Restaurant of the Week: David Burke Kitchen

Every time there is someone visiting me from out of town, the one place I will take them is David Burke Kitchen. From beginning to end your meal will be spectacular. The menu is different but not different enough that you’re wondering why they are serving you Nutella with your salmon. Atmosphere is simple farm chic and during the summer they have an outdoor garden and bar. You can even make reservations specifically for an outdoor table (those who live in New York know this is a small miracle). To top it all off they have a drink menu that will have you leaving there…happy, yes, let’s say happy. Check out some of the great dishes they are serving up!

How did I never think of this? Peanut Butter and Maple Bacon Dates

First time I tried this dish, actually saw it on the menu I was convinced that the night was surely going to go downhill if this is the first item on their menu. Instead, just the opposite happen. It is the first thing listed on the menu for a reason! The peanut butter is a nice play off of the dates with a bit of sweetness from the maple and then the crispy bacon. Order this first and you will realize what a culinary experience you are in for.

Always a solid. David Burke’s Pretzel Crusted Crab Cake

Those who aren’t ready to dive into the deep sea of strange concoctions like peanut butter and dates, this one is for you. This simple yet smart dish has thin stick pretzels lining a crab cake. A great starter that will leave you content but with plenty of room for your main.

This dish that keeps you coming back. Pork Chop

My hands down favorite is the Pork Chop. The plate is layered, yes layered with goodness. Your dish is covered in a mango chutney, which makes you forget you ever ate apple sauce with your pork chop. On top of the warm chutney sits your juicy pork chop, which is cooked to perfection so it doesn’t need anything super fancy to be drizzled on it. On top of your pork chop you’ll find two large cilantro turmeric onion rings which actually pair up very nicely with a little bit of the mango chutney. Finally coming out of the onion rings you’ll find thick maple bacon. Now, I love bacon, I have tried it far and wide, from steak house to hole in the wall, this is something special. I for one would propose they just include it on every dish.

You better have saved room for dessert. Toffee Monkey Bread

I am not going to be able to put this dessert into words. I will never nearly do it justice and for that I apologize. The Toffee Monkey Bread (which they say is for two but your waitress will be honest with you and tell you it could feed four) is the grand finale on an ideal meal. Baked in an old school metal tin, it is prepared table side as your waitress take the monkey bread loaded with bananas, pecans and caramel and mixes it with maple pecan ice cream and some extra banana caramel and whip cream. Hail the Toffee Monkey Bread.

David Burke Kitchen can be found in Soho at 23 Grand Street, New York, NY 10013.



Off The Beaten Path: Brooklyn Flea Market

Brooklyn Flea 1

Lamps, tables, WWE Wrestlers, cufflinks and one of a kind artwork. These are all things I came across as I visited the Brooklyn Flea market this past week. I can hands down say it’s one of the coolest treasures of New York City. It still being winter, the Brooklyn Flea has been tucked away in a more or less abandoned building in Williamsburg. In a few weeks it will spread out to their tremendous three locations in Fort Greene, Williamsburg and Park Slope. Each location has over 150 vendors and some great food, so shop and work up a large appetite!

The Brooklyn Flea has been around since 2008 and has grown its reputation over the years. One of things I was most impressed with is the quality of goods that were being sold. This was not your mom and pop garage sale. If you’re not a New Yorker and just visiting, this is also a great place to get one of a kind souvenirs or some of the vendors will even ship some of the larger items home for you so you will always have your own piece of New York!

You can find out all the information you need here:

Brooklyn Flea 2

Uptown NYC vs Downtown NYC

It’s the classic tale, which is better: Uptown NYC or Downtown NYC? Both have their bright spots, but how can you really decide? Well, we did and incredibly unscientific poll around the office and came up with the results.

The Arts: Uptown

via flickr / Fatbooo

via flickr / Fatbooo

Uptown NYC wins the arts in a landslide. Sure, there are some wonderful museums in lower Manhattan, but not even close to what you get on the north end of the island. The Met, Guggenheim, Museum of Natural History, and that doesn’t even touch on the performance venues like Lincoln Center and the historic Apollo Theater. This category isn’t even close.

