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Bacon Bash!

Tomorrow (Wednesday March 31st) is the Bacon Bash @6:30pm at the Village Pourhouse (64 3rd Avenue @11th Street).  $30 gets you 2 hours of pure bacon gold!  According to The NYC Menu Girl;

Taste a selection of three kinds of bacon: applewood bacon, honey smoked and thick ol’smokehouse bacon. Our bacon buffet includes Bacon Popcorn, Bacon Potato Chips, Mini Sliders with Baconaise, Wings with Bacon Ranch, Fries with Bacon Salt, Chocolate-infused Bacon and Bacon Caramel Bacon.

Don’t forget to wash it all down with a Bakon Vodka Cocktail & some Brooklyn Brown Ale!

If you use her promotional code, you can get 15% off tickets!  I’ll be there, hope you can make it.  If not, I’ll be reviewing all of the porky goodness!

Update: Full review here.

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Brunch at Esperanto

Esperanto‘s brunch is one of my favorite destinations on the weekends.  Located at 145 Avenue C @ the corner of 9th Street.  If the weather is nice enough it has outdoor seating & they open the outer doors, giving the space the really airy feeling.  For $10, you get coffee or tea, a drink (typical brunch fare; Screwdriver, Mimosa, Bloody Mary, etc.) & a dish of your choosing.  It can get pretty packed in there, but luckily we were able to get a table pretty quickly.

Normally I go straight for the burger which is very good (although there are better burgers in the ‘hood; Royale, Black Iron & Belcourt to name a few), but I felt like trying something different, so I got the Huevos Loisada; a poached egg over a potato shrimp pie with Hollandaise sauce.  I really wish I had stuck to my burger.  Nothing wrong with the egg (except for the fact that there was only one) or the sauce, but the potato shrimp pie was severely lacking in the shrimp department.  I managed to find a tiny piece in there (a leg or a wing perhaps?)  All in all, this dish left me very unsatisfied, both emotionally & nutritionally.

I still really like Esperanto, the service is good (the manager there is awesome), they make great drinks (particularly mojitos & caipirinhas) & there is often live music.  The Red Snapper Ceviche & grilled salmon are also good dishes.  If you’re going for brunch, get the burger!
Esperanto on Urbanspoon
Esperanto in New York

Je’Bon

Normally, when I think of sushi, the last place I think to look is along St. Marks as there is so much to choose from in the area , but it was sort of early, so I met a friend at Je’Bon (15 St. Marks near 2nd Avenue). I had been there before for lunch a while back, so I knew the food wouldn’t kill us.  Je’Bon is yet another ultra-inexpensive, design-oriented, dance track blaring Asian restaurants that seem to be all the rage with college kids nowadays. As I said, it was early, so we arrived in the after lunch, pre-dinner lull.  We were the only ones there so service was no problem at all.

We both ended up ordering from the pre-dinner menu, 3 rolls for $13.  6 pieces each of Spicy Tuna, Eel Avocado & California Roll (I really hate to even call this monstrosity sushi).  There were several other selections in the same price range, but we both agreed that this was the best option.  $13 for 3 rolls is really not a bad deal at all.  I’ll admit that they were good, but not spectacular.  I really wasn’t that hungry & ended up taking half of them with me, but after getting home, I devoured the lot.

You pretty much get what you pay for here, decent sushi at a great price.  I’m not sure what the place would be like during a busy lunch or dinner service, but it was nice & quiet when we were there.  There’s a full bar with TV screen in the front & perhaps my favorite thing about the place is the graffiti in the Mens bathroom.  Someone was kind enough to scribble ‘Shit/Piss’ with a massive arrow pointing towards the toilet…  Classic!

