#GenuineSuperette: Cali-American Classics in Little Italy

Shrimp:Grits

Newly opened Genuine Superette is the sister restaurant to Gotham West’s Roadside offering Classic American California Roadside Stand food done up right by a collaboration of high end chefs including Brad Farmerie, Paul Liebrant, Sam Mason, and Eben Freeman doing their take on Burgers, Fried Chicken Sandwiches, Tacos, etc. You order your meal up front(Ice Cream at a separate station in the back) like at a cafeteria and then grab a seat at a community table or one of the high bar stool tables and a friendly and sweet waitress will bring you your food and drink.

Up at Roadside I’ve enjoyed their tasty Spicy Smokehouse Burger (topped with bacon, smoked Gouda ,and charred  jalapeno  mayo) he Chili topped fries and  Shrimp Tacos (with grilled Citrus Slaw, charred  jalapeno mayo, pineapple and cucumber salsa on corn tortillas). Thus when I heard they opened up a new location in my more often visited stomping grounds I headed down to check it out.

For my first entree at the new location on Grand Street I tried their take on Shrimp grits which had the grits substituted by soft Polenta (Italian for grits) triangles that looked almost liked like Challah French Toast like covered in shrimp(6), bacon, scallions and a smoky mushrooms sauce with a bit of heat that hit the spot. While the dish looked moderate in size it was filling. Your call if you will really need a side… though the Chili topped fries are pretty awesome. Do try to save room for the Oddfellows by Sam Mason awesome ice cream flavors like Cherry Miso…


Genuine Superette is located at 191 Grand Street

Catherine Ahnell Gallery presents @AntoineVerglas and Senz

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Tonight was the opening for the collaboration between world renowned photographer Antoine Verglas and Street Artist Senz. The works are very large multi-media pieces on canvas whereby Senz took famous Verglas photos of beauties Penelope Cruz, Angela Jolie and Carrie Otis to name a few and combined them with his signature Street Art style to make an edgy unique statement. This show is a limited engagement Pop Up and only on till this Sunday, April 27th.



Catherine Ahnell Gallery is located at 66 Grand Street
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Martin Lawrence Galleries Presents: Kostabi

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Martin Lawrence Galleries tonight hosted a Meet the Artist event featuring the newest works by Pop Art Superstar Kostabi. He’s well known for his faceless featureless characters that speak volumes. I noticed his new featured works were a bit brighter then usual with many having a playful sexual nature to them. While admiring some of them the Artist who was in attendance shared with a group that a work in question of a female form was actually not a woman but paint out of a tube representing the personification of creativity. I asked him about the palette being brighter then usual and he stated that he is in a very happy place in his life currently living between NY and Italy and the bright colors are an expression of this joy. The crowd tonight was rather eclectic and colorful  as well making the event that much more entertaining.

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Martin Lawrence Galleries
is located at 457 West Broadway

Takumi Japanese Mexican Fusion Tacos y Nachos!

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I originally discovered Takumi’s awesome and inventive Japanese twist on Mexican food at Smorgasburg a couple of years back and always wondered when they would go Brink n Mortar. Recently they took some space in Chelsea Market location serving their Japanese spin on Mexican Street food. Think Spicy Tuna Tacos, Green Curry Beef Rice bowls and Nachos topped with like goods. Takumi starts with traditional Nacho trips and from there turns the dish on it’s head topping them with Ginger Pico de Gallo, Yuzu Guacamole, Wasabi Crema, Napa Slaw, Cojita cheese and a protein I had to go Spicy Tuna. While familiar at it’s core this delicious spin tastes like nothing you’ve had before. To drink I had their Iced Tea…their Lychee Iced Tea. I was a big fan when I first had their Tacos but these Nachos make a stop at Takumi a must do on any Foodies list.

