week 42: hill country chicken

fried chicken is an acquaintance of mine.
i've met it before, it says hi to me in the hallways, and i certainly have nothing against it... 
but in my wee days, when faced with the two children's menu staples of chicken fingers or mac and cheese,
my choice was always, always, always mac and cheese. 
something about the inconsistency of the breading from wansternaut to wansternaut is probably what did it.
{sorry, wansternaut is restaurant in wee me talk}
i simple never developed that intimate relationship with chicken fingers that i have with so many other foods.
but with today's visit to 
i finally have a trusted friend in fried chicken.
in making up for lost time {or in saving room for pie at the end}
i got a kids meal :-)
two everythingisbiggerintexas chicken tenders
can you pretty please substitute my fries for 
cheesey mashed tatoes
a buttermilk biscuit!
and an ample amount of honey mustard, hot sauce, honey, and ketchup. mmmmm sauce!
wow those are some juicy chicken tenders!!!
juicy and sweet and soft. and the protective shell was thick and crunchy and... oh it all tasted so fresh!
it transcended the impressions that my childhood chicken tenders had ingrained in me. 
so yummy. and even yummier was this sequence:
dip a chickens in hot sauce, then dip it in honey mustard, then eat it, and then immediately take a bite of the biscuit 
{to create the illusion of a biscuit sandwich}
the mashed tatoes were fine. i kept praying they'd turn into mac and cheese. but you can't eatem all. 
dessert was a baby pie!!
it's happening, it's really happening:
pies are the new donuts which were the new cupcakes until pies became the new cupcakes. 
and by commutative property:
pies are the new cupcakes.
whoopie!!!!!! {no pun intended, but get it? i thought it was clev.}
anyways, as much as i wanted to report back that i ate an apple cheddar pie,
i was way more in the mood for the 
whiskey buttermilk pie!
 it was adorable. almost like a lighter, soupier crack pie. 
the whiskey took me a second to register. but it's there. oh it's there.

dear hill country chicken,
thanks for making me a friend in fried chicken.
also thanks for being there for all of the people who think they want kfc but would rather enjoy a finer meat and a longer life. 



hill country chicken is on the corner of 25th and broadway
 {a block away from its mommy, hill country barbecue}

an ode to restaurants that are open late, and an unrelated photo

restaurants that are open late 
that are not taco bell 
are champions.

and restaurants that are glamorous 
and open late
make me happier than the toys at the bottom of cracker jack boxes. 

nothing beats a post-organ recital goat cheese profiterole.
at landmarc, open till 2 thankyouverymuch. 

happy monday!



week 14: seasonal

the buzz about
is that it's got the hot new schnitzel in town.
{what's that sound? oh that's the sound of seasonal zooming to the top of my places to try list...}

and after a walk up to midtown from the village,
mum and i deserved it!
the amuse bouche set a high precedent:
taleggio cheese, 
potater soup, 
dill powder
how cute is it that it was made to look like an egg??
this picture makes it look like it was huge,
but really, 
it was about two bites
of creamy, smokey, dill-y goodness.

mum and i got our fork and knife, 
flexed our muscles,
and got ready to dig in to some thick and juicy

what i got when i dug in was something much much less satisfying...
the sound of a fork hitting the plate prematurely.
"ma, where's the crunch?"

it became clear why this schnitzel is
"the hot new schnitzel"

it's diet schnitzel.
refer to the above photo to see what is the thinnest piece of meat i have ever seen in my life.
with a crust that was more like a helium balloon encasing the meat,
that refused to stick to the meat,
even though i begged.


i looked around.

i looked to my size 0 waitress. 
is she going to shout april fools?

are these people kidding?

gustav mahler did not eat his schnitzel in a balloon.

authentic, my derriere. 

i mean,
the crust wasn't soggy,
i'll give it that. 

and it was seasoned well.

 a paper thin veal slice plus a paper thin coating of breading does not a schnitzel make.

i get it, schnitzel is supposed to be thin and pounded out.
but, no no no, not like this.

also what was frustrating was
the way the lemons were cut into circles as opposed to wedges,
which made them impossible to squeeze.

the spätzle didn't help much either.
it was watery.
and unhot. 

the dessert was tasty.
it was a chocolatey and hazelnutty.
but i mean, 
it wasn't a donut.

actually one of the best things was the little quark cheesecake {on the left} at the end of the meal.
the truffles on the right were coffee flavored.

