31 January 2011

Nacho Sunday

Growing up my mom used to make giant Nachos. We would have Nacho Sunday's. I didn't appreciate these  as a kid. Shame on me. As a grown up and now one that avoids gluten, I'm pretty into Nachos, especially ones that cost a mere $4.00 and fill four people up.

Casa Del Matador is their name. Nachos are their game. Oh and tequila. I don't drink tequila, but I do eat nachos. Daily from 4:00-6:00 and again from 10:00-1:00, you can order up their piping hot nachos for four buckeroo's. You can also add steak, chicken or chorizo for an additional $2.00. I prefer the chicken. This reminds me . . . the Superbowl is this Sunday and although I don't remember who's playing, I do know that nachos must be present.

These Nachos as an appetizer and a bowl of their Roasted Tomato Chicken Soup, made with a house-made chicken stock and flavored with lime, garlic, cumin, cilantro, onion, tomatoes, polenta and avocado, was overly filling and appetizing beyond belief.

I'll be back very soon to try their Goat Cheese Overstuffed Jalapenos . . . which are stuffed with ummm . . . bacon. Yes, it's true.

**Matador has an online Gluten Free Menu for those in need. Lots of choices and many substitutions can be made.

Casa Del Matador on Urbanspoon

Casa Del Matador on Urbanspoon

19 January 2011

Bravo Toro!

Since I recently hit up Tasty N' Sons I decided it was about time I finally try the much talked about Toro Bravo. What took me so long? So on Sunday night I ventured over to the east side, in tow with an adorable date.

The wait was 45 minutes . . . this I knew to expect, but decided not to share with my Toro Bravo accomplice, in fear he may suggest going elsewhere. We went upstairs to Secret Society for a drink and appetizer. What I won't recommend is Secret Societies pickled deviled eggs (they taste like pickles dipped in mayonnaise--who pickles an egg anyways??).

Before we knew it the phone was ringing and I was running down the stairs for Toro!

They sat us, in what I think is always the best seat in the house, at the bar overlooking the open kitchen. There is something intimate and wondrous about sitting where you can see the chefs and sous chefs busy at work. It must be the smell of the dishes and heat from the ovens and stove tops. It's almost like you are a part of the cooking experience.

Toro Bravo's menu is extensive and as a first timer I have to say I was quite overwhelmed, even though I had looked up their menu countless times before arrival. How does anyone make a decision when everything sounds so intriguing?

We decided on the . . .
Orange Salad; blood oranges drizzled with olive oil and topped with an olive tapenade.

Potatoes Bravos; diced potatoes fried and smothered in a rich tomato sauce and topped with a creamy aioli.

Chicken and Clam Cataplana; baked chicken in a tomato sauce with steamed clams and chunks of jamon.

Ham Cocito; thick slices of ham, house made hotlinks, with a chickpea, onion and carrot stew.

Over all I was very pleased with Toro Bravo. Our order was a tad on the rich side, so next time I would mix it up, getting more greens involved and definitely add the polenta and dessert . . .

**Pardon the pictures, I was working with candlelight and one photography lesson on aperture. 

Toro Bravo on Urbanspoon

06 January 2011

So Tasty: Tasty N' Sons

Fair well 2010. Hello 2011. Many of my friends this year were ready for 2010 to be over. It was a year many lessons learned--some harder than others. It was a year of a lot change, some good, but some difficult to accept. As I wrapped up my page and half of new resolutions and looked back on those from last year, I realize I came out on top and am more ready then ever to take on this new year.

#11 on my NY resolutions 2011 list: Stop procrastinating and eat at restaurants that have been on your "To Do" list.

Perfect, Tasty N' Sons had been on my list since opening day. I braved the wait and loved every second of it.

Went with a good friend who's been out of town, which accomplished #5 on my NY resolutions 2011 list: Make quality time for your friends.

And so in one morning, I knocked off two resolutions and was off to a fabulous start.

Now for the meal . . . Tasty N' Sons carries its name because it is just that: TASTY.

Everything is delicious. The presentation, the maple glazed sweet potatoes, the use of spices, the variety, the cherry red bloody Mary's with a hunk of beef jerky on top.

It was hard to decide what to order though. Everything looked incredible. After a very promising recommendation I opted for the Polenta with Sausage Ragu, mozzarella and a fried egg, $8. I was in heaven. 2011 heaven.

The polenta was creamy and the sausage ragu rich and flavorful and the yolk from the egg saturated the entire dish, not allowing me to put my fork down for even a moment.

I'm someone who wants a bite of everything, so the 'shared meals' concept worked very well for me. My friend ordered their seasonal Vegetable Frittata with squash, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, rapini & feta ,$7. Can't wait to go back. My recommendation is to try for a weekday to avoid some of the rush.

Tasty and Sons on Urbanspoon