Top 5 Restaurants for NYC durning the Holidays

>> Monday, December 22, 2008

Here are some pictures I took this weekend of New York during the Holidays. After the pictures are my top 5 restaurants of choice for the Holidays (this is for you Emily!)

Here are my Top 5 Restaurants in NYC:

  1. Craft - Tom Collichio's flagship restaurant; American cuisine done right

  2. Novita - Italian food with a touch of flare in Gramercy Park

  3. Caracas Arepas - Venezulean Arepas at a unique East Village restaurant

  4. A Salt and Battery - Traditional fish and chips in the heart of the West Village

  5. Alta - I think Alta will forever hold a special place in my heart because it was one of the first places I ate in New York, but to this day I still think it has some of the best tapas in the city, not to mention its in the wonderful, West Village


Top Chef Talk

>> Thursday, December 18, 2008

So this week was another Holiday themed episode, and hey, I'm seasonal so I like it. The Quick Fire Challenge feature the goddess of all things domestic, Martha Stewart, and she tasked the chefs with creating a one pot wonder…

Here were the results:


  • Jeff – potato risotto (too starchy)
  • Eugene – Korean stew (didn't like corn syrup)
  • Fabio – polenta (couldn't tell mushrooms from polenta)


  • Hosea – paella
  • Jamie – scallop and kale
  • Ariana – beef on top of cauliflower puree

Winner: Ariana (SERIOUSLY, SERIOUSLY, I mean, she had Padma spit out her food)

So after Ariana wins immunity and the challenge is presented: Create dishes based on the theme of the 12 days of Christmas for an AIDS foundation for Guest judge Natasha Richarson


  • Jamie – 7 swans a swimming – crudo of scallop in vichyssoise with lemon agrumato, leeks and micro greens
    • problem: serve too raw, no one like temperature
  • Eugene – 5 golden rings - Poisson cru with pineapple ring and gold Yukon potato chip
    • too sweet
  • Melissa – 8 maids a milking – sourdough crustini and gorgonzola cheese with NY strip and cranberry vinaigrette
    • problem: all you got was cheese


  • Hosea – 11 pipers piping – smoked Pork tenderloin with chipotle mashed potatoes and apple brandy jus
  • Jeff – 10 lords a leaping – seared halloumi and kasseri cheese with roasted beets, pears, mint and spices
  • Stefan – 12 drummers drumming – chicken pot pies with English peas, white asparagus thyme and parsley
  • Radika – partridge in a pear tree – braised duck leg on toasted brioche with pear chutney and toasted pistachios

Winner: Hosea wins!!

Loser: NO ONE. Ok how lame is that? Holidays or not I still want someone kicked off, because, oh yeah, that's the point of the show. They always say "remember this is a competition" but yet they do things like this!!!!

I can only hope that in the next episode Melissa goes home. I don't know why, but she bothers me.


Walnut Basil Pesto

>> Tuesday, December 16, 2008

So as of last week I had never made pesto before. Straight up, I was scared. I was scared of the food processor. I mean how can anything that moves that fast be okay? I feel like once you turn it on you're done, there's no turning back, once it's in the processor it shall be fused together and become one forever -- whether you like it or not...

Acknowledging this fear, and being pushed by my desire for some delicious pesto, I decided to make some walnut pesto, using the food processor.

Ingredients (approximates of course, makes about 1 1/2 - 2 cups)

  • 2 cups basil

  • 1/2 cup walnuts (more if you like a nutter pesto)

  • 2-3 garlic cloves

  • 2/3 cup shredded parmesean cheese

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (approximately 1/3 cup)

  • Salt (to taste)


Ok not kidding this couldn't be easier. Basically you coarsely chop the walnuts and the garlic.

Then, you throw the basil, walnuts, garlic, parmesean and salt in the food processor. This may be the ONLY hard part, once the food processor is turned on, through the top SLOWLY start to add in the olive oil.

Overall, this process should take a minute, maybe a minute in a half.

Once its over you are left with delicious and nutritious walnut basil pesto. Slather this on a tortilla with some mozzarella cheese and there you go - pesto pizza (more on that later...)

Plus the green is just so jolly for the Holidays :)


Top Chef Talk

>> Friday, December 12, 2008

If you are just tuning in read my summary about last week's Top Chef.

So this week was a pretty good episode, I mean you could completely tell which dishes succeeded and which ones fell short, but that's ok because 3 out of my 4 team members did pretty well.

This week's quick fire was to test out the chefs palatte and have them face off against each other by challenging each other to name a certain number of ingredients...The first round was a shrimp and lobster boulibassie which actually contained 30 ingredients, but I believe the maximum "bet" was 7 ingredients. The next round was a thai basil curry sauce, and again this had a lot of ingredients, but I think 7 was the top again...

Then there were 3: Carla, Stephan, and Hosea. The last sauce was a Spanish Mole sauce. Carla got knocked out the first round and Stephan shortly after that, leaving Hosea (eh hem, on my team) to win immunity.

For the elimination challenge the chefs were tasked with catering Gail Simmon's (top chef judge and editor for Food and Wine magazine) wedding. The twist: the food must revolve around the 4 wedding themes of something old, something new, something borrow and something blue.

Here's a breakdown of the 4 teams:

  • Something old: Jeff, Stephan, and Hosea
  • Something new: Eugene, Danny and Carla
  • Something borrowed: Jamie, Radhika, and Ariana
  • Something blue: Fabio, Melissa, and Leah

The two standouts were something old and something borrowed.

Something old, used an heirloom tomato which sits old on the vine and created a trio of dishes around the tomato. Something borrowed, "borrowed" their flavors from Radhika, who is Indian, and a spice from Jamie's secret stash. They created a lamb dish with a spicy carrot puree.

I'm going to be honest, I didn't think the tomato dish looked that great, but everyone that actually tasted it really seemed to like it. However, the lamb dish, looked incredible.

In the end the "borrowed" team won and Ariana took home another elimination win (seriously... seriously...I can't believe she is still around). Jamie was NOT happy about that! She basically had such an attitude and thought that she should have won...

The something new group took the fall and Danny was sent home. I don't even want to talk about their dish, because I didn't understand it at all.

I am really hoping the weak continue to be picked off and this competition starts to get really heated...

What are your thoughts on this season??


Top Chef Talk

>> Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ok so I love Top Chef. I've loved it since season 2 when Sam Talbot stole my reality TV heart and showed me more reasons to love food. In fact, I would credit Top Chef to igniting the flame in my foodie heart.

This season is no different. With each season the Chefs are getting better and the bar set higher. Some people that appeared to be super weak in the first two episodes have gone on to redeem themselves (eh hem Ariana).

Each season Jef and I do a pseudo-fantasy Top Chef team. This year I chose:

  • Fabio - the little Italian that has proved himself as tough competition
  • Hosea - the Colorado Chef that has studied under Wolfgang Puck and has stumbled some, but looks promising
  • Jeff - the pretty boy from Florida who is Chef de Cuisine of The DiLido Beach Club
  • Radhika - the Fench and Indian trained chef with a nack for spice and bold flavors

Even though I had to pick second I am really pleased with my team this season...

