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Category: American

Pop Pub

Graphics heavy pub near Union Square.

What We Had

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I had the Superman – 8 oz. beef burger with bacon, fried pickles, and sautéed onions – pretty great. The fried pickle/sauce/shredded lettuce combo ended up tasting like a grown up Big Mac. Nice thick and crispy bacon. Burger itself was dry. Onions were good.

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My DH had the Original Pop Burgers – 3 mini beef burgers with pop classics, which were fairly ok but dry. Could be because of the massive grill fire we saw raging right after our order was placed.

Side of fries – decent pillowy fries with fried coating.

Decor

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Lots of wood (like log cabin levels) and graphic design elements.

Looks like a fun atmosphere with upbeat music, lots of TVs on mute, foosball and loungy chairs.

Good beer selection.

Service

Semi attentive waitstaff.

Overall Impressions

Meh. Sinking into a comfortable lounger was great, and my burger toppings were great, but the meat was just too dry.

3.5 out of. 5 – we’ve had better and worse.

Update: I am amending my rating down to an even 3.0 due to further input from the DH.

Delicatessen

Gourmet deli in SoHo featuring items from the Mac bar next door, and a wide variety of brunch beverages.

What We Had

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I had the Brick Chicken – All natural chicken breast grilled under a brick with frisée, pine nuts, grapes, feta, and aged vinegar. The chicken was dry but well seasoned and the little salad was nice, but I wasn’t full.

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My DH had the Signature Burger – Special blend of ground beef, crisp pork belly, charred tomato and fried egg on a brioche bun lathered with warm “cheese sauce”. Really fuckin good. Tender, juicy, rich & decadent. The cheese sauce was perfect. Good fries.

Decor

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Lively current dancey music.

Open and airy decor with mirror, weathered wood and slick white.

Service

Slow bar service. our food order got messed up and the burger took forever and 3 days to come out after my chicken, but it was comped without having to ask.

Busy on a Sunday brunch day.

Overall Impressions

There were some real hits and misses.

3.5 out of 5 for a fabulous burger, and tasty but dry chicken. And, although the burger came out years after the chicken, at least they tried to make it right – can’t fault them there. The drinks were nice, that’s a plus.

Delaney BBQ

The eventual outcome of running a hotly successful underground BBQ brisket operation – walls. Located on the quiet side of Williamsburg.

What We Had

Brisket – a big, beautiful mix of fatty and lean portions.

Fabulous brisket – not quite as great as Fette Sau, but we are admittedly biased. If we’re talking straight beef and not adding pig into the equation, it’s a really close race if not a dead heat.

Collards

Stellar greens – vinegary enough I wasn’t left wanting and deeply flavorful. The greens made my day.

Cheese

Nice cheese – a Comte.

Potato bread was available on the side board, as much as you want.

Decor

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Simple rustic decor with exposed brick, whitewashed benches and Americana on the shelves. Dominated by a neon cow at a nice relaxing quarter light power.

Service

Order at the counter. They’re busy, but take the time to do a great cutting job and are friendly.

Overall Impressions

This is a great place for some brisket. And I’m not just saying that because of the free take home drink koozie.

Rating

4 out of 5 for very good brisket. They know what they do, and they do it well.

The Smoke Joint

BBQ near a subway semi-dead zone in Boerum Hill.

What We Had

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I had the pulled pork with slaw & pickles – Not too bad. Juicy, but underseasoned.

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My DH had the BBQ beef brisket – Dry and joyless but at least it was edible when slathered in sauce.

Collard greens – Odd but not terrible. Not the flavor profile I’m used to at a BBQ joint, but not bad.

Decor

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Decor is kinda cute – sunny lenai with homey feel.

Service

Service was busy but at least present.

Overall Impressions

They’re trying. Very busy; poor wait list management and no where to stand that’s out of the way. Food wasn’t worth the wait; there are better places out there *cough* *Fette Sau* *cough* *Fieldman’s*

Rating

2.75 out of 5 for so-so food and bad crowd management.

Strip House

Sexy burlesque-themed steak house around Union Square.

What We Had

Amuse of cauliflower soup with parsley oil. Really great. Not diet food but luscious and rich.

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New England sea scallops with edamame succotash, black truffle butter & corn broth – Stellar. Nice hard sear on the scallops with a delicate yet flavorful broth.

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Filet Mignon – Great steak. Good quality, cooked to perfection, and not messed with too much. It also came with A fabulous little roasted garlic head on the side.

Though it is sacrilege for both of us, the house steak sauce was really nice and we both had more than a single taste.

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Black Truffle Creamed Spinach – Holy crap amazing. I will dream about this. Perhaps the single best thing I’ve eaten since the foie at Modern. I need this in my life.

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Mac & Cheese – No complaints; good but not life changing.

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The largest slab of cheesecake I’ve had the pleasure to tangle with on quite awhile, which was fabulous as well.

And a surprise birthday hot brownie with vanilla ice cream – an unexpected treat that was really very good.

At the time, I wrote ‘fantastical’ to describe the desserts.

Decor

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Sexy reds and golds, with lots of leather, flocked velvet walls, dark wood, white tablecloth charm, celebs & tasteful nudie pics on the walls, and a swinging soundtrack.

Service

Impeccable service. White vest old school style steakhouse service, friendly manager making personal visits.

Overall Impressions

A gem. While we were slightly sad to see the dining room was more tables and banquette seating and less the high-backed VIP room booths of our imagination, this was a great place to spend a birthday dinner. Sexy but not trashy, and really great food.

Rating

5 out of 5 for top notch food and stellar service in a romantic but classy enough environment to take a date or celebrate a birthday with a long time love. Zero complaints.

