Nov 2013 Favs {Thanksgiving Edition}

To be honest, we haven’t got the chance to visit many places this month because we had many family events to attend.  Therefore, we would just like to share some of our photos from Pinky’s family’s Thanksgiving food spread.  Don’t worry, Victor was also there!

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Pre-cooked stuffed mushrooms | Ribs
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Smoked Salmon stuffed with Sour Cream & Caviar | Salad with bacon pieces and Parmesan cheese | Dragonfruit pieces wrapped with Prosciutto bacon
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Garlic Bread with pieces of Foie Gras | Cooked Mushrooms stuffed with crab meat and cream cheese
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Cuttlefish pasta with clam and lobster sauce | Ribs | Grilled Scallops with cream cheese | Oven-roasted Turkey
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Closer shot of the stuffed mushrooms

Pinky says:

DSCN7066It’s true that this will be the rare post where you see so much featured seafood…This was definitely the one Thanksgiving where Victor and I did not eat that much.  Also, what wasn’t photographed was the steak that we quickly ate, since it was so delicious.  I have grown up to eat steak with bearnaise sauce.  For those of you who are not familiar it is a yellowish sauce that is made out of butter, egg yolks, white wine vinegar, and herbs.  I absolutely adore eggs, so it was no surprise that I literally want to drink (eew) it.

The dragonfruit prosciutto was strange for me, Victor liked it more than I did.  I thought the fruit was too mushy and I didn’t enjoy the sweet and salty.  BlEGH.

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bearnaise sauce for steak

I actually LOVE the cuttlefish pasta (over regular pasta), but this time I couldn’t eat much of it because there was clam sauce over it.  Before we would just have the cuttlefish pasta over some nice juicy steaks…I guess my dad didn’t care that I was allergic! haha =).

Thanksgiving is never about the food (right?), but about the family and conversations you have over the dinner table.   I would say that I am grateful to have family and friends around me, food in my stomach, as well as a roof over my head everyday.

Victor says:

Lobster pieces with fresh avocado
Lobster pieces with fresh avocado

So this year, I had the pleasure of visiting Pinky’s family this year for Thanksgiving. There was so many types of food and I felt like I was at a restaurant. There was lot I didn’t eat… because it was seafood. I thought the Dragon fruit wrapped with Prosciutto rather interesting. Its salty yet sweet. It’s hard to describe dragon fruit I guess. It’s texture is like a kiwi, but it’s not as sweet. The fruit itself is actually quite beautiful.

I also got try some lamb chops. I don’t really eat lamb too often, so it was sort of a new experience for me. I felt like it had a metallic taste to it. It was interesting, it didn’t really taste like the other red meats I’ve had before.  It looked like a steak… but not really… so I guess it just confused my taste buds. Lastly, I got to eat a REAL steak. Pinky’s family bought like 20+ steaks. I’ve never seen that much steak all at once. It was cooked to medium and it was absolutely delicious. There’s nothing better than a home-cooked meal.  If you readers didn’t know, steaks are my favorite!

Yet again, Thanksgiving isn’t just about the food. It should be more about spending time with family and friends as well as being grateful for what you have.

WE also thank all of our readers and followers on this blog!  Thank you for being loyal to us and thank you for reading our random food thoughts.  We hope your Thanksgiving was great and wish you even better experiences during the holidays season!

Three apple pies Pinky JUST made! Fresh out of the oven...
Three apple pies Pinky JUST made! Fresh out of the oven…

Happy Holidays, from us to you!

Press 195: Are they REALLY “Sandwich Kings”?

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22 N Park Ave
Rockville Centre, NY 11570

This gorgeously decorated restaurant is a local favorite to Rockville Centre, NY.  They serve good selection of beers and has a full bar…as well as a wide variety of pressed sandwiches (hot or cold), fries, soups, burgers, knishes, and salads!

They even do free local delivery from Monday – Sunday 11:30am to 9:30pm.  If you’re in the area…you know to call 516-536-1950.

You cannot miss this place with the nicely designed sign “PRESS 195” and the floor to ceiling glass, where you can peer into the full-bar area.

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They also offer Lunch Specials from Monday -Friday 11am – 3pm for half a sandwich/salad AND Belgian fries/house salad/soup of the day FOR ONLY $10!!!

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#43: Crispy Panko breaded chicken cutlet, grilled pineapple, Canadian bacon, Monterey Jack and Press 195’s famous chipotle sauce $10.00

Victor says 4.25Fish Toys icon thumbnailFish Toys icon thumbnailFish Toys icon thumbnailFish Toys icon thumbnail3fish

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These sandwiches are delicious and savory.

Press 195 is an interesting, yet beautiful restaurant. It has warm colors and has a lot of windows for allow natural light. It’s aesthetically pleasing and this place is just nice to be in. The waitress we had was very nice, but she didn’t ask if we ever wanted refills or any napkins.

