Saturday, May 31, 2008


Oh my readers. Moving takes so long. And it makes me so tired. I promise to get back to blogging very soon. But alas and alack, not tonight.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

We'll take Manhattan....

Oh moving. You take up all of my time and leave me no time to blog about the nice meals that I eat/make. I just know that you're all out there thinking "Hey, didn't Lena go to Bar Boulud recently? I kinda wanted to know how that was." Well the wait is over, my friends. I am taking a break from packing/moving/painting to tell you all about it.

My mom and I ventured up to Lincoln Center last Sunday night. I've told you before about how I feel strange on the Upper West Side, like I'm in a movie about New York (see here). Well, that night was no exception. As the hostess leads us to our table in the back, we walk right by none other than Woody Allen and Soon-yi (at least I assumed it was Soon-yi. I can't recognize her by her looks, but it seems safe to assume that Woody doesn't have a new Asian child-bride). It just doesn't get more New York than Woody Allen (at least for me - I've seen Annie Hall at least ten times). To me, this boded well for the restaurant.

We started off with some "charcuterie gilles verot" which apparently means "cold pressed meat" in English. I guess I should have drawn that conclusion from seeing all the terrines and foie gras under it, but what can I say? I'm a little slow sometimes. We chose one made of beef cheek and got some beets with horseradish to go along with it. Here it is.

It reminded me of leftover corned beef, with some spicy mustard and tiny pickles. I could have used way more mustard. It was alright, but I think cold pressed meat is not my favorite dish to order. I'll know for the future. The beets were very good though.

We moved on to a "Frisée Lyonnaise" which had chicory, chicken liver, poached eggs, lardons, and a big sourdough crouton. I liked it quite a bit. I love chicken livers when someone who isn't me cooks them. The egg yolk was delicious, we mixed it into the salad and it made everything nice and creamy. The lardons were much bigger than I was expecting. I think of lardons like little sticks, these were the size of very large croutons. I wasn't crazy about them, but what can you do. Both my mom and I commented on how well the Frisée worked in the salad. We thought we didn't like Frisée but we were wrong. I was so into the salad, I forgot to take a picture. Whoops.

Then it was on to the main courses. My mom had a traditional Coq Au Vin.

It was good but very heavy. I had the lighter, but super amazing Artic Char. It came with Braised Fennel in an olive oil herb broth.

They actually brought a little cup of broth to the table with my fish and poured it over the plate as they set it down. I liked that. This was probably my favorite dish of the night. Perfectly cooked fish, yummy broth, fresh basil and mint....oh so good.

We ended with a seasonal dish - Rhubarb Tart with Berry Ice Cream.

It was excellent. I love rhubarb. In fact, I bought some yesterday. Maybe I'll make a tart.

Overall, I'd say it was a nice dinner and we certainly enjoyed ourselves, but it's not on the same scale as say, Babbo or Gramercy Tavern. The food got progressively better as the night went on, but it didn't have the overall excellence in either food or service. Go in with moderate expectations, order the Artic Char and a dessert and you'll probably be fine.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir? (or, my night at Boeing Boeing)

By all rights, Boeing Boeing should be terrible. It's an extremely dated French play from the 1960's about a man with three "air hostess" fiancees. Sounds bad, right? Kinda creaky? Ridiculous? Predictable?

Well it may be all of those things, but it's also a hoot. Staged within an inch of its life, it may as well be a ballet, with incredibly precise movements and impeccable timing. The performers are clearly having a ball, with some truly priceless over the top characters (or really, caricatures). At the center of the storm, Mark Rylance bobs along as the play's straight man, happily bewildered in an apartment full of color coded stewardesses (the design for the show is wonderful, with strong colors and a spot on '60's feel). Rylance's performance is sheer joy, every scream, every jump, every innocent come-on is a treat.

I was also enchanted by Mary McCormack's German Air Hostess. Severe and deep throated, a perfect counter balance to the more traditionally sexy Italian and American stereotypes, she stole every scene she was in, writhing about on the floor in confused passion (about her convictions). It's easy to see why she was singled out among the three women for a Tony nomination.

As for the other two above the title performers, Christine Baranski was delightful as the epitome of a French Maid. Bradley Whitford played well in his large group scenes and really came alive in moments of panic (and in a farce, there are a lot of those), but I found him a little flat in his early expositional scenes (but perhaps anyone would seem flat next to Mark Rylance).

