Food

Where to Eat This Weekend: Raclette

I have a simple question for you: Do you love cheese? If you answered yes to this, then boy do I have the place for you!  Meghan and I agreed to try new restaurants once a month. Monday evening we went to the first restaurant on our list, Raclette. Located at 511 E 12th St NY, NY.

Upon entering the front door your nose is hit with a stinky smell. It threw me by surprise initially and then my brain registered that it was the aroma of various cheeses, duh. Even though it was a Monday night, the place was packed. Just a tip for any one interested in going:  all members of your party have to be present before you can be seated. (I was late (as per usual) and Meghan had to wait a few minutes in the cold, Sorry Meg!)

Raclette’s evening atmosphere seduces the guests. The dim lighting and candle lit tables allow for feelings of intimacy in the setting. The tables are small so you can still hear the person you’re with even as music plays in the background. This restaurant is ideal for a date (whether it’s platonic or romantic). Hint to readers: Valentine’s Day is around the corner.

Prior to going to the restaurant I did a little research on the menu to see what I was working with. To my demise, I still was unprepared when the waitress asked me what I would like to order. For our starter we decided to share the tomato tartine. This dish consists of mozzarella pearls, cherry tomatoes, arugula pesto, and fresh basil on a toasted nan. It looks like this:

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Looks pretty enticing doesn’t it? Trust me, it tastes as good as it looks. Every item in this dish complimented each other.  I’m not big on tomatoes but when paired with the other ingredients, a true masterpiece. Tomato tartine: $14

With the main course we decided to go with the New York for Two. This item is one of the Raclettes which is rack-melted alpine cheese that is scraped table side. YES, this is the place that scrapes the oozing cheese right onto your meal. Talk about mouth watering. This moment is so beautiful you might want to document it so you never forget. To all my Instagram photogs, definitely worthy of being on your ‘feed’. This dish consists of a 12oz. filet mignon, sautéed mushrooms, roasted asparagus, (my personal fave) and potatoes. It looks like this:

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This was taken a few seconds after the cheese was scraped onto the dish. Picture perfect I know. I’ve always been keen on taking pictures of my food even before I started blogging, now my pictures have purpose! Anyway, getting back to the entrée, it was absolutely delicious. The New York for Two is pretty self explanatory in the sense that it feeds two people. If you’re one of those individuals that likes to put each food item on the fork before consumption you’ll enjoy this dish as the pairings are superb. New York for Two: $56

After eating my starter and entree I was just the right amount of full. Sufficed yet not overwhelmed. Quite the opposite of the type full that makes you feel like you could have a heart attack at any second.

All in all, I had a very pleasant experience at Raclette. Try it out and let me know what you think!

P.s. Look how cute my date was:

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Food

Piggin’ Out at Hamiltion Pork

Calling all meat lovers: If you have love for barbecue look no further than restaurant, Hamilton Pork, to suffice all your pork needs.

Brothers, Michael and John Gondevas opened the barbecue spot in February 2016 just celebrating its year anniversary. But before the eatery was even an idea, the duo opened the Jersey City restaurant Hamilton Inn in April 2010.

“Business is great we are very busy. We’re both from here [New Jersey]. We’re very fortunate that it is so good and we wouldn’t have it any other way,” said Gondevas.

The eatery’s exterior greets customers with a neon pig and smiling hostess, followed by an interior setting completely unique to them. To the left of the entrance is the bar, but not just any bar as it is carved out of a shipping container. If you are having a hard time visualizing that think of the Baltimore docks from “The Wire.”

Hanging on the wall to the right is a large American flag that draws the eye to the exposed brick walls to complete the ambiance.

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I have a strong love for barbecue so I was a little overwhelmed when I saw the variety of mouth-watering items on the menu including brisket, pulled pork, pork ribs, pork belly and baby back ribs. I went with the pulled pork ($10) and a side of French fries ($6). As for drinks, I ordered the “Bees Knees,” which is a mix of mezcal, lemon juice, maraschino, and ginger ale a balanced blend of citrus and tequila.

Their dessert menu includes a churro ice cream sandwich, which I need to try the next time I visit. When the table in front of mine ordered it, it really was love at first sight.

The food is brought out to you on a tray with a slab of meat on the left, red pickled onions, and whatever side you choose. They supply a hearty portion size so make sure you visit on an empty stomach.

The array of flavors present in the pulled pork made me eager to try what the rest of the menu has to offer. Hamilton Pork also serves guest brunch Sunday through Monday from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m..

They are conveniently located steps away from Hamilton Park at 247 10th St. in Jersey City, so you can walk off the pounds of food you just consumed without feeling too guilty. To conclude, I was very impressed with the restaurant. The combination of quality food with the level exceptional service makes for a wonderful dining experience.

Even if you are not huge of barbecue, I encourage you to try Hamilton Porkthey just might win you over.

Food, Travel

A Weekend in Pittsburgh

As we know, I enjoy travelling to see my loved ones. This time it wasn’t all the way across the country (sorry Less).  This time I went to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to see my best friend Meghan who attends the University of Pittsburgh.

Travelling from Bayonne to Pittsburgh is usually about a five and a half hour car ride.  Meghan’s mom and I hit some traffic along the way so it took us seven hours to get there. This was not my first rodeo. Believe it or not I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve gone to PITT to see Meghan. Usually I take the Megabus and it’s somewhere between an eight to ten hour bus ride.

