OK, so it’s not really called Satan Burger, but wouldn’t it be cool if it was? Bad Burger can be found at 171 Avenue A between 10th and 11th Streets, in the East Village. Their burgers are actually very tasty, and their guacamole is excellent.
[Note: As of July 2014, Orale has changed its name to Chico Julio’s Oceans of Flavor and is now focusing on a Seafood-themed / Mexican Menu]
Hey do you like Mexican Food? I sure do. While there’s always been a dearth of authentic Mexican – or even the revered California Style Mexican – cuisine in Manhattan (and, let’s be honest, in the entire tri-state area) the Upper West Side has a new contender for at least a Top Ten List fixture with the arrival of Orale Mexican Kitchen, which has been open for just under a month.
Orale UWS joins its popular sister location in Jersey City , which has been winning fans since April of 2013. The Manhattan space mimics the NJ location’s décor with fun barrio style graffiti and street art murals, which gives the restaurant a vibrant and festive feel as soon as you enter. There’s also the incredible illuminated wall of colorful Jarritos soda bottles, which is as cool a work of ‘Pop’ Art as anything I’ve seen in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Orale’s engaging menu is a good mix of standard Mexican favorites and Latin-inspired fare, which might encourage you to extend your culinary comfort zone and experiment a bit. But it’s always a good idea to start your meal with some fresh Guacamole.
Orale dresses up its Guacamole de la Casa (Avocado, Tomato, Cilantro, Onion, Jalapeno & Lime) with five different topping ($7 – 9), or you can select a tasting of three for $12, which is what we did. To the de la Casa we added a scoop of the El Naco (topped with so-close-to-bacon Crispy Braised Pork Belly) and the Blue Demon, topped with Cabrales Blue Cheese and Toasted Pepitas (pumpkin seeds). The Guacamole is served with a literal bucket of freshly made tortilla chips and a selection of three spicy sauces, which deliver varying degrees of heat, to your taste.
Tacos De la Calle (5 soft corn tortillas stuffed with varied fillings) are a popular dish at Orale and a tray of 5 will set you back $16, which, believe it or not, is competitively priced for these parts. We shared an order of the Tacos Al Pastor, which are made with tender marinated & Roasted Pork topped with Caramelized Pineapple, Chile de Arbol and Cilantro. Very satisfying and delicious! Other taco fillings include, Roasted Bone Marrow topped with Crispy Pork Belly, Beer Battered Fish, Vegetarian with sautéed Seitan, Chili Rubbed & Seared Tuna, and Spicy Beef Tinga. A great idea for a party of two or three diners would be to get two orders of different tacos and share them!
The menu leads one to believe that a side Rice & Beans come with the tacos, though that is not the case. However, a size appropriate for sharing is just $6.
One of the house specialties, the intriguingly named Dinosaurio, is an entree of one huge Short Rib served on the bone, marinated in ancho and chipotle-chile and cooked until a tiny nudge of your fork frees the meat from that very serious bone (Dinosaurio, indeed). The meat is sublimely tender and flavorful, though it has a bit more “marbling” than I generally care for. My dining companion, on the other hand, absolutely raved about it. The plate arrives dressed with Tamal de Olla (a creamy polenta lightened with fresh corn) and a delicious Tomatillo Chipotle Compote.
Under the Bocadillos section of the menu, a large dish of fresh Brussels Sprouts ($5), quickly deep fried and then seasoned simply with salt & pepper, is an unorthodox but complementary side to both the traditional and Nuevo-Mex dishes.
We finished off our meal with a favorite traditional Mexican dessert, Vanilla Flan with a luscious Caramel Sauce ($7), which was recommended by our very friendly and helpful server. Again, after a hearty meal this portion was certainly big enough to share between two people (in fact, we could barely even finish it).
Orale also has an extensive drink menu featuring classic margaritas, specialty cocktails and a wide selection of Tequilas, Sangria and Beer. This place is a great addition to an already fun neighborhood. I’m looking forward to future visits to further explore the adventurous menu! Get your Cinco de Mayo reservation in now before they fill up!
Orale Mexican Kitchen is Located at 768 Amsterdam Avenue (near 98th Street), New York, New York 10025. Phone (212)749-2929 or visit Orale MK Dot Com for reservations.
Nothing gets us excited for new seasonal packaged foods and gourmet takes on fresh favorites quite like Food Fete! The Fall edition of Food Fete took place on November 7th, with lots of ideas for holiday entertaining and many new products on preview from some of our favorite vendors — plus a great chance to network with other bloggers and sample lots of tasty treats! Here are a few of the exhibitors that caught our eye this time around.
A festive Martini Bar sponsored by Zulka Pure Cane Sugar got the party started right away. We made sure to sample both the Apple Cider and Pomegranate Martinis, whose sugared rims sparkled with a sprinkling of Zulka. We had to note that Zulka glittered like diamond dust as it adorned the frosting atop luscious brownies, alongside tiny cakes and fresh baked cookies, also provided by Zulka.
