What I’ve been eating…

I have to confess, I was lucky enough to eat at Barclay Prime yet again recently.  I ate my usual and it was excellent (again).  I did have the coffee ice cream with chocolate brownie chunks this time, which was the special flavor of the day.  Wow.

I was also lucky enough to have a chance to eat at a brand new “fast casual” place called “Verts”.  Verts is on 16th Street between Market and Chestnut Streets in Philly (side of the 1601 Market building).  It just opened on 3/10.  I was walking by around lunchtime so I decided to stop in.  Apparently, half of the Philly lunch crowd had the same idea!  I was about the 25th person in line.  I decided to stick it out to see if it was worth it.  It was.  And p.s. the line moved quickly.

I ordered a rice bowl with falafel, cucumber and tomato salad, cabbage, pickled jalapeños, chickpeas, and red pepper seasoning.  I also had a side of pita chips and hummus.  I decided to go conservative since this was my first time here.  It was delicious.  The falafel was comparable to Naf Naf up the street (also very good).  The toppings were fresh and flavorful.  The jalapeños were so hot that my mouth was numb (also a good sign).

I can’t wait to go back and try the turkey and mushroom meatballs!

What I’ve been eating…

Another excellent meal at Barclay Prime

We had an impromptu “family party” at Barclay Prime in Philadelphia recently.  Fortunately, we were able to snag a last minute reservation in the lounge for our party of five.  Matt took care of us and as always, he went above and beyond in ensuring our comfort and satisfaction.

We had wagyu sliders, truffle mac and cheese, butterball potatoes, kale salad, roasted cauliflower, brussels sprouts, filet mignon, salmon, and ribeye.  Everything tasted great and the pace of the meal was perfect.

We ended the meal with two of the warm deep dish cookies, one with mint oreo ice cream and the other with chocolate chip ice cream.  Delicious!

Fortunately I’m going back with colleagues soon.

FYI the Patriot Parking garage around the corner on Chancellor Street offers validated parking for $17.

Another excellent meal at Barclay Prime

Great eats in Fort Lauderdale

Fellow eater and I spent some time in Fort Lauderdale recently.  We had some great meals so I wanted to share them with you.  I also wanted to memorialize them for the next time we visit.  Here they are in no particular order:

1.Asia Bay – This was our second visit to this Asian gem on a canal on Las Olas.  Las Olas is the main drag in the town.  There are many high end shops, bars, and restaurants.  We were lucky enough to sit outside at a table right on the canal.  We split the spicy tuna sushi and spring rolls, both of which were out of this world.  I had the shrimp fried rice, which had a nice kick to it.  I went with the medium spice level and that was plenty hot.  I was hoping to return for another meal but we ran out of time.

2.Steak 954 – We had both breakfast and dinner here.  This is a Stephen Starr place, somewhat similar to his Barclay Prime in Philadelphia.  The only discernible difference is the weather!  We sat outside overlooking A1A for both meals.  As with all Starr establishments I’ve been to, the service was impeccable and the ingredients were high quality.

I had the wagyu sliders and the scallops as my entree.  FE had a 22 0z. ribeye.  Everything was great.  We shared the ice cream sandwiches for dessert.  OK, OK, I ate most of them.  The red velvet cookies with cream cheese gelato and the gingersnaps with green tea were my favorites.

3.Hoffman’s Chocolates – This is an ice cream place and a chocolatier, also on Las Olas.  The stellar coffee ice cream was great.  I would go back just for that.

4.Kilwin’s – Another ice cream place and chocolatier, also on Las Olas.  The cookies n’cream on a homemade waffle cone was delicious.  FE had a chocolate-covered twinkie which FE thought was great.

5.Seasons 52 – Although this is a chain, we love this location.  The food is always terrific and the place has a great vibe because of the weather.  You can’t go wrong with any of the items here, especially the mini desserts!  I recommend the chocolate peanut butter one.

6.Serafina by the Water – This is an Italian restaurant located on a canal.  The setting is perfect – right on the canal along a row of docked yachts.  The portions are large so we didn’t order an appetizer.  I had the pappardelle bolognese and FE had king crab with squid ink pasta.  This was FE’s favorite dish of the week.  For dessert, we had chocolate mousse and tiramisu.

7.Angelo Elia Pizza – This appears to be a local chain.  We visited the Federal Highway location.  The pizza is fantastic and we shared the arancini appetizer.  We were too full for dessert there so we stopped at Whole Foods for cookies.

Great eats in Fort Lauderdale

NYC eating…

So I spent a day in NYC recently and I wanted to share some great eats I had there.  Sorry, no Statue of Liberty, no Empire State Building, no Times Square, just eating!

It was a beautiful weekday in NYC when my fellow eater and I embarked on our food odyssey.  We began with lunch at Mario Batali’s Lupa in Greenwich Village. This is an old standby of ours that we’ve been going to for many years, on the recommendation of a co-worker of mine.  I prefer having lunch here over dinner, especially when we can get there by noon and have the first dishes of the day.

I went with my normal spaghetti with pomodoro, which was great.  I only deviated from this order one time in all the years I’ve eaten here and it was a mistake I won’t repeat.  The basil flavor really comes through such a simple dish.  They provide great focaccia bread with olive oil to start.  We split the veal saltimbocca which is always terrific (and I don’t even like veal or prosciutto, or as some say “projut”).  I declined dessert because I was just too full and I wanted to keep my options open for later.

Fellow eater and I each scored a free coffee/tea due to our loyalty cards from our respective favorite establishments and walked to Eataly.  It was a nice walk through Washington Square straight up to the Flatiron.  Eataly wasn’t insanely crowded since it was a weekday. My fellow eater actually shops for groceries at Eataly unlike most of the tourists who come in to gawk and get in our way, so we did our shopping and left.  They have a great selection of imported pasta, rice, and other delicacies that are difficult to find.  The challenge is schlepping it all back to the hotel 1/2 mile away, but we managed.

Then it was time for the crown jewel of the day – our dinner at ABC Kitchen.  For those of you who don’t know, ABC is one of the hottest restaurants in NYC and notoriously difficult to get into, especially on a weekend night.  We planned ahead and were able to get a reservation.  As usual, the meal was phenomenal.  We split the fried calamari appetizer, which came with a marinara sauce and a horseradish-type sauce, both of which were very tasty.  We also split the Akashi cheeseburger (spelling?) and the mushroom and farm egg pizza.  Even though I was full, I ordered the chocolate mint sorbet which was excellent.  Fellow eater was able to convince our server to let him buy only one of the three donuts offered in the trio of donuts since he was full.  Overall, the meal was stellar.  We’re already planning our next visit.

NYC eating…