Overall, we had a wonderful time. However - chose your seats carefully. The theatre is badly laid out and my mom and I stared into the large heads of the people in front of us for much of the evening. Do not sit in the mezzanine without a front row seat (I've been there before and I seem to remember the balcony being better). Enjoy!

Monday, May 26, 2008


Oh my readers, I am so tired. I have so much to tell you about! Dinner at Bar Boulud, my review of Boeing Boeing, the growing cuteness of my brand new apartment. But alas, after a day of many fiascos and my boyfriend back in America, I shall instead leave you with this video of my current obsession, In The Heights (I saw it again this week. My mom had to see it. You understand).

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Jackson Heights has all the awesome food

Today me, my mom, Uncle Steven, Titi Ana and Terry all headed out to Jackson Heights for Columbian food. Did you know that you could get good Columbian food in Jackson Heights? I sure didn't. Ana has been telling me about it for what seems like a very long time at this point, and so we decided to head out there and see it for ourselves. I've been hearing about the lunch specials for a while - apparently they're only $5.95 and very good. So we all ordered some. Today's special was Sancocho de Gallina. I thought that meant chicken soup, but I was wrong.

First they brought out the soup.

It's kinda blurry, but it had nice flavor. The broth was really savory. I liked the bits of cilantro. The big chunks floating in the soup are potato, yuca (a root vegetable) and chicken gizzard. I thought that this was the whole meal. But then they brought out this:

Blam! Crazy. I liked the chicken quite a bit. It had a nice sauce that tasted good mixed with the rice. My chicken was mostly skin and bones that I picked around, but my mom got a nice big piece of meat. The plantain was a little too dense for me - I like it when it's cooked a long time and kinda falling apart. C'est la vie. There's a corn cake on the plate as well, but it was too thick and very bland. I didn't like it.

Overall, the food was very good and a huge value for the price. Check it out! La Boina Roja Steak House II in Jackson Heights, Queens. I would link to it, but there's not a website. It's at 7705 37th Ave - take the 7/E/V/R to Roosevelt Ave.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I got Schooled

Sorry for the delay in posting (I went one whole day without writing anything. Most people probably didn't notice, but I like to think that some people are obsessively checking to see if I wrote anything yet. Maybe that's wishful thinking). Anyways, my mom is here and we've been very busy. This past week, we had dinner with Ana at L'Ecole ("the school" in French) which is the restaurant connected with the French Culinary Institute in Soho. I've been there twice before, about six years ago with Ana and her mom, Mary Jo, and once with Meredith for our college graduation. So it had been awhile.

The menu remained similar, but the decor was very different (or so said Ana. I couldn't remember what it looked like before). The 5-7pm menu is a four course pre fix that professional chefs are in charge of. If you want the students to cook for you, you'd have to go later in the evening (and you'd have to have five courses. Me, I'm fine not having a separate fish course).

I resisted the urge to order the salmon gravlax with potato galette for the third time in a row (I love salmon. Especially when it's raw/smoked/cured. Delish!) and instead opted for Fresh Corn Soup with Lobster and Pancetta.

It was good. Nice and simple, with a creamy consistency but no actual cream (I asked). The pancetta was crisp and yummy, but the lobster lacked some flavor. Oh well. I still enjoyed it.

Ana got the salmon that I usually order. It's pretty, yes? Oh it's so yummy. There's a little cucumber salad wrapped up in the salmon. Love it!

My mom had the steamed asparagus with deviled quail eggs. It was chilled. She and Ana liked it, but I'd rather have my asparagus hot. Next came the main courses. I chose Grilled Skirt Steak with Cippollini Onions and Creamed Spinach.

It was very good. Nice and rare with great flavor. My mouth got all full of spit just typing this. Sigh. It came with these French Fries.

They were nice and crispy. My mom thought they were almost like potato chips. See the bread behind it? The bread was good. I love sourdough bread with butter. It's one of life's simple pleasures. My steak came with three sauces as well - some sort of parsley sauce, mustard and a fancy bbq sauce that I didn't like. Don't fault the sauce though - I just don't like bbq (I know, I'm weird. I grew up with four California vegetarians. It's a miracle I like anything).

My mom and Ana both ordered the chicken, despite our discussion about how you never should order chicken in a restaurant (which I heard for the first time in this restaurant six years ago. Ana's mom said it. I think they ordered the chicken just to spite me).

