Showing posts from May, 2011

Austin: Kebabalicious (Food Trailer)

During my recent time in Austin, I noticed their food truck culture is a little different from what I've seen in NY, Boston, and Providence and what I've read about in California.  For starters, they have trailers instead of trucks, and for another they are at least as often as not circled 3-7 in a little group of food trailers.  When they are alone, you might just as easily find one in a more neighborhood-y area than in the thoroughly commercial areas.  It seems like a really cool culture, which I intend to explore greatly when I move to Austin next year.  So far, I've just dined at one.

After a few beers at Black Sheep Lodge I was feeling a bit peckish, and I really wanted, in my attempt to be somewhat diet-conscious while drunk, was some meat without too many carbs.  My friend Tiffany suggested we go to Kebabalicious, so I thought I'd be going somewhere for a kebab, which would be perfect for my needs!  So a part of me was disappointed when I realized it would be mo…


Wanting to give a fair rating to a Starbucks americano, which is my usual drink of choice, I stopped by a Starbucks on the way to work one day.

See Starbucks in Mexico City
 Americano Rating: 5/10

I feel like I should explain the negative feelings I have toward Starbucks.

First off, I'm addicted to newness, so I much prefer to try new places every chance I get.

Their prices are also a little higher than most, and their coffee and espresso are both not as good as what you get at small chains or one-of-a-kinds.  Their espresso comes from automatic machines, and, while their employees go through a pretty cute little training program, the baristas are really not passionate crafters of coffees like at many modern coffee shops.  Consequently, their brewed coffee and espresso taste like crap if you've ever had good coffee and espresso.

As Wolfgang Puck said, "Starbucks, what they make, if you open a bottle and smell it, what did they do to the coffee?  They created a taste in the …

Saltie: NYC: Williamsburg

My original plan to finally go to Fette Sau was deterred as 1) I'd spent too much money already that week and 2) I was with someone who was trying to be a vegetarian.  I still really wanted to find somewhere where my two friends and I could have great food and dine outside, preferably accompanied by a coffee, followed by a beer.

With our horrible decision making skills and directions senselessness combined, it took us about an hour and a half to wander our way to this plan.

We went to Saltie to pick up sandwiches.  I got coffee from Oslo Coffee and used the restroom there.  We then headed to nearby Jaime Campiz playground/park to eat the food because Saltie is a walk-in joint with just a few seats and certainly no outside dining.  After that, we went to El Burrito Loco for our beer.  So while it might not have been the kind of scenario I'd originally envisioned, I was still sitting with my friends at a table outside, with good food and coffee and then had a corona.

Jenn, the o…

The Blue Stove: NYC: Williamsburg

While staying a friend in Bushwick, I picked a coffee shop within walking distance that she highly recommended: TheBlueStove.

She had told me of their bacon cheddar apple pie (take that Denny's with your insipid "Baconalia"), but I would be sad to find out that it's only offered seasonally, unless you make a special order for a whole one.

Ah well, there were many other delights from which to choose.  To accompany my americano, I chose the pear ginger crisp.
Americano rating: 8

This pie was absolutely wonderful.  And it's another lesson in how awesome food and drink pairings can be. Taking a sip of my americano right after a bite of this pie was blissful. And it's also another lesson in how wrong I used to be in thinking I didn't like pie.  I'd just had a lotta shitty pie.  The ginger was pretty subtle except in the crust, but I felt it was best that way, as you wouldn't want a lot of spicy ginger burning your taste buds while you tried to enjoy you…

Kuta Satay House: NYC: LES

I was coming to NY for a friend's going away party, and so I also wanted to use up a Groupon that would expire in a few weeks.  This was one of the Groupons I bought in the early days before I knocked my credit card out of my hand, slapped each of my cheeks in turn and said, "No no, Arielle, you only buy Groupons to places that are already on your list."  I had paid $20 for a $40 coupon to this restaurant, and looking at the menu online, I really don't understand what I was thinking at the time.  But then the NY summer did all kinds of crazy things to my brain.

Kuta is only open for dinner, starting at 5 PM, so Friday evening was the only time I could go there this trip.  A friend and I planned to meet there at 5 on Friday, as she had to work at 7.  The Groupons almost always say to call ahead for a reservation and to mention one's Groupon, so I did this, even though, as was the case this time, it's often weird to do so as the restaurant in question might get…

Clover Food Lab

FA Rating: F
Price: $
Fry rating: 6/10

Clover's (Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA) brick and mortar is an adorable two-floored restaurant where two people were standing next to a lit up board that displays their daily menu, typing people's orders into their smart phones and presumably texting them to the kitchen

Sadly, the two things I wanted to order the most would not be served for a while. The parsnip fritters would be ready at 3 PM and the whoopie pies not till about 6. I'd been excited to have one of the whoopies as the girl who told me about Clover had mentioned that a week or two before, the flavor had been avocado lime! The guy who took my order and answered my questions said this week's would've been coffee. It was 2:40 PM. Damn my timing! I actually thought for a minute that I might come back for dinner, until I reflected that the total round trip commute time from the house where I was dog sitting was about an hour and a half, so that this would be insane.