The quest for the best NYC hamburger!

For almost a year now my boyfriend has been on a quest to find the best hamburger in NYC as we are both from Southern California and have grown up on In-N-Out. Brandon thinks that this is, hand down, the best burger! (and I would agree). Check out the picture the classic 4×4 burger. There are four juicy hamburger patties sandwiched between two perfect buns that are warm and toasted, lettuces, tomato, and whole grilled onions. This particular burger is missing their special In-N-Out sauce which is a perfect homemade thousand island.

In-N-Out burger (1 4x4 and a classic double double)

Since Brandon has been in NYC, we have pounded the pavement to find the best possible alternative to In-N-Out. We have tried several places. The ones to mention are: Good Burger, Burger Joint, and Johnny Rockets, however there has been one clear front runner.  Shake Shack has most of the In-N-Out elements that we are looking for in a hamburger. It is a moist juicy patty that is cooked until it is perfectly pink. It is sandwiched between the most delicious buns. They are almost brioche like and they have a wonderful texture that really brings the whole burger together. They add onion, tomato, and pickles upon request, so don’t forget to add them. They also have a wonderful mushroom burger that is to die for! It is a mushroom stuffed with cheese and then coated in panko and fried. It is amazing!

So, for now we will just have to make do with Shake Shack until we find the better alternative to In-N-Out… but according to Brandon, one does not exist!

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Land Thai Kitchen: More than just a place to order in from!

Are you looking for a great Thai food from a restaurant that you can actually go to and sit in? Well, Land Thai Kitchen is the perfect place for great food and great ambiance

As you walk in to the small Upper West Side hot spot you feel at ease with unique wall decorations as well as colorful, decorated light fixtures that hang high from the ceiling. Check out a picture below:

I have been to Land Thai Kitchen several times and always enjoyed what I ordered. Some of my favorite things on the menu are the vegetable dumplings, Green Curry, the Pad Thai, and the Pad See Ew. Each of the dishes are full of flavor that is traditional to NYC Thai food, but also has a distinct unique flavor. For example, the vegetable dumplings have ground up peanuts as part of the vegetable dumpling mix. Check out their green dumpling skin:

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Source: biggestmenu.com/.../ vegetable-dumplings-59656

Another one of my favorites is the Chicken Green Curry. From flavor to presentation this dish is just spectacular. It is not too heavy and just spicy enough to keep you coming back for more. Check out this picture below:

Also, if you don’t have a ton of time for a long meal, Land also offers a great lunch special for only $8 which includes both an appetizer and a main dish! Click here for an example menu of their lunch special.

So if you are in the mood for Thai food that is not only delicious but also full of ambiance check out Land Thai food.

1565 2nd Avenue

(btw 81st and 82nd)

New York, NY 10028

or

450 Amsterdam Avenue

(btw 81st and 82nd)

New York, NY 10024

WD-50: Wylie Dufresnse’s Artistic Culinary Point of View

We arrive at WD-50, a lower east side culinary hot spot of famous chef and owner, Wylie Dufresne, and get seated and greeted immediately. I am so excited for the meal I am about to have and I can’t believe that I am actually in Wylie Dufresne’s restaurant! I am with my parents and my little sister. I tried to give them an understanding of what kind of culinary experience we were about to have, but they just didn’t quite understand. However, I will say that they were game to try whatever creations made it to our table. As we are instructed on how to read the menu, some sesame bread is placed on the table. The funny thing was, it was more like a sesame wafer then bread, but it was delicious! This was just the beginning.

So, as we are a sharing family, we all decided to order something different and then share (of course!). So, for the appetizers, we decide to try the following:

1. Everything bagel, smoked salmon threads, crispy cream cheese
2. Octopus, pistachio, saffron, pickled ginger
3. Sunflower-miso soup, brook trout, melon, shitake, malt
4. Corned duck, rye crisp, purple mustard, horseradish cream

So, the appetizers all arrive at the table and they all look beautiful! The presentation is stellar. The interesting thing that my dad pointed out was that, yes, the menu tells you what you are getting, but not how you are getting it. So the menu is also sort of a guessing game.

We tried the appetizers and they are ok. They look prettier than they taste, but it is important to factor in the whole “Molecular Gastronamy” experience. So, the most interesting appetizer was the everything bagel which turned out to be ice cream. Can you believe that? And the cheese was a thin sheet of paper.

The appetizer that we liked the most was the duck. It was a take on corned beef and rye, but it was duck. See the picture. This has just the right amount of horseradish and spice to compliment the corned duck.

For the main course, we tried the following:

1. Duck breast, worcestershire spaetzle, parsley root, mustard greens

2. Lamb shoulder, pine nut “baked beans

3. Wagyu skirt steak, long bean, tamarind, peanut butter ‘pasta’

4. Cold fried chicken, buttermilk-ricotta, tabasco, caviar
Now, the main courses were delicious! They were a much better representation of Wylie Dufresne’s culinary point of view. Each of the different dishes represented new techniques and flavor combinations that really went well together. My personal favorite was the duck. This was the best tasting duck I have ever had. It was tender and juicy with perfectly flavorful crunchy skin to compliment it. It was served with the most tasty worcestershire spaetzle that had fig mixed through out. Check out the picture! I would say the second table favorite was the Wagyu skirt steak, long bean, tamarind, peanut butter ‘pasta.’ The meat was cooked to perfection and accompanied by all the right sides to round out the dish. Here is a photo.

The best part of the meal was when we finished. I asked if I could meet the chef, and so I did! Our waiter took me into the kitchen (which was one of the coolest and cleanest kitchens I have even seen) and introduced me to Wylie himself. What a cool guy. Totally down to earth and definitely in it for the food. What an experience. You should go on down and try this incredible and enlightening culinary experience.

50 Clinton Street
New York, NY 10002
Phone: 212.477.2900