A BIG BURGER IN THE BIG CITY… LUNCH AT THE SMITH IN NEW YORK CITY

The Smith

1900 Broadway, New York, New York

www.thesmithnyc.com

This weekend, my dad and I went to New York City.  While we were there we visited the The Intrepid Museum, stopped at my dad’s office and saw our friend Kendah, who was visiting from Paris.  But first, we were hungry and needed somewhere close by and good to try, so we decided to eat at The Smith.  My dad had eaten there before and said it was good.

The Smith serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and it’s very hip!

It was 11:30 and I was pretty hungry so I decided instead of the brunch menu, it was time to order from the lunch menu.  Here’s what I had:

THE BURGER DELUXE

A Burger with Bacon, Cheddar, Special Sauce and the Works with Fries

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It was delicious and it was BIG!  I was amazed that I could finish it.  The Fries were golden and crispy.

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Thanks Tina for being our server, and for being SO nice… we’ll be back soon!

The Sunday Diner Rating (out of 5)

FOOD * * * * * (5)

SERVICE * * * * * (5)

LOOKS: * * * * * (5)

BATHROOM: * * * * * (5)

PS: At the Intrepid Museum we took a tour of The USS Growler Submarine. It was really cool to see what life was like under the sea.  But, if the Growler was a Sunday Diners restaurant, I’d give the bathroom zero stars! Luckily, it’s just part of the exhibit. 🙂

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Zap Your Tastebuds at ZeppoleMe in Portchester, New York!

ZeppoleMe

321 North Main Street, Port Chester, NY

www.zeppoleme.com

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We have been wanting to go to ZeppoleMe for a long time, since we heard about it from our friends at OMNOM and today we got our wish!

A Zeppole is an Italian donut/fried dough treat that can be served in many different ways. People usually eat them at Italian church feasts for Saint Joseph’s day or at street fairs.  At ZeppoleMe, in Portchester, you can have them all year round.  The two owners, Marc Tessitore, who owns the restaurant Nessa, which is next door, and his partner Robert Squeri opened in Spring 2013 because at Nessa they sold so many zeppoles and people loved them so much, that they decided to dedicate a whole place to them!

Inside of the restaurant it is decorated with holiday gift baskets with coffee and peppermints and lots of other cool and interesting ingredients that you would find in their food. There are bar type tables or you can also sit at the bar if you like.  Today, they were playing Tom Jones, on the system — my dad told me that in the 1960s and 70s ladies would throw their underwear at him while he was on stage — that’s JUST WEIRD! 🙂 

Today, I started with a Hot Chocolate, made with steamed milk — it was delicious!

And then we got to try three types of Zeppole…

The Classic

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The Classic, was very light and airy… it was really just the outside crust and the inside was hollow.  This is the typical one that you have at Italian feasts.  We had these with Hazelnut Nutella and Buttercream dipping sauces.

The Modern

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The Modern, was crunchy on the outside and fluffy dough on the inside…it was also very light.  We had these with Vanilla Cream and Peppermint dipping sauces.

The Oreo Zeppole

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The Oreo Zeppole, is same as The Modern, except, the dough has crushed Oreos in it.  These were awesome, and we had these with Pumpkin Spice and more Buttercream sauce!

I liked them all, but my favorite was the Oreo Zeppole, which I dipped in the Hazelnut Nutella sauce.  Chocolate craziness!

We didn’t try it, but one of the most popular choices is the Bacon, Chive and Provolone Cheese Zeppole.  So, you can have either sweet or savory, whatever you prefer.

I spoke with Josh, our server and asked:

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What does Zeppole mean in English?

He said,  “It’s just the Italian name for fried dough.”

I also asked him what his favorite zeppole and dipping sauce is…

“I like “The Classic” with the Hazelnut Nutella dipping sauce.

What is the most popular Zeppole at ZeppoleMe?

“For Sweet, people love “The Modern”… the most popular savory is the “Bacon, Chives and Provolone”… it’s really good.