Anyways we are into the 4th episode of the fifth season and already had some interesting challenges. This week for the quick fire challenge the chef were asked to create a breakfast dish using Rocco DiSpirto's favorite ingredients (bacon, bread, eggs, overall nothing that unusual) but to make it an amuse-bouche (a single bite appetizer). The standouts were:

  • Leah
  • Jamie
  • Stephan

Leah ended up wining and scored immunity. For the eliminated challenge the chefs were tasked with creating a 2 minute demo of their dish with the prize of winning a spot on the Today Show demonstrating their dish to millions of Americans. The winner would be chosen by the Today Show crew (Meredith, Kathy Lee etc.)

The stand outs were:

  • Jeff - his middle eastern flavored roll
  • Fabio – seared tuna with roasted carrots and balsamic glaze
  • Ariana – New Jersey beef steak tomato, watermelon, and feta

The bottom three:

  • Jamie – frisee salad with duck egg, bacon
  • Melissa – habenaro shrimp
  • Alex – crème brule

Jamie suffered from an undercooked egg and a bad attitude when she realize it, Melissa shrimp burnt everyone's palette and Alex decided to do an impossible task - create a creme brule in an hour. In the end it was time for Alex to pack his knives and go. Ariana ended up winning (which I think was only because she created the most generic dish that everyone could like).

This season is starting to get interesting and the weakest players continue to be knocked out. Should be interesting as the season progresses!!


Happy Belated Thanksgiving

>> Sunday, November 30, 2008

Hello all my Foodies!

Don't hate me. I know I didn't call, I didn't write...I'm sure that you, much like me, were swamped over the Thanksgiving Holiday. I was fortunate enough to celebrate Thanksgiving three times and am definitely feeling it now, which is why I wanted to start a new segment this week, focusing on healthy alternatives just before Christmas. Consider it an advancement on my New Years Resolution...

Tune in this week, should be several good recipes, and my take on this season's Top Chef.

Hope everyone had a great Holiday!


Happy Birthday Elizabeth!

>> Thursday, November 20, 2008

My best friend in the entire world turns 24 today :) I know for a fact that her favorite cake is a red velvet cake with cream cheese icing, but only her mom can make it just right.

So tell me, what is your favorite birthday treat?

Whoever tells me the best recipe. I will prepare myself and write a review. International fame awaits you!!! Yes, I have fans in Canada...


Levain Bakery

>> Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I have something to admit, I lied. I wrote about Magnolia Bakery a couple posts ago and I said it could be my favorite desert place in New York.

I lied. I have a new favorite and this one, well, is just undeniable perfection.

Warm, gooey, with a good crunch on the outside, everything a cookie should be, and um, not to mention HUGE. You can tell that the Levain Bakery has spent a serious amount of time mastering their recipe.

I first learned about them from Jef and later on Throwdown with Bobby Flay (of case you haven't noticed this is often where I find my material) and this weekend presented itself with the perfect opportunity. A blustery cold day calls for one thing -- a warm cookie :)

This tiny bakery tucked off of Amsterdam on the Upper West Side, just lends itself to being loved. There are 4 varieties of cookies, Chocolate Chip Walnut, Oatmeal Raisin, Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip, and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter all for $3.75. I went with the obvious choice of chocolate chip, and couldn't have been happier.

I will say this though, I honestly couldn't get through half of the cookie they are HUGE, like giant calorie monsters. I would recommend splitting one and going back for seconds if you have to.

Move out of the way, Magnolia, when I have a sweet tooth, it's all about Levain Bakery.

Levain Bakery
167 W 74th St
New York, NY 10023
(212) 874-6080


Favorite Thing About Fall Winner!

>> Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ok I'm going to be honest, I couldn't pick one...I just so appreciate everyone's effort that I have decided to post them all!

Beth Sellers

What Makes Me Think of Fall:When its starts to get cold outside I am instantly reminded of my Dad's homemade Brunswick Stew. Hearty and delicious it just warms you right up!!!! Here is the very simple recipe below - makes a huge pot that will feed plenty!!!!!!

Bill's Brunswick Stew Ingredients:

  • 1 large pot

  • 1 lg. can boneless white chicken breast w/water (near the tuna fish)

  • 2 cans Castleberry's Pork BBQ (my dad says it must be Castleberry's)

  • 1 can cream corn

  • 1 can whole kernel sweet corn

  • 1 can small green lima beans

  • 1 can sliced white potatoes

  • 1 lg can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 sweet onion

  • Saltine crackers

  • Tabasco sauce

  • Worcestershire Sauce

  • Butter

Sauteed 1/2 sweet onion in oil, 1 tbsp butter, and a touch of Worcestershire Sauce in the large pot you will use for cooking.

Once onion is ready add in can goods (do not drain any of them except for the sliced potatoes) Stir in ingredients on Medium heat. Add 1/2 cup of water and stir well. Place lid on pot and Simmer for about 30 minutes - stir often. Add salt, pepper, and Tabasco to taste. Serve with Saltines and enjoy on a cold winter day!!!!!!Love you Frugal Foodie!!!


Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread (Or Cookies!)

Makes 3 (9×5″) loaves (1 loaf= about 8 Jumbo Cookies)

  • 3 cups sugar

  • 1 T ground nutmeg

  • 1–15 oz can pumpkin puree

  • 2 tsp baking soda

  • 1 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

  • 2/3 cup water

  • 1 cup miniature semi-sweet chips (don’t add in until after you stir the flour mix well.)

  • 4 eggs

  • 1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

  • 3 1/2 cups flour

  • 1 T ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour three 9×5″ loaf pans. Combine all dry ingredients in large bowl; set aside. In large bowl, combine sugar, pumpkin, oil,water, and eggs. Beat until smooth. Blend in the dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate chips, and nuts, if desired. Pour batter into prepared loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks before removing from pans.

I love, love, love this bread. I usually use more chips than it says and never have used nuts.

Meagan Parker


One of my favorite parts about Halloween is carving pumpkins. However, my least favorite thing to do when carving pumpkins is scooping out all of the insides… even though I find it mushy and gross, inside I find one of the best kept secret treats of Halloween: Pumpkin Seeds

1) Separate the seeds of a freshly carved pumpkin from any of the mushy inside.

2) Heat the oven to 350

3) Put the seeds on a paper towel and let them dry for a few minutes.

4) Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

5) Put the seeds on the baking sheet in a single layer. Then sprinkle the seeds with salt, garlic salt, onion powder, seasoned salt or any other spice you desire. ** Personally, I like salt and garlic salt to keep all those witches and warlocks away…

6) Cook the seeds for 10 to 20 minutes, or until brown and slightly crisp, turning once.

