Huff Bagelry, Mentone

13 Como Parade West

http://huffbagelry.blogspot.com.au/

Ahh BAGELS! Bagels, bagels & more bagels! It’s about time Mentone upped the cafe ante’ with a hot new idea. Welcome to Huff Bagelry! It’s cool, it’s hip & boy is it fresh.

A friend of mine bragged on instagram that she’d discovered this gem. I was instantly jealous & instantly curious. Just how many options can a bagel have? And, is their coffee good?

I discovered within a few days of Huff opening that bagels have endless options! Not just the ‘Bagel with a shmear of cream cheese’ that screams New York stereotyping. Huff Bagelry has plain bagels, garlic encrusted ones, seeded ones, bagels with onions on top, pizza bagels just to mention a few. And then you need filling, of course. Cream cheese plays a big part in the menu~ no complaints here. Theres salmon, capers, cheese, tomato, roquette, chicken, bacon, scrambled eggs, avocado, tuna, jam.. the list goes on, but i wont ruin the surprise for you!

And as a soy drinker, my latte’s are often hit & miss. I kid you not, the soy coffee’s here are delicious & they already have me coming back for more… as do the salmon bagels! They’re my personal favourite.

The establishment itself, is pretty big & echoes quite a bit because of the large space, so it can feel a little loud. Personally, it would be pretty nice to see some rich coloured couches in there to help soak up some of the white noise & also you could lounge on them while catching up with a friend~ and especially with winter on the way too, it would give it a warmer, more inviting feel. It’s clean & crisp which I like very much. The colours work really well together & I love the ‘feature wall’ which looks half done, I really like that concept. It wouldn’t be a review if didn’t mention the small details~ the succulent plants dotted on the tables add some spunk to Huff Bagelry as do the gorgeous staff. They’re friendly & very welcoming.

I’ve already been back a few times & I’ll be back again soon.

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Mi Peru D’Carmen, Parkdale

242-246 Como Parade West

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mi-Peru-DCarmen/558181720908429 

This humble Peruvian restaurant only opened a week ago & I already know im going to be a regular here. Mi Peru is so, so cute! I’m sure the owners weren’t going for ‘cute’ when they opened up, but that’s really what it is! It’s not pretentious or try hard. It’s simple & the food is full of flavour. What you see is what you get.

The walls are lined with traditional Peruvian scenes. ie: Machu Picchu, landscapes & also a gorgeous canvas of native Peruvians, even if you have never been to Peru, this will make your heart melt & you will feel captivated.

If, on the other hand you have been to Peru, you will find some very familiar foods on the menu! There are beef empanadas, red onion & tomato salad, fish ceviche, steak, rice pudding dessert & of course churros! And much much more.

The staff are native South Americans, extremely friendly & very helpful if you are at a loss as to what to order! Personally, there was no way I was going past trying the ceviche. I had it when I visited Peru & had high expectations of it. It was served on a long plate, swimming in beautiful lemony, garlic & herbed juices. The acidity was well-balanced & complemented my exquisitely fresh barramundi very nicely. I just wished my meal would never end! Delicious, fresh fish & healthy. Accompanied by some corn & also sweet potato, which features a lot on the menu. Grab a can of Inca Cola & imagine you are thousands of miles away in Peru.

While I was here, a lot of people were coming in off the street to make dinner reservations, so make sure you book in advance because I can tell you, this will be a popular little spot! Especially with the longer summer days just around the corner.  

And seriously, how many traditional Peruvian restaurants are in Melbourne? Definitely give Mi Peru a visit, you wont be disappointed. Go on, step out of the square & try something new!

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Les Halles, Downtown, New York City

15 John Street (off Broadway)

http://leshalles.net/

If it wasn’t for my sister, I would have never gone into or paid any particular notice of Les Halles in New York’s Financial District. We had just spent the afternoon shopping & needed some sustenance to keep us going. Walking aimlessly along Broadway, my sister spotted the sign for Les Halles down a side street. She grabbed my arm & before i knew it we were seated inside at the bar. It only registered now that i was in one of Anthony Bourdain’s world renowned restaurants. I could not have been happier. Until my food came, then i was definitely happier!

