team food!

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Most amazing restaurant you'll never hear about.
Seriously, there's pretty much no publicity on this place because Mr. Shopsin doesn't want it. But it's amazing and the best kept NYC secret.
Thank you Maygin, for telling me about it.
So here's how my adventure went.
I started by studying the massive menu online. Seriously- 6 pages in 10 pt. font and no blank spaces. They have these amazing combo plates that Mr. Shopsin hates to make, but they're really 3 meals in one. They have 30 kinds of shakes. They have at least that many kinds of pancakes.
So you get there and you better not have more than 4 people in your party or they won't seat you. Turn off your cell phone unless you want to get kicked out. Daughter and Son do the hosting, seating, waiting, serving, bussing. Dad and his help in the kitchen. And the yelling between them makes me oh so homesick! It's the most endearing place I've ever entered. The place itself feels like any old diner, until you notice the boxes of candy everywhere and the painted portraits of the Shopsin family members. There's a giant metal sign in one corner- "All our cooks wear condoms". There's a counter where you serve yourself coffee- which is amazing for me because that means I can actually drink 3 or 4 mugs and not have to harass the waitress for more coffee every 5 minutes.
So my food comes. I ordered a combo plate- Ropa Vieja Huevos Rancheros with a mound of amazing guacamole, 2 fried eggs covered in fried cheese, and coconut and chocolate chip pancakes. Served with a thing of tortillas. It was literally about 2 full pounds of food. I ate almost all of it. The meat was like a pulled beef stew with onions and jalapenos and bell peppers- it was amazing. The spice in the meat was purely from the dosage of jalapenos, and it was perfect and amazing. I couldn't stop eating. Kim got the Ying Yang bowl- she choose cilantro chicken soup- which I sampled and died for- and a rice with tomatoes and artichokes. It was a simple combination of food but so delicious! And again, the amount they have her was amazing! Flynn ordered an eggs Florentine and maple glazed pancakes and bagel with goat cheese and tomato combo plate. The Florentine was more like a Florentine casserole and it looked creamy and divine.
On your way out, don't forget to grab candy! They have Fun Dip and candy cigarettes- and if you pass by the candy shelf, they'll remind you to grab some!

I love Shopsin's. And I love the Shopsins.
54 Carmine St., NY NY

Sunday, July 24, 2005


Originally uploaded by cristalle.
I know, every blog about food is saying how great this place is, but that's because it really is great. I took myself on a date and let me tell you, it was possibly the best date ever. I wanted to sample a bunch of the appetizers, so I tried the stuffed artichokes, which were so perfect, it brought tears to my eyes. I had the carrot and yogurt dip and it was so perfect! The empanadas- possibly the best I've ever eaten ever. Stuffed with ground beef and raisins, slightly sweet and the crust fried to a golden perfection. I had the Chicka Chicka Boom salad- a simple chicken salad with sun dried tomatoes. So perfect for the hot summer evening.
Loads of vegetarian options, the most adorable staff ever, and a cute little dining room.

32nd St and Broadway, Astoria

xoxo, xtal

Brick Cafe

Brick Cafe
Originally uploaded by cristalle.
This is a place Brette and I go to kinda often for brunch- they have great coffee, and the olive spread they bring out with the bread is de-licious. Highly recommended are the french toast (piled with fresh strawberries), the sundried and ricotta omelette, and the croque monseur. They have specials, and usually the omelettes are excellent.

30-95 33rd St., at 31st. Ave in Astoria.
xoxo, xtal
their website

Monday, May 02, 2005

Yogee Noodle

Flynn and I were wandering around before a Bowery show and found this great little noodle shop. The food was delicious and CHEAP! I got a rice plate- a big serving of lemon chicken over rice for $3.50! She got an order of Szechuan Style Bean Curd- some kind of spicy tofu- $6.95 and could have fed 3 people. We got an order of spring rolls and they were fat and perfect- $3.25 for 3.
Or total came to $14 and there was so much food- we packed it to go and gave it to some homeless dudes on our way to the show. The food was some of the best Chinese I've had in the city and oh so easy on the wallet!
The place was brand new looking and the staff was so friendly and accomodating.


Yogee Noodle
85 Chrystie St
New York, NY 10002

xoxo, xtal

Monday, March 28, 2005

Egyptian for Easter

My roommate Sarah and I ended up at this amazing little Egyptian restaurant last Easter Sunday on Steinway in Astoria. We decided to make it an annual event and went to visit our new favorite friend, Mustafa El Sayed, owner, chef and artist at the Mombar Cafe on Steinway, again this Easter. There's no sign on the door outside- just an amazingly unique and artistic storefront that you won't miss- with the giant eye watching you from above the front window. When you walk in, you're surrounded by color and beauty and amazing creativity. Mr. El Sayed has created everything himself- the walls, the table tops- the chandelier made from cut bottle tops. And every morsel of food is amazing and tenderly created. My favorite dishes are the mussels in garlic and tomato with chef's special spices for appetizer, the salmon and vegetables wrapped in a filo pastry baked in the oven (a non-menu special item), the roasted lamb with vegetables and dried fruit served with a perfect pyramid of couscous, and the Om Ali- a magical dessert of filo, raisins, coconut and other warm goodness in a milky soup- it's almost like a pourridge, almost like a bread or rice pudding. But amazingly delicious.

image from a japanese blog.

Mombar Restaurant
25-22 Steinway Street.
(bet 25th & 28th Ave.)

xoxo, xtal

Friday, March 11, 2005


this is a test.

dunkin donuts makes the best coffee.