Thai food in Brooklyn

So, this will come as a surprise to everyone who knows me, but I haven’t had Thai food since I moved to New York.  I know, I know, but it was so good back in Seattle and I was worried that I’d be disappointed.

Guess it’s a good thing I waited until I had the chance to go to Long Tan, on 5th Ave and Union St.  

Two very good friends of mine were visiting from home, and the first thing we could agree to eat was Thai.  After a brief moment or two of self-doubt (I couldn’t remember the cross streets, so I kept saying, “Oh, it’s just one more block.  Err, maybe one more.”), we made it.  

Seated quickly (it was a bit early for dinner), the waitress came right over with menus for food and drinks and had water sent over right away.  After studying it for a few minutes, I picked out a few entrees and waited for the waitress to come back over.  I don’t know that I’ve mentioned it here before, but I have a food allergy (gluten intolerant), so I’m extremely fun to go out to eat with.  

Our waitress was great though; as soon as I explained what I couldn’t have, she went over and spoke to the chefs to make sure that my first choice for dinner (Red Curry Lime Leaf Chicken)IMG_2419 was fine for me.  Rest assured, it was.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aerin got ordered the Fried Rice with Shrimp for her entree, IMG_2420

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

while Jes got the Wok Fired Glass Noodles.  IMG_2421

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delicious, all around.  Granted, I can’t speak for how their dishes tasted, but mine was great.  Not quite Panang Curry (my all-time favorite curry dish), but still very tasty, full of chicken and carrots with a great sauce.  Both Aerin and Jes agreed that their dishes were fantastic as well.

After the meal, I decided to pass on desert, but both Aerin and Jes ordered.  Aerin ordered the Chocolate Pot de Creme, while Jes got the Panna Cotta with Blood Oranges.  Our waitress brought them over, with three forks.  She had asked the chefs about the deserts and when they told her that both were gluten-free, she decided that I should have the opportunity to try them too.

I’m so glad she did because they were both very tasty.  The Chocolate Pot de Creme wasn’t sweet at all, but had a great, heavy chocolate taste, like a very rich chocolate mousse.  The Panna Cotta was great, very light, with the blood oranges giving it a great, fruity taste.  (No photos, it was too dark inside at that point.)

I’m so going back.

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Long Tan

196 5th Ave (between Union & Berkley)

Open Sun-Thurs 5:30 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.

Open Fri & Sat 5:30 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.

More Mexicana – Blogging is Better w/Pics…

… Unfortunately this post does not contain those said pics.  Why?  You ask?  Cause I’m an idiot and was SO OVERWHELMED with hunger that I dug into my meal before even spotting to whip out my camera (phone) and snap a couple for pictorial evidence of a good meal.  Your other senses will have to suffice here…

 

Some Mexican deliciousness was suggested for a meal out w/my old friend Katie Batie.  I never pass up that cuisine, so quite pleased it wasn’t me, this time, that made the suggestion.  After meeting up, we decided that since Los Politos II was closer than Mezcal (and any other Mexican place in the ‘hood) we’d go there.  Not necessarily the most scientific way to choose a spot, but it was very rational.

 

After begging for a spot not by the open windows (was a chilly night and we were cold!) we were seated at a cozy table in the back – and directly within eye-shot of the ‘guacamole bar.’  Glancing at this once, both Katie Batie and I decided that some homemade guac (spicy!) was in order.  And just then, our waiter appeared, asking “would you like a pitcher of margaritas or a pitcher of sangrias?”  Um… none, but thanks!  (Both of us had been out, separately, Monday night and weren’t really feelin’ the booze, plus it was cold!)

 

Our guac came quickly, along with a big basket of corn chips and some salsa.  The chips weren’t the best – a little oily and not warm, but they sufficed.  And we dug in!  The guac was nice and chunky, flavored with onions, cilantro and tomatos and the avacados were fresh and the perfect ripeness.  I have to say that the guac wasn’t spicy, but it was still tasty.  And the accompanying salsa was also fresh and tasty and paired nicely on top of the guac. 

