Showing posts from September, 2011

Bourbon Coffee (Main Location in DC): NYC: Union Square

On a recent ridiculous NYC trip, I spent some time in the AM bouncing from place to place, reading and writing until the event I had come for started.  After Veselka, at about 6:30 AM I headed here to Bourbon Coffee for some coffee.  No, not with Bourbon at 6:30 in the morning.  They actually don't have any alcohol at this coffee shop.  The name comes from a variety of coffee called Bourbon Arabica that grows wild in Rwanda.

This coffee shop has replaced one that used to be there called Urban Coffee.  They sell Crop to Cup coffee from five different regions in Rwanda. I'm not sure they have everything on this menu at the Manhattan location.  I certainly don't remember that much being available when I visited, but, then, it was 6:30 AM.  They did have some pastries out that looked good, especially the scones.

What I did see that they have is a large space with lots of comfortable seating and really nice restrooms (single person restrooms, one for each gender).

The coffee I …

Black Sheep Lodge: Austin: South Lamar

Back in April when I got to go to Austin, I met up with some friends at a wonderful bar called Black Sheep Lodge.  It's a popular spot, often crowded, since you can get great beers (26 on tap), with lots of great specials, good screens for game-watching, a pool table and some video games.  I was there for Thursdays, when it's $1 off drafts and $2 margaritas!

I was so delighted by this place that I'd say it was a significant part of my idea that I will eventually move back to Texas to Austin.  I mean, what more could you want in a bar than this?  The food and the drinks are delicious and interesting at great prices.  In Texas, people know how to have a good time instead of pretentious bull shit.  I really wanted one of the cute black sheep t-shirts, but I had been spending so much money on this trip that I had to stop short of that.

It's usually served with curry ketchup, but we got it with chipotle mayo instead, which made the golden fried corn dough and frank bites ev…

Best Burger (so far!) in Boston: 5 Napkin Burger

The 5 Napkin Burger was a foodie destination I'd wanted to get around to in NYC, but it never made it anywhere near the top of the list. When my plans to finally return to the Staff Meal food truck with my friend Andrew while he was in town were once again thwarted, this time by construction on Stuart street, we eventually decided to share a meal at 5NB, where we could enjoy our delightful meal in outside seating.

The 5 Napkin Burger was a lot easier to try in Boston (Back Bay) at $10.95 than it was in Manhattan, where it costs $13.95. Though, on the Boston menu it's "fresh ground chuck" as opposed to "custom ground beef" in Manhattan. I assume this means you're not getting one of the many Pat LaFrieda customized burger compositions in Boston as you would in NYC. Is paying the extra three dollars in NYC worth it? I guess I'll have to wait until the day I try the 5NB in one of the NYC locations.

As it was it was really good.  The burger wasn't th…

JP Licks: Amazing Ice Cream, Surprisingly Good Coffee

Several people had enthusiastically recommended JP Licks to me when I moved to Boston.  I figured it was just another ice cream chain so who cares, but I was happy to learn I was wrong.  On top of the facts that they started in my neighborhood (Jamaica Plain) and are a local company, they also have wonderful ice cream.  They even have lactose free and no sugar added options, frozen yogurt (both soft and tart), frappes, smoothies (dairy or non), shakes, sorbet freezes, egg creams, ice cream cakes, sundaes, splits, ice cream sandwiches, great coffee, and even pastries (though I'd focus on their forte, the ice cream).

You can sign up for JP Licks points, where every $50 you spend earns you $5.  You'll also get a free small sundae with three toppings on your birthday, and trust me, you do not want anything bigger than small for yourself:

My birthday sundae: Oreo cake batter ice cream with espresso bark bites, cookie dough, waffle cone bits: um fuck, oh god.  The espresso bark is d…

Max Brenner Chocolates by the Bald Man (in Union Square in NYC and Back Bay in Boston)

When my mother came to visit me in NYC for an epic three day walking and eating binge (well I threw a few museum and sights in the mix too), one of the place I forced her to try out with me was Max Brenner: Chocolates by the Bald Man in Union Square.  A few different customers at work had asked if I'd "done" Max Brenner yet, making it sound like an important foodie adventure I needed to go on.  I looked up their menus and saw that there was some good ridiculousness on them, and so I put it on the agenda.

We needed to start with something savory, but their food food options are pretty boring (as in, just go to Chili's and then come here for dessert, and you'll have the same experience for $2 less).

That ranch is listed to be served with the Black and Tan Battered Vidalia Onions Rings, but I wanted to try it, so I ordered it for my chocolatey waffle fries.
Despite the fact that both the waffle fries and ranch were supposed to contain chocolate, neither my mother nor …

Best Pizza & Beer in Burlington: American Flatbread Company

By the time I walked the 3.3 miles back up from the Magic Hat Brewery, where I took their decent little tour, I didn't have much time to eat and drink at American Flatbread Company before I had to leave to run and catch the Megabus back to Boston.  But I was committed.
It was under this time restraint that I agreed to take the one table that was available immediately, the one right closest to the wood burning pizza oven, which would've been lovely on a cold day, but it was a perfect 70 degrees out, and this was over the top.

I quickly reread the menu, having read it through once weeks earlier. They allow you to get half pints of any of their draft beers for $3 or whole pints for $5. They make twelve beers in house, serve seven more drafts from nearby breweries, have two hand pulled cask ales, as well as lots of bottles (but who cares about their bottles?). My plan was to have a half pint of the Black Cat Porter and then a half pint (or a whole, if I felt like it, of the Deus …

Bon Me: Boston: Food Truck

Boston has several banh mi places now, but a lot of them are prettyflawed. Fortunately, the Bon Me truck (and their newer brick and mortar location) is doing it right.

The bread was toasted to crumbly crunchiness but not hard. They asked if I wanted jalapenos, which I did, and they gave a the perfect amount, lining the sandwich with one layer of fresh slices. The sriracha is out for each customer to choose how to use. I love being able to get my spicy just right, instead of being asked if I want it "spicy or not?" or "mild, medium, or hot?"

My only criticism is that they could've given me more cilantro. It mostly came as a sprig on either end of the sandwich. Morecilantro!

They also have beloved Vietnamese Ice Coffee, as well as Thai-basil Lemonade, Spicy Ginger Lemonade, and unsweetened organic iced green tea, all for just $2.50. (16 ounce cups if my eyes and memory serve)

And they're part of Level Up (click here to get $5 free Level Up bucks, which gets…