northern spy food co.

I brunched with a couple friends not too long ago at Northern Spy Food Co. This East Village restaurant’s menu focuses on local and seasonal ingredients. The space isn’t the largest, but it sure was nice and cozy on that Sunday afternoon.

Coffees, waters, and a blueberry mimosa were the drinks ordered by the table. To start the meal, we all split an order of their buttermilk biscuits. These were delicious. They came to the table still warm and were some of the best biscuits I’ve ever had.

slow-whisked scrambled eggs

A friend ordered the slow whisked scrambled eggs which came with Heritage bacon and pan bread. Another ordered the sausage, egg & cheese sandwich which used gruyere and a fennel-sage sausage. I went with the chicken & egg sandwich which had a crispy chicken thigh, a poached egg, and chimichurri sauce.

chicken & egg sandwich

Definitely enjoyed everything I had for brunch. After having the biscuits on their own, I’ve gotta order their biscuits and gravy next time!

Northern Spy Food Co.
511 East 12th Street
New York, NY 10009

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cuba libre – brunch without borders

Cuba Libre in Old City has a new menu for their 10th anniversary which has been inspired by Chef Guillermo Pernot’s recent trip to Cuba. One of the menu changes is their Brunch without Borders. Brunch without Borders is a $25, all-you-can-eat meal featuring several piqueos (small plates). Last Saturday, a friend and I certainly indulged until our stomachs reached their borders!

cafe cuba libre w/ shot of spiced rum

There were so many drinks to start the day off from coffees, tropical cocktails, and juices. I think I chose the best one though. My drink of choice was the Cafe Cuba Libre with an added shot of spiced rum. It’s Cuban coffee with steamed coconut milk and Cuba Libre spiced rum. This stuff was so ridiculously good. Could I have these everyday?

torta de cangrejo benedict

We certainly tried a ton of items, but the ones shown here were definitely our favorites. The Torta de Cangrejo Benedict was an interesting take on eggs benedict. It consisted of a jumbo lump crabmeat & potato cake topped with a poached egg and tomato Hollandaise served over an avocado mash.

cobbano salad

Another piqueo we ordered twice was the Cobbano Salad. Essentially a Cobb salad with Cuban flair, it had pulled pork, plaintains, hearts of palm, grape tomatoes, avocado, bacon, Cabrales cheese, hard boiled egg, scallions, watercress, and baby spinach tossed in a light mustard vinaigrette.

sopa levanta muerto

We may have also ordered the Sopa Levanta Muerto twice as well. Despite being fairly hot on Sunday, this was too good not to order twice. The translation means Raise the Dead Soup, which is named due to it’s consumption by those hungover to “raise spirits and body”…perfect for the Friday nights we both had. This soup had a delicious broth made up of some coconut milk and had crab meat, scallops, shrimp, and mussels.

To end our meal, we ordered the torreja (pictured above). It was a hazelnut and almond encrusted brioche French toast topped with strawberries, Frangelico-Mascarpone cheese, honey, and powdered sugar.

You can also order all these items a la carte should you not want to Brunch without Borders. Here is the rest of the brunch menu.

Cuba Libre
10 S. 2nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

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pub & kitchen

When a friend suggested we have dinner & drinks at Pub & Kitchen, I immediately agreed. It has been way too long that I’ve neglected this place. P&K was formerly known for their Windsor burger, a burger which was topped with English cheddar and homemade bacon. I unfortunately never got to try the Windsor burger before their latest burger, the Churchill, debuted.

deviled eggs

The Churchill’s burger is a dry aged custom blend from Pat LaFrieda, the man responsible for the meat used in the burgers at NYC’s Shake Shack, Minetta Tavern, and The Spotted Pig. The bone marrow glazed beef is topped with sauteed onions before being placed on a Metropolitan Bakery brioche bun. (via Foobooz)

veal sweetbreads

Prior to the burger though, deviled eggs and veal sweetbreads (on special) were ordered as appetizers. The deviled eggs came with a tasty sauce and the sweetbreads were served with a frisee salad. Both appetizer dishes were delicious. This was also my first time having deviled eggs. I’m officially a fan!

Before I go any further, I do want to say that I find burgers to be a very intimate and personal thing. When I consume a burger, from the moment I pick it up, I rarely, if at all, put it back down once it has been picked up for the first bite. It will stay there in the grasp of my left hand until it is finished. I will also not speak much to anyone at the table next to me aside from some food moans or “Oh my god, this is so good/bad,” partly due to the fact that most burgers can get quite messy (hands/face/plate) and I feel that the burger needs to be finished before I engage in further conversation. I mention this because some of these things changed when I consumed the Churchill.

churchill cross section

I ordered a medium rare Churchill…with added Great Hill blue cheese. I wasn’t going to add any extra additions but I honestly couldn’t resist adding blue cheese to a burger if that’s an option. Holy crap. The burger was so juicy and tasty. There was also an airiness to the burger, a good thing. For the first time in my life I consumed a large burger while simultaneously holding conversation with my fellow diners. In addition, the bun held up to the burger. There were no juices running off the burger destroying the bun and further running off to my fingers…none of this at all. The fries that came along with the burger were also fantastic. Does clean hands at the end of the meal plus being able to converse with my fellow diners mean a perfect burger? Of course not, but that in addition to being an absolutely tasty burger certainly makes it come close. To add to my euphoria, I washed down the meal with a Sixpoint Middleton Ale, specially made for P&K.

fish & chips

Some of the others ordered fish & chips, which smelled and looked incredible. They were served with a side of mashed peas which I’ve been told are delicious. My problem next time is resisting a Churchill and ordering the fish & chips. Anyone want to do half/half with me?

Pub & Kitchen
1946 Lombard Street
Philadelphia, PA 19146-1411

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02.21.2010 – day five – cooking: greek omelette w/ vegetarian sausage

I woke up this morning feeling pretty bold. I wanted to try making a Greek omelette. Unfortunately I fail when it comes to making omelettes with watery mix-ins (spinach, tomatoes). Though it did taste pretty good!

Greek Omelette
Serves two

-4 large eggs, beaten
-1/8 cup red onion, diced
-1/2 lb. fresh spinach, leaves only
-handful of feta cheese crumbles
-1 roma/plum tomato, diced
-2-3 tbsp, butter
-salt and pepper, to taste
-vegetable oil

Take about 1-2 tbsp of vegatable oil and place in frying/saute pan. Heat over medium heat. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Place wilted spinach aside and drain any excess water that may have been drained.

Add about 1 tbsp of butter and melt. Add the onions and tomato. Cook for about 5 minutes until onions have cooked off some of their raw taste. Add the spinach back in as well as the rest of the butter.

Place the beaten eggs in. Cook until eggs are almost 100% set. Sprinkle a loose layer of feta across the egg. Fold in half.

I served the omelette with some Tofurky Breakfast Links. The omelette tasted great but it was a bit watery, probably due to the ingredients I used. I’m not entirely sure how to make an omelette that isn’t watery with tomatoes and/or spinach. Any advice?

On another note, I think I’m going to do away with mentioning exactly what I’m eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner unless it’s blog-worthy I guess. It just seems rather lame/dull/boring.

Go USA! Great hockey game tonight!

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