There you have it! A yummy and healthy snack perfect for fall


Here is a delicious recipe for the fall...MAUI SPAM MUFFINS Recipe By : Serving Size : 8 Preparation Time :0:00Categories : Sandwiches Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

  • 4 English muffins, split-and toasted

  • Butter or margarine

  • Prepared mustard

  • 1 cn SPAM Luncheon Meat,-thinly sliced (7 oz)

  • 1 cn Pineapple slices, drained-(15 1/4 oz)

  • 1 sm Green pepper,-cut into 8 rings

  • 1/4 c Firmly packed brown sugar

  • 2 ts Water

Heat oven to 375'F. Spread muffins with butter and mustard. Overlap SPAM slices on each muffin half.Place a pineapple slice and a green pepper ring on each muffin. Combine brown sugar and water; spoon over sandwiches. Place muffins on baking sheet. Bake 10minutes. Serve hot.


Magnolia Bakery

>> Wednesday, November 5, 2008

This impulse decision to head to Magnolia Bakery could not have come at a better time.

This West Village establishment has made its name by creating the most delicious cupcakes in all of Manhattan. Yeah, I said it, most delicious.

It's been on shows like Sex and the City and for good reason. These little morsels are so moist and the icing is a creamy, buttery dream.

When you walk into the store you'll immediately notice the size. This is the true definitely of a bakery; quaint and filled with baked treats. Next you'll see the tray filled with all different sorts of cupcakes and boxes neatly stacked near by. Grab a box, fill it up, and head to the check-out counter.

I opted for a straight up yellow cupcake with vanilla icing and could not be more pleased. I knew that I wasn't going to get the freshest cupcake because it was 10 pm on a Sunday night, but still Magnolia did not disappoint.

Surrounding the bakery there is a park where you can still and enjoy your treat, much like I did.

Overall, going at 10 pm had it's pros and cons. Pros - not having to wait in line; Cons - not the freshest of cupcakes.

I would recommend Magnolia Bakery to anyone looking to satisfy a little sweet tooth :)

Magnolia Bakery
401 Bleecker Street
(212) 462-2572


Which Political Cocktails Are You Drinking?!

>> Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Will it be the Obama-tini or the McCain-tini.

These election cocktails are sure to make a hit at any political party so check it out and let me know what you'll be drinking!


Political Cocktails - The Perfect Drinks for Election Night

>> Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Well it's that time of the week I enjoy the most, the weekend (or almost). As I'm sure most of you know this Tuesday is a BIG DAY, it's election day of course. Since I'm sure people will be talking about politics all this weekend anyways, what better way to speak your political beliefs than through a couple of cocktails :) This past week, I received some recipes for two martinis that are sure to please no matter who you're voting for!

The first is the McCain-tini


  • 4 Fresh Cherries, muddled

  • 1½ oz. Zodiac Vodka

  • ½ oz. Pomegranate Juice

  • 1 oz. Fresh Sour Mix

Muddle Cherries in shaker. Combine remaining ingredients in shaker with ice. vigorously and strain loosely into martini glass. Um, YUM!

Now for the Obama-tini


  • 8 Fresh Blueberries, Muddled

  • 1½ oz. Zodiac Vodka

  • ½ oz. Blue Curacao

  • ½ oz. Fresh Sour Mix

Muddle blueberries in shaker. Combine remaining ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain loosely into martini glass. Garnish and serve.

Think of all you'll say with a martini :)

Don't forget to talk to me about fall!!


Red Wine Mustard Vinaigrette

This was another part of my wonderful 4 course dinner that Leah made me the other night.

Packed with flavor, this vinaigrette could make me eat any salad. Toss with some gorgonzola or bleu cheese crumbles and you're done!

Ingredients (this will fill a salad dressing bottle)

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 chopped shallot
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 the juice of a lemon
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • pepper to taste


First, mix everything together except the olive oil.

Once mixed together, while constantly whisking, start slowly adding in the olive oil.

Once the mixture starts taking the olive oil (you will see distinct lines running through the mixture, not balls of olive oil on the sides and top) you can start adding in the olive oil a little faster.

However, if you add in the olive oil too fast, the mixture wont take the olive oil and you will break the dressing. Leah has informed me that this dressing is technically called an emulsion. Basically its when you mix two things that dont go together, you force them to combine.

I took pictures of my pretty salad and the finished dressing, but unfortunately I forgot my camera today so check back tomorrow.


Top Posts

>> Tuesday, October 28, 2008

For those of you new readers joining us I thought I would re-post the top posts that most readers are coming to the Frugal Foodies for...

  1. Bulgogi Recipe - A great easy recipe, and a wonderful introduction to Korean Food

  2. Sweet Tea Vodka - A great product, while you can mix with two sisters sweet tea (it might be overkill, but I like my stuff SWEET) this is also great with water and a lemon
  3. Pipa Restuarant - By far one of my favorite places in the city, read up for your next visit or if you live in New York go tonight!
  4. Nikko's Charlotte - One of my favorite places to go when I visit Charlotte. Great sushi and atmosphere
  5. Purple Moon Cheese - this cabernet soaked cheddar is sure to become a favorite


Zucchini and Asparagus Crudi

I know you read that title and thought "I don't know about this..." Let me tell you something. I DO. I know that this is amazing and that's because I ate it last night, at my home, which I am now referring to as "The Restaurant," because the meals I ate eat there surpass restaurant quality.

Anyways, Leah made me this delightful salad or crudi.

It's as simple as it is delicious.

Ingredients (for 2-4 servings)

  • 1 large zucchini

  • 1 bundle of asparagus

  • 1 lemon

  • Shredded Parmesan

  • Olive Oil

  • Salt

  • Pepper

Directions (total time: 20 minutes)

To get your zucchini in that fancy shape couldn't be easier. Simply take a peeler and start shaving off layers and layers of zucchini. Once you've peeled the desired amount of zucchini move on to the asparagus.

Break off the ends of the asparagus. Do this by grabbing the asparagus at the middle and end and bending so the pressure causes it to break. Then run your knife down the middle of the asparagus splitting it.

Place the zucchini and asparagus in a bowl and toss lightly with some olive oil (shouldn't take a lot). Then squeeze half a lemon (to get the most juice, roll the lemon first, then when squeezing hold the lemon upright so no seeds get in the mixture) and add some Parmesan.

Plate your delicious salad and top off with some more Parmesan!

This dish could not be healthier and I've never understood the appeal of being a vegetarian but after that meal, I can understand why.


Talk to me about Fall

>> Monday, October 27, 2008

I know it may not feel like Fall everywhere, but in New York it most definitely is!!

So what I want to know is what are your favorite things to make/do in the Fall? Anything that you will only eat during September, October, November? What are your favorite recipes?

My favorite fall treat has been Leah's Pumpkin Fluff.

So leave a comment with your favorite recipe/story/craft/whatever and whoever writes the best one will get to be featured in a post!!


