Fries Before Guys (except mine!)

After our date at Pearl’s, Angelena and I started wandering around Willyburg and stumbled upon the Verameat store. After several laps around the small shop, something pretzel shaped caught my eye. Remember those pretzel studs I wrote about for the Christmas Gift Guide? This is where to get them!

In a corner of store, there’s a board full of keychains and pins. Luckily, I caught the sale—BOGO (buy one, get one half off) for the win!

They had Chinese takeout boxes, milkshakes, pizza slices: I started picking out keychains and the next thing I knew, I had about 10. Now, let’s do some math, shall we? If the keychains were $16.99 with a BOGO and I picked out 10, I was about to spend too damn much on some keychains!

Less is more, so I walked out with only this beauty, but I got Angie a pin from one of her favorite movies, Death Becomes Her, as an early graduation gift.

A very special thanks to the sweetest sales associates there, Rhea & Kali. When I realized where I was, I showed them the gift guide post. Rhea’s promised to stalk my blog, and she even slid in my email with a special offer. I’m definitely going back for more keychains!

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New Tings at Pearl’s.

Rainy Saturdays are meant for hearty foods. I can’t explain it, but there’s something about eating something warm and filling that comforts me when the weather’s yucky. My Angelena had one of her once-in-a-blue Saturdays off, so I headed over to her house for with every intention to figure out where to eat—after a nap.

Yes, I went to her house and took a nap. That’s what friends do. I was tired, don’t judge me.

I was craving something different, usually that’s Caribbean food for me. The thought of a bake & shrimp from Pearl’s made my stomach growl, so that was that. We hopped in a Juno—Uber was wild expensive that day—and we were on our way!

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Angie had never been to Pearl’s, so I was too excited to take her. I knew she’d like the food and love the music; she danced the whole time she was looking at the menu. A bartender when the money’s right, she looked over their cocktail menu and was completely sold on the Sweet Bumper: sorrel, lychee wine, St. Germaine, champagne, candied sorrel flower. When she read out the ingredients, I’ll admit I thought it was questionable. However, it was so pretty when it got to the table, I had to have a taste. Two thumbs up from the both of us!
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Angie gave up meat a few months back, so I automatically suggest the bake & shrimp. I was ordering one too, but I wanted to try something different. Tamarind is one of my favorite flavors, so the tamarind wings caught my eye. Macaroni pie is always a given.

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If you’re looking for the perfect combo of sweet and savory—these tamarind wings are it! The order comes with just 8, so I had to exhibit a little self-control and not take an order to go.img_6709-1

The macaroni pie and bake & shrimp are always a hit at Pearl’s!

As I’m writing this post, I could go for an order wings right now! Where’s Angie?

Peace Out, Summerhill.

Peace Out, Summerhill.

In 1988, I was born at Brookdale University Hospital in Brooklyn.
I’d lived within 2 miles in Crown Heights until I was 12 years old.
I remember my dad playing with me in the park in Crown Heights.
I remember running for the ice cream truck in Crown Heights.
I remember the boys playing basketball using a milk crate for a hoop and the girls jumping double dutch with phone cords in Crown Heights.
But I also remember my cousin being shot at point blank range in Crown Heights.
And I also remember losing another to gun violence on the streets of Crown Heights.

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Becca Brennan, a former tax attorney from Canada, turned an empty bodega into a “boozy sandwich shop.” Capitalizing on the history and gun violence of Crown Heights, she admitted to fabricating a story about the bodega having an illegal gun shop in the back, marketing the cosmetic damage as a “bullet hole-ridden wall.” She’s also selling 40oz. bottles of rosé in brown paper bags. There’s a real history behind the 40 oz. in brown paper bags, but for her it’s another marketing angle.

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Naturally, I was bothered when I heard of Summerhill. The Crown Heights I love so much and always wanted to return to was being mocked. Who the hell in Crown Heights needs this surfer-style sandwich shop with $12 BLTs?  While gentrification is great, what is it really doing for the existing community? Yes, it’s bringing in new business and living opportunities—but it’s buying out the heart and soul and replacing it with coffee shops and bars. Becky took our struggle and ran with it like the wind in Chicago.

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Just as I was outraged when I first heard of Brennan’s doings, so was the crown Heights community. A forum was held outside of the restaurant, and she never even came outside to address the public. Instead, she sent out her PR team to pass out copies of an apology – only to the press.

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Brennan claims she will be reaching out to the community to learn what’s really needed and how she can play a role in the betterment. This should be interesting. Becky, do better.

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*I do not own any if these photos! I saved all photos from google!

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

 

 

Happy (Belated) National Ice Cream Day

img_6422I double scooped Ice Ice Baby (triple vanilla) and Dough Boy (chocolate chip cookie dough and chocolate brownie dough pieces) for National Ice Cream Day at Mikey Likes It! I really wanted to try the flavor of the month, Forrest Gum, but every time I came back to get it, it was either being remade or sold out! Think about it, it’s ice cream with strawberry crumb cheesecake and blueberry compote covered pound cake—no wonder it sells out so quickly!

Mikey Likes It
199 Avenue A
New York, NY

Sugarfina.

While I was in San Francisco for work, I decided to walk around to find a sandwich for lunch. What the hell was I thinking, knowing damn well the hotel was on a gigantic hill.

I found a sandwich shop, ordered a pastrami sandwich, and decided to go for a walk while it was being made.

A few doors down was a Sugarfina store. I actually walked past it and doubled back. I walked in for one thing and one thing only- Champagne Bears.
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I saved them until I got to Greensboro so I could try them with Chéo, my champagne enthusiast of a lover. When I say theses are boozy! Spiked with Dom Perignon, you can definitely taste the brut and rosé.

MUST. GET. MORE.

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*These were almost on the gift guide last Christmas but they didn’t quite make the cut. 

 

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