August 23, 2006

Buns Buns Buns

mainmomofukussam.jpgMomofuku's steamed buns are near perfection. Berkshire pork, scallions and a little of Momofuku's secret sauce on a delectable soft steamed bun are one of most satisfying snacks NYC has to offer. Momofuku Noodle Bar, which was the first restaurant reviewed on Quarter Life Living now has a younger sister. Momofuku Ssam Bar opens today to much anticipation.

The space is significantly larger but still maintains the minimalist no frills of it's small sibling. Despite it's size the menu is significantly more limited menu, essentially a variation on three items, focusing on the Ssam, David Chang's Koreanized interpretation of the Burrito (loosely translated means anything wrapped). The steamed buns from the original restaurant will also be served, however they will use pork shoulder instead of pork belly. QLL is very excited.

mainprovince.jpgNow if heading over to 1st ave and 13th street (or 10th street) is too far uptown for you. Check out Province located in Tribeca at the corner of Church and Walker. Having a similarly limited menu, consisting of 4 different types of steamed buns, spicy pork, beef-short-rib-and-kimchi, chicken or pork shoulder. Equally minimalist decor Province is great for a lunchtime snack especially at 3.75 per bun.

You can never have too many steamed buns.

Posted by Jeremy at 02:44 PM | Comments (0)

April 23, 2006


ht_penny_060414_sp.jpgPennies have been in the news a lot recently. If you didn't know, last week was National Coin Week. Not very exciting. However, Scott A. Travers, former vice president of the American Numismatic Association, in an effort to raise awareness has put three valuable pennies into circulation in Manhattan.

Outside the Nasdaq offices in New York City, Travers dispersed the first of three coins - all pennies - at a food vending stand just this week: a 1914-D Lincoln cent valued at $300.
...[followed by] a 1908-S Indian Head cent and a 1909-S VDB Lincoln Head cent valued respectively at $200 and $1,000 apiece.
So how do you know if you've got the lucky penny worth $1,000? Travers says, "On the front of the coin is the year 1909, and under the year is the mint mark "S," meaning it was minted in San Francisco. On the reverse of the coin are the designer's initials - V.D.B. (Victor David Brenner)."

I usually pay no attention to pennies, throw them a dish and bring them to the Penny Arcade at Commerce Bank where I convert my rainy day fund into cold hard cash. My last pull was $170 (or 13lbs). woo hoo!

In related penny news, because of the rising cost in the metals involved in making a pennies recently, it now cost the US Mint 1.5 cents to make a penny. My solutions: drop the penny.

Posted by Jeremy at 10:02 AM | Comments (0)

March 15, 2006

Free Starbucks coffee today from 10am - 12pm

Starbucks will host its first-ever Starbucks Coffee Break, inviting customers across the country to enjoy a free cup of freshly brewed coffee. In stores and on street corners, from insulated brewing equipment and giant coffee backpacks, partners (employees) will pour tall (12-ounce) cups of coffee to surprise customers and delight commuters. Find a Starbucks near you...

Posted by Jeremy at 08:06 AM | Comments (0)

February 02, 2006

Special Dinner Menu at Megu


Without fail, the last two years I have spent Restaurant Week cooking in my own kitchen. Either the post-holiday status of my bank account renders even reduced fare dining impossible, or tables are booked before I catch wind of the specials. This year, however, I will break my fast.

Stunning and expensive, high-end Japanese restaurant Megu is generously offering a dinner tasting menu of five courses for $35, February 1st - 3rd. Heralded by New York Magazine as a "close...culinary equal" to Masa, Megu promises to be exquisite. Call immediately for reservations. QLL will follow up shortly with a review.

62 Thomas Street
btwn W. Broadway and Church


Posted by EMC at 09:37 AM | Comments (0)

January 25, 2006

Italian Uptown

It is not often that QLL makes an appearance above 14th street. However, after a Friday evening visit to The Met, we found ourselves famished on unfamiliar turf. Leaving the museum on foot we headed east on 82nd street, hoping to stumble upon something delicious. We found Girasole, Italian for sunflower, an UES gem worth the trip uptown.

girasol2.jpgLow ceilings and soft lighting in the dining room create the illusion of an Old World taverna, an image delicately offset by elegant white table cloths and walls peppered with Art Nouveau prints. The clientele is varied -- museum goers, couples, large groups and a spattering of neighborhood locals to whom Girasole is clearly a weekly staple.

The food is remarkable. First to the table is a generous bread basket, and complimentary plate of antipasti. The fresh pastas with homemade sauces that follow are truly outstanding: the carbonara was rich and buttery, the goulash-style lasagnette truly to die for. Our hunger sated by the generous pasta dishes, we never actually made it to the secondi courses that New York Metro describes as "golden...head-turners." We think the entire restaurant is a golden head-turner and hope to be back within the month. Call for reservations.

