Hurricane, winter storms, and the generally miserable weather on the east coast warrants a visit to California. And MAYBE my friends Yasir and Sarah moving out here had something to do with it. But 70s (aka perfect) and sun made it a little bit of a selfish vacation to get away from the madness in the city. I don’t think I realized how many people are out here but my days already have been full of good company, including having brunch yesterday at Frida at the Americana mall with the lovely Nadia of Sweet Pillar & Co..
We split a burrito vegetariano (sautéed asparagus and zucchini with white rice, black beans, lettuce, sour cream, queso fresco and guacamole, wrapped in a flour tortilla) and burrito mazatlán (sautéed shrimp in a chile-pasilla orange sauce, onions, lettuce, and guacamole wrapped in a flour tortilla. Served with rice and beans). Without meat, you would think it would fall short but both burritos were fresh, tasty, and in the case of the mazatlan, spiced perfectly. We finished off with green tea and a very strong, but well-timed, latte.
Plus with plenty of outdoor seating, we felt like we weren’t missing the extremely beautiful day I was hoping for…even after sitting there comfortably for four hours. Time flies with good food and good company!
By Munia Islam
Starving on a Saturday morning with no idea of what to eat is not a fun way to start the day. Recently, in a haste of studying for grad school midterms (ick!), we needed a quick and filling brunch.
Our saving grace? El Vez! With its flashy signs and mix of formal and informal decor, the ecclectic restaurant is a must to visit if you’re ever in Philadelphia. I’ve been there on several occasions–once on my own birthday–but always at night. I did learn from these dinners though that the queso fundido de hongos (truffled wild mushrooms with chihuahua cheese and huitlacoche served with flour tortillas, $12.50) is a must for my appetizer. Luckily, that’s also available for brunch so it’s exactly what I ordered.
Queso fundido de hongos
What to do on a warm summer evening in NY? I’m practically allergic to indoor dining on nights like these, so last week after the CoverGirl/Pat McGrath party, I decided to
crash Archana and Eaman’s date join my friends for dinner at La Esquina in SoHo. It wasn’t my first time there, but it was my first time eating in their outdoor area. La Esquina pretty much has three parts to it: the taqueria, which is a small, to-go lunch counter; their cafe, which encompasses their sidewalk seating and their indoor space that serves the full menu; and their downstairs brasserie and bar area in the basement, where they have even more extensive menu, a DJ, and a (sometimes pesky) reservations-only list.
It took us about a hour to get seated once we got there, but we dove right into the queso once we did. Layers of baked cheese with roasted pumpkin seeds, served with plaintain chips was pretty much heaven on earth.
I was crossing my fingers that it would set the standard for the rest of the meal. I can’t even remember the last time I had tacos, so I decided to go for some steak tacos this time (why not?). The anticipation for the main course wasn’t worth the results…the steak was bland at best.
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posted on: 06.08.11 | filed under: FOOD - "The Delicious", Mexican, Spanish/Latin American
| tags: dinner, downtown, la esquina, latin, lunch, mexican, nolita, nyc restaurants, outdoor seating, pan latin, soho, Spanish
On my recent trip to Miami, we made a little dinner stop at Havana Harry’s in Coral Gables, an authentic Cuban restaurant that happily keeps a very unpretentious, family-friendly vibe.
Havana Harry's in Coral Gables
Havana Harry's inside
OK I know..I need to get myself out of the Lower East Side. But to my defense, this was the same night I had that delectable hot chocolate, only earlier…so yeah leavemealone.
A La Lolita, $7
My friend Zeshan and I just stumbled into Macondo, this tapas restaurant on Houston for a quick bite before a show. I’m not sure how much of a tapas person I am actually. I don’t mind sharing big portions, but the little bites always leave me a little confused about what I just ate — did I have enough?? Do I want more?? What did I eat again??