Since Zulka‘s “Morena” pure cane sugar does not undergo a conventional refining process, it retains the complexity and depth of flavor that’s as close to fresh sugar cane as possible. Why not pick up a box for use in your next recipe that calls for sugar?
Shortly after entering the event space we spotted Bare Fruit Apple Chips. This delicious natural fruit snack is made from 100% baked Washington Apples with no added preservatives or sugars (and, of course, it’s Gluten Free). We took home a couple of bags to sample and have really enjoyed the Sea Salt Caramel variety, which is a new flavor along with the Chile Lime offering. Crunchy, Sweet and Healthy Snacking!
Mmm, fresh baked bread, – we love it! A lot of people, unfortunately, have a gluten intolerance and many exhibitors at Food Fete took this challenge in hand. The holidays are a time when baking for the family, as well as for gift giving, is a very popular idea. From Anna offers Gluten and Allergen Free bread mixes that taste as sweet and moist as your favorite recipes from Mom. From Anna‘s line of products let you treat yourself and your family while including those with dietary exclusions. Their Banana Bread mix is a must-try and so easy to make!
Luces Gluten Free Artisan Bread was also exhibiting and had many flavors of their fresh baked breads to share, including their new Italian loaf, which bakes into a rich white bread with cracker-thin crust and a very open crumb. Is your mouth watering yet? Luces bread mixes contain all the dry ingredients you need to make a loaf of fresh baked bread in every package, including a bag to bake it in! The best part: no kneading or rising time is required. You have to try this bread!
Chocolate is a big item at the holidays and Divine Chocolate offers exotic flavored Chocolate bars such as White Chocolate with Strawberries, Milk Chocolate with Crushed Ginger Snaps (tastes like Christmas!) and Dark Chocolate with Ginger and Orange among many others! Not only are their products unique and tasty but Divine is the only fair-trade chocolate company which is owned by its cocoa farmers. While Fair-trade ensures farmers receive a better deal for their cocoa and additional income to invest in their community, company ownership gives farmers a share of Divine’s profits and a stronger voice in the cocoa industry. That’s awesome!
Nuts and nut products were also featured prominently at the show, including one of our very favorite snacks, Pistachios. American Pistachio Growers hosted a very inviting booth with facts about Pistachios, samples to give away and the most delicious Avocado Pistachio Guacamole dip (which they called Pistachio Mole). We got the recipe for future concocting at home!
We also fell in love with Sante Nuts, a company founded by a single mom who had to think creatively when she she needed an income stream to support her family. Sante Nuts come in nine sweet and savory varieties and are made in small batches to ensure freshness. Sante’s candied Pistachios, which are actually only slightly candied, so you can still taste all the flavor of the nut, are out of this world.
OPA is a brand of delicious, made fresh Greek style yogurt dressings from Litehouse Foods that not only makes salad eating fun, but it also makes excellent dips. Gluten free and lower in fat and calories than the standard bottled dressing, OPA sacrifices nothing in the taste arena to bring you a healthier product. Available in Blue Cheese, Ranch, Caesar and Feta Dill flavors, OPA by Litehouse can be found in the refrigerated produce department at grocery retailers nationwide.
We love their Tuna, but we had no idea that Chicken of the Sea made all of these different types of packaged seafood products. Due to celebrate the company’s Centennial in 2014, Chicken of the Sea showcased two brand new items at Food Fete, including its Kipper Snacks — naturally smoked, wild-caught herring fillets that are a traditional European snack — and their Genova Quad Pack, featuring four cans of all-natural Genova Select Yellowfin Tuna packed in the Mediterranean tradition of olive oil.
We were also surprised to learn that Panera Bread, one of the healthier quick food chains around, is now offering healthy and delicious salads (although we were told that these salads have actually been available as an off-menu item for some time – who knew?). We will have to check that out next time we pass by a Panera Bread at Lunchtime, because these salads were tasty!
If you have an Aldi Market in your neighborhood then consider yourself very lucky, because their foods are awesome! Similar to a Trader Joe’s, Aldi features all its own house brands and offers everything you need to make your holiday party – or everyday life – simply spectacular! Not to mention, but you can see we are about to, the fact that they have very reasonable prices! Visit Aldi Dot US to find out more about Aldi and to see if they have a location near you!
Pepperidge Farm introduce three new seasonal flavors of their popular Milano Cookies: Candy Cane (Available since October), Dulce De Leche and Lemon Chocolate (both in stores starting in February 2014). They are also offering a Gingerbread variety of their Swirl Bread now through January 2014. That probably tastes amazing toasted!
Do you see how the little paper spoons all have smiley faces on them? That is because they are serving Noosa Yoghurt, which is so delicious, it is just insane. We sampled both the Cherry and Lemon flavors at Food Fete and gosh darn if this isn’t the Best Yogurt we have tasted, possibly ever. Everyone at Food Fete couldn’t shut up about it. We are going to attempt to get samples of Noosa Yoghurt delivered directly to Worley Gig headquarters so that we can review it more thoroughly. Because, insane.
