Monday, June 23, 2008

Grey Dog's Coffee


Well, it's finally time for my first bad review. Grey Dog Café in the West Village will be the proud recipient of my ire, and for a wide array of reasons. I'm going to make this easy. You and your party have to stand in line and place your orders, so no time to start on that cup of coffee while you decide. You and your party have to bring all silverware, condiments and napkins to your table. You will not be given a glass of water (I've never been somewhere that didn't). You will pay more than if you had gone somewhere and had an actual waiter.. The food was ok, but I think I paid around 16 bucks for a couple scrambled eggs, 2 pieces of French toast and a mediocre cup of coffee. Extremely not worth the money or time. I understand we're in the west village, but come on here people. Its like anyone can put on good tunes, hire 'hip' looking people, and you'll be a hot brunch spot regardless of food and service. I'll stick to the diners, thanks. By the way, if I have to go downtown and deal with hipsters acting better than me even though they have some menial job like a café host, I'm going to start another blog to deal with that.

Very overpriced/overrated.
Service: Can you rate something that doesn't exist?
Minuses: Crowd, employees, seating system.
Bonus: Errrr, the music they played was ok?
Verdict: I will absolutely never be back.


Sunday Brunch. Usually the furthest Jim and I venture for Sunday brunch is pancakes in the kitchen or across the street to Renaissance. This Sunday we made the brave trek down to the village to meet friends and cousins at Grey Dog. Oddly enough, three out of the six in our party had been here before, but didn't remember until we got there. What exactly does that mean? Probably a forgettable experience, you say? Sadly, I wish it had been more forgettable friend. I have an affinity to bohemian coffee shops with dog art on the walls and baked goods. Alas, The Grey Dog has been annihilated my list for its poor service and its poor, poor (head shakingly poor) modus operandi.

Price: About right for the village. 6 people, about $90?
Service: Total bust. Dirty hipsters greet you into the bedlam of pandemonium. You tell them how many in your party. You are ushered deeper into a line that looks like its for drinks? You order at the counter between the bathroom and a small nook with dinnerware, napkins, syrup. You sit, wait and are served eats, but do you leave tip? I saw the staff asked a two top to move over so our party could sit. Then asked them how much longer they were going to stay. For shame.
Luckily we received the row of seats by the open storefront but that meant I was unable to make my way to the tiny nook for a small packet of Splenda. Portions are sizable. Especially the 1-inch thick slices of bread. Now, I love when a place has huge, triple sized, heart attack inducing, thisistheresasonAmericansareobese portions, but the sandwich slices seemed excessive to me. Maybe because it didn't taste that great, but I left most of it on the plate.
Bonus: It's a nice neighborhood to walk around in afterwards. There's fun, quirky art on the walls and they play good music. (Jim is just a snob)
Verdict: Was it our thoughtlessness in bringing six people? In our defense, we went at 1:30 in the afternoon. Brunch rush should be over by then and us lazies can stroll in. The bewildering system of ordering a sandwich still floats question marks above my head. The food? Not much of anything. And Jim says we can never go back.

Grey Dog's Coffee
33 Carmine Street

Blue Point

Looking for the perfect mix of a decent menu and available outdoor seating can be a tough task, but Blue Point Seafood on 9th Avenue was sufficient in both. To start, the atmosphere was perfect for a summer night, having a table on the sidewalk. I understand it is a seafood restaurant, but the lack of at least one non-seafood appetizer was a little disappointing. With that, we went with a Caesar salad to start. Nice, but nothing special. For entrée, I was able to find a beef selection in the form of a skirt steak with fries. When the dish was served, the presentation was very nice, and the portions were plentiful. The steak was cooked and seasoned perfectly, and the meat was extremely tender. Overall, great summer place to go, seafood lover or not. Price: My steak dish was $18. For what I got, I had no problem at all with the price. You will definitely pay more than this for meat at equal or sometimes less quality.

Service: Is it me or does it always seem like the service is juuuuust a tad off when you sit outside? The service here was definitely not a minus, but not a plus either.
Minuses: No non-seafood appetizer. They should always have one for someone such as myself.
Perks: Entrée was terrific. Outdoor seating is always a huge plus.
Verdict: I'll be back next time Ann wants seafood.

Saturday night was one of those supercool summer nights that make you thank your luckyfreakingstars we live in the city with a billion restaurants, people dressed up for Saturday nights and the drunk people on the street at 7:30pm. Nothing is more entertaining then people watching. Except of course people watching while eating. Hence, our choice of the Blue Point on 9th Ave., seafood and quasi French with outdoor seating. In the past, I've always avoided this restaurant. The vertiginous combination of neon blue and green spewn over its front, further buttressed by a disco-esque shimmery bar has never exactly made my insides growl. But when Jim agrees to a seafood restaurant, you do not say no.

Service: A little too attentive? It puts me on edge, but nothing negative or interesting to say about it either way.
Minuses: The description on the menu told me what came with my monkfish, but not how it was prepared. Also, I dont think anyone asked Jim how he would like his steak cooked? I could be mistaken. The Caesar salad was a little too wilted and warm and under seasoned. Boring italian bread slices.
Perks: Entrees were fantastic! Monkfish seared with basil corn and shrimp sauce was a perfect summer dish. Jim's skirt steak was unbelievable. So was the salad it was served with. Tiny little sliced radishes and dressed well. Excellent!
Verdict: Don't judge a seafood restaurant by its flashy gay bar looks!

