All posts tagged: New York

My Mental Health Day at Pangea

The trend in the food world these days seems to be pop ups — places that set up at selected spots at a limited time, with a theme and specific menu. In recent years, established restaurants have also done pop ups, bringing their food closer to people other than those living in their own cities. This weekend my boyfriend and I had the opportunity to go to one of these pop ups — the Culinary Institute’s Pangea. We had learned that the director of Pangea was given limited resources to come up with a concept, turn one of the students’ former dining rooms (if you are not familiar with the Culinary Institute, it is where arguably, the best chefs are trained) into a restaurant, a menu befitting the CIA’s reputation and a specific deadline. What they have come up with is very impressive, an “earth-conscious” menu that takes into consideration the way we “produce and harvest” the food we eat, drawing into it many cultural and culinary techniques while remaining true to the ingredients. Aside …

For Those Doughnut Days in the City

One of my favorite specialty shops in Manhattan is The Doughnut Plant, located in West 23rd Street. Here, you would find unique flavors such as mango, pistachio, tres leches and apricot, but make sure you get there early — they run out of these flavors, as these are made fresh and in limited batches in the morning. They also have cream filled ones, such as peanut butter and banana cream, creme brulee filled and coconut cream. When I went there, it was unfortunately late in the afternoon (I went after work) so they have already run out of all the flavors I wanted to try. I had the cream-cheese filled carrot cake donut, which was definitely a step up from the average donut shop. Since it was cake and not dough, the texture was different. The cream cheese was a nice touch and provided great contrast to the carrot cake. I would definitely love to go back in the morning and taste the other flavors, specially the tres leches and creme brulee filled. The Doughnut …

On Serenity

In the middle of crowds and chaos, I am learning to tune out noise and aspire for calm. There, in the in between, in the just-arrived and not-there-yet; the I can come in and choose to stay an observer; twinkling lights, fun and merry-go-rounds against a soft picturesque as-if-it-was-painted backdrop; the middle of the day and night, the light still but not quite dark — is serenity. Picture taken of Warwick’s 4th of July Carnival, 2014, Warwick, NY using my iPhone Weekly Photo Challenge: Serenity

Mapping Bourdain

As travel shows go, the many incarnations of Anthony Bourdain’s philosophical and very real take on food, yes, but more than that, culture, is definitely a must. Though Brasserie Le Halles, the now New York staple he used to helm (where my boyfriend was very sweet to have taken me), did not live up to expectations as far as steakhouses, we religiously watch old episodes of No Reservations shot in places we’re going so we can choose a few spots for our own map of places to check off our bucket list du jour. Turkey: Uphill and Soggy Buns Turkey, for example, was especially interesting. We decided our first night in Istanbul that we were going to walk to Durumzade, a small spot where Tony swears the Adana kebab was the best. It was quite an adventure as we did not know that we had to walk uphill to the restaurant. We walked until we finally gave up and hailed a cab a block from the place and got to our goal: Anthony Bourdain’s recommended kebab. …

My Top 5 New Restaurant Finds of 2014

As we’re getting ready to say goodbye to 2014, it’s time yet again for countdowns — our customary way of looking back on the year that was. So, I decided to write one of my own: my list of top new restaurant finds of the year. 1. Bocuse Restaurant at the Culinary Institute of America(Hyde Park, NY) For Valentine’s Day this year, my boyfriend and I decided we were going to give each other a list of things we would like to do for the year in lieu of presents. On his list was the Culinary Institute for America, which I had written about here in a prior post. I had also mentioned how we had one of the best dishes — maybe in the top 5 of our lives — the Guinea Hen at Bocuse. Later in the year, we went back for their lunch service. They had a surprisingly reasonably priced prix fixe lunch menu option, which we took advantage of. For my appetizer, I had the poached lobster with avocado and sweet …

Home(sick) for the Holidays

Christmas carols and countdowns starting the very first day of September. Holiday decorations everywhere you go: lanterns, twinkling lights and for me personally, a Christmas tree that was already up by the time I celebrate my birthday in the middle of November. Even smells coming from traditional holiday rice cakes, puto bumbong and bibingka, remind you of the season. Everyone looks forward to simbang gabi or nine mornings, midnight masses where friends and family all try to wake up early and complete all nine masses, and if you do, a blessing is believed to come your way. The Philippines has what is said to be the longest Christmas celebration in the world, beginning in September through the Feast of the Three Kings, January 6th. It’s one of the things I miss the most about the holidays — the anticipation for the most joyous time of the year. When I first moved to the US, not yet hearing holiday songs on the radio and seeing decors when they were already having daily countdowns in the Philippines …