And to wrap up this wrap up, we want to give a shout out to Nasoya, who showcased their Tofu Plus and Asian Style Wraps (wraps, get it?) by serving healthy and super yummy Tofu Tacos and scrumptious home baked Cinnamon Apple Turnovers, respectively, in their booth. Find out more about Nasoya products and get recipe ideas at This Link!
Thanks as always to Jeff Davis for making the magic happen!
While its doors opened just this past March, the word is already on the street about Teqa; a Mexican restaurant that does things just a bit differently. Filling a void in a neighborhood previously longing for an infusion of youthful vibrancy, this Taqueria & Tequileria (say that five times fast) is the creation of entrepreneurial owner Derek Axelrod, who’s enlisted the right All-Star team to make Teqa a success. In the kitchen, chef Lisa Schoen (also personal chef to Derek Jeter) creates a presentation of modern and traditional Mexican cuisine that draws from global influences, while in the dining room, Interior Design by Lesly Zamor combines the warmth of dark wood and leather with the rustic/modern touch of custom lighting (courtesy of Johnny Swing) to create a very comfortable and welcoming interior.
Now, consider that the Bartenders at Teqa mix refreshing signature cocktails from a tequila menu featuring over 100 different bottles, and you’ve scored with an establishment that appeals to both those who desire to satiate the appetite and those who also hunger for a nightlife vibe.
But us? We came to eat!
A generous portion of fresh, ripe Teqa Guacamole ($14) arrives on your table spiced to your desired level of heat at Mellow, Orange-Habanero or Mega Watt (or choose trio of all three for the same price).
If you’re not a Guacamole fan, do try the House made, tri-color Tortilla Chips and Salsa in a selection of flavors like roasted tomato, green tomatillo and shrimp-mango ($9 each flavor), or try a sampling of all three (see above photo) for $10.
Oaxaca Queso Fundido (warm melted cheese dip with chips, $11) is accompanied by tomatillo salsa and available in plain cheese (for purists) or with a choice of chorizo or ground beef (add $6) or veggies (add $4).
Other appetizers include the popular Teqa Nachos platter ($14) topped with a cheese blend, seasoned ground sirloin, black beans, guacamole, pico de gallo and cilantro crema. Quesadillas stuffed with wild mushrooms or BBQ pulled chicken ($11 each) round out the starters menu. A couple of shared appetizers could easily serve as a satisfying meal when accompanied by one or two of Teqa’s delicious cocktails such as the Voodoo Child with Tequila and fresh pineapple, or the Hibiscus & Rose Margarita.
Read More Of This Review After The Jump!
Personally, I couldn’t give a crap about the Super Bowl. This evening I’ll be watching some Netflix, then Big Love and Flight of the Conchords in a blissfully Football-free wonderland. And I already had a big lunch at Gonzalez Y Gonzalez (hey, $5 Margaritas at the bar!) so I won’t be eating again tonight. But if I were to attend a Superbowl party (say, because I lost a bet) I sure would be happy to see this stadium made of tasty snacks waiting for me to sample. Here’s what’s in it:
1 Pound of Guacamole
15 Oz. Queso Dip For The Steelers End Zone
15 Oz. Salsa For The Cardinals End Zone
2 Oz. Sour Cream for the Field Lines
15 Vienna Sausages
Helmets – 3 Oz. Sharp Cheddar Cheese
The Goal Posts:
1 Slim Jim for Each Goal Post
1 Oz. Monterey Jack Cheddar To Anchor (each)
1 Pound of Bacon
1 Bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos
1 Bag of Cheetos
1 Bag of Corn Tortilla Chips
1 Bag of Chex Mix
20 Oz. Football-Shaped Summer Sausage (optional) (on second thought, no, this isn’t optional. Go buy one.)
TOTAL CALORIES: 24,375
TOTAL GRAMS OF FAT: 1,285
TOTAL COST: $86.47
TOTAL DELICIOUSNESS: 1 Billion trillion, dude. One billion trillion.
See how to make it at the link below!
It Means There Will be Tasty Mexican Food in the Cafeteria Today!
Happy Monday and Feliz Cinco De Mayo to all of my Hispanic readers! Who else besides me is all ecstatic about This American Life returning to Showtime? Oh, happiness and joy. At the moment I am amused at a “news” article I found through Obscurestore Dot Com about a woman in suburban Washington State – obviously with a lot of time on her hands – who objects to Urban Outfitters selling dirty books to her kids, or some such whiny, censorship-oriented nonsense. I mean, jesus god lady, learn how to be a parent and stop trying to inflict your moralist hoo-ha on those of us who are busy trying to hold on to what few freedoms we have left. Anyway, the best part of the story is that the woman complaining is named Marci Milfs. M-I-L-F-S. You can’t make this stuff up.