Croque monsuiers, skewers of beef & chicken with char grilled vegetables done to perfection all accompanied by an absolutely delicious cosmopolitan cocktail, ofcourse. Our bartender was very friendly especially when we were overdosed by too many delicious sounding food options, he helped us decide what would be worth our hard earned money. And he made a mean cocktail too, which is a definite win in my books.

We were there late afternoon & the crowd seemed to be mainly business type men there for a drink or two. It was nice & relxed. Personally i thought for such a great place the dishes were priced well & i had no qualms about paying for good food.

I will definitely be going back next timm I’m in the big apple, New York City.

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Obao Noodles & BBQ, Midtown East, New York City

222 East 53rd Street (between 2nd & 3rd Avenues)

http://obaony.com/

I was actually looking for a different restaurant when I stumbled across Obao in New York City recently. The place I was looking for had closed down so I was left to fend for myself. Luckily enough, Obao was a few doors down. Why not give it a try! Whats the worst that could happen?

It is now a favourite little spot of mine in the Big Apple! The staff were very friendly & attentive to my needs. I sat at on e of the tall tables that line the wall right near the kitchen. It’s a great position because you get to see behind the scenes along with the hustle & bustle of this establishment.

The food. The food! Aside from it being ridiculously & very reasonably priced, it was delicious, I was served promptly & it was hot. I came here more than once, as you would expect. Heres what I had:

SINGAPORE LAKSA- Shrimp, Pork Belly, Buck Wheat Noodles, Spicy Coconut Curry Soup, Red onions, Scallions, Cilantro

BANGKOK NOODLE- Grilled Chicken and Shrimp, Rice Vermicelli Noodles, Bean Sprouts, Scallions, Red Onions, Chili, Cilantro

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Kos Kaffe, Brooklyn, New York

251 5th Ave. (btwn Garfield and Carroll)
 
 
Stumbling along 5th Avenue in Brooklyn one sunny day, I needed food & I needed it fast. Not knowing anywhere in particular that was ‘Good’ I spotted Kos Kaffe. It was full of people so I figured it must be a safe bet.
 
For a refreshing change, I tried the basil lemonade which I had hoped would taste a little more like the herb than it did. Nevertheless, it was still enjoyable & very refreshing on a hot day. I also grabbed a roast chicken & salad sandwich. The flavours were good but I found the chicken to be a little dry. Overall it was a good little spot for lunch & i would go back here for sure.
 
The vibe was really cool in here- they have free wifi which is always a crowd pleaser! Expect to see a lot of laptops & tablets out on tables while people enjoy a quick bite to eat. The staff were really lovely & friendly.
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Republic, Union Square, New York City

37 Union Square West

http://www.thinknoodles.com/findex.html

My mouth is watering uncontrollably at the thought of the delicious Asian food i ate here at Republic. Oh. My. Goodness.

I was wandering the streets of New York City & came to Union Square. I thought I was about to pass out unless I got something to eat. I randomly found republic & had a quick look at the menu posted on their window. From the outside, it didn’t look very inspiring but the menu got me straight away! Asian style, soups, dumplings, noodles.. yes.

Going inside, I realised I’d hit gold. It was full of people & i was welcomed by a host with the biggest smile of all time. He led me to a seat at the bar right in front of the kitchen which was full of chefs with flames going everywhere. It was bliss! The vibe was absolutely electric. I wish I was back there right now!

Beef broth with glass noodles & dumplings was my lunch choice. I highly recommend you all try this. The size was huge but because I was enjoying the meal so much, I forced myself to eat as much of it as humanly possibly, but alas, it was too much for me. I really should’ve got it takeaway so I could’ve eaten it that night for my dinner!

It was very reasonably priced, the food was cooked fresh in front of you & the staff were wonderfully friendly. I can’t wait to get back here one day!

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Birch Coffee, Chelsea, New York City

56, 7th Avenue (between 13th & 14th streets)

http://www.birchcoffee.com/

Ahh, Birch. Just thinking about this cafe located in Chelsea brings a smile to my face.

I was in New York City for 2 weeks earlier this year & was staying a 2 minute walk from Birch. I randomly stumbled across it one morning when I was out searching for coffee- good coffee- which is like trying to find a needle in a haystack when you’re in New York City! Trust me, it’s actually very hard to find coffee here that measure’s up to the likes of Melbourne cafes; who get it oh so right every single time.