Sports: Draw

via flickr / Charley Lhasa

via flickr / Charley Lhasa

This is definitely the trickiest of the categories. Downtown we have Madison Square Garden, the world’s most famous arena. It’s arguably the best sports venue in NYC (it’s a weak argument, but one can be made) and home to the Knicks and the Rangers. On the other hand, Uptown is literally a stone’s throw from Yankee Stadium. Also, Uptown has Central Park, the best place in Manhattan to actually play sports, and Rucker Park, the world’s most prolific street basketball court. After the votes were tallied, we came to a tie.

Food: Downtown

via flickr / star5112

via flickr / star5112

This one was a CLOSE vote, and I’ll be honest, I don’t know if I completely agree, but downtown got the win. It’s true, Downtown owns the pizza battle, which is NYC’s favorite food, and it also reigns supreme when it comes to brunch, another favorite among locals. Uptown has the soul food and some of the most fantastic restaurants in NYC, but we can’t argue with the votes. Downtown wins.

Skyline: Downtown

via flickr / gabrielkaplan

via flickr / gabrielkaplan

As arts is to Uptown, the Skyline is to Downtown. When people think of the Manhattan skyline, it’s of lower Manhattan. Even without the World Trade Center towers anymore, Downtown still absolutely dominates Uptown in the skyline vote. This was unanimous.

Traffic: Uptown

via flickr / TriggerHappyDave

via flickr / TriggerHappyDave

Downtown Manhattan can be brutal with the traffic from time to time. The tunnel crowd is enough to drive someone mad, and it all leads into lower Manhattan, the financial district. Uptown Manhattan doesn’t see these problems nearly as much as its southern counterpart. Sure, the George Washington Bridge will see some traffic during rush hour (*cough* Chris Christie *cough*), but more times than not traffic is no issue Uptown.

So there we have it. Our unscientific research has led us to a tie. It’s like we’re kissing our sister. Looks like you’re just going to have to take the All Around Town Tour and test both out on your own!

NYC Borough Series: Queens

Queens, New York. Home of the Mets, LL Cool J, and the best Greek food in NYC. Kevin James was the King and it’s where Run-DMC celebrated Christmas. Some people like to call it the new Brooklyn, but truth is this borough already has its own identity. It doesn’t need to borrow from anyone else. Of the five boroughs, I’d personally suggest that Queens is the most underrated. From Long Island City to Flushing Meadows, the home of the 7 train has so much to offer

5 Fast Facts:

  • Both of NYC’s major airports (JFK and LGA) are in Queens
  • The Unisphere in Flushing Meadows was left from the 1964 World’s Fair
  • Queens is the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world, with residents from over 100 different countries speaking 138 different languages
  • Queens hosts the greatest annual American tennis tournament every year, the US Open
  • On of Astoria’s main drags, Steinway Street, is named after the famed piano maker whose world headquarters are located in the neighborhood


image via flickr / kthread

image via flickr / kthread

We start our food tour of Queens in Astoria, the neighborhood resting on the East River. In the 1970’s, an influx of Greek immigrants came from Cyprus to call the neighborhood home. The best Greek diners, deli’s, cafes and bakeries in all of NYC can be found in Astoria. The neighborhood also has developed a strong Arab population, so much so that the stretch of Steinway north of 28th street is sometimes referred to as Little Egypt.

As we venture east, we begin to find more and more eastern Indian restaurants. India, Bangladesh, Ethiopia- all of these cuisines are represented wholeheartedly in Queens.

Once we get to the end of the 7 Line, we hit Flushing. Much like Little Italy is to Arthur Avenue, Chinatown is to Flushing. The Asian population in Flushing is strong, and they have some of the best Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese and Korean food in the country.

Now let’s jump back to Astoria for a second. Though it’s technically not ‘food’ per se, Astoria is home to the two best beer gardens in NYC, Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden and Studio Square Beer Garden. Definitely worth making a stop at these places during a summer Queens food tour.


Jump on the R train in Manhattan going uptown and you will find yourself on your way to one of the coolest museums in NYC. The Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria highlights television and film among other things in its beautiful Queens space. They recently had a Breaking Bad exhibition (which was awesome) and regularly host Q&A events with some of the top people in entertainment. They also have a theater with screening of classic such as Pulp Fiction and Saturday night fever, both coming up as part of their Soundtrack Series.



