Sunday, February 13, 2011

red hook

tonight i'm bringing you a special 2 for 1 entry of hammy on rye. we traveled all the way to red hook (actually only 7 miles away, but you try navigating your way through brooklyn!), which happens to be one of my favorite neighborhoods in brooklyn because of all of the culinary treasures that reside there. first of all fairway and ikea are there, prime destinations. you've got stumptown coffee roasters, red hook lobster pound, the good fork. but this entry is not about any of those places, oh no. i'm dedicating this entry to two of my favorite red hook establishments, hope & anchor and the ultra famous BAKED.

hope & anchor is a little retro diner joint situated on the corner of van brunt and wolcott streets. with an extensive menu hope & anchor is typically a crowd pleaser, we've been there several times with all different types of picky eaters (i'm looking at you, kevin) and everyone is usually satisfied. clearly this wasn't my first time visiting hope & anchor, or baked, but i felt as though they were due for some recognition on this little thing here.

h & a was rather busy this morning, we waited around 10 minutes to be seated. as soon as we sat the hostess (who was very pleasant) brought us our menus and asked if she could take our drink order. she brought us our beverages and that was the last we saw of anyone for quite some time. i don't think of myself as very critical when i dine out, but waiting 15 minutes to have your order taken is pretty ridiculous. you are serving brunch on a sunday in brooklyn, need to have more than 1 waiter on the floor. a bartender does not equal a waiter either. not only did it take that long but the bartender who took our order looked extremely pissed that he had to even be talking to us. after we placed our order the food came around 8 minutes later which was excellent timing, i wasn't sure i could contain myself any longer.

the food was excellent, as always. i ordered the cheeseburger (which i could smell from the street as we were walking up) and it was delicious as usual. all burgers come with a side salad and a side of fries, which are eerily similar to mc donald's french fries. joe was less than pleased with his meal; he ordered the granola with yogurt and fruit but found that the yogurt was too bitter. he also had a side of "hash" which to me looked like a side of roasted vegetables, not exactly hash. we waited another 10 minutes or so until we received our check, which i was ok with since i needed to digest before we walked a few stores down to my favorite place in the world.....BAKED!!

like i've previously stated, i'm not really into those hyped up places that everyone talks about and thinks is soOooO wonderful when in reality it seriously is mediocre and it's only popular because of who has endorsed it (i.e. magnolia bakery). oh, and i HATE oprah. but boy, do i love baked! apparently their brownies were listed as one of oprah's favorite things (the sweet & salty is most definitely the best brownie i've ever had) which has been HUGE for them i'm sure (they now sell their boxed brownie mix at williams-sonoma, so cool!). i'm not going there for the brownies though (that's a lie, i did buy one)....i'm going there for the WHOOPIE PIE.

that's right, whoopie pie. an amish tradition, whoopie pies are pretty much cake sandwiches. or maybe a soft oreo. i don't really know. all i know is that they are fucking DELICIOUS and after eating baked's version of them, i could pretty much die happy. today they only had the classic and peanut butter versions. the red velvet (which we sampled at last week's artisans market at williams sonoma) was by far the best one i've had yet. so moist and incredible, not too sweet and not too overwhelming. the fact that they also serve stumptown coffee makes baked my most favorite bakery in the whole entire world.

red hook is a wonderful little neighborhood that makes you feel like you're not in brooklyn, which can be a good thing sometimes. i would love to buy a little place there and start our mini farm with bees, chicken and vegetables. hopefully we can find something for a decent price! until then, i'll relish my trips to this neighborhood and pretend i'm a local.

Hope & Anchor
347 Van Brunt St
(at Wolcott St)
Brooklyn, NY 11231

(718) 237-0276

359 Van Brunt St
(between Dikeman St & Wolcott St)
Brooklyn, NY 11231

(718) 222-0345

btw, both places accept credit cards although there is a $10 minimum at baked.

Monday, February 7, 2011

february blues.

i hate winter. and now i hate winter even more because i live in new york. every single week it snows (or atleast it seems that way) and i'm just simply not prepared for this. it's my first winter in new york and we've reached record snow fall for january. my street is covered in trash bags and filthy snow. on saturday morning in front of eataly, i was surrounded by snow and puddles of melted ice when suddenly a car splashed my entire body with dirty city slush. i can't take this today i'm taking us back to those warm june nights when you want nothing more than to walk a few blocks for an insanely delicious taco and an ice cold modelo.

