Luke’s Lobster: Crab Roll

You may recall that I’ve already reviewed Luke’s Lobster¬†(twice, to be exact). However, I didn’t try the crab roll last time around. It is, in a word, outstanding.

luke's lobster pound crab roll

crab roll

Succulent chunks of crab are piled high atop a generously buttered split-top roll. Luke’s lightly dresses its seafood salads; so lightly that the dressing is barely perceptible. (Is it really there at all? If not, what holds the salad together? Magic?)

My dining partner asked, “Which do you like better: lobster roll or crab roll?” “They’re equally good,” I replied. Next time you intend to go to Luke’s, bring a friend and split a crab roll in addition to your lobster Schooner.

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De Mole: Brunch

One of Sunnyside’s best kept secrets is definitely De Mole. Not only is their dinner spectacular, but their brunch is to die for. Every time my dining partner and I go we sit in the same spot by the window. I’m not sure how this happens, but it’s a pleasant coincidence.

This week, I ordered Huevos con Chorizo. The eggs are scrambled to perfection with chunks of spicy chorizo. All egg platters are served with rice, beans, and tortillas. One of my favorite breakfast activities is assembling egg sandwiches. At De Mole, I can make my own mini breakfast burritos.

eggs with chorizo

huevos con chorizo

Yum! I love the shredded cilantro on top!

My dining partner ordered Huevos con Queso Oaxaca: a cheese omelette artfully rendered. He didn’t assemble any burritos with it, for some reason, but opted instead for rice and bean mini burritos. The omelette, he thought, didn’t lend itself to burrito-making. (As someone who’s ordered this before, I heartily disagree.)

de mole cheese omelette

huevos con queso oaxaca

Breakfast at De Mole is the tops. They also serve a rich, smooth Columbian coffee. Come to Sunnyside some time to try it out!

From the source: Buckeyes

I’m not a candy person. When people rave over chocolate (especially dark chocolate), I roll my eyes and think about hamburgers. I’m just not that into it.

But when I saw this Buckeyes recipe advertised on Shi’s Eating, I couldn’t resist. My partner has a fond place for peanut butter and chocolate in his belly, so I knew I had to make them.

Buckeyes

my buckeyes

They’re pretty easy to make and assemble. I didn’t have a skewer so I used a fork to dip them in the dark chocolate. (I used Ghirardelli¬†70%.) I don’t have any other tips about this recipe other than to enjoy the results!

Taylor Swift: “Mean” Video

Did you know that Taylor Swift plays the banjo? She rocks it, too. Check out this video of “Mean,” an awesome confluence of mandolin and banjo tied up in positive lyrics.

When I listened to this song on the album, I had no idea she was playing the banjo line. (Maybe she’s just playing it in the video to show off her skillz.) As if I needed another reason to be completely floored by this young woman’s talent.

In the video, I love that there’s a little girl watching from the audience. Taylor is acutely aware of her position as role model. This song sends the message that, when someone’s mean to you, they’ve got the problem, not you. It champions the idea that you can overcome adversity and achieve your dreams regardless of the obstacles:

Some day I’ll be living in a big ol’ city

and all you’re ever gonna be is mean.

Why you gotta be so mean?

Some day I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me,

and all you’re ever gonna be is mean.

Why you gotta be so mean?

At the end, the little girl smiles and claps at Taylor and looks upon her with awe. She is the face of every girl who bought Speak Now the second it was released, who begged her parents to buy her exorbitantly priced tickets to a sold out show, who dreamily stares into Taylor’s eyes on a poster on her wall. She is me.

Atlantic City: Food and … cats

Wow, Atlantic City. Land of the depressed. I hope to never return to Atlantic City, unless, of course, someone buys me tickets to see Jerry Seinfeld on August 13. Then, I’d go back. (Damn, it’s sold out.)

We went to Atlantic City with a goal in mind: to see Wanda Sykes perform at the Borgata. She was great. She sure does love Obama and talking about her kids. Hilarious stuff.

The food at Atlantic City is worth noting. There are buffets, and buffets. And buffets. And boardwalk food (even the pretzel was fried). We succumbed to the buffet madness and ate at the Borgata buffet, which was excellent.

Portabella and spinach ravioli

Borgata buffet

You can take as many plates as you like. So, I made a plate of spinach and portabello mushroom ravioli (outstanding) and another plate with prime rib with horseradish and Au Jus, creamy pasta primavera, mashed potatoes, and a cheddar biscuit (think Red Lobster). The prime rib was cooked perfectly and was neatly accompanied by the horseradish. The mashed potatoes were underwhelming so I didn’t really eat them, but the creamy pasta primavera was delicious. The vegetables were neither too crisp nor too flaccid.

For dessert, we tried a bit of everything: chocolate-dipped cannoli, lemon and raspberry mousse, gelato, macaroon, and brownie. My favorite was the lemon and raspberry mousse, which was light, delicate, and melt-in-your-mouth scrumptious.

Borgata buffet dessert

We walked on the boardwalk the following day. (We didn’t stay at the Borgata because we aren’t millionaires.)

Atlantic City boardwalkBelieve it or not, there are two Johnny Rockets on the boardwalk. We went to one of them (near Bally’s, not Showboat) for lunch. I had an Oreo cookies-and-cream milkshake, which was decadent and unfinishable.

Johnny Rockets milkshakeWe both ate the Rocket single, which comes with a mysterious special sauce. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was, but it was like Thousand Island dressing + something else. Very descriptive, I know. That’s why they pay me the big bucks.

Rocket Single

Of course, the burgers were great. Johnny Rockets consistently puts out a delicious hamburger, at every location.

One of the most fascinating parts of our trip was the revelation of cats on the beach. Why are there cats on the beach? you ask. Because Atlantic City promotes a cat project.

Homeless cat project Atlantic CityYes, the Boardwalk Cats Project, as it’s known, supports local homeless cats. They are spayed and neutered and then brought back to the beach, where they obviously belong. Homeless-like volunteers attend to the cats by feeding them but not by bringing them water. “Water is all around,” we were told. I think the “volunteer” was referring to the ocean.

The “volunteer” also fed the sea gulls, who did not eat her food due to the presence of felines. She urged, “They won’t bother you! The cats, they will not eat you,” but the sea gulls knew better.

We ate decent food in Atlantic City and got a few good laughs out of the cat project. Overall, it was an OK trip.

Red Robin: Red Robin Gourmet Cheeseburger

Confession: I am not a chain person.

You may be surprised by this (read: you’re not at all surprised). I avoid chains like the plague. But when in Rome, or Poughkeepsie, as in my case, sometimes you gotta splurge.

My dining partner and I stopped at Red Robin, a chain unfamiliar to New York City, on our way to a wedding. It seemed like the perfect place to be. Decent hamburgers. Tall glasses of soda. Amiable staff members. A perfect prelude to a (boring) wedding. (No offense, Hannah.)

Red Robin Gourmet CheeseburgerI ordered the Red Robin Gourmet Cheeseburger with a bottomless plate of fries, while my partner tried a whiskey chicken wrap of some sort. The hamburger was delicious. A delectable combination of mayonnaise, beef, cheese, onion, pickles, and lettuce on a squishy bun. It tasted exactly like a Whopper, but better. I wouldn’t recommend the tasteless steak fries (which my dining partner heartily decried).

If you’re in Poughkeepsie and every other restaurant is closed–which may be the case if it’s Sunday–do try Red Robin. The burgers won’t disappoint.