Mr. Met

Flushing is the Queens home of all things sports. First you have Citi Filed where the New York Mets play 81 games each season. In 2013, Citi Field also hosted the MLB All-Star Game.

Right across the street from Citi Field is Flushing Meadows Park, which is also home to the US Open Tennis Tournament. Arthur Ashe Stadium is the focal point of the US Open grounds holding over 22,000 spectators.

In 2013, there was also a push to build a new soccer stadium for the MLS expansion team, NYC FC, but it looks like that idea has been shot down.


Queens is home to some of the most beautiful parks in all of NYC, though I suppose so is every other borough. NYC is really good at parks. But Queens Flushing Meadows Corona Park might just take the cake. The park was the host of both the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs, the second of which left behind one of NYC’s coolest monuments, the Unisphere. The park was actually built on the area known as the “valley of ashes” from Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, and is now a flourishing space of green.

Just outside of Flushing Meadows Corona Park, you will find the Queens Botanical Garden as well as Kissena Park and Golf Course. You can’t play a round of 18 in Manhattan, can you?

Pop Culture

Queens doesn’t have the iconic pop culture history of Manhattan or Brooklyn, but you’d be surprised where you might find it in the entertainment world. Did you know A Bronx Tale was largely shot in Astoria? How about that scene in Men in Black where the alien spaceship crashes through the Unisphere.

Ride of Fame alum LL Cool J grew up in Queens, as did rappers Ja Rule, 50 Cent, and Nicki Minaj. Donald Trump has roots going back to Queens just like Simon & Garfunkel and Adrien Brody.

So what’s your favorite of Queens? Tell is on twitter at @CitySightNY!

Street Eats NYC: Do’s and Don’ts

Street vendors: you’ve heard great things about all of the delicious food carts in NYC but there’s still just something that feels a little risky about buying food from some guys in a truck. I can’t blame you for that, but by avoiding them all together, you’re really missing out.

These are the Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to NYC Street Eats:

DO: Get yourself a dirty water dog if you’ve never had one before. These are from any of the hotdog venders you’ll find throughout the city, and they got their nickname because they are stored in hot water after being cooked. The water isn’t actually dirty, per se. It has more of a cloudy transparency to it. What it comes down to is if you haven’t ever had a dirty water dog, you need to at least once, just to say you did.

DON’T: Get that dirty water dog in a heavily trafficked area (SEE: Times Square). It will cost you 3X as much there as it will on the Lower East Side.

 flickr / wikioticsIan

flickr / wikioticsIan

DO: Favor food trucks with catchy names. If they’re creative enough to come up with a cool name, they’re creative enough to cook up a great, unique dish. It’s science.

DON’T: Get food from a truck that has a dirty outside. Chances are that don’t care too much about the cleanliness of the inside either

DO: Go to street fairs dedicated to food or food trucks. Smorgasburg, the Prospect Park Food Truck Rallies, PARKED! (if it comes back in 2014), and the Vendy Awards are all guaranteed to provide delicious meals for you to eat.

DON’T: Trust the drunken guy on the street who swears he knows where to find the best truck in the city. Lots of food tastes good after a night of alcohol infused fun, most of it isn’t half as good when you’re sober.

flickr / dumbonyc

flickr / dumbonyc

DO: Get Halal from the Halal Guys on 53rd and 6th. Trust me.

DON’T: Get a bag of nuts from the Nuts 4 Nuts carts around the city. There is no greater smell to taste ratio than from these things. It’s the ultimate disappointment.

flickr / Instant Vantage

flickr / Instant Vantage

What are your Street Eats Do’s and Don’ts? Tell us on Twitter at @CitySightsNY

Where to Watch Your College Football Team in NYC

College Football NYC

Football. Boy, do we love football. Between the Giants and Jets, every fall Sunday brings an NFL game to MetLife Stadium. But you know what NYC is missing? College Football.

If you grew up in the northeast, you probably didn’t notice that it was missing. Not many people care about college football enough to even realize that it’s not popular here. But New York City isn’t just full of people who grew up here. There are millions of tourists from across the nation who visit our majestic city and come Saturday afternoon, they want to see their college football. As someone who went to college in SEC country, trust me, I know.

So if you have a rooting interest this college football season, and you want to know where you can go in NYC to catch your team play, here is a list compiled by Guest of a Guest breaking it down by school.

