Brunching at Hundred Acres

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There’s never a better time to brunch than when you are living or visiting New York.  While “brunch” menus are available at pretty much every restaurant, we have soon learned places to put on our list and others (mostly tourist traps) to avoid.

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Hundred Acres was a spot we  actually discovered through a mini high school reunion.  It turns out there are quite a number of us here from the sunny west coast and by golly, we all happened to be free on one chilly Sunday morning.   What I absolutely love about this restaurant is that the menu is based upon local foods and as a result changes by the season and changes oh so frequently.

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Finding a table for quite a large group can be somewhat of a problem, but if you are willing to get up early (*10:30 cough, cough, not early) then you are in luck!

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While the menu does happen to change, the classics are usually available year round.  Lucky for us, this included the gooey cinnamon rolls.  A bit like a Pillsbury pack warmed up on a skillet and maybe not as ooey and gooey as I had imagined, but just enough to sweeten up the palate.

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soft scrambled eggs,
fall squash, leeks, gruyère cheese,
crème fraîche, chives, cornbread 14

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poached eggs,
cannellini bean & fall squash succotash,
braised mustard greens 14

Watch out for those red buggers as they are hot hot hot!  I mistakenly threw a couple in my mouth and was soon holding back tears.  If you are into spice, I do recommend pairing it with the roasted vegetables.  If that really isn’t your thing, do take head and slide ’em to the side.

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goat cheese-sage bread pudding,
poached eggs, wilted spinach, lemon butter 15

As you might notice below, the doors are filled with glass panels, letting all the sunlight into the room.  If you are lucky enough to find a spot during the spring and summer months, you may even get to dine with the doors wide open; an opportune time for people watching.

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Hundred Acres
38 MacDougal Street New York 10012 · 212.475.7500

Monday – Friday
Breakfast: 8am – 11am
Lunch: 12 noon – 4pm
Dinner: 5:30 pm-11pm
Happy Hour is from 4pm-7pm

Weekend
Brunch 10:30am – 3pm
Dinner 5:30 pm – 11pm (Sunday 10pm)

What I’ve Been Eating This Summer

Goodness gracious.  It’s been ages since I shared some good ‘ol WIAW eats and I thought it would be fun to share some worthy summertime goodies of late.  Bon appetit!

BREAKFAST

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Most days I have been creating my own sort of parfait with frozen blueberries + frozen peaches + oat bran/granola + fage yogurt

IMG_5229Stuffed French Toast

IMG_5337Ess-A-Bagel
~ whole-wheat everything w/ blueberry schmear + iced coffee ~

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iced coffee for the win

LUNCH

Most of my lunches are quite forgettable.  No really, either “eh” or just pictureless.  Salads from our cafeteria, trips to Dig Inn, sometimes a splurge at Whole Foods, or just leftover snacks from my fridge.

DINNER

Balance between the usual salmon + grilled veggies and oodles of kale + omelet at home and cooking up a storm with friends

IMG_5319summer produce cooking w/ some new friends

~ watermelon + feta + argula salad ~
~ spinach + blue cheese + pecans + dried cranberries salad ~
~ grape tomatoes + sautéed peaches + corn + squash ~
~ string beans + caramelized onions ~

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Nectarine Pizza w/ Basil and Mozzarella
Recipe inspired from here

Ingredients
1 bag Trader Joe’s pizza dough
1 large nectarine
buffalo mozzarella
handful fresh basil leaves
extra virgin olive oil
balsamic vinegar (we used reduced-fig flavor for extra fruity punch)

Directions
Preheat oven to 425F
Let dough sit at room temp ~ 20 minutes
Roll out and set on an oiled baking sheet (flip once so both sides are rubbed with EVOO)
Slice mozzarella and layer on top of dough
Alternate nectarines + basil
Pop in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the bottom of the crust starts to brown and the cheese has melted.
Dig in

 DESSERT

IMG_5318it’s cherry season folks…good ‘ol fashion pitting party

IMG_5298the finished product = gluten-free cherry cobbler

IMG_5188blueberry pie + ice cream

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What have you been enjoying during these summer months?

Everyone Loves a Farmer’s Market

Garden fresh produce, gourmet granola, and delicious poultry, fish, and meat right in your backyard. I remember the first time a farmer’s market was established in our little town back in California.  It must have been around the time I started high school and unless we were out of town, I made sure to visit each and every Saturday.  I even made friends with the berry man and he would help me practice my Spanish, even if it was only for 10 minutes every week.

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Turns out there are more than enough markets to choose from in and around the island of Manhattan.  I like to treat myself once in awhile to a trip to Union Square spot, a hub for all the funny characters from the city.  You have your yogis, fresh produce snobs, and oh so many college students (after all, it’s near NYU).

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I tend to arrive with $20-$40 in hopes of not spending any more than that. Otherwise I would end up with oodles of produce that I couldn’t consume and end up broke.  I also like to balance out my shopping between the local grocery store, Trader Joe’s (if I can find the time and patience), and the weekly market.

