Blog has moved, searching new StayHungree.com.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Lakeside Diner

    Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives is one of my favorite shows on the planet. I love the idea of hidden gem little places serving up signature flavor packed dishes. Lakeside Diner is one of these places that just feels like home. A small building with a view of a nice lake, hence the name, Lakeside is a classic diner cooking up breakfast and lunch favorites, each bite nestled with tender care and home cooked love. The diner is cozy and comforting where smells of warm cinnamon sugar donuts, bubbly maple syrup, and an amiable feeling hang in the air.
   Breakfast ranges from a variety of pancakes (banana, chocolate chip, strawberry, blueberry), to classic french toast and belgian waffles, to eggs any style, creamy oatmeal and grits and super hearty omelets. I am an eggs girl. I like 'em poached on a toasted english muffin, fried with a crispy hash, oozing and runny so I can soak them up with some nice rye toast, and most of all in an omelet. Today, I was in the mood for an omelet, and so was my sister. I went with an egg white omelet with spinach, feta, and artichoke hearts, ugh so good. The flavors were clean, yet somehow every single bite made me feel like I was cuddled up in a blanket. Syd, my sister, got and egg white omelet with spinach, broccoli, and swiss cheese and it was just as good. Look at us, so healthful. Mine came with a side of grits which I generously topped with maple syrup and swirled together to make a creamy masterpiece. The grits were just grainy enough for good texture, but soft enough where they still melted in my mouth. NOM.

   My brother was in more of a lunch mood so he went with the Lakeside Southernfried, a 4 piece fried chicken served with fries. The chicken was extra crispy on the outside but gave way to such tender and yummy white chicken with that first crunchy bite. The lunch part of the menu also features wraps, melts, sandwiches, burgers, and so much more.


   To drink, we all got chocolate milkshakes. So creamy, so thick, so chocolatey so good. Heaped with whipped cream and drizzled with chocolate syrup, I was loco for the cocoa. Now to talk about my favorite thing in the world and basically the reason, aside from every other thing I've described, that I come to Lakeside so frequently: the donuts. Homemade donuts are rolled in sugar and are honestly just divine. Fluffy, light, yet doughy and chewy, eating one just isn't enough. You need at least three, AT LEAST. Eaten between sips of coffee and hot chocolate and breakfast is complete.


   So if your in the mood for a delicious homey meal from a classic little diner, hit up Lakeside, and you won't be disappointed.

Once hungree, always hungree.
xo
hungree girl.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

krazy in my kitchen

    When I'm in the mood to cook, which is basically all the time, I go big or go home. So when I decided to make dinner for my Dad and two cousins, I thought I'd go all out. I was in the mood for something summery and light and on the healthier side. My mind raced as my menu assembled bite by bite in my head: grilled chicken paillard topped with a green salad, chili lime corn, and grilled eggplant. It was fresh, required little preparation, came together easily, and was obviously well received thanks to my great talent and taste for perfection. When I cook and I want to know if my recipients enjoy my food, I don't ask. Asking is just waiting for a lie, so instead I watch. I know I do a good job when plates are empty and forks are still scraping for lingering bits. Recipes are listed below. I apologize about my measuring, I never measure for marinades, I'm more of a sprinkle and taste kind of gurl.

Grilled Chicken Paillard (serves 6)

Ingredients
6 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
olive oil
2 lemons
salt
pepper
garlic powder
lowrys season salt

Recipe: Wash and clean the chicken. Pat dry and place in plastic bags. Pound thin til about doubled in size. Drizzle olive oil and juice of lemons so the chicken is coated and you have a little extra liquid in the bag. Sprinkle in a good amount of all the dry ingredients. Shake up the bags so the chicken is well dressed and marinate for at least an hour in the fridge. Turn your grill on medium high heat. Brush the grates with olive oil and lay the chicken on the grill, slanted as to get nice grill marks. Pour excess liquid over the chicken and grill on each side for about 7 minutes, or until fully cooked through.