The list is a couple of years old, and while most of it still holds true (For example, the ‘Bama bar is still The Ainsworth), some things have changed (Blackstone’s doesn’t even exist anymore, so the Missouri bar has moved to Percy’s on Avenue A). Be sure to give the bar a call to make sure they’ll be showing your game before heading out.

Guest of a Guest – Alabama: Crimson Tide fans can watch every Alabama game at The Ainsworth, where apparently the Staff will be decked out in red and white, and there will be drink and food specials for Alabama fans.

Arkansas: Arkansas fans can kick off the 2010 season with (what else?) a pig roast at the Overlook Bar roofdeck. It “smells like hogs!”, which, for Arkansas fans, we imagine is a good thing.  The rest of the season, grab your hoghats (pictured here, if you, like me, have no idea what a hog hat is) and head to the official watch parties at Mad Hatter Saloon, where they’re apparently serving Rotel. (No idea what that is. Arkansas fans, care to enlighten us?)

Arizona State: Bleecker Heights Tavern upstairs from Five Guy Burgers (which you can bring inside) is the most likely place to hear the AS fightsong, per a commenter.

Baylor: “Game watch at Third and Long on 35th and 3rd”, per commenter

Berkeley: God, it’s great to be from California, isn’t it? Manhattanite Cal Fans can cheer on the golden bears at The Australian, while Brooklynite fans (and, let’s be honest, most Berkeley grads live in Park Slope, right?) can head to Pacific Standard on game days.

Boston College: Eagle Fans can head to Still in Gramercy to cheer for their team!

Clemson: “Clemson U gathers at Ship Of Fools uptown at 82nd and 2nd or at Southern Hospitality at 76th and 2nd.”–commenter

ColoradoBar XII is the official watch party spot for the Buffs, so go there and be…buffy, or something.

UCONN: Cheer on the Huskies at Van Diemens on 3rd Ave, and get a free shot every time UConn gets a touchdown!

Duke:  On October 6th, DCNY is hosting an “NYC Forever Duke Welcome Party” at Brother Jimmy’s, where Duke alums can gorge on free BBQ. As for their 2010 Watch Party spot, according to the website, it’s “TBA”. How unlike Duke to be unorganized about this! We’ll keep you posted when it’s announced…

Florida State: FSU has got it together this year! They already had a pre-season party on July 29th, and have presumably been getting pysched about football season ever since. The official go-to spot for Seminoles this year is Saloon on the Upper East Side (owned by an FSU grad). On Game Days, you’ll find live music, a bean bag toss tournament (sounds lame, but the winner gets a free bar tab!), and FSU beer pong.

University of Florida: Are you a Gotham Gator, “taking a bite out of the Big Apple”? (Heh.) The Gin Mill on the Upper West Side is a favorite Gator gathering, but downtown UF fans can head to Sidebar in Union Square. (We recommend the Gin Mill though–they have orange jello shots!)

Georgia Tech: Cheer on the White and Gold at The Playwright Pub on 35th Street, where GT fans will have a private room on game days.

Georgia:  Offical Game Watch parties will be held at the Village Pourhouse. Because no dawg should bark alone…

Iowa: Are you a Hawkeye fan? Then head to Opal Bar. Hawkeye Specials include $5 nachos and $1 shots every time Iowa makes a touchdown.

Illinois: NYC isn’t exactly Champaign, but whatevs, you can still celebrate your awkwardly controversial mascot at The Australian, and enjoy $3 ‘Fighting Ilini”, aka some sort of blue shot.

LSULegends is once again official spot for LSU games this season. Drinks specials galore. Do you know what Geaux Tigers means? Yeah, that just means “Go Tigers”, but spelled ridiculously. Who knew?

Maryland: Terps will be meeting up for games at The Copper Door Tavern. Bring your Terp spirit and get drink specials all night long. Fuck Duke.

Miami: There’s a Hurricane Warning at Brother Jimmy‘s on Lexington.

Michigan:  Basically, if you walk into a New York Bar on a Michigan game day, there’s about a 30% chance you’ll walk into a UM Game Watch. These guys are everywhere, including Brother Jimmy’s Union Square and Professor Thom’s. For the full list, go here.

Michigan State: Go to Blondies West or Mercury Bar East on game day, and you’ll find drink specials, green shots, and possibly our own Sarah Kunst. Don’t judge her, she’s just into football, ok?

