June 30, 2009


Despite my intense love for meat, I also love tofu quite a bit. I also love Thai food, although I can't eat most of it because of my pathetic tummy. Pukk is the perfect place to go for that combination.

Suggested by our friend Crystal, Pukk is a vegetarian Thai place with a unique blend of flavors, spices and choices. They offer everything from to the regular Thai food - curry, fried rice, dumplings - but with they also offer an array of other options and twists on old favorites: spinach toast, mushroom puff, massaman curry with sweet potatoes, onions and peanuts. All the "meat" is made of soy - soy chicken and soy duck.

On my first trip to Pukk, I decided to sample as much as possible. I chose before I left work: coconut mushroom soup ($3), spicy spring rolls ($4), and market fried rice with tofu ($4). The soup was good - sweet and a bit tangy, the perfect compliment to the spice and saltiness of the spring rolls. The market fried rice was standard - with onion, chinese broccoli and black pepper, as well as eggs and a cherry tomato. The tofu was delicious, not too spongy but also not tough; it was cooked just right. The second time I went back with Crystal and got the market fried rice with tofu again. Although I like to try new things, I also get nervous at Thai food places...so it's better to stick with what I know won't make me sick.

A little small, but not usually too crowded, Pukk is a good place to go if you want to try a different spin on Thai food, and also enjoy modern decor and multicolored lights. The servers are very nice as well, and they're super quick. Might be why it's not usually too crowded. You get your food fast and then you're out of there. -Jennifer

We went to Pukk with some friends one night for dinner, and it was overall a crowd pleaser. The space is very long and modern with small tables and banquet seating lining one wall. The service was friendly and fairly attentive, but several people came by the table at different points which made it slightly confusing.

The menu is large, with lots of appetizers, soups, rice dishes and noodle dishes, and very reasonably priced. It's all veggie, but they offer meat-like options (chicken, pork or beef) and tofu. I ordered some spring rolls to share, which were crispy and had a nice dipping sauce. As my main dish I had the "chicken" Pad Se Ew, my Thai standby. It was very good, the fake chicken was fairly chicken-y and was a nice texture (weird texture is usually my issue with veg meat), and the noodles were yum. All-in-all, solid Thai food at nice prices.

I would definitely would recommend if you're in the neighborhood and in the mood, and aren't ravenous for meat. Then again, if you're ravenous for meat, I wouldn't recommend you leave the house. Order some mail-order steaks and do the world a favor. -Laurel

Address: 71 1st Ave (between 4th St. and 5th St.)

Payment: Cash, Cards

Delivery: Yep

Open Late: 11:30pm Sun-Thurs; 12:30am Fri-Sat

Large Group Friendly: Somewhat

Bar/Happy Hour: Wine, Beer

June 11, 2009


It is surprising how long it took me to eat here, considering Kush is literally across the street from my apartment. I had heard that it was good, and the menu looked interesting, and yet.. well.. the point is, I have finally been a couple of times for brunch, and now you lucky people get to read about it.

Their brunch menu has lots of options, one of my favorite being that you can get a plate with pancakes or french toast and eggs/meat. And you know that is what I did, being as I'm always torn between salty or sweet brunch. The french toast was standard but tasty, and the eggs were fluffy. The chicken sausage was good, but a little over-cooked. I loved that they served it all with fresh fruit, and it all made for a satisfying meal. The next time I went back I ordered the banana pancakes with sausage. The pancakes are big and very tall and fluffy. Honestly, they are more like cake, and were too sweet and cakey.. not my favorite.

One thing to note about Kush is the service. The seemingly main lady there is super nice and fairly attentive when she's overseeing your table. She also recognized us not only in her restaurant the second time, but on the street one night. There are some issues, though. There has been something wrong with the bill both times we've gone-- the first time they left one whole meal off, the second time they charged us weird prices.

Either way, Kush is still someplace we'll most likely be back to. For one thing, it's across the street. Also, the food is pretty good, and it has a nice and relaxed neighborhood feel. We'll report back once we try dinner sometime. -Laurel

This place is apparently known for its jerk chicken. At least that's what the girl who works there said. A lot. She was super nice, but slightly less attentive than I like. As Laurel said, she did recognize us, and that was cool. I like to be known in my 'hood. 