Green Salad

Ingredients
one bag of mixed greens
6 oz. fresh baby arugula
one dozen cherry tomatoes
1 avocado
1 green bell pepper
balsamic vinegar
olive oil

Recipe: Halve cherry tomatoes. Roughly chop the avocado and bell pepper. Toss with greens and drizzle with oil and vinegar.

Grilled Chili Lime Corn

Ingredients
6 ears of peeled corn
1 stick softened butter, room temperature
2 limes
chili powder
garlic powder

Recipe: Wrap corn in tin foil. Roast on grill medium high until each ear is cooked but not charred. Remove foil and get a nice char, however much you like, on the corn. Once charred to your liking, take corn off the grill. In a small bowl combine softened butter and the juice of two limes. Season with chili powder and garlic powder to taste, I like a bit of heat and add a bunch of chili. Mix and mash the butter together. The mixture will be a thinned out butter with extra lime juice as they won't fully combine. With a brush, brush the butter on the corn. Eat. Enter heaven.

Grilled Eggplant

Ingredients
2 large eggplant
olive oil
salt
pepper

Recipe: Slice eggplant in rounds. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Brush medium high grill with olive oil. Grill rounds until they are nicely charred on both sides and are tender to the bite.

plate it all together and you have one very happy hungree girl.



Stay Hungree, Stay Happy.
xo
hungree girl.

China White

Rating: 3.5 forks
Price: $$$
Service: Good
Cuisine: upscale Chinese



    Tonight I ate at China White in Greenwich for the second time.  Now, when I think of Chinese food, I usually think of greasy noodles and overly sauced dishes, (which don't get me wrong, can be good in small amounts), but China White makes Chinese food simple, delicate, and delicious; everything but greasy and overly sauced. It starts before you even sit down, with its sleek and modern decor, floor to ceiling glass windows, and over all white theme, greasy food just wouldn't really fit in. I went as a party of three around 6:45 and it was jammed, (the restaurant doesn't take reservations for parties fewer then 6), so we decided to sit at the bar. Now this decision was fine by me because the restaurant features an open kitchen, a perfect view to watch the chefs whip up tasty concoctions.
     The waiters, dressed in white jump suits which is honestly just a little excessive and slightly factory like, give you crispy wonton strips with 3 house made dipping sauces to nibble on. Beyond addicting. The menu is elegant and simple, and is definitely not overwhelming, which in this case is a good thing. To start, my group ordered spare ribs, the crunchy mango vegetable summer rolls, and scallion pancakes. The spare ribs were excellent; tender with just enough bite and a great garlicky soy glaze that'll have you licking your lips and your fingers. The summer rolls were my favorite. So light, so fresh, and so crisp. Dunked in a peanut sauce with crushed peanut morsels for texture the contrast of the crunchy and clean vegetables with the rich and creamy peanut sauce is divine. Mmmm. Now I'm not usually a scallion pancake person just because they aren't the healthiest, but these are not worth passing up. They are thin and light yet somehow carry the doughy folds that all the flavor is tucked into. Dipped into a soy hoisin type sauce and sprinkled with fresh scallions, it is more then worth being unhealthy.


     For entrees we went a little nuts. We ordered wok stirred prawns, chicken lo mein, tangerine beef, and the chop chop chicken salad. I was pretty hungree...The prawns were dressed in a white whine ginger sauce and mixed with eggplant, shitake mushroom caps, jicama, and scallions. The prawns were tender and perfectly cooked and the sauce, while I will admit it was slightly heavy, did not weigh the dish down. The vegetables added texture and a nice taste to the dish as well. The lo mein was pretty good. It was a classic chicken lo mein and while it had some high points, it lacked a little flavor and wasn't as refined or special as the rest of the restaurant. If you want a rich and intense experience, order the tangerine beef. Pieces of beef wear a coat of insane crispyness fully loaded with a deep tangerine and chili flavor. The crunchy outside is dressed in a glaze that mixes fruity with salty and with more then a hint of chili, it has your taste buds singing. Paired with some clean baby bok choy the dish works extremely well. The chicken salad consisted of ice berg, chicken chunks, halved cherry tomatoes, celery, and crispy wonton strips all tossed in a ginger dressing. Dressing was great, but the salad was a little weak. I don't think celery added anything to the salad and even seemed a little of of place.


