Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich

Never underestimate the power of a sloppy over-sized fried chicken sandwich.

This came to me sizzling hot – and you would think –  though I had already burnt my tongue that I might slow down. Nope. That burning deliciousness, I could not let cool down.

Did I regret it? Sort of. Would I do this again? Oh, probably. See, my friends, the thing is when the first bite was so good – I can’t very well stop. You want to experience the tastiness repeatedly. The only problem with this technique is my food disappears. Always an issue if a dish is too good.

So where is this? It’s a place called Freeman’s in NYC. Bustling lunch spot. 

Worth the wait for solid food.

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Nathan’s & Coney Island

Coney Island is a great to spend the day with anyone or even on your own. There’s so much to do and eat. On that fine point, you must have a Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog.

I’m no hot dog aficionado but it was  darn tasty! I topped it with mustard, ketchup and some relish. I usually like it with some onions, too.

And, in case you didn’t know. They are home to renowned hot dog eating contest in July! Check it out if you get the chance!

Los Tacos…yes, line up for it!

I’ve always wondered about places that have so much hype. I feel set up for disappointment. This time round, I will include myself in the masses that say, yes, to lining up.

I ordered two tacos – one grilled beef, carne asada  and one grilled chicken, pollo asado  with everything on it on a corn tortilla.  I had overheard a couple of regulars in line chatting, giving advice to her friend about her favourites. One of those circumstances when listening in might be handy.

It was heaven. Tender, juicy well marinated beef and chicken. Every bite was memorable due in part one of the best corn tortillas I have experienced in recent memory.

If I did not have an appointment to get to I would have hit that line again for more. The line you see, may be intimidating but it moves fairly fast. I was impressed all round.

 

 

 

Mercat del Carmen. A little bit of Spain.

Along queen street west, you’ll find Mercat del Carmen, a cafe and a small Spanish market offering everything from coffee to prepared foods to go.

It’s a small but comfortable space punctuated by the beauty of the tiles that were imported from Valencia. It was what initially drew me into the space. The second, very noticeable decorative item, is the wall sized image of Carmen. No matter where you are, you feel she is looking at you.

The star of course is the food. A measure of any tapas is it the classic tortilla which I am glad to say I was quite satisfied with. They paired it with the perfect set of marinated olives.

I was treated by the cafe, to a sugar cookie covered in dulce de leche. Enough crunch and sweetness to make those last drops of coffee extremely worthwhile.

A delightful spot for an afternoon siesta indeed.

 

 

Cafe Gitane

Nestled among the fashionable boutiques on Mott Street is Cafe Gitane.  A restaurant that extols an interesting combination of flavours: French, Moroccan and Arabic.

This was not what I would usually go for during brunch. However, it was a refreshing change. It’s a comfortable, less curated space than its neighbours.

Coming later in the afternoon after the usual breakfast rush makes it easy to snag a table at this usually busy spot.

Everything we had such great depths of flavour and just the perfect kick of spice. I had ordered the baked eggs with merguez sausages, basil, tomato sauce and cream.  My friend ordered the most popular item: the baked eggs sandwich with merguez sausages, parmesan cheese, chipotle mayo on a french baguette.  Either item are definite pleasers.

A nice extra are the chocolates that come with your coffee.

Great service. Excellent food. An okay washroom.

4****

 

 

 

Buvette. A little bit of Paris in the West Village

Even on a stormy winter day, you still have to wait for a table. That tells you this place is popular.  We were told we would have to wait up to an hour and half but I find that to be a great technique to weed folks out. Instead, we came back in less than an hour and were seated immediately.

A server comes up to your party, takes your name and writes it on the wall.  Efficient.

Sitting there, it definitely has a  very quaint French vibe. Although, I can’t recall places in Paris this packed but I suppose it might be because a lot of Paris looks like this. Oh, the irony.

Despite the hoards of people constantly coming in, the servers are well-oiled professional machines.  Promptly arriving at your table and giving you time if needed to order your morning brew.

When in Rome or in this case Paris, I ordered the classic croque monsieur. It indeed lived up to its melted gruyere cheese and classic ham goodness. The pickles paired so well with each bite. The savoury with the sour of the pickle. A heavenly combination I can still taste. Oh, be warned! This does get rather filling.

Equally as good, the croque madame. Similar to the above dish but comes with a sunny-side egg. So, if you like a bit more cholesterol to your dish, try that one.

The coffee was a wonderful compliment. I should have checked the roaster they used.

Was worth the wait? Yes.

Would I go there again? Absolutely.

5 stars for the service

3.5 stars for the tiny water closet but extra half point is for the architectural details.

5 stars Food