Amarachi.

I dropped the ball over the weekend, so Christina and I missed out on this year’s CurlFest. I promised her I’d find us a delicious brunch to make up for it.

My generation has left the free before 11pm scene and is now about day parties and happy hours—and brunch! I’m talking two-hour waits and lines out the door, as we take our brunch very seriously. I often forget I have an OpenTable account, but it usually comes in handy in these scenarios.

Searches for table for 2 people for 3pm.

The results were forwarded and Christina selected Amarachi.

Amarachi is a family owned restaurant in downtown Brooklyn—with obvious roots from Nigeria and the Caribbean, cooking up dishes like Jollof Rice and Suya and Curry Chicken.

 

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Artwork on the walls.

We walked inside and it seemed packed! However, no one was eating. After looking around and putting 2 & 2 together, I realized they were having a private event. This would happen to us, right? Although they were hosting a private event, they were still open for brunch! Perfect!

We were seated by Jonathan as he went over the brunch special: a personal orange/mango/guava/pineapple mimosa carafe and entrée for $40, and their special Hennessy mimosa was available because it was such a beautiful day. I clutched my jade when he said those words—I’ve never heard of a henny mimosa, and although it sounded so intriguing, I had to pass. He left to give us some time to think about what we wanted to order. Christina decided on The Big Breakfast, consisting of Honey Jack French toast with scrambled eggs, home fries and turkey bacon, while I went with the Shrimp Linguini in a homemade alfredo sauce.

Jonathan returned to take our orders. When it was time to give him our selected mimosa flavor, Christina wanted mango and I wanted regular orange.

“Nothing about you is regular!”

You know that blank-faced, wide-eyed emoji? Yea, that’s what my face looked like. “Guava please?”

“Thank you.”

That interaction warranted a photo before leaving!

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Brunch gawdess.
The turn-around was quick—very much appreciated with a mean case of the munchies. Christina’s Big Breakfast certainly was big, with fluffy slices of French toast and hearty servings of scrambled eggs and home fries. The homemade alfredo sauce was everything I expected. Christina didn’t know if that was a good or bad thing—it’s a great thing! With their Nigerian and Caribbean roots, I expected it to have a little extra kick of spice, and it certainly did! And I must mention how beautifully the shrimp was cooked.

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I stole a bite of French toast off Christina’s plate—then I went back for a decent sized piece. I had to have more! Amarachi served one of the best French toasts I’ve ever had in my life. It had a natural sweetness we couldn’t pin-point, so I called my friend Jonathan over for a little inside information, hoping to get some secrets.

“We’re a family owned restaurant, run by four brothers, and to get our recipes—you’d have to marry one of the brothers.”

I love new recipes, but I love Chéo more, sorry not sorry!
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I’m convinced my stomach is smaller than my fist, so I surprised myself when I ate about 99% of my plate! That shrimp definitely made it to the doggy bag. Yes, just those three. We struggled to finish our mimosas. We started mixing them to try to help each other out, but still no luck.img_6559img_6560

Christina and I had an amazing brunch experience at Amarachi. I came home bragging about the Hennessy mimosa I hadn’t tasted because I knew Ché would want to, so hopefully we can get another beautiful day to go!

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Thanks for everything Jonathan!

 

Amarachi
189 Bridge Street
Brooklyn, NY

 

 

Believe the Hype: Magnum New York

Last summer, Magnum Ice Cream had their pop-up store in Soho where you could customize your own ice cream bar. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it and they close for the season.

Fast forward to spring of 2017- Magnum opened their pop-up this time in the Gansevoort area. The videos started circulating, so of course I had Sarah and Mimi meet me there to see what all the hype was about.

They have a variety of toppings to choose from: hazelnut crouquant, sliced almonds, goji berries, yogurt dots, chocolate covered sunflower seeds, edible rose petals, and dark chocolate-covered chia seeds to name a few. Unfortunately, you can only choose 3 for your customized bar. Then you pick an ice cream flavor- vanilla bean or chocolate- followed by the white, milk, or dark chocolate dip. Watching the process is so much fun. They throw your selected toppings into a drink shaker for a little bartender-esque action, dip the ice cream in the pool of chocolatey goodness, pour the toppings on the gooey chocolate-covered ice cream bar, then drizzle some more chocolate with a corresponding chocolate monogram disc.

img_5371-1I had a vanilla ice cream bar dipped in milk chocolate, topped with amaretti cookie crumbs, dried raspberries, and shredded coconut with milk chocolate drizzle. She was gorgeous!