It was nice, the skin was crispy and rubbed with rosemary and thyme. However it's just chicken, right? I could make that at home. I could make steak at home too, but I won't buy such good cuts. The chicken came with these little pots of vegetable ragout.

I thought that was cute. There were lots of mixed vegetables in it and bread crumbs on top. Next came our third course. I was expecting salad with goat cheese (that's what we've always gotten before) but instead they brought us three little sorbets.

They were Coconut, Passion Fruit and Cantaloupe. Passion fruit is very big right now. We got little tastes of passion fruit meringue at the Gramercy Tavern, but I forgot to include it in my blog. I'm telling you now though, so we're okay. Phew. The cantaloupe was my favorite, but possibly because it was the only one that hadn't melted to soup before they served it to us.

We got three different desserts to maximize our sugar intake. I got Chocolate Ganache Cake.

It was good, but a little one-note. I could have used some ice cream with it, or maybe a fruit sauce. Ana got a Strawberry Rhubarb Financier (Try the financier, peak of his career) with Thai Basil Ice Cream.

This was my favorite. The pastry was nice and buttery and crisp, and the fruit was warm and yummy. My mom got a Cheesecake with a macadamia nut crust.

I liked the crust a lot, but found the cheesecake slightly too dense. It was still good though.

On the way out, they gave us cookies that the pastry students had made in a little bag. Is this a new thing? Gramercy Tavern gave us little Chocolate Cherry Strudel Cakes to take with us as well. I hope it is a new thing. I like it.

Overall, the food was very good. It's a fun, not overly expensive for fancy food (our meals were only 39.95 for four courses), destination.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Dumplings are universal

I was not always such a foodie. There was a time that I lived on Annie's Mac and Cheese and never touched red meat (I know, it was crazy). But it wasn't so long ago. My culinary horizons really expanded in New York City. One of the first "different" foods I tried? Pierogi. Pierogi are dumplings filled with meat or cheese or whatever the cook feels like putting in (tradition be damned!). My favorite pierogi come from Veselka - probably because they're the only pierogis I've ever had that didn't come from a package. Also, you can get them fried instead of boiled. Not as traditional (or healthy), but twice as delicious (at least). The ones pictured are the special of the month (if "month" means "last five months") - arugula and goat cheese.

I got these with Zack and Joe (Zack's dad) last weekend. There was a time when I took everyone I knew to Veselka all the time. It was cheap and the food was good and I lived around the corner. I think I burned Zack out on it, because he refused to go there for a while. But he surprised me by suggesting we go there on Saturday night (possibly because the show he was designing was across the street). I was especially glad because I thought that the world (and by the world, I mean readers of my blog) should know about it. And now you do.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Warm Welcome

On Monday night, in an effort to lift our spirits and enjoy cool things to do in New York City, Elana and I headed over to Gramercy Tavern for a very long, very enjoyable meal. This is not a place to grab a bite and run. This is a place to go if you love (and I mean LOVE) food.

I took some pictures that actually turned out better than I expected. I braved the embarrassment of taking pictures of my food in a fancy restaurant (minus the flash, of course), only to find that my files were corrupted after I uploaded them onto my computer. Are you sad? I sure am (I did steal some pictures from the internet - but it's not the same). I suppose I'll just have to go back now and try it again. However, I won't make you wait that long to read my post. You'll just have to imagine the food in your mind.

My first impression of Gramercy Tavern? Boy, are these guys friendly. I think this might be the most welcome I've ever felt in a fancy restaurant. After all, Elana and I don't exactly look like bums off the street, but we're young women, by ourselves, with our gym clothes stuffed into our handbags. We don't exactly scream "important diners." But from the second we walked in, the hostess smiled and said to us, "Welcome to Gramercy Tavern, we're so happy to have you here." The waiters praised all of our dinner choices, everything we ordered "oh, excellent choice." I liked that. It really makes you feel like you're getting the best out of your dinner experience.

On to the food! First they bring out a little pork terrine with celery as an amouse bouche (or however you spell that). I'm not normally a huge fan of cold pressed meat, but it was nice. The celery gave it a nice crunch.

We asked the waiter to recommend a bottle of red wine under $60 and to our surprise, he recommended a bottle for $40. It would be swell if I could remember what it was called. All I can remember is that it was from Spain and it was nice and full. Elana and I both approved. I always ask for help ordering wine, since I don't have a lot of confidence about wine. I haven't been steered wrong yet.