I’m definitely going to come back and try the Bacon, Chive and Provolone — I wonder if the Nutella sauce will go with that — Ha Ha Ha!

Thanks Josh!

The Sunday Diner Rating (out of 5)

FOOD  * * * * * (5)

SERVICE  * * * * *   (5)

LOOKS: * * * * *   (5)

BATHROOM: * * * * *   (5)

A SPECIAL THANKSGIVING TRADITION… BAKED RICOTTA STUFFING… THAT I MADE, AND YOU CAN TOO!

 

Thanksgiving is all about family, traditions and… FOOD!

The dinner is usually Turkey, Cranberry Sauce, Carrots, Yams, Gravy and for dessert… PIE!  But you cannot not forget… the Stuffing.

There’s all different types of stuffing that use bread, sometimes sausages, sometimes chestnuts.  But in our family, we have a tradition of making a stuffing that’s entirely different.  Today, I’ll tell you about it and even better show you how to make it!

This stuffing has been in my family for more than five generations.  I know that my Great-Great-Grandmother made it, because my Great-Aunt Kitty told us she did (by-the-way, Aunt Kitty doesn’t like stuffing this way, she prefers the bread type stuffing).  My Grandpa, made it with his Mom… my Dad and Uncle Peter made it with my Grandpa… and today, I made it with my Dad! It doesn’t really have a name, other than “Stuffing” so we’ll just call it…

Baked Ricotta Thanksgiving Stuffing

IMG_0569Ingredients

1 Tub of Whole Milk Ricotta (48 Ounce)

6 Eggs

1 Cup and a 1/2 of Chopped Parsley

1 Cup and a 1/4 of Italian Breadcrumbs

1 Cup (maybe a little bit more) of Peccorino Romano Grated Cheese

1 1/4 Cup of Pine (Pignole) Nuts

Black Pepper

Salt

1) Ask an adult to Pre-Heat the oven to 350 degrees

2)  In a large bowl crack six eggs, add a teaspoon of black pepper and a couple of pinches of salt (not too much salt, because the cheese makes it salty enough)

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3) Add Ricotta to the Eggs

IMG_05734) Add Parsley, Bread Crumbs, Pine Nuts and Grated Cheese

And now the fun part… Make sure your hands are really clean!

IMG_05745) Put your hands in the bowl and start folding it… make sure it’s all mixed well. It’s really fun, because you get your hands all full of the cheese… and it’s really squishy and cold.

6) Grease two regular size loaf pans (8 inch kind) with butter, make sure you spread it really well then…

IMG_05767) With a wooden spoon gently put the mix into the loaf pans… when you’re done… bang the pan on the counter to get the air out and even it all out 

IMG_05788) Put it in the oven and let it bake for about an hour… (if it starts to get too brown on top, cover it with tin foil)… 

IMG_05849) You’ll know when it’s done when you stick a knife in it and it does not come out too wet and it looks like this.

IMG_058310) Let it set for a while then… dive in!

The Stuffing goes really well with the gravy and the cranberry sauce (if you like one or the other).  The fun part about the recipe, is that you can choose to add a little more of one ingredient like parsley or cheese or the pine nuts so you can be a little creative depending on your taste.

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Thanksgiving was my Grandpa’s favorite holiday… and me making the stuffing would have made him really proud of me.  Every family should have at least one tradition on Thanksgiving, whether it’s a family football game or a special dish they can cook together because it’s really a time to be thankful and spend time together.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM SUNDAY DINERS!

The Art Of The Brick At Discovery Times Square In New York… Lego Art Piece By Piece

The Art Of The Brick

Discovery Times Square

226 WEST 44th STREET 

www.discoverytsx.com

Nathan Sawaya has been playing with Legos since he was 5 years old.  Now he makes some of the most amazing sculptures in the world, not out of stone or gold… but Lego bricks.

The Art Of The Brick showcases his work… and there’s a lot!  You’ll see some of the best works of art from the great masters in Legos!  Vincent Van Gogh… Michelangelo’s David – and even Leonardo DaVinci!

IMG_0613The Mona Lisa!

