so I don't waste much) but I loved this. The cornflake crunch on the outside was awesome. I would get this again.
As for the cookies, I got some sort of chocolate I don't remember, a Compost Cookie and a Blueberry and Cream cookie. All of the cookies were ehh. They were not bad but when I feel like I could make them myself, they will not win me over. Out of the 3 I tried, the compost was definitely the best because there were more complex and original flavors in it.
While I didn't enjoy the baked goods, the Cereal Milk soft serve was awesome, and I have heard rave reviews about some of their other items. This place is worth a shot, try the Cereal Milk soft serve or some fun baked good (I've heard their crack pie is a winner :)  I will be back to try a funfetti cookie or their new Green Apple Cheddar soft-serve.

251 East 13th Street
New York, NY
East Village
Momofuku Milk Bar on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Rustico in Arlington

I caught up with some old friends at the Rustico in Ballston the other weekend. 
It was awesome seeing everyone again, and it reminded me of Rosie's birthday where we were all together years ago, although we have seen each other sporadically since. It was pretty much the same group minus one person, plus two new ones :)
For and appetizer we split one of the best/most creative dishes I have had in awhile (besides my pumpkin enchiladas~delicious), Carrot Hummus spiced lamb, crumbled feta, grilled pita $10. Complex, delicious flavors-a winning dish. 
 Most of our table ordered the Grilled Dry Aged Cheddar Burger toasted brioche, red-wine shallot aoili, malted fries $12. Although we switched out the malted fries for the Truffle Parmesan fries-delicious, crispy and truffely. I was pretty disappointed in this burger, the aioli was not as flavorful as I would have expected and the burger which was suppose to be medium was pretty much well-done, yuck. Everyone else seemed to enjoy theirs though.
Rosie ordered the Grilled Salmon BLT which she said was delicious.
My friend's GF ordered the Basil and Fresh Mozzarella pizza which she enjoyed and it smelled really good.
Rustico's beer selection is awesome, their carrot hummus is spectacular (i know it sounds weird  but it is wonderful) and the food is good. Although I didn't personally enjoy my burger, the other dishes more then made up for it, and I will definitely be back in the future.

4075 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA
Rustico on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Haandi Fine Indian Cuisine in Falls Church

I went to Haandi the other day with my familia and we got an assortment of delicious food :)

We started off the meal with some Indian Beer, Taj Mahal. Nice light beer to go with a meal. 
For an appetizer we got Samosas deep fried pastry triangles stuffed with spiced potatoes and green peas. Pretty good, paired well with both the red (more sweet) and the green (a little bit spicy) sauces-I liked both on it at the same time. 
Appetizer number 2 was the Boti Kabob boneless lamb marinated in herbs and spices. A delicious dish, would have preferred a tad bit more tender in the lamb, but still good.
 What Indian meal is complete without Basmati Rice? Just your typical rice to accompany the meal. 
We split 3 entrees. The first was Baingan Bharta roasted eggplant, sauteed with onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, panchporan, 5 spice mixture. Delicious, one of my favorite eggplant dishes.
 Palak Paneer homemade farmer cheese cubes, spinach cooked in green herbs and spices. Delicious, wonderfully flavored spinach. I actually don't like the cheese that comes with it I think it's bland but the flavor of the spinach is wonderful. 
 Chicken Tikka Masala. One of the most popular Indian dishes, this was delicious! 
 Naan. Typical, delicious.
 Everything on my plate
I have been here a few times and this is one of the better Indian restaurants that I have come across in the area. I highly recommend it-I have never had anything bad from here.

1222 W Broad Street
Falls Church, VA
Haandi Fine Indian Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Smashburger in Brooklyn

I have been craving Smashburger after trying it in Fairfax, and while in NYC this past weekend I was looking for a quick bit to eat and stumbled across a location in Brooklyn. 
I had to try the specialty burger. They served 2 different ones here, the Brooklyn Grilled pastrami, Swiss cheese, pickles, onion and yellow mustard on a pretzel bun and the New Yorker NY cheddar cheese, garlic grilled onions, fresh spinach, tomato and peppercorn garlic aioli on a brioche bun. I ordered the New Yorker which was pretty tasty but it didn't scream NYC to me-the onions were amazing though. I should have gone with the Brooklyn, much more original and it definitely screams Brooklyn. 
Carrie was with me so we decided that we would split a couple of sides. We got the Haystack Onions served with a horseradish sauce (bleh). I thought the onions were good and Carrie said the sauce paired really well with them. We also split an order of the Smashfries which sadly were not up to par. They were over fried-which I suppose is better then mushy.
Cashiers were a little slow, didn't quite know how to work the registers maybe? Good thing about the registers is you can see exactly what they typed in so you can see if your order has been messed up. 
This meal was decent. The burger was cooked really well and all of the toppings were fresh and tasteful, however this particular location needs a little help on their sides. Still worth trying out though. 

74 Dekalb Ave
Brooklyn, NY
Smashburger on Urbanspoon 

Here are a couple of snapshots from this weekend :) Didn't go as photo heavy as I normally do. 

