Mac and Cheese Adventures

One of my favorite foods in the entire world is Mac and Cheese. Even when I was a little girl eating Kraft mac and cheese made by my dad, I still loved it. It might be the large amount of cheese but it’s always been a go-to order for me if it’s on the menu. I’ve since grown up a bit from Kraft boxed mac and cheese to more gourmet versions. Recently, I tried two mac and cheese specialty restaurants.

The first restaurant on my mac and cheese adventure was MacBar in Soho. MacBar specializes in mac and cheese. They have over 10 mac and cheese options on their menu – ranging from sandwich themed to pizza themed. The entire store is actually shaped like a macaroni elbow. And their cutlery comes snapped together. Super cute!

The boyfriend and I shared the small cheeseburger mac and cheese ($6.99). It was more than enough to fill us up as a snack. This particular mac and cheese features ground angus beef, cheddar cheese and American cheese. The macaroni came out super hot with a crunchy crust. I really liked this mac and cheese because it made me feel like I was five-years old again and eating mac and cheese made by my parents. I can definitely see myself coming back to try out their other flavors – like mac lobsta’ and mac quack.

The second restaurant on my mac and cheese adventure was Beecher’s Cheese, which is location in the Flatiron area. I recently started my summer internship and this restaurant-slash-cheese shop is located right down the block. It’s a no brainer that a cheese lover like myself would stop by eventually for lunch. I went with their Beecher’s World Best Mac and Cheese (~$10 with tax). This is more of a grown up mac and cheese since it’s made with penne instead of macaroni. They use their very own Beecher’s Flagship cheese and Beecher’s Just Jack Cheese to make this dish. The result is a mac and cheese heavy in cheese flavor but a bit salty and a bit spicy at the same time. I purchased their bowl option and it was more than enough for two meals for me.

My goal for my next stop on my mac and cheese adventure would be S’Mac so stay tuned for that review!

Smorgasburg – My Trek to Food Paradise

After staring at the Smorgasburg website and all the vendors they had to offer in one place for over two years, the Boyfriend and I finally decided it was time to go. So along with the Boyfriend’s mom and her friend, we made our trip to the waterfront for some delicious food.

We arrived around 10:30 so we took a walk around to see the vendors setting up. The only vendor that was up and ready for sale after our original walk through was Brooklyn Piggies, which sells Pigs in a Blanket. Their Pigs in a Blanket comes in original or spicy. Since we had four people, we got 3 of them to share (3 for $5). The crust was very crispy and the little franks for very juicy. It was a great way to start off the day.

Our second stop was Shorty Tang & Sons, which serves cold sesame noodles. They use a wooden bucket to toss their noodles in their own combination of peanut sauce, sesame paste and chili oil. Each order is hand tossed on the spot whenever you order. This ensures that the noodles don’t soak up all the peanut sauce and become soggy.

We ordered one order to share between the four of us and it was just enough to get a good taste. One order can definitely fill you up entirely. The noodles were bouncy and cooked to perfection. There was a hint of spice, which was a nice compliment to the sauce.

After we finished the noodles, it was around 11am so we decided to head for the main attraction of the day – Red Hook Lobster Pound. While the Boyfriend’s mom took her time to decide between the Connecticut or the Maine style roll, I noticed that Dough was starting to sell their doughnuts. Dough is famous for their different take on doughnuts with flavors like passion fruit, hibiscus, and cheesecake.

I decided on their Blood Orange doughnut because it sounded so different. Each doughnut runs at $2.50 each but at the size it comes in, it’s more than worth it. The Blood Orange doughnut was amazing. Even the Boyfriend, who isn’t usually a fan of sweets, thought it was amazing. The doughnut was fried to perfection. Dough had managed to somehow capture the taste of blood oranges and transfer it to doughnut frosting.

While we were snacking on the doughnut, we headed over to Red Hook and made our order. I’ve had Maine style lobster rolls – chilled lobster tossed in mayo – before so I knew I had to try the Connecticut style. The Connecticut style, which features warm lobster tossed in butter, was perfection. The roll was toasted and buttered, which makes the entire dish warm and toasty. The buttered lobster meat really allowed the lobster flavor to shine through. Despite the fact that it’s $16 a pop, I would definitely recommend giving them a taste – at least once!

On our hunt for something to eat, the Boyfriend and I walked by Mighty Quinn’s and noticed the long line. We decided that getting on the line earlier was a better idea than later when more people started to arrive at the flea. The Boyfriend and I decided to share their beef brisket slider. The sliders are $5 for a small and $8 for a large. We decided on the smaller size because we wanted to try more foods later on. The brisket was very tender and some pieces melts in your mouth. No wonder there was a line!