I started with Homemade Parpadelle (wide pasta) with beef ragu and scallions. Oh my god. It was amazing. The beef was so tender, it just fell apart in my mouth. The scallions (which seemed like an odd choice in this dish) were delicious, they kind of reminded me of ramps (I've been a little farmer's market crazy). I just love homemade pasta - there's really nothing better. I was so happy. Elana started with Veal Cappelletti (little filled pastas) with Sage and Cauliflower. There was a brown butter sauce over the whole thing. It was very tasty, the cauliflower was a little caramelized and the meat was really flavorful.

We moved on to the main course. I chose Glazed Duck Breast and Leg Confit with fennel and swiss chard. The fennel was AMAZING. It was so tender and savory. The swiss chard brightened up the flavor. And the duck. Oh the duck. The skin was crispy. The meat was moist. It was just perfect. Elana had Smoked Lobster. Who knew you could do that? Not me for sure. It was really different. It came with some tubey pasta and greens. We both liked it.

We were going to go straight to dessert, but then the waiter tempted us with a cheese course. We knew we couldn't eat three cheeses and two desserts. But one cheese? We could probably do that. We asked the waiter if he'd bring us just one cheese and he agreed. We picked the raw English Cheddar. The waiter brought us another cheese on the house as well! It was Dutch and kind of like a mix between Gouda and Parmesan. Rhubarb chutney and wild honey complimented the cheese nicely - but I could have just eaten the cheese and been perfectly happy. It was really delicious cheese.

Then it was time for dessert. Oh dessert. My old friend. I picked Warm Chocolate Bread Pudding with Cacao Nib Ice Cream. It was like a molten chocolate cake, but not as pretentious.

While Elana was in the bathroom, the waiter secretly told me "You didn't hear this from me, but you go the better dessert." I totally agreed. Not that Elana's wasn't great. It just wasn't made of chocolate.

That's a Rhubarb Meringue Tart with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. It was great. The meringue was especially good. It wasn't too dry and it had a nice flavor. I love rhubarb, so the whole thing was delicious.

Overall, I'd say this was a great overall meal. The service, the food, everything was wonderful. If I'd never eaten at Babbo, this might be one of the best meals I've ever had. However, it's way up there for sure. I highly recommend this restaurant. Bring your appetites and a lot of money. It's worth it, for sure.

Wait, wait.......keep waiting........

As I was uploading my pictures of Gramercy Tavern onto my computer, I came across this picture that I took on Saturday night and promptly forgot about.

It's a good picture, yes? I think so too. For those of you who don't recognize this person, it's Jess Barbagallo dressed as an "imperfect werewolf" for a piece called FOUR OBSTRUCTIONS, written and directed by Tina Sattler. The tagline was "3 collaborators use one monologue to interpret the perfect human, an imperfect werewolf and doo-wop." Doesn't that sound like fun? Well it was.

It was presented at the Ontological Theater as part of a program called "Short Form," where all good former ETW students go at some point or another. The lighting was done by Zack Tinkelman and the amazing sound and music was done by Chris Giarmo. How could I miss that? All my favorite people.

Have you ever seen Jess sing like a rock star? Or dress like a werewolf? You are missing out, my friend. Word around the street is that they're putting it up again in August, so keep your ears to the ground. It's lots of fun.

More on Gramercy Tavern later....I'm such a post tease.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Almost time for food

Nothing to blog about yet, folks. I'm in the office (nothing to blog about there) and then I go to Gramercy Tavern with Elana for dinner. That should be pretty blog-worthy. After all, it's got three stars from the New York Times as well as a nod from Ed Levine as one of New York City's Best Dining Experiences. He lists it up there with Babbo (where Zack and I had the most amazing meal of our young lives) and Per Se (which I've always dreamed about going to, but the $250 (per person. Without wine) price tag scares me off).

So, with a brand new bonus check from my office that's itching to be spent, away we go! I'll let you know how it is tomorrow.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A guest post by AHR of Geekanerd

Hey all, Lena here. I've been super busy painting my new apartment, so I thought, what better time to have a guest blogger entertain you all? Here is she is boys, here she is world, Ana Hurka-Robles of Geekanerd.

