+

Another tick off my Burger-list

A couple of days ago I wrote that I wanted to go to Le Parker Meridien. Well? Of course I went there!

So – Le Parker Meridien (119 west, 56th street) is a fancy hotel on one of the streets close to Central Park. The lobby is enormous and you could almost get lost in the place. No one would ever think there’s a burger joint hiding somewhere in there (even to it’s not that “secret” and you can smell the grill all the way out) I didn’t have time to think too much about the actual entrance though cause I was concentrating on finding where we were heading. I had invited two friends so I was the one in charge and had to lead the way. Red, thick, curtains and a small hidden neon light in the shape of a burger was all I needed and a new world opened to us! The burger joint was busy and far away from fancy. Daub all over the walls, boots and bar tables and a long line to the counter. It wasn’t like Shake Shacks 45 minutes line, more like 10, but still very crowded. While you were waiting the signs told you to be prepared – you will get 3 questions and if you don’t answer them quick enough you have to do the line again.

– Cheeseburger or hamburger?

– How would you like it cooked?

– What would you like on it? Everything? Then call it “The Works”

Medium rare cheese with The Works was my order and the old school, wrapped-in-paper burger turned out great! Juicy with a rich taste. Took the pickle away cause it gave too much flavour and if you’re sensitive to mustard I would order it without cause I was quite strong. My friends had fries that tasted like McDonalds, e.i. pretty good, and a vanilla shake that evidently got a good score!

Le Parker Meridien’s Burger Joint is the perfect spot for a first date I would say – if you want to see who your fling really is! Does s/he get upset when you choose the burger joint instead of the posh hotel bar? “Next one!”

Sorry – you just have to get used to my crappy pictures as long as Im chosing to dine in these dark, hidded spots!

When no people are here it can look like this:

+

Blueberry Bagels? pt. 2 (My failure)

I’ve told you about my Blueberry Bagel obsession. I’ve been in to every bagel shop I’ve passed by without finding any and even when my friend brought me to “reliable” Tompkins Square Bagels I walked away with blueberry creme cheese (NOT what I was looking for). Davids Bagels, which was my second “I KNOW they have blueberry bagels”-place, made me disappointed as well.

So I more or less gave up. I heard about another place in Brooklyn so I did consider to go there (and I should since I’ve never been in Williamsburg) but when I googled it I found Bagel Express (25th street, 3rd ave), which was only 2 streets from where I live. Went there this morning with no expectations and OF COURSE they had my delicious, sought after bagel! To clarify – I pass this place at least 2 times EVERY day! How could I have missed it?!  It would have been the perfect breakfast (and will be my last 3 days)! Well, enough with the pity and more about the food. This place had more varieties of Creme Cheese than I can count to. There was avocado cilantro, jalapeno, apple cinnamon etc etc. I chose an open faced blueberry bagel with half plain creme cheese and half banana nuts creme cheese. They put way too much of the cream on, the layer was as thick as the actual bagel, but that doesn’t matter in the end. Plain creme cheese tasted like heaven. Banana Nuts was interesting but I kind of took over the blueberry flavour.

Mmm.. can’t wait until tomorrow. However my body is very grateful that I didn’t discover this place until one of the very last days!

 

 

The worst picture but here you can see the thick layer of creme cheese!

+

POPular Burgers

I have a long list of burger-places I should and want to try before I go home. The Spotted Pig and Le Parker Meridien are two of them and I had POP-burger on the list – until the day.

Sometimes you just need to do what you need to do. Someone cancelled a date? Don’t have any friends? Waiting for a better day? Well – sometimes you just need a burger! Tonight I was upset over various reasons so I put my headphones in my ears and went for a long walk. Realised that I can’t wait for other people, (in general – people are slow and boring) so I went to POP-burger to get another tick off my list. Their branch close to Union Square (83 University Place) had a really nice and chilled atmosphere with many different types of tables setups so I think it’s perfect for both dates, hanging out with friends, larger groups or like me – alone in the bar. Got annoyed that the menu didn’t look like the one I had seen on their website (you were supposed to get 2 small burgers for $7 something) so I “had” to order 3 small burgers for $12. Chose Tater Tots (cubes of hash browns more or less) as a side and a Passion Fruit cocktail to that – without the cranberry juice thaaaank you! My mood needed the sourness.