We decided that our first drink would be Kelvin Natural Slush Co., which was a Vendy Awards winner for Best Dessert. I noticed them setting up earlier in the morning and was actually pretty curious to what they were serving. The method used here was that you pick your base slush – either Ginger or Arnold Palmer – and then you pick your mix-in, which is basically the flavor you want.

I watched them make it and basically they fill one-third of the cup with the base slush and then add about another third of the mix-in flavor. After that, they finish up with more base slush in order to even out the flavor. We decided on the White Peach, which was a great choice. The slush was very even and didn’t have any odd chunks of ice. The peach flavor was very prominent without being too much. I would definitely go back for this!

While the Boyfriend and I were enjoying our slush at one of the picnic tables, his mom was wandering the flea and came back with one of Brooklyn Bangers’ sausages. She decided on their Kielbasa sausage, which is a Polish sausage. Neither the Boyfriend nor I really liked the onions on top but the sausage itself was very good. It was very juicy and when served piping hot, very delicious.

After some more wandering around, we stumbled upon Noodle Lane. Sometimes they serve mini hot cakes but today was just not our lucky day. Instead, we decided on sharing an order of their Dan Dan Noodles, which is served cold with spicy chili oil ($8). The noodles were very good but a bit on the spicy side, which is why I gave most of my share to the Boyfriend. The presentation was very nice and had it not been the spiciness, I would have eaten a lot more.

After Noodle Lane, we all agreed that we were pretty full. Time for dessert! While the other two went to check out Kumquat Bakery, the Boyfriend and I headed over to S’more Bakery. They torch all their s’mores on premise so they all come nice and hot. They serve two flavors – an original milk chocolate and a salted caramel. We opted for their S’more d’oeuvres, which comes with 3 mini versions of their original sized s’mores (3 for $4).

We opted for their original version, which features Madagascar vanilla marshmallows sandwiched in between two baby graham crackers with a milk chocolate ganache. It was fun watching the s’mores being toasted right in front of us. And eating them was even better – the marshmallows were melty and fluffy at the same time. It wasn’t overly sweet either – perfection!

Our last stop was Kumquat Bakery, which serves mini-cupcakes. Most mini-cupcakes are $1 each and some are $2, depending on the novelty of it. I decided to go with their Cilantes and Lime Margarita flavor. It was a wonderful choice. The cupcake was fluffy and the frosting wasn’t too soft. The best part was the sea salt sprinkled on top of each cupcake to imitate a margarita. I really liked that small touch because it made it all the more real.

While we were eating our cupcakes, we noticed that the next stand was Brooklyn Soda Works. They service handmade carbonated juices, which was something I’m always in the mood for. They give out samples on request so if you’re being indecisive, make sure you try it before you buy it! After trying the Ginger Apple, I decided to buy some. Buying a cup costs $4 but if you pay an extra $4 you get a class bottle to take it with you. We decided on the glass bottle. With tiny sample cups, we all were able to try the drink. I definitely loved it – there was a strong apple cider taste but the ginger was also present. Definitely a must try!

Despite the fact that there is no shade in the immediate vendor area, I was quite content. It was hot but not overly so. The fact that it is right by the river made it very breezy and nice to just sit and eat. The park area was a perfect place to sit and just enjoy the water breeze. If you have a free Saturday, think about making the trip to Smorgasburg. It’s definitely worth it.

Bozu Part Two

After our initial visit to Bozu, the Boyfriend’s mom was super jealous. He had shown my previous blog post to her and she decided that she wanted to go too. The boyfriend’s mom is quite a bit of a foodie herself so I can totally see where his foodie side came from. So the Boyfriend made reservations and we were seated immediately the night of. As we walked out, we noticed that there were at least 3 tables with a “Reserved” card on top. I really like how Bozu refuses to seat anyone else at a reserved table no matter what.

I started off with a cocktail since I’m finally able to drink here. After some deliberation, I decided on their Banana Colada, which is a mixture of rum, banana mix, pineapple mix, and coconut mix. The color was perfect for a colada and as our waiter placed the cup on the table, I could smell the banana. I was expecting to be drinking some sweet and tasty but this cocktail packed quite a punch. It was strong and that surprised me. It was very good though so I now know my go-to cocktail at Bozu.

Our first appetizer was a special of the day – Fresh Oyster. The waiter had said it was cooked, which is why we ordered it. There were 2 members at the table that didn’t eat raw foods so we thought this would’ve been perfect. In actuality, the oyster was partially cooked but not completely. This was great for the rest of us but not so awesome for the other 2 members of our party. The oyster was also smaller than we had expected. This might have been our only disappointment of the night, so I won’t concentrate on it too much.

