Its the time of the year that we all wait for; the time of the year where we put our exploratory tongues in action; its also the time of year where we eat like a baller on a budget…its Restaurant Week NYC.

First up on my journey was DGDB Kitchen and Bar. Most times the prix fixed menus are simply put…sucky and I always find myself straying to the regular menu in an effort to find something to tantalize my palate, but not so this time.

1st course Grilled Panzanella Salad, a combination of goat cheese, seedless olives, & tomatoes with a vinegarette. Now it is here where I struggle, because I am not a tomato liker or lover, but I am a goat cheese and olive lover, so in mind the two items I would enjoy immensely would dominate the plate, unfortunately I was more than wrong. It was packed with tomatoes, sprinkled with little olives and the goat cheese was smudged on the side of the plate, which I assume was for decoration. A few bites of olives coupled with the smidgen of goat cheese, and a crouton was mildly satisfying, but definitely not a slam dunk, and not completely delectable, but indubitably at no fault to the chef, it really was all due to my disinclination toward tomatoes.

2nd course Grilled Shrimp and Grits with chorizo, and the word that comes to mind with this dish is voila, flawless even. Plump shrimp, buttery, scallions atop, and the hearty amount of chunky chorizo. Now for all the chorizos lovers out there, you know that chorizo can be cooked and served in multiple ways. Sometime you find it in small squares, sometime just a sprinkle for smokiness sake only, and sometime simply rubbery, but not here. This chorizo gave me absolute sausage, spices visible and savory, a real sausage texture, and cooked to a tee. The topper was the corn kernels which was a constant reminder that you were eating grits with each bite, the grit crowning moment. The grits in itself could have been a smidgen thicker, but this is certainly a personal preference not a default on the side of DGDB.

3rd course a plum tart, yes plum, with blackberry ice cream, or should I write eat it slow and savor the thinly sliced sweet plums, laid so ever delicately on a tart crust with no custard, which was the absolute grand prize for me. I think most tarts are visually appetizing, I always vacillate on whether I should try again, maybe my taste buds have changed and this time I am going to like the fruits swimming in custard, but my taste buds have not changed in this area, so this custardless tart was a tart from heaven as far as I was concerned. The blackberry ice cream with the toasted almond brittle was completely superb. The crunch of the brittle with ice cream, was amazeballs and somehow the perfect blend of sweetness on all sides, no water needed to wash it down.

It has been a minute since I have had what I call an absolutely delightful meal, one that makes me smile, one that makes me brag, and one that made my eyes close just a bit with satisfaction, well done DGDB, well done.

I Ignored my Dad & See what I Got🍴

When I think of a smokehouse, I immediately think of bbq pits out back, smoke coming out of the stack, the smell of slow cooking meat permeating the air, and the cooker knowing that there is a clear distinction between grilling and bbq.

You should never open a restaurant because you believe that there is a certain food choice needed in that location. You should open a restaurant because you are a darn good cook, you know your craft, and you would count it a privilege for anyone daring enough to try it. 

Well Route 66 Smokehouse you opened up a restaurant in the financial district of New York, not because you labored in developing your craft of good bbq. You opened it, because everyone gets tired of bringing leftovers for lunch everyday and also there are the lazies like me, who rarely bring their lunch from home, so any neighboring restaurant from my workplace will do as long as it looks clean and if people appear to be enjoying themselves.

Unfortunately my eating experience at Route 66 Smokehouse only gave me the pleasure of sitting outside, because who doesn’t love to eat outside on a beautiful New York day. 

First up the pull pork sandwich on a brioche bun, the name alone compelled me to try it along with the semi-thin fries. Upon my first bite I thought “do I have a piece of meat in my mouth?” because I tasted absolutely nothing, the sandwich was completely and unequivocally bland; I added extra bbq sauce, but nothing could help this lost cause. Now it is super important to always give credit where credit is due, so I write that to write the meat was very tender, but what is tenderness without taste, its kinda like having faith without works. The brioche bun was buttered, but it didn’t taste buttery I am just assuming it was from the sheen on the top of the bun. The fries were undercooked, and in my novice opinion I always think that when people cook fries they should always have a rule of thumb which is, “how can I make these better than McDonalds?” Third up corn on the cob which should be a staple at every bbq joint, and theirs were actually ok, grilled, a little dark sparks on the kernels for presentation purposes, lightly buttered and lightly salted. But how many of you know that if you have good sweet corn, no salt is required and very little butter is needed. Fourth up, jalapeño corn bread…Route 66 just take this off the menu now, and I do mean right now. Why in the name of all that is lovely would you decide to serve greasy, unsweetened, dry, non-buttered, rubbery cornbread or should I write cornmeal? Was that your way of saying I got your money anyway, so I dont care what I serve you? Or is it simply unskilled culinary at work? Now if you insist on keeping the cornbread on the menu i am going to make a recommendation that will be completely free of charge, here it is. Contact Warmdaddy’s in Philadelphia and ask the chef if he would give you a skillet cornbread lesson, and if he says yes, make sure you recognize the gift in front of you, take him your weight in gold as an offer to him, because it will officially change your life, as it is the best cornbread on the PLANET!!! Last up macaroni and cheese with pulled pork, or should I write kraft box cheese macaroni. Again giving credit where credit is due, you definitely get points for presentation of placing the dish in a cast iron skillet, but again you do know that presentation means nothing if the food isn’t good. Clearly box cheese was used here, with no obligation to season along with the bland pork equals an unacceptable meal.

It is not very often that I come across a restaurant where everything ordered was sub par, but clearly it does happen, and I dont feel that bad because the food was crummy, I feel bad because I recommended this place to my lunch date, and no one wants to be remembered by the poor food they received.

I will totally take the blame on this one, as I completely avoided my father’s grand advice when selecting bbq, which is dont go in if you cant smell the bbq from the outside & definitely do go in if you cannot 

smell it on the inside.

Find another lane Route 66 Smokehouse, because the one you are on is beyond crooked.🍴

Had my Doughnut & Ate it Too

The guilty pleasure of a glazed doughnut in the morning is not that guilty anymore. No need to feel sad about the sugar or the carbs, because something great has been added to soothe your pain and it is lavender. Thats right you read correctly, a glazed doughnut with sprinkled lavender leaves.

I am almost positive this was made just for me. The Doughnut Plant in Manhattan, NY instinctively knew that I needed to taste soft as clouds bread on my tongue, with the bonus of sweetness from the glaze. They knew that I firmly believe that days off are made of light and airy doughnuts and everyone nice. They knew that when the world has me topsy turvy I immediately think of a guilty pleasure, but they also knew inevitably guilt would follow, thoughts of having to workout twice in one day next week would plague me for days to come; so they gave me something to immediately relax my anxiety, lower my blood pressure, and provide the immediate calm that I needed so desperately. All I can write is…JACKPOT!!! So now not only is my tastebuds filled with joy my guilt has been eradicated by calm. Well done Doughnut Plant New York City, well done👍🏾