And the score? Cocktail was perfect! Tater Tots were good but want to try the fries next time. Burgers had a really good taste but I can’t decide if I like this trend with these sliders?! And no way I could finish 3 of them! Perfect for sharing though!

But POP-burger was all in all a really nice place and I would love to come back here. With my boyfriend, or a large group of friends or – all by myself!

+

Tuesday Special at Bodhi Tree

On my way home from work today I took a detour by Broadway to do some shopping. Two of the most loveable persons are getting married once I get home so I need everything ready for that. Shopping is exhausting and it adds on with a laptop in your bag. Planned to bring thai food home and pass out in my bed but when I got to the restaurant I decided to stay there and get some new energy instead.

Bodhi Tree (10th street, 3rd ave) is a relatively small and nice decorated place in The East Village. Every Monday and Tuesday they have a special menu where you get 2 appetizers and 1 main for $10. Really good value and I wasn’t the only one with that thought – the restaurant was packed but I got a table straight away! Service was kind of slow and I waited at least 10 minutes before I could even order tap water. From the menu I chose Chicken Satay and Thai Salad as starters and a classic Pad Thai as main. Once again I waited surprisingly long for the food (thai places are normally so fast!) and once it came I got all 3 dishes at the same time. The chicken satay was a favourite from the start. The chicken was really tender and SO full of flavour. Good flavour! The salad also came with satay sauce, which is a good sauce but would have been more interesting with something else. The Pad Thai was a winner, quite plain but rich and fresh in taste which I liked. Sometimes it can almost taste a bit artificial.

I can really recommend Bodhi Tree. Go here in the beginning of the week and get really good value for your money!

NOW – It’s finally time to pass out in my bed!

+

NYC Restaurant Week

Next Monday, the 16th, the NYC Restaurant Week(s) starts. I will only be able to take part 3 days as next Wednesday is my last day here. Bummed because there are some can take advantage of some really good deals. But, London has something similar in the beginning of October, right when I get back there, so I look forward to that!

Here you can read more what I’ve written about NYC Restaurant week and here is my latest post on Downtown Magazine’s website. “Basic Tips to Help You Conquer the Grill”

 

+

The Eatalian Heaven

Yesterday I was catching some sun in Madison Square Park while reading about the same Mr as everyone else. Got hungry and remembered that people had been talking about a place called Eataly. I googled it and it proved to be next to the park! How perfect?

Eataly is an enormous luxury grocery store with all the Italian delicacies you can imagine. Cheese, wine, pasta, meat, chocolate, gelato, coffee, seafood, pizza… Everything can be bought over the counter or pre-packed from shelves. There are also small eateries inside which I would love to come back to. This time I ended up with some prosciutto, buffalo mozzarella and a juicy tomato (American though but really good!) and created my own antipasto plate at home. I enjoyed the plate with some delicious tap water and a friend on the other side of Skype. A perfect Sunday night!

 

+

Best so far!

This whole week Manhattan has been steaming hot. I was invited (or did I invite myself when I heard ‘Boat’?!) to come down to south of New Jersey for a day on the water. It was amazing and so nice to escape the city for a while. After a full day of sun and waves we headed for dinner and ended up at Four Seasons Diner. This time I tried the Gyros again and it was much better than the last one but still nothing special.

BUT! BUT for dessert we ordered the Diner’s speciality – CINNAMON BUN PANCAKES and RED VELVET PANCAKES. And these were soooooo incredibly good. I just wished I had chosen them as main instead so I could have had them all to myself and been a bit more hungry, haha. I am crazy about Cinnabon and this was like a whole new level of that. They were so soft and melted in my mouth.

