Thursday, April 30, 2009

Rodeo Bar

Since I've been craving some good Mexican food since our minor fiasco at Caliente Cab, I suggested we go to Rodeo Bar for dinner last night. Little did we know it was their Comedy night. Rodeo bar is a little dive bar we usually go to with friends for good drinks and for the free peanuts in the shells. The shells are usually found strewn all over the bar areas...which just adds to the charm. The restaurant/bar is divided into two sections, one with a big "normal" bar area and then restaurant tables, and then the other room with another bar that is actually an old bus covered in stickers...but makes for a fun bar...with a smaller set of tables and stage. We walked in and asked for a table for two and the hostess asked if we wanted to see the comedy show. No cover charge so we decided...sure. Well, those poor "comedians" weren't very funny and rowdy crowd by the bar bus wasn't helpful. Neither was the very large table of visiting Italians who all ordered steak and french fries at a Tex-Mex place. They eyed me with curiosity and perhaps a little jealousy when my sizzling pile of fajitas came out of the kitchen. Uhmmmmmmm...yum. Now, this is how chicken fajitas are supposed to be, super hot, and at $14.95 it was a steal to the $20- something at Caliente Cab..and there you had to pay extra for peppers! Bah! We had a yummy meal and only had to endure a little bit of bad comedy. Highly recommended. Fun, good solid long as the nazi hostess (that we encountered on one trip) isn't working.

To top it all off we happened upon a Donkin Doughnuts/Baskin Robbins just in time to snag a couple of scoops on their 31 cent scoop night. tastes better because it's only 31 cents. The poor dudes serving up the ice cream to a never ending line of cheap skates looked like it was their worst day ever. Mental note to buy icecream from that place sometime in the future...perhaps after our next night out at Rodeo bar.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Caliente Cab

Don't waste your time, Caliente Cab has over priced food and my burrito barely had any chicken, and it was supposed to be a chicken burrito. Might be an ok place to go for drinks and nachos. Otherwise just a poor substitute for other much better Mexican food at better prices. Their fajitas were over $20 bucks. Plus the waitress tried to tell me that they didn't have club soda or seltzer water, I had to try to explain that as long as their sodas came out of fountains and not bottles that they took a while but I finally won out. Not recommended.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Maxie's Grill

Last night we decided to try Maxie's Grill, the little off-shoot from the very nice Angelo and Maxie's restaurant. And we were very happy with our decision. I am recovering from pulling a muscle or two in my neck or seems to happen after I take pilates on Wednesdays...I must be doing something wrong. Anyway, I was still in a moderate to severe pain on Thursday when we decided to go, and the place was so much that it made me forget my neck least for a while. The complimentary hand-made potato chips were nicely seasoned and pretty crisp. And I also ordered the wings...which I don't think I'll do again (too soggy)...and the small Cesar salad...which was great. John ordered the Sirloin and the side order of Southern Fried Pickles...and he was happy as a clam. One day we'll have to make it to happy hour...from 4 to 6pm they have free (!) sliders. And on Monday nights they have a special for a draft beer and a burger for $10.95 sounds tasty. Angelo and Maxie's is a great place but it's a bit expensive, I like the vibe at the Grill and the service was great, and the prices are very reasonable.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Brunch at Cafe Joul

We had a long crazy weekend, an old classmate of John's from highschool, George came up with his girlfriend because they fell into some free tickets to West Side Story and the Marvelous Wonderettes. Since they only had three tickets to the show and West Side Story was sold out I went with them and John met us afterward. West Side Story was blah, it was very traditional, and just didn't have the wow factor of more modern and updated shows. It was dated when I watched the movie in highschool, and unfortunately it was very true to it's roots. The most interesting part of the show was the fake jeans...because I couldn't figure out how they could get their legs up so high in real denim. Also the microphones were distracting, we were like six rows from the front, and I don't mean to be a hater, but they were very noticeable. The main guy was really cute though and that helped. But that was Friday night and it was just the begining of a crazy weekend. After the show we caught up with John and then headed to Tao to meet George's other friend. We hung out there for a while then trekked to Sofrito's for dinner. Where everyone was getting hammered. We didn't get in until after 3 am. On Saturday we walked to Central Park and just chilled which was amazing, Central Park is so beautiful and even in a sea of a million other people it's so peaceful and the vibe is amazing....everyone was just enjoying the weather. After the park I walked with around with George and his girlfriend Shannon to do some shopping while John took Chalupa home. Then that night we went out for Mexican food at Maryanne's and then ended up at Lucky Cheng's. A tranny hangout, and the show was funny and the custumes were great. But I was not up for another night of being out til 4am, we made it home a little before 2. Then on Sunday we had brunch at Cafe Joul where they have nice big portions of bacon, and delectable brunch specials. My quiche was delish, and we got there just before it got packed and got seated right away. Then later that afternoon we saw the Marvelous Wanderettes, and the show was fabulous. We were very skeptical after the West Side Story yawn, it didn't help matters that we got there just when a big bus of old ladies unloaded but the Wanderettes were funny, charming and just a lot of fun. Loved it, I couldn't stop laughing, and those ladies work hard. I highly recommend this show, everyone will like it. but, by the time our guests left for their drive back to B-more I was exhausted....they just lead different lifestyles...and just the taste of it for one weekend was enough for me. I need a weekend to recover from this weekend. It was fun...but I'm glad my life is much more mundane, I'm happy to relax and drink with friends, but always getting dressed up to the nines to go out and party just gets tiresome to me...isn't that what college is for? To each their own.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cafe 50 West

