Eating For Work: When There’s Smoke.

Maybe four months ago, my office building had their scheduled fire drill.

Fast forward to October.

I’m in the bathroom and the fire alarm goes off. I run into the office to find El Jefe and his crew have left the office for their usual Friday lunch. Great. My survival instinct kicks in since the girls in the office were panicking, and I followed the procedure to safely evacuate the building. *

Our designated meeting spot is Gabby O’Hara’s on 39th Street, which is also their usual lunch spot, so it was only right that we crashed the party!

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*So, you’re supposed to pick up the Fire Warden phone in the hallway and wait for instructions. While the majority of the girls took flight, I had Eman pick up the phone. Juan, the lobby security, said it was smoke in the freight elevator and it was nothing. Excuse me? No thanks—I’m out!

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Lunch Date at Sergimmo Salumeria.

I started following Aarum of @LesBIntheKitchen a while back when I made my twitter handle. We’re constantly tweeting, so when she had plans to come up to NYC, we had to meet in person.

We made plans for lunch before boarding her bus back to DC. Aarum and I have similar tastes: give us fried chicken, champagne, cured meats, whiskey, edibles—we’re happy campers! I got a hankering for a prosciutto sandwich El Jefe introduced me to, so that made deciding on a spot super easy!

But first, mimosas! Yes, we made mimosas on the street. Everyone’s aware of the open container laws* in NYC, so the main objective was not to get caught pouring, and then sipping from, a regular sized champagne bottle in Midtown. Grab an ice cup and a 16oz bottle of orange juice, I promise everything will be okay. Operation: Don’t Get Arrested was an obvious success!

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We sipped our mimosas as we walked to Sergimmo Salumeria. Sergimmo is an Italian deli on 9th Ave, very similar to the local salumi stores throughout Italy, selling imported meats and cheeses, house-made mozzarella and antipasti, fresh sandwiches, salads and pastas, and so much more! If you want to have lunch and shop for ingredients to make a fine Italian dinner, Sergimmo is your spot!

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I already knew I wanted the Emilia-Romagna panini: prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, arcadian mix and pesto. Aarum looked over the menu and chose the Venezia panini with speck, provolone, sweet peppers and arcadian mix.

Their sandwiches have turned me into a bit of a bread snob: if your ciabatta isn’t like theirs, I don’t want it. Perfectly crusty on the outside but soft and chewy on the inside, sorry to say I don’t think I’d enjoy their sandwiches as much on any other bread! I love their bread so much, I ordered a meat and cheese selection just to eat more of it! More prosciutto and more mozzarella with olives and fig spread, a selection of two meats and/or cheese for $9.99 is a damn good deal!

Now the cheesecake: as a typical New Yorker, Junior’s is the standard. I like my cheesecake dense, so the light and airy ricotta cheesecake isn’t really my thing. Aarum ordered a slice, but changed her mind and wanted a cannoli after it was already sliced, so I bought it instead. It wasn’t as airy as I expected. In fact, I really enjoyed it!

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This is officially my usual order whenever I go to Sergimmo: an Emilia, a prosciutto & mozzarella plate and a slice of cheesecake. I was there the other day, ordering the same three things before hopping on a bus down the east coast. I’m convinced I was talking to one of the brothers, Sergio and Massimo Badalamenti, who own the shop. There was something about the way he spoke about their cheesecake that tipped me off—made by Italians with love.

I’m sure I’ll be back in the next week or so, I’m dying to try their pasta dishes!

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*Under the laws of the state of New York, it is against the law to possess or consume an open bottle of alcohol in a public area. But I’m from BK, the thoroughest borough…

Unicorn Surprise!

Unicorn Surprise!

I’m not a fan of surprises—it definitely triggers my anxiety—but all of that goes out the window when Chéo’s concerned. He knows me better than anyone, so when he said he wanted to take me somewhere, I don’t fight it.

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We pulled up to the Fresh Local Food Group complex and my jaw dropped at the sight of the baker & the bean. It’s a coffee shop and bakery with every sweet confection you can possibly imagine!

img_9135As I was scanning the window, admiring every treat, my favorite thing in the world caught my eye—unicorns! Those unicorn krispies were the reason Chéo brought me there in the first place—smart man.

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Chéo’s Birthday at the Clover Club

Chéo’s Birthday at the Clover Club

With a job like mine, we’ve had to figure out other times and ways to celebrate Chéo’s birthday because I’m always scheduled to be in Arizona that weekend. Last year, I went down to Greensboro the weekend before. This year, he drove up to Brooklyn, so we were able to fit in dinner between leaving my office Friday and my Saturday morning flight. 
My focus this birthday was more on the cocktails than dinner, so I looked into a few speakeasies and champagne bars. Per the usual, I gave Chéo a few options: he chose Clover Club. 

Their cocktail menu is categorized, which I thoroughly appreciated. The Royals are made with champagne or sparkling wine; I had the Lady Madonna, made with blanco tequila, raspberry, crème de mure, lemon and prosecco. Chéo chose one of their Off Season Tiki cocktails: theHighland Diver made with scotch whiskey, cream of coconut, pineapple, lemon, honey and cinnamon. We actually had two of each!