151 East 82nd Street
btwn Lexington and Third Ave


Posted by EMC at 11:16 AM | Comments (0)

January 19, 2006

¿Tienes hambre?

mex%20food.jpgAside from playing host to one of Manhattan's hippest late night scenes, the LES is also teeming with hot new restaurants. El Bocadito, the new Mexican joint on Orchard Street, caught our attention.

Bringing together traditional street fare, street art and different genres of contemporary Mexican music, El Bocadito co-owner, Holly Grabelle, has crafted a well-rounded authenticity. The new restaurant is said to evoke the feel of modern day Mexico City at prices that will make your mouth water.

El Bocadito translates roughly into "tiny morsel" or "little bite," a name that suits the menu just fine. Chef Alejandro Moncada's menu is inspired by the street food of Mexico City and is composed of a collection of small plates like cactus salad, esquites, homemade plantain and cassava chips and guacamole alongside larger plates like crispy rolled taquitos dorados and tamales. Don't be scared off by humble beginnings; a lot of heart and soul has gone into the conception of this cozy new spot.

Currently open on the LES for dinner and drinks, brunch and lunch are soon to come.

El Bocadito
79 Orchard Street
btwn Broome and Grand

Posted by EMC at 10:02 PM | Comments (0)

November 18, 2005

Chicken Soup for the Common Cold


Over the course of the last week, at least three people have sneezed on me in the subway. With 200+ strands of the common cold virus lazing about in the winter air, it should come as no surprise that all of Manhattan is coughing, sneezing and nose-blowing. We are all scheduled to catch at least 2-3 colds this winter. Unfortunately, there is no cure for the common cold. There are, however, some cheap and easy ways to stay healthy and perhaps cut short the duration of any cold you may contract.

garlic.jpgVitamin C and garlic will not prevent a cold, but they may confine sniffling and sneezing to a few short days. Keep you body stocked with Vitamin C all season by loading up on Vitamin C rich foods like kiwis, red peppers and oranges. Once a cold starts to set in, eat some fresh garlic. Not only will it ward off vampires, it will also put you on the mend.

Chicken%20Soup.jpgBut on Sunday morning when QLL woke up feely stuffy, we headed for the kitchen to make a pot of chicken soup. Scientific evidence now advocates for chicken soup. Viruses thrive on fixed temperatures. The hot broth will upset their environment in your throat, loosen up the mucus in your nose and sinuses and soothe an irritated throat.

Science or no science, we swear by chicken soup. And while we are keeping the family recipe in the family, we do suggest this recipe. We would, however, add 1 1/2 T of chopped garlic and start with three quarts of chicken broth instead of water.

Posted by EMC at 11:02 AM | Comments (1)

September 19, 2005

40 Years of Slurpee

blueshock.jpgThe autumnal equinox (fall) usually starts around September 23rd, however so far the weather shown no sign of slowing. To help keep cool in the autumn heat, its good to remember that this is the 40th anniversary of everybody's favorite cool down drink, the Slurpee. Slate estimates that approximately 6 billion brains have been frozen and that the Slurpee may have been the inspiration for Starbucks' Frappuccino, Dunkin' Donut's Coolatta and Kiwk-E-Mart's Squishee.

In the late '50s, a Kansas Dairy Queen owner named Omar Knedlik found his soda machine was on the fritz. He tossed some bottles of pop in the freezer and discovered people went into conniptions for the slushy texture that resulted when the soda partially froze. Wheels turned. He invented a machine to slushify water, CO2, and flavored syrup.

New Yorkers can now "...Thank Heaven for 7-Eleven" which recently opened in Manhattan on 23rd street back in July. Get them while their it's hot out.

Posted by Jeremy at 10:44 AM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2005

Die erste Riesling Woche in New York!

wine taste.jpgAfter my recent trip to Napa Valley and predisposition to sugar, I could not resist making QLL readers privy to this sweet wine-tasting is the First Ever Riesling Week in New York sponsored by Wines of Germany. Wine-aficionados call it the "ABC" or "Anything But Chardonnay" trend among wine drinkers which has caused many consumers to look for more variety in their white wine choices.

There will be Grand Tastings in New York today at Thalassa that will feature over 100 German wines, representing eight regions and thirty different German wine producers. Event is open to the public from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm with a $25 dollar ticket available for purchase at the door. For more information visist the Riesling Renaissance tasting events at

Here are some wine tasting tips that I have cultured from my vineyard excursion:

You can tell much about a wine simply by studying its appearance. The wine should be poured into a clear glass and held in front of a white background such as a tablecloth so that you can examine the colour and clarity. You want to be able to see the weave of the fabric.