As a proud resident of Hell's Kitchen, I spend the entire year in anticipation of the The Ninth Avenue International Food Festival. Ninth Ave in the HK area has a highly concentrated selection of good restaurants, and at the Food Festival they set up little booths and sell their top dishes in small, cheap portions. I had a great time on the first day of the Festival, if you can make it on Sunday (11am to 7pm, 9th ave between 42nd and 57th) I highly recommend it!

I went to the Festival with my girlfriend Sarah (a frequent commenter on this very blog). She started off our culinary adventure with a $5 sangria from the Eatery booth. It had a good amount of fruit as well as liquor, and there's nothing like freely walking down a NYC street with a plastic cup of booze in hand.

Eatery was also serving $5 dollar portions of their Asian Chicken Salad, which is my personal favorite salad in Manhattan. It's made with super-sweet citrusy dressing and tender strips of chicken breast. I had to document the behind-the-scenes magic...

The mixed greens and secret spices...

Strips of jicama, chicken, and spicy toasted peanuts. There's also a fried wonton involved, but it's not pictured.

Next was the booth from Old San Juan, a Puerto Rican/international (??) restaurant I'd never been to before. I got the Puerto Rican tamale without even asking what was in it, cause I live on the edge.

They gave it to me tightly wrapped up in wax paper, so all the steamy goodness was kept inside the banana leaf wrapper.

The corn meal was totally soaked in the juices from the meat on the inside and the banana leaves on the outside. It had a kind of midly sweet taste, more flavorful than the tamales I'm used to. There were big, meaty pieces of pork inside, and it was surprisingly filling for such a little package. Best thing I ate all day.

At the Kyotofu booth, the lady behind the table was telling everyone about how New York Magazine named their chocolate cupcakes the Best Cupcake in New York. I've been to Kyotofu several times (it's an eccentric, fancy but affordable place to take out-of-towneres) and the most remarkable thing about the cupcakes are how dense and rich they are. No frosting, but what can you do, they're minimalists.

Breeze is a Thai-French fusion place, though most of what they had on offer where straight-up Thai appetizers; meat on sticks, dumplings, and rice dishes. The little one dollar dumplings caught my eye.

These little steamed dumplings were called "Golden Bags", which me and Sarah were both too embarrassed to say to the vendor. We're not mature.

So cute! They put a little spash of soy sauce on the top, making for a salty little bite of shrimp and veggies, which a mildly spicy aftertaste. Yum.

Bali Nusa Indah is an Indonesian restaurant I'd never tried before. They too had an impressive display of $1 appetizers, and the golden brown fried stuff caught my eye. Most NYC street fairs are flush with all sorts of fried things (cheese, dough, oreos) and even though the Ninth Ave festival is substantially classier, it's hard to argue with tradition.

I got a vegetable corn fritter, which I believe is a spin on their Perkedel Jagung appetizer, usually made with shrimp (they had those too, but I wanted to pretend I was being healthy). The only vegetable I noticed inside were peas, but you can't really go wrong with a fried ball of corn meal. More tender and moist than the hush-puppies I'd had before at the Delta Grill down the street, so score one for Indonesia.

Mitchell London Foods runs two great restaurants down at the southern edge of Hell's Kitchen, Burgers and Cupcakes and Mitchell London Pizza. They represented at the fair with a bunch of little items including these sliders. Unfortunately these little guys were going for five bucks. What! They serve actual burgers at B&C for only a dollar more (UPDATE: Sarah tells me they may have in fact been only $3-4. Though I'm not convinced.) Sarah has on multiple occasions professed her love of mini-burgers, but even she skipped 'em.

Lucky Burger to the rescue! Lucky Burger is HK's local answer to corporate fast food chains, they serve junk food in a brightly lit space that tastes great, even though it usually takes them about twenty minutes to get me my order. That wasn't an issue at the fair, since they had a whole bunch of burgers on the grill, ready to go. And only $3 bucks!

Oh man, look how good that looks! Fresh lettuce, tomato and onion, and "lucky sauce" which is tangy, creamy, light orange, and extremely delicious.

While we sat and ate a woman at our table asked what the Festival was all about; she'd just moved from San Francisco to New Jersey, and had just stumbled upon the fest while taking a weekend visit to Manhattan with her family. Since I too am a Bay Area transplant, we chatted about what all Californians love to complain about while in NYC; how there's no good Mexican food on the east coast. Then again, how can we whine about a lack of one particular kind of cuisine in a middle of a fair FULL of international foodstuffs? I have no reason to complain, Ninth Avenue rules.