Takumi Taco is located at 95 9th Avenue in the Chelsea Market

Soap Cherie: Dead Sea Salt Scrubs & Handmade Bath Products from Bushwick

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Have you ever been to the Dead Sea in the Land of Milk and Honey to enjoy it’s restorative powers? New body and bath emporium Soap Cherie on Bedford carries Dead Sea Salt scrubs and lotions from Israel and makes their own Bath Oils, Bubble Bath, Soaps(Seaweed, Lavender, Mud, Peppermint, etc) Candles and  Hot Oil massage tins(though they were mini candies) in Bushwick Brooklyn. They have a sink set up to experience their products for yourself.  You wash your hands(I tried the Coconut Lime scrub) then they dab you with some lotion…my hands felt crazy silky smooth.  Soap Chere is a great spot to pick up a gift for that special someone(Mother’s Day is almost here) or just to grab some great soaps or a new candle to brighten your mood for yourself.

Soap Chere is located at 218 Bedford Avenue

 

Devocion Coffee Straight out of Bogota to Williamsburg

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Straight out of Bogota Columbia, Devocion is the US based sister located in the southern edgier section of Williamsburg. When you first walk in you see the room where their keep the beans and roast them on premise. Then you enter a ginormous spacious cafe with high ceilings, a wall of foliage, two big comfy leather couches and lots of wooden tables.

You choose from Espresso’s, Pour Overs and French Press brews or of course their Tea selection. If your hungry Devocion has a  great selection of baked goods to enjoy as well that vary from doughnuts to croissants and Empanadas. I was temped by the Doughnuts but decided to stick with the Latin vibe and go healthy with a verde Spinach y Queso Empanada. The spinach tasted like what you get at a high end Italian restaurant. Of note, on my next visit I broke down with an Hibiscus glazed doughnut, it was so worth the calories. If you like cherry you will love Hibiscus. For my coffees I’ve tried thus far their Wild forest and El Toro French Pressed. Both were rich and flavorful, available by the bean in a bag to go as well. Yes, they do have WiFi if you need to get some work done, write your Blog, plan your trip or just chill out and enjoy some conversation.


Devocion is located at 69 Grand street in Williamsburg

 

Eons: Nutritious and Delicious Greek Burrito’s and Salad/Rice Bowls

Eons

Murray Hill has a great new spot in Eons on second Avenue. Eons serves Greek food like at the popular Salad Bowl joints. You choose from a;

Base: Pita, rice bowl or salad bowl

Protein -Octopus, Shrimp and Lamb are among the choices(there is a veggie option)

Salad Toppings: that include Chickpeas, Beets, and Lima beans, Greek Salad

Spread, Hummus, Feta Cheese, Tzatziki

and then(you thought you were done?:) salad toppings(traditional Greek). I enjoyed the Lamb with the Greek Salad and beets topped with feta spread my fist time and chicken with beets and the Eons salad(faro, cucumber, mint, parsley) with Tzatziki the next. Of note after you choose everything you can then add all the toppings that make up a Greek salad as well. So keep that I mind when choosing your toppings and spreads. To drink bottled water and Boylans(some of my fave) sodas in bottles or even better if staying via the fountain.

Service is fast and friendly and it’s a nice clean minimalist space. Eons offers a great healthy and reasonable priced spot to the neighborhood and it’s located right by the NYSC for an after workout meal or a great quick meal before catching a flick at the AMC Lowes Kips Bay 15 down and across the street.

Eons is located at 633 2nd Avenue 

#Nyonya #Malaysian on Grand Street

Sambal Shrimp Nyonya

Do you enjoy Malaysian food or have yet to try this delicious cuisine? I recently found a great spot for it with killer lunch specials. Nyonya is located on Grand Street kind of where Little Italy and Chinatown’s lines blur. Malaysian dishes are similar to Thai if you have not had it before, but has it’s own distinct flavors. If you love heat and mango’s you will especially like it. I went for lunch and had a tough time choosing from the huge selection of entrees served with rice, many of them with Shrimp for just $6.96(Hunter Hint: for an extra $.50 go Coconut rice)

After much deliberation between the Mango Shrimp, Sambal Shrimp, and the Nasi Lemak (a rice dish cooked in Coconut Milk and spices) I chose the Sambal since it’s my litmus test for Malaysian cuisine. Of note, dishes marked with a hot pepper for spicy are spicy. I normally have to order it hot and say I’ve been to SE Asia to get it this hot. The lunch specials comes with a daily soup to start. The day I went it was a Chicken Broth that was tasty, thought more of what I would expect in a Jewish Deli.