Swirling the wine not only allows you to observe the body of the wine ("Good legs" may indicate a thicker body and a higher alcohol content and/or sweetness level) but also releases the molecules in the wine allowing you to smell the aroma.

After swirling your wine, place your nose and lips close to (or into the glass) and take a deep whiff to smell the wine. You will want to experience a pleasing smell. If the smell is particularly strong and unpleasant, this may indicate that the wine has gone bad...for example corked, oxidized, maderized or refermented.

Now take a sip of the wine. You are looking for the balance between sweetness and acidity. Slosh the wine around and draw in some air (like a slurp even). Notice the body and texture of the wine and if it has an aftertaste. How long did the taste last? Was it pleasant?

And just note, a bottle is not bad just because you don't like it. Everyone has their favorite and every type of wine has its special characteristics. It should be palatable, oxygenating, and an intoxicating experience!

Posted by Shari at 09:47 AM | Comments (0)

August 23, 2005

Katz's Delicatessen: "The Best Sandwich on Earth"

katz_small2.jpgTheir slogan preaches truth. On a famished Sunday evening, QLL headed east on Houston to the corner of Ludlow where Katz's Delicatessen has sat since 1888. A door underneath the burning-out fluorescent sign opens into a cavernous space filled with hearty deli food and just a little bit of everyone.

cel-ray.jpgCollege students fork their way through round potato knishes. LES hipsters sip Dr. Brown Cel-Ray soda and families with children plough their way through generous sandwiches heaping with tasty meat. Table set up is reminiscent of a high school cafeteria. Wait service is offered only at those tables snug against the wall. If you want your food fast we recommend heading to the deli line. But if you are in no rush, the waiters are true old timers, in a blue coats and plastic gloves.

pickles.jpgA plate of homemade sour pickles and pickled tomatoes started the meal. We ordered a Rueben Reuben.jpgand a corned beef sandwich, a round potato knish and a chocolate egg cream. As the sandwiches arrived, our jaws dropped. Never before had we seen such massive, mouthwatering sandwiches. Barely able to make it through half, we left laughing and satisfied, already planning our next trip back.

Katz's Delicatessen
205 East Houston Street
New York, NY 10022


Posted by EMC at 02:04 PM | Comments (2)

August 11, 2005

Yankee Cheeses at Murray's Cheese

Cheese3.jpgQLL is crazy about cheese and while this summer's picks have focused mainly on varieties from La Mancha region of Spain - Campo de Montalban, Manchego - we are not country biased. It is for this reason that QLL wholly supports the American Cheese Society in their endeavors to raise awareness of and build markets for artisanal Yankee cheeses.

Annually, in what could be the most delicious event of the year, droves of cheese lovers from across the continent saturate a chosen city for the American Cheese Society conference. Expert judges taste, touch and observe. "Best of Show" is the top award, but awards are also bestowed for such categories as blue mold cheeses,Blue.jpgfetas, fresh mozzarellas, goat, sheep and cow's milk, fresh unripened as well as soft-ripened cheeses. Our mouths are already watering.

This year's conference has come and gone, but West Village cheese shop, Murray's Cheese offers New Yorkers another shot. Diane Stemple served as a judge in the conference. Tonight she will join Murray's Cheese manager Sarah Zaborowski and affineur Sasha Davies to teach a class on their experiences at the conference. Register online to eat, drink and be merry while expanding your palette.

August 11, 2005 6:30-8:00pm
"American Cheese Society Winners 2005"

Murray's Cheese
254 Bleecker Street
Between 6th and 7th Avenues

Posted by EMC at 02:01 PM | Comments (0)

August 05, 2005

Momofuku: All Around Favorite

Apparently, QLL does not stand alone in its raving support of East Village noodle bar, Momofuku. In their September issue, Food and Wine magazine lists Momofuku Noodle Bar as one of The Best New Asian Restaurants!

Momofuku.jpgThat Momofuku's excellent cuisine should draw so much attention comes as no surprise. After working for Craft, one of New York's finer restaurants, chef David Chang is familiar with New Yorkers' likes and dislikes. Rich flavors of Berkshire black pork, perfectly chewy roasted rice cakes flavored with onions and sweet Korean chili sauce and a beautiful oak bar overlooking the kitcen set Momofuku apart from other restaurants in the area.

Food-Momofuku.jpgWith noodle dishes and appetizers somewhere in the $4-$15 range and the priciest item on the menu an amazing, $49 bottle of Kamoizumi Junmai Daiginjo sake, Momofuku is priced right for quarter life living.

Momofuku Noodle Bar
163 First Avenue

Posted by EMC at 02:00 PM | Comments (1)

August 01, 2005

Alcohol Abuse Now Even Easier!

bottles.jpgBeing social in New York tends to revolve around some sort of alcoholic beverage. Whether you fancy a martini, whiskey or cold can of Coors it is pretty easy to drink yourself into the poor house.

