The Best Sandwich Ever

Wow applewood smoked bacon is soooo delicious.  It’s a little pricey $10 versus the $5 you normally pay but it’s really worth it.  Using this bacon really made my sandwich!

-Toasted country bread slices (or sourdough would work just as great)
-Pan fried, thinly sliced chicken breasts
-Oven cooked applewood bacon
-Red onion slices
-Mayo with lime juice, fresh pepper, and half a large garlic clove finely minced


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Sweet Melissa Baking Book on Sale @ Bk Culture

My favorite baking book of all time is on sale at book culture!!  The chef, Melissa, owns a patisserie (two actually) in Brooklyn and has recipes for all her best-selling creations, including THE most divine clover-honey madeleines ever.  I’ve made a few of the recipes including the madeleines, a truly great cherry double chocolate chip cookie recipe, and the most amazing pie ever–a cherry and pistachio pie.  Her recipes require a little more prep and attention but they’re all worth it!

I wanted to link to m y interview with her for Gobbl but Gobbl has disappeared from the internets, how sad!!!  She was one of the most pleasant and generous people I interviewed that summer.  I visited the patisserie in Carrol Gardens and can’t wait to go back when the weather is warm; it’s complete with a really beautiful backyard type area where people can read and just chill.

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Spring Break Recap

I decided to stay on-campus for break to get some work done.  I didn’t get any done, and now I regret not going anywhere this year :[  But we did eat pretty well.

I made (from L to R, row 1 then 2):

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Outside Eats

I always forget to bring the camera with me to the restaurants I try.  Hence this post is rife w/ images lifted from else where.  Over the past 2 weeks, I tried 4 places that I really liked — 2 on the pricey side and 2 on the cheap.

The Pricey:
1. Cafe Sabarsky: on the upper east side, would be a great place to stop and lunch (or grab dessert) in between museum hopping.  It’s a giltzy place with live piano music, a warm ambiance, and a menu famous for their austrian foods/desserts.   Their Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (chocolate cake with cream & cherries)was the best thing I ever had.  Prices range +12 for entrees and +8 for desserts.

2. Bar Modern: also situated near a museum (the MoMA), very nice modern background.  Very pleasant service, went specifically for the beignets (pictured above) which were amaziiiiing and come w/ maple ice cream, mango dip, and caramel sauce!  Also had the steak tartar which was good but slightly too dijon mustardy and overpriced.  Prices +10 for dessert; +11 for wines; +15 for appetizers; +20 for entrees.  Picture via nyc nosh.

The Cheap:

1. Land: a Thai restaurant with a $8 appetizer plus entree deal for lunch.  Yes, it’s farther than Thai Market but the appetizers are a little bit more generous and the entrees are different (and a little spicier)!  I had the drunken noodles here which were far better than the ones at both Thai Market and at Lime Leaf.

2. Recipe: from the owners of Land, this is a very American style restaurant.  They also have an appetizer + entree deal: $9.95 for an app + sandwich or $11.95 for an app + an entree.  So very much recommended; the apps are well portioned (like 2 or 3 big bites) and very well executed and the entree portions are fairly generous as well as tasty.  We had the lamb rillettes and braised beef appetizers plus the pulled pork sandwiches for the entrees; very satisfying and yummy.  Service was pretty good and the interior is nice and clean.  Image via Eating in Translation Flickr.

*Land and Recipe are right next to each other and are on 82nd&Amsterdam.

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Dear the 3 People who Read this Blog,

I thought it was very important for you to know that today, March 20th, is Macaron Day!  Organized by the famous Francois Payard, March 20, 2010 is designed to promote the macaron in NYC bakeries (although given fears of macaron mass production in France, this does not seem like a giant need).  THE IMPORTANT part is that at participating bakeries you get a FREE macaron if you tell them “macaron day”.  Click here for a list of participating bakeries.  It looks like Silver Moon bakery on 105th and Broadway is the closest to Columbia but a trip to Columbus Circle to get them at Bouchon Bakery would be equally nice!

Picture via Macaron Day NYC 2010

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Dear Vareli on 112th,

I guess it’s because it’s been midterms week or perhaps it is my laziness (which a poli sci self-help book describes as a serious psychological issue…) but I ate out a lot more this week than I’m used to.  I tried Vareli – finally a decent restaurant aside from Community in the Columbia neighborhood.  Is it just me or Community’s dinner wayyy too sugary?  Regardless, Vareli’s small dishes were pretty good if a little pricey.  We opted not to try the big plates as they seemed pretty mundane – burgers, roast chicken, strip steaks, and braised short ribs.  How are any of these, except maybe the lamb burger, Mediterranean or remotely interesting?  Anyways, we tried:

the crispy pork belly and polenta – which didn’t taste porky but was still good.  the polenta however tasted like those polenta cakes you buy from the supermarket.  that did not of course prevent me from garfing down all of it.  the grilled octopus – the best of the dishes with a very subtle spiciness and savory sauce.  the mussels – standard but still good.  the tuna tartar – also standard but a solid delivery.  and some very good beets.  the ingredients all tasted pretty fresh (according to the internet, Vareli uses ingredients from Westside).

We didn’t get any dessert though because the selection isn’t extensive, and one of the most appealing desserts was yogurt.  We thought about getting it then we realized Pinkberry is a stone’s throw away.  I think the problem with the dessert menu is a reflection of Vareli’s general weakness: a lack of imagination.  While the dishes are good and satisfying, they don’t really offer any new or interesting twists; it’s all pretty standard and safe.

The interior does however compensate a little for this weakness.  The interior is quite nice, spacious (the restaurant is two floors), and warm, and while the food may not be cutting edge, it does feel like you’ve escaped the Columbia bubble for a few brief moments.  The tiny tables however I did not love.  Despite the fact that Vareli is marketed as a “tapas place” that encourages sharing, we had trouble squeezing our “small plates” onto the tables; cutlery kept falling to the ground, and the girl behind me dropped her water what seems to have been wine, splashing it all over the floor and my leather jacket… (thankfully it only stained on the inside stained only a little on the outside).  Overall, the service is pretty good/attentive, and I would definitely give Vareli a try, especially as when we went (this Monday), they were giving customers 20% off their check in celebration of their opening.

Menupages for Vareli
Bwog Write-up
Image via

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Dear My Never-ending Pot of Marinara,

I recently stumbled upon two blogs that I’m getting super fond of — Cutting Edge of Ordinary and Closet Cooking.  The first has a lot of comfort food recipes like the Bacon, Cheddar, and Chive Scones that taste just like the ones I love at Alice’s Tea Cup.  The later has some really interesting recipes that cover a broad range of ethnic food (he had a whole series on Korean food)!

This Baked Goat Cheese Marinara recipe is from Closet Cooking, and it was really pretty good.  The Kalamata olives were an interesting addition and made me realize I actually like olives!

This recipe does make wayyyy too much however, and I’m on my fourth day of eating this marinara as either a snack or a side dish.  I’m trying to be more responsible/less wasteful.

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