Update (4/01/10); I recently revisited Je’Bon & got the Sashimi sampler.  8 bucks got you 8 pieces.  2 whitefish, 2 Tuna, 3 Salmon & one of those fake crab stick things cross-cut.  The whitefish was ok, the imitation crab disgusting & the tuna was passable, but a bit on the stringy side.  The real star of the dish was the salmon which was absolutely delicious!
Je'Bon Noodle House on Urbanspoon

ReCORK

Ever wonder what happens to the cork after you pop a bottle of wine?  Odds are it’ll end up in a landfill along with the 13 billion other corks popped annually around the globe.  Amorim, the world’s largest manufacturer of natural cork bottle stops is hoping to put an end to this waste.  In 2008 they launched ReCORK America in an effort to recycle used cork.  Currently, there are collection points at Wholefoods stores in California & the latest partner is in Las Vegas, so expect the trend to move further east.  I doubt it’ll be long before NYC Wholefoods are collecting corks.  If you’re a heavy drinker/alcoholic & collect a minimum of 15lbs of cork, they’ll send you a postage paid sticker so you can mail your cork in to be recycled.

Drink some wine then help the environment!

Brunch at Back Forty

So I’m sitting (drinking) at my local watering hole (7B) a few Sundays ago, minding my own business & a friend asks me if I wanted to go to brunch.  I said no, because I was more interested in getting hammered, but then he uttered 3 magical words; Pork Jowl Nuggets.  Needless to say, moments later 4 of us were running down Avenue B towards Back Forty (190 Avenue B @ 12th Street).

It was a really nice day outside & the place was packed, but we didn’t have to wait that long for a window-side table right by the front door.  Our server was perhaps the most enthusiastic waiter that I’ve ever encountered.  You could tell that he just loved food & really believed in what they were serving there…  Obviously we started with drinks (I double-fisted) while we looked through the rather brief menu.  Just classics here & I could have ordered & been happy with any of the items.  The Jowl Nuggets had to be ordered, so we did:

Amazing, really damn amazing!  I had expected some McJowl sized nugget, but these were small, tender, moist & flavorful, that must have been one happy pig!  It was served with a spicy & tangy sauce.  We also ordered the Sweet Potato Pancakes with Sour Cream & Chives.  Those were really good, but my mind was still reeling from the nuggets.

Chicken & Waffles (up yours Roscoe’s!)

Sausage, Egg & Grits

Ham & Eggs

I got the House Smoked Trout with Sweet Potato Pancakes (again) & a salad.  I cannot put into words how good this dish was.  Smokey, brilliance!

By now the brunch service had ended & we were the only customers left.  In a further show of ‘awesomeness’, the staff let us stick around at the the bar while they prepared for dinner (Bourbon selection = Amazing!).  Needless to say, I really enjoyed my meal at Back Forty & I recommend that you try it out for yourself!


Back Forty on Urbanspoon
Back Forty in New York

Get Your Sake Fix!

Two sake events coming up this month;

Tuesday, March 23rd 8-11pm @ 1 or 8 (66 South 2nd Street, Brooklyn).
$55 (plus tip) gets you a four course menu & ‘generous pours’ of sake.

Wednesday, March 24th 6-8pm @ En Japanese Brasserie (435 Hudson Street).
$37 (including Tax & Tip) gets you the opportunity to taste this year’s Arabashiri & ‘generous pours’ of 5 other sakes.  RSVP; 212-647-9196

Caffe Pepe Rosso Closes

Caffe Pepe Rosso (127 Avenue C @ 6th street), the East Village outpost of the popular Sullivan St. Italian eatery has shuttered & now become Cotto Restaurant & Caffe.  I remember seeing the listing on Tower Realty some time ago, but I never thought anything of it.  Passing by on Sunday, I saw that the Pepe Rosso sign had been sanded off & the new dividers outside.  I’ll try to review the new restaurant soon.

Update: I passed by yesterday & there was a lot of work going on.  New signage went up, etc.  I expect that the front will be painted blue as well.  I spoke to the shady looking dude that was lurking around (the owner or manager maybe) & he said they were open for business.