IMG_5061I love the seasonal products such as apple cider and pumpkin doughnuts, fresh figs, and summer berry scones. 

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More often than not, I take a trip to the market just to people watch.  To be honest I have trouble picking from the stalls, unsure which apple looks more delicious or which head of lettuce is more reasonable in price.  One has to accept the fact that some vendors will be more expensive due to the local of their products and the methods in which it was grown.  The whole food debate of cost vs. health and how both can be obtained in a reasonable manner.

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There was one time where I finally decided to purchase a bag of mixed greens, only to arrive at the register and be told it was $30 for only two handfuls of lettuce.  Um, I’m sorry, did I hear that properly?  Yeah, that was quickly disposed of back into their respective bins and I was on my way.

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Manhattan Farmer’s Markets

Union Square Greenmarket
E 17th St & Broadway 10003
Mon, Wed, Fri & Sat – 8am-6pm – year round

Tribeca Greenmarket
Greenwich St. & Chambers St. 10007
Wed & Sat – 8am-3pm, year round

Tompkins Square Greenmarket
E 7th St & Ave A 10009
Sun – 9am-6pm – year round

Tucker Square Greenmarket
W 66th St & Columbus Ave 10023
Thu, Sat – 8am-5pm – year round

Columbia University Greenmarket
Broadway between W 114th St & W 115th St 10025
Thu, Sun – 8am-5pm – year round

Grassroots Farmer’s Market
145 St (between Edgecombe & Bradhurst) 10031
Tue, Sat – 9am-4pm (Jul 13-Nov 23)

West 42nd St Greenmarket
42 St between 11th and 12th Ave 10036
Wed 8am-6pm (Jul 10-Nov 27)

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A Brunch to Remember

Living as a young professional in the city can be tough.  Especially when more than half of your paycheck goes to rent.  I really mean more than half here.  Anyways, it’s nice to live a little on the edge and treat yourself once in awhile.  While I do love my Kate Spade splurges, one should diversify their investments and so the next best option is an experience.  How about the New Yorker’s favorite – brunch??

IMG_4849It’s just like applying to college.  One must have a list of safety, target, and even those reach locations.  I’ve found myself at the corner bakery for a classic NY bagel and schmear, a diner for a stack of waffles or pancakes, and then there is The Boathouse.   Who wouldn’t want to sit and eat at this picturesque location?  It has been featured in films such as When Harry Met SallySex in the CityLittle Manhattan, and 27 Dresses.

Hope had thrown around the idea of going to brunch and mentioned that she had always wanted to try The Boathouse.  Well, I am always game for an adventure and had also expressed an interest in eating at the iconic location.  Since they don’t accept phone reservations, we decided to give it a shot.

IMG_4850Doors open for weekend brunch around 9:30, but there is a much more casual option of ordering from a side bar and sitting in the back.  This is a great option for those wishing to run or walk about the park and saddle up to the window while still still adorned in their get fit clothes.

IMG_4852If you are more interested in having a drink, then there is that option as well.  Although, you have to wait until 12, when the NY officials allow one to indulge in those adult beverages.   The atmosphere and decorations reminded me of a golf course clubhouse with proper seats and white linen tablecloths.

IMG_4853Hope and I arrived around 9:35 and got into the line right away.  Although, we were surprised at how the time passed so quickly and we soon found ourselves seated and looking out over the water.

IMG_4855The prices on the menu may be a bit steep but I swear that each dish is worth every penny.  I may very well have spent $18+ on brunch elsewhere, but I doubt the food or atmosphere would have been as grand.

IMG_4856As you sit down, you are graced with a basket of delicious zucchini bread.  Really, if you want to know what type of breads I enjoy, it’s the ones with the most ingredients and flavors and spreads.  Ah, it was so flavorful and had just the right amount of sweetness and gooey texture.  Spread a little softened butter on top and I’m in seventh heaven.  Definitely not a paleo approved meal here. 😉

IMG_4857Hope went for the “Fried Eggs w/ Esposito’s Breakfast Sausage & Potato and Gruyere Tart” $19

Now normally my sweet tooth gets the better of me and I have a slice of french toast or mini stack of waffles in my presence.  But, this time I decided to be good and limit my sweet habit to the basket(s) of zucchini bread on the table.

The decision came down to “Eggs Florentine w/ Chef’s Vegetables” $18 or the “Warm Quiche Lorraine w/ Apple wood Smoked Bacon, Gruyere Cheese and Leeks” $18

IMG_4860The morning was simply a treat and another item has been checked off my bucket list.  Have you ever been to The Boathouse?  What are some of your favorite brunch locations in the city?

IMG_4861The Boathouse ~ Central Park
East 72nd Street and 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10021
(212) 517-2233

I’ll Have What She’s Having

When it comes down to it, people are more apt to connect with to a movie or television show when they recognize the setting or are able to visit afterwards. If it isn’t famous before Hollywood swoops in, it’s quite possible that it will be famous afterwards.