Like always, we ordered the mac and cheese: baked with gruyere, white cheddar, smoked Heritage Pork Bacon and garlic breadcrumbs. It could’ve used a little more cheese, but it was tasty and the bacon made it a hit!

Steak frites was on the menu but I decided to switch it up a little and order the buttermilk fried chicken. Clover Club has some unexpectedly bomb ass fried chicken! My plate had the juiciest drumstick and deboned chicken breast I’ve ever eaten in NYC. I could be lying, but if I am, the Clover Club’s fried chicken has made the others a non-factor. It was drizzled with hot sauce and honey, and served over a house-made slaw. 

Remember those memes that say the only way to eat coleslaw is to throw it in the trash? Yea, not this one! It wasn’t swimming in mayonnaise and it had a great balance of sweet and zing from the carrots and vinegar. 

Chéo’s prime beef burger had some textural issues, which is very disappointing because I had such high hopes for his birthday meal. The cheddar-mornay spread along with the caramelized onions was just too much of a mush, and the soft brioche bun didn’t help much either. 
The waitress asked how everything was and we mentioned the burger. They comped it!
I’ll definitely be dining at the Clover Club again- hopefully soon! That fried chicken was so good, it could definitely be a weekly habit. 

Happy birthday my love. Another birthday is another year of you growing as a man and us growing as a family. Until the next one…

Taco Cleanse Crawl

On Sunday, my darlingest Nia of @EatWithNia curated a Taco Cleanse Crawl- to make it healthy, we walked off the last taco on the way to the next!

The route:
First was La Lupe: Carne Asada Taco on a corn tortilla with onion, cilantro, radishes, avocado salsa and lime.


Then Amaranto
. I had a steak taco with caramelized onions, fresh cheese, watercress, chile de arbol sauce,
Oh, and mushrooms- surprise! I picked every one out, including the one I started chewing on. ::cringe:: Krystal got a roasted chicken taco with avocado and chipotle-guajillo sauce. We were still a little hungry, so Christina ordered a crab toastada with fennel, avocado and chipotle mayo.

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Followed by Los Hermanos. I got another steak taco, but my fascination by the process overpowered my interest in eating the actual taco.

Then Taco Santana. Christina bought a horchata, a beverage made of ground almonds, rice, barley, tigernuts, or melon seeds. She gave s little talk on it, too.

Finally we ended at Cholulita. We were pretty much tacoed out at this point, but still had a little room for something more. I got a bistec torta with my favorite tamarind flavored Jarritos.

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There were two contest: one was to take a selfie at every location eating a taco and the other was to take a selfie eating a taco you wouldn’t normally eat.*

Though I’ve heard of crawls, I’d never done one. With Christina and her friend Krystal in tow, this was so much fun! I can’t wait for Nia’s next event: it’s all about chicken!

 

*I brought Nia a prosecco doughnut from my trip to The Doughnut Project. I walked in and handed it to her; she announced I automatically won the contest. I didn’t win.

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A Toast: Prosecco Doughnuts

I’m always getting tagged on food posts on Facebook, so when I got the tag for the prosecco doughnut video, I was intrigued.

The Doughnut Project teamed up with Ruffino for National Prosecco Day—August 13th—to make these glamorous prosecco-glazed doughnuts. I was tagged on Friday, and I was at the shop Saturday morning. They make their batch, and when they sell out, that’s it- so I made sure I got mine!

They’re selling them until the end of August, so act fast!

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The Doughnut Project
10 Morton Street
New York, NY

 

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Christina & I keeping ourselves entertained in NYC Saturday-morning traffic.

Eating for Work: Yardbird Southern Table

Our CEO came from the UK to the last event in Miami for the season. Whenever Mark is around, I know we’ll be eating good! This time, our staff dinner was at Yardbird Southern Table, with a stick to your ribs menu I didn’t mind at all. You know how I do, fried chicken and mac & cheese all day baby!

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The drinks keep flowing when we’re all together, so we got started at the bar and looked over the menu. Amanda got excited for biscuits, which naturally brought about the cookie vs. biscuit explanation as Simona, a Swiss colleague, was also in Miami.

All I wanted from menu was fried chicken—lots and lots of fried chicken. Of course, I wanted mac & cheese and fries, too, but I knew that fried chicken was a must! A waiter walked past with it and my mouth watered: thatwas the green light.

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Mark likes to order a bunch of different appetizers and entrees so everyone can dig in and eat whatever they want. We got black angus burnt ends with blue cheese fondue, tater tots and pickled chilies, iceberg wedge and herb garden caesar salads, St. Louis style pork ribs, and of course, their Chicken ‘n’ Watermelon ‘n’ Waffles. A lobster that’s not even on the menu hit the table; no questions asked, just gimme! Their fried chicken was super juicy and perfectly seasoned, I had to box what was left for a late-night snack in my hotel room. By the end of the night, I’m convinced the ten of us polished off maybe five orders of mac & cheese—he just kept ordering them!

Chéo and I are planning a trip to Miami—he already knows I’ll be making the reservation as we land. The dulce de leche strawberry waffle on their brunch menu sounds divine.

Yardbird Southern Table
1600 Lenox Avenue
Miami Beach, FL