BLT Burger

>> Friday, October 24, 2008

I had the pleasure of venturing to another BLT location, this past Wednesday for my birthday. I wanted to go someplace a little low key, but still a bit more upscale (an oxymoron I know.) As you remember a while back I wrote about BLT Prime and talked of its ambiance and delicious bread puffs. This experience was just as wonderful, but on a different scale.

BLT Burger is in my neighborhood and I pass it often. It's unpretentious and just as inviting as any other little shop that lines the lower part of 6th avenue. Once you walk in you feel as if you been transported to a little diner, with a bar to the right and booths and tables to the back.

We are seated promptly and begin to look at the menu, and after only 2 minutes of looking, I know exactly what I want (Lex, who was kind enough to take me to dinner, got the same thing.) We ordered typical burger joint food, with an upscale culinary twist:

  • American Kobe Burger - American Wagyu

  • Vidalia Onion Rings

We both got our burgers medium rare, mine with monteray jack cheese, bacon, mayo (which I dont really even like, but I felt the need), ketchup, mustard and red onion, and Lex's with the whole sheband, tomato, onion, lettuce, pickles, mayo, ketchup, mustard, bacon, and american cheese.

From the moment that burger hit my lips, it slowly melted away until the final bite. Cooked to perfect with the ultimate balance of fat and meat. The onion rings, were perfectly breaded and fried, a little hot at first, but once we could calm down and let them cool down, they were perfect. Uh, utter perfection.

Finished off with a pumpkin beer, it was the perfect birthday dinner.

Thanks to everyone for the best birthday week ever!!


A Salt and Battery

>> Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I knew this was going to be good when I realized I was the only person in this tiny Greenwich Village shop that didn't have an English accent. Listen, I'm not trying to say that good Fish and Chips are hard to find, I'm saying that excellent Fish and Chips is beyond a rarity in the realm of fried food, but yet A Salt and Battery gets its right.

Jef and I first heard about this place from an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay, and knew it must have been amazing since they dominated Bobby.

When you first walk into the shop the first thing you'll probably notice is how tiny the space is, then you see the menu on the wall and probably hear the hiss of delicious fish and chips (don't you dare call them fries!) being dropped into hot oil.

The menu is genius in it's simplicity, you chose a type of fish (I believe there are 6) and either the small or large portion. Do you want chips? Duh. A large to be precise. Then you wait 10 minutes and before you know it, the food can't hit your lips fast enough.

The fish is tender and flaky with a crust that is crispy but light, and not overly greasy (I don't know how they do it!) with the perfect tarter sauce and the chips. Oh the chips. They are freshly cut with perfect thickness and that combo of crunchy and mushy that I LOVE.

While having national fame, this place keeps true to its roots, providing authentic fish and chips to Americans who love fried food for a reasonable price. Most fish filets are between 5.75- 6.25 and chips are 3.75 - 5.25.

A Salt and Battery
112 Greenwich Ave
New York, NY 10011
(212) 691-2713


Calling All Foodies

>> Wednesday, October 8, 2008

So here's a question -- I am wondering if anyone has ever tried one of these recipes?

If you have please email me and tell me what you think...I'm interested to see how it turned out, what you would change, etc.

New posts will be coming tomorrow and for the rest of the week. Hopefully some good dining will happen this weekend!


Good Restuarant

>> Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Just like the name says, this place is. I guess when it comes to Manhattan most names for restaurants have already been picked. I like that this restaurant went for a title that truly says what they're all about -- good food.

Not great, not outstanding, just good, and overall I would have to agree. I ventured to this West Village eatery on a Sunday afternoon looking for a nice, homecooked brunch and that's exactly what I got:

  • 2 buttermilk biscuits

  • 1 bowl of jalapeno grits

  • 1 side of homemade sausage

The biscuits we fluffy and buttery, the grits were light and spicy (just the way I like it), and the sausage was homemade and filled with different texture and herbs, some of the finest I've had, and with three links there was definitely enough to share (too bad I was alone...)

Sitting by myself at the bar I had a great vantage point of being able to check out everyone in the restaurant and on the street. I read my book and ate in peace. Basically the perfect Sunday brunch in New York City.

Good Restaurant
89 Greenwich Ave
New York, NY 10014
(212) 691-8080


Post Coming Soon

>> Monday, October 6, 2008

My real job has gotten in the way of everything the Frugal Foodie is about -- cooking and eating.

Not to worry there will be a new post this afternoon!!

Thanks for continuing to read! I'm getting my act together I promise.


The Frugal Foodies now on Facebook!

>> Sunday, September 28, 2008

You read that right. This frugal foodie has created a facebook page!

Everyone that reads this blog and is on facebook must immediately become a fan...or stop reading.

I'm still trying to work out the kinks, but pretty soon it should be the greatest page on facebook!

Thanks to all my loyal readers, you are really making the Frugal Foodies a U.S. sensation! I've been read in almost every state, and even some Canadians have found something they like!

Thank you most to my wonderful friends in Charlotte, Birmingham and Atlanta, these 3 cities are constantly in the top ten cities that read The Frugal Foodies!

get on facebook and join now!!


Honey Soy Glazed Tilapia Recipe

>> Thursday, September 25, 2008

The theme of the week is simple and delicious recipes. This one could be my new favorite of all time. I made this for the first time last night and it was so ridiculously easy, and full of flavor.


  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

  • 1 tbsp honey

  • 1 tsp ginger (freshly grated if you can)

  • 1 tilapia filet


Set the oven to broil, and move the rack to the 4th rung (dont want it to burn!)

Mix together soy sauce, honey and ginger. Salt and pepper each side of the filet and lightly brush over both sides.

Place fish in oven for 5-7 minutes.

There you have it! Delicious and sooooo easy.

Seriously, this was a new recipe for me and I loved it, the fish stays moist and then ginger offers just the right zing.


Purple Moon Cheese - Product Review

>> Monday, September 22, 2008

Is Cabernet soaked cheddar as good as it sounds? Absolutely. This delicious treat was a great find (by Jef) at the grocery store.

This young cheddar is soaked in a California Cabernet making this cheese the perfect blend of sweet and sharp. The strong taste of cheddar is complimented by the Cabernet and is perfect with some crackers as a little snack.

I'm one of those people who can have a bite or two of cheddar then quickly grow sick of it, but this kept me coming back for more!

Next time you are looking to spice up cheese and crackers, I highly suggest Purple Moon.

Check them out:



>> Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Oh. My. Goodness. If you weren't dining with Leah and I on Monday night you missed out on an incredible meal. This was the personification of perfection. Seriously, perfection.

Nestled away off of Park Avenue, there is a little Italian eatery, Novita (pronounced no-vee-TA), which has quickly become my favorite Italian restaurant in NYC.

Everything from the service to the decor is straight up Italian. The wine selection is impeccable and the food is unbelievable.

We ordered a lot so bare with me, I'll go over my favorites, but I promise everything was delicious and thoughtful...