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Fenton’s Creamery in the last scene of Up

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Sideways brought in oodles of revenue for Santa Barbara and surrounding areas – people searching for the most authentic wineries and soaking up the perfect California sun

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Shows like Friends and Seinfeld were both based in the Big Apple.

My friend Laura and I have actually been watching the series from the start and there is oh so much more that I understand.  Sure it helps to be a bit older – most of the jokes and commentary went over my 7th grade self, but the fact that I’m navigating my adult years in such a mixed up city, also helps me relate to the characters at times. (On a random note…anyone want to indulge in a banana split with me?)

So, I’ve been on a hunt to find all the best spots in the city, making sure I’ve conquered all that NYC has to offer.  I’ve created my own big city bucket list, gathering tips from family, from Time Out New York and even the morning’s AM New York to find some hidden gems.  Not exactly the best for the world’s top stories, but it’s easy to read and fun to pass the time on my morning commute.

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So back to this funky little title – “I’ll Have What She’s Having”.  If you are all cultured in art of Hollywood, you would know exactly what I am talking about.  No?  Check out this clip (not exactly “G” just a warning)

The movie “When Harry Met Sally” and the part where Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal argue about something that really doesn’t need to be included in this blog at the moment. Anyways, the movie itself is based in New York and this lovely scene occurs right in the heart of Manhattan in Katz’s Delicatessen.

IMG_4658For those of you who aren’t so familiar with Katz, it’s a kosher style deli located in the Lower East Side (LES).  Back when New York was just getting started, the LES was the central hub for hundreds of immigrants, all of whom brought their classic family recipes to the city for a new beginning.  It’s been satisfying locals and tourists alike since 1888 (yep, that long ago) with its pastrami and hot dogs.  Apparently they turn out 10,000 pounds of pastrami, 5,000 pounds of corned beef, 2,000 pounds of salami, and 12,000 hog dogs…PER WEEK.  Judging by the amount of meat they placed on our sandwich, I could very well believe these figures.

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I love the classic feeling this building has, the homey feeling you get when you walk in.  My friend Laura makes fun of me because every time I see such a building (namely diners), I’m bouncing about, dying to go in and eat.

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Their system is pretty simple – each person is handed a ticket when they enter and there is the option to seat yourself or wait to be seated.   The ticket serves as your food pass and you walk up to various counters to order the sandwiches, sides, and drinks.

IMG_4664Prices appear to be a bit on the steep side, so don’t assume because it’s old-fashioned, you’ll be walking out with a $5 sub.  No sir.  However, they are very generous with their portions.  Laura and I ended up splitting a sandwich and fries and still weren’t able to consume it all.  That’s saying something since we runners can pack it in.

IMG_4662 The interior reminded me of Philippe’s, a classic joint known for the French dip sandwich in Los Angeles – Not too uppity, plenty of space, photos adorning the walls, and old-fashioned advertisements.  I’m pretty sure I feel more comfortable in an environment like this than I do in a high-scale steak restaurant.  No judgement, just good food.

IMG_4663We opted for the seat-yourself option and wandered around the counters eyeing our options.  At first we weren’t sure what we wanted to order.  It’s known for its pastrami, but roast beef, and brisket were also viable options.  The guy behind the counter was a gem and sliced off a piece of each so we could take the flavors for a spin.  He also dished out some tips on the place and recommended with go with the pastrami.  After savoring each of the flavors, I had to agree.

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The sandwich was sliced up right in front of us and handed over on a cafeteria tray.  Not only were we presented with a heaping pile of meat, but also a few cucumbers and salty pickles.  It was almost as good as the jumbo pickle you can pick up at Disneyland.

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We used our ticket to check off the food items ordered and used it to pay when we exited the restaurant.  Of course it’s a cash only joint, so make sure to stop by an ATM on the way.  No worries if you forget because like many other NYC restaurants, there’s one located in the back.

IMG_4669Yes, we even managed to snag a spot at the famous location.  Ok, not sure if that is something to brag about but it made it oh so much more fun.

I was pretty surprised the place wasn’t more crowded for a Friday night.  Then again, it has been around since 1888 and “When Harry Met Sally” came out a solid number of years ago.  I’m sure the locals known when to arrive and when to stay away.  Plus, 9pm on a Friday would be prime bar-hopping hours rather than pastrami-eating hours.  Who cares, I like to go against the flow.

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Katz’s Delicatessen
205 East Houston StreetManhattan,New York City, 10002

Springing Forward with a Triathlon

Oh me oh my.  Yesterday was certainly a long day.  Daylight savings + driving to/from Davis + triathlon + soccer game + endless capstone meeting (4 hours + extra work) + study/prep for the week.  Of course there was some eating and breathing thrown in there too 😉

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