Now onto the food and drinks!

I ordered a root beer float. Pinky wanted an alcoholic drink, but sadly… it was happy hours… but not where we sat. The root beer float was okay. I’m pretty sure I could have made it myself. It was just 2 scoops of ice cream with Saranac Root Beer. Still… I really enjoy drinks from Saranac.

Repeating what I said earlier, the sandwiches are delicious and savory. I ordered a Hot Press sandwich #43. It contains Crispy Panko breaded chicken cutlet, grilled pineapple, Canadian bacon, Monterey Jack cheese, and Press 195’s famous chipotle sauce sandwiched in between 2 slices of crispy Ciabatta bread.

Yeah, yeah, yeah… it sounds like something you may have had before, BUT ITS NOT. Its pretty freaking good…. and savory. I ordered the 1/2 Hot press sandwich with belgian fries lunch combo fo $10. If I could change something that day about the dining options, I would have just bought a whole sandwich without fries. It’s not that the fries were bad… it’s just that sandwich was so good. Remember… it’s quality over quantity!

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Getting back to the sandwich… Sandwich #43 just melted in my mouth. The flavors complimented each other well. It was sweet and also a bit spicy. The chicken wasn’t too dry and you can taste the seasoning on it. I loved every bite of this sandwich. I think what makes this place so good is their delicious ciabatta bread. It is so crunchy and that it doesn’t seem like ciabatta bread. Its like an English toast muffin with that crisp. It’s unique and I would love to eat these sandwiches again in the near future.

Definitely go check it out! Not very expensive and it’s quite good too!

#38: Grilled sliced steak, avocado, sweet onion jam, fresh Mozzarella and creamy roasted pepper dressing (Originally $11.00 for full; however as shown 1/2 sandwich with Belgian fries $10.00)
#38: Grilled sliced steak, avocado, sweet onion jam, fresh Mozzarella and creamy roasted pepper dressing (Originally $11.00 for full; however as shown 1/2 sandwich with Belgian fries $10.00)

Pinky says 4.5 16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg2 coffee

DSCN5576This place is so amazing.  I just wish it was a lot closer for me…Even though they have a second location in Bayside (I hate riding the bus) I can’t even head out there.  I was first impressed by their front door and all the mirrors and shiny decorated walls.  It has a lot of natural light and can be seen as very trendy and modern.

I was really excited to go to this place because of all the good ratings on Yelp.  Yes, they are indeed true! I want to come back here often, as they have soo many sandwiches to try.  I actually had one in mind, then the waitress came and asked me what I wanted.  I answered, but in actuality I later realized I forgot my first choice and ordered a random one, #38.

The steak was so tender!! I’ve never had onion jam — It was delightful, however I still would like more physical pieces of onion, not just them mushed together.  It still worked really well with the avocado though.  THE BREAD was the most fantastic thing on earth.  Cripsy, crunchy, and most important delicious.

I initially wanted the #29, Grilled marinated sliced steak, tomato, Provolone cheese, onions and homemade Chimichurri sauce.  That is definitely on my first choice, once I step into this place again.

AND CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE?! $10 lunch special with BELGIAN FRIES?! AND THAT MANY?! I almost fainted.  You loyal readers know I’m a sucker for fries.  They were hot to touch and fresh to taste.  There were some burnt ones on my plate though..I was a bit bummed out that they charge more for their Chipotle dipping sauce.  Good thing I got a taste from Victor’s sandwich.  Mwahah. Again, to die for.

Note: My half star off was because I was bummed that they don’t offer the same happy hour price for their alcoholic drinks if you sit in the dining area.  You have to be sitting at the bar if you want those prices.  BIG BUMMER.

Other than that, this place…..heavenly.

Extra shots.

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Bayou Staten Island; GATOR WHAT?!

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1072 Bay St
Staten Island, NY 10305
Menu

Once you come into this dimly lit restaurant, there is what it seems a mysterious aura it gives off…It would remind you of any high class restaurant located in the heart of Manhattan, although this place is in (out of all places) Staten Island!

The decor consists of many masks that remind me of masquerades and numerous mardi gras beads hanging against a brick wall.  Also, there are full-size old classic style movie posters.

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Near the back, there is additional seating and to the side the restrooms are not labelled “men” and “women”, but labelled something else. See for yourself!  Outside the restrooms, there are awards hung on the wall..but not very much room to gaze at them.

Apparently, they serve dinner 3-course prixe fix meals, however Vic and I came during lunch time.  It serves as a quiet romantic atmosphere and the staff are quite nice.  Once seated, the host gives you the menu and a drinks menu.

