Sammy’s Fish Box-City Island NY

So Sammy’s Fishbox, was the meeting place of a little Graduation Celebration for a certain someone.
Sammy’s Fish Box, part of the Sammy’s “Group” of City Island (at the end of City Island), a suburb in the Bronx, was a somewhat fitting place. We had great weather and we had window seating you can say.

A group of about 30 people proceeded to have the Silver Package. We started with a boule (bread that looks like a giant Hershey Kiss without the curl on top), accompanied by pickled vegetables and cheese. Then we each had a salad, with dressing of our choosing. For the main course, now that you are half full, hmmm. What to eat, what to eat!!

Do I go the fatty route and have fried anything, except fried chicken? Do I go the Italian route (in a seafood restaurant at that) and have pasta with lots of cheese? I am not a clam or oyster person so not going that seafood Italian way. Do I go Southern and have bbq chicken or do I go Texan style and have the ribs and chicken combo? Serious ribs at Blue Smoke in city-thought I would interject that)

So what did the various people get?. chicken and ribs combo-looked good, the bbq chicken-seemed good as it was gone quick, fried shrimp-a plate cleaner, then I got the chicken Parmesan–yes chicken parm in a seafood restaurant. I even passed up the simply done salmon, which I hear was okay, but that may have been a gesture of niceness. I actually enjoyed my meal for what it was but I have had thicker juicy chicken, with pasta on the side. Though with this dish pasta on the side would have been a tad ridiculous. The cheese on the meat was something I had been wanting for a while, it is filling. I once paid over 15$ (maybe over 20) for chicken parm, 3-Cheese Chicken Parmigiana spaghetti pomodoro at Brooklyn Diner (check out the spelling of Parmesan). That was okay just as this way okay. I have to say that this sauce was somewhat better. It was thick and hearty.
The sides for the table were potatoes, corn and yellow rice. I took most of my meal home -not because it was excellent, but because I could not finish and did not want to waste.

Overall I have to give the place a 5.5.
Here is why:
getting to the table–like a maze
the food-decent portions
the menu-super large, who wants that many choices (check it out
the food–decent temperature when it comes out

the over head P.A. system-it is the 2000s, please do not announce or call out your employees over the system and sometimes it was muffled (JUAN PLEASE STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND RETURN TO THE KITCHEN IMMEDIATELY) Are we at a race track or is this the subway? get ear pieces please

having a paper menu for each table (1 per table) versus one per seating or reciting the menu to a group of people (if doing 10 times is annoying)

plastic cups-like reusable bear cups: can’t splurge for glass or better plastic. I realize they probably had to clean up one too many shards of glass but then at least give a decent.

I am not griping on the place. I was very glad to be included. For me free food is amazing. In other countries, people slave away for food and still do not get it. I am fortunate and to not have to want, is nice.

Would I visit again, of course. Sometimes a comfortable, familiar unpretentious average place is what you need to just enjoy the moment.

Thanks for listening. Enjoy the pictures.

baking a cake

So How did I reach this place!  Well I had to go to my mom’s  house for her birthday.  The least I could do was provide a cake.  Buying a cake was out of the question as I have only tasted a few cakes that I had liked, and that had frosting I could deal with.  So I decided to make the cake myself.  

I had a cocoa layer cake recipe (”.  I had also used the same set of recipes for my much loved brownies. I used some existing cookies and cream frosting as the first layer and then the vanilla frosting, I used a basic recipe from the bakery I worked at. I had use it previously, and it was nice: creamy and rich.  I let it sit overnight and on Sunday morning bought more 10x, aka, powdered sugar with intentions of thickening it.   I forgot to add it so the frosting was not so thick but I worked with it.

I spread the frosting between the layers and then felt excited that it looked like a large tripe layer Oreo cookie.   

On advice of someone,  I covered the whole thing with frosting. It took about 15 minutes to get that done with the least amount of mess. In the end I had to hold the cake all the way to my mom’s house. I did not want to ruin my handy work.

Additionally, in school, one of our tests was to pipe chocolate onto a cake so that in a crunch we could fill in for a pastry cook. When people came to restaurants they might want this service and to be able to do it in an instant was the whole idea behind learning to do this seemingly menial task. I piped Happy Birthday onto the cake.

The cake was delicious. It was spongy and moist, and the frosting was enough, according to my mother. We accompanied it with ice cream: rum raisin, and vanilla. YUMMY.