The food is pretty standard, and tastes pretty standard. I was impressed the first time we went simply because of the fresh fruit. You can't find a healthy option like that in the city most of the time. It's usually just a bunch of greasy (yummy, but greasy) food thrown on a plate. I, too, got the french toast with eggs, and instead of chicken sausage, I got turkey bacon. It was gross - really tough and chewy. Not a fault of Kush, as I probably should have just gone for pork. So that's what I tried to do the second time around, but the other nice, slightly inattentive waitres got it wrong, and brought me turkey sausage. It too was tough and chewy. However, the eggs were good, and the french toast was crunchy and super sweet, which I was in the mood for. 

As for the problems with our bill - the first time was fine, we just told them to add on the meal they missed. However, the second time was kind of a strange nightmare. Laurel got something far cheaper than me, and we both got "unlimited" mimosas. However, after I accidentally spilled mine on Laurel (thank GOD we live across the street so she could go change. We haven't always been that lucky), she didn't replace mine. At all. She didn't even offer to until the end of my meal when we had to go. I was kind of miffed. The miffation (Is that a word? It should be.) continued when we got the check. Our meals were both $14.95, although she got something far cheaper than me, and she got a side, which they charged an extra $4 for, so hers totaled out to $18.95. I'm honestly just confused and think that the waitresses make up their prices as they go. But let me reiterate: they are very nice. 

Despite the bill confusion, I will be back. It is very near our apartment, first of all, and second of all, they apparently have GREAT jerk chicken. I just won't be getting any unlimited drinks. We weren't anyway so I guess there's no real difference. - Jennifer

Address: 17 Putnam Ave, at Grand Ave (Clinton Hill, Brooklyn)

Payment: cash

Delivery: no

Open Late: 'til Midnight Monday-Saturday, 11pm on Sunday

Large Group Friendly: Yes

Bar/Happy Hour: Unlimited Mimosas or Bloody Marys for Weekend Brunch

June 6, 2009


This was the night of all nights. This was the night we were in Williamsburg to see King Khan and the Shrines. We decided to meet up early and grab a bite, and Erin from Laurel's work suggested Relish. I had seen it before, as it's a pretty noticeable place: it looks like a really swanky... trailer.

The inside has an expensive vibe, and it kind of is, but boy is it tasty. This diner-type restaurant offers a little of everything, much like any other diner in New York. However, it is set apart by its upscale and unique blend of all kinds of different foods: French, Italian, Greek, etc., all with a bit of an American splash. They offer everything from a Grilled Cheese Sandwich (with mozzarella instead of American cheese, and some basil, fennel and marinara) to Spicy Pan Roasted Grouper with grits. Their selection keeps going with a mix of different kinds of seafood, steak, pasta, and omelets.

Ravished with hunger, I wanted everything on the menu. Laurel and I decided to split the pork tenderloin, brussel sprouts and potatoes ($21). We also ordered a side of mac and cheese with bacon in it. I was skeptical about the mac and cheese, mainly because it seemed overpriced ($12). However, when it came out, I was in noodle heaven. Creamy in the middle with a crusty top (and perhaps a little too much bacon), this mac and cheese was the perfect meal in itself, if you are a big carbo loader. Our dining companion Casey got what I really wanted (mainly because I was still starving after splitting all that food with Laurel): Half Roast Chicken with Lemon and Thyme, with a side of yukon gold mashed potatoes and asparagus. The picture below makes it look small, but trust me: it was enough food for two people.

Top this off with Elderflower cocktails and you have yourself one slightly expensive but extremely delicious meal. Definitely check this place out if you're looking for a new spin on some old favorites. Maybe you'll even find a new favorite. - Jennifer

Things I remember most about this place: it looks like a big trailer, and the mac and cheese. As for the first, the inside has a long bar across one side and booths across the other. It's dark and pretty comfy, definitely nicer than any trailer I've been to. The service was fairly attentive and efficient. The menu is classic comfort food, but a bit fancier. It's a little on the pricey side, but the portions are big and we were pleased with everything we ate, so mostly worth it.