{What about their specialty though??? Read on!}

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sweet potato fritters (daily lunch special $8) dinner price; $9
sweet potato fritters (daily lunch special $8) dinner price; $9
gator burger $12 includes sweet potato fries or curly fries (salad is additional charge)
gator burger — yes a GATOR BURGER {mixed with pork} — $12 includes sweet potato fries or curly fries (salad is additional charge)

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This was a rather interesting find for me.  After living on Staten Island for so many years, I didn’t think there would be any exquisite restaurants besides your usual diners. From looks of the exterior, you probably would have no idea what it would look like inside. For me, it was like stepping into another world.

Walking in, you already begin to hear the jazzy and soul music. On the left, you have this giant mural of Louie Armstrong with a bunch or awards and plaques.. and on the right, you have the bar before you even step into the actual restaurant section.

After being seated, you see a lot of things you won’t see in your typical restaurants: Mardi gra beads everywhere , Masquerade masks along the walls and lights, old movie posters, an alligator gypsy, and much more! It does seem a bit understaffed though because our waitress was also the bartender.

For the appetizers, I ordered sweet potato fritters. It was recommended by several people after reading some reviews on Yelp, so I guess I had to try it out! Basically, it’s a sweet potato ball with pieces of sausage mixed into it that’s deep-fried with spicy mayo sauce on top. I guess it’s bit pricey for something that seems simple, but they made it pretty good in my own opinion. I was actually completely imagining something else when I ordered it. I was thinking of little fritos or something. The fritters have a nice crispy texture, but once you bite into it, you get to the core of the sweet potato ball. Its smooth and not too sweet. It’s quite delectable and the spicy mayo makes it so much better. I definitely think that they could have added more spicy mayo to it because it was just so good. The pieces of sausage gave the fritter the salty taste it needed.

So for the entree… I ordered a Gator Burger. Before everyone gives me crap like “oh isn’t that seafood” or “alligators are endangered” or whatever…. IT’S SEAFOOD AND IT’S NOT ENDANGERED. I also know that it lives in the water most of the time and blah blah blah. Yeah…. I was well aware of what was going to happen after eating this burger.

So…. enough that… The gator burger was rather interesting, the least to say. It’s pork and alligator meat that’s been mixed and seasoned into a patty. It was put on a large toasted English muffin with lettuce and tomatoes with curly fries as a side. The burger had a crispy outer layer, but the inside of the burger was extremely soft and tender. It was like nothing I ever tasted. It was very salty and herb-y however. I had to add a bunch of hot sauce so it wouldn’t be as salty. It just had unique taste because I never had pork or alligator for a burger before. The burger was okay, but it was difficult for me eat it. Like as if my own soul was like fighting with my body as if broke some royal decree. Each bite seemed harder than the next, so I sorta ate the burger as quick as I could after the mid-point. I guess if I wasn’t really thinking about it that much, I probably would have enjoyed it bit more.

I guess if you want to try something different, you can check out it this place. I would still recommend despite my weird experience with gator burger. The atmosphere is quiet and romantic and food is decent. It’s not extremely expensive either. Give this place a go if you’re into Southern food!

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French Quarter $8.95; Grilled chicken, Brie,onions and roasted peppers — includes sweet potato fries or curly fries (salad is additional charge)

Pinky Says 3.75/5

This place was definitely a fancy restaurant and I kept thinking that Manhattan would be a better place for this kind of food.  Despite the fact that there were forks and knives falling everywhere in this place (clumsy busboy) — they were nice to us and were professional.  Despite its classiness atmosphere, they were using these — brown paper towel table linings beneath our plates.  Strange….Sorta drops the classy level down for me. When Vic told me that this place offered GATOR burgers I was like WHAT. HOW and WHAT.

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The fritters came by first though, as our appetizer — they were very very mushy inside like sweet mashed potato while simultaneously being very crispy outside.  However, I didn’t really like the fact that it was $8 a plate haha. I believe I could just make that myself! I actually wanted more of that spicy mayo it’s served with.  They were laid upon some strangely colored lettuce…

Okay, I ordered the French Quarter because I thought it was going to be healthy.  I was really being dumb because how can anything with awesome to-die-for brie cheese EVER be healthy? It was probably the most unhealthiest sandwich ever! Haha.  There were two pieces of grilled chicken NOT one.  The pieces were cooked to perfection, being STILL moist and not of cardboard texture.  It was of course not a very lady-like meal since the whole thing was covered in grease and I couldn’t get a hold of it because of its ginormous size.  I would have enjoyed some lettuce or any other vegetables other than the red peppers though.  There were overwhelmingly big pieces of red peppers and very few onions !! — The thing I dislike the most is soggy buns and the bottom piece of bread was SOAKED. It was crazy filling though…only could eat half of it.

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I did like the sweet potato fries though.  They were not mushy, but crisp and hot to touch.

I tried also a bite of the gator burger…was not very satisfied — as I encrypted an image of a baby gator with all its scaly skin pulled apart. Oh, no…It was strangely very salty.  Don’t think I could have handled a whole patty of that.  It was mushy..and salty..beglhlegeh.