The Sambal as stated was packing some heat and came with a fair amount of shrimp. The ginger, chili peppers, savory fish paste, garlic, and lime danced across my tongue. The Coconut rice was amazing and really added to the spices in the Sambal sauce. The space is fairly large with brick walls and wooden tables with cool H backed chairs. Just note, have some patience, service is pleasant but so-so. I’ll be back to work my way through this menu…

Nyonya is located at 199 Grand Street

Old Sichuan Cuisine on Bayard Street: #SoupDumplings

 

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Do you love Soup Dumplings? I have a spot for you. In Chinatown on Bayard a street loaded with very good Chinese restaurants Old Sichuan Cuisine was a place I had yet to hit. While I was sketching a picture at a lunch counter a girl commented on it and we struck up a conversation that led to what we do, food and Best of spots. She shared that she and her very picky Aunt of Chinese decent find the Soup Dumplings at Old Sichuan Cuisine the most authentic they’ve found in the states. I of course had to investigate.

Instead of ordering the Pork and Crab that I usually get I just got the Pork ones. I figured if these are so good, lets she how they do without the crab boost. They also have an awesome lunch special for only $4-5.95 that gets you an entree from a very large selection, soup(hot and sour of egg drop) and rice. The Soup Dumplings lived up to my expectations, they were great. Of note, if you’ve never had soup in dumplings before here are a few helpful hints;

When they arrive wait for them to stop steaming…or you will burn the roof of your mouth

Don’t wait too long…though, you don’t want them to go cold

Poke a hole in them to help cool them down, slurp some soup out…eat the rest

Enjoy one of life’s pleasures

The Hot and Sour soup was spot on and the Spicy Diced Chicken came with some pretty serious hot peppers. The type you don’t eat unless you’re a fire breathing Dragon. For you Soup Dumpling lovers you may just want to add this to your list as well as Best of Lunch specials.

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Old Sichuan Cuisine  is located at 65 Bayard

UFC-Unidentified Flying Chickens: Fried Korean Style

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I was in the East Village looking for somewhere to grab a bite while watching the NCAA championships. After doing a few laps UFC caught my eye for something different and grabbed some seats across from the bar with a good view of the games. For a Fried Chicken joint they have quite the selection of  Craft Beers to choose from on draft and in bottles. I tasted a few ordered up Ballast’s Grapefruit Sculpin. Grapefruit seems to have replaced Lemon as the new black in beers lately and I’m a huge fan. To start we ordered up Beef Bulgogi sliders(available as a large burger as well) and to be semi-healthy the house salad. The sliders topped with onions were pretty tasty, the Salad  was huge and big enough for 2-4. A combo of Romaine, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes in a creamy dressing.

As per their namesake ,Fried Organic Chicken is primarily their thing, double fried Korean style keeping the chicken ultra moist. You can go all wings, drum sticks, a half or Whole chicken. Can’t decide, go with a combo plate of Wings & drum sticks. Chose your glaze from their selection of 4 (you get split the order with 2 choices)


Soy garlic
Sweet & spicy
Mustard BBQ
Hot

Though I normally go hot the Sweet Spicy tasted like an amazing duck sauce, more sweet then hot, but not too sweet so we ordered that and the Garlic Soy glaze which was nice as well. You get Coleslaw or Pickled Radish with the Combo plates…get the Radish, they are amazing, tasted like a sweet melon with a hint of vinegar. The chicken was moist and delicious and we devoured it. Between the awesome Fried Chicken, the tasty Asian glazes topping them and the great beer selection I’m a huge fan and adding UFC to my Best of Wings, Craft Beers and Pub Grub lists.

UFC is located at 60 3rd Avenue