    The perfect way to end a meal is obviously with something sweet and China White clearly knows this. While we didn't order dessert, with your check comes a huge fluffy mound of white cotton candy. Let me tell you, cotton candy is my favorite thing in the world, and this one was great. It was an organic green tee chai flavored and was as fluffy and light as fresh fallen snow. Yes, I was with two other people, but no, they did not stand a chance with the cotton candy. Overall, it was a good way to leave with a sweet impression in my mouth.




Would I go back? Yes. Was it good? Yes. Am I in true love? Unfortunately, no.

HUNGREE 4 LIFE.
xo
hungree girl.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Meli Melo

Rating: 5 forks
Price: $$$
Service: Outstanding
Cuisine: French

   When I want a light lunch or dinner or even breakfast, I think of one place: Meli Melo. Meli Melo always has great service, great food, and a great atmosphere. Seated right on the bottom of Greenwich Avenue, one can spot the lemon drop colored doors and wafting aroma of fresh sugar crepes a block away. Having recently just expanded their doors to the storefront over, the restaurant, once cramped but loved for its quaint quarters, now, still maintaining that itty bitty French cafe feel, welcomes customers to a more open array of seating. Something I love about the new space is the light; there is plenty of it and most of it is natural sunlight that filters through the floor to ceiling glass doors that remain open on sunny warm days, giving customers the chance to people watch and enjoy the fresh air and passerby-ers something to be jealous of.
     The menu consists of fresh squeezed juices, salads, soups, crepes, sandwiches, dessert crepes, and fresh house-made sorbets and ice creams. Meli Melo's freshly squeezed orange juice is the perfect morning pick-me-up and their raspberry, peach, strawberry blend makes the best afternoon snack. The salads are fresh, large, and light and feature extremely good dressing. Salads range from the vegetarian, (my favorite) which is a bed of mixed greens with bean sprouts, tomatoes, scallions, avocado, artichoke hearts, and asparagus in their house vinaigrette, to the incredible chicken curry salad, to a hearty cobb featuring toppers such as eggs, tomatoes, blue cheese crumbles, bacon, and house cut turkey...mmmm.
        As I mentioned in previous posts, I'm a soup fanatic and this is part of the reason I'm obsessed with this restaurant. Every day they feature a full selection of home made soups that are so tasty and just so perfect. While the french onion, with a warming and comfy broth, chunks of heavenly baguette, caramelized onions to perfection, topped with an oozing gruyere cheese burnt in just the right places, remains a staple, all the other soups change daily. Artichoke soup, gazpacho, butternut squash with roasted apples, white bean, lentil, vegetable, beef barley, avocado with crab, are just a few I can spit off the top of my head that have graced the menu and my personal palette and are all well deserving to be on the menu. The butternut squash is sipping heaven. A thick buttery broth that has a color that reminds me of gold, butter, and the sun, (all things good in the world) boasts a rich squash flavor that is carefully balanced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and the crunch of sweet roasted apples. Served with a slice of a french baguette and you can now officially rest in peace. In the winter, I live off of Meli Melo soup takeout.
      If you're feeling the sandwich route, I recommend the Le Parisien: A baguette with butter, spicy mustard, gherkin pickles, some greens, ham, and I like to add avocado. Its light, yet filling, and leaves you feeling like you can do something after you eat it, not like you need to take a nap and curl up in a ball.
    You can put any salad on top of a crepe but why do that when you can make a delicious melted crepe yourself? Take a buckwheat crepe, throw in sundried tomatoes, bean sprouts, portabellos, swiss cheese, scallions, and artichoke hearts, and I am one happy camper.
   Desserts: Banana nutella crepe is a STAR. Gooey nutella gushes out of every corner and fold of the sweet crepe as you tackle each banana trying to make the ideal bite. The sorbets are clean, crisp, and tasty and while hosting many original classics like raspberry and mango, they also have started featuring interesting ones like goat cheese.
  Basically, I love this place. Love everything in it.