  • Carpaccio di manzo con tartufi neri - Kobe beef carpaccio with arugula, parmigiano and black truffle
  • Insalata di carciofini - Fresh baby artichoke salad with mushrooms and shavings of parmigiano

  • Squash blossoms - battered in cornmeal and deep fried stuff with ricotta cheese and served with prosciutto (pictured left)

  • Tuna wrapped in phyllo dough - flash fried and served with reduce balsamic vinegar and a spicy aoli sauce**


  • Branzino con carciofi - Pan-roasted sea bass with artichoke fricassee
  • Salmone alia griglia - grilled salmon with crisp potato carpaccio, sweet onions and black olives**
  • Vitello alla Milanese - Veal Milanese-style with rucola and tomato
  • Spaghettini neri ai frutti di mare - Black spaghettini with mixed seafood in spicy tomato sauce
  • Strozzapreti al pesto - Homemade strozapretti with pesto, pinenuts and shavings of parmigiano
  • Orecchiette con salsiccia piccante - Orecchiette with spicy sausage, broccoli rape, and tomato sauce


  • Sorbetti misti - Homemade mango, strawberry, and lemon-mint sorbet
  • Tortino di cioccolato - Individual warm chocolate tart with pistachio sauce and white chocolate gelato
  • Tiramisù - Espresso soaked biscotti layered in mascarpone cream and cocoa**
  • Cheesecake - Homemade with marscapone cheese, served with a raspberry sauce

As you can probably see we had a large party in tow (Leah's mom's friends were with us and I'll say this, dining would not have been complete without them, they are a RIOT! Soo much fun!!), anyways we ordered A LOT, but I will just talk about my favorites...

Tuna with phyllo. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Basically they take sushi grade tuna and wrap it in phyllo dough, then flash fry it so that the outside is warm and crispy and the inside is still rare. Served with a balsamic reduction and spicy aoli, this is the perfect way to start the meal off! I would order two, its just amazing.

For entrees my favorite was the salmon with potato carpacchio, onions and olives. My salmon was cooked perfectly and the skin was left on (in my opinion the most tasty part) and the olives and onions added the perfect hint of sweet and salty that I crave. It was light, delicious and served along side some sauteed vegetables.

Dessert. Ah, dessert. The final frontier. It's hard to mess up dessert, but it's also hard to make the perfect tiramisù and yet Novita in their infinite wisdom has perfected this after dinner treat. It's the perfect blend of the strong espresso taste and the light, fluffy marscapone cream. Definitely a must.

Overall, the dinner was great, the wine never stopped flowing, the company was to die for and I didn't walk out completely stuffed. It was just, perfection. Appetizers range from $10-15, entrees from $16-25 and desserts from $8-10.

A special thanks to Leah and her mom for this fabulous night!

102 E 22nd
New York, NY 10010
(212) 677 - 2222


Novita - Restaurant Review Coming SOON!

I promise. Things have been crazy lately!! Later today, check back around 1 EST.



Solvay Cares Scholarship

>> Monday, September 15, 2008

Now I realize that this has nothing to do with food, but its for a good cause and I like good causes.

Solvay Cares is a scholarship awarded to students with cystic fibrosis. For those of you who may not know, Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States. Today, more than 40 percent of people living with CF are aged 18 or older.

So what I need all my foodies to do is to go to: and vote to help one finalist go on to win $10,000! Each scholarship winner has received an initial $2,500 for entering their artwork and essays to help finance post-secondary education.

Their stories are great and definitely worth reading!

New food posts tomorrow but just thought I'd share with everyone this great cause!!


Cheese Dip - The Ultimate Football Snack

>> Friday, September 12, 2008

Last weekend I was in Charlotte with Jef and we somehow concocted this amazing cheese dip that must be tried by everyone. It tasted like fondue and queso combined, thus amazing.


  • 1 beer can (you'll use about half so drink the rest)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1-2 cups shredded monterrey jack cheese
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (just a splash really)
  • 1 jalapeno (chopped)
  • 1 smoked pepper of your choice (chopped) (we chose pablano, but any will work)


In a sauce pan on medium low heat add the butter and let melt, then add flour and whisk vigorously to make a rue. A rue is basically just equal parts flour and butter and just adds a thickness to the sauce.

Once the rue starts to bubble add a splash of cream, and about a 1/4 of beer to get everything off the bottom of the pan. Then add in garlic and a handful of cheese. Whisk everything together and wait till melted. Then add in peppers. You will basically repeat this step till all the ingredients are gone and everything is gooey and delicious.

The hard part is not "sampling" the whole dip before it hits the table.

It seems like this is hard, but its really not, just a lot of whisking and sampling till you find the right taste. I promise it'll make watching football me.


Basil Gnocchi with Peas and Onion

>> Thursday, September 11, 2008

So this recipe just kind of came to me. There's no rhyme or reason just some things I threw together that I thought sounded good! Let's get started!


  • 1 shallot or small sweet onion
  • 1 small can of peas
  • 4-5 mushroom caps (any kind you like)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup marscapone cheese (if the have marscapone with basil - GET IT! So good!)
  • 1 package of basil gnocchi (regular gnocchi is fine, really any pasta will probably be good)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of butter
  • Splash of white
  • Splash of heavy cream
  • Basil (if you can't find the cheese or gnocchi with basil in it)


Corsely chop the onion and garlic and add to a frying pan with butter or medium-low heat. Sautee for a couple of minutes until tender and clear, do not burn the onion or garlic.

Next add in the mushrooms and let them sautee for a while until tender. Then add a splash of white wine and let that reduce for about a minute or two.

When the wine is cooked out turn all the way down to low and add in your cream and cheese and let the mixture sit together and get gooey and delicious.

While your mixture is melting together, get a pan of water boiling (don't forget to add salt!) When the water comes to a boil, add in your package of gnocchi. They should be ready in 3-3 1/2 minutes (basically once they float to the top.)

Once the gnocchi are cooked drain them and add to your cheesey, delicious mixture. Toss around for minute and then serve :)

I promise its so good and easy you will be sure to impress anyone. While this is a pretty heavy dinner, its great heated up for the next day.

If you have any recipes you would like to submit the Frugal Foodie is always looking for new great recipes!


Recipe Post Coming Later Today!!

I'm a little busy at work right now, but I promise a new post is coming today!


Let's Talk Gnocchi

>> Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ahh gnocchi, I don't know why my mother and father (who are both Italian) deprived me of this in my youth, but let me tell you, since I have tasted this delectable treat, my life has been better.
Gnocchi is basically the Italian name for a variety of thick, soft noodle, pasta, dumpling, whatever you want to call it. It comes from the word 'gnocco' which means "lump", nocchio, a knot in the wood, thus gnocchi.
You can toss it in ANYTHING, I mean literally, pestos, tomato sauce, cream sauce, anything that would be good with pasta will be good with gnocchi, possible better.
So there you have it, next time you go to an Italian restaurant or anywhere you see it on the menu, give it a try, you won't be disappointed.


Corn Dip

>> Thursday, September 4, 2008

So this is my go-to dip for any party. It's delicious, easy and always a hit.