I spotted Birch from across the street & thought I’d give it a try. I’m glad I did- it was fantastic! They knew how to make a soy latte just the way I like it. They didn’t burn the coffee & the temperature of the milk was perfection. The staff in there were extremely friendly & remembered my name. I had stumbled across a treasure! For the following 2 weeks, I had breakfast here each morning. Now the Chelsea cafe is quite small & cosy, so they only have a few food/snack options. They include but are not limited to savoury scones with rosemary and currants or perhaps a croissant is more your thing. Make sure to also try the muffins, they come in an array of different interesting flavours~ be sure to try them all.

There is also a small selection of books which you can borrow or swap for a book of your own. As a side point, you know you’ve found a good cafe in New York when it’s half full of Australians each morning getting their coffee fix!

Birch Paul-Schlader-making-Coffee

The Meatball Shop, West Village, New York City

64 Greenwich Avenue

http://www.themeatballshop.com/

My mouth is watering just thinking about The Meatball Shop. Oh my goodness I wish I was there right now. The shop on Greenwich Avenue is cosy, the wait staff are super friendly & are more than happy to be of service to you. There is a warm welcoming vibe here & i cannot wait to get back here for some more delicious balls. 

I can recommend you try the classic beef meatballs with the classic tomato based sauce, traditional, yes, but I kid you not it’s practically as good as homemade! That’s how good they are. Accompany these bad boys with some sautéed broccoli & you have yourself a very fulfilling lunch or light dinner option without feeling too guilty or naughty. But then comes dessert if you dare!

Ofcourse, it wouldn’t be a proper meal without a delectable cocktail to wash it down with. Traditionally, I go for cosmopolitans’. And in New York City, of all places, you know it’s a safe bet to order one, even from The Meatball Shop. Give them a try.The Meatball Shop 

 

The Meatball Shop

Alchemy Restaurant & Tavern, Brooklyn

56 5th Avenue

http://alchemybrooklyn.com/

Hands down this is one of my all time favourite breakfast places that I have ever been to. In the entire world. That is a pretty big call, I know, but it really is that good. I stumbled across Alchemy on a summery morning in Brooklyn. I was famished & needed breakfast~ anything would do. I had a quick glance at the menu posted on the window & figured it looked good enough to try.

Skimming the menu, my eyes stopped at ‘Toad in a Hole~ Fried egg in thick cut rustic sourdough with tomato dill cream sauce.’ I was sold. I love tomatoes. I love dill. And I love a creamy sauce. It was literally 3 of my favourite flavours all packed into the one meal. A big chunk of the sourdough was cut out from the middle which the egg went into & the sauce was drizzled all over the entire slice of sourdough. I couldn’t get enough of it in one mouthful! It did not disappoint & I would be lying if I said I only had it here once. Absolutely delicious. I highly recommend everybody try this dish for breakfast.

From the street, Alchemy looks like a pub. But please go in & you will discover a world full of friendly people going about their daily business. They aim to please the customer & I’m sure they have a legion of ‘regulars’ who frequent here.

Order yourself a coffee, sit back & watch the world of Brooklyn go by.  

 

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Le Pain Quotidien, New York City

937 Second Avenue (Between 49th & 50th Streets)

http://www.lepainquotidien.us/ 

Le Pain Quotidien is one of those cafe bakeries that just makes you feel warm & welcome like you can stay here for hours & you wont get ushered out before you have even wiped the crumbs from your lips.

This was ’my regular’ for about a week while I was staying in midtown NYC. Every morning I would venture here & every morning I was satisfied by the food & coffee I had. It’s no secret that New York isn’t known for good coffee, but I have to hand it to Le Pain Quotidien, generally speaking, they’re soy lattes were good. The fact they’re served in small, medium or large bowls also helps. Giving a nice French feel to the bakery.

The omlettes come in a variety of flavours, or you can choose your own. The portion sizes are huge. The omlette comes served with freshly baked bread & also a small side salad. Trust me, it’s quite substantial & will give you a great start to the day! As will the soft-boiled eggs served with a variety of different breads to dip into the yolks or the granola with fresh berries. Either option is a good healthy breakfast & wont leave you feeling weighed down. 

One of my favourite parts about this establishment was the long communal table where you can snap up a seat or 2 & spread out your favourite book or newspaper. There is plenty of room & all the clientelle are happy to share this table with you.

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