The entrees skew towards the heavier side, with options like meats and potatoes accented with creams and sauces, mac and cheese, and so forth. I would suggest you try the mac and cheese--it was excellent, and didn't need all that bacon (for once, I'd suggest sans pork). It is super cheesy and the crust on top is yum. The pork tenderloin had nice flavor but was just a bit over done, and the brussel sprouts were nicely cooked (as in, not too cooked). It was all-in-all a very satisfying (if not a bit much on the calorie-intake) meal.

Try this place out if you're feeling too skinny, or just want to wrap yourself in the comfort of cheesy goodness. -Laurel

Address: 225 Wythe Ave at N. 3rd Street (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

Payment: cash, cards

Delivery: no

Open Late: Sun-Thurs til 12am, Fri and Sat til 1am

Large Group Friendly: yes

Bar/Happy Hour: yes

June 3, 2009


We attempted to go to Superfine once for Sunday brunch, and after having such trouble locating it, we found it closed for a wedding reception. We made it back another Sunday during the 5 Borough Bike Tour, and found the huge space crowded with bikers and locals. We put our name on the list (they take reservations, and I'd recommend if you have more than two people or don't want to wait) and hovered by the bar. After about 20 minutes of being thoroughly entertained by bikers getting tanked before their last 12 miles, we were seated.

The space is huge and cavernous, with raised seating and the bar sunken down on the side. Paintings and colorful lighting adorn the walls and ceiling, and a pool table sits at the front while a stage anchors the back. The stage happened to have a 50's-style bluegrass band playing on it that day. They were great, and even told corny jokes between songs. If I could play slide guitar, spoons, anything, I would have begged to join their band.

The menu is standard prices, with some nice brunch options and a slight Mexican tilt. I ordered the Eggs to Order, which comes with homefries, salad and fruit ($6.50). The eggs were cooked just so, and the home fries were good. Solid brunch plate, all-in-all. I tasted Jennifer's breakfast burrito, which was huge, and totally delicious. They also offer homemade granola and yogurt, french toast, huevos rancheros, fish tacos, etc.

I would definitely recommend this place for brunch-- have some tasty food, a little hair of the dog, listen to some bluegrass, and head to Brooklyn Bridge Park. A perfect afternoon in DUMBO. I'll be back to do just that, and maybe get some drinks and dinner one night. -Laurel

The first time we ventured into Superfine, as Laurel mentioned, it was closed for a wedding reception. When I walked in to talk to the guy, though, he was very nice and explained that coming back next week would probably be best. So that's exactly what we did.

Full of eclectic decorations of bright lights, different leveled floors and slightly awkward pseudo family portraits, this place reminded me of a delightful country western, almost beach-y place from back in the day. And the band added a lot to that too. They were so cute, and if I ever had the chance, I would totally make them be my best friends. 

Unsure of what I wanted, I decided to go off my normal path of either eggs and homefries or french toast, and go for something that I never before attempted - Mexican breakfast. Granted (and admittedly) I'm usually slightly hungover when I'm eating brunch, so Huevos Rancheros has always sounded so gross to me. However, I'm still warming up to the idea of Huevos Rancheros, so I went for something a tad milder - the Breakfast Burrito, filled with scrambled eggs, sausage, green chilies, pinto bean all in a flour tortilla topped with jack cheese and salsa fresca. There is no turning back on the mixture of Mexican food and breakfast food now, it was absolutely delicious.

Although I wasn't very hungry when I sat down, I ate the whole burrito, which you can tell from the picture, was huge. It was the perfect combination of greasy Mexican and well, breakfast. Exactly what a Breakfast Burrito should be, I suppose. I'm definitely interested in venturing back to this place. In fact, just last week, I had a craving for some more. Will do soon, and would love to go back for dinner. Honestly, however, the band better be playing, because the experience just wouldn't be the same without. - Jennifer

Address: 126 Front St, b/t Adams and Jay (DUMBO, Brooklyn)

Website: http://nymag.com/listings/restaurant/superfine/

Payment: credit, cash

Delivery: no

Open Late: restaurant 11pm on weekends, bar until 4am

Large Group Friendly: yes

Bar/Happy Hour: full bar
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