Posts Tagged ‘nyc’


Looking out on the Hudson River as the sun sets over New Jersey, it’s easy to forget the chaos of Manhattan and the stresses of a busy work week . Which is precisely why the 79th Street Boat Basin is one of my favorite places in NYC now that the weather is warmer.  Grab a table by the water or underneath the vaulted stone arches of the cafe and enjoy a cold pint of beer or a strawberry margarita. The food is decent — nothing to rave about — but it’s the ambiance that makes this place a gem.



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If you judged a burger on hype alone, Shake Shack’s would win by a landslide. Since moving to the city last summer, I have not stopped hearing about their fresh, juicy burgers, high-quality toppings, crispy hand-cut fries, and thick creamy  milkshakes — all at reasonable prices, by New York standards.

The rumors are all true: these are amazing hamburgers and shakes.  The meaty and perfectly-seasoned beef patties are modest in size – slightly larger than a slider – so if you have a big appetite, go for two. The fresh buns are toasted, buttery, and eggy; the plum tomatoes are ripe and sweet; and the melted American cheese is gooey goodness on top.

For dessert, you must get a hand-spun shake made from the Shack’s thick frozen custard. I recommend the “black and white.” Incredible.

A little history… The original shop opened in Madison Square Park in 2004; they opened an Upper West Side location (77th and Columbus) in the fall of 2008. Both locations are immensely popular at all times of day with lines out the door.

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If you’re in the mood for a culinary adventure, check out Kum Gang San, 49 West 32nd Street, in Manhattan.  One of the best parts of a Korean meal, in my opinion, are the traditional little side dishes — known as banchan. The small plates with assorted marinated vegetables, seaweed, and salted fish are tasty!   My Korean friends inform me that these are often a meal in themselves eaten over a bowl of white rice.


If you’re new to Korean cuisine, definitely start with a pajeon, a classic scallion pancake.  It is made with flour batter, eggs, and scallions, served with a mixture of soy sauce & vinegar for dipping.


Pajeon is also sometimes done with kimchi instead of scallion and is also delicious. Kimchi is a trademark element of Korean cuisine and will definitely be among the plates on your table.  The fermented, spicy Napa cabbage has been marinated in ginger, garlic, scallion and chili pepper.


Koreans are known for their barbecued beef.  But another popular dish is Bibimbap, Korean for “stirred/mixed rice.” And the stirring/mixing is definitely part of the fun here. A medley of vegetables — cucumber, zucchini, mushrooms, spinach, sprouts, carrots, seaweed — arrive on top of a warm bowl of rice.  You toss them with an egg, barbecued beef, and chili paste. It’s quite the conglomeration of flavors.


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