Unlike everyone else in NYC, Alex and I elected to stay in the city for Labor Day and to have our best friends come up to visit. Every time Mark and Robin come visit we end up having a crazy weekend full of good food and lots of beer. This weekend was no exception. In the four days that they were here we hit: Fatty Crab, Canteen 82, Xi'an Famous Foods, Ippudo, Absolute Bagels, Cascabel Taqueria, Luke's Lobster, the Wafels and Dinges truck, and Bia Garden. We ate a ton of amazing food and overall had a really good time hanging out. But my favorite dishes we ate all weekend (and we ate a LOT) were the following:
- Fatty Crab - As much as I love everything on the menu here, this time I was all about the Short Ribs Rendang. They are served with this luscious coconut rice and are so tender that they just melt in your mouth.
- Ippudo - We tried four of their ramens, but my favorites were the Shiromaru Hakata Classic ramen and the Akumaru Modern ramen.
- Cascabel Taqueria - It's not on the menu, but their Carnitas and Red Chili Tamale is amazing - so tender, moist, and flavorful. I also highly recommend their queso fundito with chorizo and roasted poblano peppers.
- Wafels and Dinges - Their liege wafel is simply amazing. It has a texture and a sweetness that is completely different from what most people think of as a Belgian waffle. Have it topped with spekuloos and whipped cream in the Throwdown special and you won't be disappointed.
- Bia Garden - This is our first time eating at Bia Garden (pictured above) and it was a smashing success. The restaurant has a great beer selection with beers from all over Asia, as well as some really nice dishes. My two favorite dishes were the Sweet Sugarcane Shrimp special, and the Lemongrass Pork Sausage. Both were absolutely delicious. There is a rumor going around that the owner is going to turn the restaurant into an Asian taco joint sometime this fall, which would be really disappointing because we really enjoyed Bia Garden and the food (and beer) we had there. The entrance to the restaurant looks a little sketchy, but after you walk through the kitchen and walk-in cooler to the beer garden in back you realize just how great this place really is!