A couple of guys in Williamsburg realized this and made it their mission to bring cheap / free booze to the masses by starting

Having realized the dire need for a centralized and coherent source of open bar listings (because paying rent and shelling out 7 bucks on a Brooklyn Lager just wasn't working out), we took it upon ourselves to give you, our esteemed reader, this free service at our own, though insignificant, expense.

Posted by Jeremy at 01:58 PM | Comments (0)

July 27, 2005

Drinking and Dining: Tastings and Seminars


Sake or not?

This Saturday brush up on your Sake-speak. From 4-7, Landmark Wine & Sake, 167 West 23rd Street, will be hosting a Sake tasting. Dry, sweet or spring release? You will walk out a pro. QLL favors freezing cold Gekkeikan Sake Silver.

$30 per person. Call for reservations 212.242.2323.

Gin and Tonic: from the Country Club to Brooklyn

Saturday and Sunday also boast Gin Weekend in Brooklyn. Learn to distinguish between London Dry and Genever oulde, or come simply to drink. LeNell's Ltd, 416 Van Brunt Street between Coffey and Van Dyke, Brooklyn. Saturday, noon until midnight, Sunday noon to Nine.

The Thrill of the Grill - Great Wines for Grilling

To the would-be sommeliers: this Tuesday, August 2nd, from 6:30-8:30pm Best Cellars invites you to test your nose and your palate. Wine pairing class, Best Cellars University: The Thrill of the Grill - Great Wines for Grilling, will be held at Brasserie Julien, 1422 Third Avenue between 80th and 81st. QLL recommends a tasty Viognier to go with grilled fish - find out what Best Cellars has to say.

Tickets may be purchased online, $55 for one person, $100 for two. 212.426.4200

Posted by EMC at 01:56 PM | Comments (1)

Eat Cheap

eat_cheap.gifNew York was recently rated the eighth best city for singles according to Forbes Magazine. Cities were rated based on such criteria as coolness, singles, nightlife and culture, now what's that you say? Eighth place? New York kicks ass in all those areas! Well we do except for living cost which apparently knocked us down a few places. New York Magazine comes to the rescue with its Cheap Eats List featuring over 30 places to get great grub on a Quarter Life budget. QLL favorites that made the list include Blue Ribbon Bakery Market, Momofuku Noodle Bar and Nicky's Vietnamese Sandwiches.

DinoLogo250.gifWe would also like to call special attention to the New York BBQ Battle. While Dinosaur BBQ, our favorite, rated high for appearance and texture, in the taste category it was the clear winner. Other contenders included Blue Smoke, Bone Link Park, Daisy May's BBQ USA, The Ranger Texas Barbecue, Rib, RUB and Virgil's Real Barbecue.

Posted by Jeremy at 01:55 PM | Comments (0)

June 29, 2005

You Scream! Ice Cream! Free Ice Cream!

STBK-qt-cfe-almd-fdge.gifToday Starbucks will be offering free ice cream at any of their gazillion locations:

"It's an Ice Cream Social! On June 29 a Starbucks near you will be sharing a complimentary serving of our cold, creamy Starbucks Ice Cream blended with real Starbucks coffee. You may have already discovered (and obsessed over) the blissful Starbucks Ice Cream flavors available in grocery stores. Stop by on the 29th and enjoy the delicious treat with your favorite barista."

Find a Starbucks near you, but you already know where at least a dozen are right? Enjoy!

Posted by Jeremy at 10:16 AM | Comments (0)

June 20, 2005

Chipotle Summer Soul-stice


"On June 21st the summer soul-stice, come into any Chipotle restaurant and buy a burrito. Keep your receipt, bring it back any time through June 26th and we'll give you another burrito for free."

Posted by Jeremy at 10:17 AM | Comments (1)

May 10, 2005

Finger Licking Good

free_frosty_story.gifRemember a few weeks ago when a women claimed to have found a severed finger in a bowl of chili at Wendy's? Later turned out she planted it (owner of the finger still unknown). This weekend, Wendy's will be offering free Frostys as a thank you to customers who supported the chain during the recent finger food incident. Just go in and say "Free Frosty".

Posted by Jeremy at 12:28 PM | Comments (0)

May 04, 2005

Gelotto Anyone?

gelotto.jpgA sure sign that spring time is here, Otto's gelato cart has returned to the North West corner of Washington Square Park. New York Metro has called it the Best Gelato around. We like the olive oil gelato, lightly sprinkled with sea salt and seasonal fruit. Yum. During the non-summer months QLL recommends Ciao Bella for your regular gelato fix.

Posted by Jeremy at 03:24 PM | Comments (1)