Blue Point
622 9th Ave.



I have been anticipating the arrival of NYC ICY for quite some time now, and that usually means disappointment. However, this delightful dessert spot was all I had hoped for. After meeting the owner who was very nice, we headed in and tried to take in all the selections. There are two types of ice; one being the classic water-ice-in-squishy-white-cup stuff we all know and love, and of course, the creamier gelato type. After sampling a few, I had to go with the Hazelnut Chip. It was perfect. Nice portion for a large cup, creamy, great flavor. It was so good, I went with it again the next day, though I got a scoop of white chocolate in there too, which was a perfect combo. I'll be rooting hard for this little gem, as the neighborhood might prove to be a tough task for long term success. But then again, my newfound love for that Hazelnut Chip might be enough to keep them afloat.

Price: Very large cup for under 4 bucks, great portion.
Service: Met with owner and spoke with servers, all very friendly.
Bonus: Situated on 10th avenue at 44th street, it might not get the exposure it deserves. Better alternative than ice cream for your summer indulgences.
Verdict: Good chance I'll be there if you go.



Since Jim and I have been waiting for this opening since last year, I was very eager beaver to head down to 44th on Friday
. Since I couldn't wait until after dinner, gracious Jim indulged my Friday afternoon yearning. At first glance it's pretty sparse, with just a few chairs outside and in. We owner Suzie and she was very nice to us and my dog ,even offering to hold her while we ordered. I love that. And if you've never had NYC ICY before its basically italian ice, with ICY (nondairy) and Cream ICY (a little bit of dairy) flavors. I dislike flavors like chocolate sorbets, so I was weary of try the diary. Instead, I opted for lychee. IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT.

Price: Ranges from $2.50 to $5.50. Pretty good considering your choices like Pinkberry can run you $15 for 2 people. Crooks!

Service: EVERYONE is nicenicenice! The nice girls can recommend flavor combinations and offer to give you half-and-half's if you cant decide between 2 (Jimmy).

Tasting! NYC ICY offers you as many tastes as you like. Not like those gelato nazis like at Cones who are mean if you want to taste 2 flavors. FASCISTS!
Downfall: 10th ave is a far walk for most people, but I think they've opened an outpost in Brooklyn. (but that's far too)

Verdict: LOVE. I loved it so much, we went again the very next day. And they remembered my dog!


628 10th Ave.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Woorijip, located in koreatown, is a great deli/market for all your Korean favorites. While the mass of people might seem intimidating during lunch hours, the 4 cashiers keep even the longest lines moving rapidly. The takeout packages are very convenient when taking it to go, and the selection of food caters to even the pickiest of eaters (me). When you're not in a hurry, it's a great place to relax with some snacks and some of the Korean alcohols that they offer. Overall, happy to be there grabbing lunch or spending an hour or so having drinks before we hit the karaoke bars.

Price: Perfect for the tight budget.
Service: Unbelievably fast and efficient.
Bonus: Huge selection, cheap.
Downfall: Quality of food is good, but it is 5 bucks. It can only be SO good.

Verdict: Will be back on many occasions.

As far as lunch places go, this one is great! Along with prepackaged food that made all day long, Woojip sells ready made banchan (small dishes) and bap (rice) for all you lazies who hate cooking. Beware lunchtime crowds! Its a small space, and I've glared at more than one shelf browser deciding between chicken and curry bap (you know who you are). Theres also a hot food buffet they you pay for by the pound. I saw a manorexic fob guy pay $3.30 for his. In addition to being good for eats, you can sit in the back and drink soju and beers. All day long!

Price: You can range from $2 to $12, depending on how greedy you are. I am a little more then moderately indulgent, so I pay around $9. But once I limited myself to the $2 kimchi bap and was satisfied, but later ate the other one I benevolently bought for my roommate, Jayne.
Service: As its pretty much self serve here, we should take a moment to applaud all those quick minded asian fob cashiers for keeping lines moving and never forgetting to hand you a receipt.
Bonus: Nothing is awful tasting! Everything is tastes like your halmonee just made it! Also, clean bathroom in the back deserves a highfive!
Downfall: Lunchtime crowds are a killer.
Verdict: 2 thumbs up. Korean food usually means mucho dinero, but Woorijip makes all your spam and bap dreams affordable.


12 West 32nd Street



If your reading this, then you like eating out. I lovelovelove eating out. Jim likes it too. We both live in the magical far-off fairytale land of MANHATTAN. However, being my 20s, reasonably employed but forced to pay a sizeable rent makes it difficult to eat out as much as I'd truly be satisfied with. I think Jim is OK with the frequency of which we go to restaurants. I'm not sure though. The following is a, hopefully, captivating account of our perilous journeys and triumphant returns into the heart of eating at noodle shops, pizzerias, bakeries, bar & grills, sushi bars, diners, taverns, sweet shops, stuff off the street, barbecues, cafes, cantinas, trattorias, steak houses, and of course delis while still trying to remain alive in the city.