Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 Recap II

New Years posts, recap part two!

As I mentioned in the previous post, I didn't keep track well enough to figure out my favorite meals or restaurants of 2008, but I can do a restaurant recap of my own. We keep a running list of the restaurants we've been to so I'll pick every 10 restaurants and mention them here as a sampling of the places we've been to this year.

1. 99 Cent Pizza: We live near the 99 cent pizza place by the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel, which ends up in a lot of the cheap eats lists. The pizza is fine, not the best pizza I've ever had, but it's certainly cheaper these days than most pizza!

2. Beach Club: The Beach Club restaurant was the restaurant in our condo-resort in Maui. We had some free dollars to use there as part of our hotel package so we went there for a lunch and a breakfast. Lunch was better than breakfast. It was OK, but I wouldn't have gone there without the free offer.

3. Brooklyn Museum Cafe: We went to the Brooklyn Museum this summer to see the Murakami exhibit and dropped by the cafe for dinner. It wasn't cheap but it was nice getting Asian dishes at a museum cafe. Some of the salads were pretty good.

4. Cantina de San Angel: I believe this cantina is the "quick service" or "counter service" place at the Mexico exhibit at Epcot, and not the sit-down place (which I don't think we visited this time). It was a nice snack that I believe we had on our "tapas" day where we attempted to eat small meals all over the Epcot world showcase. We had some tacos, some Japanese food, etc.

5. Coral Reef: Another Disney spot! I had been to Coral Reef many times with my family before, but the quality had gone down significantly since the last time we were there (10 years ago). It either got worse or my standards got higher, but I think it's mostly the first. I thought it was just OK this time. I would probably pick somewhere else next time.

6. Esca: Esca. Crudo. Delicious. All of the crudo were so good. That's what I remember most. Especially the razor clams. The whole crudo sampler was fantastic. I would definitely go back for that.

7. Hallo Berlin: I love Hallo Berlin. Reminds me of our brief stopover in Germany and our visit to Sachsenhausen. Mmmm.

8. Kodama: Kodama is our local go-to Japanese place. We love everything, especially the potato salad which we get every time.

9. Le Madeleine: This is a sad one. We used to live near Le Madeleine. Then the landlord evicted them. He had been trying to evict them for years, under the pretext of building a condo building. He finally kicked them out earlier this year once the court challenges were over, and a few months later, what ended up in its place? Not construction for a new condo building, not a demolition team, but a NEW French restaurant?! Upsetting. No, we haven't been there. I don't want to hold it against the new owner without knowing whether or not they were part of the mess, but I just don't feel good about this.

10. Mex in the City: JFK airport, pre-Jetblue food court. I like tacos so it was fine, but I can't wait to try the new places!

11. Orchid Caribbean: Orchid is another neighborhood place. We worried earlier this year that they had closed down (like so many other places around here) but it turns out that it was really for good news and they had a baby (according to the sign). I love the food at Orchid and its laid-back vibe. It's like a real break from the city.

12. Popeye's: I like Popeye's but I'm not sure what else needs to be said here. I think we went here in connection with the Superbowl but I'm not sure.

13. Rosa Mexicano: Yummy tableside guacamole. The last time we were there, we ate $42 worth of guacamole. Yes, $42. We like the one in Union Square.

14. Tangierine Cafe: The quick service place at the Morocco showcase at Epcot. This was a great place to stop for lunch (and we made it just before the rush). Couscous, tabouli, good food. Highly recommend for lunch at Epcot.

15. Wing Shing: Why am I always talking about restaurants closing? This place in Brooklyn got DOH-ed (which was bizarre because the inspection just before had been really, really good). Our family used to go here all the time, and I have so many pictures of food here. I'm not sure if it's now reopened but it was closed for awhile.

16. Yum Yum Too (not really 10 later, but last on the list): The latest branch of the Hell's Kitchen Yum Yum chain, we really liked this one. But I think it's now closed for renovations?

There's the recap!

Photos: Golden tofu salad with hijiki and carrots from Brooklyn Museum Cafe; soft tacos from Cantina de San Angel; Japanese potato salad from Kodama; tacos from Mex in the City; platter from Tangierine Cafe.

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