Here it is!

1 can white showpeg corn
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup (or less depending on your taste) Mayonnaise
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 - 1/2 finely chopped sweet onion
Salt and Pepper

Combine all ingredient and chill, salt and pepper to taste. Eat with tortilla chips and your welcome!


Lunchbox - The Perfect Tailgate Drink

>> Thursday, August 28, 2008

With football season rapidly approaching I felt that a cocktail centered around a tailgate is the perfect drink.

Listen, we all know bloody mary's, screw driver's and mimosa's, but what about a lunchbox? Yesterday Leah suggested this drink and after having tasted it, I can agree, its great!


  • 1 shot - Amaretto
  • 1 Beer (you'll only use about half)
  • Splash of Orange Juice

Fill a 12 ounce glass with about a 1/2 a beer to get it be about half the glass. Then add a few splashes of orange juice (make sure you leave about 1/4 of the glass empty) and if you are a chugger drop the shot of Amaretto in the beer/orange juice mixture, and start chuggin! Personally im not a chugger, so I prefer to sip on this tasty little concoction.

Either way this is a gaurenteed way to mix up your tailgating routine! I know that I will be partaking in a few lunchboxes this weekend!


Hal's -- Atlanta

>> Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Today we have a great post from my number one publicist, Bethany. We we talking last week and she brought up an excellent point: there are foodies all over the country and not just where I am. I had thought about this earlier in the year but never capitalized on it -- GUESTS POSTS! I know a few people sent in recipes and I promise they will get posted, I wasn't as diligent as I should have been, but you will see your name in bright text, no worries.

Without further adieu here is Bethany's review of Hal's in Atlanta!


Their slogan speaks for itself, I ate at Hal’s for the first time last week and I can honestly say that Hal’s is one of my favorite restaurants in the whole city. It might be Atlanta’s best kept secret. Walking through the doors brings you back to an era-gone-by where “supper clubs” and “speakeasy’s” ruled the country. Warm, dark and cozy is hard to find in Atlanta these days, especially paired with an energetic nightly band that serves up a mixture of Motown music and anything ranging from big band New Orleans style jazz to Beale Street blues. Hal’s golden era atmosphere mixed with superb culinary creations of steaks and seafood was just what I was looking for.

Enough about that and on to the food….for an appetizer we ordered two things, the first was Oysters Bordelaise which are lightly dusted, flash fried oysters in a buttery crab sauce (this was amazing) and the second was Shrimp Remoulade with crab covered in a tangy Creole sauce. Next we had the Iceberg Wedge salad’s (Melissa I thought about you and how much you would love this). This was not any old iceberg wedge, it was the best one I have ever had. Covered with creamy blue cheese dressing, crispy bacon and tons of baby blue cheese crumbles. Sounds basic but I assure you there was nothing boring about this wedge, it was a tasty explosion of goodness in every bite. For the main course we had a 14 oz. bone-in-filet which was cooked to a “rare medium plus”. I like to think of myself as a steak connoisseur and this was melt in your mouth delicious. The bone gives it great flavor and it was cooked just how I like it…absolute perfection! The sides I would recommend are white truffle macaroni and cheese and of course asparagus.

It's moderately priced with most appetizers under $10 and entrees ranging from $21 - $35, so good for small dinner for two, or a party of twenty I recommend Hal’s to anyone in the market for a restaurant with a great atmosphere paired with an even better meal.

Enough said: Hal’s slogan got right…this is one restaurant I will be returning to for life!

30 Old Ivy Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30342
(404) 261-0025

Many thanks to Bethany and this great post, especially when I am feeling a little under the weather :)


New Posts Tomorrow!

>> Monday, August 25, 2008

I'm feeling a little under the weather today (probably allergies but could be something else), but don't fear, I had two incredible meals this weekend so I will be back shortly :)


Squid vs. Calamari - Same or Different?

>> Thursday, August 21, 2008

Let's be honest, who doesn't love calamari? If you haven't tried it you obviously should, its delicious. As most of my dear foodies know, calamari is squid. However, is a squid necessarily calamari?

This question was brought up over dinner this past weekend so I did a little research. Basically calamari is the name of particular types of squid, however, the term is widely used to describe the rings of squid that can be prepared using any species of the squid family.


Caracas Arepas - Restaurant review

>> Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Let me preface this by saying you know something is good when you go for lunch then go back for dinner. Yeah, that's happened with Caracas Arepas. Jef and I had seen Caracas on an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay and immediately knew that this was someplace that we would have to try.

Now for those that don't know (and I didn't till I saw this episode), arepas are flat cornmeal patties which can either be grilled, baked, or fried (yum!) and basically they stuff the arepas with all different kinds of meat and cheeses.

Located on the corner of 7th and 1st ave, Caracas fits into the delightful urban mix that is the East Village. Ethnic food is everywhere and the streets are lined with tiny eateries that are sure to be someone's favorite and Caracas is now mine.

I'll just start with dinner, because while Jef and I did go for lunch, it was a warm up, we did dinner the right way.

So to start off the night right we decided to get the Venezuelan interpretation of Sangria, a light wine and fruity mixture and get some appetizers:

  • Yoyos - deep fried balls of sweet plantain stuffed with white cheese with a deliciously sweet honey dipping sauce

  • Guasacaca & Chips - Venezuelan style guacamole with chips

The yoyos were so sweet Jef and I both stated that it could probably be a mild dessert but delicious none the less and who doesn't love guac and plantain chips? Everyone, duh!

Now we made the mistake at lunch by ordering only one arepas. As it turns out that will not fill you up, unless you don't like to eat and we do. Arepas are smaller, almost like a tiny pita, so basically you need to order two if that is all you're getting. Since we got two appetizers, I ordered one and Jef ordered two:

  • De Pabello - shredded beef, black beans, sweet plantains and aged cheese (pictured right)

  • La de Pernil - roasted pork shoulder with tomato slices and a spicy mango sauce
Basically what I am trying to communicate is arepas are a little piece of Venezuelan heaven in your mouth. The arepas itself is bread that is sweet, crunchy and yet soft. I don't know how it works and I don't care its beyond ridiculously good.

If you are interesting in trying a new cusine, I would highly suggest venturing into Venezuelan, its not a far departure from Mexican, but completely different techniques and flavor profiles.

I should also mention this place is a great value for all you're getting. For the two of us to eat it was $47 with drinks, 3 arepas, and 2 appetizers! Yeah, for us thats the cheapest dinner we've had...

In case you don't think I loved it, check out the pure bliss stretched across my face as I try and devour the arepas...amazing. Thanks to Jef and his amazing photo skills :)

Caracas Arepas Bar
93 1/2 East 7th
New York, NY 10009

Check for hours of operations, the restaurant is open at 5, but they do have a smaller to-go place next door open all hours.


Dearest Foodies...

>> Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dearest Foodies,

It's a little busy today but more posts to come! I promise!