As Marie Antoinette said, “Let them eat cake.” (misquoted but she was still excessive)

catering beginnings

So this is what happens when you do not have your real camera. You miss out on decent shots of the things you are trying to preserve and expose.

In any case, trial and error is the way to learn and grow.

Gala and Potluck NYWCA–April 17

Yummy food, I admit it is a reason to go to the NYWCA pot lucks. Plus I get to see some people I know. It is just cool to belong as we all know, and so each time I meet a few new people so it’s worth it. Even if by the end of the night you forget them (well that is no good) but at least if you learn something, that is worth it. They are encouraging and that is a lot for many of us–just someone to bounce ideas off of and to see what has worked for them.

Like I said, the food is fun. Check these photos out.

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I even arrived so late that I was basically taking the left overs, but there were many so, I think I did okay.

La Herradura Mexican Pizza & Restaurant

first of all–website in Spanish
second-the menu book is like a ton–there is a large metal face plate on the front–ouch
third-weird man sitting by himself, looking intoxicated, shirt partly unbuttoned
fourth-seemingly happy man next to us who wanted personal attention, hence the lemonade to him and then he just walked away-hmmmmm
fifth-so the green dipping sauce was really hot–firecracker hot
sixth–my meal was decent, i had the mole poblano chicken with what seemed like, all the fixings:a scoop each of guacamole, sour cream, rice(1/2 a cup), refried beans (1/2 a cup), a decent salad and then a few tortillas, which we did not touch
seventh-we ate like mad i think (as i type this report, i just finished eating a tostada salad.)
eight–will we go back, maybe not soon, there are a few other joints to exhaust–even another Mexican place a few doors down.

I would give the place a 5–just being average, though a good average. The plates had so many elements. We got a little of everything, want it or not.

You can never go wrong with Mexican.

Ionian Greek Cafe, New Rochelle, NY

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We had a great time at this new Greek find. It was bright with adequate seating, inside and had an outside space. It had a color like sauce with hints of blue.

At first when we walked in, we were kind of ignored by the hostess. After I realized that we were in a sort of negative space, the owner came over and asked us if we wanted to sit. (negative space–between the dine in portion and the to go counter).

Once we saw the menu I decided to try something new. I had eaten Spanakopita -the little triangles with spinach inside. They offered a lasagna looking Spanakopita-spinach and feta pie. It was delicious and I loved it, but after half of it, I wanted a contrasting flavor and texture. I ate some fries and pieces of steak in between to break it up. I ended up taking home the balance. My other half had the steak with fries and pita. His steak had that awesome grilled and smoked flavor. Inside it was full cooked but had like really consistent ground meat-soft and maintaining individual ball shapes.

It went down well with a nice apple Snapple. I cannot say the same for my other half. His house white wine was bitter and dry.

I saved some space for my dessert. I chose the Greek Yogurt, naturally. It had honey, walnuts and cinnamon sugar on top. It was so simple yet so yummy. I conserved and tried to get a good topping with each scoop of yogurt. I am converted. I even told my mom about this simple yet hearty and satisfying dessert. I also bought Chobani Greek yogurt at the store and added the walnuts and the honey. (no cinnamon sugar) I craved it that bad.

I will definitely visit again. We hope to have a pleasant experience again.

I would give the restaurant a 6. I like the simplicity, dinning options, the friendliness of the owner (naturally) and the quick service. Also the meal was reasonable.

Go Greek!

Good to Go–Bronx, NY

Good to Go has one of the best lasagna’s I ever tasted.
Who knows if because I was so hungry it tasted so good, or if it was actually really good.
In any case, we will visit again.

We visited on Columbus day 2011. We were famished and I was starting to get a little sick, so flavor was what I was looking for–cheesy but very seasoned. I ordered the Portabello Ravioli. I was a little disappointed that the cheese was not that sharp and the sauce not as seasoned. Given that I could smell a little I needed strong smells. Case in point–today my nose was completely stuffed and dinner was ehh…. I could not even smell the bleach that had been sprayed in my own bathroom.

We sat outside, and at one point I could really smell the exhaust. I guess if they had a backyard that would be the best place to put the outdoor area. 🙂

So my take on Good to Go–I will have to go back to the Lasagna again and also try another dish. The first time I ate the lasasgna, I was getting used to eating on one side of my mouth (dental work) and the second, I could barely smell.

I have to give GOOD TO GO a 5 this time and a rain check to try again.

Just because it is Italian, that does not mean it will be great.