Being Hungree is a way of life
xo
hungree girl.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Boat Day

    What better way to spend a day then riding the water on a boat? Let me tell you, nothing. The smell of the ocean and the salty air penetrating every pore of your body is one of the best feelings in the world. And what goes better with a great day on the boat then some great food? After cruising the waves for about an hour, I, obviously always hungree, announced that it was time for food. We rode the boat over to Rowayton and docked by the restaurant Rowayton seafood. While this place is great for a sit down meal, my crew was in the mood for a picnic on the boat so we went to the pickup seafood shack next to the main building. The little gray building looks like nothing special, but offers outstanding fresh seafood and fish and also sells some great condiments like grainy mustard and gherkins. The menu is divided into categories: steamed, cold, hot. I was feeling a little bit of all three and ordered some steamers, fried clam bellies, a cold lobster roll, and fish and chips. Yum?
     We took our goodies to the boat and set up camp. The steamers were hearty and delicious. Served with a dish of melted butter, we eagerly took turns drenching the mollusks and quickly spooning them into our mouths as to not drip. We dipped the clam bellies in a spicy, tart, and lemony tartar sauce that I could eat on its own. While I'm not usually a mayonnaisy salad person, the lobster roll was awesome. Heaped atop a very toasted sesame bun and crunchy romaine, big chunks of lobster were tossed in a light mayonnaise lemon dressing with celery. The crisp bun and the tender lobster in one bite was almost too good to handle. Then, the finale which we all voted the best, the fish and chips. A crunchy crispy yet light crust coated a thick white fish, I'm assuming cod. Dunked in the same tartar sauce as the clams and drizzled with a little bit of lemon these were definitely some of the best fish and chips I've had. Fries were crispy but nothing too special. I'd say it was a pretty solid lunch.

Stay hungree!
xo
Hungree Girl.

Lately I've Been Pretty Shellfish...

    And the reason I've been shellfish is because I've been making up for lost time. When I was 8 years old I was diagnosed with an allergy to all shellfish. Lobster, my favorite food on the planet, was now totally off limits. Add shrimp, crab, scallops, and clams to the list and I was devastated. After being allergic for 10 years, my usual reaction around shellfish started to fade. While I didn't dare try any, my itchy eyes and skin rash lessened and soon failed to appear. I went to the allergist, sat in his office for 6 hours and ate 1/32 of a piece of shrimp. Nothing happened, SUCCESS. I was free.
     Since that day when I see shellfish on the menu I order it. Not only have I resorted to eating my old favorites, I've opened up to a whole new realm of the sea world. Oysters and mussels now constantly graze my palette as I attempt to make up for the last 10 years. Cold blue point oysters topped with red vinegar, horse radish, and cocktail sauce are a refreshing and cooling way to start any meal. Heaps of shrimp, mussels, and clams bundled in creamy tomato sauce and saffron rice is now what I dream about. Mussels steamed in thai coconut milk with onions and scallions lingers in my thoughts and on my taste buds.
    Shellfish, once my worst nightmare, now haunts my dreams.



From my dreams, to your plate.
xo
Hungree Girl.

Nature's Candy

    Watermelon is a gift from God. Its sweet. Its crunchy. Its 90% water and totally low-cal. Its got that melt-in-your-mouth type texture. Nothing is better then sinking your teeth into a cold chunk of watermelon and getting that initial crunch which then releases a flash flood of juice and sweetness. Ugh, just thinking about it has me craving some. Watermelon is the perfect snack, the perfect dessert, and the perfect salad or side dish. Its one of those stand alone fruits that can be served just the way it is, no questions asked, no frills added, just sugary sweet, but at the same time can also be played on and turned into a savory dish.
     One classic combination is watermelon and cheese. If you have never heard/tried this, then it sounds bizarre, but let me tell you, sheer genius. Personally I think the way to go is watermelon and feta. The salty and tangy feta contrasts so nicely with the sweetness of the watermelon and when you add a dash of balsamic you have officially entered the golden gates. My mom and I have made an insane feta, watermelon, and tomato salad that is to DIE for, recipe below. Another thing I also tried, one of my many experiments, was grilling the fruit. I loved grilled fruit. Who doesn't? The grill caramelizes the natural sugars in the fruit making it extra sweet and gooey and honey-esque and GAH like an explosion of I don't even know what. Brushing thin wedges of watermelon with some olive oil then laying them on the grill until both sides have nice marks makes a great side dish. Slice squares of feta and grill them as well and you're good to go.
    Something I love about watermelon is that its like the steak of fruit. A big chunk or wedge of it is like eating a steak. Its so filling and so messy and so soooo good.






