Brunch at William Hallett, Astoria

brunch at william hallett Astoria

Unfortunately, sometimes I don’t get around to sharing a meal on this blog until much later, and in today’s case, MUCH later: I had my birthday brunch at William Hallet in Astoria way back in January 2013. Although it’s a bit dark inside, William Hallet has a cozy pub vibe and is a fun weekend brunch spot.

Luckily, what I ordered is still on the menu and is still worth sharing. “The Rough Night Out” is a half-pound burger on a brioche bun with bacon, onion rings, a crispy poached egg (it looks like an onion ring in the picture), and Vermont white cheddar sauce. Served with huge, homemade French fries, it is a massive dish that would be big for even two people! However, it was my birthday, so I ordered it all for myself.


I had to take the onion rings off the burger to eat it! It was just as ridiculous but delicious as it sounds. The entrees aren’t cheap but they each come with the choice of a bloody Mary, mimosa, or orange juice. They also offer a deal for $15: unlimited bloody Mary’s, mimosas, Schaefer cans and draft beers. Obviously, we opted for the deal.


For this beverage deal, there is a one-hour time limit to drink at the table but you can continue at the bar until 4pm (here’s a picture, right to left, of our friend, Kiyo and me at a ledge right behind the bar, that counts as the bar).

William Hallet

Location: 36-10 30th Ave, Astoria, NY 11103 Phone: (718) 269-3443

William Hallet on Urbanspoon

Welcome Lunch, St. Thomas

Lunch in St. Thomas

Kiyo and I went on a much needed vacation to St. Thomas this past March. We were lucky enough to be hosted by my best friend Zan’s parents. (Zan is living in Australia, so sadly, she wasn’t there.) Zan’s mom picked us up from the airport and served us a wonderful homemade lunch back at the house.


She made a vegan salad that I definitely want to recreate at home: oranges with kalamata olives, capers, and fresh basil from their garden. So simple, but so good! I’ll have to ask her if there was olive oil drizzled on it, I can’t remember.


Funny story: I wasn’t sure if what was on the table was tuna or chicken salad. I don’t like seafood, which Zan’s dad teases me for, but he wasn’t there, and I wasn’t sure if Zan’s mom remembered. I didn’t want to be picky, but I also didn’t want to end up with a mouth full of fish, so I took a tiny, tiny amount, and then took a tiny, tiny bite. It tasted very mild, so I figured it was chicken, and I scooped a whole bunch onto my slice of bread (which I’d also smeared with fresh pesto). Later on, when we were alone, Kiyo said he was surprised that I’d eaten so much tuna. I said no way, that was chicken! So later, we asked Zan’s mom and she said it was TUNA! I’d been fooled, and I’d even enjoyed my tuna salad sandwich!


This was our idyllic view during lunch. Zan’s family’s house is awesome, built onto the side of a cliff, and the view is obviously stunning. Kiyo and I were so lucky to be able to vacation there, and we had the best time! More St. Thomas posts to come…

Dinner at Salt and Fat, Sunnyside

dinner at Salt & Fat

Tomorrow is my friend Danielle’s birthday, so this post is for her! :)

Last year on her birthday I saw the most amazing sunset on my way to her birthday dinner, at the American / Asian fusion restaurant Salt & Fat in Sunnyside, Queens.


I got to meet a bunch of her friends, and everyone had such a good time.


When you sit down at Salt & Fat, a warm bag of freshly popped bacon popcorn is served. This stuff is so salty and delicious, it’s seriously addicting.


Salt & Fat is Danielle’s favorite restaurant, and she loves their scallops with roasted carrot purée, truffle corn salsa, capers.


Kiyo and I ordered a few things to share. This is the delicious Fuji Apple Salad, with baby arugula, Italian speck, candied walnuts, goat cheese and lemon honey vinaigrette.

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Buddha Ruska, Seattle

Buddha Ruska Seattle

The other night Kiyo and I went out for Thai dinner at Buddha Ruska in West Seattle. It had good service and a nice ambiance, and reminded me of all the Thai restaurants in NYC that are each very good, but pretty interchangeable. I had a delicious, flavorful Thai iced tea, that I forgot to take a picture of.

We shared their signature crispy garlic chicken: fried chicken sautéed in a rich, slightly sweet garlic sauce, served with fried basil (and rice, not pictured). The sauce was delicious over the crispy fried chicken, and I absolutely love fried herbs, so that was a great addition.

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We also shared the pad see ew, rice noodles with chicken and broccoli. This was a perfectly fine pad see ew, but it was nothing special, just average and not terribly flavorful. I would have loved to have combined the two dishes, and had the crispy garlic chicken over the rice noodles.

Buddha Ruska Seattle menu

Buddha Ruska

Open: Tuesday – Friday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Saturday & Sunday 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Location:3520 SW Genesee Street Seattle, Washington 98126 Phone: (206) 937-7676

Buddha Ruksa on Urbanspoon

Sunday Brunch at Hattie’s, Saratoga Springs

Brunch at Hattie's Saratoga

I’ve written about Hattie’s Chicken Shack in Saratoga Springs, but this summer, their main sit-down restaurant began serving brunch. After a weekend camping at Lake George, a bit further north, Maggie, Chelsea, Flavia and I were famished and ready for a big meal.

Maggie and I right away ordered the warm, delectable biscuits and cornbread with jam and honey butter. It was too much for the two of us, but we were ok with having leftovers; plus it was only $5!


I had a bloody Mary, which was fine but nothing special. Since they produce their own delicious hot sauce, I had high expectations for this.


Flavia ordered chicken & waffles, and Maggie and Chelsea both got the country ham hash (two potato hash with onions, peppers and diced country ham, served with two eggs

and Texas toast). I just ordered a whole bunch of sides: two eggs over easy, grits, home fries, and sausage gravy. The egg yolks were cooked through, which was disappointing, but everything else was so delicious, I was still really happy with my meal. I would definitely go back for another Hattie’s brunch!


Location: 45 Phila St Saratoga Springs, NY Phone: (518) 584-4790

Hattie's on Urbanspoon