I know I will most likely never come back here again but these delicious pancakes will definitely be served many times this fall at Casa Mangsbo.

+

An American Swedish Midsummer

Old news, I now. It’s already been 2 weeks since Midsummer.

I ended up at a birthdayparty in a flat with the most amazing view of Manhattan I’ve seen so far followed by beer pong at a local bar in true American spirit. The end of the night was very wet but I was so happy and surrounded by my great American friends! My sweet Alexis wore a flower wreath the whole time! And the day after apparently…

So my Midsummer wasn’t celebrated in a traditional Swedish style even though I tried to with a visit to Battery Park.

Read more here! 

 

+

Indian Kitch at Milon

I need to tell you about a place where I went for a birthday dinner the other week. Milon!!! (93 1st ave) Milon serves bangladesh/indian food and this block is filled with restaurants of the same type of kitchen and even the staircase to this restaurant is shared with 3 similar. Milon is the one on the upper left side.

The restaurant doesn’t serve alcohol so instead you are welcome to bring your own – Perfect for the 20 of us (mostly students)! Milon is TINY but the staff work very well to fit a LOT of people. It’s crowded but you don’t mind. As you can see on the picture hanging lights fill up the ceiling and the atmosphere is so cool! Food is good but nothing amazing, but again – you don’t care. Just keep watching the decoration and you will be satisfied!

Perfect pre game place I would say.

+

New Friends and New Restaurants

Friends are great! Old ones and new ones. If it weren’t for my old friends (well, all of them are actually pretty new as well but I met them before NYC) I wouldn’t be able to come and do my internship here. Im couch surfing at their places and they are showing me around the city.

I met a new Swedish friend here and she came with me to the restaurants I wanted to try in the area where I live right now – Kips Bay, East Mid town.

With the help from Yelp I found out that the best Italian restaurant here is suppose to be Trattoria Belvedera (165 Lexington Ave) so that’s where we headed one night. It was a Saturday around 9pm so I thought the place would be packed but only 2-3 tables were taken. It made me a bit suspicious but with the new friend I didn’t want to hassle and after all, the restaurant had really good reviews so I had to try the food! As a starter we tried their ‘special of today’ which was Buffalo Mozzarella and Tomatoes. The mozzarella was really nice and creamy but the tomatoes can never be as good as in Italy – well, no surprise. I had a hard time choosing main since the menu was filled with many of my favourites but the waiter explained that I could mix and match as I pleased. He told me he was most proud of their pesto so I ordered pesto with penne and shrimps!  My friend had Mushroom Ravioli but as always with Ravioli you get so stuffed! My pesto was really nice and fresh as well as the pasta but the shrimps was unfortunately way over cooked. When two people who just met each other go for dinner for the first time there’s a lot to talk about and we sat at the trattoria for a long time. At last the waiter came out with a Tiramisu – on the house. It was like no tiramisu I’ve never had before. Light and airy and even though my pasta filled me up very well the dessert was a perfect ending! All in all the food and the service at Trattoria Belvedera was great but the ambience was a bit boring for two twenty-something on a Saturday night. Bring your family or your date if you’re 50+!

Everyone is talking about it. Even the “real” New Yorkers, not only tourists. Shake Shack! The food editor at Downtown where I intern is crazy about burgers and she said this is a MUST. Lucky me the original Shake Shack is located in Madison Square Park, only 5 min walk from where I stay. Unlucky me, the line is ALWAYS at least 45 min. The place even has a web cam on their website so you can see how long the line is at this very second. Anyways, we decided we needed to try the burgers so we didn’t care about the line. After waiting exactly 45 min I ordered my Shackburger with extra red onions (It comes with american cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and Shacksauce) and a chocolate shake. Another 10 minutes of waiting and the food arrived (or arrived, you pick it up!) The moment of truth – How good was the burger?! By the look it doesn’t look too fancy but I reaaaally liked the burger. I took the onion away as it brought too much flavour. You could actually taste the cheese and sauce was amazing. I’m a bit tired of fat gourmet burgers (always at British pubs) with too much bun (focaccia bun?! huhhh) so this small and gooey piece of happiness was very welcomed. Fries were nice and crispy and the shake was yummy but nothing special really! Would I go back again? Hard question. Maybe if I pass by and see the line is very short. And I will def. bring my boyfriend here one day!