Watermelon = Yummy in my Tummy x10


Tomato, Watermelon, and Feta Salad


Ingredients
3 cups seedless watermelon, cut into chunks
1/2 lb of REALLY good feta cheese
6 red round tomatoes cut into chunky pieces
one 5 oz package of arugula
a bunch of fresh mint
balsamic vinegar
olive oil
salt
pepper


Recipe
In a large bowl combine the watermelon and tomatoes. Roughly run your knife through the feta breaking it into crumbles. Dice the fresh mint. Add the feta, mint, and arugula into the large bowl with the tomatoes and watermelon. Drizzle with balsamic and olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss.


Never Stop Being Hungree.
xo
Hungree Girl.

Little Thai Kitchen


Rating: 5 forks
Price: $$
Service: Excellent
Cuisine: Traditional Thai

Little Thai Kitchen, or LTK as other obsessed people like me call it, is a hidden gem. LTK is some of the best thai food I've ever had. SO GOOD. The restaurant is quaint and clean and the flavors are crisp and refined. Its totally casual and is my go to place. The menu is broad and ranges from light soups and salads to hearty noodle dishes and curries. The Tom Kaar soup is a traditional thai chicken coconut soup and is honestly like sipping heaven. Its creamy yet thin coconut broth boasts a thick flavor that won't weigh you down. Pieces of shredded chicken, whole cherry tomatoes, and miniature shitake mushroom caps add texture and infuse even more of a bite into this flavor packed dish. This soup warms my soul and every time I take out food I order AT LEAST 3 extra to demolish the next day for lunch, snack, and dinner. Another appetizer highlight are the Po Pia Sod, or vegetable cold rolls. Fresh cut vegetables get wrapped in rice paper and dipped into a peanuty glaze. Sprigs of mint and cilantro folded between the veggies accent the freshness of the dish and give it a little punch. I also die for the Thai Minced Chicken, LTK's version of lettuce wraps. Minced chicken is served spiced with curry and mixed with cashews and crunchy celery and carrots. You get a heaping plate of iceberg lettuce and you're ready to go. A bit messy, yes, but asking if its worth it is honestly a waste of words. Moving on to heavier dishes. Eating the Chicken Pad Seew is basically a trip to a huge comfy and cozy bed for your taste buds. When I see the plate heading towards my table, I literally go weak at the knees. Piled high atop a ceramic dish is a heap of wide rice noodles, with tender pounded chunks of chicken, and cooked vegetables all tossed in a  brown glaze that is both sweet, salty, and totally delicious. Then there is the Big Bowl Noodle Soup. If you didn't infer from my paragraph about the coconut soup, I love soup and could and do live off of it. The Big Bowl Noodle soup can be made vegetable, chicken, shrimp or beef, but I, being complicated, get chicken and vegetable mixed. This soup is a layer of flavors and is so complex as in every spoonful you taste a new spice, hitting every taste bud in your palette. Al dente rice noodles, bean sprouts, heaps of vegetables, and chicken fill the giant bowl. Its legitimately like drinking a goblet and I can proudly say that I rarely leave my goblet with a drop. Now I could go into great detail on every item of the menu but I'm literally starting to drool so am going to let you try it for yourself. I do highly recommend the Mango Chicken, the Thai Beef Salad, and every other single thing on the menu.

LTK is definitely yummy in my tummy worthy.

Little Thai Kitchen
21 St. Roch Ave
Greenwich, CT


Always and Forever Hungree.
xo
Hungree Girl.