Tortilleria Mexicana Tres Hermanos, or as i tend to call it, the tortilla factory. i first heard about this place when i was still living in virginia, watching every episode of "no reservations" and worshipping tony bourdain. not much has changed, but i do live in brooklyn now and only 10 blocks away from this amazing taqueria. this is no frills, authentic as fuck mexican food. you walk in, you grab an index card and you write down your order. being the gringa that i am, i write everything down in english because quite frankly my spanglish is embarrassing and i'd rather not offend them. the menu is fairly small, but that is completely fine with me...give me a taco, a tostada, a jarrito and i'm good to go. so after you've placed your order you sit down, enjoy the sights and smells and wait for your food. behind the windows you can see the tortilla factory in full swing. it's really comforting to know that your tortillas are being made on sight. the best part about the whole experience is that this place is DIRT cheap. $2.25 for a HUGE really can't beat that, especially in brooklyn. the vegetarian taco is my go to, filled with refried beans, lettuce, huge chunks of avocado, tomato and whatever the mexican equivalent to sour cream and cheese are (crema? chihuahua queso? don't quote me). the quesadilla is something i gravitate towards if i'm feeling's a humungous warm, thick tortilla stuffed with the same fillings as the taco and melted cheese. i always make sure to squeeze fresh lime juice on everything and slather on the fresh red HOT salsa they provide you with. then waltzes in the jarrito, my drink of choice, to ease the pain the salsa is causing and supplies me with a refreshed feeling. mandarin or lime only, please.

the tortilla factory is my favorite place to eat in warm months (tacos in the winter don't really do it for me), i can't think of a better way to spend my evening than walking a few blocks where i'm teleported to mexico. the food is simply outstanding.

see you in may, dear friend.

Tortilleria Mexicana Tres Hermanos
271 Starr St
(between Wyckoff Ave & St Nicholas Ave)
Brooklyn, NY 11237
Neighborhood: Bushwick

(718) 456-3422

btw, this restaurant is cash only and BYOB.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

2011 and i'm back!

well, i took a brief hiatus but i am back and ready to blog weekly. the holiday season was absolutely insane at my restaurant which left me no time to document or blog about my meals. no more excuses, now on to the good stuff.....

i'm not one for hyped places, or the newest craze, or NY times approved restaurants but i do find myself now and again looking to new york magazine for advice on where to spend my cash. my favorite issue every year is the "where to eat" edition that breaks down the very best places in this fine city to dine at. so i've compiled my list and my top 10 restaurants to try this year as as follows:

ABC kitchen
red rooster (i've never been to harlem so double whammy there)
noodle bar
le bernardin
buttermilk channel

only 4 of those restaurants were listed in the annual issue and i had already been to a few of the ones they mentioned. hopefully i can try one of those restaurants every month for the next 10 months and i promise to blog about it!

it's true love.

now for a review...

sunday is my favorite day of the week. more often than not i'm off from work and able to go out for brunch, which is something i've always really enjoyed. lately we've been going out for brunch every weekend so today i wanted to try a different place. there is a new hana food (organic market) that just opened up less than 10 blocks from apartment, and when i went there yesterday i noticed a dark little restaurant on the corner. it was raining and i didn't have the patience to walk over and see what it was so i immediately checked yelp when i got home. after finding the name and the website i peeped the menu and was pleasantly surprised that it all sounded quite delicious. didn't take much convincing on my end, joe was happy to not trek to williamsburg for a meal. so tim picked us up and we headed to Northeast Kingdom.

first thing i noticed when we walked in was that they listed most of the farms where they obtained their food from. being a chef myself in a farm to table restaurant, i appreciate when restaurants supply that sort of information. i was also intrigued because i hadn't heard of most of those farms and was eager to chow down and see what they were all about.

after ordering a cup of coffee (which was from a coffee shop down the block called wyckoff star) i decided to go with the omelet with spinach and onions, which came with a choice of toast (wheat or white) and home fries. joe ordered the same and tim opted for the chilaquiles. bonus points for having diverse egg options.

this arrived and i knew i made the right decision. big chunks of onions and spinach, perfectly seasoned home fries and delicious wheat toast, a perfect breakfast. being on the line and knowing how to expedite and how timing works, i was pretty disappointed with how long it took for us to receive our food, but it's brunch so i do understand. the home fries were a bit cold and i don't understand why they don't offer some sort of jam to accompany the toast, but other than that everything was really delicious. prices are a bit high, but it is brooklyn so that is to be expected. overall, i enjoyed my experience there, the food was really delicious and i do believe i'll be back, especially since it's so close to my apartment.

but only if i get to dine with these hunks again....

Northeast Kingdom
18 Wyckoff Ave
(at Jefferson St)
Brooklyn, NY 11237
Neighborhood: Bushwick (!!)
(718) 386-3864