Category Archives: Restaurants

Phoenicia Diner – A Rebirth in Upstate New York

After my heart was broken when a sign at Sweet Sue’s said they were closed for the winter (something about losing their kitchen staff – what happened there?), we warily headed over to Phoenicia Diner as an alternative. I was worried because I stopped there to use their bathroom when I was last in the area, and back then it seemed like one of those outdated empty diners by the highway that have been forgotten by the world.

Corned beef hash skillet.

I was pleasantly surprised that a new energy had taken over the diner, turning it into a hip new joint boasting local meat and produce, promoting nearby artisanal companies, and giving away cool magazines on green, responsible living. A granola-infused wind quickly warmed my heart 😀 Continue reading

Giuseppina’s is the Lucali’s Alternative – South Slope, Brooklyn

I told you about Lucali’s right? And I believe I also told you about all my other pizza loves – Grimaldi’s and Patsy’s and DiFara’s. Lucali’s is definitely my new love (Beyonce and Jay-Z agree), but sometimes the 1-2 hour wait is not convenient. In that case, you should head over to Giuseppina’s over in South Slope, for something just as nice. The owners of the two restaurants are brothers after all.

Large mushroom pie. Extra garlic please!

Our Lucali fanatic friends insist that they can taste a difference between the two restaurants, but I surely don’t. Their calzones are just as crisp and light. The pies are thin, brick oven-baked, and not watery like Grimaldi’s often gets after a few minutes. The downside to Giuseppina’s is that they are not BYOB, so you don’t save on the booze, but our favorite Montepulciano is about $30, not bad divided by four or six. Being able to sit upon entry and even make reservations (What? In New York?) makes Giuseppina a convenient and more predictable pizza joint without the hassle.

691 Sixth Avenue (20th Street)
South Slope, Brooklyn
(718) 499-5052

Chasing an Andalucia High at Ventanas, New York City

We were chasing the high we got during our week in the Andalucia region of Spain, where we had the best churros, paella, tapas, and the best trip with my sister and her husband. The closest we could get to replicating our time in Spain was to make our own paella, or to find a close enough comparison.

Fortunately we had a Gilt City deal waiting when we got back and although we were skeptical that Ventanas would satisfy our Spanish cravings, we were happy to not be so disappointed.

Sardinas Fresca - Ventanas NYC

Sardinas Fresca – The sardines were fresh and delivered in a big portion.

Continue reading

El Pimpi Bodega Bar, Malaga, Spain

You don’t want to mess with a traveler’s first meal in the town they’re visiting. We landed in Malaga from New York via Paris in the afternoon, and after a couple of hours to unwind and a brief nap, we headed to town for our first bite. We wanted to get our trip off to a great start.

Anchovies over jam and toast, jamon serrano and cheese.

Anchovies over jam and toast, jamon serrano and cheese.

The first order of business was sangria, which reversed our evening of jetlag and travel malaise into one ready for adventure. We ordered some appetizers and toasted to our destination and all its possibilities. Continue reading

Favorite Things: Spicy Pork Bibimbap at Seoulfood Truck

Who doesn’t want quick, cheap and good? This formerly NJ-based restaurant is now a food truck serving midtown and Union Square. I order via Seamless for my office lunch (No lunch break: boo! Free Lunch: Yay!) for a reliable Asian spice fix with the plus of being able to select brown rice. Where else can you find a brown rice bibimbap? Nowhere.

Seoulfood’s spicy pork bibimbap is a treasure bowl of vegetables, pickled daikon and carrots, greens, kimchi, chili and spice. While their short rib and bulgogi leave much to be desired, the spicy pork is the star of this truck and is perfect in a taco, bun, or slider. I’ll take the bibimbap, thank you.

SeoulFood Truck
Various locations, find them at

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