Katie Batie ordered a killer burrito, while I opted for the mixed seafood fajita.  Both meals arrived piping hot and looking gooooooooood (here’s where a picture would be great).  The burrito was definitely the ‘eat with fork and knife’ kind and my fajita was accompanied by yellow rice, beans and another dollop of the guacamole.  And so we dug in. 

 

By Katie Batie’s “this burrito is soooooooooo good” comments, I can only imagine it was sooooooooo good (maybe she will comment w/more?! hint hint).  That being said, she then offered the caveat “but I was so hungry, I would have been just as happy with dog crap in a burrito… though I’m glad it’s not.” 

 

Meanwhile, my fajitas were served in a really tasty red sauce – it had a little kick, which added a lot to the overall flavor (and made me reach for a spoon to ensure I got every last drip).  The seafood (calamari, shrimp, salmon mix) was served with green and red peppers and onions.  In my opinion, a bit too heavy on the veggies and a bit too light on the seafood.  Afterall, I was paying for an ‘under the sea’ feast and dammit – I WANTED MORE SHRIMP!!!  Unfortunately, the two flour tortillas weren’t enough to wrap up all the tasty goodness into proper fajitas, but instead of asking for more, I just dug in with fork and knife! 

 

We finished our meals and sat moaning about our full stomachs.  But agreed it was REALLY GOOD and definitely worth it.  (Katie Batie followed up with an -e- the next morning reiterating how enjoyable it was, ESPECIALLY THE COMANY – how could you refute that?! Ha! and said that she was still full!  So was I!)  As we sat chatting, the waitstaff cleared our table, but never once tried to push us out for staying longer and not ordering dessert.  They cheerfully refilled our water glasses and when we were finally ready to pay, it was quick and painless.  I think the meal cost us about $40 in total.  Not bad!

So thumb’s up all around for Los Politos II.  I’d been there YEARS ago for breakfast and can attest to the fact that their huevos rancheros are great too.  So score one for another great Mexican spot!  Woohoo!!!  Oh and next time – hopefully I’ll remember the pics!

 

Los Politos II
148 5th Ave. (@ Douglass)
Brooklyn, NY 11217
718.623.9152

Cinco de Mayo, Hold the Sour Cream

If it isn’t obvious already, it will become so pretty soon: we are OBSESSED with Mexican food.  We use Mexican food as an excuse to go out, to stay in, to celebrate, to pity ourselves and just about everything in between.  Sushi is a close second.

With Cinco de Mayo on the horizon, we were talking about finding the perfect nachos to celebrate the date for days.  While our understanding of what, exactly we were celebrating (Battle of Puebla – Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over French on May 5, 1862) was hazy, we knew that Mexican food was on the bill.

Searches of the perfect nachos led us to Burrito Bar, despite mixed reviews.  But we figured – how could the promise of fresh made-to-order guacamole, “8 Miles High Nachos” and jalapenos stuffed w/shrimp and cheese, then WRAPPED IN BACON fail us?!  So alas, we went, we sat (outside cause the wait was at least an hour inside), we got coerced into ordering margaritas (it wasn’t too hard), we ordered the above… and…

We were disappointed. 

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First the nachos… We ordered them with beans.  They came and were barely 2 layers on the plate.  The cheese was too sparse for Nee’s liking and worst of all – the black beans weren’t drained.  Oh it was so nasty and left us with a black drippy mess at the end.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_2411Second the guac…  We ordered the regular guacamole – promised made fresh that day, just not at our table.  For a $5 savings over the Fresco, we said why not – plus the lure of the accompanying plantain chips was no joke.  Alas, this was also a disappointment.  While the guac tasted good, Burrito Bar skimped on the quantity – tossing a fist-sized lump on a green lettuce leaf, ironically the same color.  Needless to say, we both were scraping the lettuce thinking it was guacamole.  The most upsetting, however, was the plantain chips.  There were 4.  Albeit, each was the length of the plantain, but it surely wasn’t enough to scoop up all our guacamole and we were forced to use the complementary corn chips. 

 

 

IMG_2412However, the jalapenos stuffed with shrimp and cheese, wrapped in bacon (aka Fire on the menu) slightly made up for the lackluster nachos/guac.  They were oh so tasty, with the perfect amount of fire, quenched with perfectly cooked bacon.  We couldn’t really taste the shrimp, but we felt the crunch, so we knew it was there.  Only complaints on this -too small.  For $8.75, we got 5 little jalapenos, not the bigger ones you typically associate with the “popper” variety.