So just around the corner from John's office is a little place we found called Cafe 50 West. Last summer we happened to stumble upon this unassuming little place after we has just given a tour of the new "space" it was still in disarray back then, with a lot of dust from the floor sandings, and patched up walls. My sister, her sister-in-law and her step-son and nephew-in-law, and John and I were walking around trying to figure out a place to grab a bite to eat. Since we were all starving and actually comtemplating going to the Olive Garden, it was a godsend when we found Cafe 50. It's a nice funky little place with exposed brick walls, and sturdy wood tables. They have a decent selection of mixed drinks and beer, and they have a nice cafe menu. Last night, I ordered the french onion soup and the grilled cheese. John ordered the soup of the day - Matzo Ball, and a burger. Both sandwiches came with home made potato chips that were a little too greasy, but my grilled cheese was delicious. And John loved his burger. The french onion soup was ok, I think it was a little too much of the same cheese (on the soup and in the grilled cheese) after that the broth wasn't very flavorful...but John loved his Matzo ball soup, it was like chicken soup with matzo balls. Looked great. It's a nice place to hang out. And when the weather's nice they have a few outdoor seating it's Chalupa friendly. Actually the first time we went to this restaurant someone had a little chihuaha in a bag with his head poking out, so this scored big points with us. :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Blue Smoke

Blue Smoke
bills itself as "urban barbecue" and it lives up to this. The restaurant itself is spacious, a little funky, and well designed. I love everything about it, especially the antique stars used as a room divider. And then there's the food...they never disappoint. I ordered the pulled pork and John ordered the chicken fried sirloin and everything was delicious. They also gave us free seasoned popcorn at the table to celebrate their new snack shop at the Mets stadium. It's a great place, years ago we actually had one of John's big end of the year thank your parties to his clients here at Blue Smoke, too bad I had to deal with a horrible, and nasty woman to book the party...I think her name Annie O'scanlan or something, it's too bad too because we would have loved to do another party here. But oh well, there are far too many good places in the city to have to deal with someone who doesn't want your business. I have to point out, at the actual restaurant we've always had great service. Recommended but a bit on the pricier side though, a good place to take out of town guests.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Good friends, good food and good times

Yesterday we met another J and A couple, Joseph and Amy out for Dim Sum, the lobby was super crowded again but the company made it pass faster. We gorged ourselves silly with yummy dim-sum goodness, and then decided to walk around and fritter the day away, first wandering through chinatown (the golden unicorn is located on East Broadway and Catherine streets), making our way to Billy's Antiques where we gawked at crazy props and dusty things, like the Zoltar machine suspiciously similar to the one used in the movie Big, and they still had the so-still-it's-spooky Rottweiler (a live dog) lying in between old furnishings. Then we ducked into a funky little bar called Von, and finally walked down Bleeker to the Peculiar Pub and dinner at Ponchitos. Where we enjoyed hearty mexican food and reasonable prices. Joseph and Amy were so nice to bring us a goodie bag filled with Easter candies and even a funny DVD we can't wait to watch. Thanks guys, let's do it again soon! The above picture is the prized possesion out of Easter goody bag. :)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Chalupa thinks flowers on Easter morning are nice....

but finding a soggy hotdog bun is even better. Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Brunch at Mud

We ducked into the Mud cafe to escape the rain and grab some brunch. We started off with chai lattes and they were delicious. Unfortunately the rest of the meal fell short. It wasn't bad but it wasn't great either. John ordered the banana pancakes, and I ordered the Mud panini. They both fell a little flat, some more seasoning would have been nice, and the pancake came with syrup already on it...which was dissapointing since John like most people like to control the amount of syrup they consume with pancakes. It was an ok brunch, the leaking ceiling they had over the porched in back area didn't help matters.

Friday, April 10, 2009


So the other night we tried to get into Rosa Mexicana but the wait was about 45 minutes, and since we were starving we decided to try our luck at the place across the street: Fusha. Fusha is not Mexican food, it's Asian cuisine, another Asian fusion place. It offers sushi, fried rice and a nice variety of interesting appetizers. I wasn't much in the mood for sushi, but I was a little wary about ordering from the tiny section on their menu titled, "Pan-fried Noodles". I decided to bite the bullet and go for it, I ordered the Thai Rice Vermicelli with chicken. And John ordered the Crsipy Jumbo Shrimp with Honey Glaze Walnuts. And we were both extremely happy with our choices. My dish was very similar to my family's home-made pancit, but I have to admit wayyy better. They added a little more spice and different veggies and the dish was so tasty and good....and filling. I had enough saved over for a small lunch the next day. John LOVED his dish, everything about it he savored. From the walnuts to the 'bed' of cantaloupe and steamed broccoli the shrimp was served on. The place also has a nice vibe, love the majong tiled column, and the birch tree divider. It's a little dimly lit, but otherwise a nice place overall and service was impeccible. Highly recommended.

