February 25, 2008

Tiny's Giant Sandwich Shop

Either there was a dude named Tiny who owns a Giant Sandwich Shop, or this was the best oxymoron they could come up with. In my head, I pictured a door shoved between two large buildings and a sliver of an alleyway as a restaurant, completely overcome by huge pieces of meat, lettuce, tomatoes, bread - you know, sandwich stuff. What I got, however, was a pretty normal looking place, with adequate seating, and average sized sandwiches. Guess "Average's Normal Sandwich Shop" was taken.

However, I must say that in this overly hipster cafe, the taste certainly made up for the size. My vegetarian meatball sub was a little on the dry side, but very delicious (oddly enough, they didn't have a meat substitute). It was also cheap ($4.50 for the small size), and came with chips - although I was grossly disappointed by the number of chips. The chips you see in the picture above are untouched. I really think Laurel and I got 7 1/2 chips a piece.

Either way, this sandwich shop was well worth it, and the perfect place to sit down and have a long talk about the subtlety of Arcade Fire and write mean poems about your ex-girlfriend in the corner. Laurel and I, however, talked about the presidential campaign and Javier Bardem. Yes, I suppose we're still too indie for words. - Jennifer

According to something I read someplace or another, the restaurant used to be in a "tiny" location, but they moved and therefore the name is now stupid. Maybe not stupid, but their website sure is stupid looking.

I have to say I do like the space, though-- several small tables with window seats and a relaxed atmosphere. It would be a nice place just to relax when you and they are not busy. The menu has a good amount of hot and cold sandwich options, including make-your-own, and salads. I had a hot roast beef with sauteed onions, provolone and roasted red peppers. It was tasty--the roast beef was tender, and I would probably eat it again--but it needed a little kick. Maybe some spicy mustard? Just my two cents.

Our meals featured in the pictures above are the "small size," which was reasonable at $5 and would be a good sized lunch, or if you were like us and ate dinner followed by a bakery stop. They also offer larger sizes for most of their sandwiches, and lots of vegetarian options. All-in-all, a good place to relax with a sandwich and talk about The New Yorker. Yeah, we did that. Maybe NY is making us smarter.

Address: 129 Rivington (near Norfolk)


cash only

Take Out:

Open Late:
10pm daily


Large Group Friendly:
on a weeknight- maybe. a fair amount of seating is available.

Bar/Happy Hour: nope, but you can get some local sodas.

February 22, 2008

Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery

I love bakeries and I love desserts. Seeing the name Sugar Sweet Sunshine alone made me salivate.

And I wasn't disappointed-- the small, homey space (much of the furniture came from the owners' former apartments) is welcoming and filled with different sweets. There are lots of cupcakes to be had with different flavor combos, but I settled on a "Bob"- yellow cake with chocolate-almond buttercream. Besides cupcakes, which, by the way, cost $1.50 (it's typical to pay $4 for a similar cupcake in the city, which is nuts to me), they offer options like brownies, cookies and cheesecake.

They also offer banana pudding, which I tried first. A small the size of a to-go coffee cup, it's enough for two people and costs $4.00. It was sweet, creamy and delicious. The cupcake was also very good, especially for the price. The cake was moist, which can be hard to find with cupcakes, and the frosting was flavorful. I will be back to this place.

Cupcakes are probably the best thing God ever invented. Granted, you could probably argue that cakes are complete equals, as they are, in fact, the exact same thing, but I would disagree. Cupcakes don't judge you for getting too big of a slice, or for not being able to eat all of it and having to throw out the stale bits. Cupcakes are also portable, cheap and you can get a wide variety. In fact, I believe I only know one person who doesn't like cupcakes. In fact, he doesn't even like doughnuts. He is a crazy person, and his name is Matt Sullivan. We don't hang out anymore (mainly because I live here, but you get the point).

While Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery sounds like the makings of a terrible MTV show, it's actually one of the cheapest and tastiest bakeries we've found. Don't get me wrong - Crumbs is da bomb, but it's way expensive. My cupcake was a Sexy Red Velvet. It was hot and tempting and came...nevermind. It was moist and definitely not stale, but there was one problem - the icing was definitely butter cream, not cream cheese, which means I really just ate a vanilla cupcake with butter cream frosting. I also got a Black & White, but I gave it to Brett (I accidentally smashed it on the way home, and I didn't want it). I guess we could ask him if he liked it, but he would only try to compare it to the cinnamon twists at Taco Bell.

Oh, and the best part - there was this overly muscular guy in a white wife-beater behind the counter. I'm going to go ahead and say he's gay, but I have no backing evidence other than his rippling muscles and the fact that he works in a bakery. Also, the fact that I'm a judgmental asshole. Worth a peek if nothing else. Love always - Jennifer

ddress: 126 Rivington (b/t Essex and Norfolk)


cash, credit

Take Out:

Open Late:
kinda... 11pm on weekends

yes, through another service

Large Group Friendly:
not really- depends on how busy they are. comfy looking couches though.

Bar/Happy Hour:
nope, just coffee and such.