So alas, we paid our $40-ish bill and left w/o much Cinco de Mayo spirit.  Walking away, we immediatly made plans for a Mexican redo on the 8th.  Pretty sad when you’re full of Mexican and already want more from somewhere else.   We then made our way to some friends’ BBQ and were easily convinced to have some fajitas, which – along with the company – made up for the earlier parts of the evening.

That being said, we discussed giving the place another change to rectify – maybe it was an off night (???), and finally decided that yeah – maybe one sunny summer day we’d come back and check it out from the inside.  Check out what a Friday or Saturday night entails, as previous reviews always gave props to the bar scene.  However, failing to impress on the most Mexican fiesta night of the year is a HUGE HUGE party fowl.

Burrito Bar… We might be back… But we’re not impressed…

 

Burrito Bar
307 Flatbush Ave (@ Prospect Place)
Brooklyn, NY 11217
718.230.8646

Happiness is a Hangover Remedy

Eggs and Cheese and Homefries - oh my!

Eggs and Cheese and Homefries – oh my!

OK, I admit it – I partied a litte too hard last Saturday night.  But it was a lot of fun.  So there.

That being said, Sunday morning wasn’t fun.  Neither was knowing I had to step on a rugby pitch in mere hours and compete in the alumni game.  Desperate times called for desperate measures and I reached into the dregs of my memory to pull out the fact that:

1. Calexico ROCKS for breakfast (or any meal, actually)

2. They deliver quickly

3. It’s freakin’ cheap and fast.
Admittedly, I use Calexico to entertain visitors.  Most are amazed by the cheap prices and fast service, but then when they taste the food – even more amazed that it’s REALLY GOOD!  Plus the menu is extensive.  You can get everything from nachos to a burger to pancakes and leave happy.  Albeit, the dine-in option is a little less than par (think older sit-down restaurant with lots of vinyl and 80s decor), the service is friendly and the experience is not one to shy away from.

Convincing Chappy to partake in some Mexican happiness for breakfast was quite easy – she’s a sucker for their $2 tacos and quickly decided that 2 carne asada tacos would be ideal.  I, on the other hand, had a need for something a bit more cheesier to satiate the demons brewing from within my stomach’s depths.  Alas, bring on the ham and cheese omelet – simple, yet filling.  This thing is easily three-egg and stuffed to the extreme with cheesy-ham goodness.  Bonus points that it comes with home or french fries (home all the way – and these things are amazing) and some toast.  At one point, I think it also came with coffee…  That might be dine-in only.

Twenty minutes later, after brewing some Mexican coffee to pair with our meal, Calexico buzzed the apt.  There is nothing worse than cold delivery, but everything was delivered piping hot.  The eggs were filled with the perfect amount of ham and cheese, which was gooey throughout – none of this cheese-in-a-can stuff.  The home fries had just enough spice and were my fav – huge chunks of potato that were soft, but didn’t fall apart when you stabbed em.  Poured some ketchup on my breakfast and began Operation Rid Hangover.  Even though I didn’t come close to finishing the meal, I felt better. 

And to top it all of – Calexico is CHEAP!!!  $12 for my omlet, home fries, toast AND Chappy’s 2 tacos.

Calexico
Mexican
88 5th Ave. (@ Prospect St.)
Brooklyn, NY 11217
718.399.2630

May Day May Day!!!

I’ve always wanted to say that.  Um… no I haven’t, but I did say “rabbit rabbit rabbit” upon waking up this morning.  You know – because if you say “rabbit rabbit rabbit” on the first day of the month before you say anything else, it brings you a month of good luck… 

So hoping May bring some luck – personal life aside – in the launch of Around the Hood in 50 Weeks.  I’m psyched to enter the world of blogging about food and I know roomie is too, so alas – there’s only one thing left to do – EAT!!!

And eat we will.  Tonight, we toast to Meal #1 – the start of the beginning – the beginning of something great – something real great and real tasty.

BRING IT B’KLYN!