Random photo from my archive

Monday, April 6, 2009

Chalupa's raincoat

A battle at the UN...

...between new construction and ancient sculptures.


Rice is a great little place, it's a small place that feels more like a cool diner than a fine dining restaurant, but with a well thought out menu. I ordered the Mexican Chicken Soup because I wasn't that hungry and JV ordered the French Toast with lime and bananas with a side of Naan bread with peanut butter. It's kind of an asian fusion place, with interesting and creative menu offerrings. The food is fresh and delicious and clean tasting, healthy but with plenty of flavor. If we lived closer to Rice we'd bet here a lot more often. But they have a few locations, so maybe there's hope they will open one a little closer to 52nd Street. Reasonable prices, good service, and yummy food.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Brunch at the Yale Club

So, after a semi-late night last night we had to get up early this morning for 10:00 brunch with one of John's favorite teachers who moved away almost 10 years ago. She is staying at the Yale Club, and invited us for brunch. Well, the views were spectacular, and the buffet was divine. All the fruit was perfectly ripe and delectable. And I happily noshed on my entire plate while we chatted and chatted and chatted. They even went back for seconds prompting me to go back for some more of the thin crispy bacon. Everything was good, the mini-bagel, the french toast, the home fries...the carbs were calling my name. Oh, and I almost forgot the mini cheese blintzes! So delish. A far cry from the Outback I know, but you know each day brings something different.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Chalupa with her toybed

Outback Steak House

So on Wednesday night I had horrible neck and shoulder pain, probably from something I pulled during Pilates class earlier that day. So I read online about neck pain and someone suggested that I roll up a towel and use it as a make-shift head brace to relieve pressure on my muscles. I had a horrible time sleeping on Wednesday night and got up in the middle of the night to try this towel trick as a last resort. On Thursday morning, when John opened his eyes, Chalupa wiggled over to him like she usually does and I told him, "that the reason why I'm wearing this is because I broke my neck." Which was a _slight_ exaggeration, but the pain was immense. He questioned, "what, what are you wearing?" And I replied and pointed to the towel around my neck, and again told him that it was broken. His reply? He said I should "eat a banana." What kind of response is that, I tell him my neck is broken and he tells me to EAT a banana, that's supposed to help with cramping not neck injuries. Bah.
But he made it up to me for dinner where we dashed into one of our secret guilty pleasures. The Outback Steakhouse, I know, I know, we are in NYC and there a bazillion places to go, and it's a chain and blah, blah blah. Back in Frederick, MD the line for the Outback was around the block (or really the shopping center...since it's more suburbs) and the wait was always like 45 minutes ore so. Here we ALWAYS walk right in, get good service, and good food for a really decent price. We walked out of there yesterday with a bill for about $30 and had nice big filling portions. I had the Chicken and Swiss sandwich...subbing the garlic smashed potatos instead of the fries--which aren't as crisy as I like, and John had the burger and a coke. You can take a girl out of the suburbs....

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but I think I've cracked it. Here is the photo of Chalupa again. Original caption: This is where Chalupa spends most of her day.

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Here' where I usually find chalupa during the day.
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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Please excuse these cryptic posts, I'm trying to get my phone linked to my blog, which seems to be working...but photos and videos are a bit more challenging...
First mobile post

Angelo's Pizza

Angelo's Pizza has awesome pizza, we often get them for delivery. The few times we've eaten in the restaurant itself we've always had bad/indifferent service, that's why I haven't included them in my blog. But on Sunday we were walking in the rain and our first restaurant pick Vero was a bad decision. Vero had a weird smell a little like kerosene and/or wood polishing oil. The hostess/waitress was wearing what looked like a black napkin, and it barely covered anything. And she didn't seem very comfortable in it either, It was cold and rainy out. I have a feeling her attire was probably requested by management. And when we opened the menu I was a little taken aback but not just by the prices, but that they had both veal and foie gras on the menu. Now, I'm not a vegetarian, but both of those food items are associated with unusually cruel treatment to animals. The last straw was the one thing I wanted to order, a panini made with black figs was not available. So, we left and decided to duck into Angelo's since it was starting to pour. We were quickly seated and UNlike other times are service was quick and almost friendly. Maybe it's the economic downturn, or the Angelo's management is finally catching on, but we were pleasantly surprised with our experience. I ordered the pasta with shrimp in the white sauce and it was delicious, with thin slices of garlic and I little scallion, it was amazingly good. And it hit the spot for a cold rainy night. JV ordered the Eggplant parmesan and loved it. Thanks Angelo's for a great night.