Ole Miss: Cheer on the Rebels at The Wharf, the official Watch Party spot for 2010.

Missouri: Tiger fans can put on their black and gold and watch Mizzou at Blackstone’s on 55th and 2nd Ave, according to a commenter.

Nebraska: Husker Fans can gather at The Irish Rogue in Hell’s Kitchen. Maybe you’ll run intoRachelle there?

North Carolina: According to Chapelapple (kudos for having the cleverest alumni association name, btw),  Brother Jimmy’s BBQ in Murray Hill and The Ainsworth are the Tarheel spots this year, with drink specials at both.

Notre Dame: It’s sort of hard to believe Notre Dame fans won’t all be flying back to South Bend for the games, that’s how intense they all are, but the Mighty Irish who are stuck in the city can find solace at The Public House, where for $10 you get unlimited soda, juice, and water! (But let’s be serious: most people will be getting unlimited alcoholic drinks for $40).

Ohio State: Buckeyes can feel like they’re back home at Tonic Times Square or The Village Pourhouse, but other Buckeye friendly bars in the city inlcude Manny’s on Second (formerly Blondies) and BB&R.

Oklahoma: The Overlook is the place for Sooners fans. And, by the way, what is a Sooner? Anyone?

Oklahoma State University: New York City Cowboys will feel right at home at Stillwater Bar and Grill. Wear orange, and go Pokes!

Penn State: Nittany Lions can gather at Tonic East or Mercury Bar West this year. Food and drink specials at both.

Purdue: Purdue picked a great Game Watch spot this year: Galway Hooker, on 36th Street. Go Boilermakers!

Rutgers: If New Jersey is just too far for you to go cheer on the Scarlet Knights, go to Public House. Also, check out the tailgate party/season kickoff at Brother Jimmy’s on September 11th.

South Carolina: “Van Diemens on 28th and Third is nothing but South Carolina fans on any given Saturday”–via a commenter.

Syracuse: Syracuse can rally at Professor Thom’s and hope for a good season for the Syracuse Orange.

Texas: New York Texas Exes can either go to Stout,  or new this year, The Village Pourhouse on 46th Street between 8th and 9th on Game Days. (Hill Country is still hosting Game Days, but adding a 20% gratuity to ALL tabs during games, so we suggest one of the other two options.) Hook ’em Horns!

Texas A&MCalico Jack’s Cantina is once again going to be Aggie Central. Wear Maroon and get free A&M stuff.

Tennessee: UT fans should head to Traffic NYC, on 2nd between 52nd and 53rd, which is apparently always packed with Orange and White.

UCLA: Bruins Fans in New York can curse USC at Vertigo on 3rd Ave, which is donating a portion of the profits to the UCLA Club of New York’s scholarship fund.

USCGalway Hooker is once more the place for big apple Trojans.

Virginia Tech:Manhattan Hokies can cheer their team to victory at The Village Pourhouse on 3rd ave.

Wisconsin: Are you a Big Apple Badger? Head over to Mad River on 3rd and 82nd.There will be a complimentary limited supple of Babcock Hall ice cream, straight from Wisconsin.

So put on your colors and get ready to sing your fight song, because college football is here in NYC!

**Bar Changes**
Missouri: Percy’s
UCLA: Smithfield
Clemson: The Liberty
Oklahoma: Mad Hatter
Oregon: Littletown NYC
Stanford: SNAP Sports Bar

Send us more changes that you know of so we can keep our list as up to date as possible!

The Vendy Awards Head to Brooklyn September 7

vendy awardsEvery year, the Street Vendor Project hosts and award ceremony not unlike the Oscars or Grammys. This September 7, the Vendys head to Brooklyn to once again honor New York City’s best food trucks.

While the entry to the Oscars means putting on formal wear and cramming into a theater, the Vendys are all about the people. Show up to the outdoor event dressed for the weather, prepared for all you can eat food from the best vendors in the city, all you can drink beer and non-alcoholic beverages, and know you’re making a tax deductible donation with your ticket. You also get to help choose the People’s Choice Award by tasting as many trucks as you can and voting for your favorite.

Tickets are on sale now and will probably sell out pretty quickly, so don’t say we didn’t warn you!

image via