We also ordered their sashimi sampler ($18), which is another special of the day. This sashimi sampler came with 5 pieces each of salmon, tuna, and what I assumed was Yellowtail because I didn’t try that one. The salmon was very good  – super fatty. Again, I have to praise the wasabi-soy sauce that they have pre-mixed for you. It really made the fish pop.

Next up was the Shrimp Kataifi ($9), which features deep-fried jumbo shrimp wrapped in kataifi. Each order comes with 4 pieces but I wasn’t able to snap a picture until after two of them were already stolen from the dish. I thoroughly enjoyed this dish. The kataifi was very crunchy and the shrimp was moist. I kind of wish there was a dipping sauce for this but it was still very good.

We also ordered their Fried Tako Balls ($6) as an appetizer. Tako balls, which are deep fried ball shaped pancakes with octopus chunks inside, are a very common Japanese snack. Each other comes with 7 pieces, which is just the right amount to share. These are hot so be careful when you bite into them!

Next up is their Tuna Tataki ($9), which is seared tuna sashimi with a garlic umeboshi sorbet on top. The tuna sashimi was warm but the sorbet made the each bite cold. The sorbet gave the dish a sweet and sour taste to counteract the salt of the tuna. This was one of the better deals of the night since it offered up so many pieces. I think I must’ve had 4-5 pieces of tuna.

Now onto the sushi part of the night. We ordered two orders of their Salmon Sea Urchin ($9.50). This is basically rice wrapped in salmon sashimi and topped with sea urchin and a dollop of wasabi. This was the highlight of my meal. Since the cut was salmon toro, it was very fatty and almost slid down my throat. The sea urchin was very fresh and I couldn’t taste any fishiness at all. If I could, I would just go to Bozu and only order multiples of this dish for my dinner. Best of the night for sure!

We ordered their party bomb but since I covered that in my last blog post, I won’t bore you guys with another description. We did add on some side bombs so I will talk about those! Since we chose the regular eel bomb for the party bomb set, we decided to order some separate spicy eel bombs. Spicy Eel Bombs ($6), instead of being topped with a shiso leaf like the regular one, is stopped with spicy mayo and shredded cucumber. I actually think I liked the spicy version better because the spicy mayo really brought out the flavor of the barbeque eel. Added with the semi-spicy wasabi soy sauce it was very tasty.

Since the party bomb set only comes with salmon with scallions, we decided to order a few spicy salmon bombs or as they call it, the Mexican Bomb ($6). The Mexican Bomb features salmon toro with avocado and spicy tomatillo sauce. Without the scallions, you can really taste the salmon. I can honestly say that the Mexican Bomb puts up a fight against the Mc Low Bomb, which is tuna and avocado. Last time I admitted that I liked the tuna bomb better but the Mexican Bomb might make me change my mind.

We finished off the savory part of our dinner with a Spicy Mushroom Roll ($6) off their Health Garden Sushi portion of the menu. This roll features cooked crimini mushroom with avocado and topped with a spicy tomatillo sauce. The concentrated dollop of tomatillo sauce was very spicy and definitely not for the weak. This is my first time having mushrooms in my sushi and I can say I wasn’t all that impressed. Perhaps it’s just the fact that I always like fish in my sushi rolls and not just vegetables. It was good but it would’ve been better with some fish!

After the table was cleared and we were all full, we were offered the dessert menu. The Boyfriend and I decided to share one since we were both kind of full. We decided on their Green Tea Flan. Let me start off with the cream that comes with the dessert. The Boyfriend’s family friend described it as, “the good kind of cream” and she was right. The cream was whipped thick so it had the same consistency as ice cream. It tasted like ice cream but without any kind of flavor so it blended very well with the flan. Now, onto the flan. The Flan wasn’t too sweet and had a hint of green tea flavor. Because it wasn’t too sweet, the Boyfriend quickly gobbled it up. Their Green Tea Flan really is a must try.

The Boyfriend’s mom decided to try the Chocolate Mousse, which was also very good. The mousse, like the cream, had the consistency of ice cream but without the melting. The mousse had a thickness to it that made sure it held as I spooned it. But it was still smooth enough to be considered a mousse. The mousse, like the green tea flan, was also not overly sweet. I could honestly eat this dessert all day and not get sick of it.

The service was quick and we got our dishes one right after the other. The only time where we didn’t have anything to eat was towards the end when we were deciding on what dishes to add. The only complaint I would have is that the dishes are too small! They’re all so good but it felt like it was all over so fast.

The fried chicken and pork belly had made a repeat appearance that night and although they are good, I would love to try out the rest of the menu. Perhaps next time I will explore their rolls section since I’ve been consistently ordering bombs and other cooked foods.