Mimi had a vanilla ice cream bar dipped in white chocolate, topped with mini mint-chocolate chips, yogurt dots, and white chocolate pearls with milk chocolate drizzle. She was also very pretty!

Sarah had nothing, because Sarah is allergic to nuts. They usually have a packaged-away-from-nuts batch of ice cream bars sent from the factory, but we went on one the hottest days so it somehow melted while en route to the store.

So—believe the hype or not to believe the hype?

You better believe it! My combo was amazing, but I’d love to try those edible rose petals. I’ll be returning quite a few times this summer! ​


Magnum New York
875 Washington St
New York, NY

 

Believe the Hype: Chick’n Cone.

We see videos for new food concepts all the time on Instagram and Facebook- they’re adorable and look so cool, but do you actually believe the hype?

I met up with Sarah and Mimi (Savvy’s mom) to see what all the hype was about Chick’n Cone. 

The chicken and waffles you love for brunch has been remixed into a hand-held snack. Bite-sized chicken pieces, piled into a sweet waffle cone, and drizzled with one of their five sauces: : Kick’n Ranch, Yella BBQ, Cinna-Maple, Buffalo Blue or Traditional BBQ.

Believe the hype- Chick’n Cone* is as good as it looks.

*Their apple pie in a cone could use some improvements, though- I’ll remix it at home. 

We Bought a Grill!

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I had no intention of being in NYC for the 4th of July—you already know I beelined it to Greensboro. I knew I had to feed Chéo and myself, and we both knew our friends would come over because I’m in town, so why not get ourselves a mini grill? At 14 inches, it sits perfectly in the corner of the patio–ain’t it cute? Right in time for grilling season too!

A little bit of our menu: sriracha-Jack Daniels barbecue wings, grilled asparagus, cucumber and tomato salad—at least what was left when I remembered to take a picture—and burgers stuffed with bacon cheese.

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The nearest Trader Joe’s is half an hour away. Yes, we drove to Winston-Salem just for some bacon cheese.

We tried making s’mores at the end of the night, but we soon learned that toasting the marshmallows over the charcoal wasn’t the most conducive. I’ll have to rethink our s’mores-making tactics.

Thanks for the day off ‘murica!

 

Smorgasburg: Excell Kingston Eatery

The Smorgasburg in Williamsburg is exactly that- a smorgasbord of any and everything you could possible crave in a lifetime. I hooked up with my fellow food-loving introvert, Christina, and walked through the gates with an open mind and stomach. 

But all that went right back out the gate once someone walked by holding a coconut.

We walked towards the direction the coconut-sippers were coming from and were pleased to find Excell Kingston Eatery. I get excited at the sight of a jerk drum. I guess I’m sticking to what I know!

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A quarter jerk chicken with rice & peas, plantains, and their signature yardie slaw; for $12, my belly was full and I was satisfied. Christina ordered festival, a fried cornmeal dumpling, with her jerk chicken.

We tried a few of their sauces with our chicken: Mama Renz Sweet and Spicy & BBQ Jerk sauces. They definitely added a little extra kick to the meat. The combination of heat, sweet, and char had my taste buds dancing nonstop.

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I had to hold my coconut between my knees because I just wanted to eat!

 

img_3993We both had to walk off our meals. We really didn’t expect it to be as filling as it was! We wandered around Williamsburg and a few people stopped me to ask where I got my coconut. Of course, I pointed everyone in the direction of Excell. We even stumbled upon my boy Cory who shouted out “island queen” from across the street. 

 Christina and I have a few upcoming Smorgasburg trips before it’s over for the season. So many food vendors, so little time!

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Using a machete, or what we call a cutlass, the top of the coconut is chopped off, revealing the perfect drinking spout.