What I Ate Wednesday: Astoria

WIAW instant coffeeBreakfast: Sorry to reuse some pictures from last week’s WIAW post, but this was the day after and so I had a few of the same things! Again, instant coffee with organic soy milk & stevia…

banana chocolate soy smoothie

Breakfast: I needed to finish up the rest of the soy milk so I also made a smoothie with it: I just used some dark-chocolate syrup and a banana, and it was delicious!

WIAW hummus

Snack #1: six rosemary / olive oil crackers and homemade roasted red-pepper hummus, again.

lemon detox tea WIAW

Snack #2: I had a detox tea and then went to a one-hour vinyasa yoga class.

photo 2 (1)

Lunch: leftovers! This time it was some homemade honey banana cornbread with butter, and homemade red cabbage cole slaw.

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Dinner at Ngam, New York

Ngam pad see ew

Ngam is a fun, high-energy restaurant in the East Village that serves “modern Thai comfort food”. They serve only hormone-free beef, chicken and pork as well as use organic and cage free eggs and dairy products; they are vegan and gluten-free friendly as well, and I love the way the menu really embraces a wide range of ingredients and some modern flair, while also offering traditional Thai fare.

Kiyo and I split two dishes; the first, and my favorite, was the “Pad See Ewe” – Smokey Wok Charred Noodles w/ Black Soy Sauce. A more vegetable-heavy version of the classic Thai flat-noodle dish, this had chicken, farm eggs, broccoli, kale and cauliflower. I absolutely loved this dish and didn’t want to share with Kiyo (but sadly I had to, since I’d already promised). My one complaint is that some items are a bit overpriced, especially when good Thai restaurants are a dime a dozen in NYC; this dish was $14 and the below burger was $16. However, we checked in (on Yelp, I believe) and each got one free drink, which made the total tab seem much more fair.

Ngam burger NYC

Our second split item was the “Sai Oor Farang” Thai Burger, a 7oz hormone-free beef patty with homemade “saioor” curry paste, cilantro lime mayo, green papaya kraut and Chiang Mai fries (kabocha pumpkin, sweet potato, homemade red curry mayo, sweet and sour peanut relish). The fries were almost like tempura and were amazing (I could have eaten even more than I did). The burger wasn’t much like regular beef burgers; the meat was more finely ground and tasted like lemongrass, which made it almost more like a gyro than a burger. It was good, and interesting, but it wouldn’t satisfy if you were in the mood for a real cheeseburger. And, I’d prefer my pad see ewe, which was just to die for.

A few items I’d love to go back and try:

  • “Prik King” Brussels Sprouts
  • Beet Dumplings – Farm fresh beet dumplings, homemade hand-rolled egg noodles, homemade kao soy curry, pickled mustard, shallot, cilantro
  • Pomelo Salad – Pomelo, tamarind & chili dressing, crispy shallot, toasted coconut, kaffir lime leaf, lemongrass, peanut
  • Lamb “Massaman” Roti Potpie – Locally raised lamb shoulder, cashews, sweet potatoes, homemade “massaman” curry, roti bread, cucumber “a-jard”
  • Papaya Pad Thai – Green papaya noodles, Ngam’s Pad Thai sauce, farm eggs, peanuts, garlic, chive, tofu. Choice of chicken, pork, beef, tofu, or vegetable

Ngam

Location: 99 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10003 Phone: (212) 777-8424

NGam on Urbanspoon

Mia Chef Gelateria, New York

Mia Gelateria NYC

NYC tip: Using the PayPal app, you can score deals and free food throughout Manhattan.

This weekend, Danielle and I each got a free (large) scoop of gelato at Mia Chef Gelateria in Kips Bay. After tasting a few flavors, I chose Ferrero Rocher (chocolate hazelnut) and Danielle had a vegan chocolate scoop (make with almond milk).

Gelato has less cream and sugar than ice cream, and when eating a vegan version like Danielle, you can also cut down on a lot of fat and calories. This place had a couple of vegan options as well as some unusual and creative flavors: Pure Sicilian Pistachio, Stracciatella, Raspberry Panna Cotta, Figs & Tequila, Chocolate Whiskey Truffles, Cap’n Crunch (yes, the cereal) and Crème Brulee.

I never would have found this place without the app, but I’m glad we tried it, and I would recommend trying one of their quirky flavors if you’re in the area.

Mia Chef Gelateria

Location: 379 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016 Phone:(212) 889-8727

Mia Chef Gelataria on Urbanspoon

Bar Bites at Morton’s, New York

Steakhouse NYC apps

Awhile ago Kiyo and I had some deal, per usual (I don’t remember if it was Groupon or HowAboutWe or something else) for Morton’s near my office. We sat in the bar / lounge area, which had a good amount of space for a New York City establishment. We didn’t feel cramped or too close to other people, which was nice, as we enjoyed a strong cocktail.

IMG_5228

Kiyo and I shared two bar bites, which start at only $6 and are surprisingly large, so a great value. We had the house-made potato chips with blue cheese dressing and the petite filet mignon sandwiches with mustard mayonnaise (I assume this is a mixture of mustard and mayo, not sure why they don’t just add an “and” between the two). Both dishes were simple yet wonderfully executed, and were cute little riffs on your standard steakhouse meat and potatoes. The chips were totally addicting and we ate all of them, but they would be good to split between four people. The meat was super tender and flavorful; the overall quality and flavor were uncompromising, and yet for very little money we were both totally stuffed and satisfied.

Morton’s The Steakhouse

Address: 551 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Phone: 212-972-3315

Morton's The Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

The Counter, New York

The Counter NYC

I’ve written about the chain restaurant The Counter before, but that was the Hawaii version. Since I’m a sucker for saving money / deals / free things, when I found out you could get a free order of french fries by signing up to be on “The List,” their membership / rewards program, we decided to sign up and eat some fries. The plate was massive and the fries were really good. I like them thin like this. Despite the greasy goodness, The Counter can actually be a really good, reliable option for a healthy lunch or dinner. This is because their menu is create-your-own, so you can go as caloric and heavy, or light and healthy as you like.

The Counter NYC

For example, I ordered a grilled chicken “burger” on an English muffin with alfalfa sprouts, spinach, aioli and some sort of sauce (chutney?) on the side. You can also get the burgers on top of salads if you’re gluten-free, or on a gluten-free bun. It’s not the healthiest meal I’ve ever eaten but compared to a Shake Shack burger or its equivalent (which is amazingly delicious, I’m not denying that), this is a great option. And since the combinations are limitless, you can go to The Counter every so often and never get bored with it. If you’re going to eat at a chain, The Counter is one of your best options.

The Counter Times Square

Open: Every day 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Address: 1451 Broadway, New York, NY 10036 Phone:(212) 997-6801

The Counter on Urbanspoon