Through my new friend I met yet another 2 friends and yesterday the four of us decided to go for dinner and drinks. The guys were up for greek food (I wasn’t hard to convince) so I did my research and took them to Dafni Taverna (325 West 42nd Street). Unlike London, New York has plenty of tavernas but it was hard to find a place with solid good reviews. Dafni was almost empty when we arrived at 10pm a Friday which was again a bit alarming.. The menu offered all the classics and I ended up having Cheese Saganaki and a Greek Salad and the others had Souvlakis with all types of meat. Cheese Saganaki is a MUST for me but unfortunately this time it made me disappointed. It was swimming in grease and there was no crispiness at all. Flavour was OK though. Greek salad was nice but as with the Italian tomatoes I should know the taste will never be as it is in the Mediterranean. I wouldn’t go back to Dafni Taverna but I was very happy I got to drink a Mythos!

After dinner we went to Mandarin Oriental’s roof top bar (80 Columbus Circle, 60th street)  and sipped on cocktails while overlooking the view of Columbus Cirle.

+

Blueberry Bagels?

The one thing that I was most excited about before going to New York was to have Blueberry Bagels again. When I lived here 4 years ago I had it several times every week. Dunkin Donut’s Blueberry Bagels with Creme Cheese and Chocolate Milk to that. My obsession even made my boyfriend-to-be go around the whole London town without finding any and as a result he tried to make his own! Difficult, but I got so impressed!

First morning I got here I went in to the DD shop and I honestly got so sad when I realised they are not doing them anymore.  A couple of days later my friend Alexis tried to cheer me up by taking me to Tompkins Square Bagels (165 Ave. A) since she thought they def. had the Blueberry treats there. “They have eeeeverything” They did, (even Cookie Dough Bagels!!) except for mine favourite. I actually tried a Poppy Seeds with Blueberry Creme Cheese but it wasn’t the same.

I am continuing my hunt and I’ve heard about a place called Davids Bagels so I might go there tomorrow morning. To have a Blueberry Bagel  is my one and only must before I leave

+

A dream of Greece

The days, and even weeks, are flying by so fast here. I will soon get you a review over the best restaurants I visited since my last update but first I must explain that this will not be a blog about good restaurants and experiences alone. (Why are there so many blogs writing only about  It is equal important to learn about the warnings out there, right?

So here we go – The Sunflower Diner (26th and 3rd), don’t you ever go there! In a moment of loneliness, extreme hunger and with a wish of transporting myself to Greece I went here (just across the street from where I temporarily stayed atm) to have a Chicken Gyros. Gyros brings me back to good memories, sun-kissed skin at Hydra, my best friend Cissi and with the enormous proportions of food I know American diners deliver I knew it was a safe bet.

I ended up with a Deluxe Platter which also came with fries and a greek salad. BUT – as you already guessed, I got so disappointed. The “Chicken” came as strips that looked worse than the attempts of making vegetarian food appear meaty. It was grey in the color and flavor-wise something uncertain. The salad was at least somewhat better than the forest served at Westville but the feta was fake rubber and salad is unfortunately not what you’re looking for when you desire a big stodge. Fries were of course damp and almost cold. I was very lucky I ordered a chocolate milkshake as well. It turned out this milkshake would make the meal of the night for me and I didn’t get transported to Greece – I stayed in the US where they at least know how to make a really good shake!

(The image does NOT belong to the food I ordered it is just a reminder of the look of a real gyros. I was to pissed at the moment to even think about taking pictures)

%d bloggers like this: