Senor Pollo

Friday, July 31, 2009 5comments No tags Permalink 0

I feel stupid for not blogging about Senor Pollo before.

But I’m partially forgiven because Tuesday was the first time I had actually eaten inside the restaurant. Prior to that night, I’d get take-out or delivery a bunch. Don introduced me to this place waaayy back in 2008. He got delivery one night and I pounced on his order of fried plantains. Fate must have been telling me something when, six months later, I moved in right around the corner from Senor Pollo. It’s literally AROUND the corner. Like 28 steps away. It’s cheap, and really REALLY tasty.

I had dinner with Greg there the other night. Our initial plan was to meet for ramen at Minca on 5th Street. But in the summer heat, having to venture anywhere further than three blocks for dinner (when you’re surrounded by tons of great options) is silly. So I suggested Senor Pollo.

Greg arrived first. (Isn’t funny how, the closer you live to a place, the later you’re bound to arrive?) When I got there, he was standing in front of Senor Pollo, eyeing the commerical looking neon signs warily.

It looked as if he, gasp, doubted my dinner suggestion, “let’s go to Setagaya for ramen. It’s close, on 9th Street.”
“Nooo. We gotta eat chicken! And we’re already here.”
“But we can get their cold noodles! Mmmm. Cold noodles.” (It was SUPER hot that day).
“Nooo. But chicken! Only $6.50!” I pointed to the awesome deal they had posted in the window.

And really it is an awesome deal. $6.50 buys a quarter of a Peruvian rotisserie chicken with two sides of your choice. And there are a lot of choices. It took a bit of prodding, but I managed to convince Greg that Senor Pollo was gonna be awesome.

And it was! (Wasn’t it, Greg? ;)

Not knowing the protocol for “dining-in” at Senor Pollo, we thought to order at the counter and then take our food to the table, a la Panda Express. We dilly-dallyed for a bit before a woman came and asked, are you eating in?

We said, yes. and she lead us to a seat, brought over menus, and water, and condiments. The works!

Holy cow, Senor Pollo was a full-service restaurant! That was totally unexpected. And you can still get the same $6.50 deal when dining-in. I was in love with this place.

Ok. So you order your chicken. And the two sides. For my sides I got maduros (fried sweet plantains) and…

…Spanish potato salad. I’m not exactly sure what makes the potato salad “Spanish”, but the salad was a cross between potato salad and egg salad, topped with a single strip of red bell pepper. The salad was pretty darn mayonnaise-y and I couldn’t stop eating it.

And don’t forget about the condiments. You get two. One is a parsley oil (beautiful isn’t it?), and the other is a slightly spicy green mayonnaise-esque sauce. They are both equally awesome, and I’d gladly squirt/pour bucketfuls of both over hot white rice, and call it dinner.

For his sides, Greg opted for spinach mashed potatoes and mixed rice and beans. The potatoes might look gross and somewhat akin to cafeteria food, but this is case in which looks are indeed deceiving. Potatoes are super buttery, though you can’t really discern any spinach (aside from the colour, haha).

These are the rice and beans. They give you a lot. You can’t choose which quarter of the chicken you get, but you can be sure the skin is always going to be hot, a little crisp and savoury just so. Meat consistently moist, no complaints there. By luck of the draw, Greg got the drumstick and all the dark meat that comes with it. I got the breast and white meat. I’ll have to cross my fingers for dark meat next time!

P.S.
1. Everyone who works there is over the top nice.
2. Soursop, mango, and papaya milkshakes are on the menu.
3. So is Peruvian fried rice (chifan), I’ll be sure to try that soon.

Senor Pollo
221 1st Avenue
New York, NY 10003
(212) 777-0362

Otto and Mayahuel with Tam

Tuesday, July 28, 2009 8comments No tags Permalink 0

Thursday dinner with Tam at Otto. This dinner turned out to be a surprise belated birthday gift for me…so super thank you Tam!! :D

We started dinner with a few drinks, including the Raz Rickey (pictured above), Sardinian Iced Tea, and Prosecco & Strawberries

and then moved onto plates of Prosciutto…

…along with Summer Corn & Fregola and Figs “Agrodolce.”

Here’s a closer shot each of the corn…

…and figs :)

We also shared the Vongole Pizza, with clams, garlic, mozzarella. I didn’t enjoy this pizza the first time I had it (back in 2004), but now it’s one of my favourites on the pizza menu. Serving the clams in shell isn’t the most efficient or graceful route, but it certainly adds character. Plus, there’s something nice about sucking the juices out of the shell, heheh.

For dessert, we had one copetta each. For Tam, the Olive Oil Copetta made with olive oil gelato, lime curd, lilikoi granita, basil syrup, and strawberries. This is the same one Zubair and I had last week.

I spotted a NEW dessert (new as of the last time I went, which was two days before!) on the menu. It took a great deal of energy not to pop our of my bar seat and go HUZZAHH!!! New gelato copettas get me SUPER excited. This particular one matched a new summer flavour, Sweet Corn, with warm white chocolate, and a mix of summer berries including raspberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, and wonderful little chunks of toasted polenta cake. The berries were fresh, but frozen, and they didn’t defrost them all the way before serving. That was the only sad part ^_^

Post-Otto, we walked over to Mayahuel for a drink and a few more snacks.

There, I had a Selena Fizz composed of blanco tequila, elderflower, graprefruit and lime juice, egg whites, soda, and orange bitters…

…and we shared chicken tamales (they were horrible and overpriced)…

..and an order of chocolate and churros which I wrote up on SENY.

Happy Wednesday! ^_^

Otto
1 Fifth Avenue
NY, NY 10003
(212) 995-9559

Mayahuel
304 E 6th Street
New York, NY 10003

Italian Ice Hunt 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009 6comments No tags Permalink 0

Last week I joined Grace and Robyn for the first annual Italian Ice Hunt. This hunt consisted of three girls in a car (thanks for driving Grace!!), an empty stomach, and five hours in Brooklyn and Queens. It was tons of fun but I never ever want to see Italian ice again. Or at least for a few months, heheh. The results are posted in Grace’s Serious Eats post. Knock yourself out ;)

Our last stop was at L&B Spumoni Gardens, by which point we were badly craving something savoury. Thank god for pizza. We chased that last cup of lemon ice with a slice each of the Sicilian…

…and then Robyn and I split another plain slice. The more pizza, the merrier!! Goodness you have no idea just HOW DELICIOUS this was after one too many cups of lemon ice. Pizza is one my favourite foods – I keep meaning to do one MASSIVE pizza post, but don’t know if I’ll ever get around to it :/

Robyn says ‘hi’! :D

L & B Spumoni Gardens
2725 86th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11223
(718) 449-1230

Doughnuts!

Monday, July 27, 2009 9comments No tags Permalink 0

Last week, I met with Suzanne Ma, reporter for the Associated Press.

The subject? DOUGHNUTS.

Suzanne had found me via the NYC Doughnut article I wrote for Serious Eats. We met in the afternoon, at the Herald Square location of one of new twelve Tim Horton’s shops to hit the city.

The article, published on Yahoo news, and some other places, is titled “Canadian doughnut chain enters NYC doughnut wars.” I’m just briefly mentioned in two paragraphs but there’s a photo of me licking away crumbs, holding a bitten iced-chocolate cake doughnut in my right hand, and a chocolate-covered chocolate cake doughnut in my other hand.

TWO KINDS OF CHOCOLATE CAKE DOUGHNUTS.

…you can never have too many…heheh

I’d tell you more about how we sampled twelve doughnuts (including this crazy looking blueberry number) on a Wednesday afternoon, but Suzanne’s behind the scenes post on our meeting at, “Fried dough, what’s not to like?” –the story behind the story…” is much more awesome than what I could write…make sure to read it! ^_^

Strangely enough, eating all those doughnuts made me crave malassadas from the Punahou Carnival. Sigh, you can never win ;)

Happy Sunday!

Manatees Loves Robyn ^_^

Sunday, July 26, 2009 2comments No tags Permalink 0

Shots from last week’s surprise Robyn Appreciation Dinner.

This photo by Claire captures Robyn’s surprise just right – I love it!

Group shot here.

At the dinner table: Robyn, Diana, Olia, Lee Anne, Greg, Claire, John and myself.
Location: Arirang in Korea Town.
Previous Arirang post.

Why? We couldn’t think of anyone more deserving of a surprise party than Robyn, the sweetest friend anyone could ever ask for. And what better way to celebrate than with communal bowls of noodle soup? ^_^

Between eight people, we shared two massive pancakes, and three even more massive bowls of noodles. It was the perfect amount.

We ordered three different types of noodles. Pictured is the Seafood in the front, and the Vegetable Kar-Jeabe in the back. They’re all topped with the same tangle of vegetables, so look alike till you give it a good mix and unearth all the seafood (clams, shrimp, and octopus) in the former. All the “Kar-Jeabe” noodle soup consists of two types of noodles: Kalguksu (knife-cut noodles) and Sujebi (noodle chunks / torn noodles).

And here is the Chicken Kar-Jeabe. Robyn once wrote about how very chicken-y the broth is. But seriously, you have no ideas JUST HOW chicken-y she means until you try it. Put this on your must-eat list :)

Vegetable Kar-Jeabe in action, compliments of Greg.

And the two pancakes. First, kimchee and mochi…

…and then the seafood pancake. Mix your own sauce to dip.

After we’re pau eating…time to blow out the candles!

And cut the cake!

Nomnom. From Sugar Sweet Sunshine -> Chocolate Almond Buttercream with Chocolate Cake. FYI, yes we did consider opting for a huge bucket of banana pudding in place of cake, but cake route seemed more appropriate ^_^

Happy Saturday!

Arirang
32 West 32nd Street, 3rd Floor
New York NY 10001
212-967-5088