i enjoy little amuse bouches and little second desserts. 


oh dear,
i feel like i'm a h8er.

i'm not, i promise,
i just had a certain expectation for my schnitzel.
and this was just a whole new take on it that i simply wasn't ready for.
it's like when fancy restaurants put mushrooms in mac and cheese.

overall it was a nice experience.
the atmosphere was lovely,
and all of the wait people were very nice.

if i can have a crispier, meatier, piping hot schnitz for a few bucks from the schnitzel truck,
there's no point in going back to seasonal to drop 30 on some skimpy meat that's about to fly away.

good thing i have 38 restaurants to go...



seasonal is located on 58th between 6th and 7th

the breslin

since when did everybody in the world become vegetarians?
did i miss the memo that you're not supposed to eat dead anymore? 
why do i feel like i just denounced gay marriage when i take out my turkey sandwich for lunch?

raise your hand if you take bacon in your mac and cheese,
if you can't have pancakes without them being rolled around sausages,
and if you go to baseball games just for the hot dogs.
*raises hand*

i'm so happy to have found
to renew my faith in carnivores.

and to remind me that, no, meat eating is not dead.
{no pun intended....}


 unaware of what being attached to the ACE hotel really meant,
i expected white table cloths and cordial waiters in all black,
but was pleasantly shocked to find a quirky, two story, vintage-y establishment
run by kool kids in tight t-shirts and jeans.

the moments where i
[a] opened the menu, and
[b] dropped my jaw
were simultaneous.

"i know, it's like porn!" said my new best friend, the waitress.

the amuse bouche was caramel corn.
not like those balls of cardboard you got on halloween.
this was freshly popped,
with homemade caramel,
and roasted nuts.
...light, crunchy, melt-in-your-mouth heaven.
cracker jacks on crack, if you will.

but,  nothing could prepare me for what was about to happen next...

the appetizer.
{i'm hoping that adding a period after the word makes it sound all a bit more grand and intimidating}

with lentils and a terragon and shallot dressing

a house made pork sausage,
herbed uniquely and to PERFECTION...
 piping hot, 
 meaty goodness. 
you could linger on one bite forever.
this honestly has to be one of the best things i've ever eaten.
the main course
came close though...
house made sausage
with polenta and parmesan


with pork ragu and rosemary

{pictured is the former}

i almost bit the pops' head off when he tried ordering the halibut.
i told him if he didn't get the sausage, i'd disown him as a father 
{i had already decided on the taglietelle}
and, luckily, ms. waitress was on my side {YES!}
because the sausage was {and pops soon agreed}
ok the sausage itself was fine,
but a perfect forkfull of just the right proportions of it and it's friend, the polenta, was just 
deliciously comforting. 
the tanginess of the parmesan meshed so well with the sweet polenta. 
i needed one of those four foot long forks to keep reaching across the table to pops.

the taglietelle 
was very very good. 
i can't say much about it,
because by the time i had finished it
 {in all of two bites :-(...}
i had forgotten to think about it.

it was an almost offensively small portion.
that's ok
because it gave the pops and i reason to order the
thrice baked chips
served with cumin mayo and spicy pickles
that yelled from the menu,
"eeeeat me!!!"
they were quite tasty.
similar to pommes frites,
but a bit crunchier.

i tasted one of the pickles that came with it.
{i've never had a pickle}
it was fine.
sorta weird.
kinda pointless?
what's the point of a pickle?

whatever, it's time for
ciabatta donuts with navan and banana ice cream
{banana ice cream on the SIDE thank heavens... bananas give me the heeby geebies}


chocolate stout syllabub
 with bubbled caramel and crème fraiche 

donuts! can we talk about donuts?!
in 6th grade i once ate an ENTIRE box of krispy kremes in once sitting.
april, these ciabatta donuts are just genius!
they're chewy! sooo chewy! 
and not too sweet, so i could go on and on eating them.

is like a fancy word for mousse?
that, too was über tasty. 
the caramel was a bit salty,
and the crème fraiche light,
and the chocolate pearls on top hilarious and charming.

both of the desserts were way satisfying.


the whole meal was wayyy satisfying. 
i give it like seven thumbs up.
it was so creative. 
not in an out sort of way,
but in a.. this makes so much sense sort of way.

next time i have carnivorous friends visit from out of town,
i'm taking them here.

i mean,
those brits, they just know.



the breslin bar and dining room is on west 29th street, just east of broadway