February 6, 2008

El Nuevo Amanecer

This may sound weird from people who don't live in Tennessee, but I miss authentic Mexican food. I'm dying (literally) without my chimichangas, burritos, refried beans, and most importantly, 2 for 1 margaritas. Laurel and I have been searching and searching for a good Mexican restaurant in New York, especially with a good drink special.

Laurel found this place - El Nuevo Amancer - a place that seemed very authentic and therefore - delicious. Inside is decorated like any sports bar, but instead of soccer on the screens (okay, I'm not trying to stereotype, but in every Mexican restaurant I've ever been in, that's all that plays) there was basketball. However, it was so dark, I could barely see a thing - hence the pictures turning out so bad.

Our food came fast. I, of course, got a chicken chimichanga ($9). It had absolutely no vegetables, which I like a lot, but it did come with a little something extra - bones. Perhaps that was a little more authentic than I could have hoped for. Either way, it was still good, but I couldn't eat the rest of it after finding that little gem. Also disappointing were the beans. I love refried beans, and these were neither fried nor refried (think Mitch Hedberg). Either way, I don't think I could eat their chicken chimichangas again, but I would be willing to try out a vegetarian option. Oh, and the drinks? We didn't end up getting any. We were saving room for crepes (see below). - Jennifer

I have indeed been craving good Mexican food. So much so that every time I go home I eat as much of it as humanly possible. And then I miss it again.

To be in Manhattan this place wasn't too bad, but we did both get a bit of chicken bone in our chicken dishes, which is just unpleasant to bite into. Oh, and the salsa was HOT. And I am not talking spicy, I am talking temperature. Confused? You bet I was. I will say the chicken itself was well-cooked and had good flavor. The refried beans were a little odd, but every time I have tried refried beans in the Northeast/NY they have been weird. It's a fairly big deal that they had them at all. The rice was good, but pretty plain.

I hear they have good margaritas, but we unfortunately did not partake. It is incredibly dark in that place-- I had a little trouble seeing my food.. or the menu.. or Jennifer. The service was nothing special, either. If you are desperate for something resembling Mexican, it's worth a try. Otherwise, for those of you who know better, you may want to wait until you get home. I'll keep searching in the meantime. -Laurel

Address: 117 Stanton St (@ Essex Street)

n/a (http://www.yelp.com/biz/el-nuevo-amanecer-restaurant-new-york)

credit, cash

Take Out:

Open Late:

yes, and catering

Large Group Friendly:

Bar/Happy Hour:
colorful bar, happy hour I'm sure

February 4, 2008


I have a bit of a thing for crepes. While living in Boston I frequented a small place called Paris Creperie that was, well, delicious. So I've been wishing for a replacement.. and I've almost found one.

The smell emanating from outside Creperie is enough to attract you into this place.
The teeny-tiny spot in the Lower East Side offers dozens of varieties of sweet and savory crepes with just a few seats. The menu includes fillings like sautéed mushrooms, ham, several cheeses, fruits and nutella. You can choose from the standard match-up of fillings from the menu or make your own. The prices stay in the reasonable range- $7 to $10.

I had a ham and cheese, which was a little overloaded with cheese but otherwise pretty tasty. The crepe itself was a nice thickness (pretty thin), but I do like mine a little crispier, and the crepe itself was a little sweet--which doesn't really lend itself to savory fillings. It was still good enough to draw me in for round 2-- a nutella and strawberry-filled crepe. I will say that their crepes are excellent vehicles for sweet tastiness, and I'd be down for going back to test some other varieties. Try it out if you're in the area--it's the perfect stop for a late-night sweet attack. -Laurel

I've never really had crepes before, but this was a fantastic first experience. I was feeling a little overloaded with heavy foods when we went, so instead of getting a "Savory" crepe with meat in it, I opted for the Pear, Walnut and Brie crepe. Let's just say - it was absolutely yummy. I did, however, have the same problem as Laurel; there was quite a bit of cheese inside.

The place is tiny, so I don't suggest taking a lot of people. We were being rather loud in the little space talking about "Project Runway" and "Make Me a Supermodel," and I kept noticing the cook cracking up at us. However, considering Creperie is in the middle of the Lower East Side, I don't necessarily suggest taking it out on the street with you either. No offense, LES, but you're a little dirty.

Even after my experience, I still wasn't sure about my feelings towards crepes, but when we decided to go back a few days later to get a "Sweet" one, I was sold. To be honest, gooey nutella with strawberries on anything would probably sell me, but inside a crepe, it was amazing.

Oh, and if you're ever feeling homeless, they make a new one every day to put on the plate outside, so you might want to stop by for some free food. - Jennifer

Address: 135 Ludlow St, b/t Rivingston and Stanton

Website: n/a (http://www.yelp.com/biz/creperie-new-york)

Payment: cash only

Take Out: yes

Open Late: yes! until 2 weekdays, 4 AM weekends

Delivery: yes, limited

Large Group Friendly: big no

Bar/Happy Hour: no
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