Friday, May 16, 2008

A brief thought

Hello all. I was planning on going to the new 2nd Avenue Deli today to try out their corned beef sandwiches and blog about them, but then my law firm ordered free pizza for everyone. What's a girl to do? Why spend 14 dollars on a corned beef sandwich when you can have pizza for free? I don't know. And so, I didn't.

Sadly, I didn't cook anything last night (Zack and I had leftovers while painting our brand new apartment) and I probably won't tonight either. Don't despair though, in the next week or so, I've got dinner reservations at L'Ecole and Bar Boulud, plus tickets to Boeing Boeing! So you'll be getting a lot of great posts soon.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I like mustard

Mustard is not something I've always enjoyed. I think it's one of those child palate versus adult palate things and now that my tongue thinks I'm a grown up, I like mustard. Especially the spicy homemade kind - although that's hard to find. So when Serious Eats had a post on Pork Chops with Mustard and Sour Cream Sauce, I thought "hey, I like mustard and I have pork chops in my fridge." It was fate. Or at least good timing.

Pork Chops with Mustard and Sour Cream Sauce - adapted from Serious Eats

1/8 cup chicken stock
1/8 cup low-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon stone-ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
2 pork chops
Pinch sugar
Salt and pepper

1. Season your pork chops with salt and pepper on both sides. Put a pinch of sugar on one side of each pork chop.

My pork chops aren't locally grown. They're just from the supermarket. Oh well.

2. Heat your oil in a skillet over medium. Put your pork chops sugar side down and let them sit for five minutes. They'll make a nice crust. There will be lots of flavor.

3. Flip them, turn the heat down to low and cover your pan.

If I'd used a pan with a lid that fit, I think it would have been better. C'est la vie. Cook them until they register 140 degrees on an instant read thermometer - or until you cut into it and it's not raw anymore.

4. While the pork chops cook, combine these ingredients:

That's chicken stock, sour cream, Dijon mustard, stone-ground mustard, and cornstarch. Combine them in a blender. I used my food processor because it's awesome.

5. Once it's combined, cook it over low heat. Whisk it until it's thickened.

6. Pour it over the chops and if you're fancy, add the parsley. I didn't. Zack hates parsley.

I could have used more sauce. If I made it again, I'd probably double the sauce.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Expectations will kill you every time

Today Meredith and I went to lunch at the Chinatown Brasserie. We'd been meaning to go for a while and today seemed just as good a day as any other to try it out. It's been around for a few years, but the last time I'd been there, it was the Time Cafe and Karen Finley performed downstairs and took off all her clothes and said dirty things, because that's what she does. It's different now.

The decor is nice, very red and open. We opened our menus and saw that there was a lunch pre-fix for $12. Good deal, we thought and ordered off that menu. We were supposed to get four dumplings each, but our waitress was new and brought us eight each by mistake. We ordered Crabmeat and Shrimp, Pork and Shrimp, Veggie Spring Roll, Shrimp and Mango Roll and Bok Choy and Shiitake.

The Boy Choy and Shiitake was my favorite. I wasn't crazy about the ones with shrimp. I couldn't taste any pork in any of them (neither could Meredith), so the waitress may have brought us the wrong kind. But irregardless, the pieces of shrimp were too large. The spring roll was fine, but it's hard to go wrong with fried things without meat. Here are the sauces they came with - Spicy Mustard, Chili Soy Sauce and Sweet and Sour Sauce. I liked them all.

Meredith ordered the Three Chili Chicken with peanuts. It was alright. I thought it could have used more heat. For something called Three Chili Chicken, it wasn't as spicy as I was expecting.

I got the Sliced Beef and Ramps with black pepper sauce. It was okay. The ramps were good (and seasonal) but the beef wasn't especially well cooked. It was a little mushy and not that hot (I mean warm, not spicy).

We skipped dessert (they looked good though) and I started to feel sick as soon as I got on the subway. Meredith will tell you that it could have been the caffeine or the bubbles from the soda and that she felt fine after eating there. But I felt gross for several hours. It could have been any number of things. At any rate, we had high expectations that just weren't matched.

All photos in this post are by Meredith. I forgot my camera at home, so Meredith stepped up. She rocks.