I’m not sure whimg_4781at it is but there’s something about the atmosphere that makes me all the more appreciative to be in Pittsburgh when I am. The first time I was there I said something along the lines of “Oh my God that’s the bridge from The Perks of Being a Wallflower!” That’s when I knew I was going to love Pitt.  We arrived at 10 p.m. and there was no time to waste! Meghan told me to get ready because we were going out. For those of you who do not know, Pittsburgh is a college town. You see nothing but students when walking along Forbes Avenue.

That night we went to three bars: Garage Door Saloon (G Door), Hemingway’s Café (Hems), and Peter’s Pub (Peter’s). G Door is right down the block from Meghan. So naturally we stopped there first. This bar is fun if you want to shoot some pool. I hate pickles, but I had my first pickle shot there. Next up is Hem’s this bar is great because they put gummy worms in the drinks and there’s always a big crowd. img_4821Finally, Peter’s is perfectly split between a chill atmosphere on the first floor and a dance floor on the second. The next time I go to Pitt Meghan’s going to take me to bars in Shadyside and South Side.

I know what you’re thinking.. “Bri you went all the way to Pittsburgh and all you did was drink?!” Well the answer is no! Aside from drinking we went to three notable restaurants, Social House Seven, The Yard, and Naturoll. If you know me you’d know that I’m all about Asian food. So I was delig
hted when we went to Social House Seven, a Japanese izakaya-style restaurant.  We ordered spicy edamame (my one true love), a series of rolls, and ginger pear egg rolls for dessert. Definitely try the Poke Aloha roll if you go. Switching over to a more American-style restaurant is The Yard. They are known for their gourmet grilled cheeses, burgers, and craft beers. I ordered the Mac Attack, which is mac and cheese with bacon bits on two fat Texas toast slices. It comes with a little tomato soup and I got Parmesan fries on the side. Let’s just say I was drooling from the first bite all the way to the last. Lastly, we went to Naturoll. I’ve heard so many good things about rolled ice cream so I had to see what all the hype was about. I ordered the s’mores which is chocolate ice cream, graham crackers, and toasted marshmallow. It was chocolate heaven and you can see from the picture how nice the presentation was (totally Instagram worthy!).

All in all I had a great weekend filled with food, laughs, and love. See you soon PITT !

Food

My Trip to Krispy Kreme

We all have a sweet tooth we can’t ignore.  My problem is I have about six or seven and I cannot deny their requests. I remember the first time I had Krispy Kreme I was with my cousin in Florida. When I took my first bite of the deliciously warm doughnut I knew this was potentially dangerous and I was thankful there were none up North because knowing me I would buy a dozen every day. It’s safe to say it was love at first bite.

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Krispy Kreme Grand Opening

This was around two years ago. Then one day on my drive home from work I notice a new billboard. It read: “Krispy Kreme Coming This Fall! Downtown Near the Grove St. Path” I thought to myself this was it. This was the moment I had been waiting for the last two years. When Fall rolled around I noticed the billboard changed, now it read: “Coming This January!” How could Krispy Kreme play with my emotions like this? When January made its way to the calendar the billboard changed again and this time it said Krispy Kreme was to open on February 7th, 2017. Could I trust this information to be true? I was tired of having my hopes crushed by this billboard.

The seventh day of February was a particularly cold one. My love for donuts lead me to the new location. I don’t know why I thought going at 3 p.m. on the opening day was a smart idea, but could you blame me? I was eager to get that savory taste I had been missing out on the last two years. The line was outside the door. I waited on it for fifteen minutes in the cold air and just as I was about to get through the door I realized I told my sister I would get her from school to save her from taking the bus. I abandoned my doughnut dreams and chose to be a good sister.

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Assorted Flavors

Naturally, I was back on the line the next day. To my joy it was gorgeous 60° weather with not a cloud in sight. This time around I went at 2 p.m. and the line was much more pleasant to be on. I waited for a strong twenty minutes. Once you’re inside you are led to a glass window and through the glass you can see the doughnuts being made on an assembly line. I progressed to the counter and ordered a half dozen of the original glazed doughnuts with an iced vanilla latte. You’ve got to treat yourself am I right? I stuck with the classic original donuts, but Krispy Kreme actually has over ten different donut flavors for you to try. I bit into the warm dough and it was love all over again. The sweet taste of the icing filled my mouth and I was smiling like a fool. I was a happy camper and my doughnut cravings had been satisfied (even though I’ll probably go back for more next week).

I was so relieved to be off the line and felt over the moon with satisfaction, but something was missing. I wanted word from one of owners on how they were feeling. I went up to a man with a black Krispy Kreme shirt and introduced myself.  He told me he was Riley from Krispy Kreme corporate. He seemed to like that I was wearing a PITT hoodie and asked me if I attended the university. Once I said no his mood shifted and he seemed to want nothing more to do to me. Going so far as to take a phone call during our conversation. He declined to comment on the traffic of the restaurant or answer any of the questions I had.

I did not let this negativeness ruin my experience. I am still so excited they’ve opened a location so close to me and think it is a brilliant spot for business. If you’re a doughnut lover like me I highly recommend making a trip. They are located at 95 Columbus Avenue Jersey City, New Jersey.