Mr. Sawaya also made some original art that is really cool too… this is his most famous sculpture…which is called “Yellow”.

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At the end of the exhibit… you get to write your name on a brick and add it to a huge Lego sculpture so you too can be part of the collection!

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If you’re a Lego fan… definitely check it out!

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Gyu-Kaku In New York City Where You’re The Master Chef!

Gyu-Kaku Times Square
321 W. 44th St. Unit 103
New York, NY

www.gyu-kaku.com

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Last night, I went to New York City with my dad.   After I arrived at Grand Central, we took the subway to Times Square and walked over to Gyu-Kaku.  I’m pretty familiar with the area, because I was just there to see the Lion King and had lunch at Sardi’s.

Gyu-Kaku is not like any ordinary Japanese sushi restaurant or hibachi place… at Gyu-Kaku, you get to be the chef! Or as they call it “The Yakiniku Master”.  

There is a grill built into every table, and the waiter tells you how to use the grill (which can get very hot) and explains the menu and their yummy dipping sauces.

You order… and then the fun really begins!

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Gyu-Kaku is fun for kids and adults — because it’s really not that hard to cook the meal  and it’s delicious.

We ordered some of their Top-Ten Best Sellers – which makes ordering easy:

To start we had the Tuna Volcano Crunch (#2 appetizer bestseller) – which is raw (sushi) spicy tuna on crunchy fried rice patty. It was spicy but not too spicy.

Then we started BBQ’ing:

  • Harami Skirt Steak (#1 meat bestseller)
  • Kalbi Short Rib (#2 meat bestseller)
  • Shrimp Garlic (#1 seafood bestseller)

And then… our personal favorite

  • Mushroom Medley!

The three dipping sauces (Regular, Spicy, and Ponzu) go really well with everything. I liked the Regular and Spicy the best. Regular went really well with the mushrooms.

After the BBQ… we had Ramen!

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Ramen is Japanese noodles in broth – sometimes with egg or meats or vegetables.  Our Ramen was called Kalbi Ramen – it was a little spicy – but really, really good.

After, we had a VERY traditional Japanese Dessert 🙂 …. that I got to BBQ as well…

S’MORES!!!!

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Gyu-Kaku is one of my new favorites – they have many locations around the country and the world – see if you can find one near you!

Thanks to dad’s friend Jeanne  for telling us about Gyu-Kaku – I heard that her daughters, Gigi and Julia loved it too!

The Sunday Diner Rating ( out of 五 )

FOOD  * * * * * * ( 六 )

SERVICE  * * * * *   ( 五 )

LOOKS  * * * * * ( 五 )

BATHROOM: * * * * * ( 五 

SARDI’S WHERE EVERYONE GETS TO EAT LIKE A STAR!

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Sardi’s, 234 West 44th Street, New York, NY

http://www.sardis.com

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Last Sunday, I went to see The Lion King on Broadway with my Aunt Martha and Uncle Peter.  It was my first Broadway show and it was exciting!  But before the show, I went to the world-famous Sardi’s.  Sardi’s is a restaurant that many actors like to go to after their shows – the walls are covered with drawings of all the stars and celebrities that have eaten there.  It was super fun, and the service was excellent!

The food was great – I had The Angus Burger.  There was a 10 ounce burger, but I chose the 5 ounce — and it was still so big that I couldn’t finish it!  I could barely hold it!  For dessert, I had the Warm Chocolate Cake with Melted Center, Vanilla Ice Cream, Crème Anglaise and Dots of Chocolate Sauce.  It was warm and comforting on a very cold Sunday.  My Aunt Martha also had the Angus Burger (but with no bun) and loved it.  Uncle Peter had the Coconut Vegetable Tofu Curry – he liked it a lot – and it seemed very healthy!

The Sunday Diner Rating 

FOOD * * * * * (Five)

SERVICE  * * * * * (Five)

LOOKS * * * *   (Five)

BATHROOM * * * * * * (Six – It was a REALLY nice bathroom!) 

Thanks Aunt Martha and Uncle Peter for a great time!