Night on the town looking our best :)
 C & I enjoying the Manhattan view photo courtesy of Luke
 in Dumbo (Brookyln)
 Just your typical selling of stuff in the back of a McDonalds (socks & cologne)

There you have it folks! Hope you had a wonderful weekend :)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Pumpkin Week Day 5: Pumpkin Pancakes

Want to know a secret? I really don't like pumpkin all that much. Why, you may ask, would I decide to do a whole week dedicated to pumpkin then? Well because I am crazy and I adore themes. 

But don't worry, all of this food did not go to waste. I managed to come up with recipes that I do like. Pumpkin Sauce favorite dinner, Pumpkin Bread...a family favorite and an awesome recipe, Pumpkin Pie Dip...a good way to trick your body into a healthyish dessert and last but not least Pumpkin Pancakes :)

You may see other pumpkin posts on the blog, there is still a lot of fall left, but I think I have found all that I like pumpkin wise. Now I just need to find some fun themes for November/December. I am thinking of doing some sort of Mashed Potato "Mash Up" and maybe making it a link up.

Anyways thanks for sticking around for pumpkin week, as you read this I am either on my way to New York City or there already :) Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend! Follow me on instagram or twitter to keep up with my adventure: everydayapril

Pumpkin Pancakes
slightly adapted from Martha Stewart

1 1/4 cups flour
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
pinches of nutmeg and cloves
1/2 can pumpkin
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp oil
1 egg
1tsp vanilla

1. In one bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients
2. In a separate bowl mix together wet ingredients. 
3. Mix the wet mixture into the dry mixture. 
4. Heat a pan to medium and either spray or melt butter
5. Using a 1/4 cup pour batter onto pan. When bubbles (like normal pancakes) flip over and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Repeat until all batter is gone. 

-All though these cook the same as normal pancakes, texture wise they are thinner and mushier, however they are still delicious. A wonderful fall treat!

Previous Pumpkin Week posts
Day 1: Spicy Chicken and Pumpkin Enchiladas
Day 2: Great-Grandma's Famous Pumpkin Bread
Day 3: Pumpkin Beer Tasting
Day 4: Pumpkin Pie Dip

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Semi-Skinny Pumpkin Pie Dip

Pumpkin Week Day 4. I am on a roll :). This recipe actually stems from 2 different pumpkin dips I pinned a year ago and I am finally getting around to making them. Well sort of, this is sort of a hybrid between the two and I ended up loving it
I basically took half this recipe, and then an idea from this recipe to make a super light and fluffy dip that pairs perfectly with apples (graham crackers would go well too). This is a great, semi-light dip (depending on the version you decided to make). Next time I may throw in a little rum (idea from Rachel Cooks) to give an extra kick and make this adult only.  
Do yourself a favor and make this easy to put together, delicious dip for a party or you know, just for yourself :) I took the leftovers with me to work today and they were awesome!
Semi-Skinny Pumpkin Pie Dip

1/2 15oz can of pumpkin (if you want to get technical, ~1 cup)
1 block of cream cheese, softened (8 Tbsp)
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 of an 8oz container of lite cool whip
apples/crackers/whatever for dipping
1. Using a hand/stand mixer, mix together everything except for the cool whip.
2. Fold in the cool whip and serve or store in refrigerator until ready to eat. 

yup, it's that easy :)

-This is a very light dip, both of the recipes that I took from used more sugar in it, so if you want to go that route check them out (links above) but I think this is perfect as is. 
-To lighten it up, use reduced fat/lite cream cheese and lite cool whip, I used regular cream cheese because that is all that I had. 

Previous Pumpkin Week posts
Day 1: Spicy Chicken and Pumpkin Enchiladas
Day 2: Great-Grandma's Famous Pumpkin Bread
Day 3: Pumpkin Beer Tasting

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pumpkin Week Day 3: Pumpkin Beer Tasting!

Hey all! Pumpkin Week Day 3!!! Instead of a recipe I have a pumpkin beer review from a pumpkin party that I had the other night where I asked everyone who came to bring a different pumpkin beer :)

It decided that we would do a blind taste test for the beers to make things interesting. Before everyone came over, I decided that I would do one of the beers twice just to see if I could throw anyone off. 

The beers that we sampled were:

photo credits: 1/2/3/4/5/6/

The overall winner was the Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale. Everyone really liked it. 

Runners up were KBC and Shipyard. 

The others were listed as ok to meh in liking. The Dogfish was hoppier then I would have liked, so if you don't like hops (I HATE them) then this is not for you. 

All of these beers are worth trying at some point, but if you want to play it safe, stick with the Blue Moon. 

There are a ton of other pumpkin beers out there, so get exploring!! And let me know if you find one that's amazing! 

Funny things/things I've noticed about doing a tasting
-I actually did the Blue Moon beer twice, from the same package and while everyone loved the first, the all really didn't like the second. I think it was due to the overload of beer without a break in between. Everyone was shocked that the beer they said they really didn't like was the same one they all said they really liked.

-I am not a beer expert by any means/pro on holding tastings, but as I have noticed with wine, you definitely need a pallet cleanser for beer-especially when things are so similar

-I have a ton of leftover beer in my fridge, so I have been periodically drinking them over the past few days (for sampling purposes) and have noticed that 3 are pretty similar (or I am just a really bad judge...quite possible): Blue Moon, Shipyard, KBC

In case you missed Day 1 or Day 2 of Pumpkin Week :)
Spicy Chicken and Pumpkin Enchiladas
Great Grandmas Famous Pumpkin Bread