Getting fat in NY

Oy, it's the last day of January.  While I'm happy that the gloomiest day of the month is behind us, this does mean that 2015 has officially gone down as the most unsuccessful blogging year ever with a measly 6 posts.  The only redeeming quality is that most of 2015's posts were lengthy and comprised of days and weeks of eating, drinking, sleeping and romping across Southeast Asia and China.  There's a lot to cover since being back in New York City (for nearly a year now!), starting with the fact that I have a real kitchen again (woohoo!).  Goodbye Singapore stoves (which can only be described as glorified hot plates) and dull Ikea knives!  Hello full-sized oven and adult kitchen gear!  2015 was full of exploring both the traditional and new of what NYC has to offer.  Matt and I also traveled near and far to discover that some of the best food, wine, beer and scenery is right here in the U.S.  And in between that, we got married, woop.  Here are just a couple of memorable meals last year that reminded me of how deliciously diverse this city is.  Disclaimer: it happens that nothing below is in Manhattan, despite me spending a great deal of my time there :/ post!

Pok Pok NY
Wow. So good. Everything that Thai restaurants shy away from, Pok Pok delivers with a bold punch. Those who are expecting a penang curry or pad see ew will be very disappointed, but will be thrilled by the pork laap.  I was introduced to new delightful dishes like the grilled eggplant with chilies and boiled eggs, and was reacquainted with old favorites, like the khao soi.  

the yam makheua yao - grilled eggplant
Arthur Avenue Market
There's something about riding the MTA transit for a really long time that makes me particularly hungry, especially if what's lying at the end of journey is THE BEST ITALIAN SANDWICH EVERRR, at Mike's Deli.  And also, you can wash it down with some brews from the Bronx Beer Hall.  Now this is my kind of Saturday ;)

Peter Lugers Steakhouse
It's an oldie (1887 old) but a goodie, and what I love about NYC.  Although it's become a bit of a tourist hotspot (queue the Asian photographers) Peter Lugers remains deeply rooted in tradition and still feels like another time period.  Obviously, the steaks are consistently top notch.  What I love are the the bacon (a must), the creamed spinach (best I've ever had), and the tomatoes (though probably not worth $15).  And let me stress that it is absolutely essential that the meal is completed with the holy cow sundae with schlag.
Ribeye with creamed spinach

A single slice of bacon heaven

At the opposite end of this tiny NYC world from Arthur Avenue Market is Coney Island and it's awesome mix of Russian restaurants.  We checked out Skovorodka one night after a spontaneous NY Cosmo's game (that's right, it's a team) and were in creamy dill heaven.  We snagged a table right next to the host station, which worked out well because he told us exactly what to order.  On his recommendation, we shared some scrumptious Russian dumplings and the pork tenderloin.  And of course, a platter of smoked fish, because one kind of fish is not enough.  Food giggles quickly turned into food coma, which escalated into passing out on the subway... oopsies.

La Vara
Good tapas has arrived in Brooklyn.  I really love La Vara for it's mix of classic delicacies and more unique regional dishes like the guerrilla - handmade pasta with ground goat and goat butter.  I also appreciate any place that has padron/shishito peppers with seasalt..mmm so good!

pasta with ground goat


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