The Modern

Upscale dishes and cocktails Inside MoMA. Plates are served in categories by size – small, medium, large.

What We Had

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Tarte flambé with creme fraiche, onion & applewood smoked bacon – This was like a very tasty, very smoky pizza. Good flavor.

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Slow poached farm egg in a jar with Maine lobster, hon shimeji mushroom & sea urchin froth – Good, but not the belle of the ball I wanted it to be. The egg could have gone a hair longer. The lobster was perfect & the mushroom was fabulous. The uni taste was so subtle I was sad to have missed it. I liked; DH not so much.

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Foie gras terrine with muscat gelee & toasted brioche – Crazy good and very decadent. The gelee was a perfect bright and snappy counterpoint to the silky and sexy foie. The toast was a little brittle. This was the hit of the day and a dish we are both still thinking about.

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Black angus beef tenderloin with Munster gratin, onion confit & cumin jus – nice sauce; something different. Really great beef. A very solid dish.

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Saffron tagliatelle with cider braised rabbit, chanterelle mushrooms and kale – fantastic. Perfect pasta, tender rabbit, jus I wanted more of. Wanted more rabbit – only 3 tiny pieces – but overall a success.

Decor

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About what you’d expect – very modern and clean-lined, but very busy and a little in the noisy side.

Service

Slow service. The restaurant was packed, but the service was still slow.

Overall Impressions

A good find in a museum. Not somewhere I would want to spring for every museum visit, but good. The atmosphere was a little too institutional cafeteria feeling for the food and price for me, despite the nice decor. This would be a great happy hour spot, or nibbles on a date after seeing an exhibit, but not a full dinner – too noisy for that.

Rating

4 out of 5 for really great food, but slow service. A little pricey for what it was. Trying but just short of mark for the price point.

Crif Dogs

Crazy good hot dogs in Williamsburg.

What We Had

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Chihuahua Dog – Bacon wrapped hot dog covered with avocados and sour cream.

Good Morning Dog – Bacon wrapped hot dog smothered with melted cheese & topped with a fried egg.

Both were really great dogs. The good morning slightly edged out the chihuahua solely because of my love for eggs.

Fries, which were also good.

Decor

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Cool decor with Star Wars toys lining the walls, old games & cool tees.

Service

Friendly counter service.

Overall Impressions

A great place for a light meal. It’s small and was packed the evening we went, but the crowd was good. The music was also great – totally can’t not love a place that plays Old Crow Medicine Show’s Wagon Wheel and serves RC Cola.

Rating

4 out of 5 for great dogs, great atmosphere, and friendly service.

Fletcher’s BBQ

BBQ in Gowanus.

What We Had

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Coriander pork steak (chopped) – The best of the night. Tender, smoky, delicious and well seasoned.

Brisket burnt ends – Drool worthy beef nuggets.

Pulled pork – Also very, very good (but less seasoned than the coriander variety).

Mac & cheese – I actually ate it and liked it (and just about the only Mac & cheese I don’t think tastes like cardboard & chemicals is my DH’s).

Baked beans – Holy crap great. Even my DH who isn’t into baked beans loved it.

Decor

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Garage style dining room that smells amazing – good music selection

Service

Helpful meat guru to walk you through menu items who also checked up on us mid-meal. Order at the counter style service.

Overall Impressions

Great BBQ. Not quite the homesick-inducing grandeur that is Fette Sau, but great in its own right and especially exciting given the neighborhood.

Rating

4.5 out of 5 for outstanding meat in a great atmosphere.

Bareburger

Bareburger

“Healthy” burger bar with locations throughout NYC. We visited the Park Slope location.

What We Had

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I had the Roadhouse Burger (pepperjack, roasted red peppers, avocado) with elk on a tapioca rice (gluten free) bun.

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My DH had the Maple Bacon Burger (maple bacon, sharp cheddar) with bison on a brioche bun.

Both burgers had great taste, were juicy, and were wholly satisfying. My bun was also great.

Decor

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Lots of bright colors and Scooby Doo on the TV.

Service

Not terrible.

Overall Impressions

I can’t really argue with this place’s ethos – grass fed everything; buffalo, boar, elk & ostrich on top of beef, poultry & vegetarian options. Gluten free & paleo friendly. This place represents one of the very best compromises in my DH and my eating styles – it’s a burger joint, which he loves, but a burger joint with slightly less horrible for you options, which I need in my life.

I can take exception with the screaming gaggle of children that finally, mercifully, left after holding the door open so every shred of warmth escaped the building – sometime after the onset of unruly child-induced headaches set in. But, it is a burger joint, and it is in mommy-drone central, so that just has to be worked around. We have since been back and the children weren’t as cringe-inducing in subsequent visits.

Rating

4 out of 5, despite the screaming groups of children.

Littleneck

Lobster, clams & seafood in top end of Prospect Park /lower Gowanus area.

What We Had

We split the glazed polish bacon with tomato jam & homemade pickles appetizer. The bacon was peppery, sweet, salty, smoky & sticky. Good fat to chew ratio. Fresh, bright pickles with nice lingering brine and pepper punch. Thick and darkly alluring tomato jam.

I had the Little neck clams with chile flakes, fregola & mustard greens. Good seasoning with nice heat and a flavorful broth.

My DH had the roasted striped bass with purple broccoli, garlic cream & polenta. The polenta was creamy and the fish was well cooked.

Decor

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Weathered rustic nautical feel

Service

Slow service

Overall Impressions

Not a bad little spot for a bite to eat or after dinner drink. Low lighting, cozy atmosphere, good food.

Rating

3.5 out of 5 for good flavors but nerve-wracking service when you’re trying to catch a show. I suspect a subsequent visit might go better.