Hang tight, had lots of interesting eating experiences this weekend...


New York Food and Wine Festival

>> Thursday, August 14, 2008

UMMM Yeah I'm excited.

The list of celebrity chefs that will be there is just unreal (Bobby Flay, Rachel Ray, Paula Deen etc.), and the events look promising.

If you are in the city, you should definitely make plans to go and buy tickets now! October 9 - 12 -- SEE YOU THERE!


Cafeteria - Restaurant Review

>> Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ah Cafeteria...drunk, hungover, sober, it will accommodate all your needs and in any state of mind. Ladies you may be saying "where do I know that name from?" No, it is not a reference to your elementary school, it made an appearance in an episode of Sex and the City and for good reason -- its AMAZING.

Just ask Kara, one of my dear friends that came to visit. To set this up, this is one of those Saturdays where you just hate your life. I'll be the first to admit, I have calmed down a lot since college, and since Kara just got her Masters, so she brought college with her and I just couldn't keep up. Anyways, seeing my state Leah and Annie knew that we needed to head to Cafeteria.

Since its the summer Cafeteria has its windows, which look like glass garage doors up, and a lovely breeze swept through the bright white, clean Chelsea eatery. We were quickly seated and I decided that blackberry vodka lemonade is needed ASAP (this later proved to be fatal), but at the time it was perfection.

This time I did it right and so did the other girls, here's what we ordered:

  • Grilled Cheese with bacon, tomato, served with homemade chips and tomato-basil soup

  • Buttermilk waffles with cinnamon cream and fresh berries

  • Mac Attack - tasting of all 3 macaroni and cheeses which include smoked gouda with bacon, truffle oil, and cheddar and fontina

Honestly I know Annie got something good (sorry Ann!), but I really can't remember because as I said earlier the blackberry lemonade turned on me quickly.

I've been to cafeteria drunk, sober, and hungover and each time have had the best experience. If you want comfort food with a avante garde twist, I highly, highly suggest Cafeteria.

119 7th Ave
New York, NY 10011
(212) 414-1717


Blueberry Lemonade - Cocktail Time!

>> Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Its news to me but I'll take it -- Vodka Lemonade's are this summer's drink (aside from Sangria of course!!) What better way to say goodbye to summer then to go out with a BANG?

This cocktail is sure to make you the hostess with the mostest (well, at least after a couple of drinks you may think so!)

As you know I don't measure anything and just pour till I think something will taste good, but trust me on this, you wont be disappointed.


  • Blueberry Vodka (I prefer Stoli's)

  • Lemonade (Crystal light works well)

  • Champagne (Cristal if you have it, if not Andre will do :) and this is optional )


In an 12 oz. glass (a tall drinking glass will work fine) pour 3 oz. of Blueberry vodka (approximately 1/4 of the glass) over ice. Add about 8 oz. of lemonade (just almost to the top). Then top the drink of with a little bit of champagne. Stir if you want, mix if you want, you know your likes, but the bottom line is DRINK!

Hope this summer drink provides you with many a good time!


Happy Belated Birthday to Bryant and Tracy!!

>> Monday, August 11, 2008

Happy Birthday to Bryant and Tracy! I know you both celebrated in style!

I guess this will be a test to see if you even read The Frugal Foodies...haha


BLT Prime

BLT Prime

Let me start this off by saying this meal was conducted with a method I like to call “eating by observation.” I was feeling a little under the weather at a dinner celebration for Annie’s birthday at BLT Prime, but came to say goodbye (SAD!) and again Happy Birthday.

I did eat some appetizers and saw the entrees so I feel that this gives me the power to review. Plus its my blog, get over it.

BLT (which stands for Bistro Laurent Tourondel) Prime is nestled on a side street off of Park Avenue and when you walk in there is a butchery right there. Literally racks of meat just hanging behind glass. This should give any diner confidence that their meat is top of the line. You don’t put your product out for everyone to see if it’s not up to par.

We sit comfortably at a table for 5 and as I look to my left I realize that in the midst of this nice restaurant there is the menu right on the wall, like calling foodies back to the mothership.

A true foodie, Leah takes the reins of this dining experience and starts to order some appetizers. In the meantime, our server brings us some bread. Oh and when I say bread I mean steaming hot “puffs” that looks like they should be in some sort of trippy book from the 60s (imagine the mushrooms from Alice in Wonderland, slender at the bottom but overflowing at the top.) Not kidding these things are HUGE. You break open the bread and a cloud of steam just rising from the clearly fresh baked puff. Butter is melting so fast over the rough terrain of the bread; it’s all I can do to stop the melting from getting all over me. This was one of those experiences where I had to mentally tell myself to slow down. I couldn’t get the bread in my mouth fast enough. Amazing. They give you the recipe. Trouble.

Then the appetizers come

  • Tuna tartar with avocado
  • Lobster cobb salad
  • Crab cakes

This is one of those time when nothing was my favorite. How could I pick when everything was DELICIOUS. Seriously, if I didn’t exert some sort of self-control, my face would have been buried in the dishes and I would only come up for air.

Well since I wasn’t feeling good before I came, the fact that I have very little self control and continued to eat definitely didn’t make me feel better so I left shortly after that, but the good news is I was around for the entrees. Leah and Annie both got the filets and they come with sauces, so they got the bearnaise, chimichurri, and 3 mustard.

Although I didn't eat I can safely say that diners will not be disappointed. Everything from the service to the incredible bread, was magnificent.

BLT Prime
111 E 22nd St
New York, NY 10010
(212) 995-8500



>> Monday, August 4, 2008

Good news foodies, I have been extremely well fed over the past week, which means lots of reviews for you!

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting up with some good friends to celebrate a birthday for Miss Annie. A foodie herself she had picked Tom Collichio’s (yes the Top Chef judge’s) Craft. Craft is the flagship of the Craft brand which extends to include Craftbar, Craft Steak, and Wichcraft (an extraordinary sandwich restaurant that specializes in being awesome)

Annie and her family are my favorite kind of diners, sharers. They believe in ordering what you want, but be prepared to share, and do not order the same as someone else – duh, you’re sharing!
So that is what we did, and basically set the tone of go big or go home.

  • Japanese Wagyu Carpaccio

  • Hamachi tartar

  • Yellowfin tartar

  • Frisée & Coppa (my order, by far the weakest. I know, I know.)

  • Sweetbreads

  • Pork belly ravioli

So let’s talk about my favorite, the Wagyu Carpaccio. Um, I never thought I would say that a piece of meat would melt in my mouth, but that is in fact what this delectable little teaser did, simple melted in my mouth and left me wanting more (the sign of a incredible dish, or a fatty, I don t know). There was some sort of salt/cheese mixture on the bottom that just enhanced every ounce of this rare treat. Nice job Scott!

On to the main course…I don’t know why I brought my C game to dinner, but I did and had a craving for bass, going against my better judgment of ordering something unique. Everyone else was on point

  • Bass

  • Tai Snapper

  • Cod

  • Aged steak

  • Short rib

Basically everyone’s was a winner except for mine. It was by no means bad, but just a little bland (Tom Collichio, I know). The snapper had some berries with that provided the right pop just as you placed the fish in your mouth. The short ribs were so tender and flavorful I could have eaten the whole thing. The steak, oh the steak, talk about melt in your mouth. Aged for days, that sucker was ready to be cooked and devoured. The cod was fantastic as well.
Honoring Annie’s birthday we had the tart and chocolate soufflé with a special “Happy Birthday Annie” decorated across the top :)

Overall, a true dining experience with everything from the wine to the company. Thanks to Annie and her family!!

900 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
(212) 461-4300


Happy Birthday Annie!!

>> Friday, August 1, 2008

Happy Birthday to my dear friend Annie, who has provided me with many culinary experiences!! Be looking for new posts soon!!


So High Tech...

>> Monday, July 21, 2008

Foodies, please note that I have added an RSS feed to my blog so now you can always find out the latest Frugal Foodies news but just adding to your iGoogle page.

I promise to update constantly now that I have my life back in order! Thanks to my loyal readers!!


Restaurant Review - Blackbird's Chicago

>> Sunday, July 20, 2008

I know its been a while. Dear Foodies, please accept my sincerest of apologies. I've done some traveling in our time apart and one of my trips was to the Second City, (honestly its kinda becoming first to me...) Chicago.

Having only been once in my life on a high school art history trip, I knew that Chicago would be a whole new experience. I was correct. I was basically visiting the city for the first time.

The whole trip was amazing, but I think what stood out the most was the incredibly dining experience I had at Blackbird.

This restaurant is definitely not for the faint of heart. You walk in, and enter this railroad style restaurant where you can see everything; the kitchen, bar and basically the whole dining room (I would say a 50 person capacity). Minimalism is definitely a theme. The walls are stark white as are the tables, the servers are dressed up much like the patrons, you can barely detect them in the crowd. Its a little crammed but having lived in New York for this long, I barely even notice anymore.

The Food. Oh the food. I can honestly say that out of the 20 or so items on the menu there was one component in each dish where I had no clue what it was. We started out with Endive Salad (endives, crispy potatoes, basil, dijon, pancetta and poached egg), which was really beautifully presented, wrapped in the crispy potato, then the server came table side and like a surgeon carefully dissected the salad and chopped and tossed together. After this I knew coming here was the right decision, who goes through all this trouble for a salad. People who are on the top of their game, that's who.

Here is what we order for the rest of the meal:

  • Crispy confit of swan creek farm suckling pig with local soybeans, baby artichokes, preserved lemon and pork rinds

  • Slow-roasted alaskan halibut with grilled cipollini onions, royal trumpets, cripsy pancetta, asparagus and miso

  • Braised rack of lamb with fresh chickpeas, spring radishes, pickled feta and lovage

Overall, this could be one of the better restaurants I've eaten at in my life. There is just something you have to respect about every component that is on the plate. Each dish was thoughtful, creative and most importantly DELICIOUS!

Be aware though, go with a hefty wallet, such fine dining does not run cheap, but it was completely worth every penny.

619 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 715-0708


Cocktail Time! - Sweet Tea Vodka

>> Thursday, June 12, 2008

This is something to get excited about. My friend Beth wrote me an email talking about Firefly's Sweet Tea Vodka and I kept think how delicious that would in Two Sisters Tea!!

So dear foodies, spice up that sweet tea recipe from yesterday with a little sweet tea vodka and I think you have the perfect summertime drink!

Visit for more information.


Recipe - Two Sisters Tea

>> Wednesday, June 11, 2008

This recipe is from Elizabeth's mother, Mrs. Allison, and is the finest sweet tea I have ever had. I promise you I didn't like sweet tea until I allowed this delicious nectar to grace my lips.

Without further adieu, here is the recipe...

Two Sisters Tea (makes about 2 quarts)


  • 4 regular size tea bags (not family bags)

  • 4 cups boiling water

  • 6 oz. can of lemonade

  • 1 scant cup sugar

  • 4 cups of tap water


Pour boiling water over tea bags. Cover & steep for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove tea bags after steeping. Add a 6 oz. can of lemonade, 1 scant cup sugar, & 4 cups of tap water. Stir & refrigerate.

**For mint tea: add mint to tea bags, pour boiling water over to steep. Remove mint & tea bags.
**Diet tea: use Splenda instead of regular sugar.


Restaurant Review - Southern Hospitality

>> Tuesday, June 10, 2008

When Lex told me that the SEC Happy Hour was to be held at Southern Hospitality, Justin Timberlake's "Southern" Restaurant on the Upper East Side, I was more than apprehensive.

I decided to go, mostly to mix and mingle and maybe eat a little bit.

When I got there I was overwhelmed with the themed decor, you can definitely tell someone was trying to set the Southern vibe, which for me was a little over done. I will admit, however, the smells from the food passing me by did look more than appealing.

We decide to sit and eat, and I am telling you dear foodies, if you go here for true Southern BBQ, you will not be disappointed. Yes, you read that right, JT did his homework and apparently got some recipes from his grandmother to help compile the menu. She is a wise woman. It was great.

Here's an overview of what we ordered taken straight from the menu (note: These portions are HUGE, I would definitely share)

  • Haystack Onion Strings - thinly sliced yellow onions, golden fried and piled high served with our homemade dippin' sauce

  • Baby Back Ribs - slow smoked and brushed with our bbq sauce

  • Macaroni And Cheese - a dinner sized portion of the classic served bubbling hot and nicely browned

I realize that this is only three items, but between four people we couldn't finish everything. The service was great, the food outstanding (I am still thinking about those onion strings) and an amusing ambiance, that while overdone was entertaining.

Southern Hospitality
1460 2nd Avenue b/t 76th & 77th
New York, NY 10021
(212) 249-1001


Mississippi in the Park

>> Monday, June 9, 2008

There's nothing better than finding a piece of home in NYC. For me, it was this past weekend at Mississippi in the park, a day in Central Park with people from all around Mississippi. For those that don't know I spent 4 glorious years at the University of Alabama, and while I realize this is not Mississippi, when 4 out of 6 roommates are from the Hospitality state, you tend to

Anyways every June people from all around can gather and get a sample of a Mississippi lifestyle. Blues band, catfish, watermelon seed spitting contest (I kid you not...), its amazing.

This year was no different the catfish was fried to perfection, thanks to a special catfish frying team that drove all the way from Madison, MS with a frying station attached to the back of their pick up truck. The hushpuppies were AMAZING, slightly spicy with a sweet onion taste -- thankfully they only gave us three or I would have eaten them all. This meal couldn't be complete without sweet tea, and thankfully McAllister's was there to quench our thirst.

Despite the heat wave (the first of many 90 degrees days in NYC) everyone was gathered under a tree, listening